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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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