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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I bought my first 1911 it was a stainless, loaded gov't model. I love this gun. I bought because after doing all my homework here I decided it had all the modifications every 1911 "needed". Actually, although I love this gun I did, for a while, have two regrets. I could have had a slightly used parkerized loaded for $150 less (I got over that) or I could have had a blued Colt "Special Combat Government" for the same as I paid for the new stainless Loaded. (THAT I wish I had done. I am no less happy with my SA but I could still buy a new loaded stainless for about the same price today, I can't even find another Colt like that and I wonder what I'd pay if I did.) 1911's are the only auto that interests me right now and all I'd like next is a stock blued Colt Gov't or LWC.

Anyway, I since added a lightweight, bi-tone, Micro as my carry gun and I love that thing! I am getting ready to have the ambi-safeties swapped out for a smaller, single-side version. I prefer this for carry but figured I'd leave the ambi's on the 5" because it's more of a range gun for me. It made me think, though, Springfield, Kimber, etc. put togther a nice "package" that gives most people evrything they want, and most people who want to build a custom gun start with the absolute basics (mil-spec?) and customize everything. Has anyone used a Loaded model as a base and just 'tweaked' it rather than build completely from scratch? If so, what changes did you make?
 

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Installed a CMC single-sided thumb safety, removed the ILS, removed the FLGR, and installed Wolff recoil (18.5 lb), firing pin, & mainsprings.

And replaced their *way* out-of-spec grip screw bushings.

Edited to add : new hammer & sear pins, also.
 

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SA UC 9mm:
Standard guts in ILS MSH.
Single-sided thumb safety.
Recut integral ramp to handle JHP.
Standard thickness grip panels.
Paint front sight red.

MixMaster A
Swap uppers between Loaded 9mm and Lightweight .45.
Sell .45 and equip lightweight 9mm for IDPA ESP by:
Trigger job to 3.5 lb.
Mag well funnel w/o ILS.
Fibre optic front sight.
Recut integral ramp to handle JHP.
Pachmayr rubber grip.
 

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Springfield Operator (OK, not a loaded, but same idea)

Wilson Bullet Proof extractor, firing pin stop and slide stop
New style Kimber ambi safety
S&A magwell/mainspring housing
C&S "Super Match" hammer, sear, disconnect and sear spring
VZ Gatorback grips
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Cliffy, just curious. Did you buy the operator with the intention of doing all that? If so, why not start with something basic (and cheaper!) Seems to me if you had put all that plus new sites on a mil-spec you would have ended up with almost the same final result? (Except, unless I'm mistaken, the Operator is the light rail frame?)
 

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I didn't intend to get that out of hand with the Operator and yes, it does have the light rail. The slide stop and extractor were done because a crappy pistol my GF owns needed an upgrade. It seemed a waste to put such good parts on a gun that really couldn't benefit from them. I got the new parts and she got my hand-me-downs. I did the FPS at the same time because I figured I may as well get all the MIM parts out while I had an open order at Midway.

The hammer/sear/disconnect set are a different story. I bought them for a gun I am having built. Before I sent the parts off the the guy who is building it, I decided to see if they were, in fact, drop in. Well they were and they made such a dramatic improvement in the trigger pull, I left them in and ordered another set for the project gun.
 

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The Loaded is a great first M1911A1 because it has everything folks THINK they want! :cool:

Since most folks don't even shoot these on the range I expect they get a warm fuzzy feeling with all the accessories which come standard.

I love the look of blued pistols. I carry stainless, though, 'cuz they're a lot less maintenance.

-- Chuck
 

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The last Loaded I got was a Lightweight Full-size in April.
I made some changes, and will possibly do more.

Replaced the full length guide rod abomination with std type.
Replaced three hole trigger with Videcki solid type- personal preference.
Replaced Novak rear sight with Heinie- personal preference.
Replaced stock extractor with Brown Hardcore.
Replaced ILS mainspring housing with CMC plastic MSH- would prefer S&A aluminum, but had the CMC on hand.
Took sharp edges off here and there with stones.


Potential mods/changes:
Thumb safety- may replace with trimmer unit.
Grip screws- want standard slotted type.
Hammer, sear and disconnector with (probably) Yost-Bonitz parts- to improve trigger pull.
 

