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Old March 29, 2005, 02:05 PM   #26
Dave Sample
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Handy; You hit the nail on the head again. I do not like long or short links. I always use the .278 size for what I do. What I have found is that the factory links are sometimes stamped out junk and the people who build these guns do not view this small part to be as important as I do. A quality barrel link coupled with a decent NM bushing fit does much to improve any 1911 factory barrel and the gun will then shoot better than the shooter can shoot it in most cases. I have done this with terrible looking, pitted Systima barrels that you would swear were junk and shot out and have achived the kind of accuracy needed for the purpose at hand. ( Win the fight at 3-7 yards.)
Thanks for helping me clear this up. I use to use Wilson Links that were in the $6.00 range, but Fred Kart has been generous to supply me with a few of his at no charge and I will use them in the future. My tastes are simple! I like the Best.
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Old March 30, 2005, 08:28 AM   #27
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I certainly have nothing against using the best quality parts thats on the market. That being said using the same size link on a loose fit barrel does not change the lockup of the barrel. That's why we used to weld up the hoods and lower lug so we could get a tight lockup, remember barrel and barrel fit is 80% of the mechanical accuracy in a 1911 style gun.
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Old March 30, 2005, 07:17 PM   #28
Dave Sample
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Weld up barrels and then cut them to size. I have some of that junk in my Hall of Shame parts place. I never wasted my time with that stuff when I could buy brand new oversize barrels and fit them. Thanks goodness thoses days are gone. I like Match Barrels.
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Old March 30, 2005, 10:38 PM   #29
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There's not much call for welding up a barrel and fitting it nowadays with the selection of good quality gunsmith fit barrels we now have, but that wasn't the case years back. Then we didn't have the Schuemann, Nowlin, Brown or Bar-Sto barrels to choose from so you welded up a Colt barrel and hard fit it to the gun. A Colt barrel welded up and hard fit the right way by someone who knew what they were doing was a long way from being junk and there was some damm good bullseye guns built using welded up Colt barrels.
All this being said, just relinking a loose fit barrel with the same size barrel link still does nothing for improving barrel lock up or the mechanical accuracy in a 1911 style gun.
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Old March 31, 2005, 12:08 AM   #30
Dave Sample
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Well OK. Sorry.
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Old March 31, 2005, 01:18 AM   #31
Handy
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Quote:
All this being said, just relinking a loose fit barrel with the same size barrel link still does nothing for improving barrel lock up or the mechanical accuracy in a 1911 style gun.
I was given to believe that it isn't the AMOUNT of lockup, but the consistency of lockup. It also strikes me that a link with tighter hole dimensions would contribute to longitudinal stability, and therefore repeatability.

Maybe one of you gentlemen can help me remember the name of a prominent '70s gunsmith who built very accurate, and loose 1911s. I wonder what he would say about the effect of a good link?



BTW, I really dislike it when we have the pleasure of having two knowledgeable gunsmiths disagreeing, and they just back off. The rest of us can learn much from BOTH of you telling your story and sticking to your guns. I give both of you credit for being pro builders (not just self proclaimed tuners), and would like to hear Dave make his point about links. If both of you are polite, there is no problem with disagreeing. But there is a problem if this board ISN'T the appropriate place for such a disagreement. On the contrary, it is the BEST place to disagree.
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Old March 31, 2005, 09:30 AM   #32
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Handy,
You are correct about a barrels lockup must be consistant. That being said a loose fit barrel will not be consistant and lock up in the same place every time. If that was the case no one including my mentor would have wasted time welding and refitting the barrels in the old Colts. You are also on the right path about the barrel link. That being said the point is, if you have a loose fit barrel, which the link is part of the equation just changing the link with the same size link changed nothing in the barrel lockup so the barrel is still inconsistant in its lockup.
I know of no pistolsmith that will claim a loose fit barrel to be accurate, the old Ransom rest will prove that every time.
Now my mentor did claim that slide to frame fit was not as important as some may think it is, maybe this is what you are thinking about when talking of a gun being loose.
Also I'm not here to spar with Dave or anyone , I'm just stating facts from what I know has been proved and taught to me.
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Old March 31, 2005, 10:16 AM   #33
Handy
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I'll find the gent's name who built loose guns.


