My parts list in Part 3 of this guide minimizes the necessary fitting of parts to the frame and each other, but there’s still a lot to do for a 80% 1911 project. I’ve gone ahead and done all the fitting possible while I wait for my Tactical Machining 1911 80% Jig.
For more help, I’d check out the book & DVD I listed. Disclaimer again.
Barrel Bushing to Slide Fit
I started blogging after I did this, so some of the pictures are “after” pictures. My apologies!
The combo of a pre-fit Lake Storm barrel and my Fusion Firearms slide was perfect. The barrel fit so exactly that I was actually kind of scared something was over-sized, but I just had to get it in the exact angle.
The barrel bushing was already pre-fit snugly to the barrel so all I had to do was see if the bushing fit into the slide. It wasn’t going in easily so I just kept at it for 5-10 minutes until the entire bushing could go down. I didn’t want to file/sand anything unless I had to.
Locking the bushing looked like it needed some filing. I double-checked by turning by hand as much as possible. There were some shiny parts on the bushing which told me one part was too thick. I then used some Sharpie (or Dykem) to see where the color wore off.
I used one of my flat files and went at both sides a little, then repeated the Sharpie procedure. This went on for about 30 minutes. You can see by my handiwork I didn’t exactly keep everything level. The next time I would probably vise the bushing.
Edit: Article on Installing and Fitting 1911 Triggers.
The Wilson Ultralight Match Trigger was not going in so I did the Sharpie method and ended up filing a decent amount off the top and bottom, and a little off the sides. From the videos, you could also possibly see some resistance from the trigger bow. I also sanded the inside of the frame a little since it looked like there were some sharp burrs.
The trigger fits very snugly now and doesn’t seem to have any drag. I finished with increasing sandpaper grit to smooth out all the trigger surfaces I filed. There are still some minor streaks that mark up the trigger but I’ll deal with any final finishing after I know the pistol works.
I originally got a Wilson Drop-In Beavertail but it left a quarter-inch gap on the TM 1911 80%. I exchanged it for a regular Wilson Beavertail which fits well enough to not need filing for proper function. But a properly blended beavertail is really one of the marks of a custom 1911. I’ll leave it until I get the jig and make the frame 100% first…just in case.