Big Thunder II Vs. Fenrir: The 1911 .460 Rowland Build Off - Page 24
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Big Thunder II Vs. Fenrir: The 1911 .460 Rowland Build Off

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Old 03-09-2010, 05:55 PM   #231
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Originally Posted by canebrake View Post
Note: be sure you have the CCG HD firing pin spring installed! That's a whole other issue that MUST be correct with the installation of the CCG kit. Ask me and I will address that issue later.

Is your donor gun stainless steel? Is it a Colt? It seams the Colt tight fit, and the increased coefficient of friction of the Colt SS alloy (which is designed for the 45 ACP pressures) causes issues with timing when cycling the 460 Rowland.

I worked with Clark to fix my FTE issue by starting with an inspection of the extractor, no problem. Then moved to the ejector and found no witness mark of contact on the brass. This simply means the slide is not cycling totally to the rear, contacting the ejector and kicking the spent cartridge out. No full slide travel = too much resistance.

I then preformed the slide to receiver lapping. (220/320/600) This took some time and effort but produced an incredibly smooth slide cycle. This improvement did not completely eliminate the FTE. The ejector witness marks were light if evident so the next step was to step down the recoil spring pressure.

I went from 24# to 22#, then 18.5# and when I got down to the stock 16# I was told by Clark that they can't recommend I go any lower. (wink, wink - CYA) I was seeing fewer FTEs but was not satisfied with Fenrir as a dependable PD weapon. My next step was to use a 14# ISMI Chrome Silicon Recoil Spring which is typically the spring used with the 38 super and 9mm 1911s.

Presto! Fenrir has run flawless after this last change. When gorknoids was down we ran ~50 rounds through her sans incident!

So to answer your question, yes the 14# spring is my fix for now. I think if it wears in some more I will try to go back up to 16# just to slow the wear. As of right now, with ~100 rounds through her with the light spring I see no accelerated wear. I do keep a close watch on this.


If it runs, don't touch it!
Thanks for that informative post. The 460 is sitting on a Kimber Custom II. I have not tried running anything other than the 20# spring. I have not had any problems, but was curious about running lower strength springs. I was concerned about the return battery of the slide and would like to go with a lower spring if possible. I am sure it is Ok but, man it makes me flinch to think that the slide is slamming back with such force.
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Old 03-14-2010, 12:08 AM   #232
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Even though I have yet to fire my S&W 460 (waiting on ammo), I have ordered from Sprinco one of their "Recoil Management Guide Rod Systems," in hopes that if I also have to reduce the recoil spring rate I will have something in place to reduce slide to frame impact. Anyone use one of these? I ordered the stronger "CorBon" model, for obvious reasons (these suckers are $90 ea!).
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Old 02-28-2013, 07:57 PM   #233
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For those members that followed this thread.......Fenrir was fired in anger with results!


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Big Thunder II Vs. Fenrir: The 1911 .460 Rowland Build Off - DIY Projects

Get her dirty, then clean her so she starts to respect you. When her trust is complete, she will serve you well for a lifetime!

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Old 04-16-2014, 04:55 PM   #234
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Nice discussion. It's been a while, but I thought I might try and revive it a bit.

I just finished my 3rd 460 Rowland conversion (two pistols and a carbine). The first pistol conversion was done on a Springfield XD Tactical whereas the second used a Kimber Custom TLE II as a base.

In addition to the 460 Rowland kit, I put a tungsten guide rod, a trigger kit and extra power mag springs into the XD. Since I am in CA, the comps need to be permanently attached to the barrel, which on an XD makes cleaning inconvenient as you cannot get the barrel out of the slide. I bought the XD kit from

I wanted a Wislon Combat Hunter in 460 Rowland, but I can't get one in CA, hence the Kimber.

I purchased the kit for the Kimber from the great folks at Clark's and it dropped right in, everything fit and ran. I haven't done any real tuning, but I found that the 8 round Kimber Tac Mags worked the best, followed closely by the Wilson 8 round ETM. I tried some Chip McCormick 10 round mags, as well as either a Wilson or a Kimber 10 round mag and suffered FTF issues. I shot handloads of 185 HP and 230 FMJ. The Kimber Tac Mag was the only magazine to run 100% flawlessly.

I have to say that I hated installing the 24lb recoil spring. The video on Clark's website makes it look really straightforward. Perhaps its because this was my first 2 piece guide rod, but it gave me fits, and as a result I have put off cleaning (for shame). Is it just me, or does that spring pose a challenge to anybody else?

I also had an issue where the slide stop backed out. Anybody else see this?

I put some laser grips on this as well, and they stopped working after about 100 rounds; it turns out that I needed to re-seat the battery, this may have been poor installation on my part.

As far as shooting, it definitely grabs attention. Since I reload (and providing I can find the brass after firing) the cost is just slightly more than 45ACP. This means I can afford to shoot 150 rounds and share. The most common remark I get is "I'm getting one of these!". Unbeknownst to me the woman 2 lanes down was shooting for her first time and apparently the 460 Rowland's bang made her jump quite a few times. The guys next to me were drooling and chasing my brass for me. I was on lane 7 and I found brass in the stall of lane 1. It must have bounced off the back wall.

I am now in the process of customizing the Kimber.

(FYI Starline Brass is now taking back-orders for shipment of 460 Rowland brass in early May.) $255 / 1000
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Old 11-03-2014, 07:37 PM   #235
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Default Clark 460 Kit installed

Thought you might appreciate a photo grahic I created from some customer pistols we've worked on...
Left to Right... Colt, Springfield Armory, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory
Big Thunder II Vs. Fenrir: The 1911 .460 Rowland Build Off - DIY Projects You can find more photos here

Last edited by ccginc; 11-03-2014 at 07:59 PM.
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Old 11-03-2014, 09:54 PM   #236
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Originally Posted by ccginc View Post
Thought you might appreciate a photo grahic I created from some customer pistols we've worked on...
Left to Right... Colt, Springfield Armory, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory
Big Thunder II Vs. Fenrir: The 1911 .460 Rowland Build Off - DIY Projects You can find more photos here
This is a Clark Kit on my Springfield RO...

photo 1 (45).jpg

photo 2 (47).jpg

photo 3 (26).jpg
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Old 11-04-2014, 10:44 PM   #237
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Default Kimber Custom TLE II -> 460 Rowland

So I finished my Kimber conversion. I did not like the two piece guide rod and spring. It just gave me fits. So I ended up getting an EGW 1 piece tungsten guide rod which for me is a better solution. It reduces muzzle flip and just seemed an easier installation (after I built a spring compressing washer).

I ended up adding a purchasing a 460 Rowland kit with a stainless compensator and had the Folks at Clark's weld it to the barrel for me. I then replaced the slide stop, grip safety, magazine release, and safety lever with SS versions (to match the compensator) In the process I also added an ambi safety and an integrated stainless steel magazine well and main spring housing to the mix.

Finally I replaced the grips with a set of Crimson Trace Laser Grips.

It shoots really well and is a ton of fun. It does however go boom.

Here's a video demonstrating the take down with a tungsten guide rod and that heavy spring.

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