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Discussion Starter #1
Okay.

If, say, in a hypothetical universe constructed entirely of whimsy and fanciful notions, I decided to upgrade my SA 1911-A1 GI...

I just have a simple and basic firearm. I like it, and I have previously said that I didn't want to change anything on it, but I am now considering doing just that due in no small part to lack of funds coupled with a strong desire to experience something new. Don't get me wrong, I know about the need for consistency in training, but improvements can be beneficial. I don't plan on turning the weapon into some gaudy mess of "Kewl Gun Parts", just improving on what is already there for my own defense.

I've noticed that most parts are labeled as being for "70 series" or "80 series" only. What does this mean? Can I still use it/them? Grips are a no-brainer and can well be considered a "drop-in" part. A grip safety is one thing that consistently seems to require a "competent gunsmith". Sights are another matter, and I know that I would again have to seek the assistance of a professional.

There is a guy in town who can do anything I want to the gun, but I have always enjoyed a good DIY project.

The gun's role is my (non-work) EDC. I am aiming for a well conceived SD Firearm.

Any thoughts, ideas, or experiences would be greatly appreciated!
:smoke23:

P.S. Any work done will result in pictures of progress and so on...
 

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series 80 parts are firing pin safety parts.

I'd say, lower the ejection port and refinish if you want a different looking gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Jca1,

So... Series 80 CAN be used on my weapon? How do I know if the lower ejection port is already on my firearm? Any pictures that could demonstrate the differance? Or does SA do this already?

I like the refinish idea...
 

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1911forum has a gunsmithing section where you could get some info from fairly knowledgeable types. I believe that your gun is a 70-series so I'd stick to 70 series parts, though I believe 80 will work in a 70 but not the other way around. From what I understand SA uses different firing pins than most (definitely titanium, possibly a non-standard diameter, can't remember off the top of my head) so you may want to double check on that if you swap that part out at all. It sounds like you'd be making bigger changes than that but I thought it might be worth mentioning. As for the ejection port, I don't think the GI has a lowered/flared one.
 

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My recommendations would be night sights, Beavertail grip safety with speed bump, extended thumb safety and extended mag release. I wouldn't refinish the gun unless your really displeased with the factory finish.
DIY is not a problem if you have the proper tools, a good eye and patience.
When I was an LEO I installed grip safeties, sights, triggers and other parts on fellow officers 1911's. I'm pretty much self taught, but have never had any problems doing the work.
The big drawback with DIY is the cost of the tools and you will need special tools. Good luck.
 

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Jca1,

So... Series 80 CAN be used on my weapon?
Yes, you can still use the Series 80 parts in your pistol, with the exception of the firing pin, SA uses a proprietary FP of .075 pin diameter. There are a couple more parts than just the "firing pin safety parts", the 80s have their own grip safety and extractor, which you can also use.
How do I know if the lower ejection port is already on my firearm?
If you have a GI model, it is not lowered. If you have a very good 'smith, it doesn't need to be lowered, but it takes a knowledgeable 'smith to know how to tune an extractor so you don't need the port lowered. It takes less time and skill to lower a port than it does to fine tune an extractor.
 

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I've done this very thing. Several years ago, I bought a new Springfield GI in stainless steel. Over the years, I decided I wanted some of the features that it was lacking. I did most of the work myself, except the sights, obviously. Those were installed by mailing the slide directly to Novak's for dovetail machining and sight installation.

So here's how my GI stands now:

Novak Lo-Mount 3-dot sights
Ed Brown extended thumb safety
Ed Brown chainlink mainspring housing
Ed Brown hex head grip screws
Wilson Combat "drop-in" beavertail grip safety
Wilson Combat Value Line Speed hammer
Wilson Combat 18.5 lbs recoil spring
Wilson Combat slide stop
JTM Cocobolo grips







 

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Discussion Starter #8
That's a beauty. Now I really want to do this...

=•}
 

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You can pretty much do anything you want to yourself on the basic 1911A1 pistol. A bit of mechanical aptitude, maybe a video or diagram(s), basic gunsmithing tools...files, etc...... One piece at a time, or several for a good weekend project. I'd get a flat mainspring housing (instead of the arched), beavertail grip safety with raised pad, solid recoil guide rod, match barrel bushing, extended slide release, extended thumb safety, tighten the slide, etc.....
Boy I sure wish I had another inexpensive Norinco 1911A1 to work over myself now!
 

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Boy I sure wish I had another inexpensive Norinco 1911A1 to work over myself now!
Me too...Some of these threads can get expensive...
 

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Boy I sure wish I had another inexpensive Norinco 1911A1 to work over myself now!

I hear ya. Rock Island Armory makes a relatively inexpensive GI-type model that could make for a decent project starter, as long as the cast frame doesnt bother you.
 
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