Interchangeability with 1911's


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Usmc-1
June 3, 2011, 09:07 AM
I was thinking about this seriously , since AR's have so many parts that are interchangeable , wouldnt 1911's have the same changability?

I mean ,I could have a match grade bolt / slide /lower / trigger , I mean basically I could build one , I mean thats how AR's are marketed , why not a 1911?

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Ramone
June 3, 2011, 09:37 AM
Yes and No...

1911 pattern pistols were designed and orginally manufactured long before CNC and the kind of repeatable precise machining availible when the AR was developed in the early '60s. As I understand it, the pistol was designed to be 'hand fitted' using handtools and a 'standard' frame at the factory.

In addition, the 'Series 80' type pistols, and even the changes from 1911 to 1911A1, the Commander and Officers Models, etc., have some parts changes that make things a bit more tricky.

MOST 1911 parts can be fit with some file work- some parts, in some pistols will actually 'Drop In'. Some will require a bit of file work, sometimes a jig. You *can* build one out of parts, but some fitting (like fitting a new barrel) is a little specialised.

mgmorden
June 3, 2011, 09:45 AM
Ramone mostly has it. The engineering of the 1911 is 100+ years old now (the AR15 design is now old as well, but not nearly AS old). That doesn't make the gun bad, but it affects the methods used to manufacture it. Humans are good at doing certain types of things, and machines are good at other things (with some overlap).

Modern designs tend to favor the operations that are easy to setup a machine to do. As such, they are cheaper to produce, and parts are more likely to be a drop-in replacement between different models.

1911's need more hand-fitting, which is why they tend to cost more, and their parts don't interchange as easily. If you notice the budget models are all from places like the Phillipines where manual labor still is relatively inexpensive.

JTQ
June 3, 2011, 11:12 AM
I see a lot of this on forums. Folks that have grown up during the "Glock era" (not saying you did, but the internet did grow up in the "Glock era") dealing with "Leggo guns" where you take one part out and snap another in.

The 1911 does not seem to work this way, which causes a lot of consternation from new owners that think they'll just swap out some part and then can't figure out why it just doesn't "drop in". I've seen knowledgeable 1911 folks claim the only "drop-in" parts on a 1911 are the springs.

BossHogg
June 3, 2011, 11:27 AM
That's the main reason I don't buy a used 1911. To many people like to tinker with 1911's and when they mess them up they just sell them.

How many post have you seen that say's "I just got a new 1911 what upgrades should I start with".

mgmorden
June 3, 2011, 11:36 AM
How many post have you seen that say's "I just got a new 1911 what upgrades should I start with".

I think it's a LITTLE less common these days then it used to be. Most of the manufacturers have basically gotten to the point where they understand that the beavertail grip safety, combat hammer, full length guide rod, and better sights were something that tons of people wanted (and I'd wager those were the most common "upgrades"), and so these days its far more likely that you can just buy a pistol that is what you want out of the box rather than viewing it as a starting point for a bunch of aftermarket addons.

raz-0
June 3, 2011, 11:41 AM
I was thinking about this seriously , since AR's have so many parts that are interchangeable , wouldnt 1911's have the same changability?

I mean ,I could have a match grade bolt / slide /lower / trigger , I mean basically I could build one , I mean thats how AR's are marketed , why not a 1911?

Hm lets see. I own 3 1911 pattern guns. None of the slides fit on any of the other guns. two are bushing barrels, one is a bull barrel. None of the bushings fit in the other guns. One of the bushing barrels could be put in the other gun, but the link pin hole is a different size. I have the same S&A MSH with mag well in two of them, One dropped right in, the other required fitting, so those aren't interchangeable.

It's a nice idea, but it doesn't work that way.

Apocalypse-Now
June 3, 2011, 11:50 AM
no. many 1911 manufacturers use slightly different specs.

Old Fuff
June 3, 2011, 07:32 PM
Following World War Two, and more so the Korean War, the Army went to considerable lengths to re-dimension the parts used in service-grade 1911-A1 pistols to insure complete interchangeability between all component parts - including frames - regardless of what contractor made them. The idea that considerable hand fitting was necessary is a myth.

