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Old 02-17-2008, 09:45 AM   #1
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Milling and machining skills

I am right now trying to enter the law enforcement field and would like to start some pistol-smithing on my own, not for profit. As I have extra money I would like to start investing in equipment and education in machining and milling work. I haven't got the slightest clue where to learn this stuff. I am not interested in this for a business but rather a 15-20 hrs a week hobby. I would really like to build 1911's altered rather drastically that I can't seem to find gunsmiths to build for me. I have looked into some gunsmithing schools but most seem to focus on all around general repair with only a few basic shop skills. Does anyone know where I could learn beginner all the way through advance machine work? I know this is a very long term goal and would take probably years before I'll know what I need. I also need to know how to design the parts, not just make them because there aren't any patterns out there for what i want to build.
 
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:11 PM   #2
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First of all, find a good vocatinal school that teaches the basics of machining on conventional manual machines rather than CNC's. Most offer night classes for continuing education. That is your first step. You need all the skills they teach, starting with blueprint reading and drawing them, that can be a course in itself, and will be necessary if you want to design parts.

Now before I get all long winded, give me an example of exactly what you consider a drastically altered 1911 pattern gun, and we will see if your reach far extends your grasp or not. It is important to know if what you want to do, is actually wise to try.
 
Old 02-17-2008, 02:42 PM   #3
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How drastically altered?

Well, I have wanted to make a longer slide for a 1911, like maybe 8 inch at least, just for the extended sight radius. Not sure what caliber...I like 10mm, .45ACP is very traditional, but .45 Super is better. Also I would like to make a .357 Magnum 1911. Coonan made something similar. Grizzly had something, but I think their frames were a bit larger than they needed to be because the same frame also held .45 Magnum, .44 Magnum, etc. Really don't know what the limits are yet, but I figure the gun industry might be able to use another tinkerer, hobbyist trying to come up with something new.
 
 
Old 02-17-2008, 04:22 PM   #4
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Well you certainly have your work cut out for yourself.

Get to a vocational school, take a course or two to see if it is what you expected, and then if it is, work hard on developing your machining skills.

You will be better prepared in a year or two to decide if you really want to try to tackle something like this.

As far as that 357 1911, you might want to check into the 1911 chambered for the 9x23 winchester. Pretty much 357 power levels there already. Put a 6 inch extended barrel on the gun, make and install some sort of barrel shroud with a front sight built into it and you have about all the weight forward anyone can stand to shoot for more than just a few rounds.

for 45 super, there is a guy in texas that was putting 45 super tops on frames and if I recall they worked well for several hundred rounds before any rebuilding was necessary. You can google that and see what all he did to get that job done.

In europe, and perhaps here even, someone attatched a top end to the 45 frame that held a m-16 bolt, and was in fact gas operated. No slide movement, but it did have the 45 grip frame. Yes, it was chambered for some horrific round if I recall. But these are the same lot that make 600 nitro express single action 6 shooters, and they even pull the trigger on them.

Takes a lot of engineering knowledge to do many of these things though. Not sure you have enough life in you to become a good cop, skilled advanced machinist, and a mechanical engineer.
 
Old 02-18-2008, 05:22 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice

I guy I have been working with for years is going to take me some time to talk to his brother who owns a machining shop. Says he'll tell me at least enough to know where to look for what I need to know.

I looked into the 9x23 and like it a lot from the ballistics, don't know what frame they use though...Assuming a .38 Super frame? I just thought the only reason that a .357 mag would be better is more commonly available ammo and variety, price etc. I started reloading,picked it up on my own, when I was in 8th grade, but don't know anybody else around here who is into that, let alone wildcat, rare or exotic cartridges. Wish I knew locals interested in home gunsmithing wild projects like I talked about in the above posts. I have seen a Clark or King 1911, can't remember, in .38 Special. I just thought the .357 Mag would make an excellent hunting round for deer sized game and even self defense. 9X23 sounds good, but I'de have get back into reloading. i even thought I might be able to get some really hot 9mm Para rounds from a standard five, or maybe six inch barrel to equal that of a .357 Mag from same length barrel. Is that possible. Sure would offer a lot of options for shooting if I could get one that hot.

As far as the 45 super goes, I talked with Ace Custom's guy back three or four years ago. He said a guy Hoag, I think his name was used top weld two slides together to make eight inchers and more, but won't do it any more. Ace said he used to make a seven inch .45 Super from an AMT. i was thinking If I ever find an old AMT seven inch pistol I might have it converted and added to a double stack frame for fun.

That m-16, 1911 whatever you were talking about sounds pretty wild. I'll see if I can find some pictures of it.
 
Old 07-26-2008, 11:17 AM   #6
 
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Re: Milling and machining skills

The 357 magnum ctg. will be too long for a 1911 platform magazine won't it ??

You can build a conventional browning recoil operated 38 special (not a blow back like some guns were) and load it hotter than typical wadcutter target ammo.

357 sig might be another cartridge think about.

Bill
 
Old 07-27-2008, 07:35 AM   #7
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Re: Milling and machining skills

Quote:
Also I would like to make a .357 Magnum 1911.
Might pay you to sit around with a gun in one hand and some cartridges of interest in the other. If it doesn't fit the magazine - as a .357 Magnum will not - the project gets to be of very low feasibility. Unless you are going to build from scratch with all dimensions adjusted.

Check out the 9x25 Dillon.
 
Old 07-27-2008, 09:09 AM   #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 18
Re: Milling and machining skills

9x25 dillon generally uses a 10mm platform. Ive seen Glock conversions for this. .357 Mag is a rimmed case and will not stack in a magazine well. It will be a very steep angle i would imagine. :roll:
 
Old 08-10-2008, 05:52 AM   #9
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Re: Milling and machining skills

OK, forget about the .357 in a 1911 platform. What about the .50 GI in a double stack 1911 platform? I saw an advertisement for conversion kits for Glocks. How much work would it take to modify an STI polymer double stack 1911 frame for the upper, or a P14 frame? I don't even know if it can be done without starting from scratch. All my plans to start gunsmithing in the basement this summer got delayed because of a 100-120 hr work week all year. I'm rethinking my priorities for pistolsmithing...smaller projects are better at this point because I have no previous experience. It just has to be something 1911.
 
Old 08-10-2008, 06:32 AM   #10
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 18
Re: Milling and machining skills

There was a .50GI 1911 on the cover of a magazine not too long ago, dont think it was doublestack though. You can make whatever comes to imagination with a band saw and a TIG welder :lol: In recent times seems everyone else is shrinking things, That how they made the prototype EMP Cut n weld ! Sinse you need to go bigger youll have to add material.
 
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