I sure ain't no gunsmith...

Discussion in '1911 Gunsmithing' started by TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot

    TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot I do not consent.

    Dec 28, 2017
    But I did have a good time. So did Annie. We spent the week in Basic Gunsmithing Techniques at Montgomery Community College. It was a blast.

    The teacher is a long-time Remington factory 'smith, spent a couple of decades as a Remington employee and still does a ton of their warranty work. If it has to do with Remington rifles or shotguns, he's seen it and done it. He really knew his stuff and we did all kinds of stuff. I could have spent another six weeks there.

    I hand filed a new front sight (from a little piece of scrap steel) for my cheap GSG .22 1911. Then I throated the barrel, discovered the half-ass factory fix for a too-short hammer strut, and re-profiled the magazine release on my recalcitrant Springfield Range Officer Compact 9mm. Then, for grins, I filed the slide stop nub flat and left it sitting just a hair proud of the frame. I'll recess the frame when I go back for basic mill next month.

    Annie detail stripped and reassembled both my Range Officers multiple times and worked on the mag release with me. After that she felt up to making a new, lighter mag release spring for her Sig P938 (Sig apparently thought the Incredible Hulk was going to be dropping all the mags when they picked the spring rate.)

    I got to work on extractors for both Remington 700 rifles and 870 shotguns, cut and crown a rifle barrel, work on a trigger in a 700 as well as watch another student do an outstanding bedding job.

    I really could not have asked for more as an introduction to the world of gunsmithing. I know a whole lot more about what I don't know now. I would love to take a series of week-long classes focused specifically on handgun, rifle and shotgun.

    And about that SA RO Compact.... When we pulled the MSH the mainspring cap popped out. There was no pin retaining it inside the MSH. This seemed incorrect. After working on the barrel throat (to fix persistent jamming probs) and relieving the inside-left portion of the mag release (so it didn't rub against the mags when pressed) we got a new retainer pin and reassembled the MSH properly.

    Then we reassembled the gun. When I function tested it the hammer flopped around against the firing pin. It cocked ok and released ok but there was zero spring pressure against it when it reached full release.

    After disassembling it a couple if times to check the disonnector/sear, sear spring, hammer etc we finally figured out that by "fixing" the MSH we had broken the gun.

    Something is too short. Whether it's the hammer strut or the MSH is arguable, but something is definitely too short.

    So Springfield's "fix" was to simply pull the little cap retainer pin out and let the mainspring and cap extend up and out of the MSH to contact the hammer strut.

    Not elegant. Not classy. Not what you expect for ~$900. But it is effective and did let SA avoid throwing out a bunch of defective/out-of-spec parts and ship/sell a bunch of guns instead.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
     
    FWoo45, Novak77, Acroyer and 14 others like this.
  2. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank

    Mar 13, 2017
    I might have to do this. I only live a couple of hours from there.
     

  3. TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot

    TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot I do not consent.

    Dec 28, 2017
    Just spending a week listening to bubba 'smithing horror stories is, in itself, an education.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
     
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  4. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank

    Mar 13, 2017
    @TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot How much time was spent on pistols, rifles, shotguns?
    Or do they delineate it like that. I own all, but only interested in smithing on pistols.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
    boatdoc likes this.
  5. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016
    I ain't no gunsmith either, but I do love tinkering with the darn things.

    Glad you had fun, and it sounds like you learned a thing or two to boot! :)
     
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  6. TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot

    TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot I do not consent.

    Dec 28, 2017
    This class was not broken out that way. It was basically a "work on what you brung, we'll show/assist/guide and share general concepts/techniques/learning moments as we go" sort of deal. It felt a little disjointed at first, but by the afternoon of the first day it was making sense.

    However, this afternoon, after class was over and most people had gone, the instructor said this class had made him decide they need separate classes focused strictly on handguns, rifles, and/or shotguns.

    They may offer such classes next year, but also said they have failed to get enough students to make a class when they tried similar classes in the past.

