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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am interested in putting together a WWII English 455 1911. Where can I find a barrel chambered for this, is there any modifications extractor-wise required? I understand that the slide, magazines, sights and otherwise were stock Colt parts. Any suggestions?
 

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Josey said:
I am interested in putting together a WWII English 455 1911. Where can I find a barrel chambered for this, is there any modifications extractor-wise required? I understand that the slide, magazines, sights and otherwise were stock Colt parts. Any suggestions?
keep an eye on gunbroker, IIRC there was a complete 455 1911 on there recently (past month or so) or at least the parts from one...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK. I saw those parts. I knew where he got them from. I was too slow though. I have been wanting a 455 1911 for awhile. Thanks for the prompt reply.
 

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By my recollections and a search on Webley in USGI here, the .455 magazine is NOT the same as .45 ACP. More important, the .455 magazine WELL is not the same and a .455 magazine will not insert in a .45 receiver.

.455 auto brass is semi rimmed and the mag must be wider. Does this mean that the breechface has to be wider, too?

Best ask DSK and the guys on USGI, but I don't think the barrel is exactly the same, even externally, although I have read that a .45 barrel can be used in conversion, along with a (loose) .45 magazine.

Do you have a supply or source of .455 ammo?

I thought the .455W Colts were WW I guns of 1911 pattern, to supplement the Webley automatics. By WW II we were lend-leasing, selling, and giving GB plain vanilla 1911A1 .45s and S&W M&P .38s
 

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I read the 455s where WWII british conversions of US 1911A1s. Is that not true?
 

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Jim Watson said:
By my recollections and a search on Webley in USGI here, the .455 magazine is NOT the same as .45 ACP. More important, the .455 magazine WELL is not the same and a .455 magazine will not insert in a .45 receiver.

.455 auto brass is semi rimmed and the mag must be wider. Does this mean that the breechface has to be wider, too?

Best ask DSK and the guys on USGI, but I don't think the barrel is exactly the same, even externally, although I have read that a .45 barrel can be used in conversion, along with a (loose) .45 magazine.

Do you have a supply or source of .455 ammo?

I thought the .455W Colts were WW I guns of 1911 pattern, to supplement the Webley automatics. By WW II we were lend-leasing, selling, and giving GB plain vanilla 1911A1 .45s and S&W M&P .38s
Sirs:
I have been in the task of building a .455 1911 for several years. I am doing this whilst attending gunsmithing school.(I found out the hard way just how expensive,and time consuming, basic school is not to mention doing your own custom work)
Anyway the story so far.
I acquired a Caspian frame and slide with .455 imprinted so it cannot be mistaken or parts mixed up, I also acquired over one hundred rounds of .455 original rounds of ammo, of which only about fifty will actually be shot as the collection cost me HUNDREDS of dollars to buy and hours and hours of searching to find, back to the gun(more about ammo later)
I checked the magazines to see if the .455 ammo will fit, except for opening the feed lips a little, that has not been a problem, so you should not need special magazines.( YOu must acquire at least one or two original rounds to check to see if, whatever mag. you buy will take the .455 rounds.
THE MAJOR PROBLEM-----GETTING A BARREL!
I tried to get one from BarSto but after sending them a round to use for chambering,(at first it was "yes we can do it" months went buy and my calls were no longer returned) I came to the conclusion they did not really want to do it but did not have the guts to say so.
I have had the fortune to become acquainted will Lee Jurras, and called him up to ask, what to do. He said cut your own.
This is what I will be doing when I go back to school spring sem.(money and time has forced me to go as I can afford it, it either of the above reasons)
I called a tooling company in Mich. and they said then can cut me a custom diam cutter; which will be needed to cut the barrel along side the tab(sorry I cannot think of the proper name just now) to which the link attaches. Otherwise the rest of the barrel can simply(nothing is really simple) cut on a lathe.
I found, buy calling people Lee said I should call,link to link to link, Boots Obermeyer, who was going to cut me a barrel but said that current defense work simply has taken all his time, gave me a fellow who will make a barrel blank in any bore diameter you wish, down in Northern Iowa (again sorry but I just redid the house and I stored away anything not nailed down, so I will have to dig out all paper work, when I find the address I will list it here) for apprx. 200 dollars a blank, out of which one can cut at least four barrels. As many lands as one wishes in any direction. I am going to duplicate the Webely Self-Loading barrel (I have one) in my 1911.

