1911 Spare Parts


May 27, 2004, 02:42 PM
I have been depending exclusively on my 1911s to carry me through all the matches that I shoot. These guns absolutely must run and so far they have been 100% dependable but I realize that that will not last forever. I have several major matches coming up and I can't afford to be unprepared.

My main competition pieces are a Kimber Stainless Gold Match .45 ACP and a Kimber Stainless Target II 9mm. The .45 has about 12,000 rounds through it and the 9mm has gone bang about 5,000+ times.

I currently carry a spare slide stop that functions in both guns, extra magazines, and more then enough recoil springs.

What parts should I have on hand in case of an emergency and why? Also, who makes the best particular part for my guns? (e.g. Ed Brown's Hardcore .45 extractor, Wilson's Firing pin stop, etc.) Thanks in advance.

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Jim Watson
May 27, 2004, 03:39 PM
I'd carry a spare FITTED extractor and a firing pin. If something else breaks you are going to need a spare gun.

Ken Rainey
May 27, 2004, 08:35 PM
If you want to be prepared for all but a catastrophic failure like a cracked frame or slide or a blown barrel, then you should keep the following spare parts already pre-fitted: extractor (as Jim said), firing pin, firing pin stop, mag release, slide stop, thumb safety, recoil spring guide rod and plug, hammer, sear, disconnector and barrel bushing. Having a extra set of pins and springs on hand is always wise too and a grip safety or mainspring housing could save the day (a small portable vise will be needed to hold the MSH while you remove the cap, spring, and plunger). If you have all of these things that are already fitted to your pistol and something breaks, you can replace it and be back up and running in a few minutes. It would be best to replace the hammer, sear, and disconnect as a set.

Yeah, this is every part except a trigger - ok, get a spare trigger too, just in case "Murphy" is struttin his stuff!!

If you stick with the stock Kimber (Chip McCormick) parts you'll have a better chance of minimal fitting - although, the stock parts are all MIM made - the general concensus among those that know is that forged steel parts are the best - not cast, not MIM. Although, with 12,000 rds thru yours, it seems to be made of good MIM parts.

Of course, YMMV

Dave Sample
May 28, 2004, 12:22 AM
I always carried a spare 1911 ready to rock and roll. All parts fail. Some fail sooner that others ,but I do not believe that it's predictable.

May 28, 2004, 08:49 AM
Parts failure is predictable! Any part will fail at the least opportune moment in time and when no replacement is readily available.:D

May 28, 2004, 10:26 PM
I'm not a 100% on this but I don't think one can enter a match with one gun and finish with another. So the idea of having a whole firearm as backup is not only cost prohibitive but I think it's against the rules.

I guess what I'm looking for is the short list of parts that are most prone to failure.

May 29, 2004, 08:50 AM
I would have a spare extractor, slide stop, recoil spring plug( in case it flies off into the 4th dimension), same for the small plunger parts.

I'm the kind that will replace certain parts at intervals. At 25,000 rounds I'll replace the firing pin and stop, not to mention springs at different round counts. So, I'll use the "old ones" as spares(not the springs of course).
Sounds like you shoot enough, so buy them now or buy them later. ;)

Ken Rainey
May 29, 2004, 01:19 PM
Parts most prone to failure: Extractor, slide stop, firing pin stop, thumb safety, and mag release. Following those, you may have a sear fail. Detail cleaning and inspection (with magnifying glass) before a match might give a heads up on parts that have worn too much or are starting to crack.

Forged barstock steel parts are the best - each of the above would likely require a little fitting. Ed Brown harcore barstock parts are good = hammer and sear, thumb safety, mag catch. Cylinder and Slide makes a spring steel extractor. Firing pin stop from Ed Brown, Briley, Wilson Combat, or EGW which is oversized - file for perfect fit.

All parts are listed in the Brownells catalog (except the C&S extractor) - just read carefully about their composition before ordering. If you don't have a catalog, I can list the parts numbers for you.

Kimber will replace any broken or worn parts for the asking.

Your (and my) Kimber is composed of MIM parts and has help up well and may yet go on many more thousands of rds on the factory parts. IF you want to take a chance on the MIM made parts being done correctly, you can order Chip McCormick parts and save some money too, but the ones in the know recommend forged barstock steel properly heat treated for the best made parts. You spend your money and you take your chances.


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