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Old July 12, 2018, 02:11 PM   #26
rc
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Yep....

It's the 10/22 of the pistol world. More parts choices than any other pistol out there....…….
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Old July 12, 2018, 03:36 PM   #27
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I agree, the 1911 is like the 10/22, or perhaps Harley Davidson, of the pistol world. Within my humble experience, owners run the gamut. From not touching anything, to quite extensive "tinkering". I guess I'm in the middle. I have all kinds of books on the subject, have picked the brains of some good gunsmiths, have attended the Colt O-Frame armorer class, have a small milling machine, gunsmithing tools, blast cabinet,etc. I've also screwed up enough expensive parts over the years to learn what I can, and perhaps more importantly, what I cannot do well.


Some owners don't even want to adjust sights, apparently believing that the pistol was somehow sighted in at the factory for every possible type of factory loaded or handloaded ammunition, at every possible distance, to match every shooting style,etc. Conversely, I've seen questions on enthusiast sites, by people with their recently acquired 1911 type pistol, asking how to field strip their new pistol so they can do a "trigger job"......
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Old July 12, 2018, 04:30 PM   #28
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My brother offered to give me a "trigger job" for my Hi Power. He did a great job on his own 1911 pistols, he always told me. He did such a great job on one that he had to lower the slide carefully to avoid having the hammer fall. That was a seriously slick hammer, right?

Don't worry, though, he said that it only happened if it was empty. It never happened if a round was in it.

I politely declined his offer to "improve" my trigger ".
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Old July 12, 2018, 06:23 PM   #29
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That wasn't an unusual situation with pistols tuned by reputable bullseye gunsmiths, decades ago.
You had to hold the trigger back when loading the gun, to help ensure trigger bounce didn't cause the hammer to fall.

Nobody would accept that, today.
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Old July 12, 2018, 06:38 PM   #30
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Before the Ruger 10/22 and the whole AR thing the 1911 was the first tinker's delight....
There were more custom parts to be tried, how-to articles in magazines, you bought a frame and got all the cool parts and fitted them yourself...some started lifelong businesses building 1911's. Ed Brown and Jim Clark ( Clark Custom Guns) they still in the business.
I still have a AMT Hardballer that I tricked out with a custom fitted barrel , bushing , trigger , hammer , safety and slide release . Last week I got some ebony grips from Ahrends to make her look pretty .
From the 1950's to the 1970's.... Those were the 1911 glory days .
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Old July 12, 2018, 08:04 PM   #31
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Yes..if you know what you're doing...I'd suggest Kuhnhausen's books on the subject. Rod
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Old July 12, 2018, 08:30 PM   #32
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A properly built 1911-pattern pistol shouldn't require anything other than a light coat of lubrication, good magazines and ammo. If it won't run without tinkering, something is wrong.
Agree.

But we should be clear about what is meant by "tinkering."

In the context here regarding 1911s, tinkering seems to mean "fixing," as in addressing an operational problem that is causing the gun not to fire or cycle properly.

If by "tinkering" you mean something like replacing the factory sights or grips with aftermarket ones, that really isn't tinkering if the gun otherwise runs. That's personalizing or customizing parts on the gun to suit your particular taste.

Nothing wrong with personalizing a 1911 to your liking, but if it runs and shoots without issues, I don't tinker with it or, as folks sometimes say, "tweak" it. I leave it alone and just shoot it.

As my Gramps always said: 'Ain't nuthin' to fix if nuthin' ain't broken.'

A solid tenet of Geezer philosophy right there.


Last edited by agtman; July 13, 2018 at 06:27 AM.
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Old July 12, 2018, 08:31 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanney1 View Post
Is the 1911 for the mechanically inclined who like to work on things, build things, customize things, and make them better?

I mean, the takedown for a basic field strip is a bit more involved than a newer semi pistol. But, not terribly hard.

And there's the notion of adjusting the 1911 to get it running just right or to feed different types of ammo without fail. Maybe as little as polishing the feed ramp or potentially much more involved workings and changes.

Does anyone really buy a 1911, and just shoot it, clean it with a basic field strip, and not tinker with it? Or is that not a realistic view of 1911 ownership?
Yes to customize. If you get a good one, it may not be necessary. I have STI target master, I will never modify - yes I just shoot that. I customized the heck out of a Norinco back when they were imported. This may raise a few eye brows, but; I have colt gold cup (new gun) that would not shoot for crap and I fitted a barrel and bushing. That is not an easy or beginner job. It is doable and rewarding if done right. And if not you can buy another barrel and busing and try again. Or put the old junk back.

There is no limit to bolt on upgrades that mostly or many go on easy. A lot of pretty basic stuff can need fitting. That requires a lot of time and patience with a file. But as a general rule, if you mess up, buy another a do it right.

