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  #1  
Old 01-03-2017, 06:33 AM
DesmoAndrew DesmoAndrew is offline
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Two Tone Commander Build

I posted over one the gunsmithing part of the forum, but thought Iíd delve into the challenges I faced/created on this build.

The Caspian slide was very easy to work with. I choose to install a 45 firing pin just to keep the parts consistent with all my other 1911ís. I had Caspian cut the slide for the Heinie sights and while it did take a fair amount of fitting to get them on, it worked well.

I went the 80% frame route for several reasons, chief of which was the challenge of it and to learn a few things. While fitting the slide to the frame I ended up removing too much material from the top deck. This was in part due to galling I experienced while trial fitting the slide to the frame. While trying to get a good read on the high spots, I used too much tapping pressure. The vendor of the frame state it was 416R Ö I will keep it lubed in use. The lower than spec top deck height, with respect to the slide stop pin, created a bunch of issues with timing the barrel. In the end I had to cut back the VIS surface, trim up the barrel feet, adjust the barrel throat and futz with various link lengths. Not ideal, but it has shot reliably thus far.

The other aspect of the frame which caused me grief was how the 0.25 radius was cut. For some reason, they brought the top surface of the tangs down quite low which made fitting a beaver tail hard to do. I was worried that in trying to chase the line down to blend it, I'd have to cut way too deep. I didn't have easy access to a welder to address it. In the end I just took a new SS GI grip safety and modified it to look like an original Colt Commander grip safety. Not ideal appearance wise, but it will work.

Since Iím a lefty, I wanted an ambi safety. The EGW item is very well made and I quite like the design of the captive hammer pin. However, the frame width was a bit over spec, so it took a bit of work to enlarge the slot on the hammer pin to get it all to fit.

David Clevinger prepped the slide and blued it. I also sent him a bunch of the small parts. They turned out very well. I've always admired the two tone models from the higher end houses and went that way for this one.







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  #2  
Old 01-03-2017, 12:35 PM
Tom_R Tom_R is offline
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Beautiful Commander, I am a fan of two tone 1911s and I like how you did this one.

Is the Trigger from Night Hawk? I like their 3 hole triggers, and STI 3 hole triggers the best.

Very nice pistol.
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  #3  
Old 01-03-2017, 01:06 PM
DesmoAndrew DesmoAndrew is offline
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yeah, Nighthawk trigger. I actually wanted to find a medium length Dlask trigger but they seem to be hard to come by.

thx
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  #4  
Old 01-03-2017, 01:23 PM
horsemen61 horsemen61 is offline
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Very nice
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2017, 04:26 PM
Tom_R Tom_R is offline
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Well, the Nighthawk trigger looks outstanding.
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  #6  
Old 09-03-2017, 04:27 AM
Totally Tactical Totally Tactical is offline
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No you don't. The Dlask trigger is one of the hardest to fit.
Very nice build.
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  #7  
Old 09-03-2017, 10:05 AM
Iron Mike 631 Iron Mike 631 is offline
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Very clean and functional.

Excellent work!
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  #8  
Old 09-03-2017, 10:36 AM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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Looks good. You don't often see a real Commander grip safety these days. They are either beavertails or rattails.
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  #9  
Old 09-04-2017, 08:07 PM
DesmoAndrew DesmoAndrew is offline
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Thx guys, for the comments.

I had to make the grip safety from an A1 blank. I decided I wanted a more retro look in some regards.

I can't say I love the Heinie rear sight ... the wide notch is likely good for fast acquisition, but I like a slimmer notch. But I do find I can shoot well enough with it.

After shooting the gun a bit I slimmed down the thumb safety paddles and spent a bit of time rounding the edges. My knuckles were getting a bit banged up.

This has turned into a real nice shooting pistol. 600 total rounds so far. Love the Commander size.

I'm just about finished with its cousin, a gvmt model set up in a similar manner. Will post when its done.
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  #10  
Old 09-05-2017, 02:24 PM
BillTK7 BillTK7 is offline
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Nice looking build.
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  #11  
Old 01-15-2018, 04:24 PM
Intercessor Intercessor is offline
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I agree with your assessment on the Heinie rear sight notch, looks to be .140, I prefer a tighter .125 notch.

Great looking Commander build Sir!
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  #12  
Old 01-16-2018, 05:43 PM
hs125pilot hs125pilot is offline
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Looks great! Two tone is totally boss.
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  #13  
Old 01-16-2018, 08:14 PM
DesmoAndrew DesmoAndrew is offline
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now that I've finished the big brother two tone (see new post topic), I think it's time for something else on the next build!

Thx for the comments guys ..
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  #14  
Old 02-04-2018, 08:30 AM
Magnumite Magnumite is online now
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Nice looking pistol, finish is appealing.
I recognize you barrel timing issues. Clarify ‘futz with varous link lengths’ if you would.
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  #15  
Old 02-04-2018, 11:47 AM
DesmoAndrew DesmoAndrew is offline
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Magnumite,

The challenge with the error I made in lowering the deck height too much is that it impacted how all the other geometric relationships played together. For the specific slide/frame combination I had, I wasn't getting enough barrel/slide clearance at lock back. The barrel feet were hitting VIS too early, so I ended up having to remove about 5 thou off the VIS surface, and then need to recut the clearance cut to get enough of a bow tie. Also shaved about 5 thou off the back of the barrel feet. All to get to a point where the I had good clearance between the barrel and slide (ended up with about 10/11 thou, barely enough).

This, of course, caused the barrel throat to be too far back, and as I was chasing all these clearances, I was trying various links to allow the barrel to link down fully, and still get correct vertical lock up. I still seem to be getting a fairly tight lock up on the feet rather than riding the link (which was what I feared would happen after trimming the VIS and barrel feet)

The "futzing" really refers to the issues with trying to get an out of spec pistol to function something close to what an in-spec pistol does. I have about 1200 rds though the pistol and have no signs of upper lugs getting damaged due to timing issues.

Not sure if it's directly related to my "mis-fit" but I've found the pistol to run very reliably with Chip McCormick power mags, but have occasional FTF from modern Colt Checkmate mags (RN ball ammo). I like to have my pistols be as agnostic to ammo/mags as possible, so I'm still trying to fine tune (a liitle more easing on the barrel throat transitioing, polished the inner hood surface, rechecking extractor fitment etc.)

There is a reason to keep them as close as possible to ordnance specs!
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  #16  
Old 02-04-2018, 09:07 PM
Magnumite Magnumite is online now
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thank you for the response
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The modern production 1911 - high visibility sights, beavertail grip safety, aluminum trigger, good trigger pull, enhanced slide/ frame fit, accurized barrel/bushing fit. If itís not a Kimber, itís a copy.
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  #17  
Old 02-18-2018, 12:53 PM
CyberDyneSystems CyberDyneSystems is offline
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Looks fantastic!

Was the frame by any chance from 1911 builders.com?
I ask because it looks a lot like my current bobtail commander build, and I am seeing the same really bizarre .250 tang cut for the grip safety.

It's very strange in particular as I have used that source but in different models several times and they have all had perfectly usable .250 radius. Both officers aluminum and full sized stainless have not had this issue.
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