1911 45ACP to 9mm conversion

1911 45ACP to 9mm conversion

This is a discussion on 1911 45ACP to 9mm conversion within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I love 1911s but the cost of shooting several hundred rounds of 45 a month is sinking me. I wouldn't mind shooting 9mm recreationally as ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Moga's Avatar
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    1911 45ACP to 9mm conversion

    I love 1911s but the cost of shooting several hundred rounds of 45 a month is sinking me.

    I wouldn't mind shooting 9mm recreationally as long as its through a 1911. Shot 300 rounds last month through a double-stack Para in 9mm and had A BLAST! 9mm 1911s are not the cheapest platforms to acquire though, as the 18-9 I'm referring to is near $800 everywhere I look. Don't have that in my budget just yet so it remains on the back burner for now.

    I need a new bushing for my Commander so I browsed Brownells earlier. While looking for bushings I ran across barrels. Brownells have several reputable custom manufacturers (Ed Brown, Wilson, Bar-Sto etc) that offer drop-in 9mm barrels for the 1911. That's what got me thinking about it.

    How feasible would it be to "convert" a 45ACP to 9mm by means of swapping barrels, magazines, and springs? Can it be reliably done without gunsmithing or would it require match fitting to ensure reliability? I can much easier come up with a few hundred dollars for the parts for a conversion than I can seven or eight large for a new 1911. The cheaper 9mm ammo required to feed the mutant would be more economical, too.

    Truthfully I know nothing of gunsmithing so I haven't an appreciation for the finer aspects of such an endeavor. Please enlighten me.
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  2. #2
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    Not as easy as you might think.

    You would need a new 9mm slide since the width of the breech face is different.
    The frame feed ramp would need to be welded up and remilled to a different width and angle & the ejector location moved.

    If you want your 1911 to do double duty and be able to shoot it cheaply then buy a .22 Long Rifle conversion kit for it. Then you can switch out the whole top end in 2 minutes & you can't get much more inexpensive recreational shooting than .22 LR.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    QK is right there is a lot to do to get a 9mm top end to run correctly on a 45 bottom

    I have a 22 kit for mine just got it and swaping because i have a target kit takes 5-10 mins depend how fast you feel that day


    I have a kit from the same company for my glock and it has been uber reliable shooting 22 is way cheeper than even 9mm can ba had for

  4. #4
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    go the .22 route or buy a new gun.

  5. #5
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    The old Star pistols from spain had the same manual of arms as a 1911 and many felt real similar ( grip angle ect.. ) . Star had qc control issues in the 70s , but many before and after were the equil of any pistol made . I dont have as much faith in llama , but a fiew good ones did slip out i guess lol . Point is , look for the manual of arms and grip angle .. dont limit your self to a " pure " 1911 . Just my thoughts ymmv .
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  6. #6
    Member Array jbuck's Avatar
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    I like the 22 conversion for my 1911's. The swap out is just a few minutes, shooting is a lot cheaper but you still retain the 45 cal for your carry weapon.
    My conversion was about $320 (Wilson) the only problem was the cost of extra magazines, $43.
    Great fun for plinking, target and or training.

    JBuck

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array razorblade's Avatar
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    I wanted to do the same thing several years ago. I stopped when I realized what was required to convert a 45acp into a 9mm (as QKshooter mentioned).

    You might want to look into a Marvel 22 conversion, I hear they are pretty accurate.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array Moga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud White View Post
    I have a 22 kit for mine just got it and swaping because i have a target kit takes 5-10 mins depend how fast you feel that day
    This contingency is what I envisioned with a 9mm swap instead of 22LR.

    I can't understand how the manufacturers I mentioned can call their offerings "drop-in" in good faith if there is so much required to make 9mm fire on a 1911.

    At any rate, thanks people for sharing your insight. I was skeptical at the outset of the thought, because, if it could easily be done I thought to myself that someone would have thought of it long before me. Since I hadn't heard anyone discuss it on the various boards I haunt, I figured it must be exhaustive to complete.

    I'm now bidding on a P22 w/5" & 3.4" barrel at gunbroker. I guess this little pistol will have to quench my thirst for making a boom on the range so often.

    Somehow I doubt it will, though.
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  9. #9
    Member Array steve_db's Avatar
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    I think EAA .45 is built to be swappable between .45, .40 and 9mm.
    I was looking at one a while ago (decided it was too heavy for my carry) and remember this feature.
    EAA offers the kits - slide, barrel and mags.
    I've read good things about EAA and they're inexpensive ($300-$400) iirc.

  10. #10
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    Post Drop In Parts To Answer Your Question

    "I can't understand how the manufacturers I mentioned can call their offerings "drop-in" in good faith if there is so much required to make 9mm fire on a 1911."

    The barrel makers never intended a 9mm drop in replacement barrel to drop into a .45acp pistol.
    It would be a 9mm "drop in" to your 9mm pistol.

    A "Drop In" 9mm barrel would drop in as a replacement barrel for a Colt that was already chambered for 9mm and likewise "Drop In" .45 barrels are "drop in" replacement parts for 1911s already chambered for .45acp.

    Some parts are interchangeable between "like pistols" of different calibers - for instance a mainspring housing ~r grip safety or a hammer - hammer strut.

    In addition to that...even if you buy a "Drop In" .45acp barrel with a pre-fit bushing for a Colt .45 pistol ~ it will not always drop right in to your pistol.
    "Drop In" USUALLY means some minor gun smithing or fitting may be required such as the barrel hood area or you may need to determine the correct size barrel link and possibly fit the OD of the barrel bushing to the slide.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Hey I can't afford huge quantities of centerfire fodder at the moment either.

    Ruger 22/45 with the slab slide barrel. It's $287. Shoot all day for $11. It'll pay for itself in two maybe three outings easily.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array darkvibe's Avatar
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    I did a lot of research on this. It's not possible. Well, maybe possible, but def. NOT practical. It would be cheaper to buy a second gun. QK's first reply in this thread pretty much says all I found.

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