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Posted: 3/26/2006 8:53:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/26/2006 9:38:38 PM EDT by BlammO]
w00t! I'm finally finished with the overhaul of my Springfield 1911. I bought it plain-jane in 1990. I did 100% of the work myself and have accumulated a vast array of new tools & gizmos -- cutters for the mill, sandblasting cabinet, airbrush, files, jigs, parkerizing equipment, punches, and on and on.

Because of this, Mrs. BlammO won't let me order the VZ Operators until next week, so you'll have to use your imagination a little.

The finish is my favorite feature -- I blasted it with #80 garnet down to bare metal, then zinc parkerized it. After that, I added Norrell's Molyresin on top, so it should be very durable and highly corrosion resistant. For blasting, I masked the fine fit areas like the rails, barrel lugs and the sear contact surfaces of the hammer (I didn't do anything to the sear or disconnector).

This project was greatly helped by those who responded to my 1/7/2006 thread. Many thanks to all! Anyway, here's a quick rundown of the mods:

  • Ditched the extended slide stop and brought back the factory original.

  • Cut the slide & installed Novak Lo Mount white dot sights.

  • Flattened the slide and cut 32 lpi horizontal serrations on the mill.

  • Ditched the drop-in beavertail and installed a Wilson fitted one.

  • Wilson Bullet Proof extractor.

  • S&A magwell with arched mainspring housing.

  • Radiused the forward edges of the slide.

  • All new set of Wolff springs.

  • Filed & polished the back end of the extractor to be flush with the slide.

  • Careful abrasive blasting; only enough to remove the original finish & even out imperfections.

  • Zinc phosphate parkerizing.

  • Norrell's Molyresin



So without further adieu, here are the pics.
Click the thumbnails to see a bigger version:

The starting point. The gun as it existed just prior to the project:


The finished project (sans VZ Operator grips):



The inspiration for the color scheme was the current Springfield Loaded Operator. Here is a careful comparison between the photo from Springfield's web site and my finished pistol. Notice that mine lacks the useless shiny junk:


Parts fresh from the parkerizing solution:


A close up of my end of the gun:


The front sight and the serrations I'm immensely proud of (and a gratuitous pic of the slide just before I cut them):


And finally, the overhauled gun on my bench next to his little brother, a Springfield Ultra Comp V10 with the original factory parkerized finish (s/n's Photoshopped out):


And in case you're really bored, here's part of my parkerizing setup:


Preheating the parts before spraying the Molyresin:


My fixture for spraying the Molyresin onto the preheated parts:


[Edited to add more pictures]
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 9:00:43 PM EDT
Jesus. That's a sickness!

Nice work!
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 9:45:06 PM EDT
You should be proud of that work. Beautiful job.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 10:10:42 PM EDT
VERY nice work, You must really love using your dial indicator looking at those serrations.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 3:02:22 AM EDT
very nice, job well done
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 3:09:34 AM EDT
wow, I think I just wet my pants...very nice piece of steel!

and a big hooah on the 49th Armored...
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 6:21:13 AM EDT
<Elvis> Thank you. Thankyouverymuch. </Elvis>



Originally Posted By rickdawggg:
wow, I think I just wet my pants...very nice piece of steel!

and a big hooah on the 49th Armored...


Ahh, thanks for reminding me -- when I edited the original post, I meant to add a note that the insignia on the field jacket are my dad's. He was a battalion XO in the 49th. I keep them on my jacket to honor his memory, but I don't wear it in public with the Lt. Col. clusters on.

Except once; I was driving cross-country and stopped at a Waffle House in Arkansas at 3am. It was staffed by 2 very young ex-Army guys. I forgot I was wearing the jacket and was wondering why they were treating me like royalty until they asked me some military questions. I told them about my dad and we had a great conversation, but I have been more careful since then -- he is the one who earned them.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 10:22:02 AM EDT
Outstanding !
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 11:59:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 1:36:24 PM EDT
... the pleasure of knowing you did it all yourself? Priceless.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 1:37:56 PM EDT
Very nice !
The serrations on the slide are a quality touch.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 2:45:05 PM EDT
That came out good!

