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To provide a hands-on school which teaches professional Pistolsmithing theory and the techniques needed to build a "state of the art" custom 1911 style semi-auto pistol.


Information from basic operating function of the 1911 style pistol through each individual parts design and function in relationship to other parts during the firing cycle. Instruction from basic maintenance through complete preparation of a pistol with the installation of the proper premium after market accessory parts needed to produce a "state of the art" custom pistol.



1. Safety

A. No live ammo permitted in the classroom
B. Shop work safety rules

1. No smoking in classroom
2. Safety glasses must be worn at all times
3. Point springs away from yourself/others while disassembling /  reassembling
4. No cell phones  

C. Check for clear
1. Check every time you handle a pistol
D. Series 80 System

1. Parts in the system
2. Function of each part

2. Internal Polish and Deburr of all Critical Areas
A. Slide

1. Rails
2. Center rail
3. Bore
4. Breech face
5. Firing pin block plunger hole
6. Disconnector notch

B. Frame

1. Top rails
2. Recoil spring cover
3. Mag well
4. Trigger well
5. Hammer/sear area
6. Main spring chamber

3. Slide Tightening

A. Function
B. Current needs

C. Peening method (demo only)

4. Slide to Frame Fitting of Oversize Slide Frame Kits (Demo Only)
5. Ejection Port, Modifications

A. Lowering port height
B. Function of flaring
C. Bullet nose relief

6. Beavertail Grip Safeties, Installation of

A. Different types available
B. Fitting the beavertail grip safety to the trigger system

7. Fit Ambidextrous Thumb Safeties to the Frame  and Grips
8. Fit Mainspring Housing to the frame
9. Plunger Tube
  A. Function of the plunger tube
B. Problems encountered with the plunger tube
C. Different methods of fitting the plunger tube
D. Fitting the plunger tube
10. Ejector

A.  Different types available and their functions
B.  Cautions with extended ejectors
C.  Fitting of the ejectors

11. Extractor, Radius and Tension

A. Different types available
B. Proper function of the extractor
C. Claw Angles
D. Fitting the extractor

12. Firing Pin Stop
  A.  Different types available
B.  Fitting the firing pin stop
13. Barrels

A. Different types available
B. Parts of the barrel that control accuracy
C. Fitting of match grade barrel for accuracy and reliability (actual fitting to be covered in separate barrel fitting class)
D. Fitting the semi-drop-in barrel to the pistol.

14. Barrel Bushings

A. Different types of fits
B. Fitting the bushing for accuracy and reliability

15. Barrel Feed Throat

A. Proper angles and frame clearances
B. Throating the barrel

16. Polish frame Feed Ramp
17. Barrel Hood Chamfer
18. Barrel Crowning
A. Function of the barrel crown
B.  Types of barrel crowns
C. Crowning the barrel
19.  Barrel Head Space
  A.  Proper barrel chamber head space
B.  How to properly measure chamber head space
20. Triggers
21. Trigger Pulls

A. The functions of the different weight of trigger pulls
     1.  Safety considerations of the various trigger pull weights
B. Hammers, sears and disconnectors that are available and their differences.
C.  Setting the proper trigger pull

22. Thumb Safety Fitting to the Fire Control System

A. Checking the safety for proper function

23. Fitting the Grip Safety to the Fire Control System
24. Reduce Trigger Free Play

A. Check 1/2 cock and correct if necessary

25. Sight Fitting

A. Installation of high visibility sights
B. Different types available
C.  Fit front sight
D.  Fit rear sight

26.  Recoil Spring Weights and Their Functions
27.  Full Length Recoil Spring Guid Rods

A. Recoil spring guide functions
B. Pros and cons to full length recoil spring guide rods
C. Fitting the full length recoil spring guide rod
D. Slide Stop

28. Carry Beveling the Complete 1911 Pistol
A.  Slide
B.  Frame
C.  Barrel bushing
D.  Slide stop
29. Magazine Well Beveling  (Demo Only)
A.  Magazine well enlarging attachments
B.   Beveling the magazine well
30.  Cutting the Front Strap for High Grip
A.  Reasons for high grip front strap
B.  How to cut the front strap for high grip (demo only)
31.  Grip Screw Bushings
A.  Problems encountered
B.  Proper fitting of the grip screw bushing
C.  Oversized grip screw bushing
32  Powers Sear Stoning Fixture
A.  The repeatability factor
B.  How the job works
33.  Proper Lubrication of the 1911
A.  Different types of lubricants
B.  Effects of different types of lubricants
C.  Recommended types of lubricants

Kuhnhausen's Shop Manuals Vol I & Vol II on the 45 must be purchased as a primer to this course.   There are many good general pistolsmithing tips and techniques contained in these books. This will give you a good base to start from. Vol II contains drawings of the various parts of the 1911 with dimensions included. This information will be invaluable in trouble shooting the various problems encountered when you start to work on a pistol that has had previous work done and does not function properly. Cylinder & Slide, Inc. has both of these books available for sale.

