Frankenstein Lives - Pistolsmith

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Old 10-28-2009, 05:45 PM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Posts: 22
Frankenstein Lives

In the 10mm section, where Wild Bill has taught me a valuable lesson on headspace, I mentioned the old AMT I had retired. I couldn't get a standard extractor to fit the slide and the barrel was worn to a smooth bore. So I bought a 22 conversion kit for it and gave the slide away. The Ciener conversion was fun (and cheap to shoot!) but jammed a lot. It seemed to eat magazine springs.

I had a complete Springfield 9mm conversion kit (one of the old ones in a blister pack) and a Nowlin 9x23 stainless barrel. Both items were from eBay back when they did that kind of thing. So I had to try right?

Well it has taken almost four months at a few hours at a time, and a lot of help from Nick at Rynerson's Gunsmithing but the thing finally works!

First I fitted the barrel to the slide, no problem. Then mounted the new 9mm ejector trimmed it back 4 mm. Then the frame needed some work on the feed ramp. Then a soft bead blast on the frame.

Then none of the 38 super mags I had bought would work the AMT 45 slide stop. Couldn't use the S/A 9mm slide stop because the cut in the AMT frame was too big, a standard slide stop would push out at any point, not just on the disassembly notch! So I had to silver solder the AMT slide stop to project inside just a hair more and polish the mag catch notch in each mag to fit the AMT mag catch.

I tried to put in a new hammer but the pivot holes in the frame and the hammer pin are larger than standard! So rework the old hammer and sear.

Then I found that the disconnector was located differently in the AMT frame than a standard 1911. A lot of trial and error fitting!

So finally I have a functioning 9x23. It has a blue slide with polished flats and matt finished top, three dot sights, a bead blasted matt stainless frame, black rubber stocks, an old black rubber coated checkered mainspring housing, a stainless plug for the FLGR and a collection of blue and nickel magazines. I even found the 10mm stainless magazines from my Dan Wesson will work well with 9x23s. The only thing left is to find a spring combination that lets it shoot 9mm reliably.

While I learned a lot, the best thing I learned is to start with a good frame then give it to a real gunsmith. While I love the way old thing shoots, due to the mixed bag of parts, my son calls it my Frankenstein pistol!
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