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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I ran a survey awhile back on another site about Officer length frames. I used the info build a CCO sized pistol. This one is an aluminum framed 45 ACP and a Frankenpistol. The goal was low cost and use on the shelf decent used parts to see if I like it enough to build a ground up good one in the future. Some parts are just better off new.

First a word about the jigs I used for the 80% frame on this project.

I used a Phantom jig I acquired off GB used. It was used and clearly abused. Basically I used this jig to cut the rails. There are nuances with using this jig. It will cut deeper on the clamping screw end if you don’t apply pressure on the unsecured end of the jig. So I learned to do that. LOTS of chips/cuttings, too. Put a plastic bag or bucket under it. Oil all the sliding surfaces and a drop occasionally in the groove being cut. I used Hoppe’s and Rem Gun Lube. The guide holes for the sear and hammer pins were elongated. Previous owner must have used a hand drill and the bit walked, elongating the holes. My first frame suffered for that.

Learning off the first frame, I had perfect rails and grooves going. Then I had to recut to fine tune the clearance. I set the cutter to just touch the groove bottom. I thought that would make the cutter just graze the groove end to end. Nope, added a couple thousands clearance with that blunder. When I swiped it along the groove I knew I cut off too much. Still, I ended up with .0034” lateral and 0.0006” to 0.0011”vertical slide/frame fit after fitting and polishing. Keep in mind the jig is not a set it up, cut it and assemble it process. Lots of measuring, cutting, disassembly of frame from jig, measuring, reassembly of jig onto frame and more finesse cutting.

I used the Vytamenc jig to locate and drill the sear and hammer pin holes. Very nice jig and purchased it for the eventual mill I intend to acquire.

This pistol is built on a Spector Supply 80% frame. Though I am not completely sold on the 80% thing these frames have been nicely spec’d, the one caveat being the area between the abbreviated checkering and the top of the front strap. This one is aluminum and my second one done so far. The first, a Gov’t size frame, is stainless. There is a BIG difference in cutting and shaping aluminum components. The old ‘go slow’ advice is quadrupled from this enthusiast when working in aluminum. It was pleasant to have a more shape friendly build, though.

The Slide Assembly
Unused Para Commander Elite, 4.25”.
~ Barrel - very low round count takeoff from a TRP. I used a lathe to shorten it which yielded a chamber to muzzle .575” O.D.. I dressed back the front of the lower lugs on the lathe as well. I dressed the muzzle on the lathe then recrowned and lapped it. I may just do a flush cut and reverse crown on it. Time to try that, I guess.
~ Bushing - takeoff NM part which was fitted to a .575” Colt barrel and slide.
~ GI firing pin - bought used
~ GI extractor bought used.
~ firing pin stop - New Extreme Engineering;
~ rear sight- new Para night sight
~ front sight - was on the slide. It is a Para sight with missing fiber optic. I have the light pipe now I just have to install it. The
~ recoil group - Choate, new parts.

Frame parts which are used takeoffs are:
thumb safety - Fusion, like new condition
grip safety - looks like S&A EZ Fit
mag catch - Springer
sear, disconnector, hammer strut - Springer, IIRC

New frame parts include;
hammer - Klominus, early one, not bad
trigger - Remington (R1), added an overtravel screw in the back of the trigger shoe
ejector - Thunder Mtn Custom
plunger tube - Ed Brown
mainspring housing - Sig
grips
Grip screws & bushings - new

springs - new, 18 pound recoil and 23 pound mainspring
pins - new

The frame came with the front strap checkered. The front strap also had some kind of dual cut high hold relief, cosmetically not pleasing. I just took it further, blending it out. Not sure how to treat it. I thought of stippling up through the bottom of the trigger guard. the down the checkering french borders. The mix would look conflicting, I think. Perhaps that and stipple through the checkering as well. Just leave it for now until I see the light.

The trigger breaks at 3.75 pounds. The grip safety is not relieved as high as I normally take it but it works on this pistol. I have a slight round butt in the works which helps with the shorter frame. You can see I like the Caspian and Baer type high hold relief under the trigger guard. A couple of my pistols have true but not huge undercuts.

I am at the stage of ready to test fire then do the final tuning, contouring, blending, and finish
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Hi,
NICE!

Fun to gather parts and build a pistol.

Reading about your frame jig woes, life is funny...

I bought a Bridgeport Mill and have no desire, what so ever to build an 80% frame...

Which would be a snap with a BP, set up with a DRO!

Glad you over came the problems and came out with a very nice pistol!
 

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The Tinker
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Hi,
NICE!

Fun to gather parts and build a pistol.

Reading about your frame jig woes, life is funny...

I bought a Bridgeport Mill and have no desire, what so ever to build an 80% frame...

Which would be a snap with a BP, set up with a DRO!

Glad you over came the problems and came out with a very nice pistol!
The last 10mm I built, I did with a 80% Jem frame. On my baby BP with a DRO. It was more tedious than difficult. I probably should buy another frame given what's been going on of late.
 
