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  #1  
Old 06-18-2017, 12:03 PM
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RickB RickB is offline
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Gun plumbing, or, ya gotta start somewhere

I posted a pic of one of my guns to show the grips to someone interested in a similar pair, and a reply asked for more details on the gun.
My first "gunsmithing" project had been what I thought was going to be assembly of an Auto Ordnance frame kit, circa 1990.

I had a .22 conversion unit for which I wanted a dedicated frame, and the A-O kit appeared to be a cheap solution.
After the project was complete, the saying, "You buy quality only once" had become my favorite, after discarding half the parts in the kit due to poor quality.



Not really learning my lesson, I decided to build a complete gun, and started with another frame kit, this one also purchased from Numrich/Gun Parts, an ODI Viking, "one of the last 100 made!"
The appearance of the parts suggested it was one of the first 100.

Armed with Hallock's .45 Auto Handbook and the Kuhnhausen shop manuals, I collected the parts necessary for completion.
Slide - Essex
Barrel - Colt G.I. from parts box
Bushing and front sight - MGW
Slide stop, mag release, and grip safety - Ed Brown
Rear sight - Millett
Mainspring housing - S&A
Ambi safety - Mueschke
Small parts, pins springs - parts box
Grips - Herrett's
Finish - Brownell's spray 'n' bake

The Viking was a mid-'80s attempt at a factory DA/SA pistol, using the Seecamp-patented conversion. Again, I imagined "assembling" the parts, but I think the plunger tube was the only part that didn't get some filing, grinding, or polishing.

It was fun, extremely educational, and the gun actually works, though tuning the DA pull is beyond my abilities; I've lived with light strikes in the interest of a lighter pull, or a monstrous pull weight and 100% ignition.
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:19 PM
7.62Kolectr 7.62Kolectr is online now
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Interesting and nice looking. Why does it look like it has two triggers, a DA steel one and what looks like a super short black SA one behind it?
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Old 06-18-2017, 12:31 PM
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The Seecamp conversion retained all of the original internal parts, so, while the bright stainless DA trigger cocked the hammer, the sear was still swiveled out of the way of the falling hammer by rearward movement of the SA trigger.

The length of the SA trigger has to be adjusted to ensure that the sear isn't hit by the passing hammer, but not so long that there's insufficient overall travel for both the DA and SA to function.

I've seen some Seecamps with a small roller installed in the face of the SA trigger, and that would reduce some of the friction in the system.
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  #4  
Old 06-19-2017, 04:50 AM
AreB AreB is offline
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Good work. I owned a ODI Viking Combat, many moons ago. Agree, not much could be done with the trigger. I've since handled a couple of the true Seecamp conversions, triggers were noticeably better.

I eventually sold the ODI, the idea of always having to use two hands to drop the hammer to get to the DA first shot bothered me more than cocked-and-locked carry.

Years latter I bought a Para with the LDA trigger. Still have it, trigger is much nicer and there's no DA/SA transition.

You got an interesting start on learning gun plumbing.
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Old 06-19-2017, 09:58 AM
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A buddy has a full-house Seecamp custom.
It started as a Combat Commander, cut down to officers size, DA conversion, grip safety delete, adjustable rear sight with built-in loaded chamber indicator, and the original "dual telescoping" guide rod that you now see on just about every 3" auto pistol.
It's a cool little gun, and yeah, the trigger isn't bad.
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Old 06-19-2017, 10:13 AM
Howe.45ACP Howe.45ACP is online now
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Rickb, thanks for posting this.
I haven't had the chance to shoot a Seacamp conversion but I've always been intrigued by them. I like the looks of this build & the trigger guard shape is neat too.
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Old 06-19-2017, 01:10 PM
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I was reminiscing about some of the work I did on it.

The dust cover had such a deep depression in the left side, that I had to decide if I wanted it draw-filed absolutely flat, or if I wanted to retain the serial number?

The ODI hammer, including the protruding pin that is engaged by the DA drawbar, was a very rough casting, so I drilled a hole in a Chip McCormick hammer, and used a bench vise to press a length of drill bit shank into the hole.

The "A1" finger reliefs were very uneven, and I spent a lot of time making them symmetrical.

The hammer and sear pin holes were as-cast, not precisely drilled or reamed, and the locations may not have been perfect, contributing to dodgy DA trigger action. I think I drilled one of them oversized, and again went with a length of drill bit as a non-standard pin. I still kind of cringe about that one.

I discovered that my large, flat file would just fit into the frame rails, so I decided to try my hand at peening the fit. I'd hold the file in the slot, thinking I might lower the rail too much otherwise, then peck away at the first and last 3/4" of the rails with the hammer, stopping occasionally to try the slide, maybe a couple of file strokes, then some more hammering. It looks pretty ugly with the slide removed, but it's still tight.

I spent quite a bit of time polishing the slide and frame, but ultimately decided I just didn't like the appearance of bare stainless, and went with the Brownells Teflon/moly finish, which, for a DIY deal, is pretty good.

Though my sense of accomplishment was high at the time, in the twenty years I've had the gun, I'll bet I don't have 1000 rounds through it, and maybe not even 500.
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Last edited by RickB; 06-19-2017 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 06-19-2017, 03:34 PM
Howe.45ACP Howe.45ACP is online now
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Neat story. I like the looks of it, the grips really grabbed my attention. That's when I noticed the Seacamp conversion. Then the beavertail & sights made me look closer too.
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