Fitting a 1911 barrel

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Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by 1911a1 on 9/9/2018, 11:39 pm

Is it possible for someone who is patient to learn to fit a barrel after several tries that will maximize accuracy or is this only possible for someone who works in the industry and fits hundreds or thousands of barrels?

Any recommendations on resources learn to fit a barrel properly? I see the Bob Marvel has the class that he offers but was looking more for something like DVDs or a book to use at home. I have fit a barrel and it didn't shoot much better than the stock barrel but that was probably because I used a YouTube video lol.

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Re: Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by LenV on 9/10/2018, 12:01 am

Way more then you ever wanted to know. Or maybe not.

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Re: Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on 9/10/2018, 5:47 am

Considering the cost of parts & the number of variables involved in performing that task, I'd feel more comfortable & learn way more by having direct  instruction from a good gunsmith rather than some YOU-TUBE commando.
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Re: Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by james r chapman on 9/10/2018, 6:22 am

If you follow some of the gunsmithing threads on other forums, especially ones from the late Jerry Keefer, you'll see the tooling required alone to do it right.
It can be done to different levels but the elite guns generally require more patience, talent and equipment than most of us have.
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Re: Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by jglenn21 on 9/10/2018, 1:07 pm

I'm not a gunsmith and only play one at home.. that said it can be a fun(expensive) hobby


the best video I can think of on fitting a barrel from a pro is the Jack Weigand video that surrounds using his barrel jig.. on YouTube I think.

there are some others on the tube that are ok or at least cover the areas that need to be addressed in fitting a "gunsmith fit" barrel such as Kart, KKM or Bar-Sto. you'll see a variety of tools being used from a simple file to a mill and or lathe.

the simplest barrel to fit would be the Kart Xact-fit barrel that only requires fitting the upper lugs and barrel hood.. all gunsmith fitted barrels require fitting both the upper and lower lugs.. the Kit Kart sells to fit the barrel is excellent. I still use pieces of it after many years.

here's an old article on the Kart Ez-fit or Zact-fit barrel:
http://nebula.wsimg.com/94618561f51d9a304bc2b2f532b3d21a?AccessKeyId=8F95FE4B7AA2E18A87AB&disposition=0&alloworigin=1

Properly fitting the barrel is a bit of an art( trial and error) over a number of barrels


is it possible to do it yourself: yes,  if you are mechanically inclined

is it worth the time in tooling and number of screw-ups:  probably not on just a few barrels.

is it worth it if you are one of those people who just has to learn to do it yourself: Yes or at least it has been for me. Living in Georgia, I was blessed to be around some of the best AMU smiths in the 70s who felt pity no doubt on my early attempts and stupid questions.. one in particular guided me when he had time or felt like it Shocked ,  on how to build a decent pistol for myself and family.. Absolutely the best way to learn is to watch a pro and get his advice.

There are some older books or manuals that deal with building a BE pistol..The old AMU or NG smithing books were pretty good although a bit short on detail.   dig around eBay and you can find them..

Tooling can kill you unless you simply don't care about cost.. I probably have all of the tools Brownell's sells specific to the 1911 and many others from different sources such as EGW.. I have access to  a Mill and lathe and I'm working on my welding skills(Oh boy). all of that accumulated over many years. the proper tool simply helps you do the job right.

the one advantage you have today is the internet.. lot's of info out there but you have to sort through the junk( I cleaned that up)  to get there..

do some research and decide for yourself if you want to handle it
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Re: Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by oldsalt444 on 9/10/2018, 2:08 pm

+1 on the Kart barrels.  These are designed for do-it-yourselfers.  I have fitted several and are not difficult.  Accuracy is top notch.
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Re: Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by Bigtrout on 9/11/2018, 10:29 am

Hmmm.  Maybe the E-Z Fit could cure my 3" 50yd groups on my basically stock RO9.  Thanks for the tip and link jglenn.
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Re: Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by LenV on 9/11/2018, 10:37 am

On my 9mm Ro all I had to do was change the link, slide stop and the bushing to tighten it right up. Barrel was fine.

Len
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Re: Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by jglenn21 on 9/11/2018, 11:08 am

Lens approach on the RO is the right way to approach that pistol.

All springfields that ive looked at had small slide stops around .195 in dia. A more std one around 198 - 199 will help tighten lockup and possibly require a longer link.. the EGW angled bushing can be ordered in a.specific size for your gun.. they have instructions on their site on how to do that..
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Re: Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by Bigtrout on 9/11/2018, 12:23 pm

As an old uncle once said..."there is more to be considered than thought about."  Good points, both.  I did do the EGW angle bore early on and it fits as described by Mr. Petty in his tutorial.  I'll be looking into pin size and link replacement.  Man, am I ever glad I joined this forum.  Thank you.
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Re: Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by ASchlem on 9/17/2018, 6:21 pm

Question for the bullseye gunsmiths... After adjusting barrel hood length to allow the locking lugs to mesh do you use a barrel/firing pin aliment tool and adjust engagement depth to center the tool? I heard a reputable smith say they just like to see 10&2 interference between the barrel and slide lugs. 
Thanks
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Re: Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by jglenn21 on 9/17/2018, 7:03 pm

I'm sure more qualified folks will jump in,  but I use the EGW lower lug alignment tool to center the lower lugs.. I cut the edges of the tool so it fits into a standard Slide further helping lock the alignment tool into the slide. I was always taught to do the 10 and 2 lockup area and relieve the top to insure there would be no rocking of the barrel. the 10 and 2 if done correctly gives you two points of lockup not a single area. I have also seen smiths cut the outer edges of the upper lugs to make sure they clear the slide.. old school. when you finish the upper lugs and hood the barrel should lock into the slide and then the alignment tool should fit into the lower lugs smoothly verifying you even lockup.( the main reason I cut the sides of the EGW tool so it slides into the slide and centers itself.


 Dykem is your friend on fitting the lugs(upper and lower)


I monitor the depth of engagement with a dial depth indicator on top of the barrel hood.
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Re: Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by ASchlem on 9/17/2018, 7:54 pm

I wasn't asking about your lug alignment tool, but thank for your input. John or KC do you guys line the boar of the barrel with the firing pin?
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Re: Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by Jon Eulette on 9/17/2018, 8:20 pm

In the old days using welded up barrels firing pin strike could be a real issue. With the Kart barrels that Issue fell by the wayside because you could fit the upper lugs. I don’t fit my barrels based on Center firing pin strike. Sometimes you will not have enough lug engagement. So it’s really dependent upon the firearm getting the barrel. That’s where experience comes into play. Some pistols when the hood is fit will give you a centered strike right off the bat. Not good.....
EXPERIENCE 
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Re: Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by ASchlem on 9/17/2018, 8:45 pm

Thanks, do you look for .03 engagement or is it a feel thing for you?
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Re: Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by Jon Eulette on 9/17/2018, 8:49 pm

Goal is 0.045. The pistol will dictate whether you can get it or not.
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Re: Fitting a 1911 barrel

Post by Wmvdg123 on 9/17/2018, 9:12 pm

Great info, thank you Jon

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