1911Forum banner

Forum Discussions about this Product

1 - 10 of 14 Posts
    1. · Premium Member
      9,635 Posts
      For a serrated MSH, look at Ed Brown ( here's a link to it at Brownells ). I would have also suggested Browlnells for a Colt GI style grip safety, but they are listed as unavailable (though they do have the "enhanced" version). You might try giving a shop that does a lot of work on Colts a call to see if they have any take-off grip safeties.

      BTW, your project sounds a lot like mine (minus the rail and with a different .22 conversion). Mine is still sitting there in the vice (fit the beavertail and not much else thus far, lacking free time). Keep us posted, and post pics (need motivation to find the time lately).

    1. · Premium Member
      9,635 Posts
      Can anyone recommend a similar non-ILS MSH for the Mil-Spec that I could drop in?
      This thread has me thinking.
      If you're looking for an arched and serrated MSH, look at Ed Brown. If you'd like it to be checkered, you can also look at Smith and Alexander, also available with a lanyard loop.

      I have one of their checkered, arched, lanyard equipped mainspring housings on my WWII GI and a Yost-Bonitz modified Magwell on my Mil-Spec. Guncrafter Industries on my other 2 1911s (a Smith & Wesson and a home built Caspian). I like lanyard loops, but like flush for everything but my traditional GI.

    1. · Premium Member
      4,281 Posts
      Swappin' out a MSH is usually a routine, drop-in affair as far as pure function goes. Here's a sticky on how to do that: http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=178692. Take the guts out of the old housing, put them in the new housing, and install it in the gun. (Tip: The first time you do this, put the MSH (original and new) in a vice for disassembly and assembly of the housing. The vice will hold the housing steady, allowing you to use one hand to push the mainspring cap down with a punch and the other to remove the pin. All that can be done without a vice, and you'll probably do it that way later, but use a vice to hold it during the first few times until you get used to it. Otherwise, there's a good chance you'll stab yourself with the punch if you try to do it while holding the MSH in your hand.) After you get the new MSH assembled and installed, just check to make sure everything is working and that the grip safety doesn't seem to be dragging. Usually that won't happen, but it it does, just smooth a little metal off the top of the MSH where the GS is rubbing it.

      As for a "scalloped" housing, is the housing above the red arrow in the attached photo what you're lookin' for? That's an Ed Brown "snakeskin" housing, which is available here:


      or here: http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=1335&title=1911%20AUTO%20MAINSPRING%20HOUSING

      or here: http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=691793

      These are blued housings for full-sized frames, but those sources also have the bobtailed varieties and also in officer size (I think.)

      Might as well just leave the stock mainspring in the gun - they don't seem to wear out quickly (heck, I wonder if they ever wear out in normal use), but be sure to change out other springs, including the mag springs periodially. A great source is Wolff (www.gunsprings.com) - they have full service spring packs for your gun.

      Hope this helps.



    1. · Banned
      3,347 Posts
      Here's the link for the Snakeskin MSH. You had the right picture but that link you gave took you to the Chainlink MSH. I might have to try one of those out on one of my Raptors. Never thought about getting before. I don't know why Kimber didn't put a MSH on the Raptor that had the same "claw marks" as on the rest of the gun.
    1. · Registered
      169 Posts
      Discussion Starter · #1 ·
      It's been almost a year since I bought my Combat Elite and after several rounds through the tube, I thought I'd give a short update.

      To date, I have many rounds downrange and only about 3 malfunctions to report. All of these are attributed to the Colt mags that came with the gun and can't be replicated with other quality mags. It would be nice if they offered better magazines with these, but I guess that's a cost thing. It feeds and extracts the dirty steel cased Russian ammo, reloads, SD ammo, and normal Federal target ammo without hesitation. I currently run Winchester PDX1 ammo for carry - it's accurate and reliable and seems to expand well. Accuracy, as I reported when I first got the gun, is exceptional and very predictable. I'm not too keen on the Novak sights, so I swapped out the rear Novak Lo Mount for a 10-8 rear with standard U-notch, electing to keep the white dot up front. The difference is night and day and the 10-8 gives the clearest and fastest sight picture I've ever experienced. I can't recommend it enough. The 10-8 rear drifted right into the dovetail without any fitting necessary. It actually fits better than the Novak that came with it.

      I discarded the full length guide rod for an Ed Brown GI rod and plug for ease of takedown. These parts fit perfectly and haven't changed the way the gun handles. It may be lighter up front, but I really can't tell a difference.

      My Combat Elite came with a S&A beavertail without the bump/palmswell and I found that sometimes, without a death grip, the safety would not be disengaged. I swapped it with a S&A grip safety with palmswell. Aside from a small amount of fitting/filing on the arm, the safety dropped right in to the existing radius. The new grip safety positively disengages now and perhaps helps keep my hand higher due to the bump.

