customizing the 1911

customizing the 1911

This is a discussion on customizing the 1911 within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm considering a few small changes to my 1911 should I decide to keep it. Here is the most recent picture of it: Some of ...

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Thread: customizing the 1911

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array CombatEffective's Avatar
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    customizing the 1911

    I'm considering a few small changes to my 1911 should I decide to keep it. Here is the most recent picture of it:



    Some of the external modifactions I am considering are a change to the grip safety and another change in the grip panels. I'm also considering taking off the Wilson Combat front strap and trying non-skid tape like I have on my Ruger P95.

    One of the things that I don't like about this 1911 is that the I can't keep a positive, consistant grip on it. It feels like there is a "void" along the backstrap that just isn't comfortable to me. I like a very high grip, and I just can't get a solid contact in the area under the beavertail/tang like I do on other bottomfeeders. I have not noticed this problem when handling Kimbers. I was checking out their webpare earlier, and I noticed that the grip safeties on their pistols do not have the flange on them just above the mainspring housing like my Springfield does. Note the grip safety in the following pic:



    The grip safety in that one seems to have a flatter profile and appears that it would have a flatter backstrap whereas the grip safety on my Springer has that flange in it just above the housing that may be causing the grip to not feel solid to me. I wonder if a change in this area might help. I have noticed other brand pistols with an even flatter profile on the grip safety.

    As far as grip panels go, I changed from the factory panels to the Hogues that are on it now because the checkoring on the factory panels was too sharp. It hurt to grip with them, and it made it difficult to slide my support hand into position when aquiring the two-handed grip. The current panels allow for easy, comfortable gripping, but they are not the best for maintaining a positive grip under sustained fire. I may try to use leather or denim to knock the sharpness off the checkering on the factory grips or just find a set of checkered panels that are not as sharp as the factory panels.

    Internally, I would like to improve the trigger on this pistol. It's fine as is for combat style shooting, but I would like it better for more precise shooting. I have shot a Springfield Trophy Match 1911 that had a very nice trigger on it, and precise shots were not a problem for me with that pistol. I'm wondering if maybe some light polishing on the engagement surfaces would help, or maybe I should change out the sear to one of the match grade sears from McCormick, Brown, or Wilson Combat.

    I'm open to comments and other suggestions.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    How does the wilson add on checkering for the front strap work? does it stay in place easy?

    On to the grip How about a Arched mainspring housing wont fill the void up a lot but seems to fill the palm better... I like arched over flat due to my hand size.

    The Speed Bump on the grip safety i prefer just to make sure ya get the dang safety off so it goes boom.


    If your gonna change anyparts Go with Ed Brown Hardcore

    Or Wilson's Bulletproof good sstuff ..Bad thing with CMC is the parts are MIM and if i replacing a MIM sear im sure not gonna replace it with another one.


    I was sitting there looking at the brownells catalog thinking of customizing my springer some and my 1911sc to mostly cosmetics on the on the 1911sc

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    Senior Member Array CombatEffective's Avatar
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    I generally like a straight backstrap like on the traditional S&W autos. I have considered the arched housing, and I may try it at some point.

    The front strap stays in place okay, but I think I'll try the tape to see how it does. It has worked very well on my P95.

    Thanks for the advice on the parts.
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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Check out www.brownells.com and get the Kuhnhausen (sp?) shop manual. Stoning of the hammer hooks, sear, and trigger pathway will do miraculous things! Be sure to study up first, though; it's not hard to made a ND-in-waiting, if you get carried away. With the grips, you can sand the checkered ones, to remove the most agressive ridges, and wipe down with a coat of stock-oil, or (my favorite) same treatment on the smooth grips you have. Taking off the factory laquer-layers does remove some of the "protection" to the wood, but your swety palms will definitely get a better purchase.

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    Senior Member Array CombatEffective's Avatar
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    Thanks.

    I've found a bunch of info online. I think that giving everything a good polish on the contact points would work wonders, but I'm not opposed to stoning something if need be.

    I do have Stephen Camp's 1911 book.
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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    How is his book i thought of ordering it ... Also the kuhnhausen book is a must cant believe i forgot about it its sitting right here as i was reading some stuff last night

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    Senior Member Array CombatEffective's Avatar
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    I haven't delved into it. I ordered it a while back and it is my stack of "to reads".
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    Senior Member Array Prospector's Avatar
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    Gotta agree with ya on the beavertail...that extra metal hanging out there would seem uncomfortable....but I also notice that just below it there seems to be an "additional" slab of metal attached to the backstrap....what the heck is that? Appears to make the overall grip larger than usual...if you bought it used, perhaps it was owned by a basketball player with frying pan sized hands. I'm not real partial to frontstrap serrations either....prefer smooth metal up there.....but, that's just me.
    "Endeavor To Persevere"
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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    heres a good site i came across today for you smithing needs
    http://www.blindhogg.com/

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    Member Array scratchy wilson's Avatar
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    Try a set of Alumagrips?
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    Quote Originally Posted by scratchy wilson
    Try a set of Alumagrips?
    I really like AlumaGrips
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

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    Member Array George Hill's Avatar
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    I'd suggest spending your money on something less than just cosmetic...
    Improved sights... like the Ashley XS/247... or if you like the ones you have, perhaps a lubricating finish such as NP3 or similar.

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    Member Array Zach S's Avatar
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    Try shooting high-thumb. My Kimbers fit a lot better when I started shooting high thumb, however my Colt got worse (it had a Ed Brown memory groove safety on it, it was cut deep and high-thumb wasnt so comfortable).

    I also had trouble dealing with sharp checkering on grips, not just gripping the pistol but for carry as well. The gun was my Para Companion, and I replaced the grips with rubber ones from Kimber. Now all my 1911s wear them, and I have two pairs (one for a GM, another for an OM) in case I buy another 1911 and there aren't any in stock.

    One more thing, I dont worry about replacing one MIM part with another, as long as the replacement MIM part doesnt come from Kimber...

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    Senior Member Array CombatEffective's Avatar
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    I bought a spongelike thing today that said it is the same as 150 grit sandpaper. I got it in the painting section at Home Depot. I sanded the factory grips some to break the sharp points off of the checkering. I then rubbed them down with a light coat of tung oil, and they look very nice. I'm letting them dry overnight. I'll put them back on the pistol and see if they feel better when actually on the pistol.

    I also took some fine steel wool (the synthetic kind) to the Hogue smooth panels shown in the above picture. I took some of the laquer off of them and gave them a light coat of oil. I'll probably sand them a little and give them another light coat of oil.
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    CombatEffective

    Grip safeties are not hard to replace, if you don't care for the one that is on it. The little speed bump at the base of the safety is for those shooters that shoot high thumb (thumb on top of the safety). Some have trouble engaging a standard grip safety with the high thumb hold.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, don’t give them a tomorrow."

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