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Old January 21, 2014, 09:00 AM   #1
StukaJU87
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Join Date: January 22, 2011
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Looking for MSH for SA Mil Spec

I bought a SS SA Mil Spec a few years ago and have been toying with the idea of swapping out the arched ILS MSH for a flat standard MSH. I've read countless posts on the subject and understand what it involves and what parts need to replaced in addition to the MSH.

My question is: What's a good, reliable, and good fitting option? I'm not looking for anything fancy, simple 20LPI serrations would be fine.

I've read good reviews about Ed Brown MSH but would like to hear more detailed information from people that have personal experience with them.
Do they provide a good fit?
Are they drop in?
How much fitting is required?

I would prefer to "fit" a part vs. the part being too small and having "slop".

Thanks in advance.
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Old January 21, 2014, 09:32 AM   #2
Hunter Customs
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I've used a lot of S&A mainspring housings in Springfield 1911's with good results.
You can get them checkered or smooth.

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Bob Hunter
www.huntercustoms.com
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Old January 21, 2014, 10:04 AM   #3
Unclenick
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There is so much variability in frame machining tolerances over all the available 1911's that I don't think I've never seen a mainspring housing that was very tight. All have been drop-in. Keep in mind the hammer strut bears down on the mainspring plunger (cap) even when the hammer is forward, so there is constant compression of the mainspring that keeps the housing pressed down against the assembly pin, and that keeps it from wiggling around.

The only fit issues I've encountered were with grip safeties having long feet that rubbed the mainspring housing, or that were too thick and stopped against the step at the top of the mainspring housing prematurely. These can be remedied with a file taken to those feet.

Before you change the arched housing, ask yourself if you are going to use this weapon in rapid presentation from a holster (quick draw). If not, you may like the smaller total grip frame reach. I do, and I use a flat mainspring housing on my 1911 target pistols. But when I put a flat mainspring housing on my combat gun, I found my hand was more likely to grip the pistol in not exactly the same place each time, when working at the speed of a rapid presentation. I switched back to the arched housing that tended to funnel the web between my thumb and index finger into the correct position up against the underside of the grip safety tail.

I'm not saying you'll have that exact same experience. Everyone's hands are shaped a bit differently, and some may slip into place better with a flat housing. It's just something to watch out for that not every possible modification turns out to be an improvement. The arched housing itself is actually a modification the army made to the Browning design. They also radiused the bottom of the slide pin stop to make slide racking easier, but that also increases muzzle flip by unlocking the slide sooner and giving it more velocity. It seems there are always tradeoffs. I always put long triggers in the bullseye guns, but in the combat gun a short trigger works better for me because of the speed and because I have that arched housing there.

I'd say the one grip frame area modification I like best and always use is to install a beavertail grip safety. That makes it easier for me to shoot a long session without the flesh behind the web between my thumb and index finger becoming red and sore by the end of the day.
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Old January 21, 2014, 01:52 PM   #4
StukaJU87
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Thanks Bob for the feedback on the S&A MSH. I looked at those first and liked the price but was concerned by the reviews. Have you ever run into any issues with the holes being out of spec?

Unclenick:
Thank you for the detailed response. You brought up some very good points.

The arched MSH doesn't bother me and never has. It wasn't until after trying my father-in-laws 1911 with a flat MSH that I thought about changing mine. The flat MSH just felt more comfortable to me. I can always switch it back if my tastes change.

I just want to make sure I go with a good part. I understand anybody can make a bad part but I don't want to buy something just to be buying something. That's why I want to hear as much feedback as possible, good or bad experiences with different brands, so I can make an informed decision.

Last edited by StukaJU87; January 21, 2014 at 02:11 PM.
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Old January 21, 2014, 02:34 PM   #5
Unclenick
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Sounds like you know where you're going with it, then.

I've only ever had one mainspring housing I wasn't fully satisfied with, and that was an arched one cast of such cheap metal that it wouldn't accept any kind of standard gun finish I tried. Rust bluing, Parkerizing, various cold blues; they all came off easily. I finally wound up with a flat epoxy finish.

But even as bare metal, it functioned just fine.

I think that one came from a gun show, and it was very cheap. I can't answer your question about the Ed Brown, specifically, but I've used his beavertail safeties and probably a couple of other odds and ends of his without any problems. I haven't used the S&A, but if Bob says they're good, I'm sure they are.
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Old January 21, 2014, 08:32 PM   #6
Hunter Customs
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Quote:
Thanks Bob for the feedback on the S&A MSH. I looked at those first and liked the price but was concerned by the reviews. Have you ever run into any issues with the holes being out of spec?
You are welcome.

I've never had an issue with the holes being out of spec on their mainspring housings, however some of their combination mainspring housing/mag well did not line up exactly right.
Many times this was more of a frame issue then the hole in the part being located wrong.

The Ed Brown will be a quality part, those I've used certainly were.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter
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Old January 21, 2014, 09:12 PM   #7
James K
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Make sure you get a good MSH. Some of the new ones don't have the hole to allow the mainspring retainer to fit into the groove in the MSH pin. They don't even have the retainer (the "thingie" that fits into the bottom of the mainspring). That means that nothing holds the MSH pin in place except friction, and it can drift out and be lost as well as tie up the gun.

Jim
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Old January 22, 2014, 12:37 AM   #8
StukaJU87
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Sounds like I should be OK with either an S&A or an Ed Brown.

Is the Ed Brown really worth the extra money?
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