1911 options
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Old 08-24-2010, 03:35 AM   #1
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Default 1911 options

So what options, modifications, custom work, et cetera would you put on/have done to a 1911?

I am thinking about buying my first 1911 but after the basic upgrades I don't even know what the upgrades do anymore.

I'm a lefty and I have some understanding of the options available for 1911s so I know that I want:

Ambidextrous safety
Ambidextrous magazine release
Adjustable and/or night sights
Lowered and flared ejection port
Beveled magazine well

Probably a trigger job. Maybe checkering on the mainspring and front strap as well.

After that I don't know how effective/useful/necessary these things are:

Fit slide to frame
Fully ramped and supported chamber
barrel and bushing vs bull barrel
bobtail mainspring vs normal mainspring (I guess I will have to shoot these to find out)
Full length guide rod vs regular guide rod

So, in summation, I would like to know what you would put on a 1911 to increase performance, reliability, etc... so I don't blow money on things that don't matter.

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Old 08-24-2010, 04:56 AM   #2
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Reworked extractor- IMHO, the weak point of the 1911.
Extended grip safety- to reduce hammer bite.
Polish the feed ramp.

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Old 08-24-2010, 06:36 AM   #3
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To start with:
Ambi Safety
S&A Ambi Mag release
Decent trigger
Decent Sights

Then others.

Or purchase one with some mods already done. Some models have everything done, with the exception of the mag release.

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Old 08-24-2010, 07:20 AM   #4
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Bobtail, trigger job, stainless parts.

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Old 08-24-2010, 07:50 AM   #5
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Most reliability problems come from mags and the type of bullet. Don't go cheap on the cost of the mag. A $2400.00 1911 is useless if the $5.00 mag breaks.

Look at the cost of having mods done versus the cost of buying one with the mods already done.

I do not have adjustable sights on any m1911a1. Once I have the load it likes, I keep it.

Some full length recoil guides make it harder to disassemble/reassemble (especially if you lose the little tool that comes with it.)

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Old 08-24-2010, 08:28 AM   #6
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You don't mention your budget for a 1911 which determines what level of 1911 you will get. Other than the entry level 1911s, most have the stuff on your list already. Other than the ambi mag release, your list pretty much describes all the mid-level models such as the Kimbers and the Springer Loaded. The stuff I recommend to all new 1911 owners is good mags and lots of ammo to learn the platform.

In general, it's cheaper and easier to buy one with the options you want as they will be factory fit and ready to run. If it's going to be a carry gun, things like low profile sights and a bobtail become important - not so much on a range gun. While there's a ton of stuff available for a 1911 and Brownells even publishes a 1911 specific catalog - you can spend a ton of money and really not add anything. Look at the Springer Loaded, here's my Loaded Long Slide Target - which cost me $999 NIB. The only things I did to it was put on the Pachmayr grips and change the flat MSH for an arched MSH - which is just personal preference...

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Old 08-24-2010, 01:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGIB View Post
You don't mention your budget for a 1911 which determines what level of 1911 you will get. Other than the entry level 1911s, most have the stuff on your list already. Other than the ambi mag release, your list pretty much describes all the mid-level models such as the Kimbers and the Springer Loaded. The stuff I recommend to all new 1911 owners is good mags and lots of ammo to learn the platform.

In general, it's cheaper and easier to buy one with the options you want as they will be factory fit and ready to run. If it's going to be a carry gun, things like low profile sights and a bobtail become important - not so much on a range gun. While there's a ton of stuff available for a 1911 and Brownells even publishes a 1911 specific catalog - you can spend a ton of money and really not add anything. Look at the Springer Loaded, here's my Loaded Long Slide Target - which cost me $999 NIB. The only things I did to it was put on the Pachmayr grips and change the flat MSH for an arched MSH - which is just personal preference...

Yes, I didn't mention a price range but that is because I don't have to pay very much to get the things that I KNOW that I want. I want to get as many custom features from the factory that I can if they are worth it. I really don't want to get the gun and then immediately wish for one little thing and have to send it off without being able to enjoy it.

The specific upgrades that I said I don't understand are where the price starts to really increase. And, I just want to find out if those things actually benefit the weapon. I don't want shiny feed ramps, bull barrels, and other things I don't know about if they really don't do anything. I just want to know what they do so I can decide if I want to just have them on the gun, stock, from the factory.
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danf_fl View Post
Most reliability problems come from mags and the type of bullet. Don't go cheap on the cost of the mag. A $2400.00 1911 is useless if the $5.00 mag breaks.

Look at the cost of having mods done versus the cost of buying one with the mods already done.

I do not have adjustable sights on any m1911a1. Once I have the load it likes, I keep it.

Some full length recoil guides make it harder to disassemble/reassemble (especially if you lose the little tool that comes with it.)
Cool I will look into quality magazines. About the full length guide rod... besides difficulty of field strip... what does it do? Why did someone even decide to change it in the first place?
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Old 08-24-2010, 01:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iMagUdspEllr View Post
Cool I will look into quality magazines. About the full length guide rod... besides difficulty of field strip... what does it do? Why did someone even decide to change it in the first place?
A FLGR is one of those things that adds nothing at all to the gun. Some guns come with them, some don't - and either will work just fine. Many add-ons to the 1911 only benefit the company selling them.

I highly recommend that you do a little searching here on the site. Many of us 1911 guys (myself, Canebrake, Dillinger, Lonyeager, and many others) have posted a wealth of information about the platform. I wrote a thread some time back about FLGRs...
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