Group Gripper

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by pokute, Sep 21, 2014.

  1. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    I installed a Group Gripper in a GI pistol with a GI barrel to correct a barrel alignment problem. It worked amazingly well (probably better than I could have done filing and fitting for a week), but now my barrel seats too far back on the frame, and LRN bullets won't feed. I know how to adjust the barrel face to cure this (per Kuhnhausen), but I was wondering if anybody else used a Group Gripper, and whether there is any adjustment that can be made to the Group Gripper?

    UPDATE: I decided to go with the Kuhnhausen technique, Pp. 67-68. I shortened the throat ramp using a file, cutting the angle as low as possible without hitting the lower lug. Then I blended the new angle into the throat without moving the tipping point. The gun now feeds lead and even empty brass. Group Girpper for the win - The lazy man's way to repeatable lockup.

    UPDATE #2: Okay, my shooting buddy and I wrung out the gun today, and we had no problem hitting a 6 inch plate at 100 yards consistently. The Group Gripper "just works". Magic for a loose GI gun.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2014
  2. Deerspy

    Deerspy Member

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    do you think group gripper would help if the fit of lower barrel lug measured .353 and gap in the frame at the pin measured .367, it should be from what I have read .360 on barrel and .365 in the frame. or is there another way to fix this by shimming on each side of barrel lug or may be welding barrel lug and recut ?
     

  3. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Excessive channel clearance for the bottom lug is not necessarily a problem.

    Do you see evidence of battering on the barrel hood or face indicating that it is striking the frame as it goes into battery? How closely is the barrel hood fitted on the sides? You might also want to scribe a tiny index mark on the muzzle and bushing to see if the barrel is clocking when you cycle the slide smartly. If it's not clocking, there's no side-to-side issues that need addressing.

    If the gun isn't shooting as well as you'd like, it's awfully easy and cheap to try a group gripper. It basically adds another spring in the right place to a gun that mostly runs on springs anyway. I just did a trial installation on another loose GI gun, and it now locks up like a bank vault and shoots remarkably well. The darn Group Gripper is amazing.

    Just to elaborate on one point that some folks tend to get "stuck" on... Yes, there is enormous torque produced by the bullet traveling through the rifling, but there is nothing that can control that short of a bull barrel (not the kind some 1911's have). As long as the torque resolves into the same response by the gun every time, it has a relatively small effect on the bullet's flight. By the way, the way that torque and the other recoil components affect your hands is largely responsible for where your brass goes with a 1911. You can actually learn to aim your brass.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  4. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    What, no comment? I was expecting a little push back on what many would consider a poor answer.
     
  5. Steve

    Steve Member

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    So now 5 months later and what thoughts do you have with the Group Gripper?

    I have a Colt that could use some help.

    Steve
     
  6. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    For a 1911 that does not lock up tightly, the group gripper can be a miracle. It will not solve every possible problem, but it WILL tighten and regulate lockup.
     
  7. Steve

    Steve Member

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    I have a Colt GC that is loose all over and short of putting a new barrel in it I thought I'd give it a try. So I ordered one yesterday from Wilson and when it comes in I'll install it and compare it to the patterns the gun shoots now.

    Steve
     
  8. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Note that it will shoot lower, since the lug engagement will be better (so much better that at full lockup, the pistol will not rattle at all). If, on the other hand, the pistol fails to go into battery fully with the group gripper installed, you will need to install a new properly fitted bushing instead of the group gripper. That is a much less common circumstance. I'll talk you through it if it comes to that.
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Member

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    pokute,

    After getting the GC back from the gunsmith and seeing what he called a good fitting bushing I ordered and installed a Briley bushing. If this group gripper does half of what it is advertised to do I'll be happy, my only other option is to have a barrel fit and at that point I could have bought a Valor.

    But on the other hand my S&W 1911PC shoots like crazy, love that 45!!!!!

    Steve
     
  10. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Woah. The Briley bushing is expensive. It's the only bushing I've never tried. It should be the best possible bushing, and also save the couple of hours it usually takes to add the required vertical relief to the EGW bushing.

    I should have mentioned that you might want to run an 18lb recoil spring with the Group Gripper. The group gripper operates in opposition to the recoil spring, and a worn 16lb spring might not have enough sproing left to spring it.
     
  11. Steve

    Steve Member

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    The Briley is a snap to install and fit was VERY good. Just measure the barrel (muzzle) diameter and add .001", I needed the bushing wrench to turn it into the slide and noticed an improvement right away.

