Accurizing my 1911


February 24, 2013, 10:13 PM
Hello All,

I purchased my first Government model 1911 back in 2010 (Desert Eagle 1911 G, dead nuts reliable) and have since made great strides in my shooting ability with it. I made the decision when I purchased my reloading set up instead of buying a new gun to shoot the guns I have a lot more in order to get more proficient with them. My new years resolution was to do my absolute best to shoot around 1k rounds a month, and I've been doing OK in regards to that.

So far the only mods I've done to the pistol are a trigger job (about 4 pounds), a flat trigger (10-8 flat trigger, love it), Kensight rear adjustable sights, Hi Viz fiber optic front, and VZ grips for a better grip. I am now looking into a MSH with a flared magwell for USPSA and IDPA shooting (Limited 10 and CDP, respectively).

My main questions are what brands should I look at for a flared mag well, and what would be the next logical step to squeeze some more accuracy out of my pistol? I have heard mention of having a smith fit a match bushing to my barrel, but would it be better to get a match barrel/bushing combo and then have it fitted to my gun? Would a slide/frame tune-up be beneficial? I don't want to break the bank (sub $400 or so) but I feel like I could benefit at this point of my shooting to up the ante with my pistol.

So, HighRoaders, with your plethora of knowledge, what would be the next step for me?


-SSG John V.

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February 24, 2013, 11:21 PM
Money can spend rather quickly on customizing pistols. I don't participate in match events though I suspect for those you're looking at absolute accuracy isn't so critical as time. I'd suggest attending a match and discussing rules and regulations. No doubt there will be folks willing to help there.

February 25, 2013, 12:09 AM
I've been told barrel to slide fitment is the most important for accuracy. Getting a good bull barrel fitted might make a big difference.

February 25, 2013, 02:14 AM
If you're going to do it, you should do it right.

Not knowing what the accuracy potential of your stock barrel is, I'd get a matched barrel and bushing fitted to the slide. Get a gunsmith fit set rather than a drop-in set, that way they'll be able to fit the lugs, foot, link and hood when they fir the bushing.

The most common MSH/Magwell installed is either the S&A (1-piece) or the Brown (2-piece). To really gain the most from either magwell, it is a good idea to bevel the magwell of the frame to blend with the chute's angles. If you are using flush bottom magazines, you'll have to add baseplate bumpers to use with the magwell

February 25, 2013, 10:37 AM
If it's strictly a game gun, the Dawson Ice Magwell is hard to beat in USPSA shooting. Not sure if it's IDPA legal. As far as accuracy, what kind of groups are you getting at 25 yards? Are you sure you are going to keep the gun long enough to justify the work?

February 25, 2013, 11:22 AM
Barrel to slide fit is important for accuracy. The slide can be loose on the frame with a good barrel/slide fit and be accurate. I had a 1911 while in the Army that sounded like it would fall apart when shaken but the barrel/slide fit was good and I qualified expert with it all the time.

There are a lot of opinions on slide to frame fit, but barrel to slide fit is more important.

February 25, 2013, 12:25 PM
How accurate is it now? What kind of accuracy are you trying to get? Is it already more accurate than your shooting ability?

February 25, 2013, 01:45 PM
Id say its on par with my ability. My standings at local matches are consistently in the top third and accuracy is better. I need to work on my reloads, recovery from shot to shot, and my accuracy at 15+ yards. If I can squeeze some more accuracy out of it that would be great moving forward. It will hold 3-4" groups at 25yards at the moment.

Jim Watson
February 25, 2013, 02:39 PM
I have S&A mag well funnels but have not bought a new gun in a good while.
I am seeing a lot of monster mag wells just barely fitting the IDPA Box. The Dawson Ice seems to be the main one.

Your sights and trigger are fine.

How accurate is the gun now? Is that 3-4" at 25 yards hand held by you the owner? That is really pretty good. If it is from a Ransom Rest, it could be better.

A fitted $ bushing will probably help mechanical accuracy, if the fit is not sloppy at the breech. A new $$ barrel fitted by a knowledgeable $$$ gunsmith will almost certainly help accuracy, IF NEEDED.

You can get a pretty good bushing from EGW if you send in the appropriate measurements.

Slide to frame refitting on an economy model gun is probably not worthwhile.

February 25, 2013, 02:55 PM
For IDPA, a 4" gun at 25 yards is plenty accurate.

Everybody I talk to who has a DE 1911 is very happy with them. The local gun pusher who sells them claims the barrels are EDM and rival Nowlin so you should be able to get 2-3" accuracy from the gun.

I would say spend the money on ammo and training classes.

February 25, 2013, 04:05 PM
Those groups were from sandbags with commercial JHP ammo. To be honest I havnt done accuracy testing at 25 yards with my reloads. I will do that and will most likely make an assessment from there. I will definatey look into the ice magwell though. Thank you for the input!

February 25, 2013, 06:49 PM
If you need bullseye accurate (1.5" from a machine rest at 50 yards), the way to go is to have a top smith fit a Kart National Match barrel and bushing. (Joe Chambers and Greg Derr come to mind). If you want some good ammo to test with, check out the loads from ASYM Precision, they are very accurate.

February 25, 2013, 07:29 PM
The magwell will help in loading and reducing time. A match barrel with bushing will increase accuracy if done by a good gunsmith.

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