Now for the fun stuff. We'll start with the slide. It was NOT machined from billet as normal slides are. Instead, it started out as a flat piece of steel and was bent into an upside down "U" shape. Then a machined steel block was inserted into the front and welded or brazed (I don't know which but I will use the word "weld" or "welded" from here on for the sake of convenience) in place. Take a look at the picture below:
You can easily see the seam where the milled barrel bushing block meets the stamped slide. Notice that the front sight is part of the barrel bushing and sticks up through a notch cut into the slide.
Here is the bottom front of the slide:
If you look carefully, you can see a line where the body and barrel bushing meet. The two slots cut are for clearance where the frame dust cover runs. There is an inspection stamp visible too.
Here's a shot of the entire slide as seen from the bottom:
And here is a close-up of the breech block in the slide:
It sure looks like one machined part but it's not. The entire machined breech block is inserted up in there and welded in place. Then final machining was done giving the appearance of a monolithic part.
The giveaway is seen at the rear of the slide. Here, we see the seem between the two parts just above the rail slot:
While we're back here, lets look at how the safety interacts with the firing pin. In this picture, we see the firing pin with the safety in the "fire" position:
The sprung firing pin is free to move forward when struck by the hammer.
in this picture, the safety has been applied and it has pushed the rear of the firing pin down:
When in this position, there is a notch cut in the bottom of the firing pin forming a hook which catches on the rear of the firing pin hole in the breach block. This prevents the firing pin from going forward and contacting the primer in the cartridge should any force be applied to the rear of the firing pin. When the safety is applied with the mechanism cocked, the hammer drops but there is a bar which stops it before it ever touches the firing pin. As additional insurance, there is a recess milled out of the hammer face (shown below) so that it cannot contact the firing pin should this bar fail.
Here, the hammer is lowered with the safety off and we can just barely see the hook at the rear of the firing pin:
Here is another angle of the hammer lowered and the safety off. The hammer cannot go any farther forward and strike the firing pin unless the trigger is pulled:
The safety/firing pin disassembled:
Up top is the slide with it's ever so well painted red dot. Next down is the firing pin clearly showing the hook at the rear. Below that is the firing pin spring and safety. At the bottom is the safety detent and its spring.
Here, I have turned the firing pin so that you can see it from the bottom:
DO NOT DO NOT disassemble your safety unless you are willing to fiddle with it for hours trying to get it back together. Once you know the trick, it's easy but it takes a while to learn the trick....just leave it alone.
Even the safety is made of both milled and stamped parts. The barrel is machined while the lever is stamped and welded to it. Note the seam where they meet:
So, to sum up the safety features. When the safety is off and the hammer is down, there is a bar preventing the hammer from hitting the firing pin if dropped or otherwise struck. When the safety is applied, the rear of the firing pin is pushed down and hooks the breach block, effectively locking it from moving forward. At the same time, the hammer is dropped but is prevented from striking the firing pin because of the already mentioned bar. Even if the firing pin hook broke for some reason and the stop bar broke too, the hammer STILL couldn't hit the firing pin because it is hollowed out so that it cannot contact the firing pin when it is pushed down by the safety barrel. The mechanism is double redundant. Schweet!!
The pistol has a loaded chamber indicator on the left rear of the slide which protrudes when there is a cartridge in the chamber.
The indicator is left in the white so that it's easily visible at a glance and sticks out far enough that it is easily felt when looking isn't possible.
Last thing to see before we move on to the frame is be backside of both grips. Not much to say other than they are plastic and numbered to the pistol. Here is the left one:
The whitish looking stuff is just the way it molded. It kinda feels rough there.
The right grip:
It was numbered "664" but someone scratched it out and marked it "663". Being that they are consecutive numbers, I assume that it was a screw up during production. oops!
That's it for now. Next, we'll look at the frame. The way that's put together is the neatest part of the entire pistol. See you soon!