Lap it up

by
posted on October 28, 2014
sinews.jpg (138)

To mate the bearing surfaces of the tangs to the inside of the beavertail, the first step involves removing the pivot and grip safety and applying a lapping mixture to the tangs. (Authors Kuleck and Oldham recommend a 50/50 blend of JB Bore Paste and either oil or valve-grinding compound, neither of which I could locate.) However, the setback helped me to finally discover a use for my container of fine-grit lapping compound, which, until this point had remained unopened. (I blended it with the with the Mil-Comm TW25B Synthetic Grease to form a makeshift mixture of my own.)

To begin the process, chuck the frame in a padded vise with the frame facing up. Using a magic marker, evenly apply ink to the tangs, and allow a few minutes for it to dry. Then, apply the lapping mixture to the tangs (Q-Tips make ideal applicators,) before replacing the beavertail and pivot. Now, rock the beavertail back and forth with your thumbs. (Feel free to use your dead-blow hammer if the part is stubborn at first.) Continue moving the part approximately 20 to 30 times to and fro. There is no such thing as too much in this instance. The movement causes potential protrusions (or high spots) on one surface to abrade—and become abraded by—protrusions on the other.

Now, remove the beavertail and pivot. Clean any mixture from the tangs and inspect the surface you initially coated in magic marker. You'll notice where the lapping wore away the ink. Re-ink, reapply the mixture and replace the grip safety and see if can insert the pivot that is the same diameter as your thumb-safety pin. If you can, you're done. If not, reapply the magic marker (remembering to allow it to dry) before replacing the hardware and continuing the lapping process as required until your thumb-safety pin will fit freely into the frame.

The presence of shiny tangs and being able to finally use your thumb safety instead of a pivot must mark the end of the line, right? Not quite. In the next installment, we'll discuss how to blend the edges—giving your work that extra professional-looking touch—commonly seen on most high-end "custom" 1911s.

Latest

man drawing revolver from holster
man drawing revolver from holster

Is the .357 Magnum the Best Option for Personal Defense?

Time and data have also unquestionably revealed that when compared to these semi-auto-pistol cartridges, the .357 Magnum does a better job at stopping bad guys.

First Look: Viridian Weapon Technologies HS1 Hand Stop Laser

Viridian Weapon Technologies is rolling out a game-changing hand stop laser, the HS1, which is now available with an infrared beam.

Walt Berger, Founder of Berger Bullets, Dies at 92

Walter Berger, founder of Berger Bullets and member of the Benchrest Hall of Fame since 1982, died on Sept. 19 in Mesa, AZ, surrounded by family and friends. He was 92 years old.

Are Percussion Revolvers and Single-Shot Muzzleloaders Obsolete?

It’s known that firearms can serve for a long time after they’re no longer cutting edge. Flintlocks held on long into the percussion era. During the American Civil War, plenty of cavalry units, especially local militias, turned up with single-shot pistols despite Colt’s revolvers having been on the market for a while by then.

German Police Department Converts to Blackhawk Holsters

Blackhawk’s German distributor, Helmut Hofmann, has been awarded a contract from the Niedersachsen Police Department in Germany for new duty holsters from Blackhawk’s T-Series Holster line.

First Look: CZ P-10 F Competition-Ready Pistol

The new P-10 F Competition-Ready has a barrel and slide that are a half-inch longer than the full-size model, which provides a longer sight radius. 

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.