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Leave it stock or use as a base gun?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by czrami9, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. czrami9

    czrami9 New Member

    Sep 25, 2008
    Hello everyone, wanting to get some insight from all of you. I picked up this Springfield MilSpec Stainless 1911 last night with plans to use it as a base gun to customize to my liking. How many of you have started with a base model like this and customized? What are some things you had done? Is Springfield's Custom Shop any good or should I send it somewhere else? OR, how many of you prefer to keep your 1911's looking like this? This is purely a fun thread, so let me know what YOU would do with this gun. I will give you my thoughts one what I want done after I hear some of yours.


  2. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Participating Member

    May 22, 2006
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    If this gun were mine and I could customize to my liking, I would:

    Install Commander hammer and beavertail
    Checker front strap
    Undercut trigger guard
    Install flat, serrated MSH
    Install long, flat trigger
    Extended safety or extended ambi safety depending on taste
    Install Aristocrat 3-position PPC rear sight
    Fiberoptic front sight
    Slide to frame fit tightened
    .38 super barrel and bushing installed and fitted for maximum accuracy, extractor as well (ETA: now that I think about it, this might not be possible, wouldn't you need a new breechface?)
    Compensator installed on barrel
    New sear and disconnector installed, tuned for super-crisp <2 lb trigger pull
    Bead blast the whole thing for a nice matte finish
    and finally a set of Nill Master series grips

    Probably not what you were expecting or wanting to do, but for some reason I've had the urge to build a single stack race gun recently...

    Anyway, Springfield custom shop does excellent work, but your pistol will work just fine without their touch. I think the money would be better spent on ammo for practice, but that's just me.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2010
  3. czrami9

    czrami9 New Member

    Sep 25, 2008
    Wiry that's exactly the kind of posts I am looking for. Plenty of ammo right now. I have .45 coming out of my ears! I am making my list of what I want to do right now. Any others want to play? :D
  4. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Dec 27, 2002
    northern california
    i'm having a build currently done on a Colt 1991 by a relatively lessor known, but up and coming, 1911 smith and i believe in letting craftmans express themselves...put their mark on it. i'm hoping he gets done soon, so i can take and post some pictures...but i don't believe in hurrying work like this either

    here's the "custom stuff":
    1. he's making custom sights for it
    2. applying a texture to the front strap (it's going to be a surprise)
    3. modifying the barrel bushing
    4. "re-linning" the slide and frame...truing the lines
    5. texturing and top of the slide
    6. Melonite finish

    the standard stuff:
    1. long solid trigger
    2. extended thumb safety
    3. beavertail grip safety
    4. beveled mag well...maybe an extended one
    5. Esmerelda grips

    if i were looking at changing calibres, i'd look seriously at the 9x23mm...basically a rimless .38 Super
  5. dom1104

    dom1104 Participating Member

    Aug 3, 2007
    I would leave it as is.

    1911 stuff ends up just a huge money pit, and you look foolish when someone who is a better shooter than you outdoes your score with a bone stock Springfield.

    Be the second guy, take all that cash and get some training is what I would do <am doing>.
  6. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Participating Member

    May 22, 2006
    West Lafayette, Indiana
    More than that, its a rimless .38 super designed to run at .38 super major power factor pressures (which are above even .38 super +p SAAMI spec). Essentially 9x23 is a cut down .223 case, including the thick web designed to hold back rifle pressures. Its a very neat round.

    MICHAEL T Mentor

    Feb 3, 2004
    outback Kentucky
    I would shoot it first and then decide .
    My self Good extractor , better fix sights , maybe a new tighter bushing , trigger at 4lbs no less if a carry pistol. I like to keep them simple and reliable
  8. AcceptableUserName

    AcceptableUserName member

    Mar 24, 2009
    base gun. have fun. the only stock 1911's i like are relic gi models
  9. David E

    David E Mentor

    Aug 3, 2008
    .38 Super and 9x23 would require a different slide or breech face.

    I'd make it a base gun. The goal of shooting, for me, is to have fun. It ain't fun when the gun is holding you back or if it hurts to shoot it.

    Clearly, you can spend as much as you want to, but if money is an object, then you don't have to spend $3000 to make it better.

    For ME, the essential changes would be, in no specific order:

    1) Ed Brown Memory Groove Beavertail. (this would require shortening the hammer spur)

    2) Flat, serrated (not checkered) main spring housing. (if you prefer arched, then save that money)

    3) Long trigger with over travel stop. (if you like short triggers, fit an overtravel stop to existing trigger)

    4) Ed Brown tactical or King's Gunworks extended thumb safety.

    5) Enhanced Front strap texturing. This could be a 5 cent piece of skateboard tape, checkeringn or scallops.

    6) Trigger job (if needed)

    7) Reliability job (if needed)

    8) "Swoop" on left grip panel to access mag release better.

    9) Slightly extended "tactical" mag release

    10) Sights I can see at speed. I could make the stock sights work on the gun pictured above, but when money allowed, I'd get a .100 wide fiber optic front coupled with either a Warren/Sevigny rear, a Heinie or Novak.

    After these, it would depend how accurate the gun was, how much money I had, etc. But these 10 mods will go a long way towards improving the shootability of the gun, which in turn, assists the shooter in making more accurate shots.

    Aside from machining the slide for the sights (altho drop-in versions are available) I could (and have) done all this work myself with minimal tools. The "trigger job" consisted of buying an EDM'd "prepped and polished" hammer and sear set coupled with a new sear spring and reduced power mainspring.
  10. Oro

    Oro Senior Member

    Sep 22, 2007
    WA state
    And also a different ramp cut, rendering it less reliable with .45acp.

    I'd leave the gun alone for a year or two until you master it. Or make changes that are not irreversible. The gun already has tall combat sights and a lowered/flared ejection port. The only other thing to make a really comfortable gun is to drop in a Colt "rat-tail" safety in case you get hammer bite (these are the Commander style grip safety like on the current model 04691). I've got a basketful of 1911 style guns from stock to highly custom and even a basic model like that can work wonderfully. Don't feel compelled to make yours look like magazine pictures or someone else's idea of "tacti-cool."

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