.45 to .40 conversion: ever do it?


July 11, 2008, 12:52 PM
I try for 1-2 range trips and 1-2 IDPA matcher per month, which is probably 500-1000 rnds per months mostly through 1911's. However, gas and ammo costs, etc, are very much making me pull back on that schedule. Last week I got a case of white box in .45 ACP and it cost me $330!!!!!!!!! And that was on sale at Dicks Sporting goods. That's approx $17 per 50rnds, which is is just retarded.

I hadn't purchased ammo in a while as the past purchase was larger and lasted me a while, so I had not had to deal with the new prices... At those prices, it's above my car payment to shoot that much.

I am really considering converting one 1911 to .40 as I can get that for free (don't ask) , or damn close to free. Up front cost of conversion would cost some $$$, but long term savings could be considerable as I don't see ammo, etc coming down any time soon...

Anyone here ever do a conversion vs buy a pre built .40 1911? Experiences?

If you enjoyed reading about ".45 to .40 conversion: ever do it?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
July 11, 2008, 01:03 PM
I have no experience with converted or prebuilt .40 1911s. But from general experience with 1911s, I would say that you are probably better of buying a prebuilt .40. Off the top of my head I cant think of many manufactures of .40s, I know Wyoming arms used to make them, as a matter of fact my local shop has one for $350 used. Oh yeah, para makes one or more in .40

It just depends on if you are looking for a full on race gun, or are happy with a factory stock pistol

July 11, 2008, 01:09 PM
Probably something inbetween for IDPA and CCW. I have two custom 1911s in .45 and one stock SnW in .45 that sits there and does nothing. My understanding is the major change is the slide and barrel. So, it would be less $$$ to convert the stock SnW than buy a new Para, and I am not a fan of that brand anyway. I have not seen any decent used .40 1911s in the stores around here, and I am in MA, which = limited choices.

My other thoughts are, what about mags? .45 mags are everywhere, but how many companies make .40 mags for 1911s? Choices, choices....:rolleyes:

July 11, 2008, 01:42 PM
I think that chip mccormick makes mags for .40, and Ive seen some others from less reputable companies. I have a 1911 in 10mm, and I haven't ever had problems with mags, and if all else fails, use 10mm mags.

Yeah I guess that all you would have to do is put together a top end, you will need a smith to fit the slide to the frame and barrel, unless you can get it tight yourself. Fusion has slides, barrels, and mags for .40


Oh and fyi, I just noticed when I was poking around, most STIs are available in .40


July 11, 2008, 01:49 PM
Great info thanx. I can't get an STI in MA, but I can get STI barrel and slide for conversion, so that's good to know. Will have to see if places like Caspain have such options, but if not, STI makes quality parts. Glad to see see mags exist also. I know .40 1911s are popular in some circles, so it makes sense enough .40 mags exist out there. Good deal.

July 11, 2008, 01:51 PM
Kimber makes a 40, I think wilson, para and some others do as well. I think if you get a 9mm or a 40, you can change out barrels and mags(possibly extractor) and swap calibers. I've got a freind with an Eclipse 40 that works great.

July 11, 2008, 01:54 PM
Thanx, I believe however slide has to be changed also. Total top end change more or less.

July 11, 2008, 01:55 PM
i think kimber stopped their .40 production, because at least for the eclipse I know that now it only comes in .45 and 10mm. Unless its by some special order that I haven't heard of.

July 11, 2008, 01:58 PM
I shot a Para P16-40 for two years in weekly ipsc shoots and it was a great firearm. They can be bought used for cheap as they are considered (by some but not all) as an entry level uspsa competition gun. They are really great guns though and should not be thought of as "entry" quality...its just the STIs are true competition guns. The Para P16-40 are high cap weapons so they are not for ccw. Mags are also real available.

July 11, 2008, 02:08 PM
I stand corrected in Kimber. I just looked on their website. No 40's. Thay were good when they had 'em. The whole slide does not have to be replaced when going from 40 to 9 to 38 super. Only slide components. As a matter of fact, my 45 slide fits on my 9mm frame and vice versa. The 45 can't be converted because of the ramp cut in the frame, but the 40 and 9 both have them. There was somebody on this forum that got a caliber swap 40 for their 9mm.

July 13, 2008, 02:24 PM
No offense, but it seems a bit off base to convert a perfectly good .45 caliber to .40 caliber. Why not just buy another gun... then, you can compete with either one, and if ammo costs are the issue, just shoot the .45 less often.

I shoot .22LR all the time for technique, grip, etc. and then shoot my other guns after I'm satisfied that I have my technique working. It's much cheaper and everything I'm shooting is "right out of the box" with a bit of polishing, etc. to smoothe out triggers, etc.

I'd just buy another gun in .40 cal.


July 13, 2008, 02:34 PM
Several reasons. I don't shoot the SnW much at all as I have two custom 1911s in .45, so I could sell it and put the $$$ toward new 1911 in .40, convert it, or let it sit in the safe and do nothing. I'm in MA, so my choices of new 1911 in .40 is limited to Para, and I don't like the brand much.

A new custom build from scratch would cost more than the conversion of course, which falls between a new Para and a full house custom in costs, and perhaps, quality. I dont see used quality .40 1911s around here. My guess is 400-500 in materials and 300-400 in labor for conversion using high quality stuff: Caspian slide, Kart barrel, etc.

With the original cost of the gun, that's approx 1600 (worst case) with a new STI, or other .40 1911 costing a tad more then that to a lot more then that, which I can't buy in MA anyway.

July 18, 2008, 03:58 PM
So no one has ever done this conversion? :confused:

July 18, 2008, 04:17 PM
I think to put .40 in a .45 sized gun would negate the advantages of the round. You lose the shorter grip length and in the case of the 1911 the double stack mags.

I should add the disclaimer that I'm not a fan of .40 to begin with, but I understand why it's liked.

If you enjoyed reading about ".45 to .40 conversion: ever do it?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!