Kart XACT Fit Barrels

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Kart XACT Fit Barrels

Post by Jon Eulette on 9/14/2017, 11:07 am

I was questioned about the Kart XACT Fit (KXF) Barrel. So I thought I’d throw my 2 cents out there. 1911 dimensions are all over the place when it comes to barrel fitting. The KXF is designed so you fit the hood to the slide and then fit the upper lug tabs to the slide locking lugs. The bottom barrel lugs are pre-fit and has a correct barrel link for those pre-fit lugs. So the dimension from the top of the slidestop pin to the radius of the slide locking lugs is what governs the fit. SA Custom shop pistols have an extremely long dimension here. The KXF would probably drop in and be loose; in other words you couldn’t fit the upper lugs. So you would have minimal lock up/engagement with the upper lugs. If you have a 1911 with lots of vertical frame to slide play then you’re in the same ball park. A Caspian frame and slide with minimal vertical play would probably work out fairly decent because the dimension is shorter than what I’ve already described. In my opinion the upper barrel lug fit is absolutely crucial to building a BE pistol that will really be a shooter; less recoil and consistent lock up. Nowlin barrels have a pre-fit upper barrel lug. That’s why 99% of BE pistolsmiths will not use them for a build. So I’m not trying to knock the KXF, I’m only pointing out what you’re really getting. With today’s CNC quality parts I believe anyone could throw together a 1911. But the barrel fit is what governs a quality BE pistol. There probably aren’t 10 builders in the country that really understand how to fit a barrel for a bullseye pistol. I probably didn’t make many friends saying that Razz but I’ve seen a ton of custom pistols in my time and I know what’s out there.  So a true oversized match barrel (Kart, KKM, Barsto) lets the pistolsmith compensate for the differences from pistol to pistol. Experience is what you’re paying a pistolsmith for! Their experience is what they base every portion of the barrel fitting process on; no two are alike. In other words there are tradeoffs that are made during a build to get it just right for each pistol being built.


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Re: Kart XACT Fit Barrels

Post by javaduke on 9/14/2017, 12:32 pm

Wouldn't it be great if someone (like you, sir) wrote a guide on how to fit a barrel for the BE pistol Smile Kinda like "Building a BE Pistol for Dummies". Step-by-step guide, examples of what to measure, how to test fit, etc, etc, etc.
I guess I'm asking too much, am I? I believe I've memorized my Kuhnhausen book verbatim, but I'm sure it's not enough...

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Re: Kart XACT Fit Barrels

Post by zanemoseley on 9/14/2017, 12:37 pm

What would be awesome is a great set of instructional DVD's or Youtube videos from someone like Jon who really knows what it takes to build a BE gun. I'd pay a decent chunk of change for a complete set of videos of the entire process from start to finish.

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Re: Kart XACT Fit Barrels

Post by STEVE SAMELAK on 9/14/2017, 1:29 pm

Having access to the knowledge would be good....it would be better if I also had the skill and patience.  study
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Re: Kart XACT Fit Barrels

Post by robert84010 on 9/14/2017, 2:31 pm

Don't forget the cost of good tools. Plus there are some jigs that speed up certain fitting parts, making jigs takes more than hand tools. That is why I put my stuff in a box and send it off to my guy. I've always considered sending my parts to someone I know can build as money well spent. Theoretically I could spend that building time dryfiring.

I'm not sure the Kuhnhausen is considered to be the absolute authority as it once was, at least as far as building techniques. Jon, care to comment on that.

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Re: Kart XACT Fit Barrels

Post by rich.tullo on 9/14/2017, 3:28 pm

Would you say Jon that many shooters would be better off with a new bushing and some work on the legs if the buyer cannot afford a re barreling if the gun is fairly accurate, under 4 inches at 50 yards with a factory fit bushing?
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Re: Kart XACT Fit Barrels

Post by Jon Eulette on 9/14/2017, 3:40 pm

In the old days I have taken stock Colt .45 acp barrels and welded the hood, the bottom lugs, refit barrel and installed match bushing. They will shoot 1.5" no problem. I've shot 880's with stock welded up barrels in the past! But there are other things necessary to accommodate for stock barrel. They recoil more than newer barrels because upper lug engagement. This is how Clark Custom Guns used to build pistols! It was being done long before I got in the game.
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Re: Kart XACT Fit Barrels

Post by jglenn21 on 9/14/2017, 5:34 pm

Jim Clark used to sell Brand new Colt barrels all welded up at Camp Perry every year.. $50 ea(?)  and he sold them all. they were takeouts from his builds.. With today's Tig welders the process is much better. Heat sinks are a must.

As Jon noted they would shoot
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Re: Kart XACT Fit Barrels

Post by teg2658 on 9/14/2017, 9:52 pm

In the 1980s Kart could not make enough barrels to keep up with demand, Jackie Best would use welded up Colt barrels if the person he was building the gun for did not want to wait for a Kart barrel. All the ones with the welded Colt barrels shot well. I know of a Clark ball gun that the bottom lug broke off of, it had a welded barrel.
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Re: Kart XACT Fit Barrels

Post by Dr.Don on 9/15/2017, 9:27 am

My Clark 45 was purchased new in 1983.  Built on a Colt Series 70 with welded up Colt barrel.  In that period Clark often used a Bomar tuner rib to help with lockup.  I've replaced the slide mount several times, but always milled the new mount to leave the tuner in place.  It has many thousands of rounds through it (mostly cast lead), but will still hold 2" at 50yds.
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Re: Kart XACT Fit Barrels

Post by oldsalt444 on 9/15/2017, 12:09 pm

The Kart XACT Fit or EZ Fit barrels are great for amateurs like me who like to fiddle with their guns.  I've installed 4 or 5 of these and they will shoot sub 2" @ 50 if done right.  Like Jon says, you need a clear understanding of the fitting process and relationship between the upper lugs and lower legs. My first one didn't quite turn out right because I didn't understand this.  The instructions given with the barrel are somewhat complicated and I read, re-read and re-read them until I got a handle on it.  I like that you can get a tight lock up with careful filing. 

TIP: Buy the fitting kit from Kart. Money well spent and makes the job much easier.

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Re: Kart XACT Fit Barrels

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