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Rock Island Armory 1911 drop-in beavertail safety

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by devildave31, Jul 25, 2009.

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  1. devildave31

    devildave31 Member

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    I recently bought an RIA 1911A1 standard G.I. package. I would like to install a drop-in beavertail safety, but I am being told that I will have to replace the hammer with a commander style, which may include replacing the sear. Does anyone have any experience with this type of mod? does the drop-in beavertail live up to its name? If I replace the hammer, will I need to replace the sear at the same time? I am looking at Wilson combat parts for all three, less than a hundred bucks in parts. If the parts will go in easily, I will likely just do it myself.
     
  2. rondog

    rondog Member

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    Depends on what you're expecting from a "drop-in beavertail safety". One that "drops-in" probably won't impress you much. I put this one from Kings on my RIA GI, and I hated it. Yes, you have to change or modify the hammer if you change the grip safety.

    [​IMG]

    I had two RIA GI's, so I bought the beavertail, hammer and trigger for the RIA Tactical model from Advanced Tactical and set out to make my own Tactical. Fitting that beavertail required a LOT of grinding, filing and sanding to get it right and tight, and that required a lot of patience. Here's the mods compared to a stock RIA GI, you can see how much steel had to come off the rear "horns" on the frame.

    In these "raw" photos, you can see I left a little steel on the bottom of the horns, they don't quite match the radius of the safety. I left that extra so the gunsmith that did the bluing could do the final contouring before polishing.

    [​IMG]

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    Then I had Novak sights installed and the gun was polished and blued.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So, yes, it can be done, and by an amatuer. Won't cost much if you finish it yourself. My bluing job was $250, but I had my heart set on that finish. So the cost can vary wildly.

    Bottom line - buy a new Rock Island Armory Tactical model! You'll be much happier, and a man's just gotta have at least two 1911's!
     
  3. ROBBY.1911

    ROBBY.1911 Member

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    wilson combat has what you want for the drop-in beavertail. while you are at it get their value-line hammer and presto you are in business.
     
  4. 2RCO

    2RCO Member

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    If you are on a budget you can Bob the spur on a standard hammer to fit. I've done this on a couple projects. FWIW 2RCo sells Beavertail Grip Safeties. I also sell commander style hammers but prefer to give a word of advice or two along with them, so I generally only offer them at Gunshows I am actually at.

    Raleigh
     
  5. devildave31

    devildave31 Member

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    Thanks for the info and pics. My main questions are:

    Do I really need to replace the sear and hammer as a pair, or is it just a matter of preference?
    If I get the "drop-in" beavertail that has the extended radius on it, is there very much smithing involved?

    My understanding, is that the odds of a true "drop in" are slim to none. A local gunsmith recommended the hammer/sear pairing to help reduce amount of smithing needed. One way or the other, I plan on doing it, I just would like to know how much money to expect to drop on it.

    Also, for those who responded, how do you feel about your RIA overall?
     
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