Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A Mans Tools

Should fit his hand, and his preferences. There is no greater aid to the job at hand, than a perfectl fitted, and suited tool. There is no worse hinderance than inadequate, poorly fitted, or poorly suited tools.

In "Marshmallow Imitating Metal" I spoke of my custom commander length 1911; a gun that started life as an early production Springfield Champion, and which has since been built up by Ted Yost, and myself, into an almost perfect tool for the job; which is defending my life, and the lives of my friends and family.

This is my Champion today:



and the other side:



Please excuse the over exposure; with my current camera it either overexposes the stainless, or I have to set up the tripod so I can snap it with no flash; and my tripod broke.

Anyway, this is what's been done to it compared to a basic Commander:
1. Ramped and polished Nowlin match bull barrel, with a fully supported chamber
2. Titanium firing pin
3. Yost Bonitz Custom Ignition System (sear, hammer, disconnector), 4# pull
4. Ed Brown, ultra short, ultra light, adjustable trigger
5. Tuned Ed Brown Hardcore extractor
6. Tuned Ed Brown Hardcore ejector
7. Dual captured recoil system (Wolff 24# primary spring and 8# secondary)
8. Full wolff spring set (main, sear, firing pin, plunger)
9. Tightened and trued frame and slide rails
10. Smith and Alexander Checkered arched mainspring housing
11. Smith and Alexander magwell, hand blended into the frame
12. Lowered and flared ejection port
13. Lowered, extended, and thinned Wilson safety
14. Lowered, extended, and thinned Wilson slide stop
15. Mild dehorning and edge breaking
16. Slide and frame flats trued, polished,and brushed (the rounds are bead blasted)
17. Recessed angle cut muzzle crown
18. Novak lo-profile combat sights with tritium inserts.
19. Wilson mags (47d) with steel ultrathin base plates
20. Wraparound hogue finger groove grips, with torx head grip screws
I say almost, because perfect would have an Ed Brown wedge mainspring housing with integrated mag well (they never made one), a titanium frame, and a nearly indestructible matte black finish; but other than that, it is perfect for me.

In this pick you can see where I chamferred and buffed out the beavertail to better fit the Yost Hammer, and the Wilson and Ed Brown bits, as well as a not very good angle on the blending of the magwell with the frame:



and the other side:




The blending job is better than it looks on camera, but I'm not 100% satisfied.



and the other side:




I think I'm going to smooth out the blend a bit more. Then I think I'm going to smooth over the whole gun; and send it off to Walt Birdsong for a Black-T finish over the stainless.

No, it's not really necessary; but I LIKE Black-T; and I don't particularly care for concealing a shiny gun.

Also, though I love the hogues; they don't fit in well with the magwell. So, I'm thinking of a pair of custom, dark figured, wood grips; cut to fit flush with the magwell, and incorpoating a mild palm swell, and the wraparound rubber finger grooves that fit under wooden grip panels.

Will I ever stop tinkering with it? Yeah, when it's done and not a moment before.