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1911 Parts Questions

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by sprice, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. sprice

    sprice Active Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    I have a few questions- to say the least! What is the difference between all these different types of 1911 parts and how do they change the gun(like the operation or feel or reliability?

    Mainspring housing (curved/straight)
    different grip safetys
    hammers (spur type/combat)
    triggers (short wwII type and longer modern type)
    throated barrels and other minor internal things
    full and original recoil spring guide rods
    ejection ports (standard vs. lowered and flared)
    barrel bushings
    manual thumb safeties

    any other parts I didn't think of?
  2. Magnumite

    Magnumite Active Member

    Jan 9, 2004
    Belcamp, Maryland
    I'll nibble first.

    The flat mainspring housing allows (for me) a more reliable grip when using strong hand thumb over thumb safey hold. The arch housing is good for traditional grip or to raise point of the pistol (that's why it was an upgrade for the 1911-A1 pistol.

    Upgrade "high hold" grip safeties (and the original short tang 1911 grip safety) allow for a higher hold on the pistol. This reduces muzzle flip and allows for faster followup shots.

    I'll let the others join in on their pointers and observations.
  3. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Participating Member

    May 22, 2006
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    Here's my take. I'm no expert so I'm sure I missed plenty, but I'm sure one of the boards many experts will be along to fill you in.

    Combinations of different trigger lengths and mainspring housings can be used to tune grip size and trigger reach perfectly for your hand.

    I like the ones with the bump. For some reason the just seem to offer me a better grip and deactivate easier. Its probably personal taste more than anything.

    The spur type is a benefit if you like originality or if you like Condition 2 carry, since the spur makes for safer decocking and easier manual thumb cocking. The spur can bite some people with high grips or large hands, though. The loop style hammers won't bite you, but are difficult to manipulate with your thumb. Also race guns will have lightened loop style hammers for minimum possible lock time.

    Throated barrels help with feeding, especially hollow points. There are so many "minor internal things" that can be done to a 1911 you could start another thread on it.

    Some people say the full length guide rods make recoil smoother. I haven't noticed this. I prefer GI length because it allows you to rack your gun one-handed by pushing the slide against tables, fencposts, bootheels, etc. and it makes stripping easier.

    A bigger hole for the spent brass to come out of = more reliable ejection

    Its not so much what kind of bushing you have, but how well its fit. The key to accuracy in an auto is the consistency with with the barrel returns to battery relative to the sights. In a 1911, a well-fit bushing is a big part of this.

    Adds more grippiness. How grippy you want it and where you want it is all personal taste. Some people love or hate front cocking serrations, front strap checkering, etc. Its all up to you and what you want to do with your gun.

    If you're left handed or very defense-minded and practice weak-handed in case of an injury, you might want an ambidexterous safety. If you want to be able to reach the safety easier or use it as a shelf for your thumb, you might want an extended safety. There's also a huge variety of widths of safeties to fit your personal tastes as well.
  4. SSN Vet

    SSN Vet Mentor

    Jan 3, 2006
    The Dark Side of the Moon
  5. sprice

    sprice Active Member

    Jun 25, 2008
    any more info?
  6. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Senior Member

    Mar 28, 2009
    Yakutsk, Sakha Republic
    Check out alumagrips. They have a thin grip that is......well, thin. Really make a 1911 better to carry, but slightly odd to shoot. The Olive Grey is really cool.
  7. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    May 22, 2003
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    A short sidestep, just as a point of interest...

    The long triggers predate WW2 by a good many years. The short triggers were incorporated into the "improved" version that was later designated The Model of 1911A1 US Army.

    The transition was complete by mid-1924, along with the arched mainspring housing and the scalloped areas of the frame behind the trigger. The changes were made to alter the pistol's pointing characteristics and to better accommodate shooters with smaller hands.

    Carry on!
  8. The Lone Haranguer

    The Lone Haranguer Elder

    Jul 30, 2006
    Johnson City, TN
    Responses in bold.


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