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1911 Upgrade Success

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by GaryK, Dec 13, 2004.

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  1. GaryK

    GaryK Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
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    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    I recently bought a nib Norinco and have been using it as a platform to learn how 1911s work. I hope to put together a low cost shooter that fits me. So far I have done the following:

    1. The barrel bushing was way oversized and the ID was out of round. I measured the slide at .700 and the barrel at .580. The closest drop in bushing I was able to find was one from Ed Brown with a .699 ID and a .581 OD. It went in and worked fine. The groups have shrunk measurably and the gun is a lot tighter.

    2. I added a .200 slide stop.

    3. I installed a long trigger. Short triggers don't work for me because my hands are too large. It took a bit of work to get it so that the bow didn't drag on magazines but I got it done. I did have a problem with the trigger occasionally dropping to 1/2 cock but remembered reading in Tuner's troubleshooting tips to slightly bend the center leaf of the sear spring forward. This corrected the problem.

    4. I installed a standard thumb safety. I don't like the GI type safetys that come on Norincos. It dropped in and works well.

    I have been fortunate in finding a gunsmith that specializes in 1911s that has a lot of takeoff parts. If you like stock parts, ask around, many smiths have a box full of them that they will sell cheap. Sometimes you can find Colt parts. My next step is to add a Commander style hammer. Does anyone have one that they are willing to sell? I am looking for one with the regular (not elongated) hole. I understand that I will have to have it fitted along with a beavertail. This is a work in progress but I am having fun and learning a lot as I go along. I am fortunate in that the gun functions well with no evidence of poor barrel fit, etc. I have been watching the wear patterns. The barrel has light wear marks completely around where it contacts the bushing. There is no evidence of the barrel hood hitting the slide or wear on the barrel lugs. It comes into battery just like my other 1911 which I had Chuck Rodgers fit the barrel. Judging by the wear marks the sear seems to be making even contact with both sides of the hammer. The extracter holds a loaded round snug but not overly tight when the slide is removed. Is there anything else I should look for? Thanks, I am learning a lot here.
     
  2. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
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    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    Whoa!

    Howdy Gary. Kudos for your efforts.

    One thing you need to check is that the barrel tilt in linkdown is sufficient.
    The stock Norinco barrels aren't relieved behind the muzzle flare, and tighter bushings can interfere there. If it holds the barrel too high when it unlocks, it could damage the front corners of the locking lugs...most likely at the front one.

    Pull the slide a quarter-inch out of battery and check to see that there's
    a minimum of .010-.012 inch of space between the top of the barrel and the underside of the slide. Don't push on the barrel. It has to fall on its own.
    Then, push on the barrel hood to see if it springs back up. if it springs, you've got interference, and the bushing will need to be relieved. It may also be necessary to reduce the barrel OD from a quarter-inch behind the muzzle
    nearly to the locking lug to get the clearance needed. Since the Nork barrel is hard-chromed, you won't be able to turn it down in a lathe with a HSS
    tool. It will have to be lathe-turned with a grinder attachment to cut through the chrome. If the binding point isn't too severe, you may be able to get out of it by shortening the bushing on the rear by about .100-.125 inch.

    Standin' by...
     
  3. Bill Z

    Bill Z Member

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    Location:
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    Tuner said
    Wonder if a commander bushing would help on this?
     
  4. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Location:
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    Commander Bushing

    Bll Z asked:

    >>Wonder if a commander bushing would help on this.<<

    Probably would...but it would have to be a good fit in the slide to prevent a lotta rockin'. If Gary's needs more clearance, I've got a mandrel that I can use to face the rear off shorter and chamfer the inside edge. That'll probably take care of it.

    Gary...Let me know if there's a problem with the linkdown and we'll try to get it with the bushing.

    Standin' by...
     
  5. Tinkerer

    Tinkerer Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2004
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    62
    Regular Commander Hammer

    I have a hammer from my Colt Series 70 Commander. Tiny hole, not elongated/skeletonized. Let you have it for $25 plus shipping (probably $3.85 priority mail). Let me know.
     
  6. TarpleyG

    TarpleyG Member

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    Location:
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    King's Gunworks also has the hammer you are looking for.

    Greg
     
  7. GaryK

    GaryK Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Houston, Tx
    Tuner, I tried what you asked last night. I pulled the slide back a 1/4" or so (until it pushed the hammer into the 1/2 cock notch). I didn't have a feeler gauge handy but the barrel did come out of lockup and I could see clearence between the hood and the top of the slide. I pushed on the barrel hood and it did not spring back. I am thinking that this means that there is no interference? Is there anything else that I should look for to make sure that everything is operating okay? Thanks.
     
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