Thursday, May 20, 2010

Building the perfect beast.

Over time, I have accumulated a few things here and there... A Rock River 1911 frame, a set of Cylinder & Slide lockwork, a Videcki trigger, odds and sods like that.

I've got to the point where I have the whole bottom end of a 1911, in pieces, and all I need is the top end. I figured I'd leave it with the folks at CCA on this visit, to be assembled into a complete pistol.

I know I'm going to go with a Kart barrel.

Thing is, they're fresh out of slides at the moment. I know I'm going to have to order one, so which one should I get? This whole gun is going to be pretty top shelf, and I don't really want to go with Caspian...

28 comments:

RobertM said...

Fusion, maybe? I admit I don't really know enough to offer advice, but I was looking at their stuff recently and it *seems* nice.

Jim said...

What's your bid on a pretty-in-Parker 1911AI Colt slide, with professionally installed Micros and a four-digit slide number which, along with the sights, may, just may, indicate AMU or NMU pedigree? :)

And how the heck does a person wind up with an extra frame? I always have top ends for which I covet bottoms.

Peter said...

Why not call a couple of top pistolsmiths (Clarks in Louisiana, Ted Yost in AZ, etc.) and ask them for recommendations? They work with top-end components all the time, and they'd probably be able to give you good ideas.

FWIW, Clark went with the Caspian Damascus steel slide for their limited-edition 50th anniversary 1911's. (They hand-fitted the slides to the frames, of course.) I've seen and handled one. Very nice.

Weer'd Beard said...

another +1 for the Caspian Damascus. I Heard Damascus 1911s! I will own one someday!

pdb said...

These guys seem to have a good selection of slides, and they're forged.

pdb said...

Doh, that RobertM guy beat me to it.

RevolverRob said...

STI or Fusion if you can deal with the ugly slide serrations. One thing about Caspian, at least their serrations look right.

Just out of curiosity, why not Caspian?

-Rob

Ed Foster said...

If you wanted a slide, you should have said so:-)

We only make the .063 diameter firing pin, not the .093 most people use for .45acp. The .063 hits harder, but the barrel has to really be fitted up well so that the pin indentation hit center. You can be a lot sloppier with the big .093 pin.

Folks differ on the practicality of titanium or steel for a pin, but we're using an alloy with 4% aluminum and 6% vanadium that is 3 times stronger (we can solution age it) and has no spalling problem.

I have a set up piece with Bomar type rear sight cut. The rear sight cut is about .030 too far to the rear, but otherwise it's totally clean. The only thing is it isn't as quick if you're using a Commander hammer with the Bomar overhang to the rear. Easy fix, I'll add one of our skeletonized hammers.

Do me a favor. Get somebody with a flange micrometer (lip mic, paper mic, disk mic, samo-samo) to give me a thickness reading on the rails of your reciever. Tenths if possible, to the nearest half thousanths if not. I'll diddle in the slide tracks to just within lapping distance.

Ed Foster said...

And get the Kart Quick-Fit. They're actually no faster to set up than a conventional link job, but those two fitting bumps between the lugs locate the barrel nicely inside the slide, keeping ir from working up a lopsided drag situation.

Call up Fred Kart and ask him for Continental's manufacturer's discount. It's a lot. I'll e-mail him when you're ready, and have it all prepped as a professional courtesy thing.

perlhaqr said...

Ed: Are you sure you don't have those percents flip-flopped? 6Al4V is a much more common Ti alloy.

I've got a ring made out of it. Pain in the arse to work, too, it was.

A damascus slide sounds awesome. I've got a ring made out of that stuff, too. It was less of a pain to work than the Ti. ;)

Mad Saint Jack said...

I know nothing about 1911s except I think Ed Brown's guns are really cool.

So I would find out what slides he uses. (Does he make his own?)

Rabbit said...

I've seen the Caspian Damascus slides. I'd sure be tempted to use one.

