The Making of a Shadow...Pics!

Discussion in 'Chambers Custom Pistols - Obsessibly™ Accurate, Re' started by Joe C, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. Joe C

    Joe C Custom Pistolsmith Sponsor

    Sep 11, 2011
    Well, ya'll have been asking for some pictures of work in process. Well, this is not a WMG. It is the making of the gun I just finished, the first of a series of "Shadow" guns. I'll post in process pics here and in a day or so, after I do final assembly since it was just blued last night, I'll post pics of that also. Hope you all enjoy.

    All the parts.
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    Measuring for slide to frame fit. When all was said and done and all the numbers were tabulated the side to side tolerance between this slide to frame was .00015". After shooting it did loosen up a bit to .00025".
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    Machining trigger shoe for fit into frame which has been properly dressed.
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    Frame ramp after machining and before polishing.
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    Trigger weight adjustment screw installation.
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    Machining the ejection port lower.
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    A properly dressed sear spring is very important for a long lasting, proper feeling trigger pull.
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    Barrel leg engagement after cycling a few times.
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    Barrel throat after initial shaping, before final polish.
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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  2. Joe C

    Joe C Custom Pistolsmith Sponsor

    Sep 11, 2011
    Here are a few pics of me setting up and doing the non dovetail rear sight install that you may have seen on many of my custom pistols. While I know that a few others in years before me have done this install method (and some have very recently started doing it also), I learned this method from my mentor and friend Bob Marvel who has been doing it since the 80's with various sights. The first one done by me was in the summer of 2008 on the first Black Knight pistol, a 9mm, which was one of my guild guns. Since that time it has been a steady feature on many of the custom guns that come out of Chambers Custom Pistols.

    Not all the steps are included but you will get the general idea from what is here.

    Machining the rear sight base of a KFS LPA style sight.
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    Setting up the slide to machine it for sights...almost level...just a little more...
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    Machining the flat for the rear sight. It is VERY important to not machine it too far down so that the cut is NOT wider than the rear sight base.
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    Setting up to machine the sight screw island pocket.
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    A picture of the island pocket as well as the pocket for the sight blade in the buried and protected method.
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    Holding the rear sight base tight to the front of the cut and centered on the slide during the process of drilling, countersinking and taping the holes that hold the base on the slide. I personally use torx head screws to hold the base in place...and 680 Loc-tite. When the base is installed in such a manor there is NO gap between the front of the base and the front of the cut in the slide. If there is a gap, the sight could theoretically shift for and aft as well as left to right during cycling causing zero to change or worse the sight to come loose. The fixture that is being used to hold the sight is one I made based on a design by Marvel and slightly modified by me for my own personal method and use.
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    How the front sight starts out after the dovetail has been cut in the slide and the block has been installed.
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    The front sight after initial shaping.
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    Finally a picture of the custom Ebony and Sterling Silver grips that were made for this pistol by my friend Ed Strange of Wicked Grips!
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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012

  3. Joe C

    Joe C Custom Pistolsmith Sponsor

    Sep 11, 2011
    The finished product...Enjoy.

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    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  4. deadguy

    deadguy Charlie Daniels Supporting Addict

    Sep 7, 2011
    Keep em coming Joe.
     
  5. Bender

    Bender Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 15, 2011
    Crikey,...........love these "inporgress pics"

    Thanks for taking the time to post them Joe!
     
  6. lsbbigdog

    lsbbigdog Smiffin' ain't easy Sponsor

    Aug 21, 2011
    Awesome Joe! Thanks for sharing!!
     
  7. Bugs

    Bugs Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    Very Nice. Waiting to see more of the "build".
     
  8. Pangari1

    Pangari1 -this space for rent- Supporting Addict

    Dec 1, 2011
    Wow..AWESOME pics Joe. Thanks for taking the time and sharing the pics. Look forward to more...
     
  9. Arkie

    Arkie Well-Known Member

    Jan 27, 2012
    Can I pick up most of them tools and stuff at Harbor Freight? :bolt:

    Bob
     
  10. bw210

    bw210 Active Member

    210
    Aug 23, 2011
    Love the buried and protected rear sight look. Very nice!
     
  11. killaguhrilla

    killaguhrilla recent convert

    11
    Dec 19, 2011
    I don't know what's wrong with me ... I can't seem to stop drooling.
     
  12. Bugs

    Bugs Well-Known Member

    Oct 19, 2011
    I'M GONNA GO OUT ON A LIMB HERE AND SAY NOPE. They do have a nice little air compressor on sale for $40 with a coupon though. On a serious note; we have so many very talented individuals on this forum who are just nice folks and willing to offer good advice when needed; kinda nice.
     
  13. pistolwretch

    pistolwretch Dremel jockey Supporting Addict

    Aug 26, 2011
    Joe,
    No one else holds that close of a fit!
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  14. Joe C

    Joe C Custom Pistolsmith Sponsor

    Sep 11, 2011
    Chuck,
    I do use a fixture that is proprietary to the man who designed it (not me) and as such can not show it in pictures as he is working on getting it produced for sale. However, I can say that it is very consistent in how it is used in conjunction with the digital mic to measure the inside width of the slide ways.

    Yes, there are slight variances in the slide that have to be smoothed out prior to measuring, on some slides more than others (even among the same brand), as you well know. My goal in the end is to get it as close as possible without galling and I have found ways to keep that number at or around the .0002" mark side to side when the slide to frame fit is done. I also have the capability of measuring the the slide on the mill with either indicators or the DRO, which unfortunately only measures to .0002".

    Anyways, thanks for looking sir. As always your thoughts and questions provoke me to think hard and become better and better at what we smiths do!
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
  15. pistolwretch

    pistolwretch Dremel jockey Supporting Addict

    Aug 26, 2011
    I understand. I also have some proprietary techniques (I think?).
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2012
  16. Wheezy

    Wheezy Bullet Banger Supporting Addict

    Aug 31, 2011
    It is quite a device chuck. I have seen it in person and can verify the tolerances in question. Even though I'm just a measly brewer in life, I can read measuring devices.
     
  17. Joe C

    Joe C Custom Pistolsmith Sponsor

    Sep 11, 2011
    Chuck,
    As mentioned in my previous post, it is at this time a proprietary fixture, but thank you for asking and questioning me.
     
  18. Samcro

    Samcro US Army Retired 1911 Supporting Addict

    602
    Nov 19, 2011
    cool love the slide cut
     
  19. AlchemyCustomWeaponry

    AlchemyCustomWeaponry Crabby Old Gunsmith

    Nov 4, 2011
    All this frame/slide fitting tolerance talk makes me wonder how Les Baer takes a frame with rails that taper from .744" to .747", puts it in a slide with .752" rail width and then shoots some targets and shoves it out the door with an inch and a half guarantee. Must be magic.
     
  20. Samcro

    Samcro US Army Retired 1911 Supporting Addict

    602
    Nov 19, 2011
    I did a bit of stone work on mine to smooth out the slide and internals , I am No smiff however the lil work i have done makes for a very smooth action and shooting .
     

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