View Full Version : 1911 Slide rails redo?

March 27, 2001, 11:52 AM
My grandfather has an 1911 he picked up in WWII, and wants to give it to me. One of the slide rails on the frame is screwed up pretty severely, the other is rather beat up. He thinks his Garand landed on the frame (he always disables his weapons, i think he took the slide off the 1911 to keep my dad from playing with it) when they both feel out off a shelf in the basement onto the concrete floor (Thanks Dad), but he doesnt really remember.

I'd love to make it functional again, and i think the best way to do this would be to have a smith weld extra metal onto the slide rails, and mill them again (both of the rails on the frame). How much would this cost? I'd rather not get a new frame, this pistol helped my grandfather through the war and I would really like to keep the same gun in the family.


March 27, 2001, 12:35 PM
Just thinking out loud here, but if you intend to use the gun (otherwise why the trouble of fixing the rails) I'd be careful about welding new metal. The frames and slides are forged and heat treated steel...weld steel is soft: can you actually repair frames and slides this way? We're not talking dust cover, here...

Just wondering, I'd look into it carefully before going ahead with this repair strategy...

March 27, 2001, 12:55 PM
I've heard of smiths welding the rails and then remilling, but that was on frames with a bad fit, not something as bad as the frame rail being beat to crap by a Garand.

I've never even seen the gun, my Grandfather just mentioned that someone (my dad is the most likely suspect) had managed to damage it while probably trying to get the Garand to play with. This happened at least 35 years ago, so nobody really remembers what exactly happened.


March 27, 2001, 02:50 PM
Cntact George Smith at EGW in Doylestown, PA. He is the guru for welding, especially on 1911s. He is used by many big name custom smiths to repair "accidents" or correct factory defects. His work and his word are impecable. You will not be disapointed with his work.


March 27, 2001, 03:04 PM
Man, i used to live in Doylestown, my extended family still does. I'll have to sneak away from a family reunion some day over the summer and see what he can do.


Ken Cook
March 29, 2001, 01:07 PM
Don't go in to the Smith saying "I need this welded up."
Only consider it as a possibility.
Unless the frame rails are SEVERELY damaged, it may be possible to just "de-burr" and re-assemble.

Sure, it will look scary, with big hunks of metal missing out of the rails, but as long as there is ENOUGH rail, you'll have no problem.

Sadly, this isn't a judgement call you can make on your own, but make sure the smith understands that you'd consider the option.

Anytime you can avoid putting heat on a 1911 frame, AVIOD it! There are so many things that can be screwed up by poor heat application, first you'll blow the temper and either make some part crystallize or maybe another area will be dead soft and peen with firing,(these are the extremes) or the frame can warp from the heat and screw up critical dimensions, etc.

Much safer to avoid putting heat at all unless you're dealing with a REAL PRO who has heat treat facilities and guarantees his work.

EGW is just such a place according to all I've heard about them.