Dug relic 1911 restoration (Pics and Video)


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AJAX22
July 26, 2012, 06:10 PM
I just wanted to share these with all of the highroaders....

Many of you may recognize the 1911...

I've been making video's and taking pictures documenting the process of bringing her back to life.

Here is the photo that made me fall in love with her.

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/DSC05300.jpg

Here is what she looked like when I first saw her in person. (apologies for the camera orientation, I need to fix that)

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0073.jpg
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0072.jpg
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0071.jpg
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0069.jpg
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0070.jpg
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0067.jpg
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0068.jpg

After the first go around with electrolysis

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0074.jpg
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0075.jpg
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0076.jpg
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0077.jpg
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0078.jpg

Here's what the electrolysis looks like when its running

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0082.jpg
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0080.jpg


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War Squirrel
July 26, 2012, 06:45 PM
This is magical.
I wish you utmost luck in this project, and I'm looking forward to seeing this ol' baby fire again!

cyclopsshooter
July 26, 2012, 07:00 PM
This is awesome! tag

RustHunter87
July 26, 2012, 07:14 PM
that's some truly impressive rust removal!

cuba
July 26, 2012, 07:31 PM
Once you finish it will probably weigh about 2 onces less.

Good job

AJAX22
July 27, 2012, 01:32 AM
HVfCwbUAQUc

Mag catch, trigger, sear... all out of the gun now

YankeeFlyr
July 27, 2012, 01:35 AM
Wow!

What are you going to do with it? Museum?

AJAX22
July 27, 2012, 01:43 AM
I'm a gonna shoot it,

I'm a gonna shoot it a lot

;)

cyclopsshooter
July 27, 2012, 01:47 AM
I'll be right over with my bushing wrench bud

cyclopsshooter
July 27, 2012, 01:50 AM
Hard to tell the year without the serial but you can tell by the heart shaped cut outs under the grips that it is indeed a "Black Army" USGI pistol.

Grip screw bushings
Disconnector
Wide spur hammer

:) Keep rockin on it

YankeeFlyr
July 27, 2012, 01:52 AM
How are you gonna get the correct parts fit; certainly enough metal will be removed cleaning it up so that it would be a problem, no?

No? :uhoh:

cyclopsshooter
July 27, 2012, 01:57 AM
Im curious about that too... But 1911s can run pretty loose.. New pins may be required, I'd be worried about the slide/barrel lug fit, breechface, extractor claw... new springs, new barrel link and pin...

It should also be noted that the steel in these WWI guns does not compare to what is made today. The heat treatment on this pistol may not be the best, allowing it to become more brittle over time.. add that to the loss of material along the weaker crack prone areas..

If I was doing this I'd carefully try and shoot it when done but the snot was shot out of this one a long time ago.

YankeeFlyr
July 27, 2012, 02:01 AM
Yeah, not only the slide to frame but the pin hole diameters, too!

I mean, anything can be done with enough money, but it might be like reworking the whole gun again...then is it the "same gun"???

cyclopsshooter
July 27, 2012, 02:09 AM
It is not as delicate as an antique pendulum clock- Even most of the pins can be loose- as long as they are retained properly... The price is going to be very nasty, inconsistent trigger pulls, but she will go bang.

The barrel will probably have to be replaced as well, with heavy pitting in the chamber brass expansion will likely prevent extraction.

This gun died cocked and locked, is there a round in the chamber?

AJAX22
July 27, 2012, 02:21 AM
I suspect she'll go bang... I'm trying to avoid replacing any major components...

Its all part of the challenge..

I have a little bit of experience with making abused 1911's go bang...

My colt 1991a1 spent 10 years in evidence soaking in blood, which really ate away at the gun (including the inside of the barrel) but she still shoots nice and straight with only a few cosmetic replacements (trigger and mainspring housing)

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/IMG_0186.jpg

I Have several thousand rounds through her at this point, with no sign of failure on the horizon...

Brownings designs are able to take a lot more abuse than most people think


Edit...

No round is in the chamber, I checked with a bamboo skewer

cyclopsshooter
July 27, 2012, 02:29 AM
That 80 series looks damn near like art! Even though they are both Colts, the metallurgy is far different, tread lightly.

YankeeFlyr
July 27, 2012, 02:35 AM
I would be DAMNED careful with that slide and frame, with the metal missing. I wonder, too, if it was exposed to any conditions that might lead to embrittlement of the steel. I'd be afraid of cracking due to sharp radii and thinned cross-sections at high-stress points...really I would. Really.

The barrel? You're taking your life in your hands if you even think about it; and those standing near you, too...c'mon...

AJAX22
July 27, 2012, 02:39 AM
No worries ;) I'll take precautions.

I actually think the metal in the old 1911 may be more resistant to corrosion than the 1991A1, (just based on what i've observed between the two.

anyway, It will be interesting to see if It can be fully resurrected.

YankeeFlyr
July 27, 2012, 02:45 AM
It would be cool to make it working, but I'd never put a live round in that barrel...and if I shot it, it would be about two rounds, just to say I did...and then hang it up. Permanently.

Is there a live round in the barrel???? :confused:

AJAX22
July 27, 2012, 02:55 AM
It all depends on how the barrel looks once its disassembled and properly cleaned.

I'll mic the barrel then run 100 rounds or so through it in a shooting jig taking the mic to it periodically to see if anything is moving/swelling that shouldn't be.

Then I'll probably take it and have it magnafluxed to make sure there are no hairline fractures forming, THEN I'll go take her out to go plinking...

The 1991A1 had amazingly deep pits in both the chamber and in the barrel wall, but it still runs perfectly

There is no round in the chamber, I checked it with a bamboo skewer

1911Tuner
July 27, 2012, 03:01 AM
Rough shape. You've got your work cut out.

About 10 years ago, I had knock on the door. Guy that I'd never seen before dropped a name that I knew well and handed me a 1911A1 that was in worse shape. It had been left in a leaky trunk for an indeterminate time. Could I help getting it functional?

I could barely make out the "US Property" mark, and always being interested in military issue pistols...I took it on.

As work progressed, I saw it. U__&_Co. Swi__v__e Pa

I nearly became ill.

Cocked & Locked
July 27, 2012, 05:59 AM
Rough shape. You've got your work cut out.

About 10 years ago, I had knock on the door. Guy that I'd never seen before dropped a name that I knew well and handed me a 1911A1 that was in worse shape. It had been left in a leaky trunk for an indeterminate time. Could I help getting it functional?

I could barely make out the "US Property" mark, and always being interested in military issue pistols...I took it on.

As work progressed, I saw it. U__&_Co. Swi__v__e Pa

I nearly became ill.
Barfff :barf:

YankeeFlyr
July 27, 2012, 11:37 AM
What? I don't get it...

Was it Union Switch & Signal?

What is the PA city?

1911Tuner
July 27, 2012, 12:05 PM
Yes. Union Switch & Signal. Swissvale Pa. It was so corroded that some of the lettering was illegible.

I would be DAMNED careful with that slide and frame, with the metal missing.

The frame is neither here nor there. The only stress that it undergoes is impact from the slide...and the slide doesn't hit it all that hard.

The slide on the old one could be a problem with a lot of shooting.

The Series 80 Colt slide isn't thinned in any critical places other than the area below the port, so it should be fine for a moderate amount of use.

YankeeFlyr
July 27, 2012, 12:16 PM
I was thinking of the frame's pivot pin hole.

Is Union Switch & Signal some rare 1911 producer? Yeah, I know they made them back in the day, but is it some especially collectable mark?

cyclopsshooter
July 27, 2012, 12:52 PM
They are WWII Army contract pistols made in low quantity and are especially prized by people from Swissville PA :)

1911Tuner
July 27, 2012, 01:21 PM
Is Union Switch & Signal some rare 1911 producer? Yeah, I know they made them back in the day, but is it some especially collectable mark?

