Sunday, September 16, 2007

Beware Og:

Him bad for mental health

Note to self: next time Og says "Make it", do two things:
1. Ignore him.
2. Drive up to wherever the hell it is he lives and shoot him.

This being brought on by a project. I wrote a while back of having picked up a Sistema, the Argentine 1911A1. This one has a mismatched slide & frame numbers, so I decided to do some work on it. New sights, trigger job, flare the mouth of the mag well a bit, refinish with either bluing or something like Duracoat. And a new barrel. This one has some pitting in the grooves, shoots quite well with jacketed bullets but fouls fast and bad with cast.

I mentioned this to Og. I've lightened the trigger a bit(needs more work) and used wet/dry 220grit paper to clean up the finish, such as it was.

The first thing it needs is better sights. Better for me, at least, that thin, rounded front blade is a pain to see in all but bright light. I asked Og for opinions on a set, and he suggested making a wider front blade and keeping the original rear. Which sounded like a fine idea, me being one of those idiotshandy people who likes to do things himself. Which is what led to my considering violence.

The original design of the 1911, in the slide is a slot with a hole in the bottom. The sight thins where it meets the barrel so the base fits in the slot and a tenon on the bottom goes through the hole. You set things in place, then set the slide upside down on something solid and use a special chisel to upset the tenon to fill the hole, locking the sight in place. Taking it out means cutting some of the tenon out(I used a dremel with a small ball-end diamond bit) and then grabbing the blade and pulling it out. So far, so good.

Making the new blade... This was one time I really wished I had access to a milling machine. Let's just say that with a hacksaw and files, it took two tries, then had to make a tool to set the tenon. By the time this was done, I was saying unkind things about Og and wondering about having a machinist cut a dovetail in the slide. But it got done, and I fired it today. 50 rounds through, and it's still there, no sign of loosening.

It actually looks better than this, I'd just filed it down a bit and hadn't wiped the filings off.

I widened the notch in the rear sight to match up with the wider blade, and it works pretty well. Down the road I might get a set of white-dot sights, though if I do that I will have a dovetail cut so I have a wider selection available.

A while back Xavier pointed me to a site with some 'how to fit a barrel' information, so when that time comes I've got a good idea of how. The mag well I know how to do, and I can either blue it or Duracoat it with no problem. I'll dig out the trigger job instructions I found at and go the whole route next, the trigger breaks clean but is heavier than I want.

One of these days I'll finish this thing. I think it'll work out pretty well.

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