Files/tools needed for grip safety blend

Discussion in '1911 Gunsmithing' started by sidewaysil80, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. sidewaysil80

    sidewaysil80 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    834
    Jan 29, 2014
    I've been spending weeks (literally) watching and studying videos of people blending their grip safeties. I have a Colt Rail Gun and an Ed Brown beavertail and I've finally worked up the courage to install/blend it.

    With that, I have a quick question. Can someone give a list of the files required for this? In videos it seems people are progressing through several files and then finishing with sandpaper. I'm unable to pick out exactly what files (shape/#) are being used and what grit to work down from. If someone could provide a list that would be GREATLY appreciated. In return I'll update this thread with my potentially botched DIY for laughs!

    Thanks!
    Tim
     
  2. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank

    Mar 13, 2017
    I re-read your post and took my reply down because cutting tangs on a 1911 like I did and fitting a beavertail may be totally different than what you are attempting.
     

  3. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    Honestly when I fit one it depends on the brand, what if any files I use. With a wilson type BGS and their fitting fixture more comes off the frame. With an EGW more comes off the grip safety it'self. With a colt I would suggest a John Harrison grip safety, was one of the easiest I ever fit to a colt. As far as files I just use a #4 nicholson mill ******* file, 220 grit, then down to 400 when I get closer, then either stone, or use JB Bore cleaning compound and oil to rub into place. Most just mill the tangs on their mill with a fixture which is where I am now heading. Since a good friend made me a fixture. Pic of the gun? Does it have an existing Beavertail? Or the old turn down grip safety?
     
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  4. 1911mechanik

    1911mechanik Christ is my front sight.

    783
    Apr 29, 2016
    I use some large bast-ard files to cut the heavy meat off so to speak then as I get close to the fixture I slow way down and use a #4 as well. I will tell you this.....do not completely trust your fixture. Stop short of filing it flush to the fixture. If you don't you'll regret it. Ask me how I know. Of course proceed slowly, marking and filing and trying to press the thumb safety pin through the hole in the frame. I use a pin of smaller diameter and work up to it. The good news is, if you use an Ed Brown to start with and make a mistake you can get a Harrison which is .010 smaller. If that doesn't work out you can go to a Wilson which is .220 and you can try yet again. Good luck. It's a pita but a cool thing to do nevertheless just don't get in a rush, it takes a long time. I use some small flat swiss files to take a little off after marking then move to 220, 320 and 400. Measure from the hole to the rear of the tang too. Sometimes doing it by hand you can take more off of one side than the other and it'll be uneven. You can spot this by being able to get the pin in on one side then not the other. Make sure to correct this so you don't have some wiggle in the grip safety.
     
  5. pistolwretch

    pistolwretch Dremel jockey Supporting Addict

    Aug 26, 2011
    Steve's advice is spot on.
    Learn to 'read' your ink.
     
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  6. sidewaysil80

    sidewaysil80 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    834
    Jan 29, 2014
    Awesome thanks for the advice! I’ll clarify and add pics later. On my way to daughters school play right now, but thanks again.
     
  7. sidewaysil80

    sidewaysil80 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    834
    Jan 29, 2014
    So the pistol is a Colt Rail Gun. I didn't like the slop in the factory grip safety. I ordered the Ed Brown .250 and mocked it up. Here it is with just the thumb safety and sear spring.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The upper tangs (near hammer) line up perfectly and there is no transition; very smooth. I just want to smooth out the bottom part and take material off the frame to blend it all together. Will refinish with cerakote for what it's worth.
     
  8. azpoolguy

    azpoolguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 4, 2013
    I would try a Harrison safety also to see how it lines up before you start blending.
     
    Steve Owens likes this.
  9. pistolwretch

    pistolwretch Dremel jockey Supporting Addict

    Aug 26, 2011
    Go for an EGW .220"
    Not much more work/blending than you're already looking at.
     
    Steve Owens likes this.
  10. sidewaysil80

    sidewaysil80 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    834
    Jan 29, 2014
    Just out of curiosity, why buy a new one? Especially if both require blending of sorts. What would be advantage of switching to EGW or Harrison?
     
  11. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank

    Mar 13, 2017
    The grip safeties on new Colt rail guns, at least the combat unit rail guns have a lot of slop in them. Like they're too small for the gun. They may work fine. But slop. Yea. Slop. I may be trading for one from a friend here soon, so tagged for interest.
     
  12. azpoolguy

    azpoolguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 4, 2013
    Because grip safeties like the Harrison and EGW have extra material or “meat” to fill in some of the gaps and spaces.
     
    Steve Owens likes this.
  13. Jimhoag

    Jimhoag In Kentucky

    Jun 14, 2013
    You know my last name is Nicholson and they named the bst file after me
     
    Steve Owens likes this.
  14. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    If you are even the least bit concerned about messing this up, I definitely would not blend that Ed Brown on there. If you get a Harrison BGS chances are you will have very little to take off of just the grip safety and not the gun, that is a lot of stock to take off the gun when it would be tons easier and look better to take it off the grip safety of one that fits the current profile much better.
     

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