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  #1  
Old 02-09-2020, 02:14 AM
Strayshot Strayshot is offline
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Ball Bearing Slides

I donít know how else to say it or ask. I have guns that when you rack the slide they feel like they are on Ball Bearings.

Iíve searched and searched as to why. One thread said it was the grease. Thatís just not true because I removed all the grease on my Ball Bearing gun and it was still smooth as silk.

Is there anyone that knows why this is?

Iíd also like to know if makers like Wilson, Ed Brown, Nighthawk, Ed Baer have slides the rack super smooth. I never touched any of them so I donít know.

I only had experience with one company that felt like butter. I wonít say their name so I donít seem biased.
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  #2  
Old 02-09-2020, 03:13 AM
1911Pistolero 1911Pistolero is offline
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I'm pretty sure it's all about how the slide is fitted to the frame, but I could be wrong though. Supposedly Wilson Combats are like that, but I've never handled those, or any of the $1,200+ pistols, so I dont know for sure.
The finish could also play a part as well.
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  #3  
Old 02-09-2020, 03:46 AM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is offline
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1911 slides and fit....

When I fit a slide on a 1911 or STI 2011 frame, the fit is very important to be able to get that "glassy smooth" feel. More often than not, I have to flat file the underside of the rails, and once I get a fairly close fit, I use a lapping compound to remove the final high spots. At that point the slide is a very good fit, that will fall off the frame if inverted.... I will clean the slide grooves and rails, then add a good moly lube grease and work the slide back and forth to distribute the grease.....

Other things that contribute to a glassy smooth slide when racking the gun, is a rounded firing pin stop plate, which will glide over the hammer, and using a disco rail cut on the disconnector rail at the breech face.....

A good slide fit is appealing, but does not contribute a major amount to over-all accuracy....perhaps 15-20%. A good barrel, properly fitted, is the major component to obtain optimal accuracy in a 1911 style gun.

Last edited by Rwehavinfunyet; 02-09-2020 at 03:57 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-09-2020, 04:12 AM
Totally Tactical Totally Tactical is offline
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Hardchrome or DLC finish with a drop of oil, on the rails will give that feel.
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  #5  
Old 02-09-2020, 07:14 AM
joesosnowski448 joesosnowski448 is offline
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I use 4-5 decimal places when measuring and fitting my frame to slide. Carefully take a stroke or two of a file on a square filling/stoning jig, measure, take a stroke, measure.

Once the slide gets started on the frame, I bust out the blue layout fluid and meticulously stone the high spots.

Lapping is for lazy gunsmiths.

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  #6  
Old 02-09-2020, 07:36 AM
rofi rofi is offline
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Accu-rail, is as close to a bearing fit I can think of.
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  #7  
Old 02-09-2020, 10:38 AM
jjfitch jjfitch is offline
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I have 1911's from all the major manufacturers and each of the top tier models has iterations that feel as you describe.

One manufacturer, I can say all the ones I have are as you describe.

I don't use grease of any kind just synthetic ATF for gun lube, frequently and "bunches"!

I have one "gamer" gun that still feels that way after 30-40,000 rounds!

Smiles,
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  #8  
Old 02-09-2020, 11:51 AM
ken_mays ken_mays is offline
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Polished full length one-piece guide rod. With a GI guide rod, the spring is unguided in the recoil tunnel and will drag against whatever, giving a "crunchy" feel when the slide is racked.
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  #9  
Old 02-09-2020, 01:00 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is online now
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Agree with rofi, an Accurail equipped gun was quite the smoothest I have handled.
But a conventional gun made straight and square with hard chrome is the smoothest I actually own.
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  #10  
Old 02-09-2020, 01:29 PM
Metal Smith Metal Smith is offline
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The smoothest, most precises, slide to frame fits I have ever seen and felt is made by Warwick Tactical, they make the whole gun, mainly high caps but have single stacks now.

I seen these sets at the shows, they are unfired, not lapped either. And MAN! they glide like ice on ice!

The rails appear to be perfectly ground and shine, no play or excess tolerance can be detected. They don't even appear have a trace of oil on them? Brain said he didn't remember when he oiled them last, at least a few shows ago.

I didn't even bothered to ask how they do it because I know I can't (guess I could if I invested in the machinery but then I'd have to figure it all out?)

Brain owns and runs the machine shop, he is a special man with a lot of know how.
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  #11  
Old 02-09-2020, 01:42 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is online now
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Warwick says: "We machine our frame and slide fits within .0003″-.0004″ clearance and .005″ parallelism."

