Friday, January 10, 2014

Stop! Hammer time!

While I was at TAC in Knoxville, I got some pictures of an "Assembled In Portugal" High Power getting a beavertail welded up to protect the owner from getting blood all over his nice pistol. It was a pretty handy bit of welding and blending. If I had a High Power, I'd probably have had them do it just because.
Click to embiggenate.
As an aside, there's a valuable lesson here. See, the owner had already had the gun heavily customized: barrel, sights, Cylinder & Slide lockwork and safety, Cerakote finish, and a partridge in a pear tree. Then when he went out to shoot the gun, it ate up the web of his hand and he brought it back in for the beavertail, which is going to require the frame being re-finished again.

Unless your gun is stainless, it's easiest on the wallet if you do all the metalwork you think you're going to need to do all at once. If you're just going to have it done in a rattle-can finish like Duracote or whatever, it's not too bad, but if you've got to get it re-parked or re-blued more than once, it can be rough on your wallet and the gun.

16 comments:

Scott J said...

I'm just glad I'm not the only one who spends money smithing budget guns.

I spent $100 (and built up a large favor debt) having a trigger job and a little throat work done on a Charles Daly 1911.

It started out at $75 and went up another $25 because it required a replacement trigger because the OEM was so sloppy hammer follow could be induced depending on how you pulled it.

It was then we discovered the trigger hole in the frame was grossly out of spec. Not to mention the pin geometry being wrong that was discovered in round one of the work.

Worse still I've not shot it much since work was completed because I discovered the firing pin stop wants to fall out and haven't taken the time to see if the spring is bad or if I need to dimple the stop.

Phil said...

Ahhh, the pointy horn thing on the end again......


LMAO! I am never going to let myself live that one down.

Anyways, that looks like a pretty delicate welding job. TIG I assume?

I can't see trying to blast away with multiple spot welds from a MIG wire feed.

Also some delicate grinding involved there along with some extensive polishing.

I bet that was expensive.

Frank W. James said...

If my first love is N-frames, then my second love is High Powers. However, I've always had the frame extension silver soldered on and not welded because the steel in a High Power frame is 'softer' than that found on many 1911's. They aren't the same and welding unless it's really done right will crack.....eventually.

As for the hammer bite remediation, there are other alternatives like a different hammer or changing its geometry. Laughridge worked over one of my custom jobs and it no longer bites, but it will sometimes pinch...

All The Best,
Frank W. James

Phil said...

I didn't even think about silver solder.
Interesting.

Scott J said...

"second love is High Powers"

After I made peace with the Europellet in 2009 :)

I considered adding a Hi-Power to the collection but then I look at my CZ 75B and think "well, i guess the cheap Eurotrash cousin is close enough".

Joseph said...

This is why I have a 1911 in the safe that looks like it lost a fight to a belt sander. If I'm ever happy with it, I'll get it refinished.

Windy Wilson said...

Yes, it's important to do things in the correct order. I wound up doing the electrical service box three times because I had no real plan for the house refurbishment besides "do the inside work first".

Steve Skubinna said...

I have at times seriously considered repainting my old Suzuki Samurai with Duracoat. Because, awesome and tactical! Maybe DigiCam? Swiss Alpenflage? Rhodesian?

But check what it costs to get enough for a couple guns and multiply that by what you'd need for a car, even a little one like the Zook and uh... reality hits.

Robin said...

Its also a lesson that sometimes the basics are better done than the more esoteric customizations.

Tam said...

Robin,

"Its also a lesson that sometimes the basics are better done than the more esoteric customizations."

I'm not following you here?

CMonster said...

Hmmm my Hi-Power never bit me in all those years...

And for Steve Skubinna, I see Jeeps out here with Rhino Lining instead of paint, for the rock crawler version of tacticool.

jefferson101 said...

I don't know if I'm just lucky, or have a properly sized hand, but I have had exactly one case of hammer bite in my entire pistol shooting career.

Just to note, I own at least four handguns, including two BHP's, that the original owners sold because they couldn't shoot them without getting chomped by the hammer. I've got big fat fingers, but the web of my thumb is very close set. I guess that once more, I just have to grin about having selected good genetics in my forbears and go on happily.

Tam said...

Some people might need to choke up more on the gun. I'm just sayin'... ;)

The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit said...

I have scars on the scars on the scars from the combination of HP Bite and repeatedly thinking that maybe THIS PPK wouldn't leave tracks on me, demonstrating optimism winning out over experience again and again and again.

My HP now wears a No Bite hammer from Cylinder & Slide and hasn't been a problem. But there's this PPK at the local pawn shop.....

Robin said...

Tam, I think I meant its best to figure out whether basics on a handgun work or not, and fix those, before rushing into getting the partridge in the pear tree.

Paul from Canada said...

I dunno....

Seems expensive to do that rather than just install a ring hammer.

I'm sure SARCO, or MARSTAR or whatever Numerich calls themselves now would have a surplus Euro-military or Canadian Inglis hammer for cheap.