1911 Barrel Fitting Question

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Mar 17, 2006
West Monroe, Louisiana
I am soon to attempt a match barrel installation on a 1911. I am going to be working very slowly and methodically on the first go round. I have one question concerning the fit of the barrel lower lugs (after the hood and upper lugs are fitted).

There are 2 methods of fitting the lower lugs. One is using a Lug Cutter, which I don't have (but could order one). The other method involves removing a little material and fitting slowly until the proper slide stop pin fit is acheived (followed by careful final polishing and link fitting).

Is there a way to accurately measure the amount of material to be removed from the lower lug? I feel something that inserts into the frames slide stop pin hole that fits the hole precisely could possibly used to scribe or engrave the side of the barrel lug, so a cut could be made. I would allow a few thousanths extra for final fitting and to be on the safe side.

I have always used a lug cutter.

However, if I were doing it free-hand with a file:

I would put a .299" "longest" NM link on the pin outside the barrel lug on each side, then scribe a line at the top of the link hole on each side of the barrel lug.

Whatever excess there is could be removed until the assembled link & slide stop pin will nearly swing down on the lug cam.

From that point on, it would be Magic-Markering the locking surfaces and just keep removing the shiny spots until I got near final fitting.

After you get the pin to nearly go out of the gun, then finish fitting it with the barrel & slide stop pin in the gun, using the same Magic-Marker shiny spot method.

Trying to do the lug marking with the barrel in the gun could present problems for several reasons, not the least of which would be keeping the barrel firmly locked "Up" in the slide while marking it.

And whatever the mark represented would be "too close for comfort" for me to trust it.

The lug cutter is a reasonable answer and you won't be sorry for having it in the future. As far as trying to determine how much to take off, you could use number drills and insert the shank of the largest that will allow the barrel to go forward and deduct that diameter from .198". Okay, I know a guy who always uses a #3 link and his guns do shoot well, and he puts on the #3 link and slips a 1/8" chain saw file through the link and files what's in the way away. Not my way, but a way and he's won several National and International events and sells his built modified guns for 5k-6k and the buyers are happy, so go figure, go slow and careful and it can be done.

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