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Posted: 8/3/2010 7:49:27 AM EDT
I purchased a Blued, Pre-Enhanced Colt Delta Elite last year as a sort of wedding gift to myself (she got a pair of earrings). As it was in "beater" condition, it seemed like the perfect platform to build my ultimate 10mm gun, doing as much of the work myself as I could.

It came like this:


I switched out the grip bushings to slimline grips, and swapped the arched (and polymer) MSH to a flat, blued steel version:



It currently wears the factory grips from a Les Baer TRS (I installed a pair of alumagrips for my TRS, and these were laying around).

Since the photo was taken, I've added a Les Baer long solid trigger (just like the one in the TRS).

Unfortunately, I'm stuck now as to what to do next. The list of things that I want to do is long, and I'm wondering if there are certain mods that should be done first, as they may affect things later down the road.

Here's the stuff I want to do, in no particular order:
- Trigger job - The trigger's nice, but I wonder if I could make it better. Also, with the Les Baer trigger in, there's very little pre-travel. A third thing is that I want to maintain sort of a retro look, and hammer/sear sets in the commander "ring" hammer seem to be harder to find
- EGW square bottom firing pin stop - I've heard about how these things reduce muzzle flip. I've got the part in-hand, and it requires some fitting. I've got files and cold blue, just need to put in the time to do it.
- Slide/Frame fit - The slide frame fit is decent. There's side to side play towards the front of the slide when in battery, rear's solid. The problem I see is that it's peened. You can see it in the disconnector channel. The hammer also seems to rub on the slide on the left side. I'm tempted to have it sent off somewhere to get welded and re-machined. I'm wondering if I have to do this first.
- Barrel - accuracy of this gun is "ok" - I'm wondering if the peening of the slide to get a "tighter" fit and "more" accuracy is actually helping, or hurting. I could get a new barrel and bushing ($$$), or just a tighter bushing ($), which may or may not end up costing me more money ($$$$) if the "problem" turns out to be my barrel.
- Thumb Safety - I like my Les Baer TRS. A lot. So, I have the thumb safety lever from the gun. The pin is oversized, and I'm at a loss as to how to fit this part. This also depends on the geometry of the sear and hammer inside, so this probably has to come after the trigger job.
- Sights - A previous owner either had a problem with the recoil of full power 10mm loads, or could only get seriously downloaded ammo. Either way, he or she planed the top of the slide under the staked front sight, lowering it just enough that it would shoot POA with the light loads. I know this because decent velocity loads hit several inches high at 7 yards. Even though I said I'd like to keep the retro look, I'd like to see her with Novak night sights, preferrably with an adjustable combat rear sight. That way I could dial the rear up for light loads, and down for full house loads.
- Front strap raising and checkering - This probably comes next to last, as it's cosmetic.
- Carry bevel and dehorn - Cosmetic as well
- Refinish - I like the look of a blued gun, but let's face it, it isn't all that durable. I've been looking into tough black color finishes, like black chrome or even Armory Kote, or even matte light finishes such as NP3. This seems so far in the future I barely considered it.


So, as you can see, the list is long. And there's some things I know I can't do myself. And I wonder if she should take a trip to a gunsmith to get the slide and frame fitted first, as doing it later may mess up anything I've done so far...


HALP
Link Posted: 8/3/2010 8:26:18 AM EDT
Is this what you are looking for? C&S makes good stuff.
http://www.cylinder-slide.com/index.php?app=ccp0&ns=prodshow&ref=CS375
Link Posted: 8/3/2010 11:12:12 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/3/2010 11:47:47 AM EDT by HEATH223]
Just be sure whoever does the work does good work. I removed my rear sight off my $1300 week old Kimber Raptor the other day to get rid of the Schwartz sys. I used brass punches and a UHMW block so I didn't mess the finish up to get it off. When I went to put it back on I got it 85% of the way on and it was not budging anymore and I did not want to mess up the finish in any way so I took it to a local gunsmith I was refered to from the local gun shop. Needless to say it looks like he took a steel punch to it and beat it into place buggering the sight in the process So learn from my mistake

Link Posted: 8/3/2010 12:22:24 PM EDT
I'd do it in this order:

1. Trigger job
2. Thumb safety (will need to be fitted to new sear)
3. Any slide refitting you want done
4. EGW FPS
5. Bushing and/or barrel (bbl must be fitted to frame and slide)
6. Sights (new bbl may change point of impact) Cuts will be in the white... cold blue will work OK temporarily
7. Grip safety, if so inclined
8. Frontstrap work
9. Dehorn
10. Refinish

As for the hammer dragging on the slide, one way to avoid that is to mill a relief on both sides of the hammer spur (or buy a hammer so relieved).
Link Posted: 8/3/2010 12:30:06 PM EDT

If I saw that thread title in GD, I'd be scared...

