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1911 Upgrade recommendations

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by P_Ribs, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. P_Ribs

    P_Ribs Hockinson, Wa Member

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    I just bought a Rock Island Armory M1911-A1 .45, it has a hogue grip on it right now and also came with a Chip McCormick easy fit sear which still needs to be installed. I'm looking for what you guys would recommend for it next. I'm planning on doing sights soon and hopefully a trigger as well. Love the feel of the hogue grip so not likely to change that except for maybe a laser grip. Goal is to make a reliable, accurate gun at a low price.
     
  2. gunjunky

    gunjunky Arlington, WA Active Member

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    How does it shoot now? That is the crux of getting started, if the gun is reliable and groups well (say 3-4 inches) then you only need to do stuff you want to do, say a different thumb safety or a beavertail. However if the gun does not run well then you must address those problems first.

    Have fun
     
  3. P_Ribs

    P_Ribs Hockinson, Wa Member

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    Havent shot it yet, just bought it. I am wondering, when i cock it empty sometimes the hammer finishes in a half cocked position. Any reason for that?
     
  4. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    I see too many people buy a gun and want to do some kind of upgrade, and they are not sure or don't have a clue what, when they haven't shot it yet.

    My recommendation is to shoot the gun first, then see what you might think needs to be changed.

    On the last line of your post;
    "Goal is to make a reliable, accurate gun at a low price."

    You won't know if it's reliable until you put about 500+ rounds thru it, with many various types of ammo. Check the barrel lugs often to make sure there's no timing problems.
    Also, do this quick test...pull out the recoil spring, pull out the slide stop, and re-insert it with it hanging vertical, and leave the rest of the gun alone. Retract the slide about 1/2" or so, and push the muzzle against a hard surface...this forces the the barrel to bed. Now check to see if the slide stop swings free. if it does, the barrel is resting against the frame impact surface as it should. If there's any resistance, it means it's not on the impact surface, but the barrel is coming to rest on the link. A very little resistance will be acceptable, but not much. If there's a lot of resistance, the barrel is not timed properly, and you'll loose the lower lugs and/or other parts within 2-4,000 rounds.

    Accuracy depends on two things, consistent lock-up of the barrel with every round fired, and a good fitted barrel bushing. The biggest bang for the buck is a proper fitted barrel bushing with no more than .002" total between the bushing, barrel, and slide. If you go this route, call EGW direct and give them the dimensions of your barrel O.D." and slide I.D." and they'll make you a bushing for about 25.00+

    Bottom line, if it's not durable, it's not reliable. All the fancy bells and whistles do nothing for reliability, so don't fall into that marketing trap.
     
  5. P_Ribs

    P_Ribs Hockinson, Wa Member

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    Steve as always you've got some great input. I had the privilege to be at a handgun shooting training session you taught a few years back with some other NWFA members and look forward to the opportunity to do that again. I will do my best to run the test you explained, unfortunately with this being my first 1911 it will be a bit tricky. Any input as to why the half cock sometimes?
     
  6. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Generally its a sear spring problem, lack of tension against the disconnect...but not always.

    It only happens when you thumb cock it, and/or use the slide?

    You're welcome to come up and and I'll go thru it for you, no charge.


    Anytime a group wants to get together for another shoot, let me know...always like to shoot with fellow members.
     
  7. P_Ribs

    P_Ribs Hockinson, Wa Member

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    It only happens when I use the slide. I will absolutely take you up on your offer to help me go through it. Today took the gun for it's first shoot, unfortunately it was a slight rain but couldn't wait to get it out. Overall the shoot was quite bad, the gun had a series of issues seating the round after the 2nd to last shot was fired. Every time it happened only on the last round of the magazine which lead me to believe it was a magazine issue but after trying two different magazines it happened with both somewhat regularly. Also had an issue with the slide locking all the way forward, it would eject a round and not fully seat the next round leaving it set back half an inch. Other than the mechanical issues the trigger felt nice. The beavertail needs replacing, after shooting fifty rounds the gun left a raw red mark on my hand were the kick forced the tail into my hand. Gun felt good and I was happy with how it shot when it worked... I plan on going back out with different ammo and hopefully can get my hands on a few different magazines also.
     
  8. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    On a steel frame full size like a 1911 I don't trust it for defense till it has at least 1500 rds down the tube, several hundred rds at the end of that of my intended carry ammo, and has a slight rattle. That rattle is your friend
     
  9. boots

    boots WA New Member

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    Recommendation? Shoot the heck out of it and get good use out of your new pistol.

    In all seriousness; function first, aesthetics/cosmetics next
     
  10. turq

    turq Molino,oregon Member

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    I am not that 'up' on 1911s so... I just know with CZs 500 rounds down the tube before changes.
    I would ask if maybe you should stay with Chip McCormick hammer/trigger ect. for compatibility? Experts?
     
  11. P_Ribs

    P_Ribs Hockinson, Wa Member

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    I certainly am, just wish it didn't jam with every magazine.
     
  12. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    There are three weak points to the 1911; extractor, magazine, and ammo. Back in the day, Colt oversaw everything so the problems were few. With everyone and their brother either directly producing a 1911 or just the parts...tolerances differ, and reliability and durability go down the drain.

    When a magazine gets to the last couple rounds, the spring does not have as much tension on the rounds as the first few. So if the magazine is weak to begin with, it will not be able to adequately control the rounds. Try different magazines, and check for proper extractor tension. What magazines have you tried?

    What ammo were you using? You may want to try different makes/types of ammo as well.