1911 Wwyd? (long)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by mattw, Aug 19, 2005.

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  1. mattw

    mattw Member

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    Ok everyone has probably already seen my 1911 that I have been changing little by little over the past few months.

    It started out as a Springfield Armory Mil-Spec as faras I can tell (my dad bought it for me in used condition). It appears to have a slide Springfield puts on its Loaded pistols. It had no ILS and a commander style grip saftey and hammer and Novak LoMount rear sight.

    The first thing I did was shoot it alot. I recently graduated from high school and found some more time to play with it. I shot it a little more and decided that the arched mainspring housing had to go, my hands are too small and I wasn't getting a comfortable grip. While I was tossing ideas around in my head I began reading articles on the MEU(SOC) Pistols which were modified 1911s that the Marines had issued to certain units and eventually the Det 1 Kimber USMC ICQB Pistol. I read various articles about it in alot of magazines and decided it would be cool to have what the most elite of special forces have.

    I Began looking around at the Unertl 1911 and the Springfield Armory MC Operator and the Kimber Warrior and all these various 1911s that wanted to be the Kimber ICQB Pistol. Wow I really wanted a Kimber Warrior...but I didn't have $1K to blow on a pistol (especially a series II with a firing pin saftey system :neener: )

    I had a revilation! I'll just turn my Mil-Spec into one! Why not?! I looked at my NM prefix serial numbered peice of American steel and said "Oorah!" I ordered a pair of Simonich/Strider Gunner Grips in Coyote Brown to slap on, this would be the most visually significant place to start. $71 later I had an awesome looking pair of grips at my door and a cool looking handgun that was ready for further customization and ICQB emulation. I put those bad daddies on and put the (slippery) old black rubber grips (they turned out to be non-wraparound patchmyers! thats not stock SA is it? this gun is just wierd.. I thought it was pretty much stock...) in the bag the Gunners came in.

    MVC-010F.jpg

    The next order of business was to make a change that would be just as visual as it would be functional, the arched MSH's days were numbered! I was juiced from the look and feel of the Gunner Grips as I placed an order with Brownell's for a Smith&Alexander flat, checkered MSH with a lanyard loop. The same look as the one on the USMC Kimber. $50 later and I was a happy guy. Awesome look and much improved feel to my hand.

    MVC-033F.jpg

    Now I am at another cross-roads. I have eliminated the two most visual differences between my SA Mil-Spec frankengun and the ICQB Pistol. The next step is what I would like opinions on. Do I replace the grip saftey? thats the next most visual difference right? It is also functional, sometimes I don't depress the commander-style grip saftey because of my high-hold and my smallish hands. Ed Brown Memory Groove just like the ICQB, right? At only $40 from Brownell's it seems like a good, cheap next step but I have read that it requires something called a ".250" radius cut" to fit Springfield Armory frames. I have no problem with that, whatever will make it fit works for me. How much will that work cost me, though?

    Or should I get an EGW ignition set: a new hammer, sear, disconnector, and sear spring. This will improve trigger pull over the stock componants right? Is tool steel as rust resistant as stainless? Would I need to get the tool steel hammer finished? I want a hammer that looks (or is) stainless steel just like the one on the ICQB. The EGW hammer in the ignition set is the same look. This is a bit more expensive than just the grip saftey replacement but its under $100 so its ok. What do you guys think about the EGW ignition set? Good quality stuff? Is there something better that looks the same?

    I'll need some wilson-rogers mags as specified by the USMC Det 1. They aren't cheap but its a sure thing that I can spend money on while I decide what to do next.

    I know this deviates from the Kimber ICQB, but I would like to have the front strap of my pistol checkered at 20 LPI, the same as the checkering on my MSH. I can send it to the Springfield custom shop and have it done for $75 by a machine. Is that a good deal? Not as pretty as hand checkering, maybe but does that really matter?

    The Kimber ICQB has Novak LoMount sights like i've already got, that is good, I like these sights alot. But the ICQB has tritium inserts. Should I buy NEW Novak sights with tritium or can I just have it put in the sights I have now. How much will that cost?

    My SA also has an extended slide stop lever and the ICQB doesn't. Who makes a good standard-sized slide stop? I perfer checkered but I guess I could settle for serrated.

    Who makes the best ambi thumb saftey? I'll need one of those. Not too wide though. What about the trigger? Who makes a good stainless, serrated, skeletonized match grade trigger? I was thinking Wilson Combat.

    I plan on getting a Dawson Precision light rail for my pistol as well. I have decided to go with the Surefire X200 compatable version instead of the military version that accepts the Surefire military pistol light. The X200 is 1/3rd the size of the military's light and just as powerful. This will be much later because it will cost around $300.

    Conclusion:Thanks for putting up with my questions and thanks for giving your opinions and advice. I would like nothing better than to hear of what you think of my pistol so far and if I have selected a company or part that is not the best then please let me know who makes a better whatever. I am also interested in anyone that has had first-hand experience with any of the after-market parts that I have mentioned. Back to Brownell's Catalog #58 :D
     
  2. bigmike45

    bigmike45 Member

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    mattw,

    Thats a great looking gun.

