broken 1911 aluminum frame

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by sloejoe, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. sloejoe

    sloejoe New Member

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    In re-assembling my aluminum framed 1911a1 clone pistol I inadvertantly broke off the left corner pin hole area that holds the mainspring retaining pin. There is enough to hold the pin but the lower 1/3 section of the pin hole is missing. I'm thinking of reinforcing this with a thin plate that will fit over the grip screw holes & extend down over the pin hole & using a longer retainer pin. -----Or making a special pair of grips that doesn't have the cut-away for the access & re-enforcing the pin hole thru the grip on both grips with a metal bushing thru the wood & again with a longer pin use this as a fix for the damanged grip area. If I have described this plain enough for you to picture what I am thinking, what is an opinion of the repair? Comments please--
    sloejoe

    I'm sorry I forgot to mention this is in .45acp caliber.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2011
  2. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    Any way you could post a picture so we can see it?

    Part of me says weld it up and remachine it but I'm sure others here won't like that idea.
     

  3. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Actually, that's probably the best suggestion for a permanent fix. Can't remember the type of welding aluminum requires though. That is not a high stress area so a plate under the grip would probably work as well...
     
  4. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    You can tig or mig aluminum but tig would be better. It's not a friction area so if the hardness changes slightly there shouldn't be an issue. Slowly build the material back keeping it as cool as possible and then remachine it.
     
  5. robocop10mm

    robocop10mm Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Part of me says you have a FUBAR gun. Another part of me realizes the amazing things that can be done with aluminum these days. I had an aluminum alloy car wheel repaired recently. It was cracked and split. The shop here in Austin repaired it and it looks like new. As long as we are talking about the butt end of the gun below the grips, it should be possible to weld it up.

    Look at alloy wheel repair shops.
     
  6. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Or a shop that specializes in building aluminum trailers for boats.
     
  7. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    Just find a guy who can actually tig weld. I know a guy who would do it and he is one of the best welders I've ever seen.
     
  8. rjd3282

    rjd3282 New Member

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  9. sloejoe

    sloejoe New Member

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    broken .45acp.

    .45acp.jpg I don't know what I'm doing but here goes---this is a picture of the damaged grip frame on my .45acp aluminum frame. I don't have a good camera & I hope you can see the damage---
     
  10. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

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    I'd recommend you get somebody that's a good tig welder like Spitty suggests. There's no reason it can't be as good as new if you find somebody skilled enough. Build it up & redrill.
     
  11. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I'd bobtail that in a heartbeat. If you like the full grip then welding and remachining is your only option. You could possibly do the machine work with a file if you took your time but a good tig welder is definately needed.
     
  12. jca1

    jca1 New Member

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    Bobtail it and then make sure the mainspring housing is fully compressed and the pin hole aligned before you beat the pin next time? Is that how it happened?
     
  13. sloejoe

    sloejoe New Member

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    I had two smiths look at it--one wanted to cut the grip area in half & weld on a new lower half--would cost more than buying another frame--the other one said to throw it away & get a new frame--I feel I can make one of the two repairs I mentioned & then if I felt uncomfortable with it I could maybe use it for a .22lr conversion. I have shot it quite a lot with it the way it is with no problem. I hand load to a velocity of around 725-775 fps so the recoil is not bad & it is a low stress area as the pin is supported by the hole on the right side & the mainspring housing itself. I would like an estimate for the Tig weld if there is someone out there that could give me one from the photo. This is a Ranger frame from 1984 vintage but is strong every where else. Just mulling it over---Hmmmmmm :confused:
     
  14. sloejoe

    sloejoe New Member

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    jca1--thats it--a classic example of "don't clean your weapon while you are watching a shoot-em-up on TV"

    As the saying goes:"I grow too soon old & too late smart".
     
  15. sloejoe

    sloejoe New Member

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    I've never held or seen one that is "bobtailed"--looking at the drawing, how is the mainspring housing retained in the grip frame? does this then take a special designed clip? :confused:
     
  16. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Any magazine (not clip) that works for the 1911 will work in a bob tail.

    Brownells has what you need for a main spring housing. Image of my Ed Brown.
    [​IMG]
     
  17. jca1

    jca1 New Member

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    The mainspring pin hole is higher up on a bobtail than a standard 1911, and usually covered by the grips.