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Dovetail Cut For Front Sight

The EGW front fiber optic sight fits a dovetail .330" wide and .060" deep. After clamping and truing my slide in the vise, I used a 1/4" endmill to cut a slot .250" wide and .060" deep where the middle of the dovetail will be. This is to provide a relief cut to make things easier on the dovetail cutter.

Then I chucked up the dovetail cutter (60 degrees, .300" wide) and made my first pass right down the middle of the slot. As instructed I ran the cutter about 600 RPM and gave it plenty of coolant. Then I moved the cutter .030" to the rear and widened the slot to its final dimension.

You can see the hole in the slide for the tenon sight, but the properly installed front sight will cover it up.

This was a good time to serrate the front face of the sight. I used my 40 LPI checkering file and it took about 10 minutes to cut a set of nice serrations on it.

A little filing and final fitting, and I was able to tap the front sight in with a moderate amount of effort. In the photo below, the fiber optic rod is sticking out of the front. This is only temporary, I will secure the rod in the sight with super glue and cut it to size when I have the sight installed and painted black.

8/13/03

Fitting the Beavertail

The Les Baer beavertail needs the grip tang cut down to a .250" radius. I installed my .250" radius beavertail jig, and you can see the amount of excess metal that will need to be removed.

I used my mill to make a couple of quick cuts which removed about 90% of the metal. Then I used a file to take the radius to its final shape. Here is what it looked like when the beavertail finally fit.

The beavertail's "leg" was interfering with the trigger stirrup when everything was installed. It wasn't allowing the trigger to move far enough back to trip the sear. This was a quick fix though: I simply filed down the surface that was interfering.

Fitting the Disconnector

When I assembled and attempted to dry fire the gun, I had an intermittent problem with the hammer only falling to half-cock. It didn't happen every time, just about 50% of the time. From a close inspection I suspected that the disconnector was positioned too low to push the sear enough to fully drop the hammer. I recalled my previous 1911 build where the disconnector was too long (though it didn't cause this problem) so I decided to measure it.

Sure enough, it was about 1.319". Replacing it with a shorter disconnector from my Sistema Colt seemed to make the problem disappear. You can see the Sistema's disconnector is measuring about 1.298". A few quick strokes with a file on the head of the disconnector took it down enough to fix the problem.

Misc. Adjustments

I didn't take any photos for some of the other things I worked on tonight. I'm mentioning it here so you can see some of the little things that become so time consuming.

  • Removed the braze bead from the trigger guard area and the trigger bow area
  • Adjusted the angle of the mating surface of the sear
  • Gently polished the hammer hooks with a fine needle file
  • Removed the (sharp) serrations from the face of my long steel trigger... now it's smooth-faced
  • Dressed the sides of the barrel lugs to keep the barrel from sticking
  • Cleaned up the roll-over notch on the ejection port
  • Broke the sharp edges on the front sight
  • Removed the milling marks on the flats of the slide with my belt sander -- a very tricky job, but it beats doing it by hand
  • The gun is nearly to the point where it can be test fired. The only necessary steps that remain are:

  • Install and pin the ejector
  • Stake the plunger tube
  • With any luck I will have these things knocked out by the weekend so I can perform a basic range test.

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