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Discussion Starter #1
Here are some pics of a Wilson bobtail that I am just finishing and another S&W bobtail in Cobracoat black and gray. I borrowed the grips from the Wilson for the S&W. The grips for the S&W aren't done yet. Hope you enjoy.

Jess










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A Question???

Ontarget1911,

Does the new mainspring housing come with a drill template for the frame. I have extensive machine shop background, and could probably lay out the MSH pin location my self, but the possibility of destroying the frame of my $2000.00 stainless Professional, due to incorrect position haunts me.

I wish I had ordered one bobtailed at the Wilson shop, but bought mine new off the shelf at a gunstore.

Oh by the way.....great work and great looking guns!!!!
 

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Lovely work Jess - they look kinda familiar! :smilez:

Guess they would, as I had seen the pics just recently.! :wink: Lovely gun <slobber>
 

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Congratulations on a fine job.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
tex45acp said:
Ontarget1911,

Does the new mainspring housing come with a drill template for the frame. I have extensive machine shop background, and could probably lay out the MSH pin location my self, but the possibility of destroying the frame of my $2000.00 stainless Professional, due to incorrect position haunts me.

I wish I had ordered one bobtailed at the Wilson shop, but bought mine new off the shelf at a gunstore.

Oh by the way.....great work and great looking guns!!!!
Part of the "diamond cutter jitters" is drilling the MSH pin hole. The other part is blending the frame to the MSH. There is a jig that you buy separate from the MSH. After getting the jig sqaure and level in the mill (can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how "skilled" you feel that day ;-)). This jig allows you to find the center of the new "hole" by aligning the drill head with the new hole location. Use the wiggle finder of choice. After aligning the drill head in the mill with the new hole locator on the jig, then you slip the frame of the gun onto the jig and it gets pinned in place with the old MSH pin and hole. Since the drill head is centered over the location of the new hole, then you "just" drill the hole in the frame. I use an undersized drill bit and then a specifically sized reamer to size the hole. It is CRTITICAL that you get the pin hole in the right location. If you don't, then the MSH won't fit flush. Too low and you get light hammer strikes, too high and you get strut and hammer binding. You can always blend the MSH to match the hole location if too low or high, but you are messing with the geometry of the hammer and strut, and can cause plenty of problems with ignition or trigger pull and so on. After drilling the hole, I stick the frame in a vise and then start carefully taking the excess material off by filing parallel to the MSH taking the same amount of material off of both sides at the same time. You can start by putting in the new MSH and then using a Sharpie to trace the outline of the bobtail MSH. This will get you within 1/4 to 1/8th inch of where you need to be at the finish. After getting the material off and level with the MSH, then you must taper the edge of the frame to exactly match the taper of the upper back of the frame strap. A lot of the bobtail jobs that you see out there don't do this. It is a matter of choice and taste, but I like to make the MSH modification look like it was planned that way, and not like the original lines of the 1911 frame back dead end at the MSH. Here is an example of another way it is done that people also prefer. This is from the Ed Brown website and is a photo of his very nice Kobra Carry. It is just a different way of doing them.



You will notice that they do an excellent job of the transition from the normal look of the backstrap to the contoured bottom of the bobtail MSH. Just another way of doing it and there is no wrong or right way. Just a different way. Here is a Dan Wesson bobtail commander:



You will notice that it appears even flatter than the one that Ed Brown does. Also that the grips that are on the Dan Wesson are not drilled to expose the MSH pin. They also trim the grips even with the bottom edge of the MSH housing on the bottom contour. This looks good as it covers the MSH pin, but I also think that this adds to the dead end look. I also trim the grips to exactly match the contour of the frame. I have tried some "off the shelf" bobtail grips and sometimes they fit just right and other times they don't. That is why I like to trim my own to match to make sure that they follow the lines and look right. And why I don't expose the MSH pin. I think that it makes the grips look a bit "hacked". And there are many others. It is one of the "landmark" modifications that have been done to the 1911 in a long time and has changed the face of the 1911. Thanks to Ed Brown for coming up with this and I also think that it was very generous of him to make the MSH available to the public so that others can have this modification without having to buy an Ed Brown. If others are interested, then the next time I do a bobtail (I have 2 in the shop right now) I will take pictures of the process and perhaps if someone wants to try it themselves, then they will have a pictorial that will help them along the way. Other photos provided in this post are copyrighted material of Ed Brown and Dan Wesson.

Jess
 

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But you make it look and sound sooo easy. I really enjoy seeing your work. You are a artist. Thanks for sharing this kind of stuff with us.
 

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Good looking work. The bob-tail would really help with concealment.

I do have a couple of questions though. For those who have shot the bob-tails....

Does the bob-tail change your grip & pointabilty of the 1911?

I've picked up a Dan Wesson & wasn't sure since I didn't get to fire it. I have large hands & my palm goes all the way down the mainspring housing (& additional mag well funnel) on my 1911s.

Since part of my palm would no longer contact the frame, is there additional felt recoil or torque?
 

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....excuse me while I wipe the drool off my computer keyboard.
 

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I have an S&W Scandium Bobtailed by Jess and I find that the bobtail improves it's shootability. The heel of my hand just naturslly wraps around the Bobtail and the standard grip tended to dig into the heel of my hand causing some discomfort. I also have a Dan Wesson Bobtail Commander and it is the same. I now much prefer the bobtail.
 

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I bought a Cz Dan Wesson Commander with a Bob Tail the other day, but I haven't been to the range yet. As they say, "The proof is in the puddin'", so I see how it works when I get to the range.

Jungle Work
 

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Hot looking Smith & Wesson there Jess! I love the looks of it. And the Wilson is sweet too.


Ti.
 

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Those grips sure suit the gun - and I'll bet feel great too with the generous patterning.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Range test results

I was a busy boy at the range today. I went back to an indoor range and gun shop here in Denver that I used to belong to for several years and can highly recommend. The Firing Line is one of Denver's oldest and best established gun shops. I got quite a suprise when I went in there. Rich, one of the managers I guess happens to be a internet lurker. He had been following my exploits on the internet and actually knew of the bobtails and other work I had been doing. He took Brad's bobtail and started showing it all over the shop to customers and employees and has been referring people to my website for HP and 1911 work. I was very flattered to say the least. He got to handle the gray and black bobtail Smith and the Wilson. I also had a Caspian Xtreme Recon that I was selling and have sold to test along with a 1911 GI spec Caspian. I also had the number 1 Stronhold HP with me in rough and not finished form. The HP has had all of the internal work and slide work done, but not the final front sight installed. I have an iron non-tritium sight on it to get it sighted in. Once cut to height, then the proper height Novak night sight target dot will be installed. I did get tired shooting today. But it was fun!:banana: . Especially seeing the hard work on some of these guns come together. I shot them for function first and then for groups and sight in at 25 feet. The range is 50 feet maximum. I have attached the pics of the Gray and Black S&W as well as the others. They are shooters! The bad guys better leave the new owners alone if they know what is good for them.:bigun2:

Jess





 

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Exceptional work....
 

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Great stuff Jess :smilez:

Gotta say - ''post-shooting'' tiredness is almost pleasant - compared to real work :wink:
 
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