      I bought a Harrison medium solid trigger for this gun mainly because of it's flat face, as my oem trigger would sometimes start to dig at my finger when shooting for extended periods of time. My original was also wobbly with both horizontal and vertical play. After fitting the new trigger and testing it out, I can see why people prefer them. The smooth face makes squeezing the trigger even more enjoyable and the medium length seems more natural for my size hands. The trigger has no wobble and the pull is much more crisp. People that have handled the gun before and after comment on how nice it feels.

      My final alteration on this gun was the plastic mainspring housing. I know it's a topic that has been beaten to death, but I still can't see why they're using plastic for this part when the cost is what it is. I wanted something steel ( I like my guns heavy) and something with more grip than the vertical serrations, that to me, offer none. I contemplated using a checkered MSH, but finally decided on the Ed Brown chainlink pattern. It's an interesting design in that it's smooth when you touch it vertically, but very grippy when touched horizontally. I was a little apprehensive at first because it didn't look like it had any bite to it at all. Not so. It's very comfortable to shoot with it and it dropped right in without fitting. I was able to use the guts from the plastic oem without any trouble.

      Anyway, I guess that's about it. I think the gun was really nice when I first bought it, and now, with the aforementioned mods, think it's great and really fits me as a shooter. It's my primary carry and I trust it 100%. Anyone looking for a modern workhorse 1911 without ambi safeties and a nice barrel should handle one.

      Obligatory crappy photos from after the range and still dirty:

      Parts list mentioned:

      10-8 Rear sight: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=26673/Product/1911_AUTO_U_NOTCH_REAR_SIGHT

      Harrison Extreme Service trigger: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=27429/Product/1911_AUTO_EXTREME_SERVICE_TRIGGER

      Smith and Alexander grip safety: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=12747/Product/1911_AUTO__E_Z_FIT_HI_GRIP__SAFETY

      Ed Brown GI rod and plug: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=1357/Product/RECOIL_SPRING_PLUGS_for_1911_AUTO

      Ed Brown chainlink mainspring housing: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=1335/Product/1911_AUTO_MAINSPRING_HOUSING
    1. · Registered
      772 Posts
      Discussion Starter · #11 ·
      Update - I made the following modifications:

      Replaced Springfield trigger with a solid medium nighthawk trigger

      Replaced the MSH with an Ed Brown flat checkered housing

      Replaced the slide stop with a Wilson Bulletproof one

      Installed a C&S 4lb ignition kit which also provided the mainspring

      Replaced the recoil spring with a 16lb Wolff spring

      Replaced the factory mags with 3 Wilson ETMs

      This turned out to be quite a bit of work. As some suggested the Wilson ETM mags only sort of worked with the stock slide stop - it would engage, but just barely. The culprit was the slide stop being out of tolerance on the face where it contacted the magazine follower. Replacing it with the Wilson part resolved that issue and lock-back now functions correctly. The Wilson slide stop required minor fitting as it was slightly larger than the frame holes.

      Replacing the MSH was fairly easy. The Ed Brown part did require minor fitting - it was too tall and interfered with the grip safety, but only when both the thumb safety and MSH pin were 100% in - otherwise there was just enough slop that everything worked. Took a couple tries at assembly to understand what was going on with that one, but easy to file a little off the top once I did.

      The trigger was easy - file and stone the top and bottom of the trigger until it fit. No other work required and its geometry matched the Springfield part to a T. I set the over travel screw to match the factory part and no additional adjustment was required.

      The C&S ignition kit was a huge pain. The parts themselves were machined and finished fabulously, but noting else wanted to play right. The hammer strut didn't want to come off the stock hammer because the pin had been staked, so I got a new Ed Brown strut and pin and used those. The C&S hammer interfered with the grip safety, so I had to take some metal out of the safety, which was very awkward. I got there with a file eventually, but clearly I didn't have the right tool. Actually, I don't know exactly what the right tool would have been. Then the thumb safety didn't want to engage, so that had to be re-fit which isn't hard but took time because I didn't want to ruin the part. The really should stop using the words "drop in" with these kits - because there's no way they're just dropping in. Result: crisp pull very close to 4lbs. So it was worth it.

      I de-horned the thumb safety and sights. I decided against replacing the sights because I don't see any better options - too bad the new Tripp rear sight is Bomar only and not LPA. Then I re-blued all the small parts, oiled, re-assembled and did all function tests that don't require live fire. Everything passed. I'll function test at the range tomorrow and post a couple of targets.
    1. · Registered
      706 Posts
      The ILS in my MSH made the trigger on my SA Loaded TERRIBLE - I had to change it out to get a decent trigger pull.

      The fact that I put on a very nice Ed Brown one helped ease the pain :)
      I got the snake skin, but I like the looks of the chain link also...

      So far I have had no issues with the 2 piece guide rod, but I do prefer the simpler GI set up and may change it someday.

1 - 10 of 14 Posts

Forum Reviews

Be the first to review this product

Write a Review

Do you have experience with this item? Help our community members and share your knowledge.

Sign in to add review