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Benning Boy 06-08-2011 03:22 PM

Rebuilding a gun
We've seen threads where guys re-do a lower end firearm. Fluff and buff, add stuff, tweak it.

At ends of the spectrum, J.D. has recreated a Taurus into something more than it was, and made it a viable contender.

We've also seen that while you may be able to marginally improve a Hi Point, by it's very nature, there's not the most solid of foundations to start with.

See Cane's complete Hi Point disassembly.:eek:

So the question becomes:

What is a lower end firearm with a solid foundation that could be improved upon? With J.D.'s entry, the frame and slide are steel, he switched out the flawed bits.

With the Hi Point, you have a plastic frame and a pig iron slide.

Name your piece...

Dillinger 06-08-2011 03:49 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Project Taurus, Post Robar refinishing.

Dillinger 06-08-2011 03:53 PM

In the case of the Taurus PT-1911, it has several really good features, so it was a natural contender in my mind.

I changed out the MIM ambi safety for an all steel single side model and changed out the hollow, patented Taurus Saf-T-Key hammer for an all steel Ed Brown model.

Add a trigger job and some thin grips, then sent it off for a custom refinish and I think it's a perfect 1911 now.

If you have a base platform that has quality components, like in the case of the Taurus, a few subtle changes can take it from "eh" to "wow" if you know where to look and do some reading on problem parts.

I would be up for another challenge type build sometime later in the year when finances rebuild.

Benning Boy 06-08-2011 04:25 PM

Wheelguns would be tougher, I think...

Dillinger 06-08-2011 04:40 PM


Originally Posted by Benning Boy (Post 519728)
Wheelguns would be tougher, I think...

I don't know. To be honest it's not an area of specialty, or even one that I have studied much, but I think the processes would be the same.

You have to start with a quality frame and barrel to your wheelgun.

Back in the day my old man had a .44 Ruger Blackhawk and it was a stout, heavy duty fire breathing magnum.

I don't know if their current quality would match, but assuming it did, they have varying levels of weapon "quality" coming from the shop, so an entry level would give you a base to build upon. You could find one used, to save some coin (in the case of the Taurus I got it in trade, thus no out of pocket costs) and then you do some research to see what people have experienced with the platform.

Perhaps the hammer action or parts are known to be less than ideal, you would shop for some replacement parts that were top notch. Perhaps the trigger needs work? In my opinion most triggers on factory weapons do, so you get a trigger job done.

Then you find that the plunger that removes the spent brass has a replacement that is lighter and stronger, maybe titanium, so you snatch that up and install. In the event of a swing out cylinder, same thing, there is an arm that is of higher quality and better manufacturing, so you pick that up and swap it out.

The key is to do it a little at a time so you don't have to plunk down $2000 right up front for the best of the best. You can nickel and dime your way up the chart as you see fit.

Cane? First thing he is going to do is shoot it and then decide it needs new snakeskin grips. First thing he does is orders up something Classic Cane. Then he goes from there.

I think in "rebuilding' any modern firearm, you have to have an idea of your "end goal" and then you shop for a platform that will get you pointed in that direction, then you plug along at it for awhile until you get there.

I think I got the Taurus in Jan and it's just now complete and ready for range day. But I did it a little at a time, so I never really felt the full impact of all the changes at once. It was a little here and a little there, but now it's one hell of a finished product that should treat the new owner quite well for many years to come.

Benning Boy 06-08-2011 04:43 PM

So what is the most inexpensive platform, with a solid enough foundation, that one could start with?

I think, thus far, the Taurus is the epitome. Maybe a Rock Island, with enough dremeling.

Dillinger 06-08-2011 04:55 PM

If we are talking about a semi auto, you need to find a good quality frame and a good quality slide that mate up well.

The Rock Islands are hit and miss, but definitely a possibility in the 1911 realm.

Take the Glock for example. Most of the people who buy them and actively shoot them, the real serious folks who stand behind the platform, usually make a couple of changes.

1) They replace the plastic guide rod with one made of titanium or steel

2) They get the trigger reworked.

At that point, it says Glock on the weapon, but it's not a factory gun, it's a semi custom. They are in it, maybe, a couple of hundred over the base sticker price, but the gun is customized by eliminating a couple of flaws that came from the factory due to budgetary concerns.

I think that is the key component of any "rebuild". Get something that you like, with a good foundation, and make improvements to any known flaws that the bean counters imposed on the final product through the after market.

Benning Boy 06-08-2011 05:02 PM

Yeah, but you need the Testors Model Glue for the Glock.;)

stalkingbear 06-08-2011 05:22 PM

If you want to stay with the 1911 platform the new Ruger SR1911 might be a candidate. RIA is famous for their hit or miss and are cheaper made guns. With revolvers parts are harder to come by. Fortunately Revolvers are easy to "pistolsmith" without adding/changing a lot of parts.

Benning Boy 06-08-2011 05:30 PM


Originally Posted by stalkingbear (Post 519762)
If you want to stay with the 1911 platform the new Ruger SR1911 might be a candidate. RIA is famous for their hit or miss and are cheaper made guns. With revolvers parts are harder to come by. Fortunately Revolvers are easy to "pistolsmith" without adding/changing a lot of parts.

What would you switch/upgrade on the Ruger?

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