There is the famous warning about messing with the 3 prong spring and getting a full auto 45!! It has happened a lot. In those famous words "A man has got to know his limitations".

You can buy a stripped frame. I am not so good and would prefer to begin with a working gun and piecemeal my project. The Ruger 1911 target model seemed like it might be a good place to start. It comes with a lot of good stuff. For a little less gun less money, the Rock Island is worth a look.

You can (should really) setup the springs to suit the ammo. Here I am thinking match ammo with light springs. Then dont beat the gun up with factory loads. Or heavy spring and buffer for +P ammo. Not setup for a variety of ammo, for specific ammo.

Feed ramps? I dont know.
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Old July 12, 2018, 08:52 PM   #34
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I purchased a new production Government Model Colt for my oldest son's 21st birthday two years ago that out of the box required 'tinkering'.
The trigger was horrible, and I do mean horrible.
Didn't have much knowledge about 1911s beyond field stripping then, but with the wealth of information available on the internet, (and folks on this forum), and a little mechanical ability it was pretty simple to give the kid a pistol with a trigger that rivals my Kimbers.
Turned around and bought myself the same model in a different finish a while later as I didn't own a Colt (*shrugs*).
Trigger felt just like the boy's did after my tinkering, right out of the box.
Go figure.
Sometimes, tinkering is a necessity.

I AM NOT advocating a kitchen table gunsmith trigger job, that is not what I did.
I replaced the trigger with an actual stainless steel one replacing the plastic and worked only with the trigger bow for adjustment and ran through all of the safety tests afterwards.
Leave the actual trigger jobs to the professionals.
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Old July 13, 2018, 05:16 AM   #35
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I've owned several 1911's over the years, I have two now, but only one I fired a lot. That was my first one, a basic Colt Government Model in 45. I fancied myself an up and coming IPSC shooter back in those days and I shot it lot. At least I thought I shot it a lot. Then I joined and IPSC club and found out (1) what "a lot" of shooting was, and what "good shooting" was. I wasn't in that class. I took up bass fishing.

But the only modification I did to that pistol was paint the front sight. Any problems I had couldn't be blamed on the gun. If it malfunctioned, which wasn't often, it was my "Lee Loader" reloads. If I missed, it was an operator error, not the guns fault.

The only other thing I did to any of them was to weed out one magazine.
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Old July 13, 2018, 11:08 PM   #36
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1911 is made to strip it down to the frame if you want too . If the gun got completely wet I would completely strip it down ,clean an oil . Other then that , the normal break down with a complete break down of the slide after 500 rounds is the norm for me . Is nice to know it's not so hard to take it completely apart . Great Gun the 1911.
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Old July 14, 2018, 07:46 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agtman
Agree.

But we should be clear about what is meant by "tinkering."

In the context here regarding 1911s, tinkering seems to mean "fixing," as in addressing an operational problem that is causing the gun not to fire or cycle properly.

If by "tinkering" you mean something like replacing the factory sights or grips with aftermarket ones, that really isn't tinkering if the gun otherwise runs. That's personalizing or customizing parts on the gun to suit your particular taste.

Nothing wrong with personalizing a 1911 to your liking, but if it runs and shoots without issues, I don't tinker with it or, as folks sometimes say, "tweak" it. I leave it alone and just shoot it.

As my Gramps always said: 'Ain't nuthin' to fix if nuthin' ain't broken.'

A solid tenet of Geezer philosophy right there.
Now I fully agree that a 1911 is a GREAT place to start for a personalized pistol. However, I don't feel the term "tinkering" is appropriate for "personalizing" when we're discussing grips, grip screws, grip screw bushings, etc. That's personalizing and I'm 100% on board with that! In fact, here's my .45 in it's current state:



To me "tinkering" implies working on the actual functional guts of the pistol. Want new sights? Not tinkering, even if the slide has to be cut, you aren't in the mechanics of the pistol. Smoothing out the trigger? Tinkering. Fitting a flat bottom firing pin stop on a 10mm to help slow slide unlocking? Tinkering. Removing metal on the frame or barrel ramp? PUT THE DREMEL DOWN AND STOP NOW!!!

What frightens me (to an extent) is to read a post from somebody with a brand new 1911, with a list of "upgrades" they're considering without having even fired the pistol. When I see things suggested like "throat and polish the barrel", or "reliability package from ABC Smithing", my first question is, have you tried it to see if it works first? Because it might not be necessary to do anything to the pistol. You have to establish some kind of baseline to know if what you're spending money on will in fact be an improvement.
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Old July 14, 2018, 08:31 AM   #38
4V50 Gary
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It is one of the easiest guns to understand. Unfortunately, we have gone away from forged/milled and cast parts to an era of MIM'd parts. MIM are surface hardened and you can't work on them as much as you could on forged/milled and casted parts.
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