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Thread: Got myself a 1911!

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    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Got myself a 1911!

    Picked up a Springfield 1911 mil-spec a couple days ago. I knew going in that I would be upgrading certain components but I was wondering what suggestions for upgrades you guys would suggest.

    From practice I already know I want an extended thumb mag release, and also a longer/wider thumb safety, have suggestions on types/brands/styles? Any other upgrades I should look into?









    You can see from the last pic that front sight simply disapears with contrast and shadow.

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    Last edited by Baked on Grease; 12-25-2011 at 12:42 PM.
    "A Right Un-exercised is a Right Lost"

    "According to the law, [openly carrying] in a vehicle is against the law if the weapon is concealed" -Flamethrower (think about it....)

    Carrying an XDm 9mm with Hornady Critical Defense hollowpoint. Soon to be carrying a Ruger along with it....

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    I "myself" would look at doing a trigger job, it should be good from the box, but we all know how great a 1911 trigger can be. I like checkering on the front strap, upgrade the sights, new grips, and a high quality lube for it!



    Tim

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    only hampered by your budget

    Congrats on your purchase.

    I know lots of folks like customizing their firearms and the options for a 1911 are almost limitless.
    IMHO, what upgrades you perform have to do with your perceived needs and what the firearm is going to be used for.

    In this day and age of semi to full blown custom guns being an off the shelf items I personally would have went that route instead of a GI or Mil spec.
    Now, if the GI or Milspec was more in line with today's available funds or you wanted the parkerized finished or just the statisfaction of doing it yourself, I understand why you're going the long way around the bin.

    1) I hate the GI/Milspec sights so I'd start there, something on the order of adjustible rear and NS if your inclined.
    2) If the gun wasn't reliable w/HP (if used for SD) I'd for go a ramp/throat job, maybe a flared/lowered ejectport.
    3) I like to ride the safety, so a longer safety is what I prefer, ambi if you are so inclined.
    4) A good trigger is what separates a 1911 from many other quality firearms (IMHO) so something in the range of a crisp 4.5-5lb trigger would be in order.
    5) If the stock grip safety works for you I wouldn't bother but many(most) like a high ride beaver tail, as it allows you to get a higher purchase of the gun.
    6) I personally would shelf the factory mags and get myslef Wison 47D's or Tripp Research mags.
    7) Lastly, I like the feel of slim grips so a set of slim grips (checkered if that's what you like)/bushings and SS screws.


    A big part of getting a 1911 is the customizing process so have fun, the amout of stuff you can do is only hampered by your budget.

    Pics are in order when your finished....
    If you think like a Statist, act like one, or back some, you've given up on freedom and have gone over to the dark side.
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    Congrats! Be sure to post some pics!

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    Regular Member SovereignAxe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agent19 View Post
    Congrats on your purchase.

    I know lots of folks like customizing their firearms and the options for a 1911 are almost limitless.
    IMHO, what upgrades you perform have to do with your perceived needs and what the firearm is going to be used for.

    In this day and age of semi to full blown custom guns being an off the shelf items I personally would have went that route instead of a GI or Mil spec.
    Now, if the GI or Milspec was more in line with today's available funds or you wanted the parkerized finished or just the statisfaction of doing it yourself, I understand why you're going the long way around the bin.

    1) I hate the GI/Milspec sights so I'd start there, something on the order of adjustible rear and NS if your inclined.
    2) If the gun wasn't reliable w/HP (if used for SD) I'd for go a ramp/throat job, maybe a flared/lowered ejectport.
    3) I like to ride the safety, so a longer safety is what I prefer, ambi if you are so inclined.
    4) A good trigger is what separates a 1911 from many other quality firearms (IMHO) so something in the range of a crisp 4.5-5lb trigger would be in order.
    5) If the stock grip safety works for you I wouldn't bother but many(most) like a high ride beaver tail, as it allows you to get a higher purchase of the gun.
    6) I personally would shelf the factory mags and get myslef Wison 47D's or Tripp Research mags.
    7) Lastly, I like the feel of slim grips so a set of slim grips (checkered if that's what you like)/bushings and SS screws.


    A big part of getting a 1911 is the customizing process so have fun, the amout of stuff you can do is only hampered by your budget.