Even Novak uses them.

http://www.novaksights.com/images/GUNS/caspian/damascus04show-l0895.jpg

George said...

I'm with Jim and Peter on this. Ted Yost/Clarks? Also, some flavor of NM slide/bbl is the best!
If you get a little more adventurous, get an unfitted bushing, and some emery paper, and hand fit the barrel yourself. Took me about 5 hours, by hand, no Dremel.

Ed Foster said...

Perlqhar: Shame on me, you're 100% right, I had them flipped. Lovely stuff once it's finished. Instead of the usual 45-50k tensile it heat treats up to 150k, and it's not bad to work with in the unheattreated state, assuming you know how to pickle it to work through the surface bark.

We use it for firing pins and hammer struts. I got a little crazy when I found out the aerospace side of the shop had scads of the stuff.

Eventually I want to make lots of the little bitty parts out of 6Al4V.

Appreciate the kick in the shin. When I'm writing from work, my speed goes way up and my concentration and spelling go to hell in a handbasket.

Matt G said...

If you're having your fave gunsmith fit the slide, then the maker isn't as important, as long as the tolerances are on the tight side. I remember when the first Charles Dalys were hitting the market, lots of gunsmiths were buying them to hand-fit, and making sweet raceguns with them. Basically, they were buying semiworked billits.

Joseph said...

I thought Caspian made Fuzion's slides, perhaps I'm mistaken.

Geodkyt said...

I guess the $109 "Best Quality Commerical Slides"from Sarco are out of the question?

{duck}

Anonymous said...

Way to go Ed...gosh...gush...

Gewehr98 said...

Curious about Tam's dislike of Caspian, too...

(My Caspians wear Kart barrels, so it's not a fit issue between those two components)

Anonymous said...

Caspian is not what it was, and what it was was honest value for the price, never best quality goodies in the box.

They have had some serious quality problems this past year or two, and it has cost them. Ask any custom gunsmith.

Tam said...

"They have had some serious quality problems this past year or two, and it has cost them. Ask any custom gunsmith."

This.

Casting voids. Pin holes in the wrong places. Other issues...

John B said...

I knew Tam would have a good reason to not want a Caspian Slide.

After all, She's the girl who put the tickle in Tactical.

OrangeNeck said...

Want to buy my .22 cal. Kimber conversion kit for the top end?

Gewehr98 said...

Did not know that about Caspian of late. In my IPSC days, they were considered top-notch. Hence my building custom IPSC and carry rigs using Caspian frames and slides, and confusion regarding the dislike. Learn something new every day, I guess...

Tam said...

Yup, CCA started their run of high-end customs three years back using Caspian-sourced frames and slides, and pretty much gave up on them early this year. Too many issues.

It can be disheartening to start checkering a frontstrap, discover a casting void, and pretty much have to scrap the frame as it's just not up to snuff for a bucks-up custom.

Anonymous said...

Try Les Baer for your slide. Since the RRA guys came from there it should be a pretty good match.

wv: lessers

Ed Foster said...

Les Baer makes THE. BEST. FACTORY. 1911. IN. THE. BUSINESS! That from a soon to be competitor.

I've been busting to make a weapon equal to his in quality and cheaper, since we make pretty much everything in-house. But nobody is going to make a better factory built gun than that crusty old curmudgeon does.

Actually, everyone we know in common says he's a hoot to know, except where his guns are concerned.

And our background in 1911's is with the Larson brothers who own RRA, and we also have made many a slide and frame for Colt (not as tight as the RRA's). I learned a hell of a lot from Mark and Chuck Larson, and they are two of the more fun people around to drink and party with.

I know something about the weapon, and I have to take my hat off to Mr. Baer. He is the maestro. I intend to give him some stiff competition, but he sets a high threshold, and I will have to stay on my toes.

DirtCrashr said...

I think you should go with an old Argie slide, full D.G.FM.-(F.M.A.P.) for character, but cut it up the way you want for sights. But I'm weird so nevermind.