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Old November 12, 2011, 09:51 PM   #1
GringoLoco
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Want to acccurize/customize my SA Milspec. Help with the shopping list?

I've had an SA Milspec parkerized since 2005, excellent condition and only about 2000 rounds through it. Also one of the ones with an NM serial. I never shoot it anymore since I have nice Kimbers, Colts, and a SA Trophy Match. So I decided it would be fun to customize it myself. I'm thinking serious duty pistol style. Planning on new trigger, hammer, beavertail, tritium sights, flat mainspring housing, and some sort of refinishing (melonite?). I've read that I shouldn't bother tightening the slide/frame fit, and it was pretty accurate already anyway. My question is what other parts am I not thinking of that I would benefit from? Spring kit? Want to start planning now. It will be my first real smithing job but i won't cry if it isn't perfect. Advice? Criticisms? Insults? All welcome.
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Old November 12, 2011, 10:04 PM   #2
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Also planning on a new barrel and bushing. Heard a group gripper can be effective.
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Old November 13, 2011, 09:52 AM   #3
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I have a lot of customers that seemed to be fond of the Springfield Spartan Package I offered.

The gun in the picture above is a Springfield Spartan Package gun. This package does not have some of the bells and whistles associated with some custom guns, but it is custom and has everything needed for a serieous fighting gun.

Best Regards
Bob Hunter
www.huntercustoms.com
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Old November 13, 2011, 11:46 AM   #4
GringoLoco
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That is a pretty pistol, nice work. I think I want to build something a little more modernized, not quite as classic. I pretty much have a cosmetic vision in my head, I just don't know what all internal parts could benefit from an upgrade. Don't want to just gut the pistol and swap out perfectly good parts.
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Old November 13, 2011, 12:00 PM   #5
Casimer
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flat bottomed firing pin stops are all the rage nowadays.
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Old November 13, 2011, 10:33 PM   #6
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Did some research, do you mean flat firing pin stop or is there a different type of spring itself? Didn't find anything on flat bottomed spring.
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Old November 13, 2011, 11:04 PM   #7
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Nevermind, read that too quick and just realized you did say stop, not spring.
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Old November 14, 2011, 09:24 AM   #8
Don P
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Bob does beatiful work. Personally I would leave it as is. Your gun your choice.
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Old November 14, 2011, 09:16 PM   #9
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I'm sure he does do nice work, but I'd like to have a project and see how good of a job I could do myself. There's literally no risk for me if I screw it up, like I said I never shoot it. I also get satisfaction out of knowing I did something. Every custom part of my Jeep and my Harley only had my hands on them. To me a 6 year old Milspec just isn't special enough to leave alone, yet makes the perfect platform for a home custom. I just need to educate myself on the relative weaknesses than can be addressed.
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Old November 17, 2011, 02:24 AM   #10
moose fat
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Go for it and get a Brownells catalogue and Bill Wilsons' "Costomizing the 1911".

Brownells has all the goodies and Bill Wilsons has good instructions on how to go about modifying the 1911 with simple tools. There are also other good books on costomizing, Jerry Kunhousen(? sp.) comes to mind. Midway is also into the gunsmithing. They both have websites but catalogues, I think, are easier to flip through and then ordering on-line, too easy.

I did my Mill Spec SA 1911A1 myself. One thing I'm still thinking about is having a gunsmith lower and flare the ejection port and refinishing the slide.

Besides Bownells and Midway you can get cataloges from all the parts makers; Wilsons, Ed Brown, Clark etc.

I put in Wilsons full length guide rod, trigger, sear and hammer. The barrel was changed to an Ed Brown drop in, a little judicious filling. The barrel came with a nice and tite bushing and a link. I also put in an Ed Brown firing pin. I left the firing pin stop original. I got some "Diamond Wood" Rosewood grip panels and Brownells SS hex hed grip screws.



I didn't change the grip safety, just filed it so the hammer would clear like the early Para Ordinance pistols.

It was fun, it was worth it and it does shoot better and has been reliable to date. I costomized my pistol ten years ago, no worries.
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Old November 17, 2011, 03:48 AM   #11
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First of all...what is your desired outcome?

I have found the 1911 handgun to be most adaptable and versatile. You can get the arm to do almost anything you want--short of sitting up and barking, and it will do that if you feed it a proper diet of Bullseye and Unique powders.



Seriously, what do you want to do? I do 99% of the work on my 1911's--but then, I started working on them about 30 years ago.

Do you want accuracy? How much?

A pistol that is easier on the hands to handle? Do you want reliable, flawless feeding?

To realize the full potential of the pistol, here's an example: I purchased a second hand Springfield GI model--loose, clunky and nasty with an atrocious trigger. I sent the gun off to a pistolsmith that specializes in building excellent competition guns for NRA Conventional Pistol.

