View Full Version : Rebarrelling a 1911

February 27, 2012, 01:08 PM
My ~12 year old 1911 has finally crossed the point where it needs a new barrel. I've had an Ed Brown barrel sitting in the package for years and years.

My question is - should I bring this to my gunsmith to do the installation? I mean, it's a 1911 and it's a trivial matter to actually plop the new barrel on. But I don't know how important it is for a pro to actually do the fitting work for headspace and other reasons.


February 27, 2012, 02:15 PM
Why not pop the new on in, see if an how it locks up. If everything looks good, i.e. old barrel v new barrel and if so try shooting it and see how it runs. I dropped an aftermarket compensated barrel in one of mine. Didn’t want to lock up. Upon examination I found the comp was contacting the bushing. Some 600 grit sandpaper on a flat surface and a little re-facing work on the back end of the comp and Walla, gun has run 100% for over 70,000 rounds of competition shooting. If it wasn’t for the comp it would have dropped right in and run perfectly.

Your millage may vary. ;)

February 27, 2012, 02:38 PM
Ed Brown offers the 1911 bench reference CD
which has wonderful information and is easy to understand.

or the 1911 the shop manual

Both talk about what to look for in barrel fit and how to adjust.
It is a process that you must follow.

pm sent

February 27, 2012, 03:35 PM
How many rounds does it take to wear out a 1911 barrel?
What were the symptoms?

February 27, 2012, 03:44 PM
Main symptom is pitting/scoring in the lands. Barrel is at 20k - 25k. I'll see if can get some pictures tonight.

February 28, 2012, 05:22 PM
If you have an Ed Brown match barrel it NEEDS to be fitted to the frame and slide. It will be oversized enough that it should not "drop in" and even if it did certain dimensions and angles have to be adjusted or you can break stuff. If you have a "drop in" barrel that is cut to fit "most frames" you might get lucky. Absolute best bang for your buck is have a match barrel and bushing fitted by someone who is experienced at it. You will then have a gun that will most likely outshoot you.

February 28, 2012, 07:49 PM
I think Ed Brown barrels are oversized, but not to the extent of a "gunsmith fit barrel". I have the Ed Brown Bench Reference, and I think Ed hisself says he does not even own a lug cutter, which is required for a conventional gunsmith fit barrel. If the EB barrel has a link fitted, it probably can be installed without a cutter, but not without the skill and knowlege to figure out where the fitting is required.