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View Full Version : Storm Lake drop in 1911 barrel questions


dwwhite
June 23, 2011, 09:29 PM
Just wondering if anybody has any experience with the Storm Lake drop-in barrel in a 1911? If so, how did it work? Was it a true drop in, or did it need some fitting? How was accuracy, feeding, etc?

I'm looking at one to convert my Colt Super .38 to a 9x19. The general idea is to get in cheap range practice with a full power round (sort of) that's cheaper than the .38 Super stuff. (Yes, I reload, but I can buy 9mm nearly as cheap as I can load, plus it's easier and I don't have to chase brass.)

On a similar note, has anyone performed such a conversion, and how did it work?

GURU1911
June 23, 2011, 09:38 PM
Have not had any personal experience with this brand, but have heard nothing but praise for their product. The barrel in my 1974 colt gm .45 acp, is a stainless "bar-sto" national match. I do believe you will find their barrel is a quality product. Sorry, but have no experience with doing caliber conversions.

Guru1911

sidewindr
June 24, 2011, 04:55 AM
I have a Storm lake 357 Sig barrel in my XDM 40 and I have yet to find a load that it doesn't love . I would get there barrels or Kart for all my guns if I could.

GURU1911
June 24, 2011, 12:34 PM
I totally agree with "sidewinder" regarding his experience with fred kart's barrels. My bar-sto was made by irv stone in the early 1970's & it has produced nothing but sterling performance with every brand of ammo i have ever fired through it.

However, some of my "spy buddies" in the firearms biz, told me that kart barrels are now at the top of the food chain---their observation, not mine.

In all fairness, a kart, bar-sto, or storm lake n/m barrel will provide joe-average shooter with all the accuracy potential mechanically possible. The rest is up to the person holding the pistol & pressing the trigger.

Guru1911

RickB
June 24, 2011, 02:00 PM
I don't know how many different "grades" of barrel Storm Lake makes, but I think the one I bought was called "semi drop in", and it required some fitting of virtually every surface. The lower lugs were pre-cut for a standard link, but I had to do some work there too, as the lugs were bumping the slide stop pin. I liked that it was such a tight fit, and most of the "fitting" was more along the lines of heavy polishing, but after a gunsmith put about ten minutes of work on it ("What you do is take your file and do this . . . then you take your file and do this . . . then you check it here, and go back with your file here, then . . ."), I spent a few hours and some hundreds of rounds fitting, testing, fitting.

Hunter Customs
June 24, 2011, 02:48 PM
I've never used Storm Lake drop in barrels but I have used a lot of their gunsmith fit barrels.
I've had exceptionally good results using Storm Lake barrels, producing guns that would shoot 3/4 inch groups at 25 yards.
Back in my pin shooting days and building raceguns for that sport I used a lot of Storm Lake barrels with their compensators.
Best Regards
Bob Hunter
www.huntercustoms.com

drail
June 25, 2011, 06:29 PM
I have used quite a few of their "drop in" barrels on customer's guns and they all did "drop in". Accuracy was very good. When combined with a new fitted bushing they are an excellent way to tweak the gun's accuracy for a reasonable cost. Internal finish was very nice. I like their products.

sidewindr
June 25, 2011, 08:34 PM
My Storm Lake barrel is a drop-in for my XDM40 and I honestly have to"work at it" to miss:p, but that set-up is way different than a 1911.

Sarge
June 25, 2011, 09:36 PM
Several years ago I bought a new Springfield Mil Spec that had a bad barrel. They were good enough to swap me out their better grade barrel, which they were using in Trophy Matches and TRP's at the time. SFA wouldn't say who their contractor was, but a side by side comparison said STORM LAKE any way looked at it- or mic'ed it.

It was also a dead-perfect, drop-in fit and I went ahead and fitted a Maryland Gun Works match bushing, per Kuhnhausen's shop manual, while I was at it. The Mil Spec started out shot about 3" at 25 yards with the OEM barrel/bushing, and finished up doing that at 50. I really think it was sticking holes together at that distance, but it was definitely shooting better than I could hold it.

http://www.thesixgunjournal.net/images/milspec8.jpg

dwwhite
June 25, 2011, 10:10 PM
Thanks for all the replies, you've given me enough confidence to give one a try, maybe.

The only quandary I have now is whether to go ahead with the barrel swap, or just buy a dedicated 9mm semi for the range. On one hand, I would get practice with my 1911, which I love to shoot and carry. On the other hand, I could buy an black 9mm from one of the big 3 manufacturers and have a reliable range and truck type beater gun. I lean toward the conversion, but I'm not certain yet.

If/when I buy the barrel, I'll post a review and range results.

GURU1911
June 26, 2011, 10:18 AM
My recommendation is to purchase an additional pistol in 9mm para & forget about the conversion. 1911 pistols are available in that caliber, but on the other hand a cz-75b or an eaa witness in that caliber would be a great companion piece to the 1911. The choice is yours !!!!!

Guru1911

Hunter Customs
July 2, 2011, 08:03 AM
I'm looking at one to convert my Colt Super .38 to a 9x19. The general idea is to get in cheap range practice with a full power round (sort of) that's cheaper than the .38 Super stuff. (Yes, I reload, but I can buy 9mm nearly as cheap as I can load, plus it's easier and I don't have to chase brass.)

On a similar note, has anyone performed such a conversion, and how did it work?

Yes I have done this type of conversion.

You may need to tweak your extractor a little and change or tune the ejector thats in the gun.
Your recoil spring should be fine if you are shooting full power 9mm loads.
I've also had very good results using 38 super mags to feed 9mm ammo.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter
www.huntercustoms.com