Order of operations question *test fire complete*

Discussion in '1911 Gunsmithing' started by ACP, Apr 14, 2019.

  1. ACP

    ACP Well-Known Member

    276
    Nov 24, 2018
    Thanks to the wealth of knowledge and generosity of members here I'm getting into the short rows of my first build and will be entering the test fire phase in which I plan to run 2-300 rounds through before doing final fitting and then finish. So the question arises, items such as sights and plunger tube, at what point are these typically installed.

    It is obvious the pistol needs the tube to function during testing, do most leave it unstaked during testing or stake a sacrificial tube to be removed before finishing? Do most install sights during testing and remove for finishing or wait on sight install until after finishing? Any other details I may have overlooked or pointers at this stage are welcomed.
     
    TangoWhiskeyFoxtrot likes this.
  2. Steve in Allentown

    Steve in Allentown Well-Known Member

    315
    Jan 19, 2013
    I use grips that press against the plunger tube so I don't have to stake them during live fire testing. I will permanently install them or not depending on who does the finishing and what they want.

    I use Challis grip screw bushings exclusively and never permanently install them until after finishing.

    I fit the sights for live fire testing but remove them when the pistol goes out for finishing. I install them permanently after finishing.
     

  3. remanaz

    remanaz Active Member

    166
    Apr 14, 2019
    I am doing my first build too. I also was wondering about the plunger tube. Steve's response is good to read. I will be following this thread
     
  4. Integrity Arms

    Integrity Arms 1911 Pistol Smith

    Mar 20, 2017
    There are some really cheap plunger tubes out there so sacrificing one for me is not an issue. As far as sights I fit them very early in the build process and re-install them for test fire. They are then removed, refinished and then installed after the pistols final finish. Then I do one more light test fire for final accuracy.
     
  5. ACP

    ACP Well-Known Member

    276
    Nov 24, 2018
    Makes sense, I was concerned about having a loose tube during testing and having hiccups I wouldn't otherwise.
     
  6. switchback

    switchback Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2014
    Welcome remanez, know you from, what we call here, TOOS.

    Good luck on the builds
     
  7. remanaz

    remanaz Active Member

    166
    Apr 14, 2019
    Thank you. Would William be long for Bill or BBBill? What does TOOS break down to?

    Sorry ACP not trying to hi-jack your thread.
     
  8. remanaz

    remanaz Active Member

    166
    Apr 14, 2019
    The Harrison one that I have was only $15. Cheap enough to sacrifice for sure. Not having to sacrifice one sounds like a better option though. I say this mainly because I do not know what is involved to remove a staked in tube. Could you detail the steps needed to remove an installed tube?
     
  9. ACP

    ACP Well-Known Member

    276
    Nov 24, 2018
    No worries remanaz, no perceived hijack
     
  10. Steve in Allentown

    Steve in Allentown Well-Known Member

    315
    Jan 19, 2013
    There are a few methods to accomplish this task:
    • Use a small punch to alternately tap one leg then the other from the inside of the frame until the tube pops off.
    • Run a steel wire through the plunger tube and leave 8" hanging out of both ends. Pull the ends together and twist them together half a dozen times or so. Secure the twisted together ends in a bench vise then yank the frame away from the vise a couple of times until the tube pops loose.
    • Grind the tube itself down to the frame then knock out the legs from the outside. This would take some skill to avoid grinding the frame itself.
    Before you install the new tube make sure the leg holes inside the frame are properly chamfered. A small ball grinding bit is best for this. I use a diamond ball shaped bit from Lasco to do this. Failure to adequately chamfer these holes will lead to unsatisfactory results.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  11. remanaz

    remanaz Active Member

    166
    Apr 14, 2019
    I still think your grip idea is a better idea now that I know the sacrificial idea.

    Harrison pre chambers the pins. Have you used theirs before and found them to be inadequate?
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  12. Steve in Allentown

    Steve in Allentown Well-Known Member

    315
    Jan 19, 2013
    It's not the pins that get chamfered. It's the holes in the frame through which the pins pass.

    Think of chamfering as countersinking wood to accomodate screw heads so that they're flush or slightly below flush with the surface of the wood.

    The plunger tube pins (aka legs) are like rivets. When you use the plunger tube staking tool you're forcing the hollow pins to expand into the chamfered (countersunk) area that you created using a ball shaped grinding bit.

    What you're doing by chamfering (countersinking) the inside of the frame is providing space for the mushroomed end of the pin to go. This ensures the pin will not protrude into the magazine well as well as making for a very strong anchor for the plunger tube. Done correctly the plunger tube will never become loose.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
    Pedro and william adams like this.
  13. remanaz

    remanaz Active Member

    166
    Apr 14, 2019
    Got it. Thank you for the explanation Steve.


    Edit: I did some searching and found a suggestion for a diamond bur 1/8" shank tool to use. This also lead me to cup bur tools that I can use to re-round the slide stop and guide rods after being shortened. All are on the way now. Again thanks.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2019
  14. Steve in Allentown

    Steve in Allentown Well-Known Member

    315
    Jan 19, 2013
    Up in post #10 I put a link to Lasco that sells diamond burrs. Unfortunately, I could not find a way to make that link stand out from normal text.

    I just edited that post to see if there was another way to make the link stand out. Underlining and bold did the trick.
     
  15. Greg45acp

    Greg45acp Double Secret Banned Supporting Addict

    Oct 31, 2016
    azpoolguy and Pedro like this.
  16. Jason Burton

    Jason Burton Well-Known Member

    608
    Apr 8, 2012
    An easy way to secure a plunger tube during testing is by wedging a piece of folded paper or card stock between the stock panel and the plunger tube as seen in the photo below.

    [​IMG]

    As for sights... gotta have them on the gun when testing, otherwise how do you know if the gun zeros correctly.
     
  17. ACP

    ACP Well-Known Member

    276
    Nov 24, 2018
    Thanks for all the replies everybody, as with most anything theres more than one way to skin it. It's great getting everybody's different take on things.
     
  18. Steve in Allentown

    Steve in Allentown Well-Known Member

    315
    Jan 19, 2013
    Greg,

    You're very kind to say so. I hope it helps folks unravel the mystery surrounding extractors.
     
    Fred_G likes this.
  19. Fred_G

    Fred_G Known Agitator

    Dec 29, 2015
    Steve, I read the above link on extractors. Very timely for me, I am going to have to do a bit of fitting on mine this weekend.
     
  20. ACP

    ACP Well-Known Member

    276
    Nov 24, 2018
    20190421_153456.jpg 20190421_154152.jpg 20190421_154106.jpg 20190421_154228.jpg 20190421_154520.jpg 20190421_153636.jpg Alright here's the evidence 200 rounds later, this is my first build on a new frame and slide, most internals are takeoffs from other pistols. Keeping on with the "what's next " theme, this pistol didn't miss a beat from the first round, which shocked me honestly. After looking at the artifacts from this test round I'm wondering if some link work or further barrel fitting attention is needed. Please lend any observations or advise.

    All in all I'm pretty tickled with the whole build coming together and running as well as it has.

    Particulars are as follow
    Caspian Foster slide and frame
    Used colt mkIV barrel
    Govt bushing
    Egw beavertail GS and MSH
    Used colt ignition parts
    Used colt govt TS
    Used colt slide stop
    New Caspian ejector
    Used colt extractor
    New Wilson 47 magazine
     
    Mike Meints likes this.

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