Delta Elite Early Unlocking - Pistolsmith

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Old 04-19-2008, 09:10 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 39
Delta Elite Early Unlocking

i just read Paul Liebenberg's article on locktime, and am wondering, will a bull barrel alone sufficiently retard the timing to keep it locked til the bullet exits the barrel?

also, if i go messing with heavier mainsprings, will i have to take that into consideration when setting trigger weight, as i understand mainspring weight can affect trigger pull?

i'd really rather not have to resort to hammer-hating flat-bottom firing pin stops and unnatural mainspring weights to solve the problem, but as far as i know there's no aftermarket barrel links to fix the timing on a Delta with hot loads (DT 165's and 135's) is there?
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Old 04-20-2008, 07:35 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 951
Can't Unlock

I didn't see the article You refer to but......A 1911 CAN'T UNLOCK UNTILL THE BULLET IS LEAVEIN' THE BARREL......We covered this pretty good on VEIW FROM THE HILLS

Bill Caldwell
Old 04-20-2008, 11:13 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 39
hi Bill, the article is at

but i did receive an off-board comment agreeing with what you say, apparently the friction of the contained bullet puts enough forward pressure on the barrel to keep it more or less fused to the slide til the bullet exits, and claims he has seen the evidence of this from damaged guns that have come back to him from overloaded 45's, showing that the cases were not in the process of ejecting when they failed.
Old 04-22-2008, 07:12 PM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 74
Re: Delta Elite Early Unlocking

Originally Posted by susan28
i'd really rather not have to resort to hammer-hating flat-bottom firing pin stops and unnatural mainspring weights to solve the problem,
I have a small radius firing pin stop on my Delta Elite, combined with a 25 pound mainspring. It works well, and does not seem to hate my hammer. The 25 pound mainspring produces a just barely noticeable heavier pull than a 23 pound mainspring.

John M. Browning originally designed the Gov't model to use a small radius firing pin stop with a 23 pound mainspring. So my DE is not that big a departure from his original design.

Now I also have the same setup in a .45, and I am going to change back to a 23 pound mainspring. In this pistol, my favorite load just barely dribbles out of the ejection port. So the combination does work. I heartilly recommend it for the 10mm.
Old 04-22-2008, 07:38 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 39
i'd thought about using the EGW and radiusing it just a bit for a smoother action, and yea i did read somewhere that that was the original design, which got abandoned supposedly for being harder to rack, but that same trait is of course what makes it harder for the bullet to rack too.
Old 04-25-2008, 06:24 AM   #6
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 63
You shouldn't have any problems tuning the pistol as you would any other 1911. Of course, I have no experience with DT ammo so my opinion may be worth nothing here. I run the Winchester STHP mostly because I have a lot of it layng around. Looking at DT's specs they seem a bit warmer.
My Delta runs well on a 24# recoil spring. I did install a cone barrel conversion but that was more for lockup with reliability than to add weight. Everything else is tuned for smooth. The mainspring is light. The hammer drops at 4lbs of trigger pressure. The firing pin stop has been smoothed. Can't remember what length barrel link I used but it was sized for reliability over accuracy. Locking lugs were radiused. Etc. No timing issues.
Wild Bill's discussion of this is pretty extensive. It's worth reading if early unlocking is a concern. It started getting scientific so I never finished reading it. Maybe that qualifies me as a dumas but my pistols work anyway.
Old 04-25-2008, 07:02 AM   #7
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 39
that's how i like mine tuned as well and it too will be getting a bull barrel but other than that like to keep it as simple as possible. i did wade thru the threads over in Wild Bill territory and found it interesting, especially the Tripp video.

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