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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I finally got around to taking pictures of the parts that I replaced and the parts that are stock. First off, if you haven't seen a picture, here it is.




It is a Springfield Armory GI 5" Parkerized. Model # PW9108L. I got it for $420 out the door at a gunshow.

The main thing I didn't like about this gun is the ILS safety in the Main Spring Housing. It has a little key that you use to turn a little nub in the MSH to lock the mainspring cap so the hammer won't cock.

I got out my Brownells cataloge and started writing down the number of the parts that need replace. (Main Spring Cap, Main Spring Retainer Pin, Main Spring, and Plunger) You can see the parts and the difference between the factory SA parts and the Colt parts.



The little 'L' shaped silver piece was another one of my worries. SA suggest that before you take out the MSH you need to cock the hammer and place the little 'L' shaped piece where the Retaining Pin would go. It will keep the Plunger from flying out.

It should like like this.



I would rather have the retaining pin, then I don't have to worry about loosing another tool or part.

My next concern was the Firing Pin. SA uses a Titanium Firing Pin and an extra powerfull spring. They do this as a drop safety. I don't really care for it. So I replaced them with a Wilson Bullet Proof Firing Pin and Colt factory Firing Pin Spring.



I did shoot it quite a bit with the stock FP and FPS and had no problems. It was just a personal preference.

Next I found out that the stock grip safety and the webbing of my hand were not going to work well together. So, I went back to the Brownells cat. and ordered a Kings Drop-in Grip Safety. I figured I would have to do some fitting but I installed it, did all the safety checks and badda bing badda boom I was in business. Here you can see the difference in the two.





Here is just another shot of the Grip Safety.



I also replace the recoil spring with a 16lbs one as Springfield Armory uses a 14lbs spring out of the factory.

Right now I am working on new grips. (making them myself). I finally got the correct bit and should have time to work on them today. If I am able to get around to actually working on them and get them done then I will post pictures of them as well. The grips are really bothering me now. I just can't get into the 'US' on them.

If you have any questions feel free to ask.

clipse
 

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Clipse this is a really great post, especially for someone like me who normally doesn't bother to change too much about their gun.

I've seen the Springfield GIs going around a lot, and although I liked the price, I was always thinking "Yeah it's cheaper that the MilSpec but I don't like it at all..."

Edit: oh and I kept thinking about how awful those grips were too! They make the gun look so cheap!

The more I played with the model the more I realized I didn't like it very much at all. I think what you've done here are some relatively simple changes that should make it a whole lot sweeter.

I was curious if you were going to do anything about the sights. I realize that is personal preference, but when I looked at the GI that was the first thing I noticed. I shriveled up at the sight of them (pun intended).

I don't own a 1911 and probably never will, but it's always interesting to me to see someone taking any gun that isn't quite everything it could be and making it work.

I like your configuration better. I think 1911's would appeal to me a lot more if the factory would do some of these common aftermarket improvements on all their models, straight out of the box. It doesn't cost the factory a red cent to use a better firing pin or safety. Contracting out certain components to other companies is the way I'd run a gun manufacturing plant.

I've often been tempted to write a letter to Ruger and tell them they should just let Mec Gar do their magazines and let Hogue do their factory grips for the same reason. They should probably also just quit doing their own barrels and use Colt's. A Ruger action with a Colt barrel seems to make an excellent revolver. I mean come on, Smith and Wesson and Walther Arms went together and made a good model. You'd think gun makers would learn.
 

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Nice , imay pick up a mil. spec or GI , but just for plinking. Always liked the feel of the 1911.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have thought about doing something to the sights. I was thinking about Tapan sights but hadn't decided for sure yet. I really like my GI. I like it even more now. I still have a few other plans for it as well, like a wide spur hammer, and sear and disconnect to match. What I was wanting was a no frills 1911 that was more than plesant to shoot and that looked fairly nice. I think I am really getting there with this. As soon as the grips go I will be 10 times happier.


clipse
 

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Heres my Springfield GI, Santa Claus brought me this one and Ive been tinkering with it ever since. Its got a Cylinder & Slide hammer, sear, disconnector, leaf spring, MSH guts, ambi safety, videcki trigger, and misc pin set. MSH is a Smith & Alexander. Ive got King sights on the way, a S&A grip safety, and gunner grips to replace the GI grips that I chopped up while fitting the ambi safety.

 

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Clipse was you firing pin a 9mm or a regular 45 ... i just wonder as i was looking at getting a spare to have and the manual says in my loaded and uncles trp they are 9mm pins
 

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Discussion Starter #8
its a 9mm/38 super firing pin.

Here are the grips that I made for it today.




 

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I agree, I like the looks of your grips, smooth grips are definitely the way to go if youre using wood. Why people cut into the grain and mess up the pattern is beyond me.
 

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The Reason is Grip you checker grips so that when your hands get wet, or God forbid bloody, you can hold on to your gun.

