Monday, February 18, 2008

Full Sistema Ahead vol.IV

Alright, welcome back to "why is it taking so long to build this pistol?". I'm your host Mr Fixit, AKA "Dad" and "Somebody".

As in when my wife said "Somebody needs to fix the fence and the sink in our bathroom."

And I know some of you are asking "why is there a fence in his bathroom?"

Silly readers.

But back to the topic at hand; So far I have fit a new "drop in" barrel/bushing/link, as well as a beaver tail grip safety and new ejector. As far as drop in parts go, the ejector did, the grip safety wasn't supposed to, and the barrel kit didn't.

But hey, they're in and that's whats important.

Now it's time to add the new trigger. The original was a sloppy fit, with lots of take-up and over travel. The new one is from Cylinder and Slide. I chose it because for one thing, I wanted a solid trigger. Call me un-cool, I just didn't want the "three hole" look. For another, it has a smooth face and is of a short length.

The trigger was oversize in height, so careful sanding brought it to a tight fit. Then, marking it with a blue pen and pressing it in, I could see exactly where to take off material. I found that not only did I have to take off some from the height(both top and bottom) but also from the width.

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Look at those small hands.

I also thought I should smooth up the inside of the frame. I cut a piece of wood to fit into the trigger slot, wrapped some 220grit sandpaper around it, and used "just enough" pressure to smooth up the slot without taking too much off.


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After doing both sides of the slot for the trigger bow, I did the same for the vertical slot for the trigger shoe.


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Then, going back with the marker on the trigger, found that the trigger bow was still dragging a bit.
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So, a little sanding with some 300grit to smooth it up.
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And now, some of the good stuff:
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Yes, the drop in trigger pull kit. A new hammer, sear, and disconnecter. Now, for once everything dropped right in. However, when I tried to put the grip safety and the thumb safety in, things got a little...tight. It all fit but I couldn't get the thumb safety to engage. It seems the radius cut out in the hammer wasn't big enough (or maybe deep enough is a better description) for the thumb safety to rotate up into the on position.

So, again with the Dremel. I used a 1/4" sanding drum with fine sandpaper. It fit the radius almost perfectly. Remember, soft pressure and take off only thousandths and check for fit. Here is the radius after, pointing to the area I removed:

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The bottom part of the radius was fine. I just made it slightly longer, toward the pin hole for the hammer strut, maybe only a hundredth or so, if that much.
Then, back in and the thumb safety worked great, full range of motion and all. This is the crispest trigger I've ever felt. Remember that I carry a Glock now, and a Kel-Tec before that. I'm still not sure what a "great" trigger feels like, but this one definitely feels better than anything I have had before.

The original magazine was very snug in the gun when I got it. I also bought a Chip McCormick Power Mag which was tight too. I checked and found lots of people complaining about the mags being tight in these Sistemas. I found drag marks on the mags from the grip screws. I assumed that was it and it would be easy to fix, especially since I had bought new slim grips with new screws and bushings. I decided to try the mags in the frame with no bushings at all to eliminate the possibility that the frame was a problem.
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As you can see, it was still tight, even with no bushings at all.

Out came the magic marker again.
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Again you can see where it was dragging. It surprised me to find it was dragging on the front of the magazine, pretty badly to.

I found that the same 1/2" dowel rod I used to make guides for the beaver tail, also fit the inside radius of grip. I used a piece of 220 grit sandpaper and the dowel for a mandrel to smooth it up.
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These are the rolls of sanding paper I use. They are cloth backed, and are really nice, about 1" wide and you cut them to the length you want. I think these came from Rockler.
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By the way, the box has four different grits on four different rolls.

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In and out, just like inserting a magazine. After a while there were no more marks when I tested the magazine, at least not the new one. The original Argentine mag never got a good fit. I decided to not worry about it.

The side of the magazine was still





dragging a bit, so I used a small block from a 1"X2" piece of lumber to make a mandrel that would fit inside the magazine well. On this I used some 200 grit paper as it was wider than the sanding rolls I had.
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After doing both sides, the new magazine dropped right out. Now, if it has any problem falling out when I have the pistol assembled, I know it will not be because of the frame.

Now I have the internals done. Time to look at some of the external and "fluff" it a bit.

This is the worst part of the gun. I don't know what was done to cause this, but as you can see in the next couple of photos, the lower part of the front of the slide is damaged.

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I thought about welding it and re-contouring, but I'm really not set up for that. Welding I can do, I have the TIG machine, but I am not sure I could make it look right.

My other option was to remove the damaged section and make it look as though that's what I wanted it to look like. The Dremel came out again. Using a grey stone and low speed I made a radiused cut on the front. I finished it up with the 1/4" sanding drum.
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Since I'm using the "normal" government style guide rod and recoil spring plug, I have no worries that anything other than the "look" has been changed. After it was done, I kinda like it. Nothing like having a One-of-a-kind.

A few things I did that I didn't get before photos of: I gave a bit of an undercut to the base of the trigger guard. After fitting the beaver tail, my middle finger felt cramped under there. Also, the thumb safety had to have the rear portion re-contoured to match the frame. Overall the gun had have years worth of "carry bevel" applied to it just from being worn so much. I did a bit of evening up of that , softening if you will. The front of the slide face I gave a bit of a bevel, and then the barrel bushing to match. After all that, I added the thin grip bushings and thin grip scales. Those were the only, yes ONLY parts that "dropped in" with no fitting.

Here are the after photos. I am still waiting on the new sights, and will do a refinish after test fireing to make sure it all works.

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Just for comparison, this is how it all started:

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5 comments:

Detail Medic said...

Umm. Wow. Remind me not to piss off the guy who can build his own gun...

Larry said...

Looks good!
And that "somebody" guy lives at my house, too.

Mr. Fixit said...

Oh detail,
don't worry,
I'm really just a teddy bear.

SpeakerTweaker said...

Senor Fixit,

I'm a South Texas resident and first time reader.

I will be a permanent reader now. That was absolutely amazing, and posting the step-by-step made it understandable. I was really impressed.

Matt G said...

Very, very nice. A genuine carryier, shooter.

Now: how does it shoot?