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"Square Body" Middy First Build


Cam73
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Now that she officially goes boom, I wanted to share some pictures of my first build. I'm calling it the "Square Body" 9 Major Middy- Cheely XWF heavy open frame, Warwick slide, SVI Barrel, LSI outlaw lefty, LSI trigger, EGW ignition, gunsmith fit ejector and possibly the last BE 2-port comp in the free world 😂 Shoots pretty flat with 115gr PD V2s at 165 PF and is wayyy more pleasant to shoot than my other gun with a BE 3 port and 2 3/16" holes. Ran 40-ish rounds from 2 different mags, no failures and pretty good ejection. Extractor is leaving a small mark in the case recess, will look into that.

 

I'm neither a pistolsmtih nor a machinist, but have been interested in both trades for sometime. They are conveniently intertwined so I used this project to justify purchasing an old J-head Bridgeport in May of this year. At that time I had already fit the frame/slide/barrel and intend to improve upon that process/quality with the mill in the future. No idea how many hours are invested into the pistol/making chips/ruining cutters/WTF-ing it ect., but overall the process was very gratifying. 

 

I owe a HUGE thanks to Dan at D2 and Jason at Defions for helping me through some sticking points with this gun. Shameless plug- I would absolutely buy with confidence from either one of them if I was not building my own (possibly for others in the future??) from here on out. Definitely some stand up dudes. Additionally, I spent a lot of time looking at the work of Rafferty, Venom, Carne, EMG, Reid, Bunker and Evolution. Incredible craftsmanship, hard to comprehend really.

 

Undecided what coating or colors to go with. There is more surface prep to go, particularly the forward panel cut on the right side of the gun. I slowed down to hit my number on the DRO and the titanium comp was not tolerant of the reduced feed. Smoked the cutter and left a pretty ugly finish.  

 

Anyway, I'm looking for input on areas of consideration and improvement for my next pistol build. Thanks

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1 hour ago, donnyglock said:

Looks good. Can I suggest next time do a clean up pass on the panel cuts to help eliminate the deep looking tool marks. A thou or two. Those will be a lot of work to get out by hand. 
 Nice job and it looks pretty good. 
 


Yes, absolutely. Thank you for the input.
 

Not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous cutting those panels. I did it in 2 passes about .007-.008” each. I will incorporate a light climb pass as part of the process from here on out. It was suggested that I try setting some hard stops on the X travel for better repeatability/finish. Haven’t looked into that yet.

 

I also failed to cut the rear swoop deep enough to meet the top of the FPS. The steps are equal so I’d have to lower the whole feature set to correct the issue. 

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3 hours ago, bulldog009 said:

Put a slide ride on this, and this is what I want. I so badly want to build my own, I just don't have the space or tools to do that right now. Hopefully in the next year or so I can start digging into that possibility. 


I was on the fence for a long time too. It took having a terrible experience having a gun built to make up my mind.

 

There are certainly less expensive ways to go about it. Maybe assemble a short block or use a pistol smith for select work. Personally, the justification was there based on the list of pistols I’d like to build and the desire to learn a skill that could possibly generate income. Had to tell the lady something right? 🤣

Edited by Cam73
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40 minutes ago, Cam73 said:


Yes, absolutely. Thank you for the input.
 

Not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous cutting those panels. I did it in 2 passes about .007-.008” each. I will incorporate a light climb pass as part of the process from here on out. It was suggested that I try setting some hard stops on the X travel for better repeatability/finish. Haven’t looked into that yet.

 

I also failed to cut the rear swoop deep enough to meet the top of the FPS. The steps are equal so I’d have to lower the whole feature set to correct the issue. 

You’re on the right path!!! Congratulations it looks good!! 

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3 hours ago, Cam73 said:


Yes, absolutely. Thank you for the input.
 

Not gonna lie, I was pretty nervous cutting those panels. I did it in 2 passes about .007-.008” each. I will incorporate a light climb pass as part of the process from here on out. It was suggested that I try setting some hard stops on the X travel for better repeatability/finish. Haven’t looked into that yet.

 

I also failed to cut the rear swoop deep enough to meet the top of the FPS. The steps are equal so I’d have to lower the whole feature set to correct the issue. 

you could get a regular slide stop and trim it to match the rear cut

 

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2 hours ago, Superkaratemonkeyfighter said:

I guess you have to recess the mounting location for the dot mount ? 
maybe to keep it centered over the bore. 

Pretty sure Cheely XWFs ship like that. 
 

Looks pretty good. Ever think about shaping the shield of the double tap safeties to match the slide cuts? 

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Looks good!  Cleaning up the tool marks is an obvious suggestion.  My advice is to add some holes in your barrel if you’re serious about shooting major.  165 is too close to minor, so take advantage of slower powders, your comp, and extra holes to optimize the way your gun shoots.  More gas is better, but you can only make use of it with sufficient gas venting.

 

Otherwise I think that gun looks really cool!  

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9 hours ago, donnyglock said:

You’re on the right path!!! Congratulations it looks good!! 

Thank you Don!! 

 

3 hours ago, Superkaratemonkeyfighter said:

I guess you have to recess the mounting location for the dot mount ? 
maybe to keep it centered over the bore. 

