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I have a Colt 70 series reproduction and an 80 series; both are government models. I have fired about 200 rounds through each without any problems. However, without a beavertail grip safety, they're not fun to shoot. One day I took them both to the range, along with my black powder revolvers. After shooting both 1911s, and developing the "bite" on my hand, I decided to shoot my black powder revolvers without any thought. I can't begin to convey how bad blackpowder hurts in an open wound.

Now, I would like to modify them both and install a beavertail grip safety on each. I hate to do it, because I like the way they look in their original state. Anybody done this to their Colts? What brand of beavertail should I use? Will the frame have to be reblued, since cutting will be involved?
 

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There is such a thing as a "drop-in" beavertail. In fact, several variants of Colt come with them. Ugly ones.
The Wilson drop-in is better looking. No alterations are required to the gun, but it will likely take more or less filing on the beavertail to get it in place and engaging.
 

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You'll also have to use a Commander hammer with the Wilson unit. King's Gun Works sells so-called "beavertails" that will work with a standard spur hammer.
 

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Some NON-Permanent mods to my M1991A1:

Before (the grips and trigger were in my parts box.)



Changes:

Wilson "drop in" beavertail grip safety.
Novak sights.
Gunsight low frame safety.
Ed Brown extended magazine catch.
Nowlin "drop in" trigger job w/Commander-style hammer.
Short trigger.




And with thin AlumaGrips I installed almost a year ago.




-- Chuck
 

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dakota1911 said:
Shooting glove will also work, and yes I know all about black powder.
I'd think I would change my gun rather than have to wear a glove so the act of firing your gun doesn't cut your skin.

But that's just me....I'm funny like that:cool:
 

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lovemyglocks said:
I looked at the grip safeties on King's website. Has anybody tried these?



:D
 

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Or maybe lovemyglocks in the first post should stay with the Glock. No hammer at all. No grip or thumb safety. Nothing between you and the "twinkle trigger" to go bang.

 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
dakota1911 said:
Or maybe lovemyglocks in the first post should stay with the Glock. No hammer at all. No grip or thumb safety. Nothing between you and the "twinkle trigger" to go bang.


There is something between you and the "twinkle trigger," it's called your brain! If I was completely satisfied with my Glocks, Sigs, or H&Ks, I wouldn't own three 1911s. Thanks for your input.
 

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I had a Smith & Alexander 250 radius grip safety put on and didn't refinish it.

Since, it's a "low" type grip safety, none of the frame needed to be blended to fit reasonably well...that means similar to a "production" fit 1911, but nothing like what you see from the "smiths" on this forum. The frame is cut, of course, and the top of the beavertail is not perfectly blended with the frame...like production guns.

That compares to putting on a "high" grip beavertail like an Ed Brown, which I did to the same gun. That's when the dremel comes out and you really "buzz" the frame. :D

If your picky, plan on a refinish.

John Harrison, on his website, has an excellent write-up on beavertails. I'd read that, and try to 'feel' and/or shoot 1911 with a high or low and see what you like.

Plan on changing the hammer, which can mean a trigger job. ;)
 

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You can modify the stock grip safety to allow for a good higher hand position. This will take the bite out of the grip safety and make the gun nicer to shoot.
If you look at the bottom of the grip sfaty in the picture you will see it's blended higher and has an up-swept tail.
I've done many of these on carry guns.
Regards
Bob Hunter
www.huntercustoms.com
 

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Discussion Starter #14
E-mail

Hunter Customs said:


You can modify the stock grip safety to allow for a good higher hand position. This will take the bite out of the grip safety and make the gun nicer to shoot.
If you look at the bottom of the grip sfaty in the picture you will see it's blended higher and has an up-swept tail.
I've done many of these on carry guns.
Regards
Bob Hunter
www.huntercustoms.com
Bob, I sent you an e-mail.
 

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Just had this done...

lovemyglocks said:
Now, I would like to modify them both and install a beavertail grip safety on each. I hate to do it, because I like the way they look in their original state. Anybody done this to their Colts? What brand of beavertail should I use? Will the frame have to be reblued, since cutting will be involved?
I just had this done to a Series 80 stainless Gold Cup, and picked up the gun yesterday and test fired it. I have shown a picture of the original gun below, with the typical Colt "tang" grip safety and long hammer. I will photograph the modified gun this weekend.

I took the gun to a good gunsmith that I have used before, and asked him to order the stainless Wilson Combat beavertail and "commander" style hammer for the parts. He charged me $170 for the whole job, which includes the parts he bought and his labor in cutting the frame and fitting the new parts. He did an excellent job and the gun looks and feels much better. It was comfortable to shoot yesterday and did not bite my hand as it used to. Because it is a stainless gun, no refinish was required. My hand grips the gun a little higher, and I shot well with the modified gun.

I was not worried about affecting the collector value of the gun because this is my "shooting" Gold Cup, and it already had a couple of modifications to it. I paid $600 for the gun about 9 years ago, buying it used at that time.



Here is an "after" photo of the Gold Cup with the new Wilson beavertail and hammer installed:

 

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FWIW - here's my RIA GI with a King's Commander hammer and their Commander style "wide grip safety". They have blue and stainless, no parkerized.:mad: You can see the blue really stands out against the parked finish, and I'm not real pleased with the way the g/s fits. I guess this is part of the "drop-in" thing. Maybe someday I'll try putting one on that has to be fitted. My gunsmith said he had to change the thumb safety also, the stock one wouldn't work with the King's parts?

Sure helped with the hammer bite thing, though. And that hideous rear sight has since been replaced with a lovely new low-profile Novak.



 

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lovemyglocks said:
I looked at the grip safeties on King's website. Has anybody tried these?
That's all I use on my 1911's.

2 were fitted by Kings and are perfect.

The third is a drop in I put in an otherwise stock RIA because I got tired of cleaning all the blood off. This is used for people to see what a stock 1911 shoots like, not my carry guns that have been 'gone over'.

Blood thinners+thin skin+stock GS=messy pistol.

My SM ACE still has the stock GS and IT even bites on occasion!

Rob
 
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