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Congrats....... you'll soon find out that you would rather build than buy and that the ones you'd rather shoot are the ones you built.
Ask me how I know.
 

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The Tinker
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Hi,
Hmm....What is a "Baby" Bridgeport???:cool:
That's what most machinists I know call it. It's basically a 3/4 scale copy of a BP style mill. The table on mine is only 9" x 35" and only weighs approx. 1500 lbs. I wanted the features of a BP style mill, but not the size. Especially knowing I was going to have to move it from CO to AZ.

Update: Jem no longer lists 80% frames on their site. Probably because of all the crap being stirred up now about 'ghost' guns or whatever the libtards call them now.
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Congrats....... you'll soon find out that you would rather build than buy and that the ones you'd rather shoot are the ones you built.
Ask me how I know.
I know the feeling. Maybe 1/3 of my 1911’s are as manufactured. The other 2/3 are hand built. None are unimproved or unmodified.

I had my hand on the order button to order a popular semi-custom. Had my hand on the button to buy a Springer Pro and a fouple other customs. They were not configured as I like them so I didn’t follow through. Sounds like you have similar thoughts.
 

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Hi,
Not to get to far off the Reservation, on the OP, but...

My BP has a 9"X36 table, which is considered small in the Industry, I guess, but has a full size Series I head and body.

Table size or travel, has never hurt me yet, and being in Florida, with limited machining shops (unlike up North)...

Was happy to find it, gave her a Chi-Com DRO for Christmas, and everything good now!:)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hi,
Not to get to far off the Reservation, on the OP, but...

My BP has a 9"X36 table, which is considered small in the Industry, I guess, but has a full size Series I head and body.

Table size or travel, has never hurt me yet, and being in Florida, with limited machining shops (unlike up North)...

Was happy to find it, gave her a Chi-Com DRO for Christmas, and everything good now!:)
Not too far off the reservation. A mill is n my future.
 

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Not too far off the reservation. A mill is n my future.
Hi,
My best advice is, find a Bridgeport.

With CNC Horz. Mills taking over, there are deals to be had in most locals.

I run the BP and a Horz Wellsaw 3ph, on my "Stone Age" Rotary Phase Converter.

A LOT of info, on the "Practical Machinist" site!
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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I’ve done a little more to it. Here’s some updated pics. Pistol is still in the works. Need to tune a couple more things and complete blending and finish. Ammo used was Aguila 230 grain ball.
m
Pic 1: is at 12 yards with bottom of red box, point of aim, at top. Below that is the blue box. You can see I strung the shots and the pistol shoots low. Windage is good.
Pic 2: is folded dollar bill against the group. I certainly strung ‘em. Not shown is pic of additional two shots stacked up at 20 yards at bottom of number 4 in blue box. Windage is great. This pistol shoots. Working on proper dimension replacement sights now while staying with tritiums. Dawson Precision is making the sight.
Pics 3 - 7: progress on ergonomics and finish of pistol. You can see the thumb safety was reconfigured and the grip safety blended a little more. The thumb safety arc needs a little more relief. Back of the ejector was blended but not touched up. The subtle changes in the round butting makes a big difference when shooting it.p
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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
AS A SIDEBAR/DERAIL

While I was going to be shooting the CCO I took along a Govt size 80% in stailess. Again, an econo job. Two pics. Its the first 80% I did. First group shown with the pistol is three shots at 12 yards. Then the conglomerate group of 12, 20 and 25 yards. Ammo was factory Aguila 230grain FMJ.
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Hi,
Looks GREAT to me!

Hand fitting, is what is missing on a commercial pistol and why the Customs cost so much. (my opinion!)

I always thought I was pretty good with a file and on my last build wanted to chamfer the magwell and get rid of the sharp edge.

Started with the file no big deal, and things started going South, quick!

Stopped and went to the Mill, had nothing but a chamfer tool you would use for holes usually, but...

Used it and everything came out straight anyway, finished by hand and all was good, but...

Was happy to have that Mill!
 

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Now if we can only get you to post full size pics vs thumbnails..... we'll be liken your posts even more. :ROFLMAO:
 

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When you select a picture from your folder and it loads it to your post. select Fullsize instead of thumbnail for inserting it into your post.
 

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Dremel jockey
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Good looking heater!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you collector. I’ll try it.

Thank you, pistolwretch! How did those 44 Mag loads work out?
 

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Nice!

I’m not sold on the 80% either. On my second right now. First was going to be a CCO, as well, but decided to use a Colt 1991A1 officers slide instead. I botched a rebuild of it, so instead of paying to get the frame welded up, I spent more on 80% tooling and parts. I’m not really sure why, but somehow that made more sense at the time.

Are you going to leave it aluminum, or get it anodized/coated? That’s been my roadblock to doing an aluminum frame.
 
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