I'm back - Rookie builder - Chamber reaming

Discussion in '1911 Gunsmithing' started by JayBeeKay, Jul 4, 2020.

  1. JayBeeKay

    JayBeeKay Member

    May 6, 2020
    I posted last, sometime in April, I think. Couldn't find my thread.
    Anyhow - I am on my first 80% build and it's a Stealth Arms .45 aluminum alloy frame.
    I got a stainless slide (Remington) and a Briley barrel.
    The pieces are new and the barrel is one that requires fitting.
    I'm just getting parts at prices that seem to be reasonable. One of the things is that I want the corrosion resistance of stainless, being that I live on the coast.
    I also have the Jerry Kuhnhausen manual - Vol 1
    And I've been watching videos, mainly by Mosin Virus, since he seems to be focusing on alloy frame 80% builds.

    So - It's easier to ask here, than it is to try to find info from other sources sometimes.
    I would have made things easier on myself, if I'd bought a drop in barrel.
    At this point I need to ream the chamber to fit properly.
    I have noticed that there's a tool loan/rental thread and I'm undecided whether to try to do it myself or send it to someone.
    I'd prefer not to invest in a new tool, because I really don't believe that I'll get so hooked on 1911 building as a hobby, that I'll use the tool a lot.

    If someone could direct me to a gunsmith who'd give me a quote or a source for a decent rental reamer, that would be appreciated, tremendously! :)

    Thanks for following along and providing advice
    I'll be posting in the future, I'm sure, as I am just starting on this And it's more complicated than I expected.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2020
  2. 1911enthusist

    1911enthusist Active Member

    Feb 7, 2019
    Could have bought a KKM barrel and then when you were done fitting it you could sent it back and they would ream it for your for free.

  3. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016
    JayBeeKay likes this.
  4. pistolwretch

    pistolwretch Dremel jockey Supporting Addict

    Aug 26, 2011
    I'd be happy to ream and polish your chamber.
    If you're on a limited budget, no charge other than return shipping.
    If not restrained by budgetary concerns, $25.
    Always glad to help out a fellow enthusiast!
  5. fatbaldguy

    fatbaldguy Cranky old curmudgeon

    Jul 28, 2017
    Jump in on this with both feet. DO NOT HESITATE! A very generous offer from one of the most talented smiths in the country!.
    X39, seagiant, buss_1911 and 4 others like this.
  6. JayBeeKay

    JayBeeKay Member

    May 6, 2020
    Sure thing!
    Can I give you a call?
    There may be some other work I'll send your way
  7. JayBeeKay

    JayBeeKay Member

    May 6, 2020
    Happy 4th too!
    Got some work to do today and I forgot to mention it
  8. Xringchaser

    Xringchaser Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Feb 2, 2019
    @pistolwretch , would you be able to contact me?
  9. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    Kudo's Chuck, just one other reason to hang out in this forum guys.. When you get one of the best of the best offer to do something like this for free~! Now, you tell me where else this happens? I can tell ya where.. NoWhere that's where..
    seagiant, WWB, JM44 and 2 others like this.
  10. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    @JayBeeKay I also have a II volume of the Kuhnhausen on PDF if you would like it I can send it to your email.. If your so inclined to share your addy... A bunch more useful info in Vol II as far as tolerance specs etc.. Also most of the drawings are in there of the various parts and pieces.
    UBOATDOC and wrmiller like this.
  11. JayBeeKay

    JayBeeKay Member

    May 6, 2020
    I'll accept that offer as well.
    I'll PM you
    Integrity Arms likes this.
  12. pistolwretch

    pistolwretch Dremel jockey Supporting Addict

    Aug 26, 2011
  13. JayBeeKay

    JayBeeKay Member

    May 6, 2020
    One thing I did in hand fitting the barrel to the slide, in which there may be an error, is:
    I didn't have proper measuring equipment, so I had to just go for it and roll the dice, so when I was fitting the notch on the back of the hood, I ended up getting it too narrow, possibly.
    By the time it was centered there was about .016" - .020" sideplay.
    I'm thinking that's probably too loose, but I'm not sure.
    But the only way to remedy that would be to weld or braze it and then take it down to the proper clearance.
    I'd like to know what the experienced builders have to suggest on that.

    Thanks - As Always! IMG_20200705_213421.jpg
  14. Steve in Allentown

    Steve in Allentown Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2013
    Some folks fit the hood so that both sides lightly touch the slide cut out. Most folks do not fit the hood this way and treat removing metal from each side of the hood as a clearance cut with the objective of eliminating any side to side contact with the slide. This means that the side to side clearance of the hood is not a critical measurement. I would finish your build and test its accuracy. You may be pleasantly surprised.
    X39, JayBeeKay and wrmiller like this.
  15. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016
    I've never considered the sides of the barrel hood to be a registration surface, and my builds shoot just fine without having a gapless fit on the sides of the hood.
    X39, Doc3F and JayBeeKay like this.
  16. JayBeeKay

    JayBeeKay Member

    May 6, 2020
    That's good news
    ... Means I didn't eff it up as bad as I thought, on that part.

    I have .004" play at the BACK of the hood (+or- .001") when the lugs are engaged
    I suppose that is more critical.
    The barrel stops against the breech face when I push it rearward and stops on the lug engagement surface when I push it forward. .004" play

    Is that within spec?

    I actually sent my frame back to Stealth Arms because they offer their 1 time replacement, if you goof it up.
    I thought I cut it too loose. But I got a call from them after they received it, and they told me it was right.
    ...Just as an example of how my perfectionist tendencies lead to excessive self criticism.
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2020
  17. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016
    I don't know what the spec is for that. I've worked on 1911s that have some play at the back of the hood and they seem to function OK, but I don't know how long it would last. With a low pressure round like a 45 that is. With higher pressure cartridges like 38 Super and 10mm I fit the barrel for zero clearance at the back of the hood, to a slight interference fit.

    30-40 years ago a loose fitting barrel like that would eventually cause metal displacement between the barrel's upper lugs and the lugs on the inside of the slide. But we have better metallurgy today, and I've not seen that of late. But then I don't work on many pistols any more other than my own. Hopefully one of our smiths who do this for a living will drop by and answer your question. :)
  18. JayBeeKay

    JayBeeKay Member

    May 6, 2020
    It seems like setting up the headspacing for a .000" clearance fit between the back of the case and the breech face would accomplish the same thing ...If tight is better.
    But I'm a rookie so correct me if I'm wrong.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
  19. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016
    Setting up a zero clearance between the case and the breach face is near impossible unless you reload and cut all of your brass to exactly the same length. And I don't suspect the brass would keep the slide and barrel from banging around either, as it's too soft.

    If you have a few thou clearance between the hood and slide at full lockup, I might cut the chamber so that the average commercial round sits flush with the end of the hood, but not protruding. But I've never done this, nor do I think I would. I'd have a good TIG welder weld that hood and re-fit it. But that's just me. :)

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