Sunday, August 29, 2010

God is in the details.

Over at the Advanced Armament Corporation blog, there's a picture of a custom 1911 frame just back from hard-chroming.

While it's really hard to gauge workmanship without holding the thing in your hand, I'd like to point out several nice details:
  • See the fine serrations on the rear face of the slide rails? Those will match up to serrations on the rear of the slide. The rationale is to give a non-glare surface facing towards the shooter, making it easier to pick up a good sight picture.
  • Note how the end of the slide stop is countersunk. This is supposed to prevent a trigger finger indexed high on the frame from inadvertently pushing the stop out to where it could tie up the gun.
  • Instead of a sharp corner to the bottom rear of the frame and mainspring housing, see how everything is nicely rolled under and blended? This helps keep cover garments from snagging on that corner without having to go to the extremes of a "bobtail" treatment.
While none of these features is necessary (and I personally don't even prefer the serrations or checkering on the rear face of the slide,) it's little details like this, if competently executed, that separate the sheep from the goats, all else being equal.

(H/T to Robb.)


Dave said...

Seems like a pretty long thumb safety.

The Jack said...

Safety is also rather wide.

Last pic shows it at a good angle.

Yeah, without acutally feeling it, all you're left with is the detailing.

Mossyrock said...


Any idea who is doing their Hard Chrome? I used to used Tripp, but he got out of the business.

Tam said...

"Seems like a pretty long thumb safety."

"Safety is also rather wide."

Again, it's hard to tell from the one angle they show, but it appears to be a standard extended thumb safety; long enough to shoot with your thumb atop it, but not wide like a racegun "gas pedal".

Also, note the orientation of the slots in the grip screw heads: Attention To Detail makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside... :)

theirritablearchitect said...

I'm going to look around for this next bit, as I've never thought to actively study the area before; The bottom of the slide release has been grooved, possibly for added purchase for assisting in the clearance of the (very, incredibly, absurdly?) rare type 3 malf?

Anyone else got something?

Ed Skinner said...


I could never have one *that* pretty -- I'd never want to shoot it.

perlhaqr said...

Those are nice grips. :)

Matt G said...

As someone with REALLY long thumbs, I like the long extended thumb safety, but I like them thinner than that. on the stainless ones on my pistols, it was a simple thing to grind them thinner and then repolish them. On a hard-chrome job, it's a little more of an issue they seem wide.

The frame seems thick. My imagination?

How hard is it to push out the slide stop when you want to, without tools?

I wonder what it would look like with an arched mainspring housing (again, my preference, with my big hands)?

The work looks clean.

Jeff said...

Very nice, the only thing I can see that tweaks me is the hole under the thumb safety. Hard to cover if you have it set up for a high beavertail grip.

I want.

Steve Skubinna said...

Nice piece of metal - set off by some nice pieces of wood.

By itself, even without final assembly, that's a work of art. And that's one of the things that draws me to shooting, being able to handle something that so neatly (I hope) ties together engineering, design, and art.

Tam said...


That's a hard chrome finish; it's made for shooting. None of the stuff on that gun is for teh pretty, but rather all done for a purpose. Not shooting it would be like not using an Estwing for fear of scuffing the head.


That wood is pretty and all, but I'd prefer something with a bit of texture to it. I like blasted canvas micarta because my hands seem to stick to it a little better if they're kinda sweaty.


Id wager that frame thickness and thumb safety width are both as much an artifact of the photos as anything else. That soft lighting and the matte hard chrome make everything look soft and fluffy.

You can usually get a countersunk slide stop started with a bullet nose, cartridge rim, or a corner of the magazine if it's a little balky.


Yup. In addition to Type 3's, it'd also aid in routine administrative handling. Generally more important if the gun has a slick coating on it, like one of the bake-on teflon finishes. Serrating the bottom of the slide stop is cool and all, but the Greider and/or Wilson Bulletproof slide stops use a little horizontal tab that works just as well, and are about the best slide stops out there, to boot.

Ed Foster said...

I'm a bit leery of chrome. It lumps up something awful and has to be ground.

We use it on the grip safety for the shiny guns, but otherwise they're electroless nickel, with thicknesses of .0002 to .00025. That way it doesn't louse up all Marek's lovely lapping to fit work.

I'll look into the canvas Micarta and the Greider/Wilson slide stops, sounds cool.

Tam, someone in Nigeria or someplace has hacked my e-mail and changes the password, so it's lost to me forever. I sent you another e-mail addy. Could you resend the list of warm bodies looking for a day or two in CT in exchange for some ruthless criticism?
Thanks, Ed.

Anonymous said...

Mossyrock, FWIW, Bob Cogan at Accurate Plating and Weaponry is still doing hard chrome. He's got one of mine right now.

WV - bermat - me behind some dirt...

Al T.

Mossyrock said...


Thanks. Bob is at the top of my short list. He did some work for me several years ago, I think he will get the nod this time.

Anonymous said...

Baa, Baa.

I am impressed you know Estwing.
The world looks like a nail when all you have is a hammer