I would like to put together a spare parts kit for my 1911. What parts, in your experience, are most prone to failure? Please list, by order of importance, the parts that I should keep on hand...thanks!
I keep the following on hand (not necessarily based on what is prone to failure):
Full set of pins and springs (1911 rebuild kit--Wilson sells it). Pins and springs are easy to lose if you're detail stripping the gun.
firing pin and f/p spring
firing pin stop
guide rod plug (easy to lose)
spare bushing (a "just in case" fit will work)
guide rod (this is important if you're using a tungsten guide rod)
extra recoil buffers (if you use them)
No one has mentioned it, but the only part that I have had actually break, was the thumb safety. and of course it was during a match. I agree with JimV- a second 1911 is better than a handfull of parts. Because it seems that things will only break when you need it!
I have enough spare parts to be able to change out any part that does not requir fitting, is dissassembled during field stripping, or can be replaced without any sort of significant adjustment being made.
Recoil spring cap
Firing pin spring
Firing pin stop
I don't have one, but a barrel bushing is a good idea as well.
These are all parts that can be put on by me, at the range, don't require a smith or special tools.
You needed an excuse to buy another 1911, didn't you? Bring your second 1911 along. If it is a match, you will doubtfully have time to tinker with the possible cause. Simply grab the other gun and you are back in the fight, the practice session, or back in the match.