US&S manufactured 55,000 pistols under contract, as well as various small parts. Only Singer made fewer. They're highly sought after by collectors.

I was thinking of the frame's pivot pin hole.

If you mean the slidestop crosspin hole, all that does is bear against the pin and stop the slide as it goes to battery. Thinning it may cause it to elongate a bit under hard use, but that's about it.

Sam Cade
July 27, 2012, 01:26 PM
I have a little bit of experience with making abused 1911's go bang...


Agent 47?






That is pretty durn cool btw.

RX-178
July 27, 2012, 01:32 PM
Sam Cade beat me out on the Agent 47 comment. :D

Seriously, I LOVE what you're doing getting these old abused firearms working. I've actually always wanted to do stuff like that, but I don't have the time or technology (yet...), so it's REALLY, REALLY good to see that at least some people out there are giving it a shot.

Shot... err... no pun intended...

rcmodel
July 27, 2012, 01:35 PM
Whats the story on when & where the gun was "dug" up??

rc

CmdrSlander
July 27, 2012, 03:28 PM
Whats the story on when & where the gun was "dug" up??

rc
If that weapon turns out to be of historical significance (I read about 1911s being found in that condition in late WW1 battlefields, 80 years later) I can put you in contact with the curator at the National World War 1 Museum, should you wish to donate it to posterity.

1911Tuner
July 27, 2012, 07:56 PM
Too late. He's already started knockin' the hickies off of it.

AJAX22
July 28, 2012, 02:08 AM
3mzy94pFhbE

Mainspring retaining pin is out, mainspring, and plunger are stuck...

The Big news is that rifling has begun appearing in the barrel.. quite distinct riffling all things considered

forindooruseonly
July 28, 2012, 02:30 AM
Whats the story on when & where the gun was "dug" up??

rc

I'd love to know the back story to the gun as well. Good job, that's very interesting!

bluethunder1962
July 28, 2012, 12:28 PM
I have been wanting to find a old gun and restore it but I would never thought you could do anything with that gun. Good luck and can't wait to see it finished.

7thCavScout
July 28, 2012, 02:28 PM
This is absolutely awesome! Subscribed.
-Chuck

Robbins290
July 28, 2012, 02:58 PM
nice job

AJAX22
July 29, 2012, 05:05 AM
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0087.jpg


http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0086.jpg

I changed the setup a bit, seems to be bubbling quite well... We will see how it looks tomorrow

AJAX22
July 29, 2012, 05:07 AM
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0083.jpg

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0084.jpg

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0085.jpg

AJAX22
July 30, 2012, 06:06 PM
m-nwpokIrNM

edit: fixed link

shotgunjoel
July 30, 2012, 06:09 PM
???? What's with the video?

AJAX22
July 30, 2012, 06:27 PM
I uploaded the wrong damn video.... thats the inside of my pocket

SharpsDressedMan
July 30, 2012, 06:32 PM
:o:banghead::neener::D

bergmen
July 30, 2012, 07:49 PM
I've seen recovered anchors from ships sunk in the 1600's that look better than that thing. Was that found on the moon or something?

Dan

AJAX22
July 30, 2012, 08:50 PM
I fixed the link.... the video should work now
m-nwpokIrNM

cyclopsshooter
July 30, 2012, 09:29 PM
coming along nicely- excited to see the slide pop off

dirty dave
July 30, 2012, 11:19 PM
What kind of solution are you using with the charger? I also have a rusty 1911 that needs this the slide is frozzen on mine as well.

AJAX22
July 31, 2012, 12:45 AM
Just washing soda (arm and hammer) I've heard of a few other things you can use, but this was easy to get at the super market at 10pm when I was throwing this setup togeather.

How rusty is your 1911 Dave? maybe you should sell it to me for my collection ;)

Patrick Gookin
July 31, 2012, 02:57 AM
I've never used electrolysis, but why can't you use a grinder to grind all the crap off of that large plate you're using instead of replacing it?

AJAX22
July 31, 2012, 12:31 PM
9gPQLYgLLgo

dirty dave
July 31, 2012, 01:59 PM
Here is picture where it is now.been soaking it for long time and taking off parts as I could.Frame still locked where it is.I can read it is a Colt the barrel I will replace I just need to finish getting it apart.

WardenWolf
July 31, 2012, 03:20 PM
Get yourself a thick wooden block, drill out a hole slightly larger than the barrel to a depth a little greater than the current barrel protrusion, and put it over and give it a few hard whacks with a hammer. That may free up the slide. If you can get it moving just a little bit, you can get some oil into it and free it up further.

AJAX22
August 1, 2012, 04:09 PM
GZOO_DSrJUg

30 hours with new electrode

AJAX22
August 1, 2012, 04:16 PM
l_n0CcdV_uY

Scrubbed down and dry

AJAX22
August 1, 2012, 04:21 PM
DIFFERENT GUN:

VtGntnu9HME

THIS IS A VIDEO OF A DIFFERENT 1911.... THIS IS THE 1991A1 EVIDENCE GUN

Some of you requested that I make a video showing off the 1991A1 evidence gun... so I did...

AJAX22
August 2, 2012, 12:36 PM
MLVzD8P_EmE

I ran the mainspring housing by itself, results are promissing, but it is still frozen...


I'm working on getting ahold of an ultrasonic cleaning setup bit it may take some time.... In the meantime, I'm sticking with the electrolysis

Patrick Gookin
August 2, 2012, 02:51 PM
Have you ever used an air hammer? It's probably overkill for your situation, but if all else fails...

I had a broken off bolt stuck in a rear leaf spring a couple years ago. I heated the leaf with a torch and tried to hammer it out. No go. I got a perfectly fitting punch and a 3 lb hammer. No go. I hooked up my air hammer to my air compresser and that bolt was out in literally less than a second.

cyclopsshooter
August 3, 2012, 12:30 AM
simply amazing.. wish tv was this good

AJAX22
August 3, 2012, 03:35 PM
I haven't used an air hammer before.... I don't have ready access to one, and I'm trying to avoid indulging my impulse to start smacking things with power tools....

Anyway, I zapped her for another 24 with a new electrode, made a quick vid of how she looked, and stuck her back in to see if the same electrode/electrolyte can be used for 48 hours consecutively.

ho6KcbEXiw0

In the meantime, I made a couple quick viewer request videos for the Mini 14 that was recovered from the bottom of a lake after 10 years.

weHRnO5mZ4I

V7UuKjmrqH8

cyclopsshooter
August 3, 2012, 10:28 PM
How many of these wonder-mutts do you have? I want that 91A1 in particular

Wildbillz
August 4, 2012, 12:55 AM
Ajax22
Any idea on what type of ammo was in the Mini while it was underwater? 10 years speaks well of its water proff propertys.

WB

AJAX22
August 4, 2012, 04:46 AM
It was remington with a .223 headstamp....

Don't know what bullet style/weight... One of these days ill have to carve it out of the celing and figure that out

SharpsDressedMan
August 4, 2012, 07:45 AM
Ammo submerged for 10 years fired into the ceiling?!!!!

RX-178
August 4, 2012, 11:07 AM
Hey Ajax22, I want to know if you intend to do more of this restoration in the future, and if you're going to make more videos about it also.

AJAX22
August 4, 2012, 04:10 PM
Yes, 10 years submerged and it still went bang... I used to wear the case around my neck as a good luck charm... But I lost it when I moved... It was pitted almost all the way through.