Link Posted: 3/27/2006 2:55:23 PM EDT
Wow! You did a great job man. You should be proud.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 4:31:35 PM EDT
Lemme guess , you bought $2k worth of tools,chemicals, and equipment to build
your own version of a $1100 gun , right?

Nice job though , and if you build a couple more the price will be almost justifiable
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 5:27:01 PM EDT
Awesome job.
Looks great, the two-tone OD green & Black is kick ass!
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 7:33:06 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AKsRule:
Lemme guess , you bought $2k worth of tools,chemicals, and equipment to build
your own version of a $1100 gun , right?

Nice job though , and if you build a couple more the price will be almost justifiable



Of course! Isn't that what it's all about? The beavertail jig and refinishing stuff will get used again on the Ultra Comp and I've already used the Novak cutters again on a slide for hrt4me (pictures soon). Everything else is a natural fit for my metalworking hobby.

The wonderful thing is that this work is so rewarding, now I envision building a big collection of 1911's to suit various roles by buying cheap fixer-uppers. For now I just need to get a bunch of friends interested in 1911's so I can build them for others too.

I wouldn't mind making money doing this, but I couldn't replace my income and I'm not sure I'd enjoy it as much if I also had the pressure of turning a profit.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 7:45:30 PM EDT
Nice. How do you like the Pachmayr grips?
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 8:42:16 PM EDT
I've always loved Pachmayrs. Most of my guns that have interchangeable grip panels wear them. But they're not right with the magwell. I wish they made a square bottom version.

However, I'm very much looking forward to getting the VZ Operators. The Pachmayrs in the pics above are about 15 years old and the rubber is showing its age.

It's wearing a Hogue wrap-around at the moment. Looks good (except near the magwell) and feels great. Not sure how it would do for concealed carry, though.

Click for a large version:
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 4:12:00 AM EDT
Sweeeeet!!!
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 4:35:46 AM EDT
You're 1911-fu is strong, Grasshopper!
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 4:55:24 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 5:06:38 AM EDT
That is fuckin sweet dude! I wanna do some customization to my springer but I lack the tools and skills to do what I want. I am gonna have to pay a smith to do my beaver.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 5:31:41 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Squid1:
That is fuckin sweet dude! I wanna do some customization to my springer but I lack the tools and skills to do what I want. I am gonna have to pay a smith to do my beaver.



You can easily add a high-ride beavertail grip safety yourself. Just get one with a 0.220" radius for the Springfield pistols, and get the 0.220" jig. All you need is a Dremel, a file, and patience. I'll even send you the 0.220" jig if you want to do it yourself.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 5:58:53 AM EDT
Great work, BlammO!

I really appreciate your photos of your work areas - those give me great ideas for work areas of my own. I don't think I have the skill set to do things like that, but with enough practice, some day, I might be able to do something.

Thanks for sharing those photos! It's great to see the product of someone who knows what he is doing!

Cheers,

kk7sm
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 6:25:27 PM EDT
wow, very nice!
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 11:13:48 PM EDT
Man, I'm on a roll! Tonight, I detail stripped my Kel-Tec P11, sandblasted the slide & barrel, Parkerized them, then applied black Molyresin. I've been wanting to do something with the slide on this for a while because the way I wear it, I have to work extra hard to fight rust. I think I have that problem solved!

The finished product:




The barrel being Parkerized:




Stripped slide before beginning the work:




After blasting:




After Parkerizing (oops, I messed up the pic of the other side):




After coating with Molyresin and curing (looks like the coating is thin along the edges, but it's glare from the flash because I oiled it):


Link Posted: 3/29/2006 3:29:17 PM EDT

Very nice work!!


Bigfeet
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