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Old February 4, 2013, 09:52 PM   #1
Join Date: January 13, 2008
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What have you done to your 1911.. and WHY?

Just wondering what customizations you've done.

Other work?

And why?
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:03 PM   #2
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Colt 1991 Commander. If it ain't broke ... don't fix it.
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:09 PM   #3
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I sold mine because it did not run properly.
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:11 PM   #4
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Colt Officer's ACP. After sending the recoil spring cap and recoil spring down range during a shooting session (the tab broke off of the cap - never found the spring), I had a Wilson full length guide rod installed (meaning, a slight amount was milled off of the inside of the slide to allow the retention bushing to fit). Awesome upgrade! Much smoother than the factory setup which was very rough and crunchy. Also, I replaced the factory short trigger, which was mushy, with a Nighthawk long trigger and the factory grip safety with a Wilson drop-in beavertail. Shoots comfortably and is dead nuts accurate.
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:12 PM   #5
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Absoluty nothing to my Colt 1911A1. I do not need modifications to compensate for poor marksmenship. The same for the trash on the AR15.
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Old February 4, 2013, 10:49 PM   #6
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Colt Officers. Reverse recoil spring plug, full length guide rod with a flat wound spring. 24 Pound mainspring. Hand fitted a square bottomed firing pin stop. Added a barrel bushing that I had to fit by hand. Put a Wilson bullet proof extractor in it. Wilson drop in beavertail. Coco bolo grips cause they look good. Colt Magazines with fresh Wilson extra power mag springs.

I learned about the squared firing pin stop and 24 pound main spring combo (from 1911Tuner) as a means to increase the leverage over the slide and to slow the slide down a bit. Absolutely worked like a charm. The only reason I put the full length guide rod in it was to add some more friction and assist the firing pin block in slowing things down.

The barrel bushing was just to tighten up the barrel slide fit a bit over the stock bushing. The Beavertail preserves the web of my hand. The mag springs affirmatively push a round up. The little 1911's are pretty fast to cycle and the mag spring can be a source of unreliable feeding.

Did all that to make it controllable and more fun to shoot than most small 1911's. It has turned out to be reliable and is easy to shoot with one hand.

All that said they can be vexing to modify and keep reliable. I have found they get more temperamental with each modification. And I have had other 1911's that were downright finicky and so unreliable that I would never carry them. I don't carry this one either but I would not hesitate to.
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Old February 4, 2013, 11:09 PM   #7
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My first 1911 had a spur hammer and that just didn't work with my fleshy hands. So a beavertail GS is mandatory for me. I also prefer flat MS housings and long triggers and decent sights are a must. I really haven't felt a need for an extended safety but I really like a single-sided safety as opposed to ambi-safeties. For a five inch pistol I want the classic short guide rod instead of a FLGR and of course a barrel bushing instead of a bull barrel.
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Old February 4, 2013, 11:36 PM   #8
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Sold all but my Colt gold cups and My great grandfathers GI.

I love 1911's I think they are a fine weapon. I just got sucked in and was spending way to much for what I got. I don't like them as a carry gun. I know many do and respect that.

So I guess what I'm saying is that its a slippery slope and when you get into customizing it can start eating whole pay checks:=)
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Old February 5, 2013, 12:48 AM   #9
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Grips. Wanted a classic Rosewood, double diamond. The Sig runs great so far. No sense in screwing that up.
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Old February 5, 2013, 12:54 AM   #10
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Currently I own a Springfield Armory GI Model and all I’ve done is install a set of Chip McCormick Double-Diamond Rosewood grips for a more classic look. The stock grips had “US” stamped on them and just looked kind of cheap to me. Since this gun is intended to mimic an old GI style gun I’ll probably just leave it alone.

Now, if I just had those two Colts back I could…
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Old February 5, 2013, 07:19 AM   #11
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My Springfield milspec got a new flat backstrap, trigger, thumb saftey and full lenght guide rod.
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Old February 5, 2013, 07:24 AM   #12
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Wilson Mags, 18lb Wolff Spring, and bullets.
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Old February 5, 2013, 08:46 AM   #13
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STI Trojan. Put a Dawson Precision fiber optic front on it, since I'm not a big fan of the black on black target sights. Did it myself because I've always wanted to try basic gunsmithing and figured that was the most basic customization I could do myself to start. Plan to put a new mainspring housing/magwell on it as well when I get the time.
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Old February 5, 2013, 09:10 AM   #14
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Colt Combat Commander:

-Flat mainspring housing (I prefer the flat over the arched)
-"Slim" grip panels (I have smallish hands, helps with grip)
-Tritium night sights (standard sights are good, tritium is better)
-8-rnd MecGar magazines (7 is good, 8 is better)
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Old February 5, 2013, 09:38 AM   #15
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I sold mine because it did not run properly.
Same here, only AFTER they were bubba'ed.

The SIG 1911 xo - nothing

The Colt Gold Cup - nothing

The Colt Series 70 -

barrel bushing, combat hammer, better ambi safety, new extractor (that one lost all tension), flat mainspring housing, 10-8 performance flat trigger, beaver tail.

