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For the Gunsmiths Out There...

1988 Views 8 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Charlie Petty there any way to advise a layman on how he (me) can tell whether a barrel is properly fitted on a 1911? I have read conflicting articles/opinions on wrench tight/finger loose bushings, barrel's that move when you push down on the barrel hood or don't, "railroad track" like marks on a slide stop or not...

I usually form an opinion after I shoot the gun in question. If it is accurate, in my hands, must be alright. Just wondering if there is a way I could figure that out before I plop down the greenbacks, since I have NO idea how to correct the problem. Or if, in any particular gun, it's worth the effort/expense.
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Up and down play when the gun is locked up. This means the barrel isn't solidly engaged on the slide stop and will move around from shot to shot.

Excessive end play in the lugs with the barrel mounted in the slide. The cycling of the gun can hammer and peen the breech recesses.

According to Bruce Gray the height of the barrel lugs should be about .045" (forty five thousandths or a tad less than 3/64".) This affects the dwell time of the lockup. Too short and the barrel unlocks too soon. Too tall and the barrel takes too long to unlock.

Excessively tight fit of the lugs to the breech recesses. This doesn't leave room for lubrication which creates a lot of metal to metal friction when the gun is fired. All of that force is transferred to the link, on to the slide stop and then the frame where the slide stop mounts. This can eventually break the slide stop, peen the slide stop mounting holes or crack the frame. These can be extremely accurate until something breaks. The good thing is this can be corrected unless the frame is damaged.

OD of barrel must be concentric to the bore. A lot of barrel makers have excessive runout that is very difficult to correct.
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