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Got some 1911 questions!

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by AustenW, Nov 3, 2014.

  1. AustenW

    AustenW Yamhill County Member

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    Hey guys. I may be getting into my first 1911 this week. It's a rock island m1a sub compact. I know it's cheaper, but it's my first and I don't know if I'm going to like it. That aside, I'm curious what upgrades you could recommend. I always like upgrading my guns. Whether it's buffer and spring, extractors, ejectors, triggers etc. What can you recommend to make a cheaper 1911 run like a kimber with dropping top dollar on a kimber or wilson. Really appreciate the feedback!
     
  2. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    I have some recommendations for you.

    1) Don't get a compact as your first 45, unless you have experience with the 45 platform.

    2) put several hundred rounds down the pipe using different types of rounds to find out what the gun likes.

    3) On my 45's I have changed the grip panels, except for my carry. i really like the stock grips on that.

    4) getting to know your gun and what is can do will be the best method to figure out what to change to suit you.

    5) Don't mod just to be "upgrading". My biggest mod to date is fitting a slide release. But I am thinking of doing a couple to tune one a 45 for competition.
     
  3. B5Ben

    B5Ben Boise Well-Known Member

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    Spend your money on ammo and your time shooting it to get to know it and what you like or don't like about it before needlessly spending time and money on things that you may or may not notice a difference in. With that said, I generally like to add an extended slide release and safety but some stock versions have been fine as well.
     
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  4. AustenW

    AustenW Yamhill County Member

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    Right on. Thanks guys. And mark, unfortunately it's the only 1911 I've found willing to trade my xds for. So I'm gonna check it out still. I'm familiar with compact .45s, just not the 1911. Keep em coming!
     
  5. mrblond

    mrblond Salem OR Well-Known Member

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    Is this going to be a carry gun? if so, practice practice practice drawing. Pulling the SA 1911 is alot different then pulling a DA.
     
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  6. AustenW

    AustenW Yamhill County Member

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    Alright. Thank you!
     
  7. Lange22250

    Lange22250 Milwaukie Active Member

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    Take whatever 1911 you are thinking about getting to the range and shoot it, at least a 100 rounds. Due to the design of the 1911 it requires a lot of hand fitting and can be done wrong.

    I have seen more 1911's with issues than any other main stream modern pistol.

    If you are already thinking of "moding" the gun you would be better off getting a model that has what you want already. Saves a lot of time, money and frustration.
     
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  8. AustenW

    AustenW Yamhill County Member

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    Interesting. Thanks for the info!!
     
  9. davef

    davef S.E. pdx Active Member

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    I just got my first 1911, a springfield target model, and after a few hundred rounds Im going after trigger pull. Its way too heavy and gritty especially for a gun that supposedly has had the trigger upgraded. Im not sure about the best way to combat this is but thats my priority.
     
    AustenW likes this.
  10. Koda

    Koda Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Some people might argue the RI shoots better than a Kimber. By the time you pay for parts and labor upgrades you could have bought a Kimber.... give or take.

    My top upgrade to any carry gun is nightsights. Cant go back now...
     
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  11. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I would either just shoot the gun a few hundred rounds and see if you actually like the 1911 platform(although the compact is different than the full size) or I would just buy 1 with better components.
    I have had that gun and it didn't last very long.It was fine but between the trigger and the accuracy I wasn't impressed.Of course I get crap all the time saying some 1911 can't hit anything at 100 yards but I like to shoot them that far out.
    My 2 Springfields will hit what I shoot at out to 100 yards fairly easy,so then I have a pistol that if worthy of doing improvements to. Both of mine have good triggers with the RO having had a trigger job by previous owner.The second is just a milspec with sights and other simple stuff for looks that the previous owner did.
    And I got both for pretty good prices.
    So I guess I'm trying to say you can put all kinds of money in the RI or just save up and get a Kimber or Springfield.Then it will in deed shoot like you want
     
    AustenW likes this.
  12. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    My first 1911 was a compact. (3.5" barrel, Officer's size) Neither me or it knew that the short barrel 1911s aren't supposed to be as reliable as the full size. Later on I traded into a Colt Officers and it didn't give me any complaints either. So, if your gun runs well don't listen to what others say about the compact. If it's not reliable, just off it and buy something that's "better".
    If it's reliable, shoot the bejeezus out of it and get used to it.
    By the way, I'm not thrilled with Kimber in general. (long story) They sure are pretty, but I believe there are much better choices out there for less money. And for the same money you can buy something that's awesome.
    Once you find that it's a good gun that "runs", then you can play with it. If you do one thing at a time you'll know when something doesn't work and hopefully you can undo it.
    Welcome to the world of 1911s. I have owned several different styles of handguns, but for most uses it's my favorite.
    MJB, I love to shoot at stuff 100 yards away with my Dan Wesson. It's satisfying, to say the least.
     
