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Old October 10, 2013, 03:10 AM   #54
1911Tuner
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Join Date: May 17, 2004
Location: NC Piedmont/Foothills
Posts: 605
Quote:
There are two smiths that i know of that are marginal at best. One doesnt checker/dehorn and the other doesnt weld,lug or do any slide to frame fitting.
I can't speak for their knowledge and/or skills, but I can understand why some smiths choose not to do things like checkering and dehorning.

With the ready availability of hard-fit barrels, there's just no good reason to weld up barrel lugs for a tighter fit. At one time, it was the only way, but the "good old days" are gone and they weren't all that good anyway.

Peening and squeezing slides and frames for refitting is labor intensive, and with modern slides...squeezing in a vise is a crapshoot because with many... you don't know what sort of material you're working with.

I've squeezed a good many slides, but they were older slides that could be squeezed for fit. Modern slides are springy. Trying to do the job quickly will result in no change or a cracked slide. That turns it into a gradual process, where a little pressure is added at a time...and left to sit in the vise overnight...lather/rinse/repeat for about a week.

Then...if you're lucky...when you finally take it out of the vise, you find that it's only changed about .002-.003 inch...and some just spring back with no change.

The availability of good quality closely-machined slide and frame sets from the folks at Caspian that generally only need lapping in for the final fit has pretty much rendered the old techniques and skills obsolete, except for the hobbyist...and even then, ya gotta be careful with those slides, lest you start crankin' on the vise and hear the dreaded "tink" that tells ya that it's just become a paperweight.

These days, About the most I'll do is swage the frame rails to reduce vertical play, and leave the side-to-side play alone unless I'm working with a slide made prior to 1946.
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Last edited by 1911Tuner; October 10, 2013 at 03:17 AM.
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