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So, I'm building a 1911...


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I picked up a stripped Foster Industries frame and a non-descript complete parts kit ($475 total).  I'm mostly doing this to gain a better knowledge of the inner-workings of the 1911.


The first thing I tackled was fitting the slide to the frame.  I put quite a bit of time in filing, stoning, sanding the slide rails on the frame.  Once I got the slide on the frame (with some pretty good force) I started lapping it with some Brownells lapping compound.  This didn't take too long, really, and I have what I think is a very smooth match, a nice hand-fitted slide.  I like the way that came out.


The second task was trigger smoothness.  Using a Brownells trigger track stone, some sand paper, and much time I was able to get the trigger tracks quite smooth for the trigger bow to glide in.  I had to remove some metal from the trigger opening in the frame, mostly on the top side.  I also polished the top and bottom of the trigger for a more slick travel.  I need to do a bit more here, I'm not yet satisfied with the full travel.


The picture is frame and slide only, after being hand-fitted.


I'll update as I go along...



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Thanks all, it's been fun and frustrating both.


Terry, thanks for the tip on the emery cloth.


So, I decided to move on from the trigger action, I'll get back to that later.  I just need to keep polishing, and that's filler work, so I can do it anytime.  I added the ejector, and now the slide has resistance again, so I will have to do some stoning and polishing on that ejector so the slide is smooth again.  I heard some good advice, work the part to fit the receiver rather than the other way around - makes sense, I can buy a new ejector if I bone it up.


Also I began putting together some of the other components.  I put the trigger in place and assembled the magazine release button (3 parts).  Man, that thing sucks - you have to put about 10 pounds of pressure on it to depress it, so I'll start cutting winds off the spring until it moves better.  I found this was a trick for competition shooters in order to achieve smoother mag swaps.


I also started the fire control group parts.  I put the extractor, firing pin spring, firing pin and firing pin detent plate in place.  When the extractor is not in place, the firing pin parts all slide in well but with the ejector in place the detent plate won't go in, so I think I need to wallow the trough in the extractor where it slides.

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 That's a good looking frame, too!

Foster is one of those companies that makes receivers for other companies, most notably Caspian Arms. The ones Foster sell are usually blems but the blem is usually extremely hard to find. Foster's receivers are some of the best deals around.

Edited by 392heminut
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  Make sure the extractor is in place correctly & the channel for the firing pin stop is aligned with the channel in the slide & extractor . You want it kind of tight.


  Emery cloth is very good for final  polishing , take a week of sanding to take any material off . <laughs>


  Thats a small spring in that mag. release , cutting a it will be difficult . Polish every moving part , including the out side of the springs . You will find the main spring & its parts will make a big difference when polished . Also the tip of the Hammer spur , including the main spring hole in the Main Spring housing .


  I could go on for an hour or two . I'm used to making them tight for target use. 

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ss - thanks very much for the tips, I will certainly take the time to polish everything, now that I know


One issue I've had, is that when I put the hammer and hammer strut together with the roll pin, the hammer strut is tight as hell - I know it should dangle freely, but I have to manually move it.  Any guidance on that?


The mainspring was a bear to put in the housing!  I had to clamp the housing in my vise and ram the spring in with a screwdriver to get it deep enough to put the retaining pin in.

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The pin for the hammer strut should not be a roll pin! That pin is a solid pin and is a slip fit in the hammer, some 'smiths stake the sides of the hammer to keep the pin from falling out when the hammer is out of the frame. If you are using a roll pin that is probably your problem.

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