One of Alton S. Dinans Finest Wad guns - Pistolsmith

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Old 07-06-2005, 07:30 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 14
One of Alton S. Dinans Finest Wad guns

Per Austin's request, the following wad gun was built for me by Alton Dinan shortly before his accidental and untimely passing. The original gun was a NIB early series 70 Colt bought from Gil Hebard Guns in Chicago on sale for the munificent sum of $85. The heavy Bo-mar rib was $32. 50 or so.

Alton had a barrel testing rig set up on his property in New Canaan, CT. He said mine got of the factory by mistake since it was one of the better ones he had seen for both the chamber dimensions and accuracy. He would not accurize the gun with an original barrel unless he tested it first for accuracy. He had a stack of factory barrels that he had taken out of guns. If it was bad he suggested an Irv Stone Bar-Sto. He threw the original splined bushing in the trash and fitted it with a hand honed and fitted Micro bushing. He made sure the bushing was tight in the slide. The comment was that the bushing wasn;t worth a damn if it moved in the slide.

He fitted the barrel first with a custom link and welded and fitted the hood and lugs as needed. He then fitted a long trigger with stop and did the trigger pull. He replaced the hammer pin and reamed and fitted the frame holes and the hammer hole. He then fitted a new extractor and tuned the existing ejector. He said he didn't want to have to chase the brass. The disconnector was also fitted. He polished the feed ramp and opened it a bit for the intended 200 Gr H&G LSWC bullet.

He mounted the rib and mentioned that he didn't think very much about the new fangled accuracy tuner adjustment on the rib. He said that it would work OK on an unfitted barrel but was a poor way to achieve a consistent, repeatable return to battery.

He then test fired the finished gun in his homemade rest. When he was satisfied with the accuracy and only then did he call to tell me the gun was ready for pickup. When I got there and drooled for a while he sat me down and told me exactly what to load to duplicate his accuracy tests. 4.8 grains of Bullseye with a rolled crimp. He said he had done extensive testing of various handloads and had found that his guns shot best with a rolled crimp ammo. He said he fitted the extractor so that the case was held tightly during feeding to the breechface the way John Browning designed it and that I should never load the gun from the port but should use the magazine the way it was designed. Never shoot hardball in the gun unless I changed the spring and even then chances were good that I would break the screws holding the rib. He presented me with two test targets shot at 50 yards. The first was with Federal Match CPSWC and was ten ring accurate for the 10 shots. The second target was shot with his rolled crimp handloads and they were X-Ring in diameter. 8 shots were in one 50 caliber hole with only two slightly out. Great work. To keep you from crying I won't tell you the price for all these goodies.

He sent me off with a box of his handloads and instructed me on how to use one for a master to adjust the roll crimp. The only other advice was to keep the dismantling for cleaning to a minimum. He felt that people put more wear on the gun cleaning it than shooting it.

About 300,000 rounds later I took the gun into Jager's when they were located in Jenkintown, PA and they had just put together a pistolsmithing group. There was little bluing left on the lower and I had them take off the Dragon cloth front strap and checker it along with a complete lower hard chrome. On inspection the only part requiring replacement was the Hammer pin. They test fired the gun and said it was the best barrel fit they had ever seen.

Here's the gun.

It shoots as well today as it did in 1970 which is a damn site better than I can currently hold or see. Its a shame that eyes aren't built the same way. Oh yes BTW when I shot hardball in the gun the rib went flying! Bo-Mar sent the replacements out in one day at no charge.
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Old 04-28-2011, 05:28 PM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: N.C.
Posts: 26

Just read your post and thanks for the insight into Alton S. Dinan, I recently found a M-41 S&W .22 LR he had customized and am very impressed by its reliability and accuracy. Anything about Alton S Dinan is always interesting reading.
Old 06-05-2011, 08:05 PM   #3
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: usa
Posts: 57
do u ever wonder, tho, what the point is? I mean, if you clean the 25 yd stages and stay inside the 9 ring, you are going to shoot a 295 score or better and that will beat almost anyone at the biggest NRA BE match! So all that's really needed is 5" groups at 50 yds. Also, the collet bushing's very rare failure is meaningless in a gun used only to punch paper. I have put about 10 series 70 1911's on my Lee Machine rest, and ever last one of them grouped better than 5" at 50 yds, with match swc ammo and no tuning at all. X's are for braking ties, only. If you shoot a 295 with all but 5 rds in the x, and I shoot a 296, and almost no x's, guess what?I still beat you. So all this 2" and 3" stuff at 50 yds is actually quite meaningless, except perhaps in a hunting pistol.

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