Building a 10mm

wrmiller

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I am building a 10mm, based on a 80% Jem frame and slide. I also bought the Jem GS as well. I am currently waiting on the Jem slide, and a KKM barrel. But I have the GS and a Chen MSH, so I thought I'd start at the bottom and work my way up.

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The Jem GS 'almost' fit, but I needed to clean up the frame a bit on the inside as well as take a bit more off the radius to get the EGW thumb safety to go into position. The Chen MSH was not even close to slipping into the Jem frame. So out came the files and sandpaper. I'm in no real hurry on this project and I'd like to give this build a little extra effort.

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Finally got the MSH to fit. It's VERY tight though, needing a little persuasion from a drift to start it out of the frame.

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I liked the little mini 'round butt' I did on my Kimber, so I decided to do it to this pistol as well.

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I finally made up my mind to put a mag well on this thing. And I decided to make my own this time. First thing is I need a nice flat piece of stainless, 0.300" thick.

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I hate face mills because they throw sharp, hot, chips half-way across my shop! I managed to cut the frame and the mag funnel without scrapping either part.

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Those are grips I fitted to a different pistol, but it looks like they should work on this OK. The mag funnel piece fits nice and tight on the frame. I won't be silver soldering it on until I cut the frame rails. And I can't do that until I get the slide and get some dimensions from it.

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But I'm liking it so far.
:)


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Edit: I guess I can start on the frontstrap checkering while I wait for my slide to show up.
 
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middle.road

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I interviewed for a job back in the mid '80s at the Bren Ten facility in Long Beach when the new owner was trying to resurrect the company.
Would have been super sweet, they were looking at all new equipment.
The shutdown shop had several BP Series 1 CNCs and a boatload of manual machines.
There were still piece parts in vises on the machines when I went through.
Got to see No.1 in it's case.
Offered to let me fire a clip with another, but could not get the lights to come on in the test range... :concerned:
The pistol was close to hand built (fitted?).
 

wrmiller

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i have not had the pleasure to touch off a 10mm.
i love the .40 S&W, i'll bet the 10 is even better
I do have one 1911 in .45, but I just like basically having a 357 Mag in a semi-auto. My 2011 that has both a 6" compensated top end as well as a Commander length top end gives me 15+1 of these little boomers. :D

The Castings of your mill look wonderful :)
It's just a little PM935. And I love it. :)
 

wrmiller

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Disclaimer: This isn't real-time yet. I started on this a couple of weeks ago, and just thought that some folks here might like to see a thread on how I'm doing this. So I'm giving a bit of back-story here. :)

So I figured I'd tackle the back of the pistol frame, because this is a very important part IMO to how the pistol feels in the hand both static and during shooting. Given this is a 10mm, I want comfort and recoil/muzzle control. Well, as much as I can get anyway.

So the GS (grip safety) has the popular memory bump/pad on it to help disengage it what the pistol is properly gripped. But as I'm going to pin the GS I really don't need/want that hump in the middle of my palm. But first things first, in that I need to finish blending the top of the GS to the frame.

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More progress, and I've started removing that memory pad.

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I don't like that large gap I'm seeing between the grip safety and the mainspring housing. So I decided to do some good old fashioned blacksmithing and fix it.

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Much better... :)

Now it's time to modify and blend the ambi thumb safety.

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I want to shorten and narrow the paddles of the thumb safety so they don't dig in my side, and to reduce 'printing' when it's carried.

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That's better.
 

wrmiller

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Still waiting on the slide at this point, so I decided to replace the single-port compensator I had on the 2011 with a 3-port compensator on a bull barrel and to make a threaded cone for a bushing barrel I had and make a commander length 10mm for easier concealed carry.

Here's a quick run through that.

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I put some cold blue on it for now, until I can afford to have it blued. The commander barrel is on the right in the last pic.
 

Bamban

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Very well done. Is that yours fpr good or eventually a customer gun?

I can't afford a custom built 1911 in 10mm, I had to settle for a Colt Delta Elite. Can't stand the SS finish, had all metal nitrided. Those hard cast from Double Tap are hell on hogs.
 

wrmiller

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These are my personal firearms. While I do favors for friends on occasion, I don't have a ffl or business license. Can't afford them to be honest.

Known smiths are building four and five figure 1911s on these Jem frames and slides. But they put a whole bunch more 'pretty stuff' on theirs. I'm more of a form follows function type and don't care much for frills. Mine are reliable and accurate, which is what matters to me.

