Peening at slide stop

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  1. #1
    Member Array greencobra's Avatar
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    Peening at slide stop

    Curious as to why I'm seeing some peening of the rear of the slide stop cut out where the stop engages the slide on some of my 1911 platform pistols. The only difference I can tell is on the guns where the recoil spring is heavy (all have factory spriings, no aftermarket), I see this peening, and the lighter springs, there is nothing. This has been bothering me for a while. I have no clue what weight springs are in each gun, my expert opinion on this is just the ease of racking back the slides. An example, a mid 90's manufactured Para Ord P12 shows the worst peening I've ever seen, slide is a {pain} to rack back. Yet same era full size P14 .45 and a P16 .40 show no marks. Slides on both very easy to rack. As is a Series 80 Colt Commander. Two others, a Norinco and a fairly new S&W E series have tough to manage springs and are showing this peening. The slide stops seem to be engaging fully. This is no tragedy but unsightly. Anyone have an idea or have you seen this on your own stuff? A slide has never failed to be held open on the last round because of this I guess I should add.
    Last edited by JD; March 10th, 2012 at 11:24 AM.

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Recoil Springs run in a diversity of weights,and there will be an expert along to address your problem,but I do know you need to match the spring with your ammo IOW if your shooting light target loads you don't want an Xtra heavy spring nor do you want a light spring shooting max loads.Below is an example of spring weights vs caliber/barrel length
    Caliber/Barrel length Recommended Recoil Spring Weight Range
    .45 ACP 5” 15-18.5#
    .45 ACP 4.25” 17-20#
    .45 ACP 4” 18-22#
    9mm 5” 10-12#
    9mm 4” 11-13#
    .38 Super 5” 13-16#
    10mm 5” 18.5-2
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    Distinguished Member Array claude clay's Avatar
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    do you use the slide stop as a release??
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    Member Array greencobra's Avatar
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    Maybe it would help if I said all ammo is factory, Federal American Eagle or Magtech 230 FMJ. Haven't reloaded .45 in a while. Don't know the power factors of each ammo in relation to the springs.

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    Member Array greencobra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by claude clay View Post
    do you use the slide stop as a release??
    No, I pull back the slide to release.

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    Interesting.

    Some of the older milder 1911 slides were "SPOT HARDENED" right at the slide stop cut.
    Most modern high quality 1911 aftermarket slides are hardened to rh 38 ~ 40 & so that really does not happen these days with the modestly hardened slides.

    Since the slide stop/release is always of a hardness level higher than the slide - some slides will initially "peen" a small amount at the slide stop recess cut until the two contact surfaces mate and then the slide will not peen any further.


    The old 7790314 1911 NM Hard Slides are actually SO Hard that they will ring like a bell. Nothing on those slides will ever peen. I just finished working on one of those. Tough Stuff and a real bear to work on.


    IMPORT 1911s - Who knows what those slides are hardened to IF they are even hardened at all.

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    Member Array greencobra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    Since the slide stop/release is always of a hardness level higher than the slide - some slides will initially "peen" a small amount at the slide stop recess cut until the two contact surfaces mate and then the slide will not peen any further.


    IMPORT 1911s - Who knows what those slides are hardened to IF they are even hardened at all.
    I was hoping to hear that, once they mate up, the peening will stop. The P12 though is horrible looking, cosmetic, but functions just fine.

    I was recently told by my gunsmith that the Norinco's had their slides made from recycled railroad track back in the day in China. I laughed at him but it seems to be the hardest steel I've ever encountered on a handheld firearm. I was surprised when I saw the little lip at the slide stop.

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    You can take a super fine die sinkers riffler & very carefully bevel the edge of the slide stop relief cut and then hit it with a bit of Cold Blue. That will "clean it up" I have also seen the same thing on the little half round slide stop disassembly/reassembly notch caused by the slide stop slamming into the slide when reinstalling the slide stop - by pushing it up and in really hard and fast.
    Which is what you're supposed to do but, that will often raise a little peened ridge on that slide cut.
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    I should add that there IS yet another way to "clean up" a raised peen but, most folks having only common hand tools will not be able to do it.

    You need a hardened steel rod that is perfectly flat and mirror polished on one end face. You carefully set that atop the raised peen and carefully tap the raised peen back down flat/flush with gentle taps from a light jewelers hammer.
    Then you carefully clean up the edge with a small fine deburring tool.

  11. #10
    Member Array greencobra's Avatar
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    Thanks QKShooter. I'll get in touch with my 'smith and let him have a go at trying to clean up the worst of it. First, quickly, the recoil springs are out of tbis equasion, right. Honestly, I'm woefully ignorant of anything technical in the 1911 platform pistol. I like to plug and play ya know. Just load them up and pull the trigger.

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