Monday, June 2, 2014


You know what was neatest about the 1911 armorer class?  Learning the detail-strip.

It always amazes me how the bits and parts logically fit together and hold other things in place to function. For instance, a pin could be used to hold the grip safety in place.  But why not incorporate the pin on the thumb safety to do double duty.  There are other examples on the gun.  And you got to hold the thumb safety in a halfway position to remove it from the frame.  Not engaged, not off, but between the two.  Or the parts won't clear.  And that helps lock it all together.  Loose pins are covered by the safety and can't fall out until you remove it in a detail strip.  And, of course, Browning designed it to be possible to detail strip using no tools but the parts of the gun, a magazine, and a spent case. 

It's just a tidy piece of late Victorian era mechanical engineering.  The golden age of mechanicals.  See the Singer Sewing machine and the Remington typewriter for other excellent examples of the more complex items.  Guns want to be simpler for reliability rather than feature loading.  I like the "simple, but not TOO simple, complex enough to function but not an iota more complicated than that."

All this fiddling makes me want to own a Luger and a Mauser C96.  Not to shoot.  At all.  But to take em apart and put them back together.  They are also put together in ingenious and intricate ways, I hear.  But they are like great books I have not yet read, just in the mechanical assembly department.  It'd be fun to explore them.  Because they are different.


dehakal said...

Haven't detail stripped by c96 yet. But you depress one little lever and and the major sub assemblies come apart very easily.

Mark/GreyLocke said...

Unless you have 3 hands and a good vise don't detail strip a C-96. I did once back in '91 or '92 and it took me over 11 hours to get it back together.

Windy Wilson said...

"simple, but not TOO simple, complex enough to function but not an iota more complicated than that."
I like that, too.
Cars should be that way, too.
I think our automotive engineers today are all from the Bugatti school; cleverly engineered things that cause the mechanics to plot lethal outcomes for the engineers.