1911 build

Teufel

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I'm looking to buy a pistol (not that I don't have one or two at home...) and I was wondering if you guys could help me out. I want to buy a Colt 1911 rail gun and have a gun smith do some modifications on it for me. I was looking at adding:

a Videcki match grade trigger with 4.5 to 5.0 trigger pull weight
a mild dehorn
a Kings or Caspian extended ambidextrous safety
a Ed Brown Beavertail Grip Safety
a metal main spring housing instead of the plastic one that comes with the gun
What do you think about an 18 lb recoil spring? I know that is what our MEU(SOC)s had but I don't know if it is really necessary for a range gun.

What sights would you recommend? It comes with novak white dots and I'd like some sort of night sight.

Would you change out the barrel?

Any other work you would do to it? It already has a flared ejection port and beveled magazine well.
I know we have some gun pros on this site and I am looking forward to hearing your opinions.
 

Manolito

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I own many pistols and not a single 1911 so I am no help at all. Sounds like you have a good idea of what you want and where you are going. Withh all that work I have to ask have you looked at a wilson?
Keep safe
Bill
 

Hitman2/3

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Unless you are dead set on a Colt most of what you want you could get on a top end 1911, maybe not the parts manufactures but the same parts. The Springfield Armory TRP comes to mind. It runs anywhere from $1200 to $1400 give or take. There may be a few things you'd want to change out but it comes with a match barrel, ambidextrous extended thumb safety, adjustable trigger, adjustable Trijicon night sights, beveled mag well, beaver tail grip safety, good grips and full front and back strap. Its a shooters gun right out of the box. I can't even think of anything you would want to do to it other than cosmetic or personal preferences. Just a thought it would save you some money on parts and labor.
 

pardus

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How different is that wish list to the MARSOC .45?

Just thinking that there must be a few current/ex Marine Armorers that make them on the outside. .02c
 

Teufel

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What are you going to use the gun for...paper or people?

Honestly mostly range work but I don't want a range gun. I something to put down an intruder/lawyer/politician if given the opportunity. Hell I'd kill someone with this government issue laptop if given the opportunity. It is certainly bulky enough.
 

Teufel

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Unless you are dead set on a Colt most of what you want you could get on a top end 1911, maybe not the parts manufactures but the same parts. The Springfield Armory TRP comes to mind. It runs anywhere from $1200 to $1400 give or take. There may be a few things you'd want to change out but it comes with a match barrel, ambidextrous extended thumb safety, adjustable trigger, adjustable Trijicon night sights, beveled mag well, beaver tail grip safety, good grips and full front and back strap. Its a shooters gun right out of the box. I can't even think of anything you would want to do to it other than cosmetic or personal preferences. Just a thought it would save you some money on parts and labor.

The Colt Rail Gun has most of those same components. The Rail Gun was Colt's bid for build the new USMC MEU(SOC) pistols for MARSOC. Springfield put up the "Marine Corps Operator". I don't know about the other guns that were competing. I'm not sure if the rail gun has the ambi safety. It comes with a beavertail already; I may wait to see how the beavertail fits because I don't want a loosely fitted grip safety like I have seen on some guns. I know if I get one professionally installed then it will be fit correctly. I'm not 100% set on the rail gun but I do like Colt pistols. Springfields are great as well though.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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Personally I would not buy a complete 1911 to have it reworked by a smith. I would build it up from the ground, or I would buy it built the closest to what you want. Either-or will be cheaper than buying one and then having it reworked. Also a lot of the work you could do yourself, or have an armor do, or depending on where you are I can put you in contact with some good people.

If you do a ground up build, Caspian is fairly low cost for the top quality they produce. They also allow for custom CnC work (put your name or unit on it, ect). You can piece it together and have exactly what you want (well besides it being a Colt).

