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Japsican
03-03-2009, 4:12 PM
Anyone here know how to properly check the barrel fit of a 1911 Government? I would like someone knowledgeable to do a quick check on my 1911 for proper barrel fit and let me know if work does need to be done. My pistol does not seem to be having any issues right now, but I believe the previous owner may have had a new barrel installed so I am leery of the previous work that may have taken place. I've already sent a message to Will O'Hara, just checking to see if anyone else would be willing to help me out.

Thanks,

Marc

Beelzy
03-03-2009, 4:26 PM
If the guns functions well, and the fired cases don't have a bulge near their bases, then life is good with your 1911.

A bulged case would indicate to much throating of the barrel, which some overzealous folks do to help their guns feed HPs.

Fjold
03-03-2009, 4:34 PM
Here are a couple of quick checks to see gross fitting issues:

With the slide forward press on the top of the barrel (through the ejection port). If it moves more than just .002" or so then your link might be to short and you need to get it checked.

Pull the slide off of your gun and remove the barrel. If the lugs in the slide and/or the top of the barrel have rounded or peened edges then the lugs on the barrel need to be cut to fit easier.

Japsican
03-03-2009, 4:34 PM
There are no bulges in the brass...what about barrel lock and top and bottom lug fitting? The gun feels like it cycles fine, just the lock up and related accuracy that im concerned about.

Thanks

Edit: Thanks guys, I'll have to give it a check when I get home.

Jonathan Doe
03-03-2009, 4:47 PM
If the pistol functions fine and shoots well, just shoot until it breaks and then get some custom works done.

I had mine done over the period of almost 2 years in 1980's. I shot s little and took it to the gunsmith and get some things done, and shot more and some more things done. I ended up spending a lot of money and time for it from Pachmayrs and Jim Boland. But the gun is exactly the way I want it now, and I have won several medals and trophys with it.

buffybuster
03-03-2009, 5:06 PM
Here are a couple of quick checks to see gross fitting issues:

With the slide forward press on the top of the barrel (through the ejection port). If it moves more than just .002" or so then your link might be to short and you need to get it checked.

Pull the slide off of your gun and remove the barrel. If the lugs in the slide and/or the top of the barrel have rounded or peened edges then the lugs on the barrel need to be cut to fit easier.

In the interest of accurate information:

Pushing on the top of the chamber doesn't give you too much information. And the link should not be holding the barrel into battery. Changing the barrel link length is a very poort method to improve barrel lockup. The only purpose the link has is to pull the barrel out of battery when the bottom lugs cam off the slidestop. The bottom lugs should be bringing and holding the barrel in battery when they ride on the slidestop.

If the top barrel lugs are peened then it needs to be replaced or they need to be professionally welded back up and recut (replacing is far cheaper and easier). If the bottom lugs are not riding evenly on the slidestop, they can be welded up and recut or the barrel replaced. Though I have seen a few guns with only one bottom lug riding on the slidestop that function OK, though it is not ideal, especially in a high round count (competition) gun.

Japsican
03-03-2009, 5:12 PM
Thanks for all the replies, Guys...

How about this...is there anyone who can check the accuracy of my 1911? Anyone have a pistol stand I could borrow? I'm concerned that if the barrel fit isn't proper then my accuracy would be off...What good is practicing and trying to become a better shot if your pistol isn't up to par and accurate to begin with?...

buffybuster
03-03-2009, 5:15 PM
What kind of groups are you getting right now?

Japsican
03-03-2009, 5:29 PM
What kind of groups are you getting right now?

Well I'm still a pretty crappy shot, so I'd say my average group at about 21' would be about 3" with some flyers. I'd like to rule out my lack of shooting ability and see what my pistol is capable of without human error.

Edit: Maybe I'm being too hard on myself...maybe about 2" on a good day haha.

Fjold
03-03-2009, 6:53 PM
Buffy is correct, the lower lugs on the barrel should ride up on the slide stop to push the barrel up into the locking lugs.

buffybuster
03-03-2009, 7:18 PM
Buffy is correct, the lower lugs on the barrel should ride up on the slide stop to push the barrel up into the locking lugs.

Frank,
Just wanted forum readers to get accurate information. We'll miss you at the 22lr match.

