What are your thoughts on a harballer longslide? - Pistolsmith
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Old 07-26-2010, 05:26 PM   #1
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What are your thoughts on a harballer longslide?

I seen a decent looking harballer longslide for sale at a local gunstore for a little under $500. It seems like a decent deal. Now I know AMT, Galena, and IAI had a terrible reputation for quality control. Galling slides, jam-a-matics, and otherwise useless to some. Other owners have said they hear that too but bought own and it functioned fine. Do you think it would be worth the risk to buy this and put whatever it needs into to it to get it working? New wilson Combat mags, slide to frame fit, possibly a new barrel maybe polish the feed ramp and throat the barrel? If it all works out and runs extremely reliably after a 'smith works his magic on it, then maybe checker the front strap 20lpi, some nice grips, and hard chrome the whole thing? Or do you experts really think it's useless to try to work on this pistol? Now I am planning on putting some money into this, so the question really is, can it be reasonbly expected to get up and running, or are they just unfixable?
 
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Old 07-27-2010, 05:04 PM   #2
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By no means were all AMT products junk.
Some had problems, most didn't.

The problem with the AMT was that it was very early days for the use of stainless steel in firearms applications.
They didn't understand that stainless needed the use of different alloys and different heat treating of the slide and frame to prevent galling.
Many of the early 1911's made of stainless had NO heat treating of the slide and frame, which was okay on the pre-war 1911 Colt's, but not when made of stainless steel which may gall worse than carbon.

Also, these guns were made of cast steel, and it was done strictly as a way of making the parts cheaper. Again, it was early days for this level of casting in firearms applications and they had problems with voids and porous castings.

So, chances are this AMT will work as-is, and if not a good gunsmith can get it running.
The major trouble with these early 1911's as made by AMT, Vega, and Crown City were cosmetic problems.
Often the mold didn't fill out fully and you had areas that looked like they'd slumped and not filled in completely.
This didn't affect shooting, but it didn't look good.
A common area that doesn't look "right" is the frame inside and around the trigger guard.

So, if you want one, you may need to do some work, but probably not as much as you listed.
Much can be done with simply tuning parts like the extractor and some reliability type work.

Last edited by dfariswheel; 07-27-2010 at 05:06 PM.
 
Old 07-28-2010, 09:08 AM   #3
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Thanks

That's all the encouragement I needed to go buy one. If it's still available when my paperwork comes in, I'll get it and hopefully after some test fireing I'll be able to have Evolution Gun Works fix it up, checker it, and hard chrome it. That is if their waiting list isn't too long. Seems like all the big names in 1911's have a very long waiting list (years).
 
 
Old 07-30-2010, 01:14 PM   #4
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Hey ColtPistols, I'm just wondering what prompts you to sink this amount of time, money, and effort into making a an AMT into a nice weapon. You can certainly purchase a great 1911 from a variety of manufacturers for the kind of money you will have invested in the AMT. At the end, you'll still have an AMT with limited resale value. I've NEVER lost money on the resale of a Colt.
 
Old 07-30-2010, 06:07 PM   #5
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He wants a long slide, and AMT made one.
 
Old 07-30-2010, 06:42 PM   #6
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That much is evident. Pardon my ignorance dfariswheel, but what is the advantage of the longslide besides a slightly longer sighting radius, a slight increase in bullet velocity, and some ''oohs'' and ''aahs'' at the range from people who have never seen one. I'm not criticizing his choice of a project. Our hobby would be BORING if we all carried/shot the same weapon. I'm just curious as to what motivates him to do this. Could be that he just likes the look..........
 
Old 07-30-2010, 08:38 PM   #7
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Well, i pretty much like a whole lotta 1911's. Resale value is of no intrest to me. I've never sold a single gun I bought. I still have my Beretta 96 Stainless with CT grips. I HATE that gun. I wouldn't sell it to anone though. Everyone has their own interests. Like my handle I have a real affinity for Colts. My Dad carries a Colt 1991 we picked out years ago. At the time it was a real stretch for the budget but I knew he needed a good sidearm. If I could do it again i would have picked another for that time. I still have yet to do the necessary upgrades that pistol needs. The slide don't lock back on the last shot (needs Wilson Combat Mags ihmo) brushed stainless finish is horrendous, and the old GI sights are worthless to me. I still like it cause it's a Colt. But I really wanted a longer slide than a five or six incher. Seven would be a fun shooter, and if it turns out to be rock solid reliable after I have it worked on, it might be my carry gun once in a while. Velocity is irrelevant to me. I don't know what you gain with two extra inches, but a .45ACP is relatively slow round to begin with anyway. I think it counts mostly on it's mass to do it's excellent work in the defensive realm. I really like my P-14 45, I just wanted a longer barrel. I would have loved to have the 8 and 10 inch long slides Jim Hoag used to build years ago. But I don't think I could afford one even if he were still doing that today....Some day, after I learn to hand fit all the parts to 1911, I will build my own and then hopefully progress to building my own slide on a mill like I have seen others do...only longer.
 
Old 07-31-2010, 04:45 AM   #8
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Well that explains it ColtPistols. Best of luck with your project. Hope that you enjoy the build and shoot the snot outta that bad boy...........
 
Old 07-31-2010, 08:04 PM   #9
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As is usually the case with guns, cars, knives, or other hobby items, it comes down to "I want one because I want one...so THERE".
 
Old 08-01-2010, 01:40 PM   #10
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Pretty much, that's the best answer I can give. I just wonder why a lot of S&W revolvers (and other makers) make their wheelguns in snubbies, 3", 4", 5" (not so popular), 6", and 8" barrel lengths. The 1911 types generally come in officer's, commander, and government. A small number of people also buy 6" longslides (but colt don't make one), and a while ago a succession of small companies tried to produce a a successful 7" long slide and all closed up shop. One guy, Jim Hoag, I'm told used to cut and weld two or more slides together making 8" and 10" long slides. He no longer offers this service. I'm just surprised that they're isn't at least mild intrest in building longer slides than the few 6" longslides available for the 1911 automatic types out there. The long 8" barreled revolvers are so easy to find. Am I the only who sees a use for a longer slide on a 1911? Also the magnum calibers in 1911 died out. I guess most people felt that a 10mm was plenty enough for a hunting 1911. I wish the extra long slides and the magnum calibers would both make a comeback, but I doubt it since I seem to be the only one interested in such. Oh well, guess a guy can't have everything in life he wants. sigh.
 
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