Ok I have a Springfield Mil Spec. I like this gun but want to "snaz" it up a bit. I wanted to do a Trigger, Hammer, Beavertail saftey and the main saftey. My question is where can I find these parts so I can do it all myself?? Any suggestions are welcome
Big if your half handy with tools you can do it all , the only reservation i would have is the bevertail, fitting them can be a pain and you have to cut the frame to put on a proper one , that makes mistakes expensive , tho i am shure others will chime inn brownells ( google it ) should be a one stop shop for ya . while your at it pick up a good referance manual for them by say wilson or a host of others there are several good gunsmithing boards including http://www.pistolsmith.com/ to refer to with specific questions as ya go
I'd recommend you think twice unless you invest in high quality manuals that REALLY show the details. Without someone to show you, it's just hard to know what you're doing. I tried to fit an extended thumb safety and just wasn't exactly sure if I was going about the fitting process correctly despite a lot of peoples help and some decent pics of the internet. There is no substitute for having a set of experienced eyes/hands guide you through it the first time. I didn't want to make a mistake so I quit. I did replace my mainspring housing though. I got that done but it took a long time as I was unsure of the steps I was taking. An example is how hard to tap in order to get the main pin back in the mainspring housing. I kept tapping lightly unsure of how hard I needed to hit it. Finally I just gave it a good solid whack and it was in but not until I was pretty frustrated.
I think it would be great fun to have an old unimportant 1911 to simply practice on! If any one has one to "donate" to a wanna be gunsmith, give me a holler! :image035:
So think about it a bit and if you decide to do it, get some real quality manuals or DVD's.
I am speaking from experience when I say, do not waste the money on Snazzing it up. Use the money towards a Loaded series. I had the same idea as you several years ago. I purchased a Stainless Steel Springfield Mil-Spec 1911A1, and wanted to do everything myself.
Well I got reminded that it had been about ten years since I had a 1911 torn apart, and was able to put it back together correctly. Needless to say, after dropping a once beautiful SS 1911 to a gunsmith, and $50 later I learned my lesson.
I don't own that gun anymore, but I have a beautiful Loaded Springfield that shoots great.
The money that you will spend on the gun and parts is not worth it. Espaecially, with all the updated models that are on the market. I payed $570.00 plus SH for my current springfield.
Was going to "snaz up" my first Kimber but my gunsmith whom I deal with talked me out of it and suggested buying what I want instead. He said he would gladly do the mods I wanted but thought that wouldn't be wise because of the cost.
Wow! Honesty does exist.
well you've heard a lot of advise. I'm in the exact same boat. I bought an SA milspec too. When I was researching it, everyone said it was a great first 1911 and many (not necessarily on this site) mentioned that I could always upgrade it later. I think they were really telling me to hold off bying a $1200 dollar gun until I knew whether or not I'd like a 1911. I guess that's not bad advise but now i REALLY wish I had simply waited and bought a loaded model. But then again, by having the mil-spec I've learned more about what I want.
As for whether or not to "snaz" it up, I think you need to ask yourself whether or not this is going to be your only 1911. If it is and you know you won't buy another, then I'd say put a little into it but within reason. I wouldn't try to make it super accurate but I found a local gunsmith that could put nightsights, a different hammer and beavertail, and fit an extended thumb safety for about $250. That's not too bad. I put in a flat mainspring housing; something I did just to help my grip. I'm going to have this work done to my milspec just to finish making the grip feel better and to add better sights. I've added thin grips and that leaves only one thing I wish I could have and that's a checkered front strap. I thing that improves the grip 100%, however, on a parkarized model I think I'd have to have the weapon refinished If i did that and that would add a couple hundred more to get it checkered and finished, actually more like $300 by the time I ship it somewhere. So with the $500 I paid, $250 for some mods, $65 for the extended hammer i bought and the flat mainspring housing I would end up with $1,115 in the gun. And the cost of the Kimber CDO Compact I really want? $1000. Lesson learned! I've been REAL tempted to stop dead in my tracks, sell the mil-spec and then add to it and get what I want, but around here gun shops that I'm familar with basically rip you off on trade-ins! So I'm going to do the $250, wait on the checkering unless I find out they can just touch up the park finish where they worked and call it good.
And someday, i'll get the Kimber CDP Compact! I'll use the Mil-Spec at the range and just hang on to it.
I can't afford to have multiple copes of the same weapon laying around so I wish someone had given me this advise. So, if you're only going to have one 1911 and you want something more than the mil-spec, you might be well advised to stop, sell the mil-spec outright and then get the loaded version.
Big, I know where you're coming from. My first 1911 was a mil-spec. I too figured I could do a few mods to it by myself. However after much research I realized that for the features I wanted I could just get the loaded model and save a couple hundred bucks.
If you still decide to do it yourself pick up the book that Bud was refering to which is" The Colt .45 Automatic" volume 1 and 2 by Jerry Kuhnhausen. Volume 1 is more about the basics of the gun and volume 2 delves(sp?) more into the custom mods .
Do you plan on carrying this 1911 at any point? If so then you need to put some serious thought into doing it yourself. If you mess up then you're pretty much stuck with a lump of metal as most gunsmiths will not do work on guns that have been worked on by anyone else.
If this is something that you just feel like tinkering with then by all means. The 1911 is like the hotrod of handguns considering the amount of modifications and generous aftermarket for them.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
A forum community dedicated to defensive firearm owners and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about everyday carry, optics, holsters, gunsmithing, styles, reviews, accessories, classifieds, and more!