Colt commercial Government Model pistols made following the war also had parts that were dimensioned to military standards, until about the time the Series 7 were introduced.

However as combat games became popular, customers demanded ever increasing accuracy, and so tolerances were tightened to so-called “match standards,” and sometimes even tighter – by both Colt and other manufacturers that came into the picture. Thus over time the Old Warhorse became more of a Big-Boy Toy.

Today the latest version of the original government blueprints is available, but to my knowledge no current manufacturer pays any attention to them. Put bluntly, they don’t represent what most users want.

Skylerbone
June 4, 2011, 12:30 AM
JTQ, that's just dead wrong. Aftermarket stocks will fit any 1911 without fitting. (unless you have a bobtail. Or if you have an officer frame. Or slims. But any other 1911 they'll fit. So it's not just the springs. And ammo. Universal. Unless yours doesn't feed HP. And let's not forget magazines. Unless they don't lock the slide back or cause feed and extraction issues.

Lots of drop in parts. That's what makes them fun.

rskent
June 4, 2011, 07:28 AM
Skyler- You havenít put on a set of stocks that didnít fit right? A set that wiggled even after you tightened them down or that you had to fit to the bushings?


JTQ- Most people I know have to fit (tweak) the sear spring to get the correct trigger pull on a 1911. I used to have an older Commander that would stack the recoil spring. So I always check for that now too.


I donít think there is any single part in a 1911 that doesnít need some amount of fitting. With all the people making 1911 pattern pistols and parts, if you get some parts that fit perfectly I think itís just blind luck.

Happy Tinkering
Steve

Skylerbone
June 4, 2011, 11:07 AM
My last stocks came from Sarge and the total for 2 pair was just a shade under $200. The fit was beautiful.

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=142214&d=1305479581

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=135911&d=1297134240

My last trigger was another matter entirely. 2 hours on a $20 part and constant filing, assembly, hammer follow, disassembly, filing.....too long a bow can be a really bad thing.

rskent
June 5, 2011, 05:12 AM
Nice stocks!

Skylerbone
June 5, 2011, 09:50 AM
TheFinerGrain. Sarge is a member of another forum dedicated to 1911s and I had admired his work far too long before ordering. Every time I look there's at least one set I dream of owning. Great fit and feel and a great guy to buy from.

Usmc-1
June 7, 2011, 08:26 AM
So I guess "interchange-ability" isnt exactly accurate , however , upgrading is , there are numerous parts exchanges available , just none of the major parts fit (oh sure , tinkering works but out of the box?)!

Thanks for the info , and I didnt exactly "grow up" during the Glock invasion , I was before that (so I guess I did , as you did) !!

Ramone
June 7, 2011, 09:25 AM
Well, My most recent 1911 - actually a Colt Officers ACP (circa 1985) accepted without modifications or any fitting all the following parts in SS:

Kimber Extended thumb Saftey
Wilson Slide Stop
Wilson Combat 'Tactical' Mag release
Ed Brown Rebuild kit (Mainspring Cap, Mainspring Housing Pin Retainer, Hammer Strut Pin, Hammer Pin, Sear Pin, Mainspring Cap Pin, Magazine Catch Lock, Safety Lock Plunger Assembly, Barrel Link Pin, Ejector Pin, Mainspring Housing Pin, Mainspring, Mag Catch Spring) ( I did not change the barrel link pin)
Wolf Single spring Recoil spring, mainspring, and Firing pin Spring

I also installed a SS Wilson Grip safety, which did require a bit of shaping to clear the hammer.

Basically, everything but the barrel, bushing ,and link, the Firing pin, Firing Pin Stop, Ejector, extractor, The series 80 parts, Sear and Disconnect, Trigger and Hammer, the frame and slide, have all been changed out.

Barrel, FPS, Ejector and Extractor are changeing afte I Electroless Nickle plate the frame and slide. Those parts I expect to have to fit- but most of it will be doable with a file.

GCBurner
June 7, 2011, 08:17 PM
Model 1911A1 parts built to military specs will interchange on Model 1911A1's, including the Chinese clones. Commercial versions of the 1911, like the Series 80, the Gold Cup, and versions made by other manufacturers than Colt may require hand fitting.

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