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  #1  
Old 03-22-2020, 08:36 PM
Albroswift Albroswift is offline
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kimber 3" Slide on a 80% frame

Hello, All
Wanting to build an 80% 3" .45 ACP
I can find a Kimber 3" slide and barrel, but I don't see any 80% frames for the 3".
Question, will a 3" slide work on a (Modified?) 3.5" frame?
Thanks--
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2020, 06:28 AM
XmechanicX XmechanicX is offline
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I was planning a build in this configuration but never moved forward as I have too many other projects right now.
I'm pretty sure (I'll stand corrected if I'm wrong!) when I did my research a 3" slide will work fine on a 3.5" frame. You'll just have to trim the dust cover, of course.
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2020, 02:02 PM
srteach srteach is offline
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Been there, done that

I used a Caspian officers 4" frame (with rails) to remount a 45ACP Kimber Ultra Carry 3.25" slide.
The process:
Fit rails
Cut back the dust cover (how far is a personal preference)
Measure how far the recoil spring sticks out the front of the spring retainer and cut the recoil spring seat back that exact distance
Clean recoil spring seat of burrs, rough edges, etc.
Check all other measurements, safeties, and operations.
Take to the range and test with 1000 round (that's what I told my wife was needed)

Mine eats anything I feed it, drives tacks, and asks for more. I can post pics when I'm not at work if wanted.

While I was at it, I did a new hammer & sear, a trigger job, a ramp polish and re-angle, polish / smooth all internals, fitted a magwell , break all edges slightly.
I have to still get a new set of grips and contour magwell to the grips, install new grip bushings.

Last edited by srteach; 03-23-2020 at 10:21 PM.
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  #4  
Old 03-23-2020, 08:37 PM
Albroswift Albroswift is offline
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Hello, All. Thanks for the input. Yes, SRTEACH, please post some photos.
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  #5  
Old 03-23-2020, 08:39 PM
Albroswift Albroswift is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srteach View Post
. I can post pics when I'm not at work if wanted
Yes, photos please. Thanks everyone for the input.
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  #6  
Old 03-23-2020, 10:18 PM
srteach srteach is offline
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Apologies for the shadows

Right Side
Click image for larger version

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Left Side
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Gap between grip Scales and magwell (soon to be remedied).
Plans are for full coverage scales that butt up against magwell. Then I will trim the well to match the contours of the scales.
Click image for larger version

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Where the rail was shortened (maybe a little too short) and corners rounded. Recoil spring retainer rim (shown) is where you measure to figure out how far back to cut the recoil spring seat.
Click image for larger version

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The original MIM frame was cracking after 20 years and 15k rounds. When I purchased (custom ordered) the frame, the dust cover / accessory rail was longer than the slide. I had it shortened to my specs at a machine shop in my area. Should have left it .125in longer.

Last edited by srteach; 03-24-2020 at 07:51 AM.
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  #7  
Old 03-23-2020, 10:30 PM
XmechanicX XmechanicX is offline
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That is a cool looking build. Nice job.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
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  #8  
Old 03-23-2020, 10:31 PM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srteach View Post
The original MIM frame was cracking
Err... You are misinformed. The original frame is not MIM. Whatever other issues Kimber might have (and they do have a few like any other brand), their frame and slide material is pretty darned good.
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2020, 07:51 AM
srteach srteach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBBBill View Post
Err... You are misinformed. The original frame is not MIM. Whatever other issues Kimber might have (and they do have a few like any other brand), their frame and slide material is pretty darned good.
I may have mis-spoke. The original frame may have been sintered metal. Whatever the material, the original was cracking at the front of the frame rails. Other than the crack, I have no issues with the original frame.
I am not even saying the crack was the fault of Kimber. The gun may have been dropped once or twice in 20 years.
The replacement frame is stainless and the material is more dense than original.

Last edited by srteach; 03-24-2020 at 07:58 AM.
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  #10  
Old 03-24-2020, 08:00 AM
srteach srteach is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XmechanicX View Post
That is a cool looking build. Nice job.


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Thank you.
With time and patience, it can be done. Aside from the frame shortening, the work was all by hand with hand tools.
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  #11  
Old 03-24-2020, 02:55 PM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Alabama and Florida, US
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Quote:
Originally Posted by srteach View Post
I may have mis-spoke. The original frame may have been sintered metal. Whatever the material, the original was cracking at the front of the frame rails. Other than the crack, I have no issues with the original frame.
I am not even saying the crack was the fault of Kimber. The gun may have been dropped once or twice in 20 years.
The replacement frame is stainless and the material is more dense than original.
Not sintered either. Clue - One of the top semi-custom shops sourced their frames from the original company that made the frames for Kimber and that shop don't use MIM/sintered frames and slides. Kimber eventually bought the company.
As an FYI, if the frame is steel the crack can be welded by a well qualified welder. Pullman Arms in Worchester, MA is one of the go to shops for pro smiths that need welding. There are a couple more out there, too. Jim Milks in PA is one. Can't recall the others at the moment. So now maybe you may decide to build another gun up since you have a frame laying around. You can never have too many.
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