Saturday, September 6, 2014

Thinking Aloud

Heard at the gunsmith:

"A 1911 in .32ACP.... Hmmmm"

Said by someone that can make that happen. 

Hmmm...  Balancing the recoil spring properly boggles my mind, just to start.  From a gunsmithing perspective.

11 comments:

Bob said...

Maybe interesting as an exercise, but no practical application that can't be handled by other quality .32's - - many of them also Browning designs.

Daniel Watters said...

Both Llama and Star made M1911-esque .32 ACP pistols. However, their .380 ACP siblings are more common. The obvious step would be to convert one of their American cousins like the Colt Mustang or SIG-Sauer P238. After a few years of production, Colt decided to use the same breechface dimensions in both their M1903 and M1908 Pocket Hammerless slides. The FN M1910's magazines could reputedly be used with either cartridges.

If you wanted to convert a real M1911, my thought would be to base it off of one of the .22 LR conversions, tweaking the slide mass and spring rates as necessary.

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

I think he is thinking on making it with a full sized frame...

Comrade Misfit said...

Blowback, though, right?

Old NFO said...

It's called a 1903... sigh

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Same OS as a regular 1911 misfit. Recoil operated.

Daniel Watters said...

You'd need to Swiss Cheese a standard-size M1911 slide to make it function as a short recoil design with the .32 ACP.

The barrel mass would need to be reduced as well. Luckily, EGW now makes a 0.500" ID bushing for the old pencil barrel 9mm and .38 Super. (Standard barrels run around 0.580" OD.) For the the .32 ACP barrel, you could leave the OD of the muzzle close to 0.500", and then turn down the barrel's diameter even smaller between the muzzle and locking lugs. It would look like a scaled down version of the profile Colt used on their Series 70 barrels in 9mm and .38 Super.

Daniel Watters said...

More thoughts come to mind:

You'll likely need a wider and taller ejector to even hit the rim of a .32 ACP case. The best extractor would be one tuned for the .38 Super Comp, a rimless variant of the semi-rimmed .38 Super.

The J-cut on the slide's breechface may need to be shimmed for the narrower rim of the .32 ACP. The slide's timing rail will likely need to be thinned not only for the ejector, but to clear the .32 ACP magazine lips.

The easiest trick for the magazine would be to shim an existing single stack .32 ACP magazine inside a scrap M1911 magazine tube.

Another trick for making the slide work with low powered ammunition will be the use of a firing pin stop with a high bevel combined with a hammer that is notched out towards the base of the hammer's face. Some bullseye 'smiths used to do this for their Softball pistols. Chuck Warner (Elite Warrior Armament) now sells hammers and firing pin stops so modified.

Daniel Watters said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

This gunsmith is not afraid of swiss-cheesing a slide...

Daniel Watters said...

For the barrel, perhaps you could get J&G Sales to provide one of their 7.62x25mm M1911 barrels without the chamber cut. It would save the trouble of custom turning a new barrel or sleeving an existing one.