Yes I will be working on more restorations and doccumebting them. I like projects almost more than shooting... So this type of thing is super fun for me. (Just have to find the projects and save up the cash to buy them)

If I can get ahold of a hands free camera, (like Google glass or something) I'll doccument the process with more detail....

There is just so much you can do with a cell phone camera

19-3Ben
August 4, 2012, 04:37 PM
Where do you find these "rescue" guns?

I have one Security Six that saw some nasty rust at one point, but I've never found guns that have been burried, or submerged in lakes, etc...

firesky101
August 4, 2012, 04:44 PM
I like how in your Mini video you mention you are in CA so no pistol grip stocks, and you have a belt in the background that is obviously more than 10 rounds. Thats owned before 2000 though right;)

AJAX22
August 4, 2012, 05:06 PM
I think a lot of these guns find me... Most of the people who have them think they are neat things to hang on the wall or are a curio that they just toss in a closet... So when they find out that I like to try to make them into functioning firearms again they are usually open to the idea.


Yes, any and all high capacity amunition feeding devices were purchased prior to Dec 31, 1999 .... Lots and lots and lots and lots of them.


6upC7dqBRKQ

AJAX22
August 8, 2012, 01:09 AM
pqscBNQIsVU

Awesome news... The barrel bushing has started wiggling

rcmodel
August 8, 2012, 01:15 AM
I just don't care anymore.
I did, but I no longer do if you can't answer several of us who ask where the gun came from in "dug" condition in the first place??

Is that too much to ask???

Or are you too busy making YouTube videos to answer a simple question like that?

rc

AJAX22
August 8, 2012, 01:24 AM
I just don't care anymore.
I did, but I no longer do if you can't answer several of us who ask where the gun came from in "dug" condition in the first place??

Is that too much to ask???

Or are you too busy making YouTube videos to answer a simple question like that?

rc

I didn't mean to be evasive

It was originally dug out of a field next to a bootlegging road in tenesee, it was down about 2-3 feet.

It was found while some guys were digging a hole for an agricultural project (not sure what project)

I don't have as many specifics as I would like to fill out the story, I'm a few steps removed from the guys that found it originally.

I hope that answers your question, its not that I don't want to answer in more detail, I jusy don't have the info and what I have I'm sharing.

AJAX22
August 8, 2012, 01:35 AM
mrRTlj6l8X0

Bushing is OUT

Barrel is wiggling and life is good

rcmodel
August 8, 2012, 01:47 AM
It was originally dug out of a field next to a bootlegging road in tenesee, it was down about 2-3 feet. Thanks!
Thats all I wanted to know when I ask the first time 12 days ago.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=8305734&postcount=30

rc

Cocked & Locked
August 8, 2012, 08:31 AM
your persistence came through

SharpsDressedMan
August 8, 2012, 09:00 AM
Rcmodel, I sold the gun to Ajax22 after several years of him asking me to do so. I put it on display on the web a few years back, and he was interested (as you can surmise!). I originally saw it on ebay, and knew it would get kicked off, so I immediately sent a PM to the seller and offered to buy it, should it get booted. It did, and we cut a deal. I asked the same questions, as to where it came from, and all I got was what Ajax22 stated above. I wish I had pumped him more now, because I can't recall the town, the guys name, anything, as it has been about 4-5 years since I snagged it. It has been used in a CCW class (humorous "keep your wepon clean"), etc, but was just on disply in my family room, so it needed a good home, or in this case, someone who would turn it into a MOST interesting project.

HOOfan_1
August 8, 2012, 09:22 AM
Hmmm...I see the Hitman symbol on that Colt in the 15th post...he used AMT Hardballers though :p

FIVETWOSEVEN
August 8, 2012, 11:31 AM
Rcmodel, I sold the gun to Ajax22 after several years of him asking me to do so. I put it on display on the web a few years back, and he was interested (as you can surmise!). I originally saw it on ebay, and knew it would get kicked off, so I immediately sent a PM to the seller and offered to buy it, should it get booted. It did, and we cut a deal. I asked the same questions, as to where it came from, and all I got was what Ajax22 stated above. I wish I had pumped him more now, because I can't recall the town, the guys name, anything, as it has been about 4-5 years since I snagged it. It has been used in a CCW class (humorous "keep your wepon clean"), etc, but was just on disply in my family room, so it needed a good home, or in this case, someone who would turn it into a MOST interesting project.

I knew something was interesting about this gun. I remember you posting about it before. I'm sure it will be nice looking when functional in the way of having that history behind it.

forindooruseonly
August 8, 2012, 11:35 AM
Finally, the history. Thanks for that, even though there isn't much to go on.

Out of curiosity, why would that get taken off gunbroker?

Dentite
August 8, 2012, 11:53 AM
Out of curiosity, why would that get taken off gunbroker?

He said it was listed on ebay.

AJAX22
August 8, 2012, 12:49 PM
Hmmm...I see the Hitman symbol on that Colt in the 15th post...he used AMT Hardballers though :p

Look closer at that gun.... ;) the ugly one is a 1991a1 colt.... The hitman gun is a polished out AMT hardballer

I like to display them next to each other for contrast

HOOfan_1
August 8, 2012, 01:11 PM
Look closer at that gun.... ;) the ugly one is a 1991a1 colt.... The hitman gun is a polished out AMT hardballer

I like to display them next to each other for contrast

HA...I thought the Hitman gun was the gun you were talking about that was left in evidence lockup and the other one was the one this thread was about :o

forindooruseonly
August 8, 2012, 01:17 PM
Quote:
Out of curiosity, why would that get taken off gunbroker?
He said it was listed on ebay.


Thanks, I'm illiterate. Don't mind me...

Stringfellow
August 8, 2012, 07:10 PM
Thanks, I'm illiterate. Don't mind me...

I'm not illiterate--my parents were married!

- classic line from Gnomio and Juliet

AJAX22
August 10, 2012, 01:19 AM
awzmz2Kh0X0

Slide has started wiggling

AJAX22
August 10, 2012, 01:28 AM
Bx-4wxraZ-g

AJAX22
August 10, 2012, 01:46 AM
nQOIsg2o9Vk

Woooooo Freaking hoooooo guys...

Guess what just came off

Yeah
The slide...


That just happened

AJAX22
August 10, 2012, 02:03 AM
BONUS!!!@

There IS a spent shell casing in the gun...

Which means we will have a headstamp to examine


Dflv2nbkTL4

cyclopsshooter
August 10, 2012, 02:17 AM
Absolutely amazed that the recoil spring is still intact- and really good news about the case!

firesky101
August 10, 2012, 02:21 AM
I could not tell in the video. I know you say spent round, but maybe it was a dud? still might have a bullet+powder in there.

AJAX22
August 10, 2012, 02:35 AM
I checked the bore with a bamboo skewer.... The casing is empty and primer is struck

cleardiddion
August 10, 2012, 05:12 AM
I've not been so excited about a project since I had to get raccoons out of the roof (well maybe not excitement exactly).

Keep up the good work and keep posting!

labhound
August 10, 2012, 12:02 PM
I'm really enjoying the videos! Keep up the good work!!!

Hacker15E
August 10, 2012, 02:07 PM
Tag! Enjoying watching this one unfold.

AJAX22
August 10, 2012, 03:36 PM
Made a quick video looking at some of the internal components

AlgE1RFq4WQ

JN01
August 10, 2012, 03:45 PM
Never would have thought that a gun in that condition would have even a remote chance of being salvaged. Very cool. Looking forward to the video of you shooting that sucker.

I have a question though. When you are done, will a serial number visible? If not, do you have a method to restore it, or is it even necessary to do so? I know that firearms manufactured before a certain date were not required to have one, but since yours originally had one, are there any legal issues with having a pistol with an obliterated sn?

