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1911 80% Tactical Machining Build, Part 8: Fitting the Slide

How to hand fit the 1911 slide with files, lapping compound, and tons of hammering.

    You’ve gone through all the measuring and cutting to bring your 80% to 100%.  Now it’s time to make everything work!  Disclaimer.


    Get your Dykem and files ready because they’ll be used a lot.  I first realized I needed a little wider of a channel towards the bottom of each side.  Basically to the line that came in the frame.  I hand filed it down so I could get the slide to just barely fit.

    Hand Fitting the 1911 Slide Rails
    Hand Fitting the 1911 Slide Rails

    I brought out my plastic hammer and gave everything a good whack.  Dykem to see where you need to file down.  After a LONG time and tons of hammering…

    Hammer Fitting the 1911 Slide
    Hammer Fitting the 1911 Slide

    Remember to go all the way through (sorry fuzzy picture).

    Finished Hammering 1911 Slide
    Finished Hammering 1911 Slide

    Once you can hammer everything, start with your coarsest grit lapping compound and start going at it again.  Get through to the finest grit and it should feel like glass!

    Next Lesson

    Part 1: Intro (Finding the 80%)

    Part 2: Tools

    Part 3: Parts List

    Part 4: Basic Fitting

    Part 5: Cutting the Slide Rail

    Part 6: Barrel Seating

    Part 7: Hammer & Sear Pin Holes

    Part 8: Fitting the Slide

    Part 9: Assembly & Fitting

    Part 10: GunKote Application

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    4 Leave a Reply

    • Commenter Avatar

      From the looks of the rail cutting you went clockwise around the frame which is backwards. You always want the cutting face to cut CCW . You have much more control and a cleaner slot. CW can cause the cutters to dig in and pull the work piece. Same with a router.

      February 11, 2016 9:27 am
      • Commenter Avatar

        Good tip, thanks!

        February 12, 2016 1:15 am
    • Commenter Avatar
      Daniel congiolosi

      What brand slide did you use?

      April 2, 2015 9:01 pm
      • Commenter Avatar
        Eric Hung

        I used a Fusion slide. Check out my parts list article: http://www.somuchtodo.com/how-to-guides/1911-80-build-part-3-parts-list/

        April 2, 2015 10:39 pm
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