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How to install a compensator on a 1911 barrel

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Here's a video to help people understand the process of installing a comp on a 1911 barrel. It covers removing an old comp, and the steps involved in fitting a new one.

Here's a brief text explanation of the steps.

1. Mount barrel in a vise by the lower lug. Use a heat gun or torch to heat up the old comp on the barrel. Use a crescent wrench to remove the comp once it starts spinning easy from the heat. Don't force it, add enough heat until it goes.

2. Clean the threads with alcohol and a wire brush.

3. Check the threads on the comp with a tap.

4. Check the threads on the barrel with a die. Both KKM and Schuemann leave extra material on the threads of the barrel. Some comp builders thread large to allow for them to thread onto the barrels directly, others leave the threads on the comp normal and you need to chase the barrel into size.

5. Schuemann does not relieve the threads at the end. Boo. Some comps may need extra thread relief at the opening. I just increased the thread relief on my comps to accommodate this.

6. Test fit comp and set the clocking. You may need to remove material from the back of the comp so it clocks correctly to your slide.

7. Check barrel length against 1st port, some barrel and comp combinations require you to remove material from the barrel to have it sit flush with the 1st port.

8. Check gap on the comp to the slide. You need the 1 degree relief to allow for proper lockup and maintain a small gap. Check with a. 003" feeler gauge and make sure it can fit all the way around the comp. You can file relief in the slide to get what you need.

9. Bond the comp to the barrel. I use Loctite 603, which is green, and actually retaining compound. It works exceptionally well as it is designed for net fit (no gaps). Apply a bunch on the threads of the barrel, and tread the comp on. You don't have much time for adjustments. You need to get the final clocking done quickly or it will set and you get to start over. Wait a while, and keep cleaning off any excess retaining compound that wicks out.

10. Align ream. I mount the comp in the vise and attach the ream to my drill. Put oil on the pilot shaft. Drill slowly with solid pressure pushing into the comp. You need to cut the material, not rub it. Make sure to apply oil to the back of the ream as it passes through the already cut ports, as it acts like a bearing in those areas.

11. You are done. Rejoice.

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That 1 deg relief, is it 1 deg forward or backward of the gun? How does it help in the lock up? Im not a gunsmith, just pure shooter and I prefer to understand how my gun works. Ive read about this 1 deg but none explained it. Thanks

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It's one degree angled downwards from vertical because the barrel sits approximately one degree angled downward relative to the slide in lock up. This way if the back of the comp is faced square to its bore axis it matches the slide. Otherwise the two surfaces would be one degree from parallel to one another. I would assume you could leave the slide square and put the one degree on the back of the comp, but haven't seen that myself yet.

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