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It's Starting to Become a Gun...

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Stephen A. Camp, May 28, 2004.

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  1. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello. I recently decided to build a longslide 1911 and ordered a Caspian frame and slide. The frame is the cast version (been shooting one similar for twenty years) and has 20LPI checkering. The slide has the Bomar rear sight cut and the Novak front dovetail cut. Has the serrated top and no front slide serrations. Barrel is a Kart EZ-fit.

    So far, about 40 hours has the slide fitted to the frame and the barrel fitted to the slide and the bushing fitted to the slide.

    The slide moves like glass with no perceptible vertical motion and very, very, very little horizontal. There is zero slide-to-barrel movement.

    Hopefully this thing will be ready to shoot in a week or two.

    These are not the greatest pictures in the world as I just took 'em inside and with the flash thing, but you at least get sort of a look.

    Here's the top of the slide. It's still got oil all over it, but it was cleaned up by lots of draw-filing, flat-stone work, and then 1200 grit wet/dry sandpaper.

    [​IMG]
    Those are not scratches on the feed ramp. Debri, hair, I don't know. Anyway, the fit is exactly as I want it between the slide and the frame.

    [​IMG]
    Zero movement between the barrel and slide and the lugs are in full engagement. Looking through the rear of the slide through the firing pin channel with an empty sized case in the barrel, the flash hole is perfectly centered in the firing pin hole.

    [​IMG]
    The bushing can barely be moved w/o a wrench. Took a while to get that fit, but it was worth it. The edges of the bushing have barely been "broken" as will be the edges on the front end of the slide. It's already been done to the dust cover.

    [​IMG]
    Slide, barrel & bushing, and frame with slide stop pin in place. Hold the gun rearward forty-five degrees and the slide will fall to its rearmost position. Hold forward the same amount and it will fully go into battery and still w/o movement in barrel and slide. Several hours were spent bringing slide rails to desired specs and then more time spent hand-lapping the slide to the frame.

    Best.
     
  2. 45auto

    45auto Member

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    Looks great...nice job.

    It will be interesting to see the accuracy of the e-z fit bbl.
    After installing one, what is your opinion of how "easy" it really is ?

    Good luck and I'll bet it will be a tack driver.
    No need to "buy" any more 1911's if you can build them. ;)
     
  3. m1911joe

    m1911joe Member

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    I have done two so far. The second was on a Les Baer prefit frame and
    slide. God did that save time.

    Just wait till you start fitting the hammer, sear and trigger. You will
    have the main spring housing in and out about 100 times. :what:

    But the end result is well worth it.

    Please keep the updates coming.
     
  4. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello and thanks for both the kind words and the encouragement. I'm NOT a gunsmith so it took me considerably longer to fit the barrel and bushing: essentially a day.

    Best.
     
  5. grendelbane

    grendelbane Member

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    Looks like a good start! I have been doing the same thing recently myself. I am working on a Caspian cast frame, with the integral mag well. I have hand lapped the slide to the frame. (Too much like work for me!)

    I have an old Colt .38 Super slide and barrel. I will go ahead and complete it with the Colt barrel, if I am not satisfied with the way it shoots, I will resume the quest.

    If you want something done right, sometimes you just have to do it yourself.:)
     
  6. Chris Rhines

    Chris Rhines Member

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    Very, very, very nice. I hope my 1911s come together so well.

    - Chris
     
  7. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello, and thank you, folks.

    I'm not going to whine about my gunsmith's prices and the time, anymore.

    Best.
     
  8. Dave Sample

    Dave Sample member

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    Time should not be an issue when building a 1911 from parts. They are all oversized and undersized and as Gramdma said "haste makes waste". If you do not have time to learn how to fit frame to slide then you have missed a very important part of building a high end Custom 1911. Keep up the good work, Mr. Camp.
     
  9. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello. I agree. I'd rather do it slow and right than quicker and less precise. The results will be around, good or bad, for a long time.

    Best.
     
  10. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello. Finally got the thing completed except for sticking on the Bomar rear and Novak front sights. Some cosmetic work still to be done and it will need to be refinished.

    [​IMG]
    The gun's still in the "white", but the trigger has very, very little take up and overtravel is non-existant. I'll simply remove the set screw as it's not necessary. The grips are some plain old things just to slap on it for shooting.

    [​IMG]
    The Ed Brown safety was fitted to the frame yesterday and that took most of it for me. I also blended the rear of the slide to the frame.

    The gun still doesn't have sights on it, but I fired it for function today using the following ammunition:

    Remington 185-gr. Flat Nose MC

    Sellier & Bellot 230-gr. FMJ

    200-gr. Precision Cast SWC/5.0-gr. Bullseye

    200-gr. Speer JHP (old style)/7.2-gr. Unique

    Remington 230-gr. Golden Saber

    Once you got the hang of how to "look" or "quasi-aim" the gun, I did 4" groups off-hand at 15 yards with the pistol. I tried it on 6" steel plates at 7 yards just pointing; 6 for 6, but this was NOT fast shooting.

    The pistol was tried with a McCormick Powermag and a MecGar 7-rnd magazine. Both worked fine.

    The gun failed to feed one Speer 200-gr. JHP off the fully-loaded 8-rnd when it was being chambered by hand.
    A retry and it worked fine. This was the only malfunction and occurred very early in the testing and not at all when firing.

    Ejection was positive and consistent.

    Other than the one failure to feed mentioned above, everything else worked 100%.

    I'd estimate the trigger at 4 to 4 1/2 pounds. It is clean and requires no further work. I got lucky there. The thumb safety is quite positive on or off.

    So, after about 150 rounds to see if it functions, I'm satisfied that it does.

    Best.
     