    Pics are in order when your finished....
    This is a big reason I haven't bought a 1911 yet, and probably won't very soon lol.

    But you're right, the upgrades are dependent on the way you intend to use the weapon. If it's going to be a carry weapon, the mods are going to be much different than for a target weapon. For example, a target gun can have much bigger and fancier sights than a carry weapon. You can also put a hair trigger on the target gun, but I'd want something with a touch more weight to it for a carry gun (4.5-5 lbs like you said).

    Also, those all sound like the kinds of upgrades I'd make. If I had the funds I would go with mil-spec and work my way up. I'm not that familiar with shooting 1911s, so I'd like to know how each upgrade changes the experience. For a carry weapon I'd definitely go with some low profile, but adjustable sights. I'm a lefty, so an ambi safety is essential, and I may want it lengthened just a tad. I'd have to shoot it for a while before I spent the money on a beavertail grip safety. That mod always seemed more cosmetic than funtional to me, and more length than is worth it on a carry weapon, but I'd have to shoot each to tell the difference. I've always felt the 1911 had a comfortable grip, but I'd have to get a feel for the pull on the mil-spec and decide whether I wanted more girth or not to help with that. I've always like a chunky grip to help with trigger finger placement, but the correct pull length is always a plus.
    "Anyone worth shooting once is worth shooting twice." -Zeus

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    Campaign Veteran Cavalryman's Avatar
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    I much prefer a more extended trigger (+/- smoothing/lightening the pull), safety that is easier to engage/disengage, and higher-profile sights. Other than that, I don't consider the other stuff to be essential. I have a flared magwell which is kinda nice but I could live without it.

  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    My Mil-Spec is the best value in a 1911 that I've ever gotten. Good choice!

    While I like the extended safety on my Kimber, and the one I had installed on my Colt, I also find I have no problem with the standard safety on my Mil-Spec. In fact, an extended safety is easier for a poor holster design to accidentally disengage, though in a good holster this still will not be a problem. I've never had a problem disengaging a smaller safety in a practiced draw.

    Don't feel the need to go through the expense of determining which hollow points work well with it. Just feed it hardball, and it will do everything it is supposed to do, including self-defense!
    Last edited by MAC702; 12-24-2011 at 11:20 AM.
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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Congrats!! Post some pictures. As far as upgrades I have put a slide stop and an extended thumb safety (both from Wilson Combat) into one of my RIAs. WC is a reliable company. Unless you are very comfortable working on 1911s I would suggest that you have any work done by a competent gunsmith. It is quite complex once you start taking it apart.
    Last edited by thebigsd; 12-24-2011 at 11:40 AM.
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    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thebigsd View Post
    Congrats!! Post some pictures. As far as upgrades I have put a slide stop and an extended thumb safety (both from Wilson Combat) into one of my RIAs. WC is a reliable company. Unless you are very comfortable working on 1911s I would suggest that you have any work done by a competent gunsmith. It is quite complex once you start taking it apart.
    Part of the reason I got the 1911 is so I could do all the work myself. I don't have any smithing experience per se, but I am very mechanicly inclined and learn fast. I've already DCOA'd it once to learn what's what, took forever to figure out how it goes back together It will be my baby for a few years at least. But don't tell my wife I said that! lol

    I will definately want a new safety, I have large hands and the stock safety kinda hurts, it is not long enough for me to comfortably disengage quickly during draw.

    Although it says Mil-Spec, I think there are modern additions that aren't quite original to the 1911 platform from what I hear. I can change out the sights, it has dovetail grooves to remove and replace the sights, which is priority number 1. The stock Novak three dot sights are abysmal in the slightest shadow. The front sight simply disapears if light doesn't hit it right.

    Give me a few hours and I'll upload pics to the first post of the gin as it is now...

    Sent using tapatalk
    "A Right Un-exercised is a Right Lost"

    "According to the law, [openly carrying] in a vehicle is against the law if the weapon is concealed" -Flamethrower (think about it....)

    Carrying an XDm 9mm with Hornady Critical Defense hollowpoint. Soon to be carrying a Ruger along with it....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baked on Grease View Post
    Picked up a Springfield 1911 mil-spec a couple days ago. I knew going in that I would be upgrading certain components but I was wondering what suggestions for upgrades you guys would suggest.

