I purchased the Jerry K 1911/1911a1 The Shop Manual along with his armorers video. Then i picked up the wilson combat dvd's along with the AGI dvd's also. There's more about working on the frame rails in the AGI DVD than in the others. I deceided to get them all anyway. I hammered them all winter on the cold winter nights on and off. www.midwayusa.com
I picked up a well ridden Chinese Norinco 1911a1 because of its forged frame and slide plus some will say the steel is from our old scrap rail road track. Anyway its suppose to be one of the better platforms to do a 1911 build from. It only cost me $300 in close to excellent condition but it had a lot of wear with the frame rails/slide fit and the slide bore, the barrel bushing/barrel area. The barrel bushing was more loose in the slide than it was on the barrel.
Wanting to end up with a shooter/beater that i wanted i purchased a new 1911/45acp barrel for $59 and a FLGR kit (full length guide rod) with an 18# recoil spring from sportsmans guide and an IAI national match barrel bushing and a full wrap around IAI rubber grips.
I fitted the national match barrel bushing to the slide first till i only needed the bushing wrench for the last 1/4 turn. Its not tight, its a snug fit. Once the NM bushing is fitted, fitting the barrel is next. I fitted the barrel so its sitting parallel with the slide. Then i fitted it in the lower position were it loads a round. I made sure it had no barrel spring in the lower position. Then i fitted in the full battery position again with no barrel spring and it has 100% lockup in full battery. The NM barrel bushing holds the barrel in full battery with a snug fit. Now it can hinge down to load a round and go into full battery with 100% lockup with no barrel spring when its in the upper and lower positions.
I cleaned all the parts and lubed her with moly. At the range the test fire went well. It cycles flawlessly and is smoother with less over travel saving time when it loads the next round. I did notice she shoots 1 clover leaf per mag at 25yds. and i even let my son and his girlfriend shoot it and they both shot cloverleafs with it too. (new to the 1911).
Moly is an extreme pressure lube. It gets into the pores of the metal and actually wears against itself there is no metal to metal contact its moly against moly thus the wear is eliminated. Moly also reduces friction and fights corrosion too. it also prevents galling. All my guns are lubed with moly they never leave home without it.
I use the ts-70 moly paste or anti seeze they both have a higher % of moly in them.
I did another change to it recently. I beveled the edge where the disconnector strikes the slide when it cycles. It smooths out the transission during the cycling. It takes that "bump" when the disconnector strikes the slide when its cycling. They also say it improves the accuracy too. I did test fire it to check the cycling again and its good.
Now my next fix is to tighten up the loose slide to frame rail fit thats mainly loose in the front section. I been shopping at brownells for the frame holding fixture, the frame rail swage tools and i need the metal shims that go into the grooves in the rails next so i can make the adjustments to tighten them up a tad. We can't make them too tight or we lose the reliability/dependability. Just a little will do.
So far so good. I think most of the accuracy comes from the barrel,slide and bushing fit. I'd say this is 90% of the accuracy. I also think the last 10% is going to be much harder to get it out and perfect.
My recoil spring experiences so far are i installed an 18# recoil spring with no guide rod. While cycling it by hand slowly i heard the coils either binding or coiling as the spring compressed. I didn't like hearing this spring noise at all. Its probably ok with the 16# recoil spring but when we go to the stronger spring this noise starts up. When i installed the full length guide rod this noise is gone now.
Just my thoughts;
My theory is the recoil spring while its compressing in this side to side motion there is pressure while coiling causes the wear on the front of the frame rails to happen. This is the only thing i can think of that causes us to see more wear at the front of the frame rails vs the rear frame rails which seem to have less wear. I figure its a combination of the recoil spring and the forces when its fired and cycling is why the front of the frame rails sees more wear than the rear section. Installing the FLGR should decrease some of the side to side forces its seeing. One more note is i believe without the FLGR were losing recoil spring pressure when its coiling and binding. And were getting the full rate of the recoil spring with the FLGR.
If were using the 18# recoil spring without the FLGR were under 18# of force. Its when we add the FLGR its seeing the full 18# force of the spring it increases because the spring is in a straight line now held to the centerline of the pistol. We could probably drop it back to the 17lb recoil spring to have the same feeling when it cycles if its too tight when we install the FLGR. t also depends on how hot the ammo were using too. Actually we are tuning the 1911 to the ammo were using.
Being a lead engineering tech and a machine builder i look at problems from both sides of the fence now. From the designers and the builders views. I'm just trying to figure out why we see more wear at the front section of the frames rails and less wear at the rear section. I see so many used 1911's in the gun shops with the exact same wear.
Right now i'm breaking in three brand new 1911's. I installed the FLGR kits in all three along with lubing them with moly. My new AO WW2 1911a1 has 500rds thru it now and there is no excessive wear at the front yet. The front still feels like the rear its still tight with no wear at all. The other two will go into the 500rd test mode soon to see if the wear is eliminated on them too.
I just want to make sure whats causing this wear then we can fix it when we work on it to build it better. Its part of the build package anyway. I could be right or wrong time and the rounds fired will tell the story. I feel if we can prevent the wear from happening it will be accurate much longer time wise. Bill
BTW; IF i'm a PIA let me know i'll go away, sorry, comming from the engineerring test lab i want to know why the wear is there and whats causing it. Once the frame rails on my norc are tightened up and she is shooting accurate with tighter groups and this front frame rail wear problem is solved i can life test the norc to see how long the accuracy will last. If the side forces in slide and the front frame rails is reduced and its lubed with moly it should outlast my lifetime in accuracy.
With the FLGR kit and the 18# recoil spring the 1911 becomes more tamer with less jump on the recoil with no side to side movement on the recoil. The 1911 now becomes a pleasure to shoot. There are a lot of shooters who don't like the 1911 because of its harsh recoil. I personally don't think its that bad but it can be tamed.
My one typing finger is sore now i'll go away...