Henry

buffybuster
03-03-2009, 7:25 PM
Well I'm still a pretty crappy shot, so I'd say my average group at about 21' would be about 3" with some flyers. I'd like to rule out my lack of shooting ability and see what my pistol is capable of without human error.

Edit: Maybe I'm being too hard on myself...maybe about 2" on a good day haha.

Have you ever benchrested the gun and shot it for groups? You NEED to benchrest it (shoot supported over sandbags) and find out what it groups like, then have someonelse that is a better shooter do the same thing and compare. Also might want to try a few different types/brands of ammo, since all firearms can be a little picky. If it still doesn't shoot better than 4" groups at 25yds then you migh think about making some "improvements". If it's 4" accurate at 25yds, I consider that accurate enough for any social occassion. Regarding function, reliability in King, accuracy is Queen and everything else are jokers dancing on a head of a pin.

BillCA
03-04-2009, 6:46 AM
Well I'm still a pretty crappy shot, so I'd say my average group at about 21' would be about 3" with some flyers. I'd like to rule out my lack of shooting ability and see what my pistol is capable of without human error.


I'd say you're likely putting the cart before the horse.

I second what Buffy is saying - shoot the gun, supported, for the best accuracy you can. Then have another shooter whom you have seen is a better shot than you, try doing the same with your gun. If they have their own 1911 they shoot very well with, try it and see what your scores are.

Also, buy a box or two of premium ammo instead of generic (WWB) ammo. Federal 230g Match (GM45A) or 230g Hydrashok (P45HS1) do well out of most of my Commander models. Most pistols are "sighted in" for 25 yards. With premium ammo you should only be 1/2-1" low at 7 yards.


When buying a used 1911, things that I look for, with the gun unloaded;
Bushing check: Slide closed, push muzzle N-S-E-W and look for movement. Should be none or less than .002". Indicates worn bushing or barrel.
Bushing fit check: Open slide, look for excess wear at top of barrel near muzzle AND under barrel at rear of bushing depth. Indicates poorly fit bushing.
Inspect barrel hood at top rear of chamber for peening. Inspect breechface for excessive wear. Indicates too long of a barrel hood.
Slide Fit: Push entire slide lengthwise to one side or the other. Observe far side rail fitment. If movement up to 1/2 of rail width, inspect frame and slide for worn out rails (rare, but I've seen it on high round count guns).
Barrel locking lugs: Field strip, inspect barrel locking lugs. Top edges of lugs should be square cut without peening, rounding or burrs. Same applies to locking cuts in slide. Dress burrs. If barrel lugs peened or rounded, replace barrel. If slide lugs peened, replace slide.
Link Assembly: Inspect for ovaled pin hole, bent pin, peening on slide stop hole. Replace if damaged.
Lastly, ensure both front and rear sights cannot be moved by hand pressure.
I've fired some pretty old and heavily used surplus military 1911's and could still hold a 6" group at 25 yards. A few would pattern like a shotgun and generally speaking either the bushings were worn out or the barrels themselves were badly worn.

Japsican
03-04-2009, 9:40 AM
Thanks for all the replies and info, everyone. I'm going to take my pistol to Will O'Hara. He's going to check it out at no charge:D. Then I'll buy some premium ammo and try to bench rest it to see what the groups are like...Would a Ransom Rest better for testing?

randy
03-04-2009, 10:02 AM
If you want it checked buy a top gunsmith www.davesmetalworks.com in Covina

I bet he'd do it for free.

BillCA
03-05-2009, 4:06 PM
Thanks for all the replies and info, everyone. I'm going to take my pistol to Will O'Hara. He's going to check it out at no charge:D. Then I'll buy some premium ammo and try to bench rest it to see what the groups are like...Would a Ransom Rest better for testing?
A Ransom rest simply eliminates the human element from the equation. So sure, it would be "better" for testing the gun's inherent accuracy. But you might learn something by shooting off a rest.

PUt a high contrast dot (white or orange) on your target and aim for that the same way each time. With good ammo, I'd expect your groups to shrink considerably, if you're doing your part.

If you can shoot rapidly on your range, try a 7-yard five-shot rapid fire string where you fire as soon and your front sight is on target and level at the top and "close enough" for lateral aiming. You might find you're better shooting fast (one shot per second or less) because you don't have time to worry the shot to death.