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Thread: Bobtailing a 1911

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy
    TheGrimReaper's Avatar
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    Bobtailing a 1911

    Okay fellers I see a RIA 1911 10MM in my future. Who here has bobtailed theirs?
    Did you use a jig and any tricks since I ain't got a drill press?
    I am thinking of having my GS install and I file and finish.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    Funny this should come up, as I just recently finished modifying an RIA .45 ACP 1911 that bit me. There are at least two ways you can go on the project, maybe more. On this one I shortened the hammer spur, but it still would bite. If you shorten them too much they become difficult to thumb cock without completely changing your grip. I took a little more off, but stopped where you see it in the photo, and added a King Gunsight/Gunworks grip safety. As you can see they are a bit different from the current pattern of beavertail safeties which have an upward swoop. The King model just extends backward. It does not fit as closely to the frame, and is adaptable to either a modified hammer like this one or a commander-type burr hammer. It is up to the gunsmith to make the adaptation for the particular hammer, and in this case I ground a dish-shaped place to receive the hammer spur, and no more bite. It looks o.k. and requires no modification to the frame, just installation of the part, but you'll likely be unable to find one because the company that made them is out of business. Years ago I bought several, and this was the last from my parts drawer, but look around and you might turn one up.

    I have done several others, and have used the Ed Brown beavertail safety. This requires purchasing a button-type jig that passes through the hole in the frame for the safety's pin. It screws down tightly on both sides of the frame, is made of hardened steel, and one files or grids off anything sticking out past the button, and forms the metal to match the contour of the button. The button is removed and an Ed Brown beavertail grip safety installed. The fit is usually very good without any more work. A Dremel tool works well for 90% of the grinding, and the jig is available from Brownell's. These are usually paired up with one of the commander hammers or rounded skeletonized hammers.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
    lefty o's Avatar
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    ^ thats not what he's talking about. bobtailing is essentially rounding the bottom of the frame/mag spring housing.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    use a long a1 grip safety and a commander rounded hammer.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
    lefty o's Avatar
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    https://secure.arnzenarms.com/sites/...?itok=bNF1dWYh thats bobtailed folks, its not a grip safety.

  6. #6
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Gebirgsjager View Post
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    Funny this should come up, as I just recently finished modifying an RIA .45 ACP 1911 that bit me. There are at least two ways you can go on the project, maybe more. On this one I shortened the hammer spur, but it still would bite. If you shorten them too much they become difficult to thumb cock without completely changing your grip. I took a little more off, but stopped where you see it in the photo, and added a King Gunsight/Gunworks grip safety. As you can see they are a bit different from the current pattern of beavertail safeties which have an upward swoop. The King model just extends backward. It does not fit as closely to the frame, and is adaptable to either a modified hammer like this one or a commander-type burr hammer. It is up to the gunsmith to make the adaptation for the particular hammer, and in this case I ground a dish-shaped place to receive the hammer spur, and no more bite. It looks o.k. and requires no modification to the frame, just installation of the part, but you'll likely be unable to find one because the company that made them is out of business. Years ago I bought several, and this was the last from my parts drawer, but look around and you might turn one up.

    I have done several others, and have used the Ed Brown beavertail safety. This requires purchasing a button-type jig that passes through the hole in the frame for the safety's pin. It screws down tightly on both sides of the frame, is made of hardened steel, and one files or grids off anything sticking out past the button, and forms the metal to match the contour of the button. The button is removed and an Ed Brown beavertail grip safety installed. The fit is usually very good without any more work. A Dremel tool works well for 90% of the grinding, and the jig is available from Brownell's. These are usually paired up with one of the commander hammers or rounded skeletonized hammers.
    It is not.....but it is some good info to know. I appreciate it.

  7. #7
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    Always good to learn from the mistakes of others. He does a decent job and one tiny flub.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master

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    Oh--sorry! Bob tail, bob hammer, bob, bob, bob...........

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check