A Nurse with a Gun

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Detail Stripping the 1912 M1911

I finally got around to detail stripping the 1912 M1911 that I acquired. Unfortunately, underneath the grips, especially on the right side, I found rust.

I soaked the rust with Ballistol, and scraped at it with a copper penny. I have, over the years, adopted the Lincoln cent for a scraping tool on guns. The copper is softer than the metal, and I have yet to scratch a finish with old Honest Abe. The grips were quite stuck, but with a little persuasion, they let go of the bushings.

As I dived deeper into the detail strip and evaluation, I saw that this pistol did indeed have the original finish. The two toned look on the grip frame is actually two different directions of polishing applied at the factory. This two toned appearance is quickly altered in a M1911 has been refinished.

I lubricated the pistol like I do all my 1911s, grease on the slide rails and sear, oil on the pivoting parts. When I was done, the pistol was glistening with Ballistol, inside and out. I will let the Ballistol remain on the gun, not wiping it off, for several days. Hopefully it will soak into the remaining oxidation and help loosen it from the finish.

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Anonymous Billy Budd said...

I like it! The penny idea is a great tip as well.

11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ballistol is the wonder lube/cleaner I have used for a long time as well. I cut it 1:4 with hot water for black powder guns and muzzle loaders.

I use 1:10 for cleaning the leather seats in my wife's car. (before going back over with ArmorAll)

I use straight Ballistol when I just want to lube something.

50:50 with water is a GREAT machine lubricant/coolant for in the shop.

11:29 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

Nice to have you posting again. I'm not complaining, just happy to be able to read your stuff gain.

11:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So is that a bottle of the new I Can't Believe It's Not Gun Oil (Butter Flavor)? :D


2:21 AM  
Blogger Jonathan said...

I have, over the years, adopted the Lincoln cent for a scraping tool on guns. The copper is softer than the metal, and I have yet to scratch a finish with old Honest Abe.

Great idea!

5:35 AM  
Blogger Ed Skinner said...

Nothing wrong with maturity that a little Ballistol won't fix. You've got a keeper there. Not sure if it belongs in the "shoot" or "save" category, however. How's it look for wear?

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Stretch said...

FYI the penny is now mostly zinc. Still soft enough for job at hand. This site has the alloy composition of current US coins: http://www.coinresource.com/articles/minting_process.htm

12:11 PM  
Anonymous Dan said...

Beautiful. Some day, I'll have a 1911.

5:17 PM  
Blogger GeorgeH said...

Try the various sizes of stainless steel carding brushes from Brownells. They are intended to remove the excess rust when cold rust blueing a firearm and won't touch the finish. They are so fine and soft you can use then to scrub your knuckles clean when you are finished.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Xavier said...

HEHE Glad younoticed that Doc...... I buy ballistol in bulk and pour it in the butter squirt bottles.

6:43 PM  
Anonymous Darrell said...

Try Kroil, it's great on rust.

7:26 PM  
Anonymous P said...

I just use bronze wool or steel wool soaked in kroil. Nothing removes fine rust faster. Give it a try.

10:32 PM  
Anonymous Keith said...

What does the radius on the bottom of the firing pin retaining plate look like?

is it the original minimal radius?

6:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What type of grease do you use on your slides?

1:18 PM  
Blogger Michael said...

Instead of a penny, an even better non-marring scraper can be quickly made out of an old brass cartridge case by flattening the case mouth with a hammer. You then have a brass scraper with a small handle to hold onto. A German trained gunsmith friend of mine showed me this years ago and if you keep all your old brass including the berdan primed stuff that you won't reload anyway, you should have plenty of material from scrapers for years to come.

9:22 AM  
Blogger Xavier said...

Good tip Michael!

Anon, I use Tetra grease, available in Wal-Mart. It's inexpensive, and doesn't stain my clothing. Grease stays on the rails when oil runs to the bottom of the holster.

Keith, the firing pin retaining plate is the early kind with the edge barely radiused, unlike the later type that lets the slide be retracted by hand easily.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Brad said...

What is that small reddish cup you have put the small bolts and screws in? It looks like the rubber "foot" of a crutch.

9:57 PM  
Blogger jwillis said...

I tried using grease on my new sw1911 and really like it...good tip.

10:39 AM  
Blogger Firehand said...

Blue Wonder cleaner and 0000 steel wool is really good on rust, too; cleans it off without damaging the finish around it.

8:50 PM  

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