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  #1  
Old 03-21-2009, 09:47 PM
TFA303 TFA303 is offline
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My Pig-In-A-Poke 1911

So....

I got a good deal on this pistol. It's an Officer's - size Essex Arms frame with a Commander-length slide (4.25" bbl.) I bought it knowing it'd need work, as the grip safety didn't work. But I love to tinker, and what better way to learn about the 1911 platform that to buy one that offers lots of opportunities to futz with it. (That's how I learned to fix cars, too, now that I think about it.)

Eventually, I want this to be a reliable carry piece.

So, here's m list of things that need to be fixed following my first strip and clean. Your suggestions on what to fix first, good name parts to buy, etc., are very welcome:
  • Cracked barrel bushing
  • Extended slide stop seems to slide out of place when racking the slide
  • The leading edge of the barrel just forward of the recoil lugs has formed a sharp edge where it hits the bushing
  • The sear spring is supposed to have three prongs, right? Yeah, I thought so.
  • Mec-Gar Magazines

I'll see if I can post photos of #3 to explain it better.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Tom
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  #2  
Old 03-21-2009, 10:13 PM
TFA303 TFA303 is offline
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Close-up of barrel damage.
Attached Thumbnails
P1010050small.jpg  

Last edited by TFA303; 03-21-2009 at 10:15 PM. Reason: pto
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  #3  
Old 03-21-2009, 10:52 PM
log man log man is offline
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You're right it needs work.

LOG
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  #4  
Old 03-22-2009, 09:24 AM
Jolly Rogers Jolly Rogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TFA303 View Post
So....

I got a good deal on this pistol. It's an Officer's - size Essex Arms frame with a Commander-length slide (4.25" bbl.) I bought it knowing it'd need work, as the grip safety didn't work. But I love to tinker, and what better way to learn about the 1911 platform that to buy one that offers lots of opportunities to futz with it. (That's how I learned to fix cars, too, now that I think about it.)

Eventually, I want this to be a reliable carry piece.

So, here's m list of things that need to be fixed following my first strip and clean. Your suggestions on what to fix first, good name parts to buy, etc., are very welcome:
  • Cracked barrel bushing
  • Extended slide stop seems to slide out of place when racking the slide
  • The leading edge of the barrel just forward of the recoil lugs has formed a sharp edge where it hits the bushing
  • The sear spring is supposed to have three prongs, right? Yeah, I thought so.
  • Mec-Gar Magazines

I'll see if I can post photos of #3 to explain it better.

Thanks in advance for any help!

Tom
The items in red may be related. If a commander length bushing wasn't used you may even have a cracked slide too! The recoil spring needs to be specific to a commander slide, coil bind can cause a cracked bushing or slide by itself.
The item in green may be from a damaged slide stop or may just be a side effect of the extended stop. I haven't heard much good about extended slide stops.
I hope the good deal just didn't turn into a money pit.
Joe

Last edited by Jolly Rogers; 03-22-2009 at 09:36 AM.
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  #5  
Old 03-22-2009, 09:33 AM
MSgt Dotson MSgt Dotson is offline
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WHo makes the slide in question? (If a Colt slide, get a proper Cmdr length bushing!)

We can hope this visible damage is simply the improper use of a Govt length bushing (wayyyy too long!), and that the slide is undamaged...

The barrel has been peened horribly, but, we can try a gentle file down/ sanding of raised edges one a proper length bushing is installed!
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  #6  
Old 03-22-2009, 02:04 PM
Randall Kepley Randall Kepley is offline
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This ones going to be interesting. Lets see the rest of the pix, you listed quite a few other problems. R.K.
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  #7  
Old 03-22-2009, 02:19 PM
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pistolwrench pistolwrench is offline
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The poor barrel is a goner.
I hope the locking lugs in the slide are not as bad.
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  #8  
Old 03-22-2009, 02:39 PM
LogicGS LogicGS is offline
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Damn man.

I'm sure the pistol can be made operational eventually, but the redneck in me wants to ask if you really needed a trot line anchor that badly.



Sorry man, everyone gets one of these projects eventually.
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Last edited by LogicGS; 03-22-2009 at 06:20 PM.
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  #9  
Old 03-22-2009, 02:39 PM
Magnumite Magnumite is offline
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i'm with Pistolwrench on this. Bought a pistol like that and lugs on the slide were beat. And I'd say the wrong bushing is in the pistol from the appearance of the forward interface upper lug area and the barrel.
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  #10  
Old 03-22-2009, 04:26 PM
Nathan Nathan is offline
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Can we see some pics of the overall gun. . .

BTW, I can't see how you can make much out of that barrel.
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  #11  
Old 03-22-2009, 09:25 PM
BigJon BigJon is offline
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Is that even a commander-barrel?

I'm with you on the tinkerin' fun, but I don't believe I'd carry a gun that I knew had been subjected to the stresses that one obviously has. But look on the bright side - once you pull your last hair out and throw the whole thing in the junque parts box, at least you've got some Mec-Gars to sell.

Good luck, bro!

Best,
Jon
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  #12  
Old 03-22-2009, 10:33 PM
log man log man is offline
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The picture is priceless, I can't quit looking at it as if it where strange art or something. The lugs are so destroyed, it's mesmerizing, what was somebody thinking.

LOG
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  #13  
Old 03-23-2009, 06:30 AM
Jolly Rogers Jolly Rogers is offline
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Sumpin like " Man...I got enuf parts to make a gun...got nothin else to do today. Whats this part called that I just ground down to jam into the slide??
Joe
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  #14  
Old 03-23-2009, 06:40 AM
blindhogg blindhogg is offline
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Um your barrel bushing is cracked because its too long for this sized pistol, it is crashing into the barrel which was short stroking your pistol. NOT GOOD.
Chris
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  #15  
Old 03-23-2009, 10:55 AM
TFA303 TFA303 is offline
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Thanks for all the replies and suggestions, folks.

