lundi 25 avril 2016

A tribute to California: My 80% 1911 adventure

Hey everyone,
I know these 80% build threads can get a little redundant for some folks, but I have a special project going on that I thought you all could appreciate following along with me. This project is years in the making, though the final direction only became clear recently. Like most of you, I have limited funds so the acquirement of these parts was spread out over time. Searching the forums I would find a good deal on a hammer here, an ejector there.... etc. What really started this whole thing though was finding a bad*** slide assembly right here on calguns. It was a custom job by Terry Tussey, an officer sized rig in 38 super. I didn't have a specific use for it, and I didn't have a spare frame. But I knew eventually I would do something great with it. I actually got it before any 80% 1911 frames were even around. So I continued to keep an eye out for good deals, and then finally got the jigs and frame to really get this ting underway. Though it wasn't the original idea, I ended up with an aluminum frame. I have used an Aluminum frame before, and it got a little beat up from use. However, that was more a result of me using it in the wrong application. This time around it was a combination of availability, price, and intended use. And as you'll see, I have mostly circumvented the known shortcomings of lightweight frames while taking advantage of their attributes.

The Goal:
As I've been going through this process of collecting parts I liked, i never really had an end in sight. But as I was finally gearing up to get started I laid out everything I had, and thought to myself this was going to be a special thing. So I sat back and started planning how things would go together and came to the conclusion that I should have an overall theme, to solidify my direction and set this gun apart. I decided this gun would be my tribute to our great state of California...
I know, I know, every year we encounter new challenges from our nanny state, but it's our home and we will continue to find a way. Some of the features of this build incorporate this idea. Even though it was possible for me to get a 100% frame, I chose to go with an 80% from a local Ca based company. In fact, wherever possible I went out of my way to source parts from local sources. Even the slide assembly I am using is a reminder of our challenges. Terry Tussey is a well respected gunsmith who lived and worked in Southern California for years, before moving out of state largely due to our gun laws negatively affecting his business. As usual, I intend to do as much of the work as possible on my own. However, I don't have access to a mill and am no machinist, so a couple operations are going to be sourced out. All work will be done by Ca based shops if at all possible. There are only two things that may not be done locally: Accu-rails and custom grips. I'll explain later why the accurails are being incorporated, but I found an arizona based grip maker for some custom bone grips. Not settled on the material yet, but I am going to have some scrimshaw carving of a grizzly bear skull done. A reminder of the great beast on our flag, that we forced into extinction. These are the foundations that I am basing my direction on, and I will do my best to make it all flow together.

I have been improving with every build and my last project (the Caspian longslide) proved to be my best work mechanically. The action is super smooth, trigger is great, and gun is more accurate than I can even shoot. But I was frustrated by some of the aesthetic shortcomings and gaps between mating surfaces. Sure they don't improve function, but I like to push my skill set with every build. So this time around, I'd like to keep the mechanical fit as good as my last, while improving on the details of blending, fit, and finish. Where tasteful, I will also try to add some custom contouring and reshaping to add a little personal touch. I hope you all enjoy the process with me. Most progress photos will be from my phone, but I promise the final product will have some better quality photos. Also, please bear with me on the timeframe. I have alot done, but due to time and budget constraints some of this work will take some time, especially where I have to send out parts. So here we go...

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A tribute to California: My 80% 1911 adventure

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