You must also purchase a new 6" or 8" Bastard Cut mill file, handle and file card from your local hardware store or industrial supply house and practice filing before you attend this class. The file card will allow you to keep the file teeth clean of filing particles. This will allow you to keep each filed surface smooth and gouge free. You will be file fitting almost every part on your pistol. You must be able to handle the file to fit your parts correctly. You need to get a small odd shaped piece of cold rolled soft steel from your local machine shop. Take your file and try your best to file a perfect cube from the piece of steel. The cube only needs to be about 1" square. This will teach you to file straight and true to another surface. If you learn to file before you arrive, you will have much more time to learn the subject matter rather than concentrating on learning to file.  For more information on filing see our web site at www.cylinder-slide.com under technical information, click on An introduction to filing.

Please bring the following with you the first day of class:


Cleaning rod and patches for 45 Auto
Roll of 1" wide masking tape
Safety glasses with side shields
Mini Mag flashlight
4- Shop towels
Cotton gloves
Black magic marker
4" or 6" Crescent wrench
Tweezers to handle small parts
Paper type dust mask
Old long sleeve shirt to protect arms from metal chips
Sharp pointed scissors (not your wife's good sewing scissors)
White blackboard chalk -several
Small needle nose pliers
6" curve jaw locking pliers
Variable speed Dremel tool with 1/8" & 1/16" collets (If you are using a Dremel tool with flexible shaft you must
bring the Dremel tool hanging stand on which to hang your Dremel tool. This stand must clamp to the bench.)
3/8" High speed variable speed drill (must have a lock on button)
Dial Caliper - must be made of steel, not plastic, electronic okay but not recommended
(DO NOT PURCHASE inexpensive steel calipers designed for reloading use. We have found that they are not accurate for our use 2nd tend to come apart. We recommend you purchase 6" Starrett dial caliper approximately $125.00 or 6" Mitutoyo caliper approximately $100.00. If you are unable to find these let us know and we will purchase them for you.)

3/8" x 7' Mild Steel Rod with 1 1/2" long slot cut in one end - centered
1/8" x 3" Mild Steel Rod with 3/8" long slot cut in one end - centered
1/8" x 3" Mild Steel Rod with 1/2" long slot cut in one end - centered
3/18" x 3" Mild Steel Rod with 3/4" long slot cut in one end - centered
Hacksaw with 18 tooth blade (please purchase a rigid hacksaw frame such as a Lennox)

The Mild Steel Rods can be purchased at any hardware store You will need to cut the slots yourself before you come to class. These are used for polishing. We don't have time in class to do this.

Cylinder and Slide will provide all tools and parts to build your pistol. You will be contacted before the class begins as to what parts you would like to install on your pistol. You will have a choice of sights and trigger pull set only After we have all of your information, we will contact you with the pricing.

The pistol you build during the class would cost you approximately $2400.00 if we were to build it for you.


 OPTION: Powers I 911 Seer Jig (Highly recommended) Includes Jig, 3 sear stones end set up. This is used to stone sears for trigger jobs. This will be approximately $271.00 additional cost.

*Due to the type of metal used In the factory hammer and sear it is not advisable to attempt to perform a trigger job on them. We will cover this discussion in class, however, if you would like to be able to perform the accurate stoning of angles on sears and shortening hammer hooks, you should purchase the Power Jig.

The total approximate cost for the class (tools, parts and tuition) is $4500.00. This, of course, does not Include transportation, lodging or meals.

A $500.00 deposit is required to hold a class spot which is due now. We will need to have final payment before class starts. You can make payments monthly so as not to hurt the pocketbook all at once. Just call and let me know.

Cancellation/Refund Policy

If you register for the class and then are unable to attend the following will apply:


1. If parts have been purchased for you, you must pay for them. We will try
to fill your slot with another person so that a refund can be given, but we cannot
guarantee that we will be able to fill your slot.
 2. If you cancel within 45 days of the course starting date, your $500.00 deposit on the course fee is non-refundable. We will try to fill your slot with another person so that you can get a refund, but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to do so.

We guarantee that you will get your money's worth in this course. If we need to work for 9-10 hours a day In order to cover everything, that is what we will do.

We will need to ship your pistol to an FFL Dealer after it is finished. Please have your local Dealer send us an FFL noting that it is for you. We will send our FFL with the gun so he will have a copy.

If you are unable to attend at this time, but would like us to advise you of future course dates, please let us know.

Thank you for your interest in the Pistolsmithing School and Cylinder & Slide, Inc. We look forward to hearing from you.

Respectfully yours,



William R. Laughridge