    From practice I already know I want an extended thumb mag release, and also a longer/wider thumb safety, have suggestions on types/brands/styles? Any other upgrades I should look into?

    Sent using tapatalk
    If this is your first 1911 I would shoot at least 600 rounds out of it before making any changes with perhaps the exception of sights. There are whole catalogues of junk to hang from the 1911 platform; my advice is to be choosy. The gadget de jour generally winds up in the junk drawer of the gun room. The KISS principal really applies to SD/Combat guns. Remember you are not building a game gun.
    I carry a 1911 everyday, for myself starting with a milspec gun I'd go the following in about the order presented.

    1, Magazines - As mentioned above ditch the factory mags that came with the gun and buy Wilson 8 round, McCormick or Trip magazines. I like Wilson mags, but that is just me.

    1, Sights, fixed non adjustable, solid 3 dot system- To go with fixed sights you'll need to decide what weight of bullet you'll carry. I use 230 gr only. Any decent smith will be able to set your sights to point of impact at a specified range (I use 25 yards). Fixed sights are also considerably more durable than adjustable sights and are less prone to damage or being knocked out of alignment.

    2, Grips – Change to what you like, slimmer, thicker, wood or carbon fiber. I like checkered walnut. In fact my carry gun wears a set of old Series 70 Gold Cup grips(I like the old Rampant Colt logo in gold). To each his own.

    3 , Main Spring Housing - Your milspec should have come with an arched mainspring housing. I personally find the flat mainspring to have more natural point. )If your natural point of aim is abnormally high with the arched mainspring housing, I would change this immediately)

    3, Trigger Length. - I would change the trigger to a long or medium length trigger if the short milspec trigger does not suit you. (Again shoot it 500 rounds first)

    4, Trigger Job – If you change the trigger length, have the smith do a trigger job. 4 to 5 pounds for a SD/ Combat gun is fine. The key here is crisp and clean, with the reset smooth so you can feel it under your index finger. (Keep in mind a bad trigger in a 1911 is better than the best trigger in any of the striker or DA guns out there, so I would not get too wrapped around the axle over a super trigger job you are not building a bulleye gun.)

    5, Reliability work – Ramp / Throat work if needed. Run 600 or 700 rounds through the gun first. Or the easiest solution is to just feed it a steady diet of ball ammo, ball works fine for SD work.

    6, Bushing/Barrels Accuracy Work – Neat to do but not required for a SD/combat gun. Your milspec should shoot 4 inch groups at 25 yards which is more than sufficient for SD work, and truth be known, better than most folks can shoot at 25.

    Beavertail, Extended Safety – Nice to have but not necessary on a carry gun.

    Not to do’s
    1, Extended Mag Release button – You don’t need it, it is far to easy to inadvertently drop the mag unintentionally. They belong on game guns not serious SD/combat guns.

    2, Extended Slide Stop/Release – They do not belong on carry guns.

    Just my opinion, but I have carried the 1911 for well over 30 years.
    Last edited by .45acp; 12-26-2011 at 04:03 AM. Reason: spelin
    Steve


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    Quote Originally Posted by Baked on Grease View Post
    Part of the reason I got the 1911 is so I could do all the work myself. I don't have any smithing experience per se, but I am very mechanicly inclined and learn fast. I've already DCOA'd it once to learn what's what, took forever to figure out how it goes back together It will be my baby for a few years at least. But don't tell my wife I said that! lol

    I will definately want a new safety, I have large hands and the stock safety kinda hurts, it is not long enough for me to comfortably disengage quickly during draw.

    Although it says Mil-Spec, I think there are modern additions that aren't quite original to the 1911 platform from what I hear. I can change out the sights, it has dovetail grooves to remove and replace the sights, which is priority number 1. The stock Novak three dot sights are abysmal in the slightest shadow. The front sight simply disapears if light doesn't hit it right.

    Give me a few hours and I'll upload pics to the first post of the gin as it is now...