If you buy a custom 1911, I would say defiantly Kimber or Springfield. For the cost you can’t beat either manufacture. I have a Kimber Custom II that has put a few Wilson Combats to shame, and it’s not even a high end 1911 for Kimber. The Springfield MC Operator is a great pistol (I owned one for a few years) and I believe it is spec’ed to the 1911 you Marines are using.

All in all you are looking at spending $1,000 to $1,500 store bought “Custom built”. If you buy ($800-$1000) and then rebuild ($500-$600) you are at roughly the same price, probably a little more. If you build ground up (get in there and help the Smith build it, ect) you could have an exact pistol for under $1,000!
 

HOLLiS

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I have a few others. JAB offers some really good advice. Also sometimes it takes a few pistols to figure out what works for you. Being a has been grunt, I am indifferent. Even Teufel lap top sounds lethal enough and even would be fun to splatter some one with. }:-)

When in doubt buy more guns.
 

Teufel

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Personally I would not buy a complete 1911 to have it reworked by a smith. I would build it up from the ground, or I would buy it built the closest to what you want. Either-or will be cheaper than buying one and then having it reworked. Also a lot of the work you could do yourself, or have an armor do, or depending on where you are I can put you in contact with some good people.

If you do a ground up build, Caspian is fairly low cost for the top quality they produce. They also allow for custom CnC work (put your name or unit on it, ect). You can piece it together and have exactly what you want (well besides it being a Colt).

If you buy a custom 1911, I would say defiantly Kimber or Springfield. For the cost you can’t beat either manufacture. I have a Kimber Custom II that has put a few Wilson Combats to shame, and it’s not even a high end 1911 for Kimber. The Springfield MC Operator is a great pistol (I owned one for a few years) and I believe it is spec’ed to the 1911 you Marines are using.

All in all you are looking at spending $1,000 to $1,500 store bought “Custom built”. If you buy ($800-$1000) and then rebuild ($500-$600) you are at roughly the same price, probably a little more. If you build ground up (get in there and help the Smith build it, ect) you could have an exact pistol for under $1,000!

I wasn't thinking about too much work, just swapping out some parts. It can't be too expensive to swap out a trigger and a beavertail? What about the sights? I think I can live with the ambi safety and I'll see how much play is in the beavertail. It might be fine.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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I wasn't thinking about too much work, just swapping out some parts. It can't be too expensive to swap out a trigger and a beavertail? What about the sights? I think I can live with the ambi safety and I'll see how much play is in the beavertail. It might be fine.

Well there are several variables you have to look at bro:

1. Your budget for the firearm
2. The cost of the firearm
3. The cost of the parts you want to replace
4. The cost of the gun smith (keep in mind custom fitting a beaver tail grip safety might include refinishing)

If you have to have a Colt and your budget is wide open, by all means do what you want. I own several firearms that were “I just want it” and there is nothing wrong with that at all. I am only offering up my advice based on experience with building, buying and customizing. I have always had a budget restriction of some regard, so I have learned the finer aspects of doing all the above with the least expensive way.

If you are use to running the MCBQ built 1911’s, I think you will be very satisfied with an MC Operator to be very honest. That pistol is a tac driver, very well built, very good quality control and Springfield has damn good customer service, if an issue did come up. I think you would also be satisfied with the Kimber Desert Warrior, both have the same features with everything you are looking for, both are 1.5 inch @ 25 yard 1911’s, both are priced around $1,000 to $1,200.

Again I am not saying “you should do this” just offering up advise on different options. If you are set on what you want (and I understand if you are) I’ll STFU on the advice end and help you find a smith, or parts.
 

Teufel

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Appreciate the advice. I think I will go with the stock colt rail gun then, do a mild dehorn and maybe polish the chamber and flute the barrel. I would like the plasting spring housing swapped out. What do you think about sights?
 

Diamondback 2/2

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Okay starting with the night sights, they are kind of silly with use of a tactical flashlight IMO, they really only help with that first sight picture without a flashlight at night and then after you fire it’s really hard to track them anyway (due to the muzzle flash), if you are going to have a light mounted I would not worry about the sight at all. Once you turn the light on, those sights will show perfectly with the light on target contrast. But again if you have to have them, I would look at Meprolight or Novak sights.

