Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dan Wesson Commander Bob-Tail

Last week, I picked up a Dan Wesson Commander Bob-Tail 1911 in 10mm. Fit and finish on this little shooter is beyond head and shoulders above anything else I've ever owned or fondled.

The one issue I had with her was the lack of an ambidextrous manual safety. After a couple of days of snooping around, I found a Kimber stainless steel set up that looked like it would work perfectly. The downside was there were some small modifications that I would have to make to both the pistol and the parts.

First, I had to polish up the Kimber parts as they came with a matte finish. About 30 minutes with various grits of sandpaper from 240 grit all the way down to 400 got me about where I needed to be. To finish up, I used the Dremel with a polishing wheel with some jewelers rouge to put a final polish on things.

After that was completed, I had to disassemble the rear end of the pistol to remove the smallest pin. Part of the Kimber setup was a replacement pin that had a cut out on one side to accept the left side of the manual safety without the spur commonly found on standard ambidextrous safeties (see the bottom pic of my custom Delta).

(On a related note, I've disassembled every one of the six 1911's I own and have never had to go chasing the plunger pin and spring across the room. Note to self: If I ever do this again, keep a better eye on that little piece. They fly pretty good!)

When assembling a Kimber ambi-safety, put the left side in first, as you won't be able to get the left side safety onto the pin if you don't. Once that's in, everything else slips right into place ala the usual reassembly procedures. Fortunately, none of the mods I did today are irreversible. All of the parts I took off can be put back on the pistol, returning it to its factory original condition.

So, here's the before picture:

Here's the after pic:

Which should go well with my custom Delta Elite:

Not a bad little collection of 10's, is it?

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