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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Made it to Free America

    Default 1911 mods--Whats practical and whats not

    All this 1911 talk has me warm and fuzzy, all I need now is some more SMG talk (Cz EVO.....). A few months ago I dug out my 1991 for light duty carry (no more trips to Baltimore City, no more honey we need milk for the kids breakfast--well less likely). It was mostly an accident, I was moving stuff around in the vault and happened to grab the 1991. It was like the days with the psycho ex girlfriend. You knew she was crazy but she just made you smile and catch your breath...

    Since then Ive added a couple new 1911s including a Colt Wiley Clapp stainless Commander (more on that in another thread). Looking at the "stock" guns I wonder exactly whats worth doing and whats not. I cut my teeth on military 1911s so while Novak type sights are a vast improvement, I can "live" with "stock" sights until the gun goes off to visit the smith.

    I have been bit a time or 20 by the full size hammer and standard grip safety, so I DO want a Bevertail safety and a Commander style hammer. The question is, should I have the frame cut or will a drop in Beavertail safety be OK?

    I see the technical advantage of a full length guide rod; but never had a malfunction I attributed to the shorter guide rod AND disassembly is a thumb buster with the open front recoil spring plug required for the full length rod.

    Back in the day, the military switched from a flat mainspring housing to an arched, now everything is flat, WTF happened? I liked the arched housing.

    Front strap stippling, wrap around grips, stippled main spring housing. I never had a stippled front grip. I does seem nice; but how much is too much. Its sorta like the Pachmyr grip craze we went through. It was/is great until you get a bad grip and have to readjust.

    Oh and the adjustable travel stop on the trigger, I never felt the need but maybe that's why I never got asked to shoot on a team after the Distinguished competitions.

    What am I missing?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    What about pinning the safety, I see no reason for it to be there. If anything it’s a lability, how about a mag well??? Compensator??? Idk, I have never shot anything other then regular guns.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Step it up to the 21st century and get an rmr.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    As long as mags are good, I don’t even see anything wrong with a modern double stacked rig. That race gun company builds some cool stuff without going full retard...

  5. #5
    I've seen cleaner lines and sharper edges on a box of donuts --- Jon Payne

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    I'd get the frame and grip safety blended. Mainspring housing to taste...I like flat, but it's definitely a matter of the shape of your hand. Take a careful look at sight notch width...most American sights are too narrow for best performance.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Novak's are nice, but you can't snag your belt or holster worth beans with one.

    My must have's on a 1911?
    Medium length trigger, flat housing (long before the craze), 18.5lb recoil spring,
    I prefer the full length guide rod but the current gun ain't sporting one,
    decent size sights, plain black is fine.
    Decent wood grips, either the old Colt "smooth" 70's series or a set of Ahrends Double Diamond's.
    Factory Colt safety is my preferred.

    There are other things, but those are what I "have to have".
    Plain and simple still works wonders.

    And the new gun is sporting the old style spur hammer and A1 grip safety despite being cut for a beavertail.
    Just can't decide if I really want to finish blending in the beavertail and put the Commander hammer in place.
    Probably will, one of these days.

    And unfinished, it outshoots the Glock all day.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by BeardedPelican View Post
    Glocks are good, but Why not something else too? There is other good pistols, sig makes them, m&ps, walther.... It depends what you want. My Glock 19 has been my favorite pistol I have ever had, because I shoot it the best. I also respect all the things Gabe has done for them. But, if you want something different, like a bitchen 1911, why not. If you don’t like them, no one here is trying to talk you into buying one.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Every so often , I find myself lusting after the original Gunsite Service Pistol . An easy start would be a Springfield mil-spec in park. I'd dovetail and pin the front sight and get the Yost rear from Brownells . Flat Mainspring housing , long solid trigger , slightly bob the hammer and a trigger job . Not as pretty as some , but pretty solid as a 1911 .
    Now , having said all that - the real easy button is a Colt Competition Government . They are all now Series 70 guns , but my stainless 9 mm is an 80 - and I have nothing bad to say about it . I doubt the durability of fiber optic front sights - but it will go off to Novaks for a pinned NS front when finances allow .
    Last edited by uglydog03; 04-08-2018 at 04:24 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Richmond, VA
    Good sights. When I was younger I filed the rear notch wider on everything I shot/carried, even the S&W revolvers. Now I can't see the front sight anyway unless I've got my reading glasses on.

    I've never been bit, even by my 1917 Colt 1911. But I still like the wider/longer grip safeties. They just seem to make the pistol more solid in my hand during fast follow up shots. Some grip safeties are made to fit the factory frame. Some require the frame to be modified to make it fit/work.

    I like the ambidextrous thumb safeties. I'm right handed, but if I ever had to use my left hand I don't want to have to use my left thumb to operate the left side safety.

    Some people laugh at them but I've seen a thing called a Dwyer Group Gripper tighten up the groups on two 1911's. It replace the recoil spring guide and has a leaf spring sticking out of the back of it that contacts the ledge on the new barrel link and pushes the barrel upward to consistently lock up in the slide. Back of the barrel needs to be in the same spot for each shot. I know you can buy some different sized barrel links and try fitting different ones till you find the one that does the same thing, but the group gripper does it without having to try different links to find the right one. Haven't had either one break, but then only one has a few thousand rounds through it (and that was years ago).

    I never paid much attention to the grips. Got Colt wood grips on one and (I think) magpul grips on another one.

    My first 1911 was the 1917 Colt so I got used to the flat mainspring housing. I put them on every Colt 1911 I buy, unless it comes with one on it.

    I also replace the plastic hammer spring housings with steel housings (two of the newer Colts came with plastic, don't know when they started that).

    I also just like a lanyard loop. Doesn't get in the way of magazine changes and I have, a time or two, wanted to tie that thing to me when I've been fishing, riding an ATV, etc.

    I also like a stainless steel gun. I only have one stainless steel Colt 1911 and it is the only one I kept out of the safe when I started switching over to CZ pistols a few years back.

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