Bobtailing. A work of art, or else?

To Bobtail or not to Bobtail. That is the question.

As some purists will tell you, it’s blasphemy in it’s finest form. Take a classic design, the lines of a fine 1911, and ruin it by hacking the bottom rear part of the frame off.  And for what? There’s no problem with carrying a 1911 as it is, it never prints! Right?

Well, I decided I kind of like the lines of it, and was intrigued by the different grip achieved by this hack-job. So on my birthday wish list, I added the Brownell’s numbers for an Ed Brown Bobtail Mainspring housing and a Bobtail jig. And sure enough. My wonderful girlfriend got my hints and surprised me with these awesome gifts. Now I had to.
Tools: Check.
Jig: Check.
Drill Press: Check.
1911: Check. I chose my normal carry piece for this, a Kimber Pro Raptor II, a 4″ bull barreled gun, with fancy snake-skin checkering. So much for those pure 1911 lines, right!?

Kimber in it's original shape and form.
After carefully reading the instructions that came with the jig, which is quite possibly a first for me, I leveled the jig in my drill press’ vise. Centered on the most outside hole. This was achieved after almost an hour of adjusting, tightening and re-adjusting, until the 15/32nd drill finally ran through the jig without touching the walls.

Next step, attach the now stripped frame onto the jig, and secure it with the original mainspring housing pin, held in with a piece of tape on the bottom.
Now, with a #2 center drill, carefully get a hole started. Of course I removed the frame and rechecked my centering with a drill bit 3 more times before I actually worked up enough courage to drill. This hole is kind of a big deal. Mess this up, and you’ll be sorry you didn’t re-check….
And then…. a hole!
Open the hole up with the 15/32nds drill,
Now, take the jig out, insert the stripped mainspring housing in the frame, and drill trough to the other side, et Voila!

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