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I have removed the ILS and replaced the MSH with an Ed Brown checkered (25 LPI) MSH.

I am sending my 1911A1 into Gemini Customs to have the frontstrap checkered at 25 LPI, ambi thumb safety replaced with a single sided safety (not sure which one yet - perhaps Ed Brown tactical or STI), and to have the trigger worked on and reduced to 4lbs.

I am considering having it either bead blasted or hard chromed - or maybe it will remain as is. Also considering having the barrel crowned and perhaps having the full length guide rod replaced with an Ed Brown plug and spring.

My money tree is a little barren recently and I am waiting for it to blossom. Until then this project is on hold.

Luke
 

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Smooth grip panels
Adjustable rear sight ('cause so many S.A. 1911's shoot low!)
Nowlin "drop in" parts kit (drop-in they did not, but my trigger pull is better now... a crisp four pounds)

That's about it. The gun is flat out 100% after thousands of rounds through it. Nice pistol.

Chuck
 

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I have the parkerized "loaded":

So far I have replaced the FLGR with a USGI model from Ed Brown, EB USGI plug, EGW Angle Bore bushing, "Burner" grips, and Wilson SS Hex Head Grip screws. Mine has the single sided safety, but I knocked a little of the sharp edge off the outside. So far I have kept the ILS, but am getting ready to add a MSH with mag well, haven't decided which yet, prob S&A. Plan to get the EGW firing pin stop. Maybe a new slide stop; EB, Wilson, etc not sure yet. Maybe a little additional dehorning, and a refinish not sure color scheme yet. But shes pretty cool.


-Hershey
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Sry0fcr;
I am one of the lucky six or eight people in the world that got a 3" 1911 that works.:p I love my micro.
I was never a "two-tone" fan but it seems to work on this gun. (blue/black frame and stainless slide). This is the first gun I've owned with nite sites and they are also great. It's very light and feels right in my hand and my belt. The only thing I have any desire to change is to replace the larger ambi-safeties for a smaller, single-side model. (Maybe something just a little bigger than "G.I." version.) I like the grips, the finish, the site profile, the trigger, basically everything about it.
The only other thing I would even consider changing is conditional: I have never fired a 1911 that didn't have an extended beavertail grip safety. If I had the chance to do so and found that my hand and grip were not profiled to be susceptible to hammer-bite, I would consider going to a "G.I.-style" grip safety to further reduce the overall size as this is my main carry gun. If not that, maybe look into possibly having the existing beavertail trimmed as much as possible while still protecting the web of my shooting hand.

Many on this board and others feel the dual-recoil spring assembly, designed to enhance functioning in the short-slided guns, is an abomination to JMB's original design. For me, it works. I guess I am a blasphemer! My opinion has always been that JMB, if he was still alive, would not still be cranking out 1911's the same way they were adopted 94 years ago. If civilian concealed carry was as popular and in-demand in his day as it is now, who's to say he might not have invented that set-up himself? (Now excuse me while I stop, drop and roll!:biglaugh: )
 

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Here's the list of what I had done to my Loaded Operator:

Higher Rear Novak sight (to offset the gun shooting 6 inches low @ 25yrds)
replaced factory chipped beavertail with EB unit (tangs welded up)
replaced bowed/bent plunger tube with a Caspian unit
replaced FLGR with a EB GI unit
replaced ambi with EB single-side tactical unit
replaced control-fire components with C&S Tactical I components
EGW match barrel bushing
replaced extractor, slide stop, firing pin stop, firing pin and hammer strut with EB 'hardcore' units
EB extended mag release
Wolff springs throughout
replace ILS MSH with a S&A magwell
complete reliability package (trigger job set at 4.0lbs)
complete dehorn, prep and refinish in black Enviro-tech (Moly Teflon over Parkerizing)...whew!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
KillitnGrillit said:
Since I sometimes carry the Loaded, I replaced the ambi-safety with a Chip McCormick tactical single side safety,also replace the grips.Everything else is fine the way it is.:rock:
Edited to add; I also used grip tape on the front strap.
Are you able to post pix? I know I want a smaller, single sided safety but I haven't picked one yet.
 
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