I did a bit of checking on the Colt RG 1911, and apparently the trigger has a small bit of slop/lag. Without changing anything you should be able to have a smith cut/trim and polish the sear/hammer and that should take care of that. You posted that you want to stay around 4.5 lbs, so I would really look at just getting a cleaner break in the trigger that comes with it. Also keep in mind a new trigger will not be drop in, they will still need to match them up to get rid of any lag or slop.

The mainspring housing is a must and I would look at Ed Browns housing/magwell replacement. They normally fit really well and the flared magwell really helps with the reloads.

Recoil spring should be matched up the gun and ammo, simply saying 18lbs for this gun is a no-go. You really want to find the best ammo the guns shoots, then test different recoil springs to get the best recoil management. I would just buy a wolf spring variable pack 14lbs to 20lbs and test each one once you have matched your ammo up.

I would not change the barrel or bushing until you have proven the gun has lost performance in accuracy. 9 times out of 10 the rack grade out of the box 1911’s will out shoot the shooters capability. I would say that most people buy a gun, put the wrong ammo through it, think it’s the barrel or bushing and spend money to replace them, when they should have matched up the ammo to the barrel/bushing it already had. I would get your training time in with the barrel that comes with it, and then have a custom fit barrel and bushing once you have shot out the stock barrel/bushing.
I am not sure on the barrel fluting or why?
 

AWP

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I would say that most people buy a gun, put the wrong ammo through it, think it’s the barrel or bushing and spend money to replace them, when they should have matched up the ammo to the barrel/bushing it already had.

Yet surprisingly, not a lot of shooters know this or have figured it out. They go with whatever Guns and Ammo or awesomeknowitallgunsitedotcom tells them and then bitch about XXXXX's gun performance as being crap or whatever.

+1 on the Ed Brown mainspring housing. I want to say there is another reputable brand out there but they escape my memory. I'd have to go through some of the race gun websites to find them. I've heard great things about 10-8 sights but never used them myself.

Good thread.
 

Teufel

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Okay starting with the night sights, they are kind of silly with use of a tactical flashlight IMO, they really only help with that first sight picture without a flashlight at night and then after you fire it’s really hard to track them anyway (due to the muzzle flash), if you are going to have a light mounted I would not worry about the sight at all. Once you turn the light on, those sights will show perfectly with the light on target contrast. But again if you have to have them, I would look at Meprolight or Novak sights.

I did a bit of checking on the Colt RG 1911, and apparently the trigger has a small bit of slop/lag. Without changing anything you should be able to have a smith cut/trim and polish the sear/hammer and that should take care of that. You posted that you want to stay around 4.5 lbs, so I would really look at just getting a cleaner break in the trigger that comes with it. Also keep in mind a new trigger will not be drop in, they will still need to match them up to get rid of any lag or slop.

The mainspring housing is a must and I would look at Ed Browns housing/magwell replacement. They normally fit really well and the flared magwell really helps with the reloads.

Recoil spring should be matched up the gun and ammo, simply saying 18lbs for this gun is a no-go. You really want to find the best ammo the guns shoots, then test different recoil springs to get the best recoil management. I would just buy a wolf spring variable pack 14lbs to 20lbs and test each one once you have matched your ammo up.

I would not change the barrel or bushing until you have proven the gun has lost performance in accuracy. 9 times out of 10 the rack grade out of the box 1911’s will out shoot the shooters capability. I would say that most people buy a gun, put the wrong ammo through it, think it’s the barrel or bushing and spend money to replace them, when they should have matched up the ammo to the barrel/bushing it already had. I would get your training time in with the barrel that comes with it, and then have a custom fit barrel and bushing once you have shot out the stock barrel/bushing.
I am not sure on the barrel fluting or why?