AethelstanAegen
August 10, 2012, 03:51 PM
Hands down one of the best threads I've ever read on THR. I'm stoked to see how this thing turns out. Great work AJAX! Keep it up and thanks for taking the time to let us share in the restoration.

AJAX22
August 10, 2012, 04:02 PM
Never would have thought that a gun in that condition would have even a remote chance of being salvaged. Very cool. Looking forward to the video of you shooting that sucker.

I have a question though. When you are done, will a serial number visible? If not, do you have a method to restore it, or is it even necessary to do so? I know that firearms manufactured before a certain date were not required to have one, but since yours originally had one, are there any legal issues with having a pistol with an obliterated sn?

This is a pre 68 gun, with a serial number that was corroded away by mother nature long long before that...

I believe the number should be visible via magnaflux still (for historical tracking purposes), but it shouldn't be a legal issue.

its still possible that continued electrolysis will make it visible to the naked eye

cleardiddion
August 10, 2012, 04:42 PM
If you're looking for an abundance of buckets I would try hitting up a local bakery or something along those lines if you have one locally. They get a lot of stuff in bulk in food grade buckets and they're willing to either sell them on the cheap or just give them out.

If you're looking for a lot of steel I would see if there's railroads nearby and see if they're doing any sort of track maintenance. When they do that there's always a tons of scrap steel of pretty good quality (rail, tie plates, so on and so forth) which gets dumped on the side and often left for long periods of time waiting for pick up (if they ever get cleaned up). And, at least around here, a lot of people hit up work sites for the steel or ties and a lot of the time the track maintenance guys even help load up the stuff.

Best of luck in your project!

jr_roosa
August 11, 2012, 01:01 AM
There IS a spent shell casing in the gun

Is it possible that the lead and copper dissolved in your electrolysis bath? Why would it have a spent shell case and still be in battery, hammer back, safety on?

Maybe this is the missing link between pre and post firing pin safety 1911s! Some bootlegger dropped it, it went off, and he tossed it into a field right before he sued Colt!

Anyway, it's weird.

-J.

Detritus
August 11, 2012, 01:44 AM
Why would it have a spent shell case and still be in battery, hammer back, safety on?

after the amount of time that has likely passed since that gun was buried or simply tossed into the field or dirt road that it was found in, there is no telling what exactly happened to cause it to be in the state (re: cocked, safety on, etc etc) that it was when found.

Maybe it was tossed after the case in question failed to eject.
Maybe someone came along at a later date found the pistol wherever it was, Prior to it becoming too corroded to cycle, looked it over, in the process cocked the hammer, then decided it was too much of a bother to mess with and put it back where they found it.

I can think of a few different ways for it to have wound up in that state, spent round stuck in chamber, hammer cocked, thumb safety up. None are all that likely, but all are possible.

levsmith
August 11, 2012, 02:07 AM
Wow this is very cool! I also wonder how it got to be cocked and locked with a spent round. Just really makes you wonder the history of it and the small details. You do some amazing work, I would have never thought that gun could be disassembled and maybe fired again. Congrats on the progress and keep us updated!

Dr.Rob
August 11, 2012, 02:11 AM
I was skeptical it would come apart. Good luck and great project!

Hammerhead6814
August 11, 2012, 02:20 AM
Maybe I'm missing something but HOW can that be saved? It looks like everything is pitted and rusted through. I can't see how it would be safe to shoot, even when the rust is removed.

FIVETWOSEVEN
August 11, 2012, 02:31 AM
Maybe this is the missing link between pre and post firing pin safety 1911s! Some bootlegger dropped it, it went off, and he tossed it into a field right before he sued Colt!

Aside from the silliness, that sounds like a plausible theory. From what I remember reading from Sharps is that it was found with the magazine body in but the spring and follower gone. Sharps theory was that it was a bootlegger's pistol that was ditched.

SharpsDressedMan
August 11, 2012, 08:42 AM
We have a gun here that fired, but did not eject the spent case. In effect, it was out of play at that point. It obviously wasn't a squib where the bullet lodged in the barrel. Why didn't it eject? Broken extractor? Squib, bullet made it out, but the charge didn't blow the slide all the way back enough to eject? Why didn't the user manually eject the casing? Were the circumstances so heated at the time that when the gun "jammed", the user just discarded it in the backlands of Tennessee? Moonshiners on the run from the revenuers? There is a story there somewhere!

Mac Attack
August 11, 2012, 01:46 PM
Amazing work. I look forward to seeing it fired.

snakeman
August 11, 2012, 02:12 PM
You, sir, must have bathed in the pool of pure AWESOMENESS!

tarosean
August 11, 2012, 02:28 PM
Were the circumstances so heated at the time that when the gun "jammed", the user just discarded it in the backlands of Tennessee? Moonshiners on the run from the revenuers? There is a story there somewhere!



Hmmmm... Maybe "New York Reload" originated in TN? Lol

Too bad the serial numbers are gone.. Would be some sort of clue...

Grayrock
August 11, 2012, 03:29 PM
Tag.
Keep up the great work.

Shamus MacD
August 11, 2012, 03:54 PM
i am addicted to this thread. keep up the work. cant wait to see the finished product.

AJAX22
August 11, 2012, 09:38 PM
I re did the electrolysis setup

Running the barrel now

Ge01BgNW5Cw

WardenWolf
August 11, 2012, 11:34 PM
It's possible the bullet somehow discharged on its own, long after the gun landed in a field and rusted shut. Unlikely, but a nearby lightning strike or some freak environmental condition could theoretically cause it.

FIVETWOSEVEN
August 12, 2012, 01:09 AM
I'm thinking it was dropped and inertia made the firing pin strike the primer. 1911's without a firing pin safety can discharge if dropped hard enough. I'm thinking that a hard impact is also what caused the pistol to shed it's magazine spring and baseplate.

WardenWolf
August 12, 2012, 02:40 AM
That'd take one hell of a drop. They do have firing pin return springs, after all. And it still wouldn't explain why it didn't eject. The only thing I can think of is that something *had* to be holding that gun shut when it fired. From demonstrations I've seen, it doesn't take a huge amount of force to keep a Browning action from cycling as long as it's held from the start of its movement before the barrel unlocks. It can be done with one hand gripping the slide easily enough. It can at least cause it to short stroke, allowing it to recock the hammer but not eject the casing. This raises the possibility that this gun may have been involved in a struggle.

shotgunjoel
August 12, 2012, 03:14 AM
And it still wouldn't explain why it didn't eject. The only thing I can think of is that something *had* to be holding that gun shut when it fired.
The safety was on, so that would've held the slide shut.
The gun was cocked and locked, and the spent casing appears to me to have a primer strike. That'd lead me to believe that the firing pin had to have moved somehow and struck the primer without the hammer falling. A drop would be the most likely explanation to me.

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
August 12, 2012, 07:18 AM
Man I've been missing out, haven't been on THR in a while and this is certainly one of the coolest threads I've ever seen! Had to watch all the videos I couldn't stop. I've had that first photo of the gun on my screensaver for a good while too, since whenever I saw Sharps' post of it, so this is just too cool, the last thing I could have expected to see here on THR after days away from my own computer.

The casing blew my mind a bit too at first. At an indoor range I've witnessed a 1911 accidentally dropped due to the shooter's shirt getting between the gun and holster then the shirt pulled the gun out of the holster. So it fell from tall-person waist-height down onto a concrete floor. It was a S&W (firing pin safety) so it didn't fire, but the base-plate, mag-spring, ammo, and follower went everywhere.

