Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Best custom 1911 parts?

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by treemanx, May 3, 2009.

  1. treemanx

    treemanx Spray, Or. Active Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Likes Received:
    14
    Hello all,

    just wanted to throw this out there to get an idea of what I should do. I am looking in to putting some highest quality custom parts on my 1962 Colt National Match 1911 .45, maybe a beavertail, hammer, barrel and recoil spring, trigger job, ect.....and I dont know what the best brands are.

    You know, a good quality bubba-job! Any thoughts? Thanks!
     
  2. jakk586

    jakk586 Astoria, Or Active Member

    Messages:
    399
    Likes Received:
    29
    is it all original? if it is, you may find the gun is enjoyable just the way it is. all original colt national matches don't pop up every day. some would say it is a sacriledge to modify them.

    if it has been previously moded or is in need of repair or accurizing, you have two options. one is to pick the parts and the smith to instal them, or to find al original colt parts and restore it to its glory. a third more costly and time consuming option is to do both. that is restore the gun to its original state using the appropiate parts, them fit certain parts to slick it up a bit.

    i have been toying with the idea of building a 1911 using a fram/slide from fusion firearms. i like baer for the beavertail and brown for the slide stop and thumb safety. i was thinking of a briley barrel/bushing, but properly instaled, there is little difference in the top barrel makers. swing a cat, kart, bar-sto, briley, wilson, baer. just remember, there is no such thing as "drop in match fit", it is one or the other. the pre matched fire parts group from c&s is top notch. i have witnessed the results. after that its mostly personal taste. just order up a 1911 catalog from brownells. its free. every part they sell is top notch and warented for life.
     
  3. treemanx

    treemanx Spray, Or. Active Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Likes Received:
    14
    Cool man, thanks for the info!

    Yeah it is in 99% condition, its a beauty! Im not wanting to hack it up or anything, and they are awesome shooters as they are. But the old National Matches apparently were made with a weaker recoil spring on them, for the lighter target grain and wadcutters bullets. So Ive read that if you want to shoot anything bigger than a 200 grain .45 bullet, you have to at least replace the recoil spring with a regular duty one. If you dont, the lighter spring will allow the slide to slam back too hard with the heavier grains, and damage the pistol.

    So I know I at least want to get a different recoil spring. As far as the rest goes, I will keep all the original parts, so if I want to put it back together as original I can. But I also didnt buy it to be a safe queen, so Id like to give it a few modern touches for my own enjoyment. Although I may just replace the recoil spring and leave it alone, Id like to get as much info as I can about any other custom goodies I might be interested in.

    Anyone who has had any experience with these older National Match Colts, please post here or PM me, Id love to pick your brain about them! Thanks!
     
  4. doubleactiononly

    doubleactiononly Seattle Member

    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    The recoil spring is easy enough to replace, but I'd leave the rest stock. You definitely don't want a beavertail. Colt frames require a LOT of cutting, so once you go down that path you gotta stay the course.

    As for the other stuff, I don't know what kind of fitting a hammer requires but if you need to modify any of the original parts I wouldn't do it. And a trigger job?? Come on, it's a 1911 :) Just shoot any modern DA/SA pistol and you'll realize that trigger is already awesome
     
  5. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    797
    I got your PM, and you can pick my brain......what's left of it!

    You can get a drop-in style Beavertail grip safety, so you wont have to grind on the frame.

    I would recommend changing out the firing internals, as they are made for light loads, and wouldn't do good with the average shooting you're talking about.

    Going to a 16lb recoil spring, 23lb main spring, and a small radius oversized firing pin stop will do wonders for recoil control. It'll make it recoil flat and smooth, with reduced muzzle raise.

    All of this is easy to do. If inetrested, you can come to my shop and I'll walk you thru it....no charge.

    I'll leave my contact info in my response to your PM.
     
  6. treemanx

    treemanx Spray, Or. Active Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Likes Received:
    14
    Well, it sounds like I found the go-to guy to work with on this! Thanks for the info wichaka, this is just what I needed to know.

    How involved is the stuff you described to do? Is it all pretty simple drop in type of stuff, or does it involve alot of fitment and tinkering?

    If these are the things you would recommend to make my Colt a good modern shooter, the only thing I need to know is what you'd charge for parts and labor, and how quickly it could be done.

    Id love to be able to bring the gun to you in Washington, and watch you put the parts on, as I would take it as a great learning experience! Please shoot me a PM, or I'll try to call you before 4pm today!! Thanks wichaka!
     
  7. treemanx

    treemanx Spray, Or. Active Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Likes Received:
    14
    Yeah, I definately will NOT cut on any of the frame or original parts. But I do want to give it the modern touches it needs to shoot all the heavier loads and hotter bullets. If I dont, it will just sit in my safe forever and I might as well just sell it and buy something else that I can use!

    As far as the beavertail and hammer goes, Id love to have it, but only if it's a drop in one like wichaka was saying, that doesnt require any cutting.

