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Tuner strikes again

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by ken grant, Jul 13, 2006.

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  1. ken grant

    ken grant Member

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    Just returned from several days visit with 1911 Tuner and family(GREAT PEOPLE).
    I carried an OFFICER"S ACP that an un-named 1911 Custom Gunsmith had reworked. Wilson barrel and bushing,reverse plug recoil system,thumb safety,grip safety,trigger and Novak nite sights. Beautiful workmanship and finish. Only problem was IT WOULD NOT RUN!!!!!!!
    Before Tuner had even seen it,he said it sounds like someone "Tried to make a Target gun out of a Belly gun". He was right. I put a .002 feeler guage between the hood and slide and it would not go into battery. I removed .005 from the end of the hood and corrected the the failures to return battery even when empty.
    The pistol would still not run as it should,so I took it to see Tuner. Got to Tuner's house Monday PM and the first thing he wanted to do was see the Officer's ACP.
    Drinking Turbo Coffee and looking over the pistol,checking things with his caliper,he said yeah we can make it run.
    He went and got some tools(headspace gages,finish reamer,file and a homemade scrape.
    In less than an hour while shooting the bull,drinking coffee and working on the pistol(all while setting at his kitchen table) he said now it will run.
    Tues.AM,we went to the range to try it out and it worked great.Tuner wanted it HOT and DIRTY and while he loaded mags,I ran almost 300 rds. through it,mostly non-stop.
    Had a couple of mags that failed to lift the slide stop all the way up and Tuner said "the slide is still running a little fast.
    It was very hot on the range(mid 90's) and we quit for the day.
    Went back to his house and he wanted to slow the slide down just a lttle and also to give it a little more rearward travel. He took a few thousands off the rear of the guide rod flange and cut the spring a little.
    Went back to the range Wed.AM and ran it again while still dirty from the first day and everything worked GREAT:D
    So,with about less than an hours work with handtools(some homemade),Tuner made this pistol run well even when hot and dirty.
    I would rather have a TUNERIZED plain Jane 1911 than any of the so-called CUSTOM BIG NAME 1911's.
    Ken
     
  2. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Now tell us why Colt couldn't have made it that way in the first place... :cuss: :banghead:
     
  3. ken grant

    ken grant Member

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    Officer's

    Fuff,this pistol may have well worked as Colt made it.I don't know as the guy who had the work done is known for buying a new gun and never firing it before sending it to a well known custom gunsmith.
    It is just possible the pistol would have worked as it was when it was received from Colt.
     
  4. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    An OM from...uh...Nevermiiiind...

    Aw shucks! 'Twarn't nothin'.:eek:

    Howdy Ken! Glad you and the Lady Sandra made it back to Gee-ay in one piece.

    It probably did run a little better before it was flogged by the smith, but he forgot a couple minor details, and then he added a couple more...which made it a Four-Flusher. :D

    Gotta go get Kelie up for her shift at the ER. Be back in a few and we'll go over'em.
     
  5. ken grant

    ken grant Member

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    Tunerized

    Tuner also does a good job at Tuning S&W wheel guns. He let handle some of them. SMOOTH!!!!!!!
    Darn good at shooting them as well. Seemed to me he was as fast with his wheel guns as a 1911.
     
  6. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    The Devil

    Is in the details, so they say...and this one pretty much bore that out.

    Sad thing is, that the issues with Ken's little blaster were pretty much covered in "Pistolsmithing 101." Gettin' it to run was a cakewalk compared to some of the shorties I've been into.

    First thing that jumped out at me was the end of the recoil spring channel in the frame. Hard coil bind was in evidence, and it had literally relocated the impact surface a good 64th inch. I cut a half-coil off the spring to get the rest of it.

    The second thing was the breechface guide blocks. They miked out at just a hair below .480 inch apart. Five minutes with a safe-sided pillar file took'em to .486 inch, and I cut a light bevel on the bottom corners to help funnel the rim in.

    The glaring problem was that the barrel was not only short-chambered, but it was tapered a little at the shoulder and had a very short leade. Two minutes with a finishing reamer cleaned it up.

    Finally, the barrel ramp...throat to some...had a small defect on the left side, that extended from the leading edge to about halfway up. 5 minutes with a scrape had it lookin' good like Hollywood.:cool:

    Just to make sure that we had the thing squared away, I chucked the guide rod up in the lathe and faced a 64th off the rear face of the flange, and a like amount off the butt-end of the rod...and added a light bevel for link and lower lug in-battery clearance. This provided an extra 32nd inch...a 64th comin' and a 64th goin'...more time for the magazine to catch up, and told Ken to go ahead and knock off another quarter-coil from the spring when he got it home.

    The 24-pound recoil spring seems to be a bit much, but the spring is proprietary...even though the wire diameter is identical to Wolff's 16-pound spring...the spacing is much wider. If somebody would make a 22-23 pound spring of exactly 14 turns, we'd have a little more wiggle room. Wolff! Are ya hearin' this?

    Final analysis:

    If the smith had seen to the details...Checked for coil bind...Gauged the chamber...and actually test-fired the gun, all this could have been avoided.
    But...lookin' on the bright side...I got to go behind another Pro from Dover.
    When Ken told me that it had been worked over by a Top Gun, I grinned and
    said: "Ooooh! Ooooh! Bring it to me! That's JUST my game!":D

    Ken. Shhhh...Don't tell. Let'em wonder.;)
     
  7. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Apparently at Colt they don't gage this anymore. One wonders how many slides they turned out before someone discovered something was wrong...