So I too am currently leaning with the theory that your gun was dropped, discharged due to firing pin inertia, the thumb-safety kept the slide from cycling, and the base-plate, mag-spring, follower and ammo (would compress the spring enough to make the baseplate give under stress) were scattered when the spring expanded.

Just a theory that's not necessarily correct. If that is what happened however, I wonder if that shot created trouble one way or another, for whoever was carrying it and/or their companion(s), which is why they didn't bother to retrieve their pistol.

I can't wait to see more, a previous post said "I wish TV was this good" and I say amen to that! I hope you can get a time-frame from the casing, and I really hope to eventually see a video of that gun being fired :)

AJAX22
August 12, 2012, 02:01 PM
uCr5l2Leeg0

It looks like the headstamp has an A at 12 oclock and an F at 9 oclock

firesky101
August 12, 2012, 04:36 PM
Frankford arsenal? Any numbers on that bad boy?

Skylerbone
August 12, 2012, 05:50 PM
A link with close-ups of F. A. headstamps: http://www.mcpheetersantiquemilitaria.com/06_ammunition/06_item_074.htm

lloveless
August 12, 2012, 06:13 PM
Very Nice. Only started watching today. I don't have a TV cause nothing on it is entertaining. This is great. Who'd of thunk that chunk of steel was salvageable. I am mechanically challenged, and think this is awesome. Thanks for sharing.
ll

06
August 12, 2012, 06:32 PM
Also intrigued at the prospect of it functioning safely. Your restoration is just awesome---you have sooo much more patience than I. My second pistol is a 1911 gub style 32 Colt. It was not in anywhere near the poor condition as yours but finally got it apart, buffed and buffed, and still shooting it today-for 30 years.

WardenWolf
August 12, 2012, 06:54 PM
It's getting there. Keep it up!

bluethunder1962
August 12, 2012, 07:14 PM
Crap this needs to be a reality tv show.Can't wait till next week to see what is new.

Dr.Rob
August 12, 2012, 07:17 PM
I fired a box of WW2/Korean War vintage steel case when I first got my Commander. (In retrospect should have saved it for collector value maybe.)

It had that steel case and copper looking primer. Before then I had no idea the US had ever issued steel cased stuff.. but post war a lot of it was available.

SharpsDressedMan
August 12, 2012, 07:26 PM
I missed a similar condition Colt .32 auto that was allegedly found in the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio a few years before this one surfaced. I just didn't react quick enough. There have to be a lot of great story guns out there.

AJAX22
August 12, 2012, 08:09 PM
NlmsGwG7RzU

Cartridge is out of the barrel, bore is rough, but I think she is salvageable

I doubt she will be accurate, but I think she will spit lead ok.

WardenWolf
August 12, 2012, 08:13 PM
Great stuff, Ajax22. But I think your audio went dead around 58 seconds in.

SharpsDressedMan
August 12, 2012, 08:26 PM
As far as I know, steel cased .45 ammo was first produced during and used in WWII. That could be 42 instead of 12.

levsmith
August 13, 2012, 12:23 AM
Yep no audio after 58 seconds. Awesome progress though. Man I am jealous of that find and I'm still wiping up the drool from your blood soaked evidence gun. That this is beautiful

snakeman
August 13, 2012, 11:12 AM
This whole project is wicked!

AJAX22
August 13, 2012, 04:57 PM
This shipps to me tomorrow :D

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/pix166304718.jpg

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/pix493461652.jpg

Got In the winning bid on this Merwin Hulbert 44 antique

I know nothing about these guns... But I kind of like the idea of having an old cowboy 44

And I wanted to do a revolver electeolysis next ... So, the price was right and the stars aligned

The 1911 is getting finished first... but she is really getting close now, so I'm getting the next toy lined up

shotgunjoel
August 13, 2012, 07:55 PM
Oh goodness, you are many of us, buying the next gun/project before the last one is done. That revolver will be number 4, right?

wojownik
August 13, 2012, 11:45 PM
Oh .... my. That looks like Merwin Hulbert 44 DA 4th model. Restoring this is going to be quite a challenge a think. I'm going to be glued to this thread when you do the the Merwin (even more than I am now).

These revolvers involved quite a bit of hand fitting. Breaking open a Merwin Hulbert is "different", If you can get the button on the bottom of the frame freed up, you would hopefully be able to push that back toward the trigger guard, then the barrel is twisted towards the left and pulled forward. Then, push in the the button on left side of the barrel to slide the barrel and cylinder off,

Oh man I'm going to enjoy watching you bring this back to life.

levsmith
August 14, 2012, 12:24 AM
Where in the world do you find these things? I tried searching gunbroker for "rusted, rusty, project, etc.." Everything I could think of and didn't find anything like your finds

AJAX22
August 14, 2012, 04:20 AM
W57nd44ieio

Playing with the slide and barrel on the frame....

a Surprisingly smooth fit...

ccsniper
August 14, 2012, 04:40 AM
this reminds me of a luger a friend of mine had. It was made in 1916 and had been used in WWI. He offered it to me for 150, I said no way and that I wouldn't dare fire that thing. He sold it on gunbroker for 900 bucks.:banghead::cuss:

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
August 14, 2012, 07:42 AM
Ajax, it's looking absolutely gorgeous at this point! In your recent vid, it's really lookin good, I don't think you'll run into too many people with a 1911 as unique as yours! So much character

Resist Evil
August 14, 2012, 08:43 AM
Ajax, any closer to making out any of the serial number for research purposes?

AJAX22
August 14, 2012, 01:40 PM
Ajax, any closer to making out any of the serial number for research purposes?

Not as yet, I think she may need to be magnafluxed to make the markings visible.

tarosean
August 14, 2012, 01:58 PM
Not sure if rust pitting qualifies as patina.

Great job thou...

Hacker15E
August 14, 2012, 09:58 PM
What kind of finish are you going to give it?

ghitch75
August 15, 2012, 08:24 AM
was you able to remove the slide stop/safety plunger and spring?......if you get it freed up and with the thumb safety in the slide stop may stay in better...

nice work BTW...

AJAX22
August 15, 2012, 01:23 PM
was you able to remove the slide stop/safety plunger and spring?......if you get it freed up and with the thumb safety in the slide stop may stay in better...

nice work BTW...

The slide stop/safety plunger and spring are still frozen... I think the detents may have gotten slightly mushroomed.

Also, the firing pin is not salvageable... I may possibly slightly have gotten carried away tapping on it.... Soooooo I'm going to have to take it over and drill it out...

As to finish, I'm just going to lube her up and run her raw.

SharpsDressedMan
August 15, 2012, 03:05 PM
Ah, the traditonal OIL finish!

CZguy
August 15, 2012, 03:44 PM
Ah, the traditonal OIL finish!

Just as long as we don't let this degrade into what type of oil to use. :D

AJAX22
August 15, 2012, 06:20 PM
I just ordered some springs, and a set of .45 pistol brushes to use on that barrel.

I also dug a firing pin and plunger out of my random parts bin,

I took a pattern file out and knocked the burr out of the plunger channel, so as of right now I can assemble this top end on another frame.

I also managed to get the last bushing out of the frame but it did get rather munched in the process.... definitely going to have to replace the grip bushings.

I "May" have gotten carried away tapping on the firing pin with the wrong type of punch... and mushroomed it out.... and then took a pattern file to it to grind it flush and am waiting on a set of punches to show up so I can bang on it properly....

I'm going to ignore the firing pin for now (while I wait for the punch set... and instead focus on salvaging the mainspring housing

I'm also looking for a ugly 1911 magazine that is somewhat period correct..

I would prefer to get a period correct plunger as well.... but I'm not 100% certain what a period correct plunger looks like...