Cheely XWF open frame comes like that. I think I will have to mill the back of Cheely optic mount to center of the bore though.

58 minutes ago, jpeters11 said:

Pretty sure Cheely XWFs ship like that. 
 

Looks pretty good. Ever think about shaping the shield of the double tap safeties to match the slide cuts? 

Never thought about that. I did reshape the left side paddle for some knuckle clearance.

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13 hours ago, CalTeacher said:

Looks good!  Cleaning up the tool marks is an obvious suggestion.  My advice is to add some holes in your barrel if you’re serious about shooting major.  165 is too close to minor, so take advantage of slower powders, your comp, and extra holes to optimize the way your gun shoots.  More gas is better, but you can only make use of it with sufficient gas venting.

 

Otherwise I think that gun looks really cool!  

Thanks CalTeacher!

 

Tooling marks are definitely a lesson learned on this one. I like the machined look, but have come to understand how blasted panels can save time during finishing. Side note- buy a Warwick slide on fire sale if you want to find out just how much a blasted finish can hide 🤣

 

The 165pf AA#7 load was a starting point for testing.  Ammo from my 3 port 2 hole gun probably would have been too hot. I wanted to take the opportunity to compare recoil and dot tracking between guns with different configurations as well. It’s a good data point to have moving forward building pistols on this platform.


Not to completely side bar the thread- Are popples considered a must have item? I see them used by most shooters/builders. Do modern comps and good tuning perform well enough to offset the requirement (without the cons) while still being competitive? Is the white paper test still relevant? I have not shot enough open/ open guns to form an opinion yet.

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9 hours ago, Cam73 said:

Thanks CalTeacher!

 

Tooling marks are definitely a lesson learned on this one. I like the machined look, but have come to understand how blasted panels can save time during finishing. Side note- buy a Warwick slide on fire sale if you want to find out just how much a blasted finish can hide 🤣

 

The 165pf AA#7 load was a starting point for testing.  Ammo from my 3 port 2 hole gun probably would have been too hot. I wanted to take the opportunity to compare recoil and dot tracking between guns with different configurations as well. It’s a good data point to have moving forward building pistols on this platform.


Not to completely side bar the thread- Are popples considered a must have item? I see them used by most shooters/builders. Do modern comps and good tuning perform well enough to offset the requirement (without the cons) while still being competitive? Is the white paper test still relevant? I have not shot enough open/ open guns to form an opinion yet.

I wouldn’t say they’re a must have item, but in a major gun with such a small comp you’re probably not venting an optimal volume of gas.  I have holes on my guns, and while they’re very flat shooting, I never shot them without holes so I can’t quantify the effect the holes had.  I know of one person who did put holes in their barrel after not having them and it did flatten the gun out a bit.  
 

Run your pf around 170 or so and see how the gun handles.  Maybe you’re gun will be fine without the holes, or maybe it won’t.  What’s most important is how quickly and predictably the dot returns.

Edited by CalTeacher
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5 minutes ago, CalTeacher said:

I wouldn’t say they’re a must have item, but in a major gun with such a small comp you’re probably not venting an optimal volume of gas.  I have holes on my guns, and while they’re very flat shooting, I never shot them without holes so I can’t quantify the effect the holes had.  I know of one person who did put holes in their barrel after not having them and it did flatten the gun out a bit.  
 

Run your pf around 170 or so and see how the gun handles.  Maybe you’re gun will be fine without the holes, or maybe it won’t.  What’s most important is how quickly and predictably the dot returns.

The Binary two port is a very effective 9 major comp. 

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1 hour ago, donnyglock said:

For 9mm it is. I use them a lot for 9mm. 38sc on the other hand the three port is better. 

Have any left?! 

Screenshot_20221025-202631.thumb.png.f39db62dcd9acacc22c22cd67cd2bb0f.png

 

All kidding aside, I did compre some video between guns and the 2 port was pretty damn flat. I need to get an optic mounted to tell the rest of the story.

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6 hours ago, Cam73 said:

Have any left?! 

Screenshot_20221025-202631.thumb.png.f39db62dcd9acacc22c22cd67cd2bb0f.png

 

All kidding aside, I did compre some video between guns and the 2 port was pretty damn flat. I need to get an optic mounted to tell the rest of the story.

I do have a few… they are under lock and key. Lol. 

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Is he even making comps anymore? Haven't see any for sale in a while. 

 

Gun looks really good man! Way way better then my machining skills could do. 

 

As for the optic mount and getting it centered over the barrel. Personally on my XWF build I have I didn't cut down the mount to center it. I belive Dan at D2C did on the original one but I bought a new one because I had to file the front to fit the Alpha 3 on the mount. I don't notice it at all. In fact until someone on here mentioned it I didn't even notice the mount was slightly off center. 

Edited by Bakerjd
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5 minutes ago, jbauman915 said:

I talked to him a couple weeks ago.  Still getting up and running in TX.   He's got a while yet until he's pumping them out.  

 

Sadly I just wrapped up order with final 3port and only have 2x 2ports left.  Sad panda. 

Yep. He told me hopefully by the end of the year. With that laundry list of things I think we will be lucky to see them by end of next year. Lol. I wish him the best as he’s always been a great guy to work with. 

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