  11. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello. I got lucky. I called my gunsmith yesterday to see when he was going to blue guns. He said, "Today." I took my Caspian Longslide to him. Less than 24 hours later....

    Taaaa Daaaa!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The range was flooded due to heavy rains, but I did shoot it at 10 and 20 yards and popped some small targets lying on the berm at about 40 yards. The thing ran fine with ball, SWC's, and handloaded XTP's. Windage = perfect. Elevation was 2" high at 20 yards, but I didn't touch it today. This one will probably be sighted in dead-on at 50 yards.

    Best.
     
  12. Badger Arms

    Badger Arms Member

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    I am very impressed with the gun. Looks like a winner. If you don't mind me asking, what was the total damage? I know it doesn't mean that much to true gun lovers, but if I were to undertake an endeavour like yours, how much time, effort, and money would I have to invest? Were it me, I would have added... uh... well... maybe I would have just used stainless instead of blued and had it brush-polised.

    One thing, do you have any elevation adjustment so you can dial it in or are you going to have to get a higher front sight? Maybe you can use lighter loads to get it to hit dead-on instead of a higher front sight? That is, if you don't have any elevation adjustment left.
     
  13. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello, and thank you for the compliments. I have loads of elevation so I'm in grand shape there. Total cost was roughly $950 and 70 to 80 hours.

    Best.
     
  14. MoNsTeR

    MoNsTeR Member

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    What kind of recoil setup do you have in it? (spring/plug/rod/etc.)
     
  15. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello. It's a two-piece guide rod with a 17-lb. conventional recoil spring.

    Best.
     
  16. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Camp Longslide

    Uh...I'm thinkin' that you might oughta go into the pistol buildin' bidness
    full time...Lookin' good!

    Can ya see it? "Camp Custom Guns" Does have a certain "ring"...don't it?
    Better'n "Travis' Tunin' & Tweakin":D
     
  17. mpthole

    mpthole Member

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    Very impressive! :) Would you be ok with telling us about the internals you chose for the gun?
     
  18. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello and thank you all for the kind words. Tuner, I appreciate the comments, but man, I'd starve to death as slow as I'm able to work. I'm not a 'smith.

    Internals:

    McCormick trigger

    Ed Brown Hammer and Sear

    Caspian pins

    I flat don't remember who made the thumb safety I wound up using. I'd had it a couple of years.

    Kart EZ-fit bbl & bushing

    Ed Brown grip safety w/hump

    McCormick slide stop

    Ed Brown 20 LPI flat m/s housing

    Wolf recoil spring

    The mainspring is either McCormick or Brown; cannot remember

    McCormick disconnector

    Best.
     
  19. MoNsTeR

    MoNsTeR Member

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    What kind of spring plug?
    I had a plug custom made for my 6" that uses a 5" spring. I've been toying with the idea of using a more "standard" plug which would give the spring an extra inch of at-rest length. Unfortunately, a standard 5" plug leaves part of the spring exposed and roughens up the slide action, so I've been looking for a long 6" plug.
     
  20. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

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    Hmmm ... sounds a great project Steve ...... but ... I had no pictures come down the pipe!!!!!:(

    Or are they on your site? Ain't been over there yet to look.
     
  21. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello, and thank you. No, they're not on the site yet. I'll do a more detailed report there in the very near future.

    Best.
     
  22. Average Guy

    Average Guy Member

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    I just noticed this thread and because I'm fixin' to buy my first 1911, I was very intrigued.

    Now I just have to say, "Dayaaaamn! That is sweet!" I know what it's like to pour your heart into a project; I only wish the things I did had come out half as good as your 1911. That is a real work of art. You are a man of extraordinary magnitude. :D
     
  23. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello, and thank you. Speaking only for myself, when I was tempted to "speed something up" with a file when a stone or even wet/dry sandpaper was called for, I just oiled things up and put 'em away. Take you time.

    Best.
     
  24. saltydog452

    saltydog452 Member

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    Thanks Stephen...

    Going through the Archives regarding 'Kart', I found your post. Printer is running as I type....


    I ordered a barrel from Fred Kart last week. I've read so much about new production 1911 clones that are being offered for sale by major 'name' companies that were, in actuality, assembled by nothing more than an 'assembly house', that I bought a slightly used 'Rinco.

    Conversations with 1911Tuner regarding Norinco pistols being truer to Army Ordinance and JMB specs with dang near everyting except the barrel headspace prompted me to call Fred Kart. Well that, and I do have too much time on my hands lately. Not that much grass to cut these days.

    I hope I can maintain your level of paitence when I try to 'fit' the barrel without having a 'fit'.

    New Saeco mold from Fitz enroute also. Gonna see if my Star sizer, and press still work.

    The BHP that we fired is still 'ticking' right along. Bought some new in the box Mec-Gar 15 rounders for it...Strangely enough, ball Wall-Mart ammunition doesn't chamber reliabily from slide lock...Cor-Bon and Federal 9CBP does not share that characteristic...Sling shot chambering works with everything that I have fed..In whatever mag/ammo is in the mag well...The dang thing is omniverous in 'sling-shot' mode. Cor-Bon ammunition, as well as Federal Classic 9BP works just dandy no matter how the round is chambered.. New (to me) slide from e-bay, your barrel, a trip to Novaks to have the Millett sights removed and replaced, the new mags, Cor-Bon, and Federal Classic 9BP have rounded out the package.

    Now if I could replace whats left of my shoulder and bicep ligaments, maybe I could 'hold' the dang thing rather than 'wave' it at the target, I'd be happy. While I'm in a wishful mode, maybe I could wish for more hair as well..Grin..



    Thanks for your help, and it was a pleasure to make your aquaintence. If I can return the favor, please let me know.

    salty.
     
  25. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    That thing's pretty, Steve. Good work. Color me envious.
     
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