Chambers Custom The Barrel Fit Challenge

Joe C

Pass the mustard
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Recently I've been posting some pics to social media showing barrel fit, or not. I've had lots of questions about the pics but the most common one is, "How can I tell if my barrel legs are fit to the slide stop?". So I decided to start a "challenge" if you will since it is something I feel is really important on a custom hand built gun.

In the 1911University classes I tell students that the slide to frame fit is the "heart of the build" and the barrel fit is the "soul of the build". When combined with the other parts they make up the whole.

Now there is a lot more than leg fit that goes into a barrel fit, proper chamber finish reaming and polishing, bushing fit, link fit, hood fit all play into that "soul of the build" if you will. But, the barrel leg fit is, in my opinion, the one thing that separates a lot of guns because you either have it or you don't.

Generally speaking 50% contact on both legs with zero barrel bump (that's when the slide stop bumps the front of the barrel legs as the barrel is going back into battery) is considered adequate. And I personally know of several guns with fit in that range that have won numerous championships at Perry. However, the more you have, the better it is, within reason.

Keep in mind that a "Hard Fit" is not the same as a proper fit (again, in my opinion) as it causes the slide stop to wear out quickly thus loosing the leg fit along the way. If you have flat spots on the top of your slide stop pin from a "hard fit" barrel the fit simply will not last long.

So, with all that said, I'm starting #custom1911barrelfitchallenge with this pic. It's simple really. Take your slide off, clean the oil off the barrel legs, apply marker or dykem to the bearing surface, re-assemble the gun, cycle 25-50 times, take the slide off and take a pic. For example, this is WMG00001 that I built a couple months ago. It has 200 rounds through it currently. Basically 100% contact with zero barrel bump.

And if you don't want to name the make or model that's fine, although others might find it helpful. This isn't about calling out makers or smiths, it's about you becoming more educated on what you have and what you want. If you do this at least you'll know what you have. Let's make proper barrel fit on custom built 1911's great again!

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azpoolguy

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Apr 3, 2018
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Thanks for continuing to post great insights.

I’m a few months out from getting my shop space set back up. I’m in transition of moving houses. But when I do it will be back to the barrel fit on my Caspian project. I had just finished using the Chambers lug cutters and need to measure for the link when i had to pack up and move. 89D6AF95-3E05-4000-9DDC-391D0100063F.jpeg
 

ThePlumber

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Apr 8, 2018
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So I spent some time this afternoon checking 6 of my guns. These range from low to mid production guns with some custom work, semi custom, custom guns and #6 is my class gun that I did. Round counts range from 500 to 2500 (100 for the class gun). Any higher and that would be unfair due to wear on slide stops, etc. No manufacturers or smiths names will be revealed, so no PMs will be answered on that subject.

9C21EE9D-2372-49ED-92A2-DB0EA690FBC9.jpeg CFE7C1E1-85C4-4077-90BB-3E9DF32339F4.jpeg 732908C6-3F18-4B8F-A903-6F8B4BC8668F.jpeg

A picture of 3’s slide stop showing the flat spots due to the barrel bump.

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My class gun

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boatdoc

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Jun 9, 2018
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908
thanks so much Joe.

threads like this are very educational and reinforce to me ho w much I have to learn.
 
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1911U004

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What point are you confused on? Joe did a good job explaining why he started this thread.
 

Bender

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Dark side o the moon.....
Ok, I’ll ask the question and be the elephant in the room.

Why hasn’t any of the other popular gunsmiths posted pics of their barrel fit? Is this a debated topic of lower leg fit? Is this an unknown method of barrel for for other smiths? No rebuttal, no discussion? Only questioning comments posted under an alias?

I’m rather confused by this lack of discussion by other industry professionals.
 

alias

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Ok, I’ll ask the question and be the elephant in the room.

Why hasn’t any of the other popular gunsmiths posted pics of their barrel fit? Is this a debated topic of lower leg fit? Is this an unknown method of barrel for for other smiths? No rebuttal, no discussion? Only questioning comments posted under an alias?

I’m rather confused by this lack of discussion by other industry professionals.

Perhaps they feel they have nothing to prove.
 

alias

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Perhaps....since no names are being dropped, it would be nice to know others’ feelings about this topic. Seems most aren’t posting a darn thing anywhere. I’ve seen ONE smith post a related comment on FB.

Seems some may have something to hide.
Or perhaps they just don't give a rip what Joe thinks or does.
 

Joe C

Pass the mustard
Custom Builder
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Feb 16, 2018
Messages
124
There's been much discussion about all this by people privately to me and among other groups I'm sure. The bottom line is, there is a proper way to do it and an improper way to do it. It's not about "Joe's way" or "so and so's way". Those who have built guns for accuracy know what works and why. My motives were none other than to educate. Unfortunately some will see it otherwise. I can't nor do I care to fix that if that's what they choose to believe.
 

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