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1911 Slide Pusher

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  • 1911 Slide Pusher

    Greetings from Seattle.

    I'm brand new to your fraternity, having just bought a small lathe.

    My frame and slide are on order with Caspian, and I'm setting out to build a 1911.

    Back In The Day (I seem to be saying that a lot lately...) there was a tool called a "slide pusher" that one pushed into the muzzle end of the slide, that turned and locked into the relief for the barrel bushing. It stuck out the muzzle end of the slide, and had a handle like a screwdriver, and one could then use it to shove one's slide back and forth on the frame.

    Brownell's doesn't carry it anymore, so I thought I'd turn one. If you've ever seen one, you'd see that it's just a metal cylinder with an accurate bump on it that duplicates the shape of the OD of a barrel bushing.

    So my question is this: how does one machine a cylinder and leave a bump? I can see you machine before and after it, leaving a ring of metal, but then how do you remove just part of that ring on a lathe?

  • #2
    Silver solder a barrel bushing to the end of a steel rod on the ID of the bushing!


    • #3
      I'm bummed...

      That's what Kuhnhausen says, too.

      I wanted to see if it could be done.


      • #4
        There are many ways to accomplish this. One way is to turn the rod to the profile that you need, and then make the 'bump' by drilling a suitable hole in the rod and plug that hole with a rod that is glued or shrunk into place. You then grind or file the protruding rod to the length that you need.

        Alternative ways to add a hump;
        a) use a welder to put a drop of melted metal on the rod, then file/grind to shape
        b) drill and tap a hole, then add a screw, file/grind to shape
        c) Use silver solder to add a lump.
        d) Use braze to add a lump.
        At the end of the project, there is a profound difference between spare parts and left over parts.

        Location: SF East Bay.


        • #5


          You know, thinking along those lines, if filing/grinding are what has to happen, you could machine up to the bump on both ends, fore and aft, leaving a band the right height and width all the way around the cylinder, and then have at the band with the filer and the grinder.


          • #6
            That is absolutely doable Jammer Six, it just isn’t the easiest way.


            • #7
              I imagine the first answer I got, which matches the Kunhausen manual is the easy, economical, simple way. Well, I have a couple days to think about it. Caspian says my frame isn't coming until some time around Christmas. Because of COVID. I'm really getting tired of this epidemic.

              I was thinking it would be a cool first project, particularly if I could do it all on the lathe, with some kind of magic machinist trick. Then it would be the first cool magic machinist trick I learned, and I'd have a unique slide pusher, all from one solid piece, with graceful curves that fit my hand, and it would be the first tool I reach for every time I started a 1911, and...

              ...what was the question?
              Last edited by Jammer Six; 10-27-2021, 09:38 AM.


              • #8
                You can do most of it on the lathe by using a 4 jaw and turning a ring the dimensions of the bump width and height and offsetting to remove most of the ring to leave a hump and then finish with a file. It will be time consuming but is not impossible.


                • #9
                  What do machinist call such a hump?


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Jammer Six View Post
                    What do machinist call such a hump?
                    Probably the nicest thing a machinist would call such a feature is "a pain in the ass."
                    I'm sure there are a lot more colorful terms for it, too.

                    I've often looked at a barrel bushing, and many other guns parts, thinking "how is that done...?"
                    SE MI, USA


                    • #11
                      It occurred to me that this can be handled quite well by the "poor man's radius" technique used to round the ends of bars and such.
                      I'm not sure if your pusher has a hole for the barrel or not, I'll illustrate both.

                      If the pusher is like a barrel bushing, with a hole through it, then once you have your cylinder turned with a ring with the proper dimensions, you can mark it out, raise it above your mill jaws with a rod and mill off a flat. Rotate the bushing, mill another flat. The smaller the rotations the less you'll have to file when you are done. The image shows the first cut in blue.

                      Click image for larger version

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                      If the pusher is solid and just locks into the slide, then clamp the body in the vice on a parallel or two with the ring hanging out of the end. Again, mark out what you want left, take a cut, rotate, repeat as necessary, more often to avoid filing. Again, the blue highlight below shows the first cut.

                      Click image for larger version

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                      SE MI, USA


                      • #12
                        lathe can be setup as a poor mans horizontal mill


                        • #13
                          That's what I had imagined, on the lathe.

                          I haven't decided whether to hold the work in a jig on the carriage and spin the end mill, or hold the work in a four jaw and the end mill in the tail stock.

                          I'm thinking about aluminum, so it will last, but it won't mar a steel slide.