Mainspring Housing: Flat or Arched?
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:22 AM   #1
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Default Mainspring Housing: Flat or Arched?

I own a few 1911 variants and I've fired a few dozen others over the years, but they've all had flat mainspring housings. I've seen a few arched ones, but I've never had the opportunity to fire one. I also noticed that almost all the 1911's on the market come from the factory with the flat style. What's up with the 1911A1 Arched housings, does anyone use them anymore? Are there any benefits to them or was it just a fashion thing that went out of style?

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Old 03-27-2008, 03:44 AM   #2
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Agree, seems that the A1 arched is out of "style", was one of the first things to go when the 1911 mods kicked in for production guns. The cut down ejection port, better sights etc are all in the same category. Personal preference, I like the flat mainspring housing better than the arched, better fit for me.
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Old 04-01-2008, 02:14 PM   #3
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I had never used a FLAT housing 1911 until last weekend. Now I have both; a 5" with an arched and an Officer's with a flat.

As shipped, I liked the arched better... I noticed "something missing" from the flat housing gun.

Then I replaced the grips on my Officer's with ultra thin grips. That made a big difference. I much prefer the flat housing with the thin grips.. they seem to compliment each other, making a generally tighter package. With the full thickness grips, I like the arched housing. It somehow seems to "continue the lines" of the handle... I guess is the best way to put it...


Just my 2 cents.

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Old 04-17-2008, 08:47 AM   #4
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I have a few arched and a few flat housings on my Colts but have the flat on both my Wilsons. I know the difference is supposed to assist in aligning the axis of the bore with that of the forearm and provide the proper sight plane with the eye, however, I shoot one just as good as I do the other.
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Old 04-17-2008, 10:42 AM   #5
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The best way to find out is to get some friends who have pistols with both and run a couple of mags out of each of them.

The one you go with is the most comfortable for you. Accuracy comes into play too.

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Old 04-17-2008, 07:23 PM   #6
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For me, the arched is far superior. I don't have hands. I have paws. The arched fills my hand better and points more true.

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Old 05-19-2008, 10:58 PM   #7
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I've got some of each on my 1911s. I grew up with arched MSHs and they felt "best" until I logged enough trigger time with the flat ones. I've got fairly large hands and long fingers, and used to prefer a long trigger with an arched MSH. Currently I prefer a long trigger with a flat MSH. I shoot both styles equally well, even if one feels a little better on a given day. I'm sometimes forced to shoot Glocks too. They don't feel ANYTHING like a 1911, but I can adapt. Use what feels best, and practice enough to shoot well with whatever.

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Old 05-24-2008, 05:53 AM   #8
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I only own one 1911, a Springfield Mil Spec that I had Springfield Custom do a trigger job and some other work on. I also had them change out the arched MSH for a flat one. I had Novak's install fiber optic sights and I've added Hogue finger groove grips. It is everything that I desire in a 1911 without a bunch of superfluous (and expensive) stuff.

I work part time in a gunshop and enjoy checking out the high dollar Nighthawks, Wilsons, Browns and others. But for me, what I've got works just fine.

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