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  • Mistakes were made

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    I own and shoot one low grade 1911. I picked it up for a song. I'm no gunsmith nor do I play one on TV. I've made my share of mistakes during several of the modifications that I've performed in the past 7 years. One being, I blended thru the side of the frame where the trigger bow is located. Apparently it was paper thin. I sanded a hole clean thru attempting to blend out some minor deviations from the castings surface. It wasn't until today that I checked the clearances and decided that I could repair it. The main issue with performing the repair was the complete lack of access to remove any excess material from inside of the frame.
    Another boneheaded move I promptly undertook was drilling the front sight stake incorrectly thru the top of the slide. I suppose my problems stemmed from a long history of emerging from the shallow end of the gene pool. Make no mistake, I've stared at bright light most everyday for the past 20 years and haven't looked away.
    I shared this post because I wanted to illustrate that everyone makes mistakes. Fortunately I got lucky and retained just enough skill to hide my mistakes and deliver a usable part.



    NOTE: I don't currently own a mill. I will re-cut the front dovetail on a friends mill to fit the front sight and determine the placement for the new hole. I used a file to remove the excess material in the pictures.
    Before attempting the repair to the frame I poked a scribe into the hole with the trigger bow fully engaged to check how much clearance there was.
    It wasn't an accurate measurement but then again, I haven't calibrated the filler-metal-back-purge-amperage-ratio yet this year. It dropped into place without any interference. Got lucky I suppose, this pistol will live to shoot another day!
    Last edited by Electric4Life; 01-10-2020, 12:45 PM. Reason: pics

  • #2
    Pics didn't show up; and I was really looking forward to them! I'm no gunsmith, but I consider myself an armorer level enthusiast for anything I own, which is substantial.

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    • #3
      Being a 1911 guy myself, I was hoping to see these pics too, especially the front site hole. I would’ve thought a low grade 1911 would have a swagged on front site. But you don’t need a mill to cut a dove tail for a site, just the right files and about a half hour. The right files set is the key. And they ain’t cheap.

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      • #4
        You can FILE a front sight dovetail? In a half hour?

        [img]https://media.tenor.com/images/77121...c565/tenor.gif[/img]

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        • #5
          I say yes. It’s not a very big dovetail. I’ve never timed it, but it doesn’t take as long as you think. I wouldn’t attempt it with harbor freight files. The proper files have straight and safe edges that greatly increase the speed without error.

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          • #6
            Arise brother Mac, no need to make a spectacle. I’ll even loan you my files.

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            • #7
              Are you starting from a full-profile slide?

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              • #8
                I’ve never done a completely new unused blank slide, just modifying from the swaged in front. Having the old hole is helpful in keeping your layout straight when you start.

                I’m about to...I’ve been saying that for over a year, so more likely when I get around to it...modify my old sig p230. It has a fixed front sight and I want to put night sights on it.

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                • #9
                  I have wanted to build a 1911 for 35 years or more from surplus parts. Remember them? All the gun mags were full of surplus parts 30 years ago. Now parts are a little more abundant thanks to cnc machines. I finally broke down and bought a Remington R1 because it looks like i wanted to build. I just changed the grips. She shoots great too...Bob
                  Bob Wright

                  Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
                  http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

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                  • #10
                    Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	0 Size:	1.54 MB ID:	605996Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	0 Size:	1.23 MB ID:	605997Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	0 Size:	1.50 MB ID:	605998Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	0 Size:	1.80 MB ID:	605999Click image for larger version  Name:	 Views:	0 Size:	950.7 KB ID:	606000
                    Last edited by Electric4Life; 01-10-2020, 01:00 PM.

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                    • #11
                      The front sight was machined off and a dovetail was added. I drilled the hole in the slide slightly oversized on accident. My solution was to use a piece of 309 .065" filler as a pin. It was peened into the sight and tack welded inside the slide. 7 years later the 309 broke and caused the sight to wiggle slightly.

                      I hand filed most of the material that was added but once inn the mill I will surface the top of the slide and re-cut the dovetail. Plans are to also go ham sandwich with some other details with the end mill for fun.

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                      • #12
                        Nice repairs...Bob
                        Bob Wright

                        Spool Gun conversion. How To Do It. Below.
                        http://www.millerwelds.com/resources...php?albumid=48

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                        • #13
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                          • #14
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                            • #15
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