View Full Version : Dehorning?

August 18, 2006, 03:06 PM
I was curious what kind of a file is used to dehorn a pistol? Specifically a Lightweight commander. If I can buy one I will dehorn the gun myself.

Metaloy Industries
August 18, 2006, 03:23 PM
Its not so much 'what' file you use but 'how' you use it. I have used an 8" Mill Bastard or a 6", #2 Cut pillar file. Go easy. You can always do more...you cannot put back on. After you get it feeling like you want, buff the filed areas on a buff or polishing wheel to blend out the file marks. This makes for a nice looking job. Good luck!

August 18, 2006, 05:32 PM
I would be very, very careful about dehorning a Lightweight Commander. The frame is anodized aluminum, and if you cut into the anodizing, you will need to have it re-anodized or coated. If you cut too far, you will be crying the blues.

Take a grease pencil and mark off the areas you intend to cut down. Then set it down for a few days, and go back and study it. Once you are sure, really sure, start work.

Use a fine file, and have a file card close by to keep it clean and cutting well. Get a pack of wet/dry silicon carbide paper and a can of light machine oil to wet it with.

When you do the work, only take off about 2/3 as much as you have marked with the file. When you use the cutting paper to smooth and blend the cut areas, you will take off the rest.

August 18, 2006, 07:06 PM
It's cheaper to have it sent out? If you make a mistake, you'll regret it.

September 1, 2006, 11:12 AM
DO NOT TOUCH THE FEED RAMP! Even if you are getting it refinished, the factory anodizing on the feed ramp is pratically impossable to replace and your ammo will eat the soft aluminum if you get an "expert" to beadblast your gun to refinish. I've got a Colt Lightweight Enhanced Officers Model that I'm planning on doing the same thing with, and I did a lot of research on it before I take the plunge. Best bet is to just dehorn edges and use the spray and bake gun finishes on the exterior only. Don't even get near the rails. You might have to invest in an airbrush, but that's cheaper than having a replacement feed ramp installed.

George R
September 1, 2006, 07:20 PM
I'd like to recommend you buy a installation jig. I have an Smith and Alexander from Brownell's (naturally), costs $11.50, and it's a no brainer. Two hardened steel buttons that you file or grind up to, and you really can't screw it up. I've done a lot of frames with this jig. You end up with a .250 radius that will work with S&A, Wilson, Entreprise, STI and Ed Brown beavertails.

Bill DeShivs
September 2, 2006, 02:06 AM
Sorry, but there is a lot more to this than filing. Sounds like you are about to ruin a very good gun. Let a professional do the job.

September 4, 2006, 08:03 AM
A dehorn is just a gentle breaking of edges.
I suggest a hard Arkansas stone, a flat and a round stick, and some fine crocus or emery cloth. Wrap the cloth around the sticks.

Just gently break edges with the stone or cloth, chanting "I can always take more off".

Do NOT, as warned above, take too much material away. If you are not prone to infinite patience most highly recommend professional help.

Gunsmith locator: www.americanpistol.com (and yes, there are many fine gunsmiths that do not belong to the Guild, but....)