I'm unsure why you say that a barrel with loose upper lug engagement MUST be inconsistant. If the bushing is somewhat tight, the link and lower lugs bring the barrel to a consistant spot relative to the frame and there is steady forward pressure on the hood, what is inconsistant?
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Old March 31, 2005, 11:00 AM   #34
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I wish to thanks Bob for his input on this subject and to Handy for giving me a chance to say what I need to say to clear this matter up.
I never implied that a badly fit barrel/gun would benefit much by any improvement that I would make in a small way.
I used to do a new link and NM barrel Bushing for a minimum shop charge of $35.00 which included the bushing ($8.60) and the link ($3.00) in 1911's that were pretty decent factory guns that had a very loose bushing fit and a stamped out junk link. Believe it or not, I improved several Norincos with this simple fix. No. They were not bullseye guns. No. They were not the most accurate. But Yes, my clients were happy with the fix and the improvement.
Hunter Customs and Dave Sample:Pistolsmith are at the exact opposite end of the 1911 business. I doubt if there is anything about 1911's that we agree about because I did not make my bones as a factory gun tweaker. I am not a welder. I am not a machinist. I do not believe in applying heat to any part of a 1911. I do not believe in the barrels he seems to like and do not use them in what I do. I do not build Custom Commander size guns. ( One exception: The GEN C E LEMAY 45 SS Commander size 1911). I do not like guide rods in Commanders but love them in Toy Guns. Bob and I are both good men but trained under different circumstances. I am self taught. he was taught by an old time smith who did things the best way they could back then and I have no problem with that. He is still in business, I am not. I think that is it very healthy to see the different aspects of 1911 work that he and I talk about here for the rest of the members of this forum. I am assuming that we can both feel free to disagree, but still be civil about it. There are as many ways of viewing The Art of the 1911 as there are Pistolsmiths. I disagree with his view on slide to frame fit also. I think this is one of the most important aspects of a Custom 1911 Build. I think EVERYTHING need to be tight!

Relative to welding up barrels, I have pictures here of that kind of work done by a member of the American Handgunner's Club 100 Best who has butchered two barrels with the weld and cut deal. I used to have one done by a big time smith in the Denver area that was brazed with brass in the hood and lug area. I consider that a very crude way to do things in 2005. Back then, they had no choice. The two barrels that I have here were done in the last 10--12 years so there was no excuse for doing them except to save a buck. I know the man personally and he used to be a pal of mine. You will never know who he is from me, but let me say that I was very sad to see such work come out of his shop.

So I will continue to do things my way and Bob will contimue to do things his way and I am sure that all of our efforts will be OK with the people we do work for. It is a strange business full of many different ways to get to the same basic result. A Very Nicely Done 1911 Semi-Automatic Pistol.
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Old March 31, 2005, 03:08 PM   #35
Dave Sample
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Just thought you might want to see some pictures if this new barrel fitting style with the weld and cut deal



Here's the 38 Super Colt '70 series barrel. Nice job job those lower lugs. Huh?


Top View looks nice.



Then it gets strange with the slide stop treatment.



Here is two of these dandy's, one 38. one 45.



Look at the hole in the links

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Old March 31, 2005, 03:14 PM   #36
Dave Sample
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The top barrel is one I fit that has about 50,000 rounds through it.



hey! Is that my armorer's mark on the disconnector rail? Wow!



Well folks, it kind of makes me glad I am not a "Me Too Guy". I have never been a "Joiner". I hope you enjoy the pictures.
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Old March 31, 2005, 03:16 PM   #37
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Oh by the way. Here is a shot of the two of them with theior rescpective slide stops. Sad, huh?

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Old March 31, 2005, 11:30 PM   #38
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Handy
A loose fit barrel is just that loose fit and never goes back to the same lockup all the time.
Three critical areas in good barrel fit at the back of the barrel are, hood area both sides and back, radial lugs on the top of the barrel, lower lug which includes the link and slide stop pin. For a barrel to be consistant these three areas must fit very well. If one is loose it can cause the other to be loose which will give inconsistant barrel lockup.
A good example of this was in the 80's when Colt was getting several complaints about the radial lugs in the slide and on the barrel being rolled and in some cases sheared. What caused this was poor fit barrels. Not only did the loose fit barrels have poor accuracy but they were also damaging parts because they were creating timing issues in the gun.
In conclusion for a gun to shoot the kind of groups like the one in the picture of the target I posted, it will need to be of good quality, hard fit both front and rear.
By the way the barrel that shot the group was an Ed Brown barrel.
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Old March 31, 2005, 11:35 PM   #39
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Systima
Erm, Dave, didn't you say if you can't spell it you shouldn't work on it? Remember the "drimmel" thing?

