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Posted: May 16 2008, 09:38 ET

The Brownells Catalog lists 1911 barrels with ramps in both the "Wilson/Nowlin" and "Clark/Para" configuration.  What's the difference, which do you consider best and why?  Also, which one does Caspian normally provide in their ramp-cut frames?  Thanks a lot - John

Posted: May 16 2008, 22:47 ET

Well since I am too cheap to purchase the special tooling that is required to do the Wilson/Nowlin I therefore only offer the Clark/Para as it uses conventional tooling to machine the frame. Both good, but it really depends on who is doing the job as if he is a experienced 1911smith he will have his preferences.

Posted: May 16 2008, 22:48 ET

Oh about the Caspian website, could not tell you but I am sure the website should say if not they might offer both. Call them and find out for yourself and let us know.

Posted: May 17 2008, 00:32 ET

The only ramped cut I ever had done was a Clark/Para. I do have a Springfield gun that came with a Wilson/Nowlin cut though.  The Clark/Para is a whole lot simpler to machine than the Wilson.  You can do it with a standard sized end mill (don't remember exactly but it is the same width as a bottom set of barrel lugs) with the frame rails set up horizontal.  With the Wilson cut you have to stand the frame up and use a big old long tool that cost about 90 bucks.  

Also if you ever go to to Schueman's barrel web site http://www.schuemann.com/ and read, somewhere on there he has or at least he used to have a statistical breakdown of which barrels came back broken or sheared more than the other. His Clark/Para style barrels had fewer failures than the his Wilson/Nowlin type barrels.  This was why I decided to use the Clark style cut on a gun I did.  When you look at the two different cuts side by side you have to wonder why Wilson and Nowlin even bother to continue making them this way.  It's not efficient, but then that is just my opinion.

I'll try and get some pictures up tomorrow night or sunday.

Posted: May 17 2008, 12:10 ET

Thank you both for the information.  Caspian offers both styles and has this picture on their website.  

Looks like I'll be going with the "Clark/Para" style. - John

P.S. Blind Hog, I was in the Fayetteville Practical Shooting Association from 1993 to 1997.  We probably know a lot of the same people.

Posted: May 17 2008, 21:33 ET

Thanks for the update on what Caspian offers, good to know.
Yea we probably do know alot of the same folks, its a small crowd that we run in.

Posted: Jun. 3 2008, 14:39 ET

Posted: Jun. 3 2008, 22:03 ET

Nice photo, I would say this photo answers the question very nicely.

Posted: Jun. 3 2008, 22:05 ET

Pinned this one for everyone to see in the future.

Posted: Aug. 8 2008, 20:34 ET

Quote (Blindhogg @ June 03 2008,22:05)
Pinned this one for everyone to see in the future.


Love the photos on this thread but it leaves me asking one question.
What are the details for the frame cut needed for the Clark/Para ramp?
Any links to a drawing or machining details?
I have some of those Sarco frames that are cast for a ramped barrel.
I also would like more info on why one would choose to use a ramped barrel.


Posted: Aug. 22 2008, 21:19 ET

brownells link

Hopfully the above link will help out.

Posted: Aug. 23 2008, 18:41 ET

I too am trying to decide on ramped vs not in my .45 build. I have read that there is no reason for a ramp on a 45 for FMJ but since the frame is cast for one is there a downside to having a ramp on a 45 that is mainly going to shoot 45 FMJ hardball?
One thing for sure is the ramped are significantly more expense.
The other alternative would be to machine a plug for the slot. I ran across a site talking about such for reviving aluminum frames. The piece is held by a set screw under the slide stop.

Here is a link to buy the insert:

Here is a link to the article about the mods to use it:

Posted: Aug. 23 2008, 19:19 ET

I filled mine up with weld, machined as normal, works fine.

Posted: Aug. 23 2008, 22:38 ET

It's harder to find a cheap ramped barrel, but the ramp doesn't add anything to a premium barrels price.

The advantages of the ramped barrels are improved case head support and a much stronger lower lug.  The lower lug thing becomes more important as the barrel gets heavier, like when compensators are added.  You can also reduce that pesky back of the slide to frame alignment issue to the extent disconnector timing allows without worrying about making the lower lug too thin.  

The disadvantages are bargin barrels are harder to find and the guns timing becomes more important because the round hits the barrel and starts pushing it forward as soon as it comes out of the magazine instead of dragging along the frame for awhile.  Three point jams are much easier to make happen.  Know, love, and live the Schuemman timing tests.

The machine work for the Clark/Para ramp is either a problem or a feature, but shouldn't be a problem for anybody with a mill who's machining rails.  It's a feature because it gives you complete control over where the vertical impact surface is.  This isn't something 80%ers usually worry about, and probably don't need to with standard barrels in 45.  Properly locating the vertical impact surface is critical on a comp gun because it'll either break links or be a jamomatic if it isn't.  I haven't done a Wilson ramp because the Clark is easier to execute with common tools.

Think very rigid for the frame mounting when cutting for the ramp.  Don't cut the vertical impact surface all the way back until the timing is checked.  If the gun takes a short link, it'll need to be a lot further forward than standard.

Posted: Aug. 24 2008, 19:05 ET

Now if we just had some details of the inside of the frame that would fit each type of barrel. :help1:

Posted: Aug. 24 2008, 20:13 ET

The Brownells site has instructions as well and is a good source of 1911 info in general.

The attached pdf has the Clark instructions with my notes and the Schuemann instructions.  The Schuemann timing tests are also in the instructions.

I've only done the Clark/Para ramp.  I cut the first mortice in several passes with a 1/4" end mill to set the width to 0.365".  Then plunge with a 3/8" end mill to set the length and end radius.

Some do it all with a 3/8" end mill.

I've had vibration problems with the final plunge.

I start short, check the barrel drop, and move back as required, testing as I go.  The 0.585" start dimension for the length was too short on one occasion. :(

Posted: Aug. 24 2008, 20:21 ET

I'm getting nowhere with this attachment thing, can someone help the kid from the short bus?

Posted: Apr. 8 2015, 20:14 ET

Quote (GrahamCracker @ June 03 2008,14:39)

Thanks for pinning these pics , I didn't know the difference before.