Bob's Build No. 1

Today seems like an appropriate one to join in the conversation here and also thank the people and places that have been so much help in inspiring and educating me to the point I was ready (or at least think I’m ready) to start my first Build. A shout out to the folks on the gunsmithing forums at 1911Forums and 1911Addicts. The posts, answers, and PMs there have been invaluable.

And a special thank you to @MosinVirus who’s YouTube videos were, are are, critical to this journey. It is a sad shame that YouTube is treating his channel there so badly. :frowning:

Anyway, Build No. 1 is a Government 1911 in 45 ACP (all carbon steel forgings, billet and tool steel parts) that will end up as black on black on black Cerakote. It is designed as an IDPA/USPSA competition gun. I have gotten a little way into it and have the slide to frame, barrel, and grip safety tentatively fitted. There is detail work to finish up in all of them.

To best document my process (for interested parties and my own record), I have a series of posts going on my blog with the starting post here.

All feedback is gratefully accepted, especially the feedback that can correct an error or avoid one!

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Great thread @BobRock!

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And no plastic parts :speak_no_evil: :laughing::laughing:

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I will have to check out the blog for sure.

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Looking forward to following this thread

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For me, there have been two troublesome things I’ve encountered so far in the build.

  1. I can’t file flat or straight for my life
  2. At first I didn’t realize how small the marks might be in inking and didn’t look closely enough leading me to filing in the wrong places and opening up gaps I didn’t intend to.

But I’m learning a lot and having fun. I spent a good deal of time today working with stones to make the last little bit on the slide-to-frame fit and with fine files for the last bit on the lower barrel lug engagement with the slide stop.

While working along, I’m keeping in the back of my mind what things about the build I would choose to do on a mill if I had a mill. So, on the side, I’ve been studying smaller mills suitable for gunsmithing and am liking the looks of the Precision Matthews PM-727M w/DRO.

And I forgot one point of thanks in the first post. Walt Kuleck’s The M1911 Complete Assembly Guide (Vol 2) has been another big help in understand the build process, step-by-step.

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I checked out the blog. Excellent read and easy to follow!!!

Great job on the build so far.

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Bob the Builder…

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You got me excited today
And it was the coldest day here
Loaded a new frame in to jig today

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Sorry I’ve been absent brothers I’ve had a lot of life shit going on

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Hope all is well now.

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@LonewolfMcQuade almost brother

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:+1:

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I need to update the blog soon, but I didn’t take as many pictures as I should have while I’ve been working.

  • The lower barrel lugs have been cut and fit, so the slide will cycle the barrel in and out of battery.
  • The EGW ejector is oversize by a fair amount in a number of dimensions. It was a long slog filing and marking and fitting and filing… But it’s fit to the slide.
  • I’ve learned that one should not attempt to file a slot in the ejector front leg and “finish up” by hand drilling. I snapped off the end of the drill bit in the pin hole, but also in the ejector. So it’s not coming out by accident. And maybe not on purpose!

My approach has been to get each part installed so that it is functional, but perhaps not exactly fit. Now I’m having second thoughts so rather than moving on to new parts to install, I’m backing up and getting the ones I’ve already installed fit more exactly. Maybe not to final fit for finishing, but almost that far.

How close to a final-final fit do you guys take your part installations as you progress from one step to the next?

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Perhaps you mean blending parts together or adjusting parts that can be adjusted for function. Otherwise once the part is fitted and functional that should be it.

Can you give us a couple of examples?

If you are talking about blending, I would leave that until after the test fire is successful and pistol is tuned.

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@Mosinvirus gave you some solid advice there
Blending and cosmetic finishing should be done after a successful test firing making sure function is on point

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I am talking mostly about blending. But also sanding fine file (#4 cut) marks with 320 and then 600 grit sandpaper. The bottom barrel lugs fit the slide stop nicely, but there are still file marks in it.

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Be careful not to remove much material from the bottom lug. It should be producing a tight fit with the barrel locked into the slide and sitting on the slide stop.

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@MosinVirus, Yes, I would intent only to remove file marks with 320 grit and call it good. The lugs do lock up and mate to the slide stop well.

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Had some time today and read your blog
I was suprised thag you went for some high dollar parts for your first build
My first real build I went all in though as well but I’m a diffrent way
I cut my frame rails and hand checkered my frame
De horned my frame and slide
Diffrent methods for sure
We are all available for questions if you need

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