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magsite20

1911 FIMI

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I was sitting around feeling old and tired so I decided to do what may well be my last 1911 build.
Started with stainless Foster 1911 Government size receiver in 45 ACP for $100.00 (will be $145.00 by the time it gets to me with shipping and FFL fees).

Next came a new in the box IMI NM7791435 slide with a shark fin front sight that started at $99.00 (like the world was going to let me have it for that) went at $180.00 or $191.XX with shipping a CC fees.

 

So now I have the base 1911 FIMI (Foster Israel Military Industries's).

 

Then a whole big pile of parts and cost:

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Some interesting issues happened along the way the rear sight came and it looks like the right one while that sounds good I discovered the slide has to be drilled and tapped for the elevation screw on this one. Let me add it has to be drilled and tapped in the dovetail so once its on there chances are if you take it off you'd never get the threads lined up again. Now I'm thinking maybe I should get the cerakote done and then put the sight on.
I don't know. the sight is on a base held on by a hinge pin, so maybe put it on punch the pin remove the sight and leave the base on the slide for coating. They always say they don't make them like they use to, this set up hasn't been popular since the 60s now I know why.

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Well about 99% thanks to a friend of mine Ed H. the gun is complete, but is still not quite finished. Still have to stake the plunger tube (super glued for testing today), cerakote the slide and trigger a flat black, and the receiver a gloss grey / silver something. Trigger pull is actually pretty good with the $8.00 Remington hammer while the $48.00 the STI one still needs to be addressed. 1st let me say it runs fine even with the short stubby LSWC I had (2 mags worth).

This was not a build it was an adventure putting an Israeli slide and sight design from the 60s on a frame for 2016. Chances are I could pick mine out of a big stack of them not many running the old shark fin front sight or the overhanging rear sight now days

Grip and thumb safety both work fine. Slide lock and mag release both fine. I can’t shoot worth a damn but cranked the rear sight up some and was hitting sticks and rocks in the yard I will pick up some ammo and see if I can get some stuff on paper tomorrow but regardless of how all that comes out at this point I’m pretty happy with the whole thing.

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Shot of an old National Match Gun from the 60s. As to why build a gun that you can’t even get into a holster with that front sight: In the 60s I was at a shooting range with my stepfather Richard who was career Army (I'm retired Air Force) shooting his new Ruger Blackhawk when a friend of his showed up to get in some practice with his 45. While Richard was a hell of a helicopter pilot he was not much with a pistol, his friend shot competition and with the 1911 he was using could pretty much make one hole in the center of the target.
Later I started shooting matches and at best am was mediocre C class shooter I've had a lot of fun with it over the years. Used a S&W 14 at NRA, got some and built some 1911s for IPSC, USPSA, 3 gun, steel plates, bowling pins..., later went more to Glock for the higher capacity, even did a little SASS but I never forgot that guy who could really shoot and his 1911. Now in my 60s I've pretty much stopped shooting matches but would like to build that guys gun with a few twist and I know the gun is no better than the person shooting I still have a vision of that gun so a big part of what set it apart from other 1911s was the profile view of the sights on it. Going to make it look right so the sights have to be like this:

 

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My gun with the STI hammer installed, I think I’ve about got the trigger pull whipped now but if I find someone with a good knowledge of stoning the sear and hammer I’ll let them look at it.

 

100_1591_zpsonm2fwuy.jpg

 

So in a way it’s a tribute to my stepfather and an Army shooter I don’t even remember his name but I remember his ability.

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Thanks.

 

Let me make a note here 1st 1911 parts use to be cheaper to buy and 2nd the slide and receiver did not want to just fall together a lot of blue dykem, with tap the slide on and off, file some, and repeat, and repeat went in to getting these parts to meet as a working unit.

While for a true bullseye build I should have gone with a different barrel I picked up the semi drop in Storm Lake one at a bargain price with the bushing and link and it fit beautifully. I also remembered the last time I did a barrel fitting and decided to save myself the time, energy, and possible disappointment this time. Now days being retired I don't have the access to a full machine shop with all the measuring and tooling equipment so figured pick my battles to stuff I could win on.

