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Looks great Jon. How does it feel in your hand with that type of thunb safety and the beavertail grip safety?
 

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Discussion Starter #22
Thanks amigos. Believe me - again, BELIEVE ME when I say that I am an utter rookie at this stuff. For example, I posted above that I was going to install an extended ejector to help the gun eject live ball, but after thiniking about it some more, I think that an extended ejector would probably ADD to that problem by starting the round toward the side earlier.

As for inspiration, I'm glad. I have learned an incredible amount during the Patriot course, and it's not even over yet. One of the big lessons I learned is a very simple one - don't be afraid to try. Guns are just machines made of parts. If you are learning how to build the machine properly, you will invariably screw up parts along the way. I have screwed up the same part as many as three times! The downside is that it's costly to learn, but it's the only way I know of. The Patriot Course gave me the fortitude to try, and the backup to keep really, really bad screwups to a minimum.

Best,
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Thumb safety, beavertail and slide stop have been replaced, the muzzle has been flush fit, and a LOT of body work has been done to change the lines in keeping with what I envisioned - a very sleek pistol with a lot of straight, horizontal lines and nothing pokin' out. All the work I plan has been done, except that I'll have to have a pro dovetail in some decent sights, since my eyeballs just cannot use these any more.

I got the function work done and took her out to the range the other day. Yeeha! Ran 200 rounds (admittedly just ball for the initial outing) and had zero malfs! AND the gun even ejects live ball slick as glass.

My old eyes couldn't get a clear view of those crumby Colt sites if they had to, but I still managed to group at 2 inches at 10 yards 0 and at dusk at that. I have a drop-in brown bushing on it now, and that's the only item of barrel stuff that's not really fit, so I'll be addressing that before long.

In the meantime, here is another batch of photos of the gun in its current state. In these shots, you can see the substantial modification to the trigger itself, port, beavertail, crown, and the body work to straighten out the lines I mentioned in my earlier posts.

So, other than the sights, all that remains is pretty much finish work. But, that will be detail work and so I know it'll take a long time. For now, I'm going to leave it with a blued top, and I'm getting pretty good at faking a brushed aluminum look by hand on stainless, so that's how I'll finish the lower. I still have hours of work to do, though, to get the finish like I want it. Still got a LOT of sanding and polishing to do.

Best,
Jon









 

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Wow! Now that just looks professional and best of all its all your handwork. Bet it feels so good to be almost finished too. Only thing I would add would be some really visible sights but I'm sure you're going to do that already. Congrats and well done.

RIKA
 

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Discussion Starter #25
Thanks, R!!!! I have to laugh at myself. You should have seen me when I loaded the pistol, held it in my left hand (I'm right handed), reached around a fat tree and closed my eyes before I pulled the trigger! LOL! What a "manly man," huh?

Best,
Jon
 

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Discussion Starter #26
As I said, I'm down to the real nuts and bolts of trying to get everything cosmetically perfect. My goal when I started was to make this pistol as sleek as I could, and to do that I wanted to have as few lines as possible, and then make the few lines I had either completely horizontal, or if curved, then all curved at the same radii as much as possible.

For example, here's one area I have a lot of detail work left on, the slide-stop. This slide stop was an eye-opener when it arrived from C&S. It was very long, very wide, and everything on it was at sharp angles. I kept chewing on it, though, with a Dremel, hand files and sandpaper, and I've gotten it almost where I want it. During finishing, I'll try to bring it's top and bottom lines parallel with each other, and also with the bottom edge of the slide. I'll also finish raising the line where the front of the trigger guard meets the frame until it is completely horizontal from the curve of the guard at the rear all the way out to the front where the frame and trigger guard meet.

One thing I did manage to accomplish pretty well (surprised myself!) was at the lower back corner of the slide stop's main plate. It too was sharply angled, and I created a divot there with a radius that pretty much matches the radii on the back of the thumb safety and the frame and beavertail right behind it.

Still a long way to go, but fun, fun fun! Then, of course, I'll have to drop the dinero to get some better sights - tried them again yesterday, and I surrendered. My eyes just can't use them any more.

Best,
Jon



 

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And then I thought I was a nut for detail! :) But then every file stroke adds to your education and skills. I'm betting that this won't be your last 45 and each one will be better than the last.

RIKA
 

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Discussion Starter #28
BigEd63 said:
Looks great Jon. How does it feel in your hand with that type of thunb safety and the beavertail grip safety?
Hi, Big Ed. Sorry - just saw this. The answer? It didn't feel right. Swapped the thumb safety out for a standard set up.
 

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Ok, I was looking at that and wondering if that would either be an asset to or a PIA to us guys with big hands.
 

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lookin GOOD so far. What's the trick that you use to get the lowest line (on the frame) parallel with the slide? I'd think that would be a PITA.

I've gotten good experience with some of these techniques taking steel barstock and making them into knifelike objects. Can't wait to get into 1911s.

cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #31
krept said:
lookin GOOD so far. What's the trick that you use to get the lowest line (on the frame) parallel with the slide? I'd think that would be a PITA.

I've gotten good experience with some of these techniques taking steel barstock and making them into knifelike objects. Can't wait to get into 1911s.

cheers
Hi, krept - as far as technique goes, there may be one, but if so I don't know it! I just got a little jeweler's file with a safe edge and kept filing from front to back until that line was straight, and then I just smoothed everything out.
 

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Discussion Starter #32
Krept - Also, I've been having these really dangerous thoughts - about maybe putting a power drill with a very wide bit into my vice at an angle, rigging up a jig of some sort, and using it for a mill.

At least I still have the original slide from the Kimber that I destroyed to practice on. lol! I plan on seeing if I can French Border it too just using hand files and a guide jig that I'll have to build. Oh well . . . no other way to learn without screwing up parts along the way.

Best,
Jon
 

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BigJon said:
Krept - Also, I've been having these really dangerous thoughts - about maybe putting a power drill with a very wide bit into my vice at an angle, rigging up a jig of some sort, and using it for a mill.

At least I still have the original slide from the Kimber that I destroyed to practice on. lol! I plan on seeing if I can French Border it too just using hand files and a guide jig that I'll have to build. Oh well . . . no other way to learn without screwing up parts along the way.

Best,
Jon
Jon, a power drill with a wide bit in a vise doesn't sound like such a hot idea even with a jig. How about, instead, using a Dremel with a variable speed device to slow it down. I think that they make a little router type jig that holds the tool precisely. I would think that with a little ingenuity and WECSOG engineering, you could make very nice French Borders.

Just an alternate idea.

RIKA
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Hi, R! Long time no see. Yea, I know you're right. I bought one of those Dremel drill presses a little while ago. It'll do okay for VERY tiny jobs, but there is no way to angle it for a French Border cut. Oh well. I think I"ll end up trying to do one by hand on my FUBAR'd slide and then see what happens. I've got the little V-shaped checkering files, and those ought to do well, expecially for a light border.

Best,
Jon
 
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