Did they drop a decimal point there? I wouldn't think 5 thou on parallels would be anything to brag about.
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  #12  
Old 02-09-2020, 01:57 PM
Metal Smith Metal Smith is offline
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Believe me.......they dropped a decimal point. I think @ 5 tenths he being generous.....I bet he's within .0001 to .0002, Jim, you'd have to see the precision and feel it.
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  #13  
Old 02-09-2020, 03:47 PM
megafiddle megafiddle is online now
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Even .0005" parallelism would limit clearance to at least .0005" minimum.

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  #14  
Old 02-10-2020, 06:37 AM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is offline
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Slide to frame fit....

Many years ago I had a USPSA race gun in .38 super that I sent off to Joe Cominolli to have Accu Rails installed..... he did great work and the slide to frame fit was outstanding....and the Accu Rail rods were removeable to clean the gun.….

Last edited by Rwehavinfunyet; 02-10-2020 at 06:41 AM.
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  #15  
Old 02-10-2020, 08:43 AM
Big Pete10 Big Pete10 is offline
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I have a 92FS, stock gun, smooth as silk. I also have a Ruger CMD that is super smooth, don't know why, it's one of the cheapest guns I own. I use grease on the guns with more clearance, oil on the tight ones. The 92 has run 100%, had it for nearly 20 years. The Ruger has gone back to Ruger once, needs to go again but it is very reliable but not 100%.
I have other guns that aren't as smooth, doesn't seem to matter as far as function goes. It's kind of like the hammers on the Python, feels like its on ball bearings, my old Trooper does too but I'd rather shoot S&W guns.

As for grease on the rails, I use Tetra, it isn't thick and gooey like some grease, works well.
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  #16  
Old 02-10-2020, 10:41 AM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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Flat/square/parallel where it needs to be and held to the correct clearance with a really, really good surface finish on the metal. Not sure what that would be, but it is measured in gnat's hairs or something like that.
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  #17  
Old 02-10-2020, 11:04 AM
seagiant seagiant is online now
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Hi,
This is just my thoughts, YMMV...

When I fit a slide and frame.

I use a file and then go to sandpaper.

When everything is finally together I go to plain oil...

And hand lap about 200 times.

This will usually give me that "ball bearing feel".

If not, I squeeze the slide and go 200 more times...

And that usually does it!
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  #18  
Old 02-11-2020, 05:16 AM
Rwehavinfunyet Rwehavinfunyet is offline
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Slide to frame fit....

I have never been a fan of "squeezing the slide" since not all slides have the same hardness, and it is quite possible to crack the slide. Even if the slide slightly compresses, there is also the possibility it will return to its natural dimensions once used..... it all depends on the hardness of the slide.
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  #19  
Old 02-11-2020, 05:27 AM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by megafiddle View Post
Even .0005" parallelism would limit clearance to at least .0005" minimum.

-
Exactly. Someone doesn't understand GD&T.
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  #20  
Old 02-11-2020, 06:58 AM
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combat auto combat auto is online now
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It is all relative...

My WC's are smooth and fine relative to any rack gun I've owned (several)...But my Infinity has an awesome bank-vault feel when racking which I don't get with my 5 WCs...Although this special feeling can bring one to a state of pure-bliss, in reality in and of itself not a reason to buy a gun. Many other variables need to be considered. E.g., I may buy a 6th WC one day, I will not be buying another Infinity.
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Last edited by combat auto; 02-11-2020 at 07:01 AM.
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  #21  
Old 02-11-2020, 07:09 AM
CLASSIC12 CLASSIC12 is offline
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Not a 1911 but the old Sig P210 have that feeling. The inside rails, precisely machined components and tight tolerances probably contribute.

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  #22  
Old 02-11-2020, 07:16 AM
K0025xx K0025xx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRSOtto View Post
Exactly. Someone doesn't understand GD&T.
.0005 min clearance would be difficult to assemble for most people and I don't believe the gun would run at 5 tenths.
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  #23  
Old 02-11-2020, 07:56 AM
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RetiredRod RetiredRod is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRSOtto View Post
Exactly. Someone doesn't understand GD&T.
Not familiar with the term "GD&T". Would appreciate enlightenment.
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  #24  
Old 02-11-2020, 07:56 AM
Magnumite Magnumite is offline
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Last pistol I built I got .0012-.0018” precision on the slide frame fit, carbon slide on stainless frame. Far cry from the discussion at hand. The parallelism does lend itself to that slick feel, as does a polished surface. The firing pin stop contributes to that feel in a few different unlocking characteristics. Good discussion. Thanks.
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  #25  
Old 02-11-2020, 07:59 AM
K0025xx K0025xx is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RetiredRod View Post
Not familiar with the term "GD&T". Would appreciate enlightenment.
Geometric dimension and tolerance... just someone trying to sound smart. It's a language of symbols used on manufacturing drawings indicating tolerance call-outs for things like concentricity, parallelism, flatness, perpendicularity, etc.
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Last edited by K0025xx; 02-11-2020 at 08:01 AM.
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