AethelstanAegen
August 15, 2012, 07:37 PM
Ebay seems to have a number of WW1 era mags at the moment. That might be in the ball park of the 1911. Once again, awesome project!

AJAX22
August 16, 2012, 01:50 PM
6bALnyHT7PM

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
August 16, 2012, 02:22 PM
Ajax, can not wait to see that in action! So the original barrel-link worked out ok?

Curious, if I ever find or purchase a 1911 in similar condition, would you consider performing this treatment on it for $$? I'd like to do it myself but don't have the space at my current home. :(

Again, that is seriously one of the most beautiful 1911s I've ever seen, but then again I think Edsels are good looking cars LOL

AJAX22
August 16, 2012, 02:30 PM
Ajax, can not wait to see that in action! So the original barrel-link worked out ok?

Curious, if I ever find or purchase a 1911 in similar condition, would you consider performing this treatment on it for $$? I'd like to do it myself but don't have the space at my current home. :(

Again, that is seriously one of the most beautiful 1911s I've ever seen, but then again I think Edsels are good looking cars LOL
Sure, there is no way to guarantee outcome, but it could be fun.

I'd have to look into if there is any special licencing required, but in principle I'm game.


I'll write a letter to the atf and get clarification.

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
August 16, 2012, 02:37 PM
Awesome! Thanks

JN01
August 16, 2012, 03:25 PM
When you get it working, you could probably make some serious cash off of it with the right marketing spiel. Since you brought it back from the grave, it's a ZOMBIE GUN! :)

Keaner
August 16, 2012, 04:10 PM
That is awesome progress, I'm so excited to see a project like this! I definitely want to do my own rusty-1911 project, I just have to find one now :)

I'm a little worried for you on the plunger tube... Have you pulled the plungers/spring out? If so, a fine punch might work those out, I can't imagine there is enough mass left on them to not just fall out with a little tap.

I would suspect you could find someone with a good mill (or even a drill press if you're brave), and carefully re-drill the tube. A good vice and trial/error could make it pretty easy.

The 1911 blueprints are here: http://www.m1911.org/technic.htm

So, edited to add: I found the page on the first link (full blueprints) of the plunger tube. See page 45 of 56.
Don't take this as gospel, but it looks like the smaller takedown side is .091 diameter +.004, the other side is .109 diameter +.003. (The + is tolerance I suspect?!).

.091 is about 1/2 way between a #43 and a #42 drill bit, with the #42 being inside the tolerance, but fairly large (#42 is .0935).
.109 is almost perfectly a 7/64" drill bit (7/64" is actually .109375)!

drewzfoster
August 17, 2012, 12:34 AM
when the thumb safety is installed it will put tension on the detent spring and will Help keep that slide stop from falling out.

Detritus
August 17, 2012, 12:49 AM
when the thumb safety is installed it will put tension on the detent spring and will Help keep that slide stop from falling out.

I think from some of the comments he's made, that the problem is that the Detents are frozen (or their ends are eaten away by time or electrolysis) and are not providing any level of tension regardless.

SpazC
August 20, 2012, 11:05 AM
Been lurking here for a long time. Just wanted to say that I've loved seeing this piece's resurrection from rusty paper weight to now a nearly functional firearm. Cant wait to see her go bang!

AJAX22
August 20, 2012, 06:31 PM
7eXnf_T7cpM

lk5fC-Ikul4

I'm working away... things have been busy around here recently... but I'm making steady progress

AJAX22
August 21, 2012, 03:54 AM
45FgWShlrd4

Wooooooooo

Got the firing pin retaining plate off and I think It's salvageable...

silversport
August 22, 2012, 08:58 AM
love to watch this moving along...thanks for sharing...

Bill

AethelstanAegen
August 22, 2012, 01:17 PM
love to watch this moving along...thanks for sharing...

+1, I can't help but check on this thread everyday to see the progress. Very, very cool.

Certaindeaf
August 22, 2012, 06:59 PM
That's some pretty good gunsmithing

drewzfoster
August 22, 2012, 07:14 PM
I check this thread everyday!

AJAX22
August 24, 2012, 08:02 PM
BjJgnBsjr_E

I may have mushroomed the firing pin again slightly.... trying another electrolysis bath now.

AethelstanAegen
August 24, 2012, 08:15 PM
Awesome Ajax, hopefully the firing pin finally gives way soon. It sounds like the electrolysis bath is a good call on seeing if you can free up the extractor now that the gunk is more exposed. Good luck!

AJAX22
August 25, 2012, 05:59 PM
oVmmS0dzZtQ

cleaned up the extractor, but she is still frozen

Rusty Luck
August 26, 2012, 03:38 PM
Amazing progress. You sir, are a miracle worker. Great thread, keep up the good work!

1858remington
August 27, 2012, 06:55 AM
man... the work internet wont let me see video:cuss: I wanna see how it turns out.:D

AJAX22
September 1, 2012, 02:58 AM
I have returned from Utah

I'm working all weekend but should be able to tap on things a bit sat or sun night

Utah was awesome by the way

http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0120.jpg

Sport45
September 1, 2012, 07:22 AM
The way the magazine is deformed in the first pictures makes me think it may have been in a fire. That wouldn't keep me from cleaning it up, but I wouldn't shoot it.

But there are braver souls than me out there.

JN01
September 1, 2012, 02:04 PM
The way the magazine is deformed in the first pictures makes me think it may have been in a fire.

That might explain why it was found cocked and locked but had an empty casing in the chamber.

CZguy
September 1, 2012, 02:50 PM
That might explain why it was found cocked and locked but had an empty casing in the chamber.

That does make sense. I wonder how the metal could be tested to find out?

k_dawg
September 1, 2012, 03:46 PM
FINALLY we have found the mythical 1911 which was stored 'locked and cocked' for a long period of time which did NOT go 'bang' right away :-)

Jason Demond
September 1, 2012, 05:51 PM
As much as I would like to, I just can't play videos.
I live two miles from town and we have been pretty much forsaken when it comes to high speed internet.

Do you think you can post a up a pic of your current progress?

Thanks

AJAX22
September 1, 2012, 07:57 PM
phTB9z2Zjoc

Still working on the firing pin....

I'll see if I can get some stills taken

Patrick Gookin
September 1, 2012, 09:14 PM
Again, I'm not a gunsmith or anything, but if you still can't get that firing pin out after tapping it from the front, you could probably drill a small hole in the rear part of it, get a screw started a couple threads in, and pull it out by pulling on the screw.

OilyPablo
September 2, 2012, 06:26 PM
Fascinating. Is there any estimate on how long it was buried? Man if that 1911 could talk.

AJAX22
September 5, 2012, 12:27 AM
w749NGDS0-E

extractor is coming loose.....

I suspect she was in the ground starting sometime in the late 50's based on the cartridge that was in the pipe.

AJAX22
September 5, 2012, 12:43 AM
tpERVZJvYQ0

Extractor is out!!!!!!

BAM! kick it up a notch with a blast from your spiceweasle

Gress
September 5, 2012, 01:28 AM
Congrats on getting extractor out!
I simply cant believe what a progress you have made with her! Wow, just wow!

cleardiddion
September 5, 2012, 06:29 AM
Man, I can't really wait to see lead come hauling out of this thing!

AJAX22
September 6, 2012, 04:36 AM
Wz9D1TYwtYs

Firing pin is OUT!!!!!

Top end should be functional now :D

Just need to rustle up a few parts to replace the ones I mangled getting her apart....

Mainspring housing and slide stop detents are still an issue... but a less critical issue than the FP was.

AethelstanAegen
September 6, 2012, 04:51 AM
Well done! That was clearly a bear to get out but I'm looking forward to seeing how the reassembly and firing goes!

