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Old 02-10-2010, 08:40 PM   #1
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ok so i'm thinking of getting a non drop in beavertail safety...now i know all parts require minor fittin...even drop in parts...and non drop ins require some smithing...i'm gonna order the fitting jig as well...and i was wondering how would i go about using the jig and fittin the beavertail...i mean i know how to attach it...but how would i go about "cutting" the frame? can anyone recommend any specific tools? methods? hints?

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Old 02-10-2010, 08:46 PM   #2
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ok so i'm thinking of getting a non drop in beavertail safety...now i know all parts require minor fittin...even drop in parts...and non drop ins require some smithing...i'm gonna order the fitting jig as well...and i was wondering how would i go about using the jig and fittin the beavertail...i mean i know how to attach it...but how would i go about "cutting" the frame? can anyone recommend any specific tools? methods? hints?
Dremel or a file. Go very slow and be very, very careful. It's extremely easy to get in a hurry and remove to much metal when fitting 1911 parts.

(Yes, to my 1911 brethren - I know Dremel and 1911 should not be mentioned in the same breath)
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:48 PM   #3
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which attachment would i use with the dremel? and if i were to use a handtool/non power tool...would i just use like an old metal file?

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Old 02-10-2010, 08:50 PM   #4
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which attachment would i use with the dremel? and if i were to use a handtool/non power tool...would i just use like an old metal file?
If you're not really familiar with the Dremel then it's a bad choice - sorry I mentioned it. Yes, a file will work but it will be a slow tedious process...
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Old 02-10-2010, 08:54 PM   #5
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i'm cool with slow and tedicous...they've been cutting hours at work so i have plenty of time to work on this...is there any specific type of metal file i should go with?

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Old 02-10-2010, 09:34 PM   #6
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CANEBRAKE RULE # 1

Never have a Dremel and a firearm in the same house much less the same room!

Use a file, use several files and go slow!


This is a Wilson Combat p/n 429BC installed on my Colt Defender and it was a drop-in requiring NO smithing.



I used a Smith and Alexander p/n GS PS SS S80 on my Government XSE and it required a great deal of smithing.



Go here to see how I used the jig to fit the safety;

http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f35/big-thunder-ii-vs-fenrir-1911-460-rowland-build-off-10752/index5.html#post75596

http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f35/big-thunder-ii-vs-fenrir-1911-460-rowland-build-off-10752/index5.html#post75665



NOTE: When you file the receiver to fit the new safety you WILL need to re-finish the parts that you modify. Mine was SS so I just bead blasted the parts and was GTG. If yours is blued, chromed Nickle or Teflon you will need to have someone do the finish work.
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Old 02-10-2010, 11:23 PM   #7
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i'm about to go cook dinner but here shortly i'll post some pics of what i'm working with...but until then my question is...which file should i use? a flat? rounded? is there like a file number? i mean i'm great with tools but i've never had a need or use for files so it's all new to me in that area

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Old 02-11-2010, 03:48 PM   #8
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Beavertails, The hardest part about installing a beavertail on your pistol is choosing which one to use. There are over 28 different models to choose from in the Brownells catalogue. Now in case you were not aware of it, most Beavertails must be fit in order to be installed in your frame. Now before you start whittling on your frame to make your Beavertail fit, you need to figure out which kind of B.T. you want, then pick a good fixture or fitting guide. If you're good you might even make one. Now let me go ahead and clear up something: There are several different variations of B.T. available. One is a .250 radius B.T. that would cover the majority of them like Brown, McCormick, Baer and several others. There is also another variation that covers Wilson's, Caspian and Clark (FYI Wilson's also makes a .250 radius) but you need to be aware there are different types of B.T. out there. The two different types I talk about here are not compatible, for example if you have a Springfield with a Wilson B.T. on it and you want a Brown on it instead, you're out of luck. Once a frame is cut for one you can not go to the other.

Now that you have picked the B.T. you want to put on your pistol, you must choose a fixture guide. I personally use the Krebs fixture from Brownells. It is designed to modify frames for the .250 radius only! About the Krebs fixture; if you do not have access to a milling machine, this fixture is not the one for you. There are several other good alternatives, like the Ed Brown beavertail installation jig. It is designed to be bolted on your frame, and allows the excess frame material to be removed with a belt sander. Once you get the BT to drop in your frame and can install the thumb safety, you're not quite there yet. Notice there is much more material that must be removed from the frame. I usually remove the majority of this extra material with either a small half-round needle file or a chainsaw file. I also use a dremel tool with a stone attached, or sometimes a sandpaper roll. It's tedious work and takes a little skill to get it to look just right. I use a dremel tool and a small round stone (1/8 diameter although you could probably also use a 1/4 stone just as easily), I then progress to a sandpaper roll. Now here is a good time to talk about your lines. I use a rubber band on the B.T. to keep it from moving as I work. The line where the frame meets the B.T. should be a nice arc and it should be uniform, that is the sign of a quality job. Lets talk about the top of the B.T.,. The sign of a quality job is the flowing of the B.T. to the frame, it should appear the B.T. is a part of the guns frame, a extension of the frame itself. I file the side of the frame and the side of the B.T. Most of the time either the B.T. or frame is a little wider than the other, so I attempt to make them flush. Once you are at this point, all that is left to be done is to remove the scratches from frame and beavertail. I usually use a Dremel tool and cratex bits on the rounded parts and a polishing stick with 400 grit paper for the flats. Well now you have the most difficult part done, the next part is fitting the Beavertail arm that blocks the trigger. Now, sometimes the longest part of the B.T.arm might be too long, and hits against the back of the trigger. So, removing a little material from the B.T. arm is required. Once the beavertail is allowed to rotate in all the way, if the trigger can not be pulled to the rear, then the stairstep cut in the BT arm might not have been cut high enough. You can remove the left grip panel, and with trigger removed, attempt to depress B.T.; see if the bar will block the trigger's rearward travel, If so file to suit. All that is left to do now is refinish. One last note: many of the older Mil-spec Springfields will not have enough material in the right areas to allow a brown beavertail to be installed properly without a weld up being done first, It might leave a cosmetic gap. Of course, this is a case by case basis and I have gotten away with doing several from time to time without a weld up. If you have a older Springfield and are not sure go with the Wilson.

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Old 02-11-2010, 03:57 PM   #9
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it's a wilson combat beavertail going on a neranico and once it's on it's not gonna get changed lol...my 1911 is blued and i'm gonna install a stainless beavertail, stainless mainspring housing and a stainless firing pin stop...soon as i can find my camera i'll post a pic of the 1911 i'm working with

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Old 02-12-2010, 03:38 AM   #10
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ok this is what i'm workin with...when i orginally took it to the gunsmith to have a drop in installed (back when i first got the gun and never did any gun work) i guess they ordered the wrong one because i ended up with this huge gap...but soon i'll have a wilson combat beavertail in stainless and a flat mainspring housing in stainless with a stainless firing pin stop...

dscn0637.jpg   dscn0638.jpg   dscn0639.jpg  
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