1911 Questions

sumoj275

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Yeah what he said. You’ll wind up building a turd that got rolled around a dirty barbershop floor
Listen to this guy, he knows of what he speaks. I had a TRP he worked on and I miss it all the time. I was stupid to get rid of it for something I don't even know now.
 

CSeverns

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You don‘t necessarily need to get a Rock Island for an inexpensive 1911 either (although they’re very good for the $, I own 2). MACs and Citadels are also good choices and I think they’re actually made at the same factory in the Philippines that RIs are made. There are also brands like Tisas, Regent, and SDS that are also some decent budget 1911s made in Turkey.

All parts are pretty much interchangeable unless you plan on putting a beavertail on a GI model with the regular grip safety. This requires buying a fitting jig and grinding down the GI style frame tangs in the rear because they jut out as opposed to being rounded and contoured like the ones with the beavertail. Since it is your first 1911, it’d seem sacreligous to go with anything other than a full sized government model chambered in .45acp, but that’s just my opinion on it.
 

BillPenn

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Thanks, lots of good info. I would just as soon not build a harry tird (gunbuffer). Likely I will will start with an inexpensive model like the RI, and build it up from there. I was really mostly curious how compatable the parts were.
 

CSeverns

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*Other things to be mindful of is that some have a GI style recoil spring guide and plug, and others have a full length guide rod, but it’s not difficult to swap out one for the other. Most use the non-ramped barrel with a pivoting barrel link, but there are a few out there that use the ramped Para style barrel. Some also have the thicker and heavier bull barrel and the reverse plug without the bushing. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the bull barrel configuration if you’re new to 1911s because they’re a lot more difficult to field strip, plus most 1911s use the traditional barrel bushing anyway.
 
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Chris Hayes

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You don‘t necessarily need to get a Rock Island for an inexpensive 1911 either (although they’re very good for the $, I own 2). MACs and Citadels are also good choices and I think they’re actually made at the same factory in the Philippines that RIs are made. There are also brands like Tisas, Regent, and SDS that are also some decent budget 1911s made in Turkey.

All parts are pretty much interchangeable unless you plan on putting a beavertail on a GI model with the regular grip safety. This requires buying a fitting jig and grinding down the GI style frame tangs in the rear because they jut out as opposed to being rounded and contoured like the ones with the beavertail. Since it is your first 1911, it’d seem sacreligous to go with anything other than a full sized government model chambered in .45acp, but that’s just my opinion on it.
I strongly second the option of Turks to learn/experiment with. My favorite 2 1911s are my Tisas and my Dan Wesson. The Tisas came with a pretty horrible trigger for a 1911. $32 (at the time) got me a new Wilson combat sear, trigger and sear spring. With these 3 parts and a good polish on the trigger bow channel inside the frame I now shoot this cheapy Turk better than my Dan Wesson.
 

trekrok

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A long time ago I got some how-to dvds that Wilson combat put together. Showed how to do a lot fitting type work. As I recall they were pretty good.
 

Buzzdraw

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Big difference in quality between a Wilson Combat and other like semi-customs vs. an inexpensive basic 1911. If you just want to become familiar with one, go buy a Rock Island. These aren't great but will almost certainly run. Avoid Tarurus. Do not buy a WC or a RI with the intent to change a bunch or parts. Simply not cost effective to do so. A few parts, like grips are pretty much bolt on's. A drop-in trigger kit may or may not be truly "drop-in". Other parts require minor or sometimes major fitting. Parts range from cheap castings, to quality MIM to fully machined tool steel. If a stressed part, tool steel lasts much longer.

The quality 1911's have a bar stock slide and a forged frame. The cheap ones will have a cast frame, just won't last as long as a forged frame. The only really good cast frame comes from Caspian.

I would not advise a 1911 novice to buy a slide/frame fit and try to assemble it into a WC. The Caspain slide/frame prefits are okay but aren't a true gunsmith fit. You are simply running on the burr's, which will quickly wear down.
 

JaredC

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I bought 2 RIA 1911s a few years ago to teach myself to do just what you are trying. I bought the two most basic ones they offered, if I remember correctly they were less than $400 back then. My plan was to have one to practice customizing and another I can take apart to help me if I get stuck. Anyways, good luck. Im sure you will learn a ton along the way
 

CSeverns

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A few more budget 1911s out there that will run well are ATI (their GI model is pretty good, their GI commander is even better because it has a beavertail, and the compact Titan which is a badass little ccw for around $400). EAA Girsan models are up there with RIs in terms of quality, just Turkish made. American Classics are part of the MAC line and offer some unique 1911s (like the compact commander). Auto ordnance is another company that makes only mil-spec GI versions of the 1911. Auto ordnance and Thompson are both owned by Kahr which is US based. Also, check out the Springfield Mil-spec (my 1st 1911), another GI type no frills 1911, the Springfield is what I started tinkering with and its how I gained a lot of my 1911 knowledge.
 

Matt Giroux

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A few more budget 1911s out there that will run well are ATI (their GI model is pretty good, their GI commander is even better because it has a beavertail, and the compact Titan which is a badass little ccw for around $400). EAA Girsan models are up there with RIs in terms of quality, just Turkish made. American Classics are part of the MAC line and offer some unique 1911s (like the compact commander). Auto ordnance is another company that makes only mil-spec GI versions of the 1911. Auto ordnance and Thompson are both owned by Kahr which is US based. Also, check out the Springfield Mil-spec (my 1st 1911), another GI type no frills 1911, the Springfield is what I started tinkering with and its how I gained a lot of my 1911 knowledge.
I'll Second the Springfield, my first 1911 ever was the Springfield 1911A1 in Stainless, picked it up for $500 in the box, and outfitted it as I saw fit (beavertail, barrel, guide rod, safety etc), but I never got real deep into the more technical aspects
 

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