Mp7
September 6, 2012, 05:54 AM
inspiring shizzle, this.

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
September 6, 2012, 07:16 AM
very excited for you Ajax, I've really been enjoying watching the progress!

SharpsDressedMan
September 7, 2012, 06:24 PM
Big congratulations, and big thanks for taking us along on a most interesting journey! I think that what you did had never been done before, and never before documented, even if it has been done. You need to put your edited videos and such on a Discovery episode or program, or maybe one of the gun related TV channels.

OilyPablo
September 7, 2012, 06:31 PM
Restoring that thing would indeed be my dream job.

Story
September 7, 2012, 08:17 PM
Nice work.
Can you measure the firing pin hole in the slide's breech face?

From what I've read, a .094 to .097 or a #41 numeric reamer should fit.
Wonder how much larger yours might have grown.

SharpsDressedMan
September 8, 2012, 11:08 AM
I think that it is interesting that the current concensus on what and how it ended up are that it might have been in a fire, cooked off the shot while cocked and locked, and that is how the casing remained in the chamber. That might explain WHY it got buried: the owner discarded the gun after the fire, not trusting it to be usable. To me, all of that is plausible. I can think of no other reason a fired cased would be in a discarded gun, still cocked and locked. If this IS true, the temper/heat treatment MIGHT be an issue to consider before attempting to shoot the gun after restoration. I do not know just how seriously a fire damages any gun.

F-111 John
September 8, 2012, 11:23 AM
The cookoff in a fire theory must be balanced by the firing pin dimple in the primer of the spent casing found in the chamber, clearly visible in post #117: http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=8340529&postcount=117

Gress
September 8, 2012, 02:39 PM
Congrats! Great progress.
BTW is it Merwin Hulbert 44 already taking a bath? :)

SharpsDressedMan
September 8, 2012, 03:30 PM
When I got the gun (which was subsequently sold to AJAX22), the safety was on. I measured the length of a rod stuck in the barrel to determine if it had a round in the chamber, and apparently the rod went into the fired case, and I knew it was not loaded with a live round. It is possible someone fired the gun, and somehow the fired case remained in the gun (or one was put there?), and then the safety applied, and the gun discarded in the mud, but all of that doesn't make sense. I guess we'll never know. Except for the case/primer, the cookoff/fire explanation puts most, if not all, of the clues together. Any other theories out there?

Skylerbone
September 8, 2012, 04:30 PM
It was fired with a gloved hand holding the slide to prevent extraction of the casing at the scene then cocked and locked out of habit (or as a reminder not to rack the slide open) and later became buried evidence. I suspect Col. Mustard in the Library with...? Couldn't say what ballistics of that era might have concluded if pistol & casing had been recovered but why ditch and purposely entomb a firearm, even if consumed by fire with no apparent damage and without first removing any take-off parts. As folks were also far more thrifty about shooting back when, it's possible that the pistol was buried more recently than is assumed. Just another theory.

The breechface can be drilled out and a sleeve inserted if the firing pin hole diameter has increased.

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
September 10, 2012, 11:49 AM
The odds are very unlikely, however it is actually possible, that if the gun was dropped just right, that the firing pin would strike from inertia, thus firing the chambered round while the thumb-safety locked the slide in place keeping the shell from ejecting.
If that happened, maybe it caused a world of trouble, regret, or even simple lack of trust in the gun for whoever owned it at the time, thus it was tossed/gotten rid of (though I think trouble would explain why the shell was still in there, as they would have cleared the weapon if they didn't have more pressing matters?). This doesn't explain the condition of the magazine like the 'fire theory', but maybe as the mag is thinner steel than the gun itself, the elements merely took their toll...

This is all very theoretical. I am not saying this is what happened, just that it is possible.

edit: Also, Hey Sharps, when you first acquired the gun, was there any evidence of grip panels, or any information about them?

saltydog452
September 10, 2012, 12:38 PM
I have enjoyed the thread. Many thanks.

sd.

SharpsDressedMan
September 10, 2012, 05:33 PM
Grips were gone, no remnants of wood, and it was just like when AJAX22 started. I think the grips screws were still in the escutchions.

JN01
September 10, 2012, 05:35 PM
The magazine base plate is missing also. If there were more rounds in the magazine and the gun was in a fire, would one (or more) of these rounds cooking off blow down through the base plate, or would other damage be evident?

Still doesn't explain the primer dent though.

We need someone to volunteer to throw their loaded .45 in a fire to see what happens. :evil:

CZguy
September 10, 2012, 10:18 PM
We need someone to volunteer to throw their loaded .45 in a fire to see what happens

I have to admit that I subscribe to the fire theory, and would like to compare the results to a 1911 that has been in a fire. Aren't there some type of tests to determine how hard the steel is?

FIVETWOSEVEN
September 10, 2012, 10:35 PM
I still cling to the idea it was dropped hard that the magazine floorplate separated from the magazine body and the firing pin struck the chambered round under inertia. It was said it was found in a field so being exposed to the elements for a few decades would rot the grips off. If a gun of mine was destroyed in a fire, I wouldn't randomly dump it in a field.

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
September 11, 2012, 12:35 AM
^^ Oh yeah, I mentioned pages ago that I have indeed seen a 1911 dropped in an indoor range onto a concrete floor. It was a S&W so the firing pin safety prevented it from firing, however the base-plate, ammo, spring, and follower went scattering far in all different directions, and the mag body stayed in the gun. The mag spring ended up as far as it could possibly go, from one end-lane it stopped at the opposite-end wall some 50-60+ feet away.

I wish Ajax's gun could talk :)

JN01
September 11, 2012, 05:59 PM
OK, so now we need someone to volunteer to repeatedly drop their loaded .45 on a concrete floor before they throw it in a fire. :D

Sport45
September 11, 2012, 09:38 PM
When did removable floor plate magazines start showing up for the 1911? I'm thinking this one probably had a welded floor plate but I haven't looked at any of the videos. It's hard to imagine a welded floor plate popping off in a fall.

If a round cooked off in an unsupported gun, could the firing pin inertia cause the dimple as the gun recoiled with the slide locked?

I guess we still need somebody to toss their loaded 1911 in a fire to find out. :)

CZguy
September 12, 2012, 01:49 AM
I guess we still need somebody to toss their loaded 1911 in a fire to find out.

Hey............................. it got real quiet all of a sudden.

JN01
September 12, 2012, 10:03 AM
It's hard to imagine a welded floor plate popping off in a fall.

I used to have a Colt Government Model (yeah, I know, too bad I sold it, I could have dropped it repeatedly on a concrete floor and threw it in a fire :D). Once when reloading, I slammed the factory mag home, and the spot welded base plate popped off, spilling the rounds and spring on the ground.
Colt replaced it for me, and I've never heard of it happening to anyone else, but anything manufactured can fail.

SharpsDressedMan
September 12, 2012, 06:18 PM
Don't know of any removable flooplate magazines that anyone would want to use or be in any kind of common use (usually, VERY cheap ones, back in the 60's), but early 1911 mags were pinned with two small pins, and possibly these rusted out (highly unlikely, as the rest of the gun didn't rust THAT badly). The magazine condition is a mystery, for sure.

Kernel
September 14, 2012, 05:01 PM
Perhaps the original owner kept a spent case in the chamber, under the believe that it would provide some benefit when dry firing. The went for a walk along the side of the road one day and lost it. Should of used the lanyard.

Perhaps it was military issue lost during one of the many big multi-state war game maneuvers held prior to and during WWII. Hundreds of thousands of inexperienced troopers hiking hither and yond along the sides of roads, over days and weeks. Iím sure more than a few side arms were lost. And if one was lost, oh well, to bad, donít look to hard. Uncle Sam has lots more where that came from.

