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Would like some information on a 2 piece 1911 barrel

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Jessie James 58, Mar 23, 2013.

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  1. Jessie James 58

    Jessie James 58 Member

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    Hello; my brother and myself went to the shooting range last night to have a little fun. My brother was shooting his 1911 (one that he got from me). while he was shooting he heard a ping like he was shooting a M1 ejecting the ding clip.

    He stopped shooting looked the gun over and found that the barrel was on the ground. I took the gun apart to see what had happened. This is what I found.

    DSCN0519.jpg

    DSCN0521.jpg

    I hope the pictures came through. The barrel slides into the breach of the 1911. the silver solder broke loose and let the barrel come apart.
    I have no idea how many rounds have gone through this barrel, but it is a lot.

    I am an old fart an and have shot 1911s for many years. I never knew that they ever made barrels for the 1911 like this.
    I would like if some one more informed than me has some information on when these barrels were made and by whom.
    Thank you
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2013
  2. Reloadron
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    Reloadron Member

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    My understanding is that Springfield Armory uses that method to make their barrels. I believe it is a cost cutting measure. Originally by Browning's design I believe the barrels were made from a single forging. The forging was machined and rifled. Making a barrel in two pieces reduces manufacturing cost. The barrel made separate from steel tubing is rifled and then machined to fit and silver soldered or brazed.

    I do not know how many manufacturers use this practice but that is what it is all about. I guess when done right the seam is darn near impossible to find or see. Wish I knew more but no, it isn't that unusual.

    Ron
     
  3. BBBBill

    BBBBill Member

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    Springfield has used a lot of those on their guns. It is not necessarily a bad manufacturing technique. Some of the military contract barrels were made that way. The FN/Browning High Power also has a two piece barrel. Yours is one of two types that I've seen. Most have the seam about half way between the front of the bottom lug and back of the top lug. Yours with the seam in front of the lugs is less commonly seen. What brand gun is yours? I ask because the Springfields that I've seen had the other type. If it is a Springfield, send it back. Doesn't matter how many rounds it has or whether you are not the first owner.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    My memory fails me right now tonight who did it?

    But some US GI 1911A1 barrels were made that way during WWII as a cost cutting measure.

    They very seldom if ever failed.
    But as you see, sometimes they did or do at this late date.

    As mentioned, todays Springfield Mil-Specs use it, as do a lot of Browning High-Powers.

    It's not a bad thing.
    Just not something you would expect to happen after 75 years when the silver solder finally lets go.

    rc
     
  5. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Member

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    Some Browning Hi-Power barrels are made that way also. The line where the two pieces are joined together is easy to see. I used to have a FEG Hi-Power that was brazed or soldered together so poorly that you could actually see daylight through the top half.
     
  6. Jessie James 58

    Jessie James 58 Member

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    I do not know who made the barrel, this is a built from scratch gun. I used it in competition for years (2700 point matches) it was very accurate and the gun never gave me any problems.
    My brother wanted a 45 to shoot at the range so I sold it to him years ago.

    It makes sense to use the 2 piece method when you sit down and think of it. I just never gave it a thought until the barrel came out of the gun.
    Thank you for the information. I will probably find a good gun smith and have him silver solder it back together.
     
  7. brickeyee

    brickeyee Member

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    "I will probably find a good gun smith and have him silver solder it back together."

    Buy a new barrel.
     
  8. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    By chance, did you have the gun reblued at some time? Bluing salts will attack some solders.
     
  9. BBBBill

    BBBBill Member

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    If it was high temp silver solder, bluing should not affect it. I think the reason it failed was a combination of the lack of total coverage (as evidenced by the picture) and the constant flexing from the thousands of rounds down the tube. The two piece barrels were originally not expected to last more than a few thousand rounds and never intended for match use though they can be quite accurate. The fact that you got that much service out of it is a bonus. Better to replace it.
     
  10. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Strongly advise you replace the barrel with a one piece match barrel and have it fitted properly. I have been working on 1911s since the 80s and I have never seen a two piece come apart but I have heard of cases where it happened. You mentioned that this was a 'scratch built" gun - is it possible that someone welded up this barrel to improve the fit? Install a Kart or Bar sto barrel and the accuracy improvement will amaze you.
     
  11. Jessie James 58

    Jessie James 58 Member

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    In defense of the two piece barrels, I acquired this gun about 42 years ago, the person that I purchased it from had it for at least 8 years. my brother acquired this gun about 11 years ago.
    I cannot even guess how many tens of thousands of rounds this barrel has had shot through it.