    The barrel maker was really on the ball too.... :uhoh:

    24 pound recoil spring...!!! :eek:

    For some foolish reasons I thought these pistols were supposed to be defensive weapons - someting a man or woman could stake their life on if push came to shove. Obviously I'm badly mistaken. :cuss: :banghead:
     
  8. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    re:

    Fuff, I'd have to assign blame to the smith for the barrel. It was probably slightly short-chambered to allow for final reaming and headspacing. Apparently it was...overlooked.:rolleyes:

    The breechface guide blocks...I doubt if they've been gauged in over 30 years. I find that they normally run from as narrow as .476 to as wide as
    .495 inch.

    Almost forgot...I had to do a little rework on Ken's extractor too. When I opened up the guide blocks, the bottom corner protruded a litle, and I had to
    blend the bevel in for smooth pickup. I've seen better extractor work too...but that was a minor thing.
     
  9. ken grant

    ken grant Member

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    1911's

    Up until now,the best running 1911 type pistol I have is a Norinco Compact that was Tunerized year before last. That was done because someone had been messing with the extractor.:fire:
    Tuner put an Ed Brown extractor and EGW oversized stop in it and has not had a failure in almost two yrs.
    I am going to leave the Officer's dirty and run a couple of hundred rds. through it Fri.AM and see how it holds up.
    Then I will clean it and take another 1/4 coil off the recoil spring.
     
  10. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    re:

    Ken...Grab a box of Winchester 230-grain hollowpoints and run'em through it.
    Wait until you're through before you clip the spring. That extra travel probably cured things.
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2006
  11. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Member

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    Tuner you are a true legacy in living form. You probably could have made a godzillion bucks somewhere.:D
     
  12. Tinman357

    Tinman357 Member

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    Tuner...

    So when you gonna invite the rest of us over. I'll bring my kimbers and a few pounds of coffee. I might even spring for some good Dominican cigars and a bottle of cognac.. :D


    Whaddya think fella's... Party at Tuners??

    :neener:


    ( I should apologize for this, I don't even know Tuner but I'd sure like to sit at his campfire while he and Old Fuff chewed the fat a while) :cool:
     
  13. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Party

    Gonna be a looooong trip, Tinman. Dang near spans the continent...and you'd hafta stop on the way and drag Fuff outta that cave that he hides in...likely kickin' and screamin'.:D
     
  14. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Bucks

    US_SFC wrote:

    >You probably could have made a godzillion bucks somewhere.<
    ***************

    Nah. Everybody wants pretty guns, and I just never have done pretty. About all I did was make'em behave. When I was walkin' the walk, I made about 10 bucks an hour...and most of'em I could get to run in less time than that, so I never coulda made big money wrenchin' on pistols.
     
  15. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    You don't want to be near any conflab between me and Tuner... :eek: :eek:

    We'd both be after everything that the other one had, and the blood and gore would be awfull to behold. He's sent me pictures of some of his goodies to get to get my bloodlust up... On his part he'd kill just to get my junkbox after I sent him a genuine one-piece, all steel 1911 Colt trigger... :D
     
  16. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Fuff's Junk Box

    Fuff, just keep transmittin' signals. I've got the GPS sattelite homin' on your cave even as we speak...:evil:
     
  17. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    You just remember that the Army Air Field is less then 5 miles away and they have a bunch of them A-10 Warthogs... :eek:

    I would have them make a preemptive strike, but that would wipe out everything I was trying to get... :banghead:
     
  18. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Warthogs

    Makes note to take out the A-10s before raiding Fuff's Cave.
     
  19. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Just how do you plan to take out them A-10's??? :neener:

    There are also some F16's around for back-up too... :evil:
     
  20. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    A-10 Tactical Strike

    With the Acme Warthog Disintegrator Ray that's mounted on the satellite, of course.:scrutiny:
     
  21. Old Fuff

    Old Fuff Member

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    Them Warthogs turn corners pretty fast... I doubt that your ray will be able to catch up.

    Besides, the Air Force will shoot down your satellite with one of them rockets they have... :neener:
     
  22. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    In any trade there is a difference between someone that has been taught the theory, tested and shown examples when compared to someone that has been there, done that, and learned what works and what doesn't. What strikes me is that people go for cosmetics and/or name over all other considerations with something as important as a gun that was never intended for anything other than an "oh-Sh!!-gun".

    If it doesn't work fix it, if it can't be fixed throw it away. Cosmetics and brand names are WAY down the list.
     
  23. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Member

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    Seriously speaking though when I was in the Army you'd never get the chance to make a godzillion bucks. Just shoot the M1911.:D . Man I wasn't supposed to have fun doin it either! I got hooked to em ever since. twas the Army that did it to me, got me addicted.;)
     
  24. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Army

    U.S._SFC wrote:

    >Seriously speaking though when I was in the Army you'd never get the chance to make a godzillion bucks.<
    ***************************

    Funny how those ol' GI pistols just didn't seem to give a whole lotta trouble, ain't it?:cool:
     
  25. ken grant

    ken grant Member

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    Purty

    Most guys want a PURTY gun and a PURTY woman. They just don't realize what troubles they can have with both(Kelie is the exception)
     
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