In the real world, in a gunfight, you get messy. wet, muddy, bloody and several other things that can cause you to lose the ability to hold on to your gun.

I like smooth wood as well, however, if you are going to carry for self-defense, I suggest checked grips.
 

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Nice pics, clipse, keep us updated on your progress with the SA GI. :smile:
 

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Hey, those are very nice grips-what kind of wood did you use?
 

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Smooth or Checkered Grips?

acparmed said:
The Reason is Grip you checker grips so that when your hands get wet, or God forbid bloody, you can hold on to your gun.

In the real world, in a gunfight, you get messy. wet, muddy, bloody and several other things that can cause you to lose the ability to hold on to your gun.

I like smooth wood as well, however, if you are going to carry for self-defense, I suggest checked grips.
Nope, I'd disagree. Your premise applies to open and overt infantry style combat. "WET, MUDDY & BLOODY" describes a battlefield, not a parking garage mugging. Or a terror attack inside the local mall. I think that for CCW peuposes, smooth grips are the way to go to keep your cover garment from snagging on the draw or grabbing during daily wear and causing a "print through" situation that will clearly reveal to even the most untrained observer that you are indeed armed.
 

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ExSoldier762 said:
Nope, I'd disagree. Your premise applies to open and overt infantry style combat. "WET, MUDDY & BLOODY" describes a battlefield, not a parking garage mugging. Or a terror attack inside the local mall. I think that for CCW peuposes, smooth grips are the way to go to keep your cover garment from snagging on the draw or grabbing during daily wear and causing a "print through" situation that will clearly reveal to even the most untrained observer that you are indeed armed.
I think we might have to agree to disagree on this point ExSoldier. While you are correct in most of your post, I offer the following: When faced with a life or death decision will your hands start to sweat? Does it rain where you live? When walking through it do you get your hands wet? If you get knocked down before your decision to draw, will you get muddy?

If you are in a water fight will you get wet? If you are in a knife fight will you get cut? If you are in a gunfight will you get shot?

All of the above are possible and you should be prepared to cope with each condition as Mr. Murphy will surely show up during your fight for your life.
I too am a former soldier and intimately understand the conditions of a battlefield. While we as CCW holders will not usually have to fight under these conditions, the possibility exists that you could be shot while defending your life and if you have been on a battlefield you know how slippery and slimy blood can get and how difficult it can be to hold on to something under these circumstances.

A light checkering of your grips will not make your gun print, provided that it isn't sharp checkering it won't grab your cover garment.

I have a set of grips on my Kimber CDP that are diagonally half checkered and half smooth, it's called a ranger style checker from Ultra Thin Grips, it provides the best of both worlds.


Just my humble opinion here and you may take it or leave it as you please.
 

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Yup, I have to agree we're gonna have to disagree here. LOL I think that checkered grips are for aesthetics rather than practicality. On my 1911's and my Hi-Power I have soft Hogues. My Sig and Glocks have standard grips. I expect that I'll be able to hang onto my gun under every circumstance. Yes it rains here in Miami, Florida and so it did when I lived in Seattle, Washington. Still every time I have gotten a gun I have changed the grips to Hogue or Pachmyer as my first priority and then my sights to tritiums. My rubber grips are smooth and not "sticky" for exactly the same reason I stated, I have had problems with my cover garment being snagged in the past. I use what works for me. It is the same reason I won't own a S&W auto pistol, the ergonomics of the grips makes it just less stable in my grasp. It always seems as if it's about to squirt outta my hand! Now I can't speak for the new S&W 1911! But all the classic Smith semi autos are like this for me. Each to his own, right? LOL
 

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Speaking for myself I get much better grip on my 1911 from a checkered MSH and skateboard tape in the front; the grip panels really do nothing for my grip to begin with other than fill up space in my hand and make me comfortable when I shoot. For me, regardless of whether or not the grips are checkered, I will shoot the same. It is my preference that the wood grips should be smooth as they look a lot better to me.

None of my combat experience has required the need for a hard checkered grip either, whether Im shooting at Hadji with a M16, M249, or MK19; I never had a problem with a gun slipping away from me, but them again I always wore gloves too.
 

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Smooth or checkered

I have smooth grips on my full sized 1911 because I like 'em like that. I have large hands and when I get a hold on my handgun it ain't going anywhere. I do have Pachmayrs on the Officer's Model because it came that way and I haven't changed it. The other .45's that I don't carry have factory checkered Colt grips on them, but I have three more sets of Pachmayrs if I decide to change. You can never have too much "stuff". (Guess that's why I don't have room to park my truck in the garage.)
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
The part # for the FP is 965-419-001

I prefer smooth grips becuase if grips have too much gripiness to them then your more likely to have a bad grip on the gun when you shoot it after quickly drawing from the holster. When you first draw a pistol from the holster you gernerally don't have a correct grip on the gun. Smooth grips allow you to slide your hands into the correct grip more easily. Just MHO

The grips are made of Walnut.
 
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