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Old February 5, 2013, 10:20 AM   #16
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Mainly, I have shot and cleaned mine. The only mods I've done was to file the sharp corner edges on the the front sight because it would tear holes in my pants when I carried it. Also, I used some blue loc-tite on the rear sight because it would drift a little sometimes.

I had a short trigger installed in my wife's 1911 because it is easier for her to reach with her small hands.
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Old February 5, 2013, 10:36 AM   #17
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On two of them, had the extended safeties either milled down to, or changed for, Mil-Spec. With one of the extended safeties, I had issues resting a high thumb on the safety lever, as the friction of my thumb against the slide caused some FTRBs. When I would use a low thumb, I'd frequently flip the lever to safe during recoil.

Once the safeties were converted to or swapped for Mil-Spec, I could use a low thumb without issue.

On one of the guns, I had a gold bead front sight installed. A friend uses those, and recommended I should try one. I like it, and am considering swapping out the night sights for a Novak gold bead setup on it, as well.

On a third 1911, I am considering switching from the FLGR (original to the gun) to the regular recoil spring and plug configuration. I don't notice any practical shooting advantages from the FLGR, and it complicates disassembly and reassembly.

My last 1911 was bought used, and turned out to have been the victim of a bad amateur gunsmith. The "mods" I have had done to it have really been more a matter of having an excellent gunsmith try to blend and fit parts so the gun will run properly.
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Old February 5, 2013, 11:13 AM   #18
Join Date: January 13, 2008
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great information! trying to decide what, if anything I should do to my Kimber Pro Carry

So far I've ordered new grips, grip screws and wilson combat mags
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Old February 5, 2013, 11:16 AM   #19
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Para Carry 9

1. Added ambi safety and sent it off to factory due to my leftism. Disappointed when it came back with it hanging out so I went to local gunsmith and had him fit it. No issues since.

2. Added the cheap wilson magwell that fits under the stock grips around the screw bushings with hooks for extra purchase in my palm. My first attempt at fitting anything to a pistol. Lot of modifying and dremel work for it to fit around the screws and take material off of the grips for flush fit. Then after that was done and went to place a mag in, the base pad hit the sides of the magwell so.... more dremel work. In the end, I was happy with how it turned out.

Dan Wesson Guardian

1. Ordered Ed Brown tactical stainless ambi safety again for my lefty dominance. I believe out of all safeties one can order, Ed brown is the one that needs the most fitting (not known to me at the time). So... out with my dremel and files. Slow and painstaking to get the shape just right but it works great now.

2. Wilson Stainless slide lock. Only true drop in part I've replaced. Wanted the 2 tone stainless parts/ pieces on blue.

3. Wilson Stainless mag catch. Funny how a small part such as this caused me 2 hours of trying to figure how to fit/ smooth the "action" (not sure that's the right word) out.

4. Wilson stainless hex grip screws.
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Old February 5, 2013, 11:50 AM   #20
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Replaced sights and lower thumb safeties on original Series 70 - made in 1970 - and "repro" - low serial number looks like it was made in 2002 or 2003. Not really major or expensive - both can print groups at 15 yards that can be covered by one hand - if I do my part -
OJ -
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Old February 5, 2013, 11:55 AM   #21
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Changes made to my 1911s

SA GI - Replaced hammer, slide stop, and thumb safety just to make it look a little more "authentic"

Kimber Custom - Grips, arched mainspring housing, GI style recoil spring guide and plug

Colt Series 80 - installed Ed Brown barrel bushing to improve accuracy.

Colt Commander - replaced grips (original "Coltwoods" are in box), rest was perfect, as is.
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Old February 5, 2013, 01:05 PM   #22
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trajicon night sights,,,,wilson extended ambi safety, wilson extended slide release, and extended mag release...and VZ grips.....i add these parts to most of my 1911's so i can fully operate the platform left handed...
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Old February 5, 2013, 01:37 PM   #23
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I'm a lefty, with hands that are not really large, but with long fingers. All of my "shooters" have ambi thumb safeties, arched mainspring housings, and long triggers. All have trigger pull weights of 3.25# - 4#.
I can live with most configurations of sights, grips, and grip safeties, but I do have preferences.
I do a bit of internal polishing to most of my guns, and have fit and refit a few extractors.
I have NEVER polished a feed ramp, but then, I've never owned a gun that appeared to need it?
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Old February 5, 2013, 03:15 PM   #24
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When I bought my Series 80 Colt eons ago (sic) I immediatly bought Pachmeyer grips, and soon had the so-called reliability package done to it so it would feed anything. It was a ramp throat polish lower the ejection port and an extended ejector for positive ejection. Ramped mean they simply polished the feed ramp, throat was that they slightly relieved the chamber so that it would feed the shorter hollowpoints (or anything), polished the back of the trigger and the front of the disconnector, and they lowered the ejection port a little so that it wouldn't ding up the brass upon ejection. Oh yeah, and high profile three dot sights. That's it.
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Old February 5, 2013, 05:30 PM   #25
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Other than installing a Commander-type rowel hammer (from Caspian Arms) on my Gov't Model Remington 1911R1, just because I prefer them - nothing.

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