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  13. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Same as my 1991-A1. Once you have your gun 'dialed in' (and have shot it beyond counting) It's fairly easy to hit 100 yard targets after a few rounds to see where things are going. Now THERE would be a fun competition - 50-100 yards with a 1911!
     
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  14. Lilhigbee

    Lilhigbee SE Portland Visit Target550.com Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The Ruger SR1911 is tough to beat. Chances are it will wind up costing you less than your RI by the time you upgrade it to be as good as the Ruger. If you are into upgrading just to do it, party on!! However, if you just want a quality shooting piece, buy the best you can afford. I have done my share of upgrading various guns, but haven't found anything needing it on my SR1911. And yes it does shoot as well or better than either of my girlfriend's Kimbers.
     
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  15. BAMCIS

    BAMCIS Eugene Well-Known Member

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    To bad you couldn't get a full sized 1911, or at least a commander sized. O-well, play the cards you're dealt. Lots of good advice here. I can't think of anything to add except spend the money you were going to spend on "upgrades" on ammo instead.

    Shoot the hell out of it. IMHO, most "upgrades" are over rated and unnecessary. Especially on a 1911.
     
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  16. AustenW

    AustenW Yamhill County Member

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    I ended up opting out of the compact cause I can't justify driving 2 and half hours to trade for a gun with lesser value than mine. So I found a full size ri 1911 I'm checking out tomorrow. I'm much more excited for the full size! I'm enjoying all the advice and opinions. Very helpful. Keep it coming guys!
     
  17. Boats

    Boats Flicking A Switch To Open My Third Eye Well-Known Member

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    The three things I do on all of my 1911s are make sure to have ambi safety levers put on to enable left hand operation, (I am a southpaw), dump out any version of a full length guide rod as unnecessarily complicated garbage and install a GI recoil setup, and install actual spring steel extractors.

    The most common fail on the modern 1911 is FTE. This is due to the fact that most 1911s using internal extractors built to a limited price point use MIM, that can't perform properly from a materials standpoint, or use machined bar stock that isn't differentially heat tempered properly for the springiness that an extractor demands.

    That said, unless you know what you are doing, don't mess with your extractor until you have actual failures. Tuning a spring steel 1911 extractor is not rocket science, but it does require fundamental knowledge and experience in how it is supposed to positively engage the case rim.
     
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  18. BAMCIS

    BAMCIS Eugene Well-Known Member

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    Totally agree about the idea of full length guide rods. I can't think of a reason to have them unless you have more dollars than sense. But, springs do need to be change from time to time. For example, Ed Brown recommends changing springs after 5000 rounds. But I think this is a bit early. My full sized Kobra is still running fine after about 8000 rounds and my Kobra Carry is still running fine after about 7000 rounds. However, I do have spare springs on hand for when (not if) they start giving problems. But I don't load my reloads very "hot" either. I simply see no need. It's harder on the shooter and the gun for what? Clanging steel or punching holes in paper? I might just end up changing them out just for the hell of it. Springs are not expensive.

    Respectfully disagree about the ambi safety, but I'm not southpaw and I feel for you guys who are. I had an ambi safety on one of my first 1911's (stainless Colt Railgun) and had to immediately stop carrying it when I noticed, usually at the end of the day the safety was OFF. Who knows how long I had been walking around with my 1911 in the holster like that! I thought I may have been the source of that, but I determined it was the ambi safety and quickly dumped it and order was restored in the universe.


    Here is a couple of good points.
    Although I'm not up on which manufacturers use MIM, or MIM extractors, I can make an educated guess, (hint: less that $1,000.00 MSRP). However the manufacture and use of MIM has come a long way. In short, it is much, much better than it was even just five years ago. Besides, is there THAT much stress on say a slide stop or a guide rod?

    Yes, tuning an extractor is not hard. There are tons of youtube videos on how it's done.

    As Boats pointed out, don't mess with it unless you have to. I'd go even further to say don't mess with anything on your gun unless you're having some sort of problem(s). Take care of it (with plenty of lubrication in the usual places) and as I said before, run it hard, and shoot the hell out it. Above all have fun!!
     
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  19. ron

    ron Vancouver, Washington Silver Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I have bought and sold many different 1911s over the years. My number one mod is a trigger
    job which gives it a crisp trigger break. I have the fitting tools and have done trigger
    jobs for my own guns and several 1911s of friends. I do not consider myself a gunsmith.
    I have polished feed ramps, bolt face, fit new extractor and extractor springs to solve
    feed problems. If you like to work on firearms the 1911 is a good one. You can learn
    to do this yourself and have fun doing it. Many good books on the 1911 and endless
    parts available.
     
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  20. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I like Colt 1911's, especially 70 series Gold Cup National Matches.
    If you ever get the chance to shoot one, you'll see what I'm talking about.
    They're not cheap, but trading up to one is a worthy goal to pursue.
     
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