    I have considered upping the rating on the recoil spring when I install the GG, but I have read on other forums that the GG functions OK with a std. 16lb spring. So for the moment at least I'm going to be on a learning curve once the GG arrives and is installed.

    I'll report what I learn along the way.

    Steve
     
  12. Steve

    Steve Member

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    The Group Gripper arrived late yesterday afternoon, I installed it along with a new 19lb. main spring. It was very easy to install and there was no fitting necessary. I think I need to pick up a new 16lb. recoil spring, I installed the 13lb. spring that was in the gun and if the slide is allowed to "walk" home by hand it comes up just a tad short of full lock up.

    The 13lb. spring is low mileage so I feel confident that the 16lb. will solve this issue. Other than that I'm just waiting for a range day to try it out.

    Steve
     
  13. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Excellent! Can't wait for the range report!

    Thinking about it a bit, the GG would tend to slow the gun throughout it's cycle, so it actually makes the recoil spring behave as if it was a few pounds lighter, but without speeding up the unlocking. That's a good thing.
     
  14. Steve

    Steve Member

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    Another trip to the range and more disappointment with the GC.

    I installed a 16 lb. spring today and tried the Group Gripper, there were several failures to go completely into battery and the group? was less than acceptable. Most time the first shot was high and wide, then it would put two or maybe three together then the last shot was in the next county.

    So I picked up an 18.5 LB. spring on the way home and I give it a good cleaning and lubing and try it one more time before I order a barrel.

    I now have a pretty good selection of recoil springs on the positive side.

    Steve
     
  15. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Hammer and recoil springs don't have a huge impact on trigger feel.

    The sear spring is where most of the magic happens. The leg on the right (viewing the gun frame from the back) is just for the grip safety, so it has zero effect on the trigger. The middle leg is the trigger and disco return. It's not safe to lighten it by much. The left leg is the important one. The left leg is adjusted to balance the engagement between the hammer and sear. If it's made too light, there will be mushiness in the trigger. Assuming the sear and hammer engagement is good (an assumption that must be verified), there will be some point north of about 2 pounds where the trigger will start to feel crisp.

    For carry I strongly recommend at least a 5lb trigger AND having somebody besides yourself test the gun for safety - Best to KNOW that the gun is not going to shoot somebody all by itself. Recently I've been running 2lb triggers on my range guns, and they prove, but if I hand one to somebody else and say "Here, give it a try", they usually put it down very carefully after the first shot - Not safe for carry. Of course, I'm talking about 1911's here.

    The Ransom Rest is really a gunsmith tool. It's not much use for evaluating the shootability of a 1911. The 1911 must be evaluated under exactly the same conditions it will be shot. I can make brass fly straight up, back and right or left, or forward and right just by changing my grip. Some folks have a grip that jams a 1911. The operator of a Ransom Rest has to be an expert at operating the gun AND the rest!
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2015
  16. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Just to reiterate, and I'm not sure I made this adequately clear, the Group Gripper will work exceptionally well with a plain GI-Jane barrel. I use one with a Vietnam era chrome lined barrel and it shoots like a custom target pistol. I did zero fitting on the barrel. I did however hard fit a bushing in combination with the GG for bank-vault lockup.
     
  17. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    Ah, the leading is due to an overly generous chamber. They make the chamber big and loose for reliability, and screw up the shooting in the process. Soft bullets over hot powder (6gr Bullseye, 7gr Unique) will mitigate that, but you really do need a new barrel. You might consider sending the gun to Nowlin or Wilson for that.

    I didn't mean to suggest that you had messed with your springs, I was responding to you saying that the trigger was heavy. Sorry I didn't make that clear.
     
  18. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    I'd say you can consider the ragged holes what the gun can do, and the dispersion what the Ransom Rest does.
     
  19. Balota

    Balota Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Here's something for you to try. Put any kind of target out there about 3 yards. Yes, just 3 yards. Fire once at any open area on the target. OK the easy part is done.

    Now that hole is your target. Slow fire. Take all the time you want. Put another 5 rounds through that hole. Any round that isn't touching the first hole is a miss.

    If you can do this reliably, increase distance to 5 yards. Or set a par timer for 10 seconds or so.

    I think that might be a better test of how much the Group Gripper helps YOU to shoot YOUR gun. Compare results with and without the Gripper.
     
  20. pokute

    pokute Sincere as a $5 funeral

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    But there should be no gun that has any significant dispersion at 3 yards! Even a smoothbore blunderbuss shoots into one hole at 3 yards! You can throw the gun at the target at 3 yards and get it through the same hole all day long!