But having said that, I do like looking at those fancy firearms though. :)
 

wrmiller

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When the slide finally showed up (took over 5 weeks...) I measured it as best I could with what I have, as I don't have the fancy slide rail thickness micrometer and a couple other wigets.

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I borrowed a friend's frame holding fixture as it was easier than making my own. Wrote down my dimensions and other numbers on my whiteboard, and proceeded to attempt my first ever frame rail cutting. Hey, what could go wrong? ;)

First one side,
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Then the other.
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After narrowing the frame rails to my target number, the slide would 'just' go on the front of the frame rails. But it needed a bit of coaxing to even do that. Did I leave too much meat on the rails?
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Yea, I left a bit too much on the rails. Combine that with a little taper in the slide and it took me all morning to finish hand fitting the slide to the frame.
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And then fitted the new bull barrel to the slide. So far, so good. :)
 

Bamban

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If you have all parts on hand, how many hours would it take dod you to build a custom 1911, including final assembly after parts come back from bluing or any other finish?

What kind of precision you get from a rest at 50 yards with the custom 1911s in 45 ACP match semi wadcutter? Is there sort standard precision the custom guys adhere to?
 

wrmiller

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The length of time depends on what exactly is in the build. Custom stuff like checkering, and fabricating custom parts and/or extensively modifying parts takes longer. Once everything is fit and proven to function correctly, final assy time is minimal. For a semi-custom build I'd say anywhere from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending on the level of detail, and not counting trips to vendors and back. But this is just a SWAG. ;)

A friend showed up one time (long time ago) with all the stock parts for a basic GI type and I put that together in a afternoon or less. That included function testing and tuning 4 mags IIRC.

I've never built or had any interest in bullseye pistols, so I've not attempted something like that. I know that Les Baer has a sub 1.5" (?) guarantee, but he charges extra for it. Joe Chambers is known for building highly accurate bullseye pistols but I'm not familiar with what standards for accuracy he uses.

For my USPSA competitions, my own personal standard I used to strive for was a 1" group at 25 yards off a sand bag. I don't remember if I ever actually got down to a 1" group though.

I recently went through my old Kimber 45 and installed a new barrel bushing and tightened things up a bit. My test was a target at 10 yds., standing with a two-hand hold. With a cold pistol I put three rounds in the target (not rapid fire, but less than 20 seconds or so) and covered them with a nickel. That was good enough for me. :)

But remember, I'm no professional 'smith. I'm just a tinkerer... :D
 

Bamban

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Thank you for the response. Looks like you got some good results with your builds.

I have some friends with LB 45s for bullseye NRA and CMP competition, yikes lots of money.
 

wrmiller

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I had to machine the frame for a Clark ramped barrel.

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And then I silver soldered (stainless frame, stainless mag funnel) my roughed in mag funnel. Then I had to trim the new grip panels 0.300" shorter to allow for the mag funnel. This funnel will add no additional length to the grip of the 1911, unlike the one-piece main spring housings w/mag funnel.

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As you can see in the following pic, the mag funnel's profile is roughed in pretty well, but there has to be a fair amount of hand fitting done to get it done right.

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In the following two pics I'm calling the mag funnel profile done. Well, for now anyway (I'm always tinkering with stuff...). ;)

I also finally got the blending of the frame, the mainspring housing, and the grip safety to a good point. I really like how this turned out.

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A friend is letting me borrow his plunger tube staking tool, as I seem to have misplaced mine during the last move. To complete the frame I need to machine the magazine opening in the mag funnel and bevel it, install the plunger tube, checker the underside of the trigger guard at 40 lpi, and install the ignition components.

I then need to fit the lower lugs of the barrel, fit the extractor, ejector, firing pin stop, fit and checker the mag release button, and serrate the back of the slide at 40 lpi. So I have a fair bit of work to do to get this pistol up and running.

Yesterday, I decide to start checkering the underside of the trigger guard, but apparently my fingers hadn't healed enough yet from checkering that front strap...

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Tomorrow I think I'll find something else to do besides checkering...
 
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wrmiller

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Finally got tired of the loose fitting barrel alignment rod that came with the Wilson barrel lug cutter I bought back in the 80s. So I made a better one. This gave me the opportunity to use some old Starrett v-blocks that I picked up recently.

