Easier Way To "Bobtail" Your 1911

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by hosedover, Mar 18, 2021.

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  1. hosedover

    hosedover Member

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    Found an alternative way to reduce the grip on a 1911. I've done a regular bobtail mod in the past. In addition to the main spring housing itself, I bought an installation jig from Brownells and I seem to remember having to buy an Officers model mainspring.

    I wanted to do the same mod to a Kimber Raptor Pro. While looking for the MSH, I found that Wilson Combat sells a round butt MSH that fits a Commander and Government frame. It still requires removing some metal from the bottom of the frame, but it was relatively easy to do with some files and India stones to start with to roughly shape the frame. I then used fine sand paper and sanding pads for the final blending and polishing. Finally I glass beaded the shiny spots back to the Raptor's original matte finish.

    Nice thing about the WC round butt MSH is you don't have to drill any holes for the main spring pin and you can use all the original MSH internal parts. Seems to give you most of the advantages of a regular bobtail MSH but without the extra work or cost of an installation jig. It feels much better in my hand while still reducing printing under an outer garment.

    You could also do this mod to your existing MSH if you had the time and patience. I choose this route since I wanted to replace the cheap plastic one that comes on the Raptor. Just another option if you're considering a bobtail MSH.


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    My Dremel tool on steroids

    img_6930-jpg.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2021
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  2. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd member

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    Nice job.

    That's a harsh corner. I have one on my Kimber Aegis and may round it one day too. I generally don't like shooting the more severe bod-tail versions.

    Todd.
     
  3. bigmike45

    bigmike45 Member

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    Nice work hosedover!
     
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  4. nofendertom

    nofendertom Member

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    A $1400 1911 pistol with a plastic MSH ?
     
  5. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd member

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    I took my rubber-surface MSH out of my Kimber because I like arched versions and went to comparing the synthetic against flat and arched steel.

    The weight difference was rather surprising.

    Aside from cost, there's something to that. It's the incremental things that secretively add up. Like drilling fasteners on a race-bike. One can hyper-focus on the arguably barely significant difference but it's never about the one-thing in weight savings.

    Even if it is somewhat about saving money in the MSH case.

    Todd.
     
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  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    I have to admit to being taken aback a bit until I re-read you tittle and took notice of the use of quotation marks around Bobtail. Even though Bill Wilson was the first custom 1911 smith to start offering production 1911s with custom features, I could see him offering Ed Brown's "feature"...it is an unspoken understanding among custom smiths. When I got down to the pictures, I realized that you were referring to the WC Roundtail conversion.

    Very nice looking. I do like the Roundtail look on the full sized frame.
     
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  7. Rock185

    Rock185 Member

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    You did nice work with your "Dremel on steroids" I didn't know Wilson even offered a MSH like that. I guess I gotta get out more. I have used some Ed Brown MSHs on Kimbers. Even a standard type housing requires removing the sharp angular corners of Kimber frames for a proper job. As you did, I always go to the trouble to re-glass bead so that everything matches. I may have to look into that Wilson round tail MSH.
     
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  8. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    Colt has been doing it for years and years. Nobody seemed to mind.
     
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  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator Staff Member

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    Me too. Practical too.
     
  10. Reinz

    Reinz Member

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    Nice work. Thanks for letting us know about this.
     
  11. JR24

    JR24 Member

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    I mind. One of the "features" of Colt I greatly dislike.

    I like the roundbutts and that's really nicely done, OP

    I prefer the real bobtail myself. Somehow helps the grip lock in better and conceals just as good as an officer frame for me, better than the little roundbutt.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2021
  12. Steve in Allentown

    Steve in Allentown Member

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    Nice job on the mainspring housing, hosedover.

    Here's another variation of the same theme. I like the heel of my hand to be in contact with the mainspring housing as far down as possible. All I'm looking for is the bottom corner not to hang up on my clothing.

    I'm too chicken to use an angle grinder. :) I roll the dice using gnarly files and Dremel grinding bits.

    DiEgS62.jpg
     
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  13. md7

    md7 Member

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    I just want to say that you did a great job on that. Well done, sir
     
  14. hosedover

    hosedover Member

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    Have you considered a belt sander?
     
  15. Steve in Allentown

    Steve in Allentown Member

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    I prefer using large files as they give me more control and I'm less likely to make a fatal mistake. Once the roughing in is accomplished I switch over to smaller gunsmith appropriate files (00,0,2,4) Dremel grinding bits, Cratex wheels, and various grits of sandpaper as appropriate.
     
  16. hosedover

    hosedover Member

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    You know I'm kidding about angle grinders and belt sanders, right? :rofl:
     
  17. Steve in Allentown

    Steve in Allentown Member

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    NOW I do. I figured you were one of those guys who does ice carvings using a chainsaw.
     
  18. hosedover

    hosedover Member

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    I would if I could, but the ice melts too fast down here in Arizona
     
  19. nofendertom

    nofendertom Member

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    Nothing wrong with using an angle grinder or a belt sander---have to remember it is all about the SKILL of the operator.
     
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  20. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    An arched MSH. In my hands it works much better.
     
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  21. Rodfac

    Rodfac Member

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    "Colt has been doing it for years and years. Nobody seemed to mind."
    "I mind. One of the "features" of Colt I greatly dislike."

    Me too....
     
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  22. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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  23. hosedover

    hosedover Member

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    You mean like this one?
    oJPARfp.jpg
     
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  24. nofendertom

    nofendertom Member

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    I have renovated 2 bathrooms, a kitchen, a laundry room, a pantry and my garden shed using one of those babies--- Love 'em !
     
  25. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd member

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    Aside from them being flat, I can accept plastic MSH - especially when Colt's uses the very tacky rubber exterior. Surprisingly grippy..... if flat.

    It's the plastic trigger I can not abide.

    Todd.
     
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