Sorry, couldn't resist

PS: it's "sistema"
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Old March 31, 2005, 11:51 PM   #40
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Dave,
I'm not sure what your pictures are suspose to represent poor welding or poor workmanship on fitting of the barrels. Either way they are not even close to one done the right way.
The barrel on the bottom does not have enough dwell time on the lower lug. The way it's cut it would make the gun out of time and respond like a blow back action. It also appears to be bent.
The top barrel is not quite so bad but it appears to not have enough material in the feet area of the lower lug for a good lockup and the link appears to not have enough clearence to clear the radius of the lower lug.
I've seen high quality match grade barrels that looked as bad as the two you have pictured all because the people that were trying to fit them did not know what they were doing.
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Old April 1, 2005, 09:45 AM   #41
Handy
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Bob,

I think you realize that your response absurdly avoids the question. Or do you actually believe that the countless loose fitting 1911s out there (as originally built) are all eating their lugs like that bad run of Colts?


The question was: Can a well fitted link improve accuracy? Your answer suggests you have no experience with the question. I'm certain you are very good at producing tightly fitted 1911s, but for you to disagree with Dave on this point you'd actually have to have some firsthand knowledge. And saying that a loose gun will just destroy itself does not suggest you have that knowledge.

Further, the mention of timing also suggests you haven't thought about this. The only real way to create a timing issue is with an overly long link.
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Old April 1, 2005, 11:45 AM   #42
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Handy catches me every time! I used to be married to a Catholic Girl who could spell any word there was, but she is long gone and my spelling has suffered a great deal. Thanks for keeping me on the straight and narrow. I no longer own one of those things so I couldn'r look at the slide to check spelling! I will make a note of the correct spelling and I won't shoot one again until I can spell it right!
Bob is right about lock up. He knows that it affects accuracy. To install a gunsmith Kart NM Barrel in a factory gun would be about $225.00 labor and about $ 180.00 for the barrel, bushing, link, and pin. I am slow and careful so it takes about three hours of my time and I charge $75.00 per hour. I would require a very well built , tight gun to start with or I would not waste my time or my client's money. That would give the shooter about 2-3 inches at 50 Yards. The $35.00 fix with a decent gun would deliver about 4-5 inches at that distance. Take your pick! I could do it either way, and did. I will stand by what I said to start with. Most factory guns can be improved by the intallation of a new link, a new link pin, and a NM Barrel Bushing. Take it or leave it, or argue about it. Makes no difference to me!
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Old April 1, 2005, 12:10 PM   #43
Handy
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Jeez, Dave. I don't correct spelling. That was Romulous.
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Old April 1, 2005, 12:17 PM   #44
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Jeez, Dave. I don't correct spelling. That was Romulous.
Okay, now that was funny!
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Old April 1, 2005, 01:59 PM   #45
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Handy,
I'm not sure if you want an honest answer or are just trolling. Maybe I misunderstood what you were asking but my knowledge of 1911 guns goes much further than what you believe. That being said I do not claim to know it all, but over the years I have gained a reasonable amount of knowledge of 1911 guns. I'm not avoiding answering any question, I was trying to explain barrel fit but I take it thats not what you are interested in. To answer the question you just ask. Does a well fit barrel link improve accuracy in a 1911 gun? To some degree yes. I believe my original comment on this was, if a barrel link is changed for another barrel link of the same size on a loose fit barrel it does nothing to improve the mechanical accuracy in a 1911 gun. I'm not sure what part of that statement you can't comprehend. Now to go further in hopes that you can comprehend what I'm saying, I do concur with Dave, a well fit barrel bushing will improve accuracy in a 1911 to some degree. If memory serves me correctly I do not ever recall saying it did not.
Now my question is. If a barrel is loose in areas other than the link and bushing what makes you think the lock up is consistant?
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Old April 1, 2005, 02:43 PM   #46
Handy
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Now my question is. If a barrel is loose in areas other than the link and bushing what makes you think the lock up is consistant?
Browning lock up relies on the barrel being held between several fixed points, which I'm sure we both agree on. In the original 1911 design (pre gunsmithing), those points might be summerized this way:

1. Bushing: Provides vertical and lateral stability to the front of the barrel. Provides no longitudinal or fore/aft stability.

