Build No. 1: Part 4

Needless to say, fitting parts is tricky and is a little of why great gunsmiths are great. I’m finding that I have at least two things I need to improve about my parts fitting.

  1. I need to learn to file straight and flat. Too much of my work ends up with multiple shallow bevels in a sloped surface that must be creating high points that will wear more quickly and open up my “tight” fits.
  2. Finding the places to file is much harder than I imagined. When I don’t look very closely, I am missing very small marks in my inking. That can cause me to file areas that don’t need it and when I finally discover the area that did, my overall gap is often larger than I would like.
Poorly Filed Hood
Poorly Filed Hood

And both of those things happened in fitting the barrel hood to the slide. The sides of the hood are not quite vertical. The rear of the hood has a bit too much clearance to the breech face and is slightly out of square to the centerline.

The good news is that the top barrel lugs fit nicely to the slide with a 0.045" engagement. And so engaged, the firing pin strikes the primer very close to center (as measured by filling the primer pocket of a spent case with clay and pushing the firing pin down its hole to make a mark in the clay).

Firing Pin Impact Point
Firing Pin Impact Point

Something else I “discovered” was that I find magic marker to be easier to use for inking than machinist’s bluing. The magic marker doesn’t build up as much and dries faster. But it shows marks at least as well.

It’s time to wait on the frame.

If you’ve started partway into this series, you can find the beginning here. Or you can continue with Part 5.

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