1911 left hand slide

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by TRX, Nov 19, 2011.

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  1. TRX

    TRX Member

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    I've wanted a left-handed 1911 for quite some time. Not being able to afford one of the rare variants, I've been looking into making my own.

    After studying the frame, I've realized I don't care about the mag release or slide stop; I can work the right-hand ones just fine. That leaves the ejector. It looks like I can just drill the appropriate holes and move it to the other side, and either reshape the ejector or make a new one on the mill.

    On the slide, I thought I might be able to weld a patch over the ejection port and cut a new one on the left side. That'd work, but there's a relief cut for the ejector on the left hand side that extends up into where the new extractor hole needs to be drilled. It's beyond my skills to fill the groove with weld and then try to drill a deep hole through half-slide, half-weld.

    So far, it's looking like I might be able to build up the front of the ejector cut with weld, then machine for an SW1911 style external extractor.

    For anyone who might have an external extractor variant handy to look at, is there anything major I'm missing here?

    (I have a modest machine shop and have done rebarrelling, chambering, etc. on various milsurp rifles, but the 1911 is new to me)
     
  2. Jolly Rogers

    Jolly Rogers Member

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    Get in touch with Caspian. They had some left handed parts left over a while back. A slide may be left also. (Didn't mean to make a pun there at all...really)
    Joe
     
  3. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Several years ago, Randall marketed a true mirror-image 1911 variant, right down to having to use proprietary magazines. They were usually adequate, but not known for exceptional quality. The few that I handled functioned reliably and were accurate enough for duty carry. How well they held up to hard use is an unknown. They can still be found occasionally.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    All that welding on a slide doesn't sound like a real good idea to me.

    Slides are differentially hardened in all the right places.

    If heat from welding changes that, you could be eating a slide when it breaks and sticks in your good shooting eye!

    rc
     
  5. TRX

    TRX Member

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    > Get in touch with Caspian.

    I'll give them a try.


    > Randall

    Sweet, but outside my price range.


    > All that welding on a slide doesn't sound like a real good idea to me.

    Worrisome, but if Caspian doesn't have any slides I may try it. I have a Magnaflux rig to check for early cracking if any were to start.

    Machining a new slide out of 4140 bar stock would be the way to go, but Step 1 would be "first buy a nice tool and cutter grinder." A Randall would suddenly look like a bargain...
     
  6. Shimitup

    Shimitup Member

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    The left hand Randall also has a lefthand twist so you can shoot it in the southern hemisphere.:D
     
  7. Gunny Z

    Gunny Z Member

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  8. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    My understanding is that the Cabot is from a machine tool company that decided to build some guns in their spare time. I bet it was a straightforward software tweak to mirror image the CNC plans.

    (I worked with a civil engineer who described a project like that, pre-CAD-CAM. He drew up the construction details from architect's plans for a building with two wings off a central foyer. The budget got cut and the customer decided to only put up one side of the building. Unfortunately this guy had drawn up truss plans for the North wing first and they were going to build only the South wing. So he just put a note on the drawing: "Fabricate zero as shown, 24 opposite hand.)
     
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