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1911 upgrades for a Plain Jane 1991A1

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by Key-Hay, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    I just picked up a Colt 1991A1 Model 80 from a neighbor who's leaving the country. It's in nice shape and it shoots great. I'm thinking about doing a few mods but don't want to sink big bucks into something that's not going to have a lot of value (Found this out with Guitars).

    So what would be best bang for the buck to improve this 45?

    Would prefer things that don't need a gunsmith (I'm good with tools, just not machining)
     
  2. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Have you shot the gun yet? if not, I would really recommend you put a few hundred rounds thru it to see what it may need, or what you think you would like.

    There are so many mods/parts that are available for the old work horse, that its hard to point anyone in one direction unless they know what they are wanting/expecting.
     
  3. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    Have shot this gun before. Also put over 100 rounds thru it on Sunday. It chunked thru my 200 Gn LSWCsreloads, Factory UMC and even some old 1943 WWII surplus (Stuff has a different smell) without a single complaint.

    I have a Para 14-45 limited that scary accurate and eats anything you put down the pipe. So for the 1991a1 was thinking along the lines of Trigger, Skeleton hammer and drop in beavertail, I've done this kinda stuff on 10/22s and my 22/45, just never on 1911s.
     
  4. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    What is the intended use for this 1911? I've done a dozen or more custom 1911's over the past forty years. I always come back to a basically stock gold cup.
     
  5. Aero Denezol

    Aero Denezol Salem Active Member

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    I put a stainless steel full length guide rod in mine. I did this because the Recoil Spring Plug (soft, thin-walled & stamped part) was getting bent out of shape which made it difficult to reassemble the pistol.

    Another easy mod is to put a hogue grip on the gun, if you prefer rubber grips.
     
  6. 45 for me

    45 for me Oregon Well-Known Member

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    My 2 cents: The only-non gunsmith thing that I think would add value are good sights and a nice pair of grips, at least in terms of resale, and probably not what you paid for them at that. I am always leary of an amatuer's (no offence) 'trigger job'. If you want add value for your own use, add what you want. Most of the 'drop in' parts should really be fitted by an expert if want to see them actually perform better than the stock stuff.
     
  7. AndyH

    AndyH Keizer, Oregon Well-Known Member

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  8. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    There are so many things you can do to a 1911 it will make your head spin. If I had a gun and felt like "tweakin" on it I would do a good set of sights. If it was to be a defense gun, those sights would be Trijicons. If I didn't like the grips, I'd bolt on a set to my liking.
    Knowing you have a Colt Series 80, I would want the firing pin safety removed. That's a personal preference, but that is what I would do if your gun were mine and it was not to be a range only gun.
    Other than that, I'd be very happy with it as is. Less is more.
     
  9. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I just sold my 1991A1/1911 at the show this weekend.I was telling the local pistolsmith and he said "good choice" ,as he took mine apart to have a look.

    If I was going to keep it,I would have put in a steel or aluminum trigger,maybe and not spend very much at all on it.
    You can spend a ton on upgrades and unless you change the slide to one that doesn't say "1991" you still have just a "1991" with not a lot of resale value.As compared to most other Colts.

    So I would shoot it as it is and buy a better "1911" later
     
  10. Key-Hay

    Key-Hay North Carolina Active Member

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    Starting to think I should just sell it as is and go buy a nice single stack Kimber. Was looking at m9 - home (Rob Shepherd's site) and was thinking by the time I do a trigger, beavertail, firing pin, hammer grips and sight, the dollars just don't add up.
     
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  11. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Well,I was thinking of trading mine last week.A guy came in before me with a "commander" size 1991.They made a deal,THEN the shop guy looked up the gun and said "dagnabit,not worth what I thought" It was worth $400 trade in.

    Now I asked $600 and got $575 for mine at the show.It will sell,then you're half way to that Kimber or Springfield
     
  12. 22many

    22many PNW Well-Known Member

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    A gun custom built to how you like and budget don't belong in the same sentence. You have to decide what your gonna do with the gun. If your just looking at it from a profit standpoint then yeah, sell it. You want a reliable shooter that feels great in your hand and shoots even better? Then build it.

    I did the exact same thing years ago. Took plain Jane 1911 and built it to how I wanted it. About $400 later it was done. I still have that 1911 today and everytime i pick it up
    and shoot it, it feels like it was made for my hand. That is what you pay the extra money for. Granted, I won't get out of it what I got into it but I don't plan on selling. More like passing it down through the family.

    Oh, and a Kimber? Seriousally? There is much better guns out there for cheaper.
     
  13. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I don't get the Kimber hating.Mine have been very accurate and absolutely no flaws or jams. Great guns all in all.

    Oh this is such BS.Give me a break.Maybe "as good" but not "much better". You obviously have never owned a Kimber.
    Must be one of those,"they're too popular so I need to hate on them " things?
     
  14. 22many

    22many PNW Well-Known Member

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    Take it how you want it. I'm not gonna argue with you. Don't like my opinion? I don't care.
     
  15. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    :winner:
     
  16. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the kind words, and the vote of confidence...I don't take those lightly.


    $5 bucks??? What did you do with the other 20 I gave you? :bananadance:
     
  17. 45 for me

    45 for me Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Kimber is to a custom 1911 what a Taurus 92 is to a Beretta 92: They look very similar. Whether you think they are a poor quality knock off, or a way to get the same item without paying as much, is how you look at it and what you expect from it.
     
  18. sheepman

    sheepman Las Vegas NV Member

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    Custom work on any gun is not cost effective if you plan on reselling it and getting your money back. If done for your shooting pleasure and to make the gun fit your needs better, go for it. On 1911s the only things I need are a good trigger (between 4 and 5lb) good sights and a beaver tail grip safety other wise a standard gun is fine. :cool:
     
  19. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    I have the same Colt as you (1991A1) and of all the 1911s I have owned it is the best shooting one - as far as accuracy - but I still want to do a few things to improve it. The first thing I did was install a full length guide rod I made myself. The accuracy improved dramatically (it shoots into 2" at 25 yards bench rested and with good handloads) but I do not think it was because of the FL guide rod but something I may have 'stumbled' on after making it. I also made some of my own shock buffs and they really do reduce felt recoil. I plan on a trigger job and fitted beavertail grip safety next and that will be about it. You might want to take a look at my pictures of the modification I did to turn the stock sights into a three dot style.