Essex Frame


R. Deckard
March 19, 2009, 09:41 PM
What is an "Essex Frame" I'm looking at buying a used 1911 in 38 super that says it is a "Essex Frame" with a Colt upper. I am wanting to convert it to a 9mm 1911.


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March 19, 2009, 09:55 PM
Essex is a parts house,it does not make complete pistols.The parts are good,workman like quality.I would jump on the deal.I recently missed one just like that because the dealer didn't know if an ''Essex'' was on the California OK list or not.Arrrgh!Anyways,just the Colt upper is worth haveing,and haveing it as part of a working pistola is even better.

March 20, 2009, 01:12 PM
R. Deckard, consider leaving it as a 38 Super. It really is a great round. I have often wondered why it hasn't become more popular than it is. I grew up with there being at least one 38 Super 1911 in the house, and dad was a die hard 45 ACP fanatic. I wish I would have made off with one of them.

March 20, 2009, 06:59 PM
Well I would want to know who built it Might be more trouble than worth. Essex frames aren't that expensive to start with.

March 20, 2009, 07:40 PM
Essex has a good reputation from what I've read, however, my plan if I purchase one is to have someone with great experience at fitting a slide do that step for the pairing.:D


R. Deckard
March 20, 2009, 11:31 PM
Most of my handgun experience is with Glocks, do the barrels just "swap out" on 1911's like they do with Glocks or do they have to be "fitted". I have been told I could just swap out the barrel and maybe play with the recoil spring to get the slide working right to shoot 9mm out of a 38 super gun.


March 21, 2009, 12:31 AM
1911 slides come with two different breechface sizes, the .45 size, and then a smaller one which accommodates 9mm/.38 Super/.40/10mm. You could use any of those calibers in your slide. You would need to change the recoil spring, barrel, and magazines, of course. The .45 and "small" slide also do not share slide stops and ejectors, but you don't need to worry about that since yours are the "small" one already since you are starting with a .38 Super. The barrel needs to be fit, usually. It is not "drop in."

A combination 9mm/38 Super would be a nice set-up to have.

To convert it to .45, you would need a new slide, barrel, slide stop, ejector, and mags.

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