So how interchangeable are they?

So how interchangeable are they?

This is a discussion on So how interchangeable are they? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Okay, I'm probably going to learn more than I cared to know here, but I'm sure I can be set straight in any event. Certain ...

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Thread: So how interchangeable are they?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    Dec 2004

    So how interchangeable are they?

    Okay, I'm probably going to learn more than I cared to know here, but I'm sure I can be set straight in any event.

    Certain firearms I have known and loved such as the AK47, AR15, SKS, etc. are what I call in my mind a "pattern" gun, meaning that I can basically take one part of another gun of the same pattern and stick it on the other gun and it will work, at least in theory. I understand in reality the production tolerances for a lot of the milsurps/imports are so loose that such compatbility is not a reality, but at least in theory you can take the gas tube from one AK47 and stick it on another and it will work.

    The other thing that occurs to me is these are all long guns. I've had every long gun I own apart except for two... heck in two cases I had to build the gun from the parts, and in one case I had to completely dissassemble the gun and then reassemble it. I'd never try that with any of my handguns however, the parts in my handguns are much too fine and precise for me to manipulate comfortably. Well I did manage to get the magazine brake out of my CZ, but that's trivial.

    Anyway my question brings me to the 1911 format: If I understand correctly, if I have a Government profile slide and frame, I should be able to put parts from a Kimber onto a Colt, from a Springfield onto a Wilson, or from my Norinco onto a Les Baer and vice versa etc etc and it should all work, at least in theory.

    So how interchangeable are they really? I'm guessing it's pretty flexible because people put Colt parts in everything. Heck, I've even seen on this forum people using parts from different caliber 1911 format pistols in their traditional 1911.

  2. #2
    VIP Member (Retired Staff) Array P95Carry's Avatar
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    I am not the 1911 knowledge fount at all but - ''flexible'' is maybe fraught with uncertainty because so many supposed ''drop-in'' parts can need at least slight tweaks or adjustments. IIRC the trigger group is perhaps where this potential problem comes home to roost sometimes.

    I'll be interested to hear from the afficionados on this.
    Chris - P95
    NRA Certified Instructor & NRA Life Member.

    "To own a gun and assume that you are armed
    is like owning a piano and assuming that you are a musician!." - a portal for 2A links, articles and some videos.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    on 1911's if they all use the last set of government specs then yes you could swap slide and frame but ti wont be as good as hand fit parts as the 1911 was designed that way ..

    Where as a glock and Xd are you can just swap barrel frame triggers parts with no fitting and go right back to shooting ..

    Not many pistols and no revolver's are able to swap parts easily

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  5. #4
    Senior Member Array '75scout's Avatar
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    Feb 2006
    Another reason why I LOVE my GLOCK.

  6. #5
    OD* is online now
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    Array OD*'s Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    As Bud mentioned, if they are built to original Ordnance specifications, chances are good parts will inter-change, otherwise it's a crap shoot. Chris is also correct in his belief that the majority of so called "drop-in" parts aren't really a drop-in only proposition.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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  7. #6
    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    May 2005
    Pretty much anything you put in/on will require some "tuning". The safeties, obviously, have to fit perfectly; slide release may need a bit of tweaking to be properly activated by your mags and engage the slide, etc. etc..

    Now, you can drop most parts in, if you're willing to live with overly tight fits, or less commonly, some "slop". A set of needle files, a Dremel, and some 320/400 wet-dry paper, and a good 4 square ceramic stone, and you can do most anything you need to on a 1911. Comparing Glock to a Springfield TRP or similar is totally apples to oranges. A stock mil-spec 1911 will be only less "plug-n-play" than the Glock in its safeties.

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