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Old October 20, 2008, 02:19 PM   #1
VAHunter
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Alloy 1911 frame question

I have a Kimber Pro CDP--4-inch barrel with alloy frame. I'm curious about the wear occuring at the feed ramp area of the frame. The frame is black anodized but there is now the silver of the aluminum coming through where it must get impacted by rounds being fed. Nothing major, but I'm curious if this is purely a cosmetic thing?

I've got another full sized Kimber with a steel frame and at least 3000 rounds through it. It shows zero wear at the ramp, but of course it's steel. I love shooting both but am now favoring the 5" steel gun at the range. I'd like to practice as much as poss with the CDP as I carry it more as it's a great size and weight

Is wear on the feed ramp area of an alloy framed 1911 just part of having an alu frame? Should I just shoot away at the range or think more about a finite round count? Curious what kind of lifespan differences between a steel and aluminum framed 1911. Also...does ball ammo ding up the feed ramp of an alu gun less than HP's?
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Old October 20, 2008, 05:07 PM   #2
keys85
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I carry a STEAL pistol.

The finish on aluminum is thin and not durable (from my experiences). I would say that the issue with your feed ramp is cosmetic. Bullets are made out of lead, or copper, both of which are softer than aluminum.

Practicing with your carry gun is a good idea. The aluminum guns are nice for carry because of weight, but not practical in terms of taming recoil like a steal pistol or using the weapon as a club. Follow up shots are a plus.

Keep your eye on the frame where the slide stop inserts. Aluminum guns tend to crack there first. I think its safe to say steal pistols can obtain service lives of 100,000 rounds, and many out there nearly 100 years old, are still functioning. Aluminum guns - depending on if you're shooting hot defensive loads, or light target loads - can be found to start stress cracking at around 25,000 rounds.

Ball ammo or hollow point ammo wouldn't make a different.
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Old October 20, 2008, 05:31 PM   #3
Harry Bonar
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frame

Sir;
Yes, I'm sorry to say that an alloy frame willl eventially "dimple" in the feed ramp area and cause trouble. However, you need not be troubled becauise a good smith can mill for a piece of drill rod to be inserted and pinned and be shaped to the old feed ramp specs. I did one while working for Novaks 45 shop. You would need to find someone intimate with the 1911 to do it.
Harry B.
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Old October 20, 2008, 05:35 PM   #4
Jim Watson
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The usual suspect for rapid frame ramp marring on an aluminum gun is the magazine follower tipping forward on the last round. There are some designs made to prevent that. But bullets will do it eventually. As Harry says, when it gets beat out enough to affect function, a steel insert can be put in.
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Old October 20, 2008, 06:47 PM   #5
Slopemeno
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My lightweight 5" didnt do that, but I did use Magpac mags with a plastic follower, and I shot either ball or 200 grain SWC's.
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Old October 20, 2008, 07:48 PM   #6
orionengnr
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Quote:
I carry a STEAL pistol.
I hope you mean a STEEL pistol...

Now, back to the original question...
I have owned four Kimber alloy-framed 1911s (all bought used). I have had no problems with three of them, but I bought a Stainless Ultra Carry II that had been Bubba'ed...someone had sanded the feed ramp to improve feeding, and in so doing, had removed the hard anodizing. The soft aluminum was subsequently nipped-up by HP bullets, mag follower, etc. It wasn't pretty; actually, I was heartbroken when I saw it. I paid $750 for this pistol.

I did some looking, and found this:
http://forums.1911forum.com/showthre...ht=ramp+insert
after I called and talked to Chuck, I sent the frame in for this repair. The quality of the machine work was exceptional. I had them Cera-Kote the frame at the same time. It is now a poor man's Ultra CDP and is my favorite carry 1911. If I could only keep one of my seven 1911s, this one would be it.
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Old October 20, 2008, 07:53 PM   #7
keys85
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No, definitely a STEAL pistol. I paid $350 for a NIB springfield A1.
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Old October 20, 2008, 08:03 PM   #8
orionengnr
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Okay, that was a steal.

I own three steel Kimber 1911s (they are all great 1911s, but none was a steal), and don't carry any of them...but hey, that's my old, skinny, back-surgeried self talking...
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Old October 20, 2008, 08:31 PM   #9
VAHunter
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Alloy 1911 frame question

Thanks for the info, gentlemen. I'll keep shooting it. I guess that IS what I bought it for.

Harry--incidentally, my 5" Kimber came back recently from Novaks from getting the Novaks night sights refreshed. Got them installed and a nice trigger job 7 yrs ago.

This time I got silly and had them checker the front strap and install an ambi safety so my lefty wife can shoot it more easily, if needed. Another beautiful job, and...the black oxide refinish looks noticeably better than new from the factory. Nice job, fellas!
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Old November 3, 2008, 04:05 AM   #10
roklok
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The magazine follower is the main suspect, which has already been mentioned. You may find this link interesting:
http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=61318
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Old November 6, 2008, 12:50 AM   #11
DBR
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Aluminum alloy frames don't like hard jacketed hollow points. Gold Dots are good with their soft plated jackets. Some have suggested Corbon Powerball. These are +P pressure and may a bit hot for alloy frames.

EGW (Evolution Gun Works) does an excellent job of installing a steel feed ramp in an alloy frame.
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