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    Being mechanically inclined and being a competent gunsmith are two very different things. Most parts that interact with the internal firing mechanism need to be fitted by someone that KNOWs 1911’s.
    There is more shade tree mechanic 1911’s out there with problems than you can shake a stick at. If you do your own work, which I would not recommend, make damn sure all the safety’s function BEFORE dropping the first round in the chamber.
    Steve


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  12. #12
    Regular Member Dreamer's Avatar
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    Having owned several 1911-style pistols, I would STRONGLY suggest against an extended mag release if you are using this gun for every-day-carry. They tend to get accidentally depressed, especially if you carry while driving in a vehicle. I had one in my Colt Delta Elite for about a month, before I replaced it with the factory unit, and I put one in my Para P-14.45, and had it in for about 2 weeks before replacing it with a stock-length Ed Brown.

    The only gun I would consider putting an extended mag release on would be a dedicated competition gun, but not on an EDC gun, but YMMV...

    As for other mods, you CAN do them yourself, but on 1911's things like triggers, slide stops and thumb safeties sometimes require professional fitting, so you might consider buying the parts yourself, and then handing the whole kit over to a good gunsmith for the fitting and assembly. A good trigger job on a 1911 will turn it into a different gun, in terms of feel, performance, and reliability.

    Good luck, and carry on!
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    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    All good things to think on guys, thanks.

    This won't be a carry peice for a while, I certainly want to run alot of ammo through it first, and different manufacturers to see what it likes.

    I don't plan on doing intricate things like a trigger job myself, but stuff like parts swapping I should be okay, I can mill stuff down to make it fit properly, and after each mod a bunch more ammo to ensure function.

    After reading your thoughts on the mag release I practiced other ways to disengage the mag. Before, on my other guns I could use my trigger hand thumb to release it easily, but the 1911 is a struggle to do this. I practiced some with my left hand thumb since it is sitting right there and it is much much easier, though it will take alot more practice to break the habit and learn this new method.

    Pics still incoming... Christmas keeping me busy.

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    "A Right Un-exercised is a Right Lost"

    "According to the law, [openly carrying] in a vehicle is against the law if the weapon is concealed" -Flamethrower (think about it....)

    Carrying an XDm 9mm with Hornady Critical Defense hollowpoint. Soon to be carrying a Ruger along with it....

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    When I got my latest 45 I changed the mag release to an extended style because the stock one was very hard to push, it took both hands to push it. It works much easier now.
    It also came with the beaver tail grip safety which I was glad of. It only takes one hammer bite to make one want it. My previous 45 did not have that and more than one I got bit because of the way I gripped the gun.
    As you can see in the picture I don't have to worry about hammer bite any more.
    I have no plans to carry my 45 ever because I prefer my XD40.

  15. #15
    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Pics on the first post now.

    Just wondering, why ia ditching the factory mags preffered? In my experience the mags that come with the gun never had issue but third party mags do....

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    "A Right Un-exercised is a Right Lost"

    "According to the law, [openly carrying] in a vehicle is against the law if the weapon is concealed" -Flamethrower (think about it....)

    Carrying an XDm 9mm with Hornady Critical Defense hollowpoint. Soon to be carrying a Ruger along with it....

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    Founder's Club Member thebigsd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Baked on Grease View Post
    Pics on the first post now.

    Just wondering, why ia ditching the factory mags preffered? In my experience the mags that come with the gun never had issue but third party mags do....

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    Sprinfield magazines are probably fine. However most standard 1911 mags are mass-produced and quality is not always the highest priority. My RIA magazines sucked. Wilson Combat and Chip McCormick have both developed reputations for producing high quality magazines and other gun parts. Try your magazines out for awhile, stick with them if they function well. On another note you can't go wrong with extra magazines in general.

    Thanks for the pics, looks like a great gun.
    Last edited by thebigsd; 12-25-2011 at 01:19 PM.
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    I just looked at the pictures and the last two show exactly why you need a beaver tail grip safety. If that is how you grip the gun when you fire it you WILL be getting blood all over it!

  18. #18
    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeeper1 View Post
    I just looked at the pictures and the last two show exactly why you need a beaver tail grip safety. If that is how you grip the gun when you fire it you WILL be getting blood all over it!
    Yeah... big hands make me grip the gun really high. Haven't had an issue yet, but time will tell. I've got 1000 rounds of Federal coming, so I will have plenty more opportunity to destroy my hand.

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    "A Right Un-exercised is a Right Lost"

    "According to the law, [openly carrying] in a vehicle is against the law if the weapon is concealed" -Flamethrower (think about it....)

