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Soft frame


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Well, after having this 1911A2 for a few years, I finally put it under a Rock Well hardness tester. I put it away and started shooting open when the open sites became harder to see. So finally had a chance to use a hardness tester, the slide is 32RC, and the frame is 12 RC, which is what I suspected. I had to replace the barrel after approx 4000 rds, and the slide got pretty loose on the frame. So I am going to put this thing in an oven an attempt to harden up to what the slide is, got nothing to lose. While I'm at it, I'm going to try to relieve some of the bulk of the grip?

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Frames are rarely hardened, they usually measure out in the mid to high 20's. Slides don't need to be hardened either, early 1911's were only hardened at the slide stop and the front section to just behind where the back of the spring plug tube is. More modern 1911's they usually harden the whole slide to allow for an even finish.

 

If your frame is cast, I suspect you measured over a void and got an erroneous low reading. If it measures 12 all over, sheesh.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm working on a RIA double stack frame and noticed right away the metal was a bit softer compared to Wilson, STI, etc. I expected it to be softer being cast. 

 

But I don't know what the hardness level is. Comparatively I would say around 20 or so. I would be interested to see if you can repeat that reading of 12. That's lower than I expected.

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It is very low, I'm going to try a couple of more places. I use to shoot limited major, the barrel was shot out at 5 to 6k rds, and after about 15k rds, the slide to frame fit is pretty loose. If I get a harness rating around 20 in other places, I'll probably peen the rails to tighten it up.

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Yeah I've seen some excellent Tig welded rails, machine them down to a perfect fit.

 

Another option, if you want to keep the frame, is send it to have Accu-Rails installed. The slickest slide fit I've ever felt had this done to it. $250 for the service and it provides a super slick action.

 

Plus you can have the rails replaced as you go. Here's the link if it is something of interest:

 

http://www.acc-u-rail.com/

Edited by Lowlander
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