View Full Version : Newby Questions. (gun tuning)

Ken Cook
August 6, 2001, 02:06 AM
Howdy Cowboys!
While I've been a member of TFL for a long time, this is my first occasion to visit the CAS forum. When it comes to anything other than a Ruger Super Blackhawk, I am a rank novice on single action pistols, I've found that I have "the bug" for CAS and I've got QUESTIONS!

For our anniversary, my wife just bought me a NIB EMF New Dakota with 4 3/4 barrel, .45LC with .45acp spare cylinder.

I've put about 100 rounds of .45LC through it, and I'm in love.
(Please tell me my love is not misplaced and that this is a good gun?)

Now for the questions.

1. Supposedly this is a Colt SAA Clone. How close a clone is it? Is there true 100 percent parts interchagablility?

2. I don't like the aluminum triggerguard and backstrap, can I get brass or steel replacements? Is one a better choice than the other? Either way, where could I find these parts if they exist?

3. The Sear and Trigger screws do not reach all the way through the frame, falling short of flush by approx. 1/16th to 3/32nds. Is this normal or do I need to replace these screws?

4. Trigger pull weight remains untested so far, but it has a very clean break and feels good to my finger, but I feel it needs to be a bit lighter. Should I do a spring swap or is hammer/sear work a better choice. (I am a Marine Corps trained Gunsmith, just no experience with the SA arms for obvious reasons.) If hammer/sear work is recommended, where can I find specs on engagement, angles etc?

5. Have only shot informal plinking, no groups on paper yet. (I rushed out to the range, I was excited!) :D However, windage and elevation seem to be dead at 15 yards with "cowboy loads" (loaded by a local commercial reloader) 255 grain lead bullet, unknown powder charge, but recoil is mild. When I choose my accuracy load for this pistol, should I sight it for 15 or 25 yards or other?

6. Oh yes, forgot one...
On parts interchangability, I also don't care for the aluminum ejector shroud, is there a steel replacement available? If so, where? DOH! (Ignore this one, just did a magnet check, it's steel!):rolleyes:

I know this is a lot of questions for one post, but I'm excited and fired up, and I can't wait to tear into it!

ANY help will be much appreciated,

August 6, 2001, 04:16 PM
There are a number of sources for brass or steel trigger and back straps. I believe EMF, Navy Arms, and Gun Parts all sell replacement parts. Brass will be easest to fit, and won't need to be blued. The steel is often "in the white" (unfinished).

The screws should be at least even with the frame, or slightly longer.

Most parts will interchange with Colt, and other importer's SAA's.

There are a number of books that have instructions on SAA trigger jobs. One trick to lighten pull without a lot of work, involves putting a leather or plastic pad under the lower end of the mainspring. I think Brownell's sell a ready-made plastic one.
The pad lightens the spring pressure. I don't recommend grinding the spring, since it's too easy to go too far, and the spring will often break after being altered.

For instructions on trigger work, try looking at Brownell's book section, and check with the NRA. They used to have a book or two about gunsmithing.
Basic trigger work involves light polishing of all working parts and spring contact areas. Be very careful about working on hammer/trigger sear notches.

Ken Cook
August 7, 2001, 06:16 PM
Thanks Dfaris, much appreciated.

Does anyone have any links to good online dealers?

Alex Johnson
August 9, 2001, 11:58 PM
I'd stay away from doing anything more than changing out the springs or using the pad trick. The main reason for this is that often times the internal parts on EMF firearms are a bit softer than they probably could be and they will wear in with time. If you take the metal off now you won't be able to put it back later when you might need it. I've had good luck on several colt clones by just taking off the roughness from the hammer and trigger with ceramic stones. I usually just plain stay away from the trigger nose and hammer notches and give the parts a light going over on the bearing areas. Since you have had experience you will understand what I mean. I have never done a job such as this where the pistol did not feel a lot smoother afterwards, and within a few hundred shots the trigger pull was a bit lighter too.

Ken Cook
August 10, 2001, 03:13 PM
Thanks Alex,
Actually, after doing a "teardown, inspect, clean & lube" and putting about 250 rounds through it, it's broken in very nicely and I agree, I don't think I'm going to do anything at all to the trigger, including changing the springs.

Also, FYI to anyone else out there,
I discovered that the backstrap and trigger guard are not aluminum, but to my happy surprise, solid brass with a black chrome plate. Should you dislike the bright mirror black of the chrome plate (as I do) you can simply buff the plating off and have a very attractive brass gripframe and trigger guard.

Thanks again for the help!