Beautiful gun - wish I had one.
Link Posted: 8/3/2010 12:52:27 PM EDT
1. slide to frame fit doesn't do much for you. Tighten if you want but the money is better spent in other areas.

2. Colt barrels are top notch. Out of a fixture you will be hard pressed to find a better barrel. Speer uses a Gold Cup NM barrel in a fixture for testing. Get your barrel welded and re-fit on the rear lugs and a new bushing.

3. first money I would spend would be on a trigger job. Heck, get a Cyl And Slide kit if you want to DIY.

4. On the diff radius slide stop. I don't know about muzzle flip, but it gives you some slack on how heavy to run your recoil spring. I am not a fan of the flat bottom FPS so I have to run a heavy spring, 22 lb. The org was a dual spring setup, which I still have and it nets out around 23 lb. Some folks tossed the dual setup but did not run a heavy enough spring and cracked a frame.

Can you show a pic of the front sight? Sounds interesting.

I love the 1911 as a 10mm launcher!

Have fun
Link Posted: 8/3/2010 12:53:54 PM EDT
Originally Posted By HEATH223:
Just be sure whoever does the work does good work. I removed my rear sight off my $1300 week old Kimber Raptor the other day to get rid of the Schwartz sys. I used brass punches and a UHMW block so I didn't mess the finish up to get it off. When I went to put it back on I got it 85% of the way on and it was not budging anymore and I did not want to mess up the finish in any way so I took it to a local gunsmith I was refered to from the local gun shop. Needless to say it looks like he took a steel punch to it and beat it into place buggering the sight in the process So learn from my mistake

http://i199.photobucket.com/albums/aa185/heath223/005-11.jpg


I hope he paid you for the damage he did! He fucked your shit up!
Link Posted: 8/4/2010 4:58:56 AM EDT
unless you are VERY mechanically inclined and are willing to take a lot of time to do it right I suggest having all the technical work-trigger job, accuracy work done by a good gunsmith -I had a 9mm colt done by KScustom guns and have been very satisfied- he does good work with reasonable price and fast turn around. Same can be said for mars armament.
Colt barrels are known to be among the best factory barrels- I sent a bullseye gun to clark for rebuild and they put the factory barrel in a test fixture- shooting out of this the barrel was found to be fine for putting in a gun that shows an under 2 inch group at 50 yards.
there really is art and science to getting a 1911 built right- I won't cross that bridge myself
I for one like the "beater" look- if it were mine I would leave it alone
Link Posted: 8/4/2010 12:22:42 PM EDT
Originally Posted By FreeAmerican:
1. slide to frame fit doesn't do much for you. Tighten if you want but the money is better spent in other areas.

3. first money I would spend would be on a trigger job. Heck, get a Cyl And Slide kit if you want to DIY.

4. On the diff radius slide stop. I don't know about muzzle flip, but it gives you some slack on how heavy to run your recoil spring. I am not a fan of the flat bottom FPS so I have to run a heavy spring, 22 lb. The org was a dual spring setup, which I still have and it nets out around 23 lb. Some folks tossed the dual setup but did not run a heavy enough spring and cracked a frame.

Can you show a pic of the front sight? Sounds interesting.


1. I've heard that the slide to frame fit doesn't give much improvement in accuracy. My fear is that in his zeal for getting a tighter slide/frame fit, a previous owner did more harm than good when he peened the disconnector channel area on the slide.

3. Do you know if the C&S kit can address pre-travel issues? I don't want to drop the coin on a DIY kit if I still end up needing to file the sear and fit for pre-travel.

4. I've got a 20 lb recoil spring, and the standard 23 lb mainspring. I've read on the 10mm tech pages (wish I saved them before geocities shut down), that with the standard mainspring weight, you can go down to 18.5# recoil spring if you're shooting light loads, or 20# if you want to shoot the heavy stuff.

I'll try to get a photo of the front sight tonight after I get home.
Link Posted: 8/4/2010 12:27:50 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mall-Ninja:
Originally Posted By FreeAmerican:
1. slide to frame fit doesn't do much for you. Tighten if you want but the money is better spent in other areas.

3. first money I would spend would be on a trigger job. Heck, get a Cyl And Slide kit if you want to DIY.

