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Question: Convert 1911 .45acp to 9mm, what must be done?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Phoenix_III, Dec 5, 2005.

  1. Phoenix_III

    Phoenix_III Well-Known Member

    I am curious as to what would have to be changed in order to make a Colt 1911 (Series 70) fire a 9mm round instead of the defacto .45acp.

    The Obvious
    * Barrel [including link and pin, and bushing]
    * Magazine

    Not Sure Of
    * Extractor (Different overall diameter of cartridge)
    * Ejector (Hope not but location location location)
    * Springs (Could go about this a couple different of ways)
    Teach me. =)
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Whole upper assembly.
    Barrel, slide, most small parts.
    Ejector. Magazine.

    Some luck that the .45 frame ramp will not be too deep to feed 9mms.
  3. Phoenix_III

    Phoenix_III Well-Known Member

    I can do a dedicated slide... but ejector? Most are not the screw type. Argh.

    So who makes a good 9mm 1911? and What's the magazine situation with those? (IE, go with Wilson Combat, Metalform, etc?)

    Thank you. =)
  4. BullfrogKen

    BullfrogKen Moderator Emeritus

    Might be easier to find a 38 Super and drop in a 9mm barrel. Well . . . they don't exactly "drop in", but you get my idea. I had a .45 ACP LW Commander converted over to 9x23. Only reason I did it was I got a good price on it; I was looking at paying premiums for older (80s series or before) unmolested 9mm and 38 Super LW Commanders. I didn't want one of the newer "Enhanced" Commanders. So, for me, the cost of the conversion turned out to my favor, my smith gave me a credit for the .45 top end.

    Mags - Metalform. Only place you can get Wilson is to buy Wilson 38 Super mags from Brownell's. They will work, but I think they're overpriced. Metalform 9mm mags work, and so will a 38 Super mag.
  5. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    I use mostly Metalform magazines. I prefer their 9-round .38 Super magazine with rounded follower because it is the most positve on engaging the slide stop for an IDPA slidelock reload. The Springfield Front Ramp design is good, too. Even the old Colt style rear spacer magazines work pretty well.

    I have tried ten-round McCormick and Metalform Super magazines to get up to IDPA ESP Division maximum capacity and they are a sometime thing. The McCormicks worked pretty well in my Colt when new, but their springs are getting tired and at least one of the four I have is no longer reliable. They are hard to insert under a closed slide and make a Tac Load difficult. So I have quit bothering with them. Supposedly Metalform has a 10-round 9mm in the works. It will take careful design and manufacture to get that many tapered 9mms in a single column magazine, though.

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