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I like them! :)
 

wrmiller

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I envy people with your skills!
Ive built a couple of the evil black rifle/pistols, but they are a different category.
I will say though that your project is "inspiring" me to look into building one
I've 'assembled' a black rifle, my LR-308, from a 80% lower. Not much to building one of those.

A 1911 is a bunch more complicated. Not impossible of course, but you need to learn certain skills like barrel fitting, hammer/sear fitting, safety fitting, etc., etc.. If you know someone nearby who is a pistolsmith or a good amateur (I mentored under/worked for a great pistolsmith) who can teach you the basics you'll ruin fewer parts during the learning process. :)

There are also some good books out there to help you understand the underlying theory/function of these things and how to repair/modify/build them.

Good luck!
 
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erikmannie

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The first handgun that I ever owned was a Colt Delta Elite. The 10mm Auto seemed perfect to me. It was certainly hot enough!
 

wrmiller

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The first handgun that I ever owned was a Colt Delta Elite. The 10mm Auto seemed perfect to me. It was certainly hot enough!
The 1911 style handgun chambered in 10mm is one of my favorite handguns. It can be loaded at below 357 Magnum performance up to near 41 magnum performance. While I love the 1911, if the you-know-what hits the fan I'd like to have my 2011 as a backup to my LR-308. Some folks like the high-capacity 9s. I prefer something that hits a bit harder and still holds 15+1.
 

Albroswift

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Really like your work!
Just started rounding up parts for a 10mm myself, Fusion 7" bull barrel, have a VytamenC 80% tactical rail in ss, and an aluminum 80% with the full length tactical dust cover in the mail. Really looking for a 80% with the full length tac dust cover in CS or SS, but not finding one. Think i'm going with the RIA 6" slide, the front radius cuts look like it matches up well with the long dust cover, available, and affordable.

Getting the new bench mill set up. No slide yet so haven't made any cuts. Did the last frame 20200523_115144.jpg with the matrix slide cutter.

Deck, rail, and barrel seat jig with the VytamenC SS frame.
 

wrmiller

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Have fun with that thing. Talking to a custom knife maker acquaintance up in Montana this morning and all our brainstorming has given me a few new ideas on what to do after getting the current build functional.

I have the ignition system fitted, as well as the barrel, now I need to concentrate on finishing the slide. Need to mill for the RMR (red dot) sight and co-witness sights, and cut some cocking serrations.
 

wrmiller

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I'll probably start with my normal #22 spring as the RMR is not going to add that much to the reciprocating mass (slide in motion). Or I may drop down to a #20 as I'm using a stronger main spring and a flat firing pin stop, both of which We'll see. Would you like me to post which one I settle on?
 

38super

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You must account for the increase barrel + comp weight and the braking effect of the compensator. You may find 14 to 16 lb recoil spring with full loads. Don't expect a comp gun to cycle target loads.
 

strantor

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The 1911 style handgun chambered in 10mm is one of my favorite handguns. It can be loaded at below 357 Magnum performance up to near 41 magnum performance. While I love the 1911, if the you-know-what hits the fan I'd like to have my 2011 as a backup to my LR-308. Some folks like the high-capacity 9s. I prefer something that hits a bit harder and still holds 15+1.
My very first concealed carry pistol was a glock subcompact in 10mm. The "bear-stopping power in [less than] the plam of your hand" felt empowering and sounded cool to talk about, but at the range I was paying handsomely to experience the destruction of my hand & wrist. I decided that if I were going to pay money for bodily abuse, there were more gratifying ways to go about it.

I would like to have a 10mm again, if in a 1911 frame, but no other way.
 

wrmiller

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You must account for the increase barrel + comp weight and the braking effect of the compensator. You may find 14 to 16 lb recoil spring with full loads. Don't expect a comp gun to cycle target loads.
I was referring to the Jem 10mm I'm building, which is a 5" uncompensated 1911 when I was talking about a 20-22 lb. spring.

I shot compensated 38 Supers, Centimeter, 40S&W, and 10mm for decades in USPSA open class competitions. I remember using 16-18 lb. springs in 38 Supers, even lighter in my Steel Challenge pistols, but the 10mm even compensated needs a bit more spring. Typically. I'm talking about full power loads here, not the reduced power factor stuff used in competitions.
 

38super

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LOL, you can thank the whiny euro crowd for our 165PF. Good to know you've been down the road.

DVCee ya
 
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