    Carrying an XDm 9mm with Hornady Critical Defense hollowpoint. Soon to be carrying a Ruger along with it....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baked on Grease View Post
    Part of the reason I got the 1911 is so I could do all the work myself. I don't have any smithing experience per se, but I am very mechanicly inclined and learn fast. I've already DCOA'd it once to learn what's what, took forever to figure out how it goes back together It will be my baby for a few years at least. But don't tell my wife I said that! lol

    I will definately want a new safety, I have large hands and the stock safety kinda hurts, it is not long enough for me to comfortably disengage quickly during draw.

    Although it says Mil-Spec, I think there are modern additions that aren't quite original to the 1911 platform from what I hear. I can change out the sights, it has dovetail grooves to remove and replace the sights, which is priority number 1. The stock Novak three dot sights are abysmal in the slightest shadow. The front sight simply disapears if light doesn't hit it right.

    Give me a few hours and I'll upload pics to the first post of the gin as it is now...

    Sent using tapatalk
    I know I will get flak for this, but I have done this on several handguns and rifles.

    I you know how to take it apart, do it again and stone/ polish THE SIDES of the hammer/trigger/sear you just want to take the rough machine marks off.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOfKdYNs1R4

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    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cazman1954 View Post
    I know I will get flak for this, but I have done this on several handguns and rifles.

    I you know how to take it apart, do it again and stone/ polish THE SIDES of the hammer/trigger/sear you just want to take the rough machine marks off.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOfKdYNs1R4
    Actually, everything works as smooth as can be atm. I haven't checked for burrs but I was surprised at how clean and smooth the action is. I'll have to take it down again and check this, thanks.


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    "A Right Un-exercised is a Right Lost"

    "According to the law, [openly carrying] in a vehicle is against the law if the weapon is concealed" -Flamethrower (think about it....)

    Carrying an XDm 9mm with Hornady Critical Defense hollowpoint. Soon to be carrying a Ruger along with it....

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    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Marco; 12-29-2011 at 01:14 PM.
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    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matt2636 View Post
    why not just buy 1911 with all them upgrades already on it?
    Because I want to do them myself, and I don't have $1900 to spend on a gun that has upgrades, but way way more than I want or need.

    Start small and simple and in a few years I will have the perfect gun for me. Let me play with a "basic" model for a while to get a feel for what i'd like to change so I don't end up spending too much on it.


    As an aside, I went to the range yesterday, blew 400 rounds of Federal and only 3 FTF. Upon closer inspection it was not the gun, but the rounds themselves at fault, they were set low and cockeyed in the cartridge (set too low and uneven) and further attempts to feed were fruitless for those rounds. Don't worry, I was not about to fire thwm if the fed, just was confirming that it was the bullet not the mag or the hin itself.

    While I didn't get any slide bite, after 400 rounds the webbing between my thumb and forefinger was quite red and sore. I am wondering if getting a beavertail safety would help with this. More material to brace against I am thinking...

    Also, I really do need to change the front sight post, it is horrendous to do double taps with.



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    "A Right Un-exercised is a Right Lost"

    "According to the law, [openly carrying] in a vehicle is against the law if the weapon is concealed" -Flamethrower (think about it....)

    Carrying an XDm 9mm with Hornady Critical Defense hollowpoint. Soon to be carrying a Ruger along with it....

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    Regular Member jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    i would swap out and/or work on internals before doing anything to the outside. for one, change the recoil spring to an 18 lb spring. then maybe do a trigger job, so it breaks at 4 lbs. if you have hammerbite issues, then you might want to change the hammer to a Commander style one.
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  24. #24
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    congrats.....my first 1911 was also a spring mil-spec. I have over 10000rds with only 1 mod and that was a new barrel at around 5000 rounds......maybe some day I'll do something more with it.....only reason for the new barrel was my groups were starting to open up a bit more that I liked.....a very good handgun IMOP.....
    1984 Vintage CZ75 Daily Open Carry

  25. #25
    Regular Member g17585's Avatar
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    I have that gun.

    I bought the same exact 1911 and I love it. All I've done so far is put on the extended safety (I'm lefty so the ambi was also a must) and I couldn't be happier. I think I'll get the extended beavertail safety and maybe SS screws for the grips. I love the wooden grips that it comes with, I hate the plastic ones though.

    Excellent choice of a gun!

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