    I would definitely benefit from more focus now, but I also got a lot of benefit from this broad class

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
     
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  7. fieldgrade

    fieldgrade resident crank

    Mar 13, 2017
    They have promoted those classes on a couple of local Carolina gun forums but their threads have never gotten much traction, so I figured our local "constituents" have been too busy building ARs like legos (which I have done), or yelling about politics (done that, too).
     
  8. TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot

    TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot I do not consent.

    Dec 28, 2017
    I should add the teacher was not just a rifle/shotgun guy. He knew his handguns, and when I needed some real expertise deciding on what was happening to the chamber on my SA Compact we walked upstairs and into the resident 1911 fanatic's pistol building class to get some advice. (This was not a special 1911 build class but a part of the regular, 2-yr gunsmith program.)

    I'd say 8-9 of the 12 students worked at some point on handguns they'd brought to class, but most also brought long guns.

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
     
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  9. gun_fan111

    gun_fan111 Well-Known Member

    Mar 23, 2014
    It sounds like your Springfield has the MSH with ILS system. That system is not supposed to have a pin retaining the spring mechanism. It was supposed to come with a bent pin that could be put in from outside when taking the gun apart and then needs to be taken out when gun is fully reassembled.

    Thanks for sharing the experience!
     
  10. TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot

    TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot I do not consent.

    Dec 28, 2017
    Well, there ya go ladies and gentlemen. A perfectly reasonable explanation. Thanks @gun_fan111. I learned something else today

    Sent from my Moto G (4) using Tapatalk
     
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  11. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    Or a two prong key to turn the locking cam into place.

    If your mainspring housing has a large circular recess near the top left of the housing, that's the ILS.
     
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  12. boatdoc

    boatdoc Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2015
    good for you and Annie @TWF
    sure sounds like fun and a great education to boot. I would LOVE to take a class like that someday too. thanks for the excellent thread
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2019
    TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot likes this.
  13. boatdoc

    boatdoc Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2015
    ILLOGICAL locking system? what will SA do to torture their customers next?
     
  14. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    To me, they're no big deal. The SA arched mainspring housing comes the closest to cloning the profile of Colt's arched mainspring housings. Being a huge fan of Colt's MSH profile, the SA ILS is a non-issue for me.

    But here is a secret: you can take out the proprietary SA MSH internals and replace them with standard MSH internals with no problems. The ILS locking cam just sits there looking pretty.

    Whenever anyone wants to get rid of a couple SA MHS's, I usually snap them up.

    Z
     
  15. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    BTW, putting the ILS on LOCK is better than zip-ties at keeping a potential "buyer" from "dry-rackering" a gun . . . .

    Just saying . . . .


    ILNB.JPG

    Wish Deadpool had one . . .

    Z
     
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  16. boatdoc

    boatdoc Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2015
    you never fail to amaze @Z
     
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  17. TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot

    TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot I do not consent.

    Dec 28, 2017
    I can say we didn’t find the ILS mechanism to be an issue in terms of performance, disassembly, etc. We just didn’t understand it. And, given the gun came from the factory with several issues that did impinge on performance, I figured the issue was just another “made on Hangover Monday” thing.

    To be honest, I probably have that little key somewhere. I probably even knew how that lock was supposed to work for a day or two right after I bought the pistol. But everything fades over time, including my knowledge of idiosyncratic “safety” mechanisms, if I don’t deal wit them regularly.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  18. shootin-blanks

    shootin-blanks Well-Known Member

    495
    Jan 27, 2015
    Here is some more SA crapping QC. Disco from a late model SA loaded. Burr on the sear spring was digging into the disco. :(
    disco.JPG
     
  19. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016
    That's just sad. I've not purchased a production pistol since buying my Kimber almost 20 years ago, but if that is a representation of what I'd be buying, I don't think I'm missing much.
     
    TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot likes this.
  20. shootin-blanks

    shootin-blanks Well-Known Member

    495
    Jan 27, 2015
    I bought it as a donor gun,
    This is what I am NOT keeping.
    20190413_112312.jpg
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2019
    TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot likes this.

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