1911 A1 Needa a barrel and mainspring


February 11, 2010, 03:20 PM
Yesterday I picked up a Colt 1911a1 (circa 1944) from my neighbor, It was his fathers which he carried in tha Pacific in WW2.

I have decided that it will need a barrel and mainspring, both of which I can easily change. My question is

What Mainspring is the correct weight?

I need a decent barrel, I have no intention of shooting this in competition, Its just going to be a plinker. I (think) I would like something with a improved feed ramp, will this pose a problem? (I'm running out of 1960's military ball ammo) Is ther anything I need to watch out for? Are 1911 barrels basically the same (I am aware of 70 series and gold cup differences) What do I need to look for?

Thaks In Adavance


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February 11, 2010, 04:11 PM
Stock Mainspring (hammer) would be 23 pounds.

Stock Recoil spring would be 16 pound.

What is wrong with the barrel you have?
It seems a real shame to replace the barrel on a 1944 GI gun with a lot of history and collector value. Way too many of them have been lost forever to ill-advised modifications over the years.

If I were to replace it, I would try to find another one of the same vintage.

If not that, any current standard aftermarket 1911 barrel will drop in and work with the existing barrel bushing.

You probably do not want a drop-in match barrel.
You definitely do not want an unfitted match barrel, unless you are prepared to make it fit & work properly, or a ramped barrel unless prepared to modify the frame permanently.


February 11, 2010, 06:18 PM
Those original barrels are getting very pricey, especially in good condition...so take rc's advice if you want a shooter grade barrel and keep the original one.

February 11, 2010, 06:53 PM
That is kind of the plan, I am looking for a shooter grade barrel. The Barrel (original) looks near new. My neighbor's dad was a dentist in the Navy, so I don't think he had a call to fire it much. The guy I got it from has been my neighbor for 30 years, So I have a pretty good idea how much he shot it, I remember when his dad died and he got it. I will probably shoot it some I have several 45's so I will never shoot it much, but hate to mess up a near perfect barrel of this vintage. So I am thinking that I will drop in a replacement, for any shooting I will do, and keep the original barrel with the gun Should I ever choose with it.

The Recoil spring is the one that I need, It has a nick in it, and is somewhat deformed. So rather than break the spring at the nicked spot, I will jsut replace it.


February 11, 2010, 09:52 PM
+1 to what's already been said. Especially knowing the barrel is in good condition. Just use it for what shooting you do - it fits the gun and will shoot well. A new barrel can cause MORE wear on the gun unless it's very professionally fit.

I would replace the springs (including the firing pin spring) and then just shoot it periodically but not excessively. These are very desirable in stock condition.

February 11, 2010, 10:39 PM
Barrels are not drop in, they need fitted to the gun.

February 12, 2010, 07:56 AM
Heck, now knowing the barrel is good, I'd shoot it as is. You can't hurt the barrel if you maintain it properly and use good proper ammo.

Put in a mainspring if you think it needs it and shoot away.

February 12, 2010, 12:11 PM
A new barrel can cause MORE wear on the gun unless it's very professionally fit.Sage advice.

Leave the gun alone and shoot the barrel that came in it.
Shooting it will not hurt it.

You can do much more permanent harm to the frame & slide putting an after-market barrel in it.

The barrel in it now has worn into the slide locking notches, etc.
A different barrel will have a different wear pattern, no matter how well it is fitted.


The Lone Haranguer
February 12, 2010, 10:53 PM
What, if anything, is wrong with the barrel? I think it highly unlikely enough rounds have been fired through it to wear out the rifling. That - or other damage such as rust pitting, locking lug deformation, etc. - is the only reason to replace it.

February 13, 2010, 01:27 AM
Leave the stock barrel I have only saw 1 1911 USGI with a total shot out barrel. It must have fire a lot of rounds . My USGI shot HP as long as I used the more rounded nose kind Your going to use ball for shooting any way. Leave it as issued and enjoy it I almost bet you can't wear it out in you life time. Their history and deserve to be left as they came. To many already gone or ruined .

February 13, 2010, 01:45 AM
Wolff Gunsprings at www.gunsprings.com makes excellent springs for most popular model firearms. They are very good quality and come in a variety of weights. Stock would be 16 for the government 1911.

February 13, 2010, 01:55 AM
If the Barrel is fine, leaving it be, leaving it installed...allows the Pistol it's authentic, right integrity.

You will not harm the Barrel with occasional standard velocity or old MILSURP Hardball plinking so long as you clean rightly after any corrosive Primer ones...you will not harm the Barrel in the next ten thousand rounds of Standard 'SAAMI' Load Lead RN or Semi-Wadcutter Bullets, either...even if it may tired the Spring out a little.

These were very good Pistols, and, when original, were not associated with any 'feeding' problems with right-OAL Semi-wads, or RNL.

Have fun!

Good find..!

February 13, 2010, 08:37 AM
The only original barrels I've seen so far that were not in good condition were because:

They were not cleaned and maintained properly. With early corrosive ammo this made a couple look like a find the rifling task.


They were improperly installed and the lugs were beat to death...in the slide, too.

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