I bought the standard GI model with the intention of upgrading as needed.
I'm a lefty so it got an ambi safety first thing.
The hammer and grip safety were drawing blood (I'm stubborn and have a couple scars from that) so I fitted a beavertail grip safety.
Wood grips just didn't cut it, so it went through another design phase. You see, in the summer, I work my retriever quite a bit, and do a lot of fishing. The pistol rides in a Fobus holster under water a lot in the summer. I began looking around at "tough use" 1911 designs, and settled on the MEU pistol (early model).
So what it ended up with, as a second starting point, was an Ed Brown slide stop, EB beavertail grip safety with no speed bump, Pachmayr grips, Wilson mags, and a few other things. I left the sights stock - I rather like the fine bead they draw. I increased trigger pull weight from 3lbs factory to 7lbs, then slowly brought it down to 4.5-5lbs, where it's perfect for me.
The Pachmayr grips weren't doing it for me - they didn't provide as much support for the right side paddle as did solid grips, they didn't feel right in my hand, and they didn't help support the plunger tube.
Radical Concepts provided the grip. These grips are like the Pachmayrs, but much harder rubber and much more aggressive in their grip.
The ambi safety was changed from STI to Wilson. I just like the Wilson better, and they're easier to cut on and make look good. Thinner paddles for carry is a good thing, I think.
The MSH moved all over the place, so it got replaced with a Brown MSH.
I didn't mess with the accuracy; I could already take out Coke cans at 50yds. Plenty good enough for me.
Here's how it looks at this point:
I redid the safety's coloration to look casehardened. I like the character it gives.
Same deal with the right side. Just enough safety to ride.
I got tired of press checking. The more a gun is messed with throughout the day, the greater the chance of a ND. After discovering my chamber empty ONCE, it became habit to press check before I strapped it on in the morning, and once before bed. I figured a window would be safer.
I had a Hydra-Shok hang on the feed ramp when it was totally dry. There were small machine marks under the bluing, which had worn off, so I polished it. Subsequent chamberings have scratched it up a bit, but it feeds as smooth as butter. Also polished is the extractor and breech face.
Since my sweat has roughly the same PH as HCl, I keep having to reblue the grip safety. The MSH is beginning to look a bit rough as well. I want a new trigger, so I believe it will be getting
1)EGW trigger. These have an overtravel stop, but not the screw in sort. You file it to fit and call it good. As well, it's longer than this trigger and just feels better.
2) Stainless MSH due to the sweat issue.
3) Stainless grip safety, again due to the sweat issue.
But not for a bit. The trigger comes first.
As well, I think I'd like a slightly wider right side safety for my left thumb to ride on, so I'm looking for a right side paddle ("high ride" Wilson's calls it). Wilson will not sell me just the paddle, and I do not need a whole new safety, so that leaves me with the option of finding someone who has one aftermarket.
My opinion of these pistols is this: They function fine from the factory. If I get another, I'll likely carry bob the hammer and radius the grip safety, or (preferably) fit an original 1911, pre-a1, grip safety as they are contoured to the frame. I have some WWII plastic grips laying around here and they'd go on there fine, providing support for the ambi safety I need.
This pistol has been a gem to work on and shoot, and I've learned quite a bit. It's very user friendly and feels at home in my hand, lending itself to instinctual shooting as well.
A final thought on these pistols: If anyone besides the US has a right to make the 1911 pattern pistol, it would be the Filipinos. Look at their role in WWII.