I checked out the slide, thinking the same thing y'all did. Hallelujah, the lugs on the slide are fine.

Neither the barrel nor the slide have any identifying marks that I can find, but the workmanship on the slide looks good (though it needs to be refinished, but that's easy).

The bushing was really hard to get out, so it may well be the wrong size.

I'm thinking EGW to replace the bushing and the slide stop (and I agree, no need for the extended version), but I'll also need to figure out where to get a good sear spring.

Did I mention the yellow funk under the GS and MSH? I'll be charitable and say it looks like ancient white lithium grease, but it looks more like Elmer's wood glue.

I'll post some more photos once I get home.

Last edited by TFA303; 03-23-2009 at 10:57 AM.
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  #16  
Old 03-23-2009, 11:57 AM
rglock35 rglock35 is offline
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That barrel is like a 10 car pile up on the interstate. It's a tragedy that I can't stop looking at! Oh, the humanity !

For the sliding slide stop, I recently had to bore the plunger tube a little deeper to the font(slide stop) end on a Colt due to the original bore being to shallow. Previously to my boring it deeper, the plunger was flush with the hole and didn't engage the slide stop. Lots of people on this forum suggested how to go about it and it turned out well.

If you replace the slide stop after installing a new barrel and it still wants to slip out, this may be something you can try if your plunger tube is a problem.

However, before you actually start buying parts you may want to take a few measurements with the old calipers. Could save you some $$$, if you know what I mean.
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  #17  
Old 03-23-2009, 12:32 PM
mark2734 mark2734 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TFA303 View Post
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions, folks.

I checked out the slide, thinking the same thing y'all did. Hallelujah, the lugs on the slide are fine.

Neither the barrel nor the slide have any identifying marks that I can find, but the workmanship on the slide looks good (though it needs to be refinished, but that's easy).

The bushing was really hard to get out, so it may well be the wrong size.

I'm thinking EGW to replace the bushing and the slide stop (and I agree, no need for the extended version), but I'll also need to figure out where to get a good sear spring.

Did I mention the yellow funk under the GS and MSH? I'll be charitable and say it looks like ancient white lithium grease, but it looks more like Elmer's wood glue.

I'll post some more photos once I get home.
If your already ordering from EGW you can get just about anything you need from them, including a barrel at a good price. A couple of weeks ago they had Storm Lake production over runs on sale, good quality for a rebuild.
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  #18  
Old 03-23-2009, 01:36 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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That wasn't a very good barrel before it got beat up. The only place I have ever seen the swoopy contours between the lugs is on the Sarco Roto barrels. You don't get much barrel for $40 these days.
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:54 PM
BigJon BigJon is offline
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Originally Posted by log man View Post
The picture is priceless, I can't quit looking at it as if it where strange art or something. The lugs are so destroyed, it's mesmerizing, what was somebody thinking.

LOG
I know! And that's what I was trying to figure out - how did enough metal get moved around in front of the lugs to make that ridge! From the side of the chamber below the front lug, it looks like it's a government-model barrel profile, and I'm wondering if that's where the extra metal to make the ridge come from. If it's a g-model bushing, that's bad enough, but combine that with the profile of a gov-t model barrel in front of the lugs, and I can't image that the frame's not cracked at least somewhere. Whew!
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  #20  
Old 03-23-2009, 01:59 PM
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Ricky T Ricky T is offline
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Even Chuck Rogers couldn't save that pork.
Sell it and get an M&P .45 Compact.
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  #21  
Old 03-23-2009, 02:18 PM
Trailboss60 Trailboss60 is offline
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Even Chuck Rogers couldn't save that pork.
Sell it and get an M&P .45 Compact.
Maybe we can round up all the household names, rogers, Yost, etc..And get a version of "trick my truck" going on the forum.

I can provide some raw material, all they would need to provide is the labor.
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  #22  
Old 03-23-2009, 02:35 PM
BigJon BigJon is offline
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Originally Posted by TFA303 View Post
The bushing was really hard to get out, so it may well be the wrong size.
No, when we say the bushing's the wrong size, we're not referring to how tight it is in the slide. Instead, we're talking about how long it is from front to back.
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  #23  
Old 03-23-2009, 02:55 PM
BigJon BigJon is offline
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Actually, on second thought, maybe the gun just needs to have the existing work completed. For instance, you might ...

... lighten the pistol, ...





... do a li'l custom hammer-bob job and GS install ...



... finish 'er out with a shot of ...



... and call it "good to go!"

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  #24  
Old 03-23-2009, 03:59 PM
TFA303 TFA303 is offline
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No, when we say the bushing's the wrong size, we're not referring to how tight it is in the slide. Instead, we're talking about how long it is from front to back.
Yep, I understood that; I was thinking that it being too long (and the subsequent battering) might have wedged it in place. Sorry if I was unclear. I'm learning a lot from this discussion!

Maybe I'll get the slide magnafluxed to make sure there aren't any cracks I'm missing.
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  #25  
Old 03-23-2009, 04:35 PM
BigJon BigJon is offline
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TF - As I said, I'm with you on the learning-by-tinkering thing. The problem with using this gun for that is that it's so horribly messed up, and you may not (you may, I just don't know) have the basic working knowledge to even know how to diagnose what's wrong, let alone fix it. If you're gutsy enough, though, go for it!

But, "magnafluxed" or not, I can't imagine that you'd ever carry that pistol for self defense even if repaired. YMMV, but that's my take.

Best,
Jon
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