Rock Island Armory 1911 drop-in beavertail safety


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devildave31
July 25, 2009, 10:41 PM
I recently bought an RIA 1911A1 standard G.I. package. I would like to install a drop-in beavertail safety, but I am being told that I will have to replace the hammer with a commander style, which may include replacing the sear. Does anyone have any experience with this type of mod? does the drop-in beavertail live up to its name? If I replace the hammer, will I need to replace the sear at the same time? I am looking at Wilson combat parts for all three, less than a hundred bucks in parts. If the parts will go in easily, I will likely just do it myself.

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rondog
July 25, 2009, 11:15 PM
Depends on what you're expecting from a "drop-in beavertail safety". One that "drops-in" probably won't impress you much. I put this one from Kings on my RIA GI, and I hated it. Yes, you have to change or modify the hammer if you change the grip safety.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/10-26-07133.jpg

I had two RIA GI's, so I bought the beavertail, hammer and trigger for the RIA Tactical model from Advanced Tactical and set out to make my own Tactical. Fitting that beavertail required a LOT of grinding, filing and sanding to get it right and tight, and that required a lot of patience. Here's the mods compared to a stock RIA GI, you can see how much steel had to come off the rear "horns" on the frame.

In these "raw" photos, you can see I left a little steel on the bottom of the horns, they don't quite match the radius of the safety. I left that extra so the gunsmith that did the bluing could do the final contouring before polishing.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/DSCN1218.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/DSCN1220.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/DSCN1209.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/DSCN1212.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/DSCN1237.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/DSCN1235.jpg

Then I had Novak sights installed and the gun was polished and blued.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/DSCN1370.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/DSCN1378.jpg

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/DSCN1393.jpg

So, yes, it can be done, and by an amatuer. Won't cost much if you finish it yourself. My bluing job was $250, but I had my heart set on that finish. So the cost can vary wildly.

Bottom line - buy a new Rock Island Armory Tactical model! You'll be much happier, and a man's just gotta have at least two 1911's!

ROBBY.1911
July 26, 2009, 02:38 AM
wilson combat has what you want for the drop-in beavertail. while you are at it get their value-line hammer and presto you are in business.

2RCO
July 26, 2009, 04:11 AM
If you are on a budget you can Bob the spur on a standard hammer to fit. I've done this on a couple projects. FWIW 2RCo sells Beavertail Grip Safeties. I also sell commander style hammers but prefer to give a word of advice or two along with them, so I generally only offer them at Gunshows I am actually at.

Raleigh

devildave31
July 27, 2009, 02:03 PM
Thanks for the info and pics. My main questions are:

Do I really need to replace the sear and hammer as a pair, or is it just a matter of preference?
If I get the "drop-in" beavertail that has the extended radius on it, is there very much smithing involved?

My understanding, is that the odds of a true "drop in" are slim to none. A local gunsmith recommended the hammer/sear pairing to help reduce amount of smithing needed. One way or the other, I plan on doing it, I just would like to know how much money to expect to drop on it.

Also, for those who responded, how do you feel about your RIA overall?

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