 

That said during this build I have started to toy with the thought of one more. I have a 16 year old granddaughter who has started shooting with my son. While he has the best 1911 I ever had or worked on they don’t use it because it’s outdated. A compensated single stack 45 with iron sights in the 80s was about as good as it could get, today you need more capacity and optics to make running in open class worth it. Son has been playing with a Glock in limited class but a good 1911 in single stack or limited 10 would still be competitive. So just a slide build or even just a barrel for the Springfield Factory Comp Gun they’ve got may be the way to go. For the gun I just built you’d have to use an open front open class holster with that front sight so I may do one more for her to use at the matches in single stack or limited 10 or just a few changes to the Springfield.

 

If I do a complete new build I’d want to start with more of the fitting done by the manufacture and much more conventional sights. Of course the cost goes up a bunch like that a fitted frame and slide with the set up I’d want come to about $650.00 before getting them here and you start putting the rest of the parts on. I paid a about the $350.00 for those 2 parts on this build with shipping and ffl stuff. For the same $650.00 I can buy a pretty good complete gun in the box so I’ve really got to think about that before any more builds.

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Get the little specific tool for staking the plunger tube. With the one I helped on, we were very sure that would be really easy to get crooked and bugger up the whole thing without the little specific clamp. 

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yep the staking tool is on order. my buddy Ed is still setting up his new shop and thought he had one but if he had it he lost it in the move. there aren't any local smiths around me close that I would trust with a Nerf gun let alone something I've got time and money in plus they don't have the tool either. one guy said he could clamp it in his vice with leather jaws and hit it with a bent punch for $35.00, I said thanks but no.

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my plunger tube staking tool is 20 some years old, dont remember who manufactured it.

It was made from a small vice grip, It has a slot  for the tube in one jaw and a hardened pin in the other jaw.

You just give it a squeeze and you get a perfect stake.

 

If you can find one, I recommend it.

BH

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During the build I bought an $8.00 Remington hammer and a $48.00 STI hammer. While playing around with the set up I felt like I was getting a slightly better trigger pull with the cheaper Remington hammer but didn't have scale to measure it. I really wanted to know for sure if I was right so today I took a piece of wire bent it to loop the trigger, put a bend in it to hold a jug, and a 1 gallon water so I could test the set up.
I did the STI hammer 1st and marked the jug at the water level were the trigger broke.
Then I put the put the Remington hammer in and repeated the test.
The Remington hammer won, I haven't measured to see by how much but the trigger broke with 58 ounces / 3.625 pounds of water in the jug for the Remington hammer.
water, jug, and wire make for a cheap trigger scale.

100_1594_zpsy9bokrwl.jpg

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verified the trigger pull this weekend with a real trigger gauge 60 oz / 3.75 lbs, so the water gauge is pretty close when you add the weight of the jug at .15 lbs the total would have been 60.4 oz / 3.775.

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At long last here's my official new 1911.
Well it's done started with a 3.75 lb. trigger I re-arched (straightened it out some) the sear spring don't know where it's at now but it's better.
Last thing is got it carekoted black and dark gray actually looks better than the photo.

I just went with cerakote on a build (this is my 1st time with the stuff) but a lot of that decision was based just on cost. A guy I work with brother opened a shop, needed some OJT, and was willing to do it for me for $40.00.
As with everything cost has a cost, I had remove the coating from some of the rail area of the receiver and slide to get the gun to cycle. The gun looks better than when I started and where I removed the coating is not in a visible area. That said if I have the finish redone at some point in the future chances are I'll have the stainless frame chromed and maybe keep the carbon steel slide cerakoted.
Note the spots seen in the photos aren't on the gun they are just some grease residue I didn't get wiped off.
For $40.00 I completely happy but to me this stuff is little more than a high quality paint job and I kind of question the long term use of it based on how much effort I had to use to remove it.
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Edited by the 4th Doctor

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