    My Project Gun started like this:

    [​IMG]

    Bought mine super cheap, new in box, as a mistake in shipping the wrong gun to my local gun dealer. Instead of sending it back he sold it to me at his cost.
    I totally dehorned the slide, lowered and flared the ejection port, changed sights to Novak Tritium's, added a Springfield beavertail grip safety and sent the slide & frame to Springfield to have them reparkerized. I changed to a Wilson ambidextrious thumb safety and checkered flat mainspring housing, McCormick Trigger and Cylinder & Slide Drop In Trigger Pull Set then added a set of Hogue Grip Panels. The final result is my pride & joy and my daily carry weapon:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. glocker1911

    glocker1911 Member

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    You've got a nice start there Mattw, good looking pistol. I think you're at the point now though where further mods are going to start getting a little expensive. Hope your project ends up like you are hoping for. BTW, although I am no Kimber fan, I thought I'd point out that the Warrior does NOT have the series II FPS, or external extractor for that matter. It is made like one of the original (so called) series 1 models. It may actually be a current production Kimber that IS worth taking a look at. Good luck.
     
  4. MNine

    MNine Member

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    I went throught the same issue with mine. I had my MEUSOC replica based on the first model they were building on old USGI frames and Dave Berryhills replica package. I will post a pic for you to see when I get home today. The first models from what I read had cylinder and slide sears and disconnectors, clark or king's grip safeties (which switched later to the Ed Brown version) and colt combat style hammers (mine is a MGW hammer). You'll also want a Videcki style trigger too. I actually have a spreadsheet with all the parts and prices somewhere if you want it (for the first style). Mine was built on a Norinco 1911.
     
  5. HSMITH

    HSMITH Member

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    $75 for machine checkering isn't a bad price, and I like checkered front straps.

    The fire control group you have works, yet the grip safety isn't working 100% for you. That right there tells you that you need to do the grip safety first. I thought the Springers needed a .220" radius though.....

    Good magazines are a must also, so they would go ahead of the fire control group also.

    Do you you shoot left handed? If you don't shoot left handed much save the ambi safety for later. Look to Chip McCormick for the trigger and ambi, they don't cost a lot of money but they are good quality.

    Sights, you will be better off having new sights installed that already have tritium inserts in them. The rear is a snap to change, the front you will want to have done as it will need to be staked in place.

    This is the logic I would apply in your situation. Hope it helps.
     
  6. mattw

    mattw Member

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    Thanks for the swift responses guys.

    bigmike, that is a good looking handgun, i would never be able to tell it started out as a GI model!

    That is pretty cool, i'm glad if it doesn't.

    MNine, I think i've seen a picture of your norinco before but i would still like to see again. That spread sheet would be great though.

    You're probably right, I was just going to hand my gunsmith the Ed Brown saftey and my gun as tell him to "git-r-done," so i don't have to worry about messing anything up.

    I was afraid of that.. new Novaks will cost me about $120. Oh well.. thats the price of perfection, right?
     
  7. mattw

    mattw Member

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    Does anyone have an Ed Brown Memory Groove grip saftey on a Springfield armory frame? How much did it cost to get it installed or how did you install it yourself? I would really like some prices and opinions here.
     
  8. MrChicken

    MrChicken Member

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    If it was me...
    I'd save up the money for the new gun. In the end, it will be the gun you wanted.
    More importantly, you will have 2 guns!!! :)
    Keep following that strategy and soon enough you'll be buying that gun safe you always wanted. :)

    OTOH, there's nothing like building up a gun to your liking. Even if it isnt cost effective there can be a world of enjoyment doing it your way.
     
  9. mattw

    mattw Member

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    yeah i decided a while ago that I would rather like to put the parts on my springfield than get a warrior...I do need a gunsafe, though... :scrutiny:
     
  10. Seraph

    Seraph Member

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    Matt, I believe the Ed Brown beav, with its .250" radius, will require welding up extra material onto the frame tangs of your Springfield, which has not enough material there (shorter tangs than a Colt) to make the two parts mesh well. Smith & Alexander makes a beav specifically for fitting to SA Mil Spec and GI frames, with a .220" radius at the joint. I think Wilson Combat and Caspian also make .220" beavertails.
     
  11. bigmike45

    bigmike45 Member

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    Mattw,

    There is always Springfield, they sell parts such as a beavertail grips. That's where I purchased mine and the reason was I wanted to keep the parkerized finish and look. Springfield was the only one that could give me that.....and believe me I looked!!!

    I had to radius the frame to fit but did not have to do any welding on mine. Just another suggestion. If your gun is blue instead of parkerized any major manufacturer's, except the Ed Brown, should work for you.

    bigmike45
     
  12. usp_fan

    usp_fan Member

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    Seraph has it right. Ed Brown grip safety and Springfeild are a mismatch. Go with the S&A and the .220 radius. Here is a write up of my springer conversion.

    Here is where I wrote up the do-it-yourself at home installation of the S&A grip safety.

    Good luck,

    --usp_fan
     
  13. mattw

    mattw Member

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    Thanks alot guys, those were the answers that I needed. A bit disappointing, though, I really liked how the Ed Brown saftey looked.
     
  14. usp_fan

    usp_fan Member

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    Matt,

    You can make the ed brown part work, but it will require quite a bit more blending and when depressed, It might leave a gap at the top of the tangs.

    Your call.

    --usp_fan
     
  15. Mossyrock

    Mossyrock Member

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    Talk to George Smith at Evolution Gun Works. (www.egw-guns.com) They do tang welding for grip safeties on a routine basis. He would also be a good person to address any other gunsmithing issues to. They are some of the best in the business.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2005
  16. mattw

    mattw Member

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    Thanks alot mossy!
     
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