2. Lower lug and link: Provides the forward limit of the barrel and slide, as well as longitudinal stability because the link is pulling the two lower lugs down and level against the slide stop pin. This also provides vertical stability to the back of the barrel, but little lateral stability since the frame cut and lower lug have some lateral play and are well below centerline.

3. Hood: Provides the forward pressure on the barrel to allow the link to time the barrel into the upper slide lugs. Provides no longitudinal stability (unfitted).

4. Upper lugs: Provides fixed fore and aft lockup to insure consistant headspace during cycle. They provide no lateral or longitudinal stability.

5. Slide and barrel: The curved upper surfaces mate to provide lateral stability.


When you fit a barrel in 1911 you are not doing something that wasn't being done before. Now you are ADDING increased longitudinal stability with an oversized hood, and increasing the horizontal stability by greatly increasing the down force on the lower lug using the slide. But looking at the "loose" 1911s design you can see that all the elements of consistancy are there, if play is kept out of the link, bushing and foreaft upper lugs.


Your statement about "same size link" is the confusing part. Same length - if it is the correct length to begin with, then that is the link to use, and that length is determined solely by the lower lug surface (if the barrel lugs are also in spec). But the size of the link HOLES determine the amount of play both vertically and longitudinally that will be seen between slide stop and lower lug. THAT is the point of using a nicer link, and why I (and Dave, I guess) believe a tightly fitted link with no play will increase consistancy.


The 1911 slide/barrel relationship is fairly unique - one of the only Browning type pistols where the barrel tilts out of horizontal to lock, but is level with the slide in the unlocked position. Gunsmiths like yourself have developed some fairly drastic and interesting methods to make the original design work in a fundamentally different way than intended and have netted accuracy results that are as good as other, simpler designs that don't require hand fitting. My hat is off to you, but don't confuse the work you do with all the other ways of achieving consistancy. One has only to look at the seemingly sloppy "lock up" of a P38 or Beretta 92 to realize that consistancy can be had without the expense of extremely small clearances. The no clearance method works, but one can also keep the clearances where they matter least and tighten up the parts that do the most work.


FYI, I'm called lots of things, but rarely troll.
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Old April 1, 2005, 06:42 PM   #47
Dave Sample
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Jeeeze Handy! I now have cable and this thing is so fast it skipped to you and I did it again. I am going to have to go back to dial-up if this keeps up. I am really sorry I get you mixed up here. I still think it was a funny post and we have to give him five points for it. And take away five atta-boys for my mistake!
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Old June 14, 2006, 04:17 PM   #48
UH1-D Rotorhead
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Storm Lake Springfield Armory 1911 kit

Purchased 3 SLM 45 acp barrels....finish is superb, equal to my Bar-Sto, and the price ($89.00) each with link and SS bushing was too good to pass; anyway, I purchased these barrels to replace the 2 piece SA barrels in my GI and Mil-specs, which I have mildly customized with all the internals dumped for Ed Brown, Caspian, and Wilson parts, MS housings replaced with S&A arched checkered SS, and solid alum triggers; the barrels "dropped in" as advertised, with only a vigorous cycling of the slide 20-30 times to insure proper seating of the lugs. The fit is definitely tighter than the factory barrel, but not so much so to cause problems when racking the slide. Put 250 rounds through one of the pistols without a hitch. Is there such a thing as Drop in?
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Old June 16, 2006, 03:38 PM   #49
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Changing link length toa longer one typivcally results in the barrel ridinh the link.
Instead of the barrel feet pushing it into the slide, the link does the pushing.
It is not really designed for this and a broken link is usually the eventual outcome.
If there is enough depth on the lugs to shorten the link, and then cut the barrel feet again, you can improve the vertical lockup.
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Old June 16, 2006, 10:07 PM   #50
lubaloy
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How the heck will removing even more material 'improve the vertical lockup'?
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