4. On the diff radius slide stop. I don't know about muzzle flip, but it gives you some slack on how heavy to run your recoil spring. I am not a fan of the flat bottom FPS so I have to run a heavy spring, 22 lb. The org was a dual spring setup, which I still have and it nets out around 23 lb. Some folks tossed the dual setup but did not run a heavy enough spring and cracked a frame.

Can you show a pic of the front sight? Sounds interesting.


1. I've heard that the slide to frame fit doesn't give much improvement in accuracy. My fear is that in his zeal for getting a tighter slide/frame fit, a previous owner did more harm than good when he peened the disconnector channel area on the slide.

3. Do you know if the C&S kit can address pre-travel issues? I don't want to drop the coin on a DIY kit if I still end up needing to file the sear and fit for pre-travel.

4. I've got a 20 lb recoil spring, and the standard 23 lb mainspring. I've read on the 10mm tech pages (wish I saved them before geocities shut down), that with the standard mainspring weight, you can go down to 18.5# recoil spring if you're shooting light loads, or 20# if you want to shoot the heavy stuff.

I'll try to get a photo of the front sight tonight after I get home.

23 pounds is the stock recoil spring rating from the factory. I have a 23 pound Wolff recoil spring in my DE. I bought an EGW standard GI guide rod to get rid of the factory dual spring setup that's no good.
Link Posted: 8/4/2010 8:49:15 PM EDT
OK, as promised. Here she is:


Includes the ARFCOM-required hairy toes...


Here's the front sight. Note how there's a shelf cut for the front sight post. I never noticed this with my Springfield Mil Spec and its staked front sight.




Another angle:

Link Posted: 8/5/2010 3:27:23 AM EDT
That little flat spot for the front sight is normal. I'll look to be sure but I think all my Colts have it.
Link Posted: 8/5/2010 5:06:15 AM EDT
My Mil Spec has the flat area for the staked front sight. I'm assuming your trigger does not have tabs to adjust pre-travel. You can either get a trigger with a shorter bow, or file on the disconnector or sear. I've never done that, so I'll let more knowledgeable folks offer instructions. From what I understand adding pre-travel is more involved than reducing it if you don't have tabs.
Link Posted: 8/5/2010 7:50:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By 11BDad:
My Mil Spec has the flat area for the staked front sight. I'm assuming your trigger does not have tabs to adjust pre-travel. You can either get a trigger with a shorter bow, or file on the disconnector or sear. I've never done that, so I'll let more knowledgeable folks offer instructions. From what I understand adding pre-travel is more involved than reducing it if you don't have tabs.


I've only used triggers with the tabs. Also keep in mind, the Delta is Ser 80. part of that trigger take up is those parts doing their thing.
Link Posted: 8/9/2010 7:05:02 AM EDT
OK, so I finally found some time to detail strip the thing and take a peek on how everything's fitting together. Things I've learned:

- I've got some pretravel. Almost imperceptible, but it's there. The trigger bow is < 0.1" longer than the original part. I used a stone to polish portions of the disconnector and sear that are associated with the trigger bow.

- When I thumb the hammer back to half cock, it will drop if I pull the trigger. I've read about captive vs. non-captive half-cock notches, and I think I have the non-captive (the notch looks like it's bigger than the full cock notch, but same geometry.

- However, when retracting the slide just far enough to reach half cock (while the trigger is depressed), the trigger is disconnected, but won't reset. Thumbing back the hammer to full cock yields two clicks; first one presumably resetting the trigger, second one is full cock. Doing the same with the trigger depressed yields only one click: full cock. The trigger resets when I let go of it.

Any of the above seem dangerous to you guys?
Link Posted: 8/9/2010 8:04:18 AM EDT
if the gun is a series 80 dropping from half cock with pressure on the trigger is normal
Link Posted: 9/14/2010 10:52:40 PM EDT
OK, gotta save this thread from dissolving into the void (Archives)

I haven't had much time for this project, both with the baby only a month away, and the MIL living under my roof and driving my wife (and me) crazy.

I just had a thought for barrel bushing fit... EGW sells ones with custom measurements... here's mine

Barrel Diameter: 0.579"
Bushing Inside: 0.581"
Bushing Outside: 0.695"
Slide Inside: 0.700"

So, should I be ordering one with a 0.579" inside and a 0.700" outside? What about Commander vs. Government (the stock one seems kinda short)? Angled vs Straight? What does that mean?

Can I even fit this before considering fitting the lugs, or is that supposed to be done at the same time, by a pro?
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