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Thread: 1911 lock up

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    21st February 2005
    Location
    NB
    Posts
    152

    1911 lock up

    I have an old 1911 WW1.When the slide is fully forward ready to fire,there is a small gap between the front of the ejector port and the barrel,On another 1911 there is no space. The pistol seems to work ok, What would cause this space and do you think it is safe to shoot?

    Horse Gunner

  2. #2
    Join Date
    25th June 2006
    Location
    Carlisle PA, USA
    Posts
    12,044
    Hi

    The barrel lugs lock up to the slide lugs. That's what determines the headspace of the pistol. The spacing between the back of the barrel and the slide is not a critical item *if* the headspace is correct.

    Bob

  3. #3
    Join Date
    25th September 2006
    Location
    South of Lake Superior
    Posts
    13,019
    If at all possible, a picture showing the location and size of this gap would be most helpful. Do you have the capability of measuring it?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    25th June 2006
    Location
    Carlisle PA, USA
    Posts
    12,044
    Hi

    The only way to be sure it's safe to shoot is to have it's headspace checked.

    Bob

  5. #5
    Join Date
    25th September 2006
    Location
    South of Lake Superior
    Posts
    13,019
    Hi Bob: I requested a pic because I wasn't sure if he was talking about a vertical (lockup) gap or a horizontal (headspace) gap.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    25th June 2006
    Location
    Carlisle PA, USA
    Posts
    12,044
    Quote Originally Posted by niemi24s
    Hi Bob: I requested a pic because I wasn't sure if he was talking about a vertical (lockup) gap or a horizontal (headspace) gap.
    Hi

    Pictures are *alway* a good idea.

    Bob

  7. #7
    Join Date
    21st February 2005
    Location
    NB
    Posts
    152

    1911 Headspace

    The gap is at the top if the slide looking down at the slide.Have no means to measure the space but can just get my finger nail in the space. The back of the barrel is tight against the fame were the firing pin is on the slide.
    The slide is a Remington UMC and the frame UMC, if I put a Colt 1911 slide on the frame the space is almost gone.Barrel is a Colt marked HP.
    Did not know about head space on a 1911 is this crictial. All the parts I am using are old GI stuff. Safe to shoot?? Seems to work ok,but never noticed this on other 1911s. Thanks for your help.sorry no photos.

    Horse Gunner

  8. #8
    Join Date
    1st June 2004
    Location
    Lexington, North Carolina...or
    Posts
    11,207
    Quote Originally Posted by Horse Gunner
    have an old 1911 WW1.When the slide is fully forward ready to fire,there is a small gap between the front of the ejector port and the barrel,
    If you mean there's a gap between the first lug walls of the barrel and slide...it could be a simple matter of too much barrel to slide play...or endshake. Place a cardboard shim about .015 inch thick between the breechface and the barrel hood and see if the gap closes up.

    If it doesn't...you have a situation in which one of the two forward lugs are horizontally engaged before the first lug makes contact...which isn't good...but doesn't mean that the gun is unsafe to fire in limited amounts...assuming that the headspace is within acceptable parameters. By limited, I mean a box a year, max.

    The first lug is the main one, because it's the most supported, and affords the most vertical engagement of the three. If you've got full vertical depth on the first lug, you can get by with just that one bearing the brunt of the recoil forces with standard pressure ammo for a reasonable amount of use.

    Be aware that the older GI pistols didn't have hardened slides. Even the WW2-era USGI pistols were only spot-hardened at the front inch or so...at the slidestop notch...and the thumb safety notch. In that light...even if the pistol is in excellent condition, with all three lugs fully engaged and equalized...they shouldn't be fired a lot.
    It wasn't an issue with the military, since they had about a dozen replacement slides and barrels for every frame...but we don't have the option of going to the armory and signing for a new slide/barrel assembly when things go south.
    Last edited by 1911Tuner; 26th February 2008 at 08:09.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    21st February 2005
    Location
    NB
    Posts
    152

    Thumbs up 1911 barrel gap

    Thanks for your help and information.going to clean the old pistol up and keep for limited shooting.Its an Agusta Armoury rebuild .The slide and frame are not matching in colour but still a remington UMC AA rebuild.
    Going to take your advise , buy a new model Colt to use on the range to help preseve this old war horses.
    Horse Gunner

  10. #10
    Join Date
    1st June 2004
    Location
    Lexington, North Carolina...or
    Posts
    11,207
    Quote Originally Posted by Horse Gunner
    Going to take your advise , buy a new model Colt to use on the range to help preseve this old war horses.Horse Gunner
    Ah...Good! Even though the rearsenaled pistols aren't as collectible as the "original" specimens...they too have their stories. Trouble is that we only rarely have all the facts. Yours may have never ventured off a training range...and it may have been used to knock a Japanese sniper out of a tree on Guadalcanal...or to deck a German forward observer at Belleau Wood.

    Sure wish they could talk...
    Last edited by 1911Tuner; 26th February 2008 at 10:16.


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