Sunday, January 25, 2009

Finally; 1911 breakdown

Ok; this is the long awaited 1911 detail strip post I've been promising for a long, long time. And to lead in, a little nongun.

The little clamp worklight had been bothering me a while because it's so hard to put it anywhere useful. today, I remembered one of the incomplete tripods I had in the basement. A little mod here and there, and I've got a portable 100W floodlight.

Here are some better photos of SpaceGun

For the uninitiated, that's a MechTech CCU on top of a RIA Hicap 1911 frame, set up to run 10mm, with an el-cheapo Chinese Docter sight replica on it.

As you can see, it's a little difficult to force my camera to focus infinite on command.

The interface:

You can see the base of the bolt here, and the disconnector notch. The safeties remain functional on these units.

Chamber interfaces fairly well with the frame's ramp.

It's all held together via rails and the factory slide pin.

And now to the feature presentation: detail stripping a 1911. Yes, I know it's a hi-cap, but it's close enough.

First thing to do (besides remove the grips) is to knock out the mainspring housing pin.

For this you'll need what I forgot at first: TOOLS. The block of wood is important, with the double stack 1911 frames you can easily warp it if you just lay it flat and start hammering.

Pin's out. Note the notch; there's a little extension piece under the mainspring that falls into that notch, even if the spring were loose in the housing it couldn't fall out.

The mainspring housing is on it's own set of rails, and slides out effortlessly.

Note the notch at the top, and that now the grip safety is beyond it's normal travel. The top of the mainspring housing retains the base of the grip safety.

Everything stretched out for viewing. At this point the sear spring has shifted and must be fiddled with to put the gun back together.

Sear spring. Three fingers for three different purposes, on one spring. Nifty.

The sear spring is located in the frame by a slot and notch. Remember this.

With the sear spring out, put the hammer and grip safety in a position that allows you to move the safety lever to where the "point" is on the plunger, and push upwards on if from behind (or pull). It should begin to lift out of the frame.

And removed. You can now see the part that blocks the hammer and sear from moving when placed in the safe position.

Where the safety interfaces with the hammer and grip safety.

The safety lever also holds in the grip safety, which may now be removed to the rear.

The hammer pin is a loose fit, retained by the safety lever, and will simply lift out of the frame.

Hammer removed, and hammer pin. The hammer strut remains attached (no good reason to take it off, really)

Half cock notch and hammer hooks

Better view of hooks, sear interfaces here to hold hammer in cocked position.

Here we see the sear and disconnector relation. Remember this, you'll need it. The pin is another loose fit pin, retained in this case by the grips. You'll need to remove the grips if you haven't already.

Pin lifted free, and sear with disconnector still in relation to each other as they were in the frame.

Alternate view. The "polished" surfaces towards the right are where the trigger bar pushes against them.

Parts separated

Another view of disconnector (l) and sear (r)

Sear surface. This surface interfaces with the hammer's hooks. And boy, that's an ugly surface. This gun has a surprisingly good trigger for such sloppy stoning.

Mag release. This is not a screw, but a toggle cam.

Push the mag release button, and give the slot a quarter turn or so counterclockwise. This releases the tab from the slot in the frame that holds in the mag release button

Push a little harder on the button and the assembly will come free.

Magazine release assembly. This was removed because...

... it holds in the trigger bar assembly. JMB was a clever designer.

Push the trigger into the frame and note that the trigger bar is now protruding.

Trigger bar removed out of the back of the frame. Note the shiny surface on top; this is where I had to do cleanup work with a file to solve the mystery malfunction I was having. The trigger bar was binding in the frame.

REASSEMBLY. Hold the sear and disconnector in the position they'll hold in the frame.

Insert the top of the disconnector through the hole in the frame; the disconnector will stop the sear from falling though. The holes will *not* be lined up, use something small to manipulate the sear until the sear pin drops into place.

Note the placement of the sear spring fingers; this must be held in place while putting the grip safety back into position. It's very easy to let the spring flip sideways or out of position.

Heh, skipped some steps. Assembly is pretty much just the reverse of disassembly though.

The RIA Hi-cap is *rough*. It reflects it's price for sure, but it is definitely functional. I will slowly be doing some cleanup work on it and parts replacement where possible, but none of it is required, as I said, it works fine.

And so ends the story. Now I need to come up with some ideas for what to do for the next big picture post...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Sometimes it just happens...

...whether you want it to or not. See, I've called a halt to my firearms purchasing for a while, but...

When something that gorgeous rolls along for $150, you TAKE IT.

Traditions .44 caliber model 1860 Army. No, I don't quite understand the naval battle rolled into the cylinder on an Army model, but hey, it's beautiful anyways.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Tomorrow, tomorrow...

...or actually today, since it's after midnight, I've got a shift at the gun shop. if I can gather the time, I'm going to zero in the holographic sight on Spacegun.

If I get that done, I'll bring it home... and three things should happen. One, I find space in this clutter-beriddled home to set up a decent lighting and background setup. Two, I'll clean and take proper photos of the completed setup. Three...

Three is kind of important to the blog, and may even be exciting.

Remember when I started this blog, after a few months I did a long, detailed photo expose on detail stripping a CZ75? I'll do the same with the RIA frame. If I can describe it accurately, I'll even profile what I did to get the gun running.

Now, I'm a professional procrastinator when my plans get skewed, but as long as I get some range time then within a few days you'll get your post.



I've been busy growing the new list of guns to purchase... gotta have goals, right?

These are in no particular order.

1 - one more AR15, 16" flattop with a flat block, to build as a superlight model
2 - Marlin 981T
3 - rebuildable .22 suppressor
4 - a .44 revolver (make/model undetermined)
5 - black powder revolver (likewise, leaning towards Starr)
6 - Astra 400
7 - wishful thinking, a Mauser C96
8 - a Savage bolt rifle to build into a long-range shooter (pricey)
9 - CZ550 American, in something suitably huge (I've wanted a .416 Rigby since I read an article in some gun mag ~20 years ago, when I was in grade school)
10 - CZ-453
11 - CZ-38, CZ DUO, and CZ-97 to complete the collection
12 - Armalite AR24 fullsize

I think twelve is enough. Except for #1 there, which I may double, I don't think I'll have issues regardless of what laws come down, if any... so obviously #1 there is first, and if they come available I may buy lowers and build that too.

Superlight? This is the project for which a DPMS sportical would be a stellar start. What I'm thinking of is bare minimum AR, no shell deflector, no forward assist... flat top upper, "sightless" gas block and not just a lopro, an expanded metal tubular handguard, lightweight grip, perhaps even lightening cuts in the lower, and a semi-fixed wire stock hung off a carbine tube. Top that with a lightweight holosight and you have the lightest possible non-NFA AR15.

My third line project AR would just be a practical shooter, possibly in 6.8mm. This would be something I'd feel comfortable using for just about anything I can think of, tactical shooting, 200-300 yard, maybe even hunting. Now, "comfortable" does not mean "perfect", but an M4-kinda with a free float quad, good flip irons and a quick-detach magnifying optic as well as a decent set of aftermarket stocks would go very, very far towards being a jack of all targets.

EDIT: 11:31PM

Couldn't get two spare seconds to rub together at the shop todsy, plus it rained and the rifle case has to go in the bed of the truck. I need a bigger truck, one with a back seat.

Actually I've been working on that, but it'll be a while :)