Did I say fluted barrel? I meant ensure the the chamber is properly throated and polish it. Okay it comes with Novak sights, I will just keep those on it to reduce cost. I will keep the trigger it comes with and have the smith reduce the lag. I don't know anything about the recoil spring, just that the MEU(SOC)s had a ridiculously strong recoil spring. Strong like altoids. I will go with your recommendation. What do you think about polishing the chamber/feed ramp?
 

HOLLiS

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Yet surprisingly, not a lot of shooters know this or have figured it out. They go with whatever Guns and Ammo or awesomeknowitallgunsitedotcom tells them and then bitch about XXXXX's gun performance as being crap or whatever.

+1 on the Ed Brown mainspring housing. I want to say there is another reputable brand out there but they escape my memory. I'd have to go through some of the race gun websites to find them. I've heard great things about 10-8 sights but never used them myself.

Good thread.

The truth is bold. I get a headache on those sites. It is not honest, I don'tknowshitwillyouhelpmember, it is the awesomeknowitalls and the techweenies. I like cool new stuff, but I am getting to "hey it worked at Bunker Hill then, it will do now" sort of mentality. I really like KISS. I would rather carry more ammo and beer, than cool do dads.
 

Diamondback 2/2

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Did I say fluted barrel? I meant ensure the the chamber is properly throated and polish it. Okay it comes with Novak sights, I will just keep those on it to reduce cost. I will keep the trigger it comes with and have the smith reduce the lag. I don't know anything about the recoil spring, just that the MEU(SOC)s had a ridiculously strong recoil spring. Strong like altoids. I will go with your recommendation. What do you think about polishing the chamber/feed ramp?

As far as the feed ramp/chamber polishing, if a Smith is willing to do a package deal on the trigger job and polish the throat and chamber than yeah it's a good deal. If he is going to charge you anymore than $40 for the polish job, I would say do it yourself. I can talk you through it on the phone, email or whatever, but it’s too damn easy to be honest. I would not pay to have it done, but I would not have to buy any tools or polishing compound, ect. However, if you have a drimal tool, a polish bit, and some compound it takes all of 10 minutes.

As for the recoil; it’s really something you have to experiment on and see what works the best for you. Depending on how you grip the gun, lock out your arms and what is faster for you to stay on or transition to targets, will determine the recoil spring strength. There are soooooooooo many aspects on how something as simple as a recoil spring can affect the shooting or shooter; it is really hard to detail it out. The easy explanation is for you to find the best accuracy ammo, and than using what you already know in shooting that pistol, swap out the recoil springs until you find the best times (faster time on a simple body-body-head drill), and what helps you the best with recoil management.
 

policemedic

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I completely agree with JAB except for a few points.

a) I think any fighting gun needs night sights. JAB's mostly right when he says activating a pistol light with enable you to see the sights against the brightly lit target, but there are times you will be running the gun without a light, or activating the light will either not be helpful or will simply be tactically unsound. If the gun isn't going to wear adjustable sights, there isn't a really good reason not to put tritium sights on it. YMMV. The only thing I don't like about my Wilson is the fact that their Combat Pyramid sights don't lend themselves well to easy one-handed slide manipulation, and Novaks are the same way (of course, it doesn't bother me enough to change them; they're dead nuts on). If the ability to easily rack the slide one-handed is critical to you, you might want to look at something like Heinie Ledge sights and have Tool Tech install tritium tubes for you. Just a thought.
b) If the gun is reliable out of the box, I would probably not bother paying someone to throat/polish the gun. However, if I wanted it done, I'd give it to a smith to do rather than do it myself. Again, YMMV.
c) FWIW, there are 18# Wilson Combat springs in my Wilson, S&W, and Para 1911s. All run like scalded dogs.

My best advice is get the gun, take off all the packing grease, FrogLube it, and break it in. Once that's done, proceed as JAB has suggested.

Oh yeah, thanks for making me look at the Rail Gun...now I want one :-|
 
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