    The trigger......yeah, I agree with you, Ill probably leave that alone. Its already a sweet trigger.

    I feel like some may say its sacrilage to modify my old Colt, but Im not going to do anything to it that I cant reverse. I just want to make it what I want it to be, cause if you cant do that why have it?
     
  8. spider

    spider Hillsboro Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    66
    Ed Brown Beavertail!
     
  9. jakk586

    jakk586 Astoria, Or Active Member

    Messages:
    399
    Likes Received:
    29
    another option open to you, as a complete personal taste matter, is to use any oiff the shelf gi grip safety and hammer and bob them. the grip safety can be radised to the frame, instead of the frame radiused to the safety. then bob a gi hammer. it looks a bit unique and the reduced mass of the hammer can improve lock time. i am a 1911 novice so refer to wichaka about how such mods would affect reliability and shootability. another thing this kind of thing has going for it is its cheep, compared to top drawer custom parts, and can be done by you, as there is no machining needed.
     
  10. doubleactiononly

    doubleactiononly Seattle Member

    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    0
    yeah, the drop-ins are great if you don't want to alter your frame, but imo after looking at a properly blended grip safety the drop-ins just look crude

    I just looked into the firing pin stop Wichaka mentioned.. pretty amazing that just a small little change like that can make such a difference in recoil! Think I'm gonna try it on my 1911's
     
  11. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    797
    Yep, some can look crude, while others not so bad.

    Here's a Wilson drop-in on my commander.....


    lw2.jpg
     
  12. Speedsteel

    Speedsteel Oregon Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    11
    Best advice given, is do not alter the origional weapon, it likely has high collector value. If you want retain collector value and to tune it up to be a primary weapon, do not cut or modify any of the origional parts or refinish the weapon. It will reduce the value.

    You can upgrade almost every part in the weapon, just ensure that you retain all the origional parts so you can put it back to origional.

    The drop on Beaver is a good choice, much more comfortable to shoot and no alterations, save the origional.

    Biggest challenge is likely a good set of sights that you like, without doing any machine work. Think there are still some Wilson Roger type rear that could be swapped out, but save the old one.

    Post a pic, would love to see it.
     
  13. treemanx

    treemanx Spray, Or. Active Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Likes Received:
    14
    Well, actually......After talking with wichaka for awhile about it, and talking to a friend of his who knows the old Colts really well, Ive decided to not alter the gun afterall.

    Apparently, even just swapping out for custom drop-ins will devalue the gun, plus what ever wear and tear I put on it from using it as a primary everyday weapon. So, with that in mind, Ive decided to sell the Colt, and buy a new Colt 70 Series that I wont have to freak out about.

    This is the gun here......
    http://www.northwestfirearms.com/forum/showthread.php?t=8029

    It is a nearly mint 1911, with just a couple of very small blems. It looks as though it's only had 3-4 mags shot through it, inside and out. Thats just the problem.....If it wasnt so dang nice Id use it as an everyday shooter! And I cant afford to keep it just to pull it out at the range to impress all the gun buffs with the tight groups this thing probably shoots either.

    I'll still probably want to put some custom stuff on whatever new 1911 I buy, so keep the ideas rollin in! Thanks!
     
  14. Speedsteel

    Speedsteel Oregon Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    11
    Treemanx,

    I have not played with any of the new 70 series Colts, but you may be better off with a Kimber or a custom build, pending primary application of the weapon.

    Unless Colt has really stepped up the past couple of years.

    With the new 70 series you may end up keeping the Frame, Slide, and Barrel and going over the rest with your Pistol Smith $$, Sights, Grip Safety, Trigger Job, possibally accuracy and reliability work, take off all the sharp edges and refinish?

    Unless they are getting great reviews on the new 70 series? and some of the Kimbers are more than the Colts these days!!!!
     
  15. treemanx

    treemanx Spray, Or. Active Member

    Messages:
    1,325
    Likes Received:
    14
    Yeah, Kimber might be the way to go, although I have heard good things about the new 70 series models. While waiting for my 62 NM to sell, Ill be doing as much reasearch as possible to get what I need. Although, if I dont get the 62 NM sold after awhile, I'll probably just go ahead and do my custon stuff to it and keep it for a shooter against my better judgement. I guess we'll see.....
     
  16. wichaka

    wichaka Wa State Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,374
    Likes Received:
    797
    Here's some issues I've seen with Kimbers the last few years;

    Tight chambers
    Slide stops wandering causing false lock backs
    Improper feed ramp geometry
    Extractors not holding tension
    Grip screw bushings not properly staked
    Plunger tubes not properly staked
    Mag catch traps magazines
    Kimpro finish will get sticky with extended firing.

    There are plenty of Kimbers that run, no argument there...I just think there are better choices.
     
  17. Speedsteel

    Speedsteel Oregon Member

    Messages:
    81
    Likes Received:
    11
    What are the better choices? TIA