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Discussion Starter #1
I would like to mention one thing about 1911 Stainless Steel Pistols. They cannot be accurized by squeezing the slide or peening the rails to tighten the upper action. This is the traditional way to accurize the 1911 for NRA Bullseye Pistol Shooting. Ths Carbon steel versions lend themselves better to this type of accurizing. Stainless steel tends to be more brittle than the carbon steel versions and the rails can crack.

The Bullseye 1911 .45 pistol is supposed to be able to shoot 10 shots into 2" at 50 yards. I am not talking about Match accuracy for combat pistols.

Doug Bowser
 

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I have seen a cracked stainless slide in gunsmith Bill Fender's shop (Fender Custom Guns, Sikeston, MO) from that exact type of treatment. He had learned his lesson with it much earlier in his career and kept it around as a reminder/paper weight. If one absolutely has to tighten up a stainless 1911, I think accurails from either Krieger, Doug Jones, or maybe someone else would be the way to go. Here's a link to Jones: http://www.acc-u-rail.com/ Only thing is, once you rail, you can't go back, and you have added extra parts and complexity. However, they do feel like they are on ball bearings and rails can be stepped up in size if the fit ever wears loose again.

With parts availability and prices the way they are today, I think I would prefer to just go with a new buildup and do it right and tight rather than peening/squeezing one in the traditional method. In my experience, the barrel and barrel fit are the most important factors to accuracy in a 1911, saving maybe one with a scope or optic attached to the frame. A tight slide to frame fit can help with barrel fit to some degree and help squeeze out the final bit of accuracy though.

On a related note, the modern stainless steels used in 1911's are very much superior to the stainless steels used not that long ago. I believe the problems with galling that used to be commonplace are relatively rare, at least in the higher end stainless guns.
 

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Well, I would say it can't be done, but it does take a lot more time for sure. Like you said the carbon steel is much easier to work with. The 1st 1911 I ever built was for my brother, stainless frame and carbon slide, and it took forever to get the frame rails peened. :wallbash: Being my 1st build, I was in no big rush anyways.

Got it back a few years ago and decided to do a rebuild, and use a new Colt 80 series Enhanced stainless slide I found on another forum last year. It's not finished yet, but I know if I have to squeeze the slide, it will have to be done VERY carefully!

Only pic I have of the 1st build:


He wanted a polished frame, but I bead blasted it for the 2nd build...not sure I'm going to keep it that way, or polish it out again. I stuck the comp barrel bushing on it just because I had it, and am playing around with the look, prolly won't keep it on the finished gun though. Still just doing a little here and there when I feel like messing with it, but this is what it looks like right now.

Like DBChaffin said, most of the accuracy on a 1911 is done with the barrel fit, right link height,ect. I doubt if I will do a squeeze on the slide. It's already pretty snug from using the slide file very lightly, and using Brownell's lapping compounds.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
DBChaffin said:
Until they break! LOL. I've seen one come out the back of a gun during a stage.
I still think the best choice for an accurized 1911 is one with a carbon steel frame and slide. I guess I am old fashioned but I prefer a slightly worn blued pistol or revolver to a stainless model.

Doug
 
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Easiest but maybe not best. Best is in the eye and mind of the shooter/owner.
 

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Doug Bowser said:
DBChaffin said:
Until they break! LOL. I've seen one come out the back of a gun during a stage.
I still think the best choice for an accurized 1911 is one with a carbon steel frame and slide. I guess I am old fashioned but I prefer a slightly worn blued pistol or revolver to a stainless model.

Doug
I'm with ya there Doug, at least 90% of my 1911s are carbon, blued or parked, and although I play around with different grips sometimes...nuthin' looks as good as nice wood. I'm pretty much "old school" when it comes to my taste in firearms. :thumbup:
 

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Doug Bowser said:
I still think the best choice for an accurized 1911 is one with a carbon steel frame and slide. I guess I am old fashioned but I prefer a slightly worn blued pistol or revolver to a stainless model.

Doug
My first competition pistol (for IPSC/USPSA "practical" or "combat" type matches) purchased in 2001 has a stainless slide and frame. When I first got it, it was very tight and would supposedly shoot 1 1/2" or better at 50 yards. It never did quite that well for me, but it was close off of bags and I always loaded for USPSA and fed it mixed brass, etc, and I never tried different bullets just for accuracy. Oh yeah, my skills behind the trigger are probably played part of it, too... It was plenty accurate for my needs. It's now got about 45 - 50K rounds on it and has loosened up some, with a little vertical play at the back. Groups have opened up a hair, too, but it will still shoot fine for what I do with it. I had it hard-chromed somewhere along the way to hopefully preserve the slide to frame fit a bit. Though it has a lot of life left, I don't shoot it much now. If accuracy did get worse, I would likely just do a new barrel and leave the small amount of slide to frame play considering its purpose.

Since then, my later competition purchases have all been carbon steel, with one hard chromed, one "Ionbonded", and my latest singlestack build will be a "two-tone" Ionbond-type PVD finish slide over hardchrome frame to look similar to the old Pachmayr Combat Specials (and the sweet Springfield Hammer picked up from SilentHitz), but with a modern "wonder finish" for a little more durability. That's the theory, anyway.
 

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Oddly enough, the only two things that are problematic with my stainless steel 1911 is rust (go figure) and the back sight. No matter how tight I screw the back sight on, inevitably, after about 50 rounds, it loosens and slides to one side or the other.
 

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Micah said:
Oddly enough, the only two things that are problematic with my stainless steel 1911 is rust (go figure) and the back sight. No matter how tight I screw the back sight on, inevitably, after about 50 rounds, it loosens and slides to one side or the other.
get some locktight.
 

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Micah said:
Oddly enough, the only two things that are problematic with my stainless steel 1911 is rust (go figure) and the back sight. No matter how tight I screw the back sight on, inevitably, after about 50 rounds, it loosens and slides to one side or the other.
Yeah, many stainless alloys including most used in firearms parts will rust, just not as easily or quickly as carbon steel. It is "stain-less" after all, not "stain-proof".

What type of rear sight is it? I agree with the suggestion of loctite. "Green" is probably all you need, and it might wick into the threads if it is sighted in and the sight is already where you want it. According to loctite, green is specifically for set screws and it can be removed later. I use green and "blue" mostly on firearm parts, and either would most likely be fine. Although not necessary since there is a set screw, if the dovetail for the sight is a bit oversize, you could actually put a drop of "red" in the dovetail itself. I had a front sight that moved on me once, so I put a small dimple on the bottom of the sight and a drop of red loctite, and it never moved again.
 

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DBChaffin said:
Micah said:
Oddly enough, the only two things that are problematic with my stainless steel 1911 is rust (go figure) and the back sight. No matter how tight I screw the back sight on, inevitably, after about 50 rounds, it loosens and slides to one side or the other.
Yeah, many stainless alloys including most used in firearms parts will rust, just not as easily or quickly as carbon steel. It is "stain-less" after all, not "stain-proof".

What type of rear sight is it? I agree with the suggestion of loctite. "Green" is probably all you need, and it might wick into the threads if it is sighted in and the sight is already where you want it. According to loctite, green is specifically for set screws and it can be removed later. I use green and "blue" mostly on firearm parts, and either would most likely be fine. Although not necessary since there is a set screw, if the dovetail for the sight is a bit oversize, you could actually put a drop of "red" in the dovetail itself. I had a front sight that moved on me once, so I put a small dimple on the bottom of the sight and a drop of red loctite, and it never moved again.
Hey, thanks alot for the help. Well, I guess my new quest in life is to find a stainless "stain-proof" 1911. lol
 
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