He sent back a gun with NO play or slop, Bo-Mar sights installed front and rear, a Bar-Sto barrel installed with an Ed Brown bushing; took the trigger pull to a clean 4 lb. pull, and checkered the front and back at 20 LPI.

The gun will shoot a 5 shot 1.5 inch group at 50 yards. Yes, I said YARDS.

The installation of parts can be simple--once you know how to do it. However, they are VERY easy to screw up--and once you do, you have to buy another part and start again. (Please--don't ask me how I know. )

If you have never worked on the 1911 pistol, but have a knowledge of machining and hand tools, you can do it if you can follow instructions. If you do not have these skills--or the patience to do a lot of painstaking detail work--you would do well to send the gun to a good pistolsmith.

Mr. Hunter, who has already posted, has an excellent reputation as a pistolsmith. There are others as well that will do an outstanding job.

However, if you're the impatient sort, the only handguns I know that are built well enough from the factory to hold the X ring of a bullseye target at 50 yards or better are built by Rock River Arms (not Rock Island) and Les Baer. Of the two, only Les Baer is (to my knowledge) actively producing handguns for sale. Consider selling your 1911, and applying the cash toward a Les Baer Premier.

And, yes--I know about Kimbers, Wilsons, etc. I have not seen one yet that will, out of the box, put 5 rounds into a 1.69 inch circle at 50 yards without some extensive tweaking.
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Old November 17, 2011, 08:51 AM   #12
Don P
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Quote:
I did my Mill Spec SA 1911A1 myself. One thing I'm still thinking about is having a gunsmith lower and flare the ejection port and refinishing the slide.
Just curious as to your 1911 and if it's a GI model. The Mil-Spec comes with a lowered and flared ejection port.
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Old November 17, 2011, 05:34 PM   #13
moose fat
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I bought it used before the "94" AWB. (Clinton, Assault Weapons Ban)
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Old November 17, 2011, 06:53 PM   #14
GringoLoco
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Powderman, I just want the personal satisfaction of knowing I created (well, enhanced) the pistol I am looking at. Same reason I work on my Harley, Jeep, build stuff, etc. I fully expect to screw some parts up, and that's why I'm not starting with something more nicer haha. I think I told you before I bought my Trophy Match that I almost pulled the trigger and ordered a Les Baer, decided to put it off for a while though. I'm more than happy with my Trophy Match for now as a precision range toy. As for what I want from my Milspec, I already have a 1911 in every major category I can think of except one, all steel serious duty pistol. My vision looks a lot like a SA TRP, at least in purpose.

And I already have a Brownells catalog to look at, but it doesn't tell me what is just fad and what I will actually benefit from.
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Old November 18, 2011, 02:41 AM   #15
moose fat
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GringoLoco, when I did my mods I got some other books that gave some of the history of costomizing. Ross Seyfrieds book "Combat Costomizing the 1911" is one I bought. It is not a how to book, more of a history of the early devolopment, evolution, of costomizing.

There are other books that Brownells and Midway have on costomizing. Browse through their selections and see what interests you and get one or two. That should help get you on the right track and or narrow your focus.
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Old November 18, 2011, 12:55 PM   #16
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Mose fat, thanks. I'll check out a couple books. You seem to be one of the only people in here that understands I want to do it myself for fun, not leave it to a pro. Not quite what I expected from the "Smithy" section.
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Old November 18, 2011, 03:49 PM   #17
Don P
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Mose fat, thanks. I'll check out a couple books. You seem to be one of the only people in here that understands I want to do it myself for fun, not leave it to a pro. Not quite what I expected from the "Smithy" section.
The reason most and myself included suggested having a pro do things is that guys will think they're doing good and right and then come to the forum as ask what did I do wrong it don't work. I also try to do as much as I can learning and so far I have been lucky and no screwed anything up beyond repair. Only thing I did not do was have a dear friend who is a gunsmith install my grip safety while I watched and learned. Still unsure if I would attempt a grip safety install on my own.
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Old November 18, 2011, 06:07 PM   #18
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Yeah, I understand that. Also understand people would be concerned about me hurting myself. To ease some fears, I am fully aware of the potential for me to screw things up and ruin some parts. Like I already said though, I'm willing to write it off as an investment in experience. As for safety, I don't plan on messing with anything that would cause a runaway gun or anything like that. Plan on a "drop in" trigger that I can just file down the trigger itself to fit, not touching the sear engagement. I do plan on attempting the beavertail myself though, that's the part I'm looking forward to most haha. Yeah, I know how easy it would be to trash my frame. That's why I expect it to take a loooong time to do. I don't have a lot of smithing experience, other than an AK conversion on my Saiga-12, but I do have a lot of experience doing precision tasks with my hands. I'm pretty confident I can do at least a halfway decent job. I'm sure it won't be as good as a pro, but it'll be "mine," and everybody had to do it for the first time once.
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