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Old April 2, 2021, 05:07 PM   #1
308Loader
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Upgrades for RI 1911-A1-FS

Looking to replace the stock sights on my RI 1911-A1-FS any suggestions? This is a staked front sight, GI dovetail rear, not cut for Novak or adjustable rear sight. Is the front sight staking removal and install something a layperson could do with the right tools? Also thinking about better trigger (less take up), beaver tail… where would you spend a little $ to improve this pistol? Bought on a tight budget, upgrades will be the same. Looking for most bang for the buck, please forgive the pun.

Thanks for any input.
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Old April 4, 2021, 09:35 PM   #2
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Novak will install their sights for $20, and since you only have to send the slide in, you could get anything of theirs done without the hassle of FFL transfers and the like. I like the XS big dot front sight and Express style shallow rear V notch for very rapid pickup of the sight picture, but those do require a dovetail be cut for the front sight.

For trigger with an over-travel stop, either the Wilson #1 or the Ed Brown triggers are fine, IME. You can pay more at Brownells, but don't need to. Beavertails usually require taking some metal off the back of the frame. I had one that didn't (forget who made it) but it felt a little too low to me. I like the Gunsite lowered lever-style thumb safety, but YMMV. I like the EGW square-bottom firing pin stops because of the reduced muzzle flip they provide, but some can't stand the extra slide racking effort that results.
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Old April 4, 2021, 10:43 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenick
For trigger with an over-travel stop, either the Wilson #1 or the Ed Brown triggers are fine, IME. You can pay more at Brownells, but don't need to.
But an overtravel screw affects overtravel, not take-up (which is pre-travel).

Pre-travel is a function of clearance between the trigger bow and the lower legs of the sear. There is (or was) one company who offers (or offered) a trigger that had small wings on the front, rounded part of the bow -- one wing on each side of the trigger pad. These could be adjusted to control how far forward the trigger could move in reset. You could simulate this by putting two tiny spots of weld on the front, curved portion of the bow and then gradually filing it down until you achieve the desired amount of pre-travel.

Keep in mind that a 1911 with zero take-up is not a safe firearm. If you have zero, that means the trigger bow is already in contact with the sear before you touch the trigger. If it's in contact, you have no way of knowing whether or not it's allowing the sear to reset completely, or if the reset is leaving the sear only partially engaged.
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Old April 5, 2021, 07:15 AM   #4
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I was figuring he meant overtravel, as removing it eliminates part of the total trigger range of motion. But if he is trying to shorten only the first stage, then, yes, that's controlled by the bow. It is not something I would recommend changing much with a GI or other steel stirrup trigger because it helps cushion trigger bounce that occurs when the slide is released while you are not holding the trigger back. However, if you go to the lighter aluminum stirrups, especially one with a titanium bow, you don't need as much bounce protection and you can bend the bow back a little before it narrows enough to start rubbing or interfering with the magazine. But if the problem is getting your finger inside the trigger guard, rather than change the first stage pull length, you can get a trigger with a shorter stirrup.

The goal here needs to be clarified.
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Old April 5, 2021, 01:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unclenick
The goal here needs to be clarified.
I would also like to know how much take-up (pre-travel) there is before I would agree that it's excessive. 1/32" (.031") of pre-travel is generally considered to be an absolute minimum for a safe 1911. I wouldn't begin to call it "excessive" unless it's more than 1/16" (.063").
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Old April 7, 2021, 06:38 PM   #6
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Thanks for the replies

I don’t have much experience with the 1911. Have only shot 2 of my friends guns before I picked this RI-GI. The trigger on one of them had very little to no take up. Surprised the S#!t out of me when it went bang. Slowly applied pressure waiting for some creep then BANG. Other one had small (1/16th to 32nd) or so, didn’t think to measure. Light mush, then hard wall, then bang. Couldn’t name the manufacturer of both of those pistols. This one has quite a bit of mush, nice hard wall (easily felt) then crisp-ish break. Not seeing this as a problem, just looking for better? Maybe over travel? Will need to shoot it more to identify where I feel the trigger might be deficient or if it is just fine. The 1911 having many after market parts, thought maybe their was a quick fix to being a great trigger.

I think sights are the first thing I might want to change. The installed sights work, I can hit what I’m aiming at. I think their might be better options than small black on black basic sights. Coming up on 50 and my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be. The front sight is staked on this slide. Does that mean the replacement should also be a staked sight? I understand I will need it cut to accept a dovetail, is it worth it? Is it cheaper to just buy a new slide cut to accept other sights? Recommendations on fiber or plain painted dot sights? Adjustable rear sight worth the trouble?

Thanks again all.
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Old April 7, 2021, 08:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 308Loader
... thought maybe their was a quick fix to being a great trigger.
There is. From the Technical Issues area of the M1911.org home page site (www.m1911.org):

https://www.m1911.org//technic20.htm
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Old April 8, 2021, 05:20 PM   #8
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thanks for the link.
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Old April 10, 2021, 08:03 PM   #9
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If the sights work just paint them. I used orange fingernail polish for the rear and luminescent green for the front on my A1 FS tactical. As for the trigger shoot it a lot and dry fire it a lot more. It will improve.
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Old April 11, 2021, 09:55 AM   #10
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Agreed

I too do not care for the tiny GI sights. I'm thinkin if I must cut the slide, I'll have it cut for an optic.
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Old April 11, 2021, 10:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Also thinking about better trigger (less take up), beaver tail… where would you spend a little $ to improve this pistol?
IMO, best bang for your buck is to figure out very specifically what you want and get a quote from a qualified gunsmith.

Trigger take up - As others have said, many companies make triggers with pretravel ears. You will have to fit the trigger. You will need a couple files and stones/sandpaper on a flat surface. Also, just order the trigger stirrup die now. I find they often are needed as trigger bows often get bent somewhere between manufacture and install.

As an aside, I find some take up to be a good safety mechanism and bent my eared trigger nearly flat again.

Trigger - In general, I find what most people are looking for in a trigger is reduced creep and 3.5-5.5 lb pull weight with 0.018” hammer hooks and about 0.010”-0.013(if I remember right) engagement with hardened parts. You will generally need a trigger, sear, disconnector, hammer, strut, mainspring, safety, just in parts. In tools, you will need a sear jig, stones to clean up the frame maybe, layout fluid/marksalot, files, kuhnhausen books, etc.

Beavertail- similar....it will be cheaper and more likely done correctly the first time.

On the cheap, I would use a round hammer and commander type grip safety.


On the cheap with the trigger, I would get a trigger pull gauge, sear spring, and new 23lb mainspring. Your other parts are likely good enough to get you moderate creep at about 4.5-5.5 lbs. I have a stock Colt with a decent, not great 4.5lb trigger....I might have tweaked the sear spring....I forget.
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Old April 11, 2021, 10:46 AM   #12
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I put a MGW white dot front sight and Harrison Retro rear on this one.



https://www.thesixgunjournal.net/sta...1-front-sight/
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Last edited by Sarge; April 11, 2021 at 10:47 AM. Reason: kaynt spel twoday
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