CZguy
September 14, 2012, 11:01 PM
Perhaps it was military issue lost during one of the many big multi-state war game maneuvers held prior to and during WWII. Hundreds of thousands of inexperienced troopers hiking hither and yond along the sides of roads, over days and weeks. Iím sure more than a few side arms were lost. And if one was lost, oh well, to bad, donít look to hard. Uncle Sam has lots more where that came from

That's sure not how lost weapons were treated when I was in the service. :uhoh:

FIVETWOSEVEN
September 14, 2012, 11:38 PM
Isn't the mag body still with the gun? What does the bottom look like?

JN01
September 16, 2012, 04:08 PM
The second photo in Post #1 shows the magazine (w/out base plate) in the magazine well. Last video in Post #1 shows the removed magazine.

FIVETWOSEVEN
September 17, 2012, 12:36 AM
Looks like it was a welded mag that broke.

Dakotared
September 20, 2012, 09:16 PM
AJAX22 any updates???

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
September 21, 2012, 09:03 AM
^^ I'm seriously going into withdrawals from the progress updates on this project! I wanna see it go bang!

Certaindeaf
September 21, 2012, 09:43 AM
It probably didn't work so he threw it in a hole and buried it. lolz

Elm Creek Smith
September 21, 2012, 02:05 PM
Bootlegger being chased by the "revenuers" or sheriff threw the cocked-and-locked gun from his 'shine runnin' car. It hit a tree or rock, the firing pin hit the primer and fired, the gun landed in the dirt next to the road. The bootlegger got caught and never went back to look for the 1911. Over time it migrated down through the dirt and debris.

That's my theory, anyway.

ECS

SharpsDressedMan
September 21, 2012, 04:24 PM
We should have a contest to write the best story around that gun.

Certaindeaf
September 21, 2012, 04:58 PM
It's probably Jed Clampett's gun. When he saw that bubblin crude, he chucked that thing and moved away from there!

SpazC
September 23, 2012, 11:03 AM
My name is SpazC and I am addicted to this thread.

AethelstanAegen
September 23, 2012, 05:57 PM
Hi SpazC. Welcome to "Dug-relic-1911-restoration"s Anonymous.

snakeman
September 24, 2012, 12:29 AM
Keep this one alive and kickin

AJAX22
September 25, 2012, 09:16 PM
p0qpPXpphiA

gettin close... sooooo close....

OilyPablo
September 25, 2012, 09:29 PM
The fire theory seems strong.

I'm not sure I would trust the barrel, but that's just me.....

And wow THANKS for the update.

Jaymo
September 25, 2012, 10:16 PM
The bootlegger fired shots in anger, and the extractor failed to extract the last round fired.
So, he racked the slide a couple of times, to no effect.
Understandably perturbed, he slung that malfunctioning sumbeach to the ground-with gusto.
Mag floorplate popped out.
Bootlegger decides he's through with them autojammers and goes back to his trusty revolver.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it. (Sorry, Vince Gill)

Jaymo
September 25, 2012, 10:18 PM
To the poster who questioned using a grinder instead of electrolysis.
A grinder removes metal. Electrolytic rust removal does not remove metal. It only removes rust.
That's why he's using electrolysis, not abrasives.

Heck, get a 1911 parts kit and use the small parts and barrel that come with it, with your frame and slide.
Use lab metal to fill the pits and have the gun Dura Coated.

dogsoldier0513
September 25, 2012, 10:30 PM
Pardon me for the late entry, but if discussing original 1911 mags, they were pinned....not welded. It wouldn't take much corrosion to compromise the peened pin heads and cause a failure of the floorplate.

Skylerbone
September 25, 2012, 10:44 PM
I say again, why would someone purposely entomb a firearm with no apparent signs of damage in a purposely remote area? Not a single part removed? Is that anyone's standard protocol for a firearm they don't like or trust? Glock FTE, should I bury it in the desert or sell it? isn't a thread title I've come across...yet.

tarosean
September 25, 2012, 11:25 PM
I'm thinking a loooooong string for the first live test...


So I'm currious, did you have to transfer this like a regular firearm? (FFL)

AJAX22
September 26, 2012, 02:36 PM
qLxcCk2gIuY

Is it Gun yet?

627PCFan
September 26, 2012, 03:42 PM
Your going to run it with the existing barrel? You sir have brass ones. I applaud you from across the room....behind cover.:D

CZguy
September 26, 2012, 04:23 PM
Your going to run it with the existing barrel? You sir have brass ones. I applaud you from across the room....behind cover.

Boy howdy, I'll second that.

JRWhit
September 26, 2012, 08:24 PM
I would consider this the best show I've watched all year!!!:D

AJAX22
September 28, 2012, 04:35 AM
Antiquing the recoil plunger to match the rest of the guns finish is going smoothly....

JbCuuVVyCgo

F-111 John
September 28, 2012, 06:22 AM
Ajax, video is marked Private.

OilyPablo
September 28, 2012, 06:24 AM
Dang I had my breakafast all made up and clicked on the video "PRIVATE"

levsmith
September 28, 2012, 07:53 AM
Dang I had my breakafast all made up and clicked on the video "PRIVATE"

Haha same here! Its a disappointment. How dare you tease us like that Ajax!

Old Shooter
September 28, 2012, 08:08 AM
I would consider this the best show I've watched all year!!!

Second that!

This has been very interesting, can't wait for the live fire.

ghitch75
September 28, 2012, 12:58 PM
Ajax, video is marked Private.

:cuss:......:D

AJAX22
September 28, 2012, 01:51 PM
should be fixed now

OilyPablo
September 28, 2012, 01:53 PM
Says "unavailable".

AJAX22
September 28, 2012, 02:08 PM
alright try now

ClickClickD'oh
September 28, 2012, 02:26 PM
Amazing work bringing that 1911 back to life.

AJAX22
September 28, 2012, 03:54 PM
B_gR_xF2ELc


I was able to salvage the original grip screws :D

AJAX22
September 28, 2012, 05:50 PM
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0151.jpg

SharpsDressedMan
September 28, 2012, 05:52 PM
I'd be tempted to electropencil the crap out of the exterior of the plunger tube, and then use naval jelly to remove the finish, then let it slightly rust outside for a couple days, maybe with some salt on it.

tarosean
September 28, 2012, 06:49 PM
^Muratic Acid would be quicker for that instant aging

AJAX22
September 28, 2012, 07:52 PM
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0147.jpg
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0148.jpg
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0149.jpg
http://i166.photobucket.com/albums/u115/Ratduster77/Explorer/WANT/IMAG0150.jpg

JN01
September 28, 2012, 08:02 PM
Ah, visible markings on the left side of the slide. Any others?

Looking good in a rough bark kind of way.

OilyPablo
September 28, 2012, 08:07 PM
You have the mag release, just need a spring, right?

I like the look. I would be tempted to blue it. Or Duracoat it black.:D

AJAX22
September 28, 2012, 08:27 PM
there are a few visible markings on it still....

I'm trying to find someone who can magnaflux it so we can really see the important stuff.

Yes, I have the mag release and little screw for it... just need that all important tiny spring...

(and a properly ugly magazine to go with her)

snakeman
September 28, 2012, 10:28 PM
so cool, so cool, so cool!

iLikeOldgunsIlikeNewGuns
September 29, 2012, 07:24 AM
It's beautiful!

PTMCCAIN
September 29, 2012, 11:22 AM
Looking good, think you are going to try to shoot it? If so, I'd suggest doing it remotely somehow by rigging something to allow you to pull the trigger from a safe distance.

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