    Right up to the time it came apart it would shoot 1 inch groups (7 rounds) at 30 feet, not to shabby.
    As I said I never knew that there was such a thing as two piece barrels until this happened.
    Brother has not decided weather he is going to replace the barrel or have it re silver soldered. Ether way I learned something.
     
  12. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    smack your brother upside the head and tell him to buy a new barrel and have it professionally fitted.
     
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    RC, I have heard the story of two piece military replacement barrels before, but have also been assured that mil spec called for a forged barrel. There has been a lot said about the cost savings of the stamped trigger, surely such a major change in barrel manufacture would be as well documented and discussed.

    As said, the seam on the Imbel/Springfield two piece is back between locking lugs. I don't thnk this is just a variant there.

    How many grooves does it have? Hard to imagine a fitted Roto barrel, but if it only has 4 grooves, that would be the logical suspect.

    Browning reportedly went to two piece barrels to get better "grain flow" in the cam lug and the tube, not possible in a single piece. I have seen a picture of a separated BHP tube.

    The SA's I have looked at had a "gold" line at the joint, indicating furnace brazing as a method of assembly. That is how Remington puts their three piece bolts together and they hold up well... although not perfectly. I have seen Remington bolt handles yanked off, but never a separated bolt head.

    You can spend $100000 on a two piece barrel, just pick up a Perazzi trap gun.
     
  14. Jessie James 58

    Jessie James 58 Member

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    It has 4 rifeling groves.
     
  15. ApacheCoTodd

    ApacheCoTodd Member

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    Thank your brother for paying attention and not firing that next round in the chamber... Yikes!
     
  16. Jessie James 58

    Jessie James 58 Member

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    Man do you have that right. I can only guess how bad of an explosion that would have caused.
    What my brother told me, is that after he fired, it sounded like he was shooting an M1 and the last bullet had been fired (the ding clip being ejected). So he stopped shooting (Damn good thing).
    As I said above, I never knew that they made the 1911s with a two piece barrel. Just goes to show you, you learn something new every day.
     
  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    The "Roto 4-M" is the only 1911 barrel I know of with four groove rifling. They proudly advertise that it is hammer forge rifled, which I wondered about because the process is not suitable for asymmetric barrels like the 1911 with locking lugs on top and link lug on bottom. Now we know how they manage it, a straight tube inserted into a breech section like a Monobloc shotgun barrel.

    It has always been kind of a cheap joke among enthusiasts who were willing to pay more than $40 for a barrel.
    Your past satisfaction with it just goes to show that barrel fit is the most important part of the accuracy equation.
     
  18. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed Member

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    Even if you could find a smiff dumb enough to do such a thing it would be a very very poor idea.
     
  19. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    I am surprised to read that some GI barrels were made that way, as I understood that the Army turned thumbs down on the method when it was proposed. Nothing I have found indicates they changed that view or accepted any two piece barrels. Any idea which contractor made them?

    Jim
     
  20. Jessie James 58

    Jessie James 58 Member

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    To me this is an interesting thread. As I mentioned I never knew there were 2 piece pistol barrels. I am now looking at some of my older pistols to see if they might also have multi piece barrels.
     
  21. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Sounds like Roto has figured out a novel way to forge a barrel but they are not quite there on the whole brazing thing. Their marketing skills are powerful. I am glad no one got any shrapnel. Stay safe.
     
  22. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Now we know why the Army turned down the idea of two piece barrels. It was either that or teach the troops to say, "Please don't shoot while I am soldering my gun back together" in German.

    Jim
     
  23. foghornl

    foghornl Member

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    I have heard of barrel separation, but that is the first time I have seen a pic.

    P.S. buy a new barrel and have it fitted.
     
  24. Hondo 60
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    Hondo 60 Member

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    Not meaning to flame, but did you read post #11?

    Jessie James 58 said
    No matter how good anything is made, when you've used it tens of thousands of times, you have to expect it to wear out.

    I'd say the original manufacturer did pretty darn well.
     
  25. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Yes, I read that post. The barrel did not "wear out", it came apart. You may disagree, but IMHO a barrel should not do that, even after 42 years. As for the tens of thousands of rounds, any barrel fired that much is worn out, but it still should not come apart.

    Jim
     
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