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Old 05-14-2017, 07:46 PM
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Default Working with Buffalo Bone Grips

I bought a beautiful set of 1911 Buffalo bone grips. My problem is that the screw holes were not sunk deep enough for the screw head. What tool can I use to sink them deeper. Drill bits would bevel the hole. Do not want that. What could I use that not damage or chip them??? Ideas? Thanks, Bob
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:02 PM
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A forstner bit in a drill press ought to work.Dunno if they come that small though
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:46 PM
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Flat bottom drill bit, I can't remember the size off hand. You can use the solid end of a regular bit to get the size, and then either make a flat bottom, or buy one. You can usually find them on ebay, or Amazon.
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Old 05-14-2017, 10:09 PM
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Those are nice, I vote taking them to a machine shop and let them do the drilling, are possibly find a different screw with a different head?
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:49 AM
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Those are nice, I vote taking them to a machine shop and let them do the drilling, are possibly find a different screw with a different head?
Those are factory S&W 1911 fasteners. I did try another set of screws, with the same results. Bob
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Old 05-15-2017, 04:23 AM
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Is the inner (drilled) hole the exact size of the grip studs in the frame that the grip fits snugly over it ?

If so, you need just to ream the outer recess ring withe the proper size, flat bottomed, router bit. Better to do slowly lap it by hand rather than connected to a power tool or drill press. Careful not to go too deep. If you go too deep when the screw tightens to meet the grip stud, the grip will still be loose.
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:10 AM
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I would look for low profile grip screws before messing with the grips. These screws are readily available nowadays with the popularity of "thin grips".
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:34 AM
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Is the inner (drilled) hole the exact size of the grip studs in the frame that the grip fits snugly over it ?

If so, you need just to ream the outer recess ring withe the proper size, flat bottomed, router bit. Better to do slowly lap it by hand rather than connected to a power tool or drill press. Careful not to go too deep. If you go too deep when the screw tightens to meet the grip stud, the grip will still be loose.
Back side is fine. I am just trying to find the "safest way to ream the outer ring a little deeper so the screw heads sit flush as they should. I have rubber "O" rings I can use on the screws. Thanks, Bob
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Old 05-15-2017, 07:38 AM
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I would look for low profile grip screws before messing with the grips. These screws are readily available nowadays with the popularity of "thin grips".
The screw length is fine. The head height/ thickness is too high.
I already looked at other fasteners. Did not come up with any that would be better. Thanks, Bob
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Old 05-15-2017, 08:00 AM
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The screw length is fine. The head height/ thickness is too high.
I already looked at other fasteners. Did not come up with any that would be better. Thanks, Bob
Bob, that's the thing, they make screws with thinner heads now so they don't protrude above the surface of the grips. Torx head screws like yours tend to be thick-headed by design. You can find traditional slotted screws with much thinner heads. Compare screw head at left to those at right:



Les Bear screws:

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Old 05-16-2017, 09:06 AM
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-db- beat me to the punch!

EVEN if you can NOT find low profile screws you can easily make them yourself simply by removing material with a file, stone, Dremel, etc and then polish them and refinish. I would definitely do this rather than taking a chance on ruing a perfectly good set of nice grips!

BEFORE lowering the screws profile, use the slot as a guide to make it a bit deeper since you will be removing part of that slot when you cut it down. You can use a hack saw blade or a jewelers saw to do so.

I've modified many screws and it's really not that difficult to do. A little Cold Blue and your back in business.

PS: If you ever need stainless screws to match a guns finish, they are available - but if not, just leave them in raw (or remove the bluing). For "Nickel" guns you can highly polish regular steel screws to a mirror finish and they look indistinguishable from the Nickel - I've done that more than a few times and they come out great!
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Old 05-22-2017, 02:08 PM
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I tried to figure this out and finally did it with your suggestions. The recessed hole for the screw head to sit in was not deep enough. I used a step drill bit. See photo. I rotated it slowly by hand. (pretty sharp) Got to the depth I needed. Took a while. Also went with slim bushings. I am happy, because I really like the grips/stocks. (like the 1911, of course). See before in original post. Bob
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Old 05-23-2017, 10:07 AM
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I tried to figure this out and finally did it with your suggestions. The recessed hole for the screw head to sit in was not deep enough. I used a step drill bit. See photo. I rotated it slowly by hand. (pretty sharp) Got to the depth I needed. Took a while. Also went with slim bushings. I am happy, because I really like the grips/stocks. (like the 1911, of course). See before in original post. Bob
Glad that worked out for you. Excellent work ! It is so easy for the process to go wrong with a powered tool behind it unless you have machinists jigs and tool. Much safer, but more time consuming, to do it by hand. Sal
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