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Dug relic 1911 restoration (Pics and Video)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by AJAX22, Jul 26, 2012.

  1. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Well-Known Member

    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.


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


    After the first go around with electrolysis


    Here's what the electrolysis looks like when its running


    Last edited: Jul 26, 2012
  2. War Squirrel

    War Squirrel Well-Known Member

    This is magical.
    I wish you utmost luck in this project, and I'm looking forward to seeing this ol' baby fire again!
  3. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Well-Known Member

    This is awesome! tag
  4. RustHunter87

    RustHunter87 Well-Known Member

    that's some truly impressive rust removal!
  5. cuba

    cuba Well-Known Member

    Once you finish it will probably weigh about 2 onces less.

    Good job
  6. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Well-Known Member


    Mag catch, trigger, sear... all out of the gun now
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  7. YankeeFlyr

    YankeeFlyr Well-Known Member


    What are you going to do with it? Museum?
  8. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Well-Known Member

    I'm a gonna shoot it,

    I'm a gonna shoot it a lot

  9. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Well-Known Member

    I'll be right over with my bushing wrench bud
  10. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Well-Known Member

    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
    Wide spur hammer

    :) Keep rockin on it
  11. YankeeFlyr

    YankeeFlyr Well-Known Member

    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:
  12. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Well-Known Member

    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.
  13. YankeeFlyr

    YankeeFlyr Well-Known Member

    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"???
  14. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Well-Known Member

    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?
  15. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Well-Known Member

    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)


    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


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

    cyclopsshooter Well-Known Member

    That 80 series looks damn near like art! Even though they are both Colts, the metallurgy is far different, tread lightly.
  17. YankeeFlyr

    YankeeFlyr Well-Known Member

    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...
  18. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Well-Known Member

    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.
  19. YankeeFlyr

    YankeeFlyr Well-Known Member

    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:
  20. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Well-Known Member

    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

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