UPDATE: First magwell blend...ever...NEW BTGS too!

Discussion in '1911 Gunsmithing' started by zipper046, Aug 9, 2020.

  1. zipper046

    zipper046 Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2013
    Ok fellow DIY'ers.....so I came into an awesome Springfield Trophy Match (cheap) from a buddy of mine. So I decided that since I got such a good deal on it, I'd use it for my "home 'smithing" attempts and jazz it up a bit.

    Externally, I decided to first install a Smith & Alexander magwell and blend it. I'll call on @IntegrityArms (Steve Owens)...I think you mentioned alot of "meat" on a recent magwell blend?? Well, this one certainly had that AND was a pain to fit.

    I installed it and there was a noticeable gap between the bottom of the frame and the magwell itself. After studying it for a bit, I realized that it was hitting the rear bottom of the frame (MSH wall of the frame...where the sear spring slot is) and causing the MSH pin holes to NOT line up....argh. With alot of patience and some filing, I finally got it to drop in and the MSH pin holes to line up....

    Next up I noticed that the S&A magwell overhung into the frame a good 1/16"....it didn't interfere with reloads, but I didn't like the way it sat. So...again with ALOT of patience and some good files, I started to file away and cut back the overhang and then blend the magwell with the frame. 98% of the job was done by hand with only a small amount of Dremel work to polish and scallop. Boy were my fingers aching after a few days....yes a FEW DAYS....I went slow, took my time, and did a few hours at a clip so I could step away and then return with a fresh view.

    Anyway....here are the "before" pic's and the "after" pics. I polished it up nice and bright....well...just because, LOL. Eventually the whole pistol will be blasted and refinished when I'm done with all my modifications.

    Next up.....a new Beavertail Grip Safety!!!!

    CAVEAT: Yes, I appear to have somewhere along the line chewed a small section of the frame at the rear of the magwell...you'll see the gap there....Grrrrrr....I tried to blend it in, but to no avail...I'll have to get me some JB Weld or something to fill it in and then shape it....oh well....it was a learning experience to say the least....luckily it doesn't interfere with reloads...when I run my fingernail over it, it is smooth as glass...oh well...

    Before pic's:
    magwell before 1.jpg magwell before 4.jpg magwell before 3.jpg magwell before 2.jpg

    After pic's:
    magwell after 6.jpg magwell after 5.jpg magwell after 4.jpg magwell after 3.jpg magwell after 2.jpg magwell after 1.jpg
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
    cpt. obvious, jcc7x7, rmac and 18 others like this.
  2. Lineman1982

    Lineman1982 Well-Known Member

    Dec 21, 2018

  3. Hunt5877

    Hunt5877 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jan 27, 2019
    Color me impressed and a nice polish job to boot, well done!
    Lineman1982 and zipper046 like this.
  4. River runner

    River runner Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2020
    Nice job! I have a Springfield Milspec I’m using in the same manner. I did the magwell as well as the grip safety and high cut the trigger guard. I’m going to attempt checkering the front strap next :eek1:.

    Good luck with your future work. You’re off to a great start!
    cpt. obvious, A45GUNNER and FWoo45 like this.
  5. HooDoo Man

    HooDoo Man Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Dec 26, 2017
    Looks good. leave it alone. Don't sweat the small stuff. The only one looking there is the mag. And he's getting eaten.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2020
  6. seagiant

    seagiant Well-Known Member

    Nov 26, 2011
    Very nice job, now I would bead blast it, but that is me.

    I don't like polished guns!
    zipper046 likes this.
  7. Kip

    Kip Sir Kip Esquire

    Apr 12, 2016
    Funny,I keep ripping magwells off anything I carry.
    Looks good man!!
    zipper046 likes this.
  8. FWoo45

    FWoo45 Well-Known Member

    Jan 13, 2017
    Nice work Zip. I'm playing with a Springer Operator in a similar fashion. Started the checkering decided that without the proper jigs, I was better off sending it to Steve @Integrity Arms, was sending him a gun anyway so the shipping was free. When I get it back we'll see if I can cerakote it or something. It's just fun to tinker. I'll look forward for your updates on this project.
  9. razorbacker

    razorbacker Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Dec 2, 2011
    Very nice, looks pro to me!
    zipper046 likes this.
  10. zipper046

    zipper046 Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2013
    Yup that’s the plan!...figured a polish may look neat in the interim...i’m a dark pistol guy...don’t like “bling” or “flash”
    Kip likes this.
  11. Jimhoag

    Jimhoag In Kentucky

    Jun 14, 2013
    I'm working on a S&A magwell on my trp. Not finished as well as yours bur arthritis in my hands has slowed the process. Good job
    switchback likes this.
  12. Sapper

    Sapper Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jan 25, 2014
    Very nice. The first one I tried was with those cheap wilson combat "clip on" mag wells. Once I got the hang of it I went for a real one, and it still didn't turn out that nice!
    zipper046 likes this.
  13. Welder49

    Welder49 Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2020
    Nice job! Thats so shiny and smooth I’d be afraid to insert a mag for fear of scratching up that polish job.
    zipper046 likes this.
  14. switchback

    switchback Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2014
    That did have alot of "meat" indeed, looks great. Congratulations!
    zipper046 likes this.
  15. zipper046

    zipper046 Well-Known Member

    Dec 28, 2013
    So...for those following....I installed a new BTGS....old one was some kind of "duckbill" that was uncomfortable and horribly fit to the frame tangs.

    I installed a new EGW beavertail grip safety and blended the grip safety and the thumb safeties (ambi).....unfortunately I over cut the tangs a bit....had some trouble getting the safety to fit and then realized it was the lack of clearance on the bottom of the tangs and not the radius itself.....arrrrgggghhhh.....but the amount I over-cut is small and is no more than most others I've seen fit on semi-customs....

    Still have some more finish work to clean up the filing and sanding marks....then on to the next updates to this gat...

    Here is the before:
    Springer orig left side 1.jpg
    springer orig right side 2.jpg
    Springer orig right side 1.jpg

    Here is the after:
    left non-depressed 1.jpg
    left depressed 2.jpg
    right non-depressed 2.jpg
    right depressed 2.jpg
    left depressed 1.jpg
  16. Welder49

    Welder49 Well-Known Member

    May 3, 2020
    Looks good.
    Just started an 80% build and I’m in the process of fitting the BTGS. Got it in and everything fits. Next will be the blending.
    zipper046 likes this.

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