If you insist on a pre-made barrel, start calling the barrel makers, even BarSto, and tell them what you want. If they do not do it, they often can give you a source to try. I was fortunate to say that Lee Jurras told me to call them, which he did, so I instantly go a different reaction than usual. Tell them a fellow who is acquainted with Lee Jurras said to call. Jurras name is the one that gets the attention, I am nobody.
I would reccomend starting with Pac Nor. If you call Bar Sto, tell them the fellow who sent them a .455 Webley round, a year or so ago, reccomened them. See what they say.
The ammo.
I contacted Buffalobullets, not BuffaloBore, (they do custom cases and bullets) and had them cut me 1,000 .455 auto cases. I also sent them a .455 round, for case length and bullet shape. They said the could duplicate the shape of the original hardball round (I wanted hardball) but it would be 230 instead of 224 grains.
WELL----------------------
THe bullets I received were longer, far more than 8 grains should cause, and were not the same shape as the original, they were identical to a .450 Webley short bullet shown in Brandt's "Manual of Pistol and Revolver Cartridges" but that was not what I wanted or he said he could do.
The gentle man said to send them back and he would contact the fellow who made the tooling he bought to make the bullets(yes this was a custom job and I waited almost a year for him to get the tooling) and have tooling made that was proper.
The cases and bullets cost me about a thousand dollars for a thousand rounds.
The problem is since the bullets are longer than the originals, bullet seating will be by-guess-and-by-gosh, as time permits I am going to go over to the house of a fellow I know and we are going to do some experimenting using both my Webley Pistol and a Coll New Service I have to see what-is-what. (since the .455 auto is semi-rimmed they work in the revolver without clips)
The reason I kept the bullets was because I can use them in the rev.
I will call Buffalobullets again when I get things more sorted, to have them send me what I actuall wanted, and will expect another price cut, for my time and grace of taking the original order even though it was screwed up.
Buffalobullets get tooling through Corbin, so expect a wait.
If you call Buffalobullets, tell them Bob Riebe, the fellow who custom ordered the .455 hardball reccomended them but that you expect a duplicate of the origianal, not the unique bullets I got.
That is a abstract of what has really happened if you have questions I will answer as best I can.
Bob Riebe
(This was not proof read)
 

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Talk about a "tour de force"! IMHO, you could have bought a .455 Colt for less that all that must have cost; I saw a .455 slide and barrel on a standard frame for sale at $350 a month or so ago. The last original ammo I bought was $10 a round and I thought it cheap at that price.

The .455 magazines will NOT fit the standard .45 ACP frame, and I can't get .455 Auto to fit in a standard .45 magazine.

FWIW, I will again tell of the clown I met at the Monroeville show a year or so ago. He had a .455 pistol for sale, with the magazine. Somehow in talking with him he said that the magazines were the same. I said that a .455 magazine will not fit the standard Colt mag well. He told me I was an idiot and said, "I'll show you!"

He proceeded to take the mag out of the .455, and try to shove it into a 1911A1. When it didn't go in, He hammered it on the table and finally forced it in, but in the process battered the floorplate and bent the lanyard loop.

Then he held up the gun, grinned like the fool he is and said, "See, I told you they fit"! I admit he really showed me - how to ruin a $200 magazine. I left before he showed me how to get it back out with channel locks.

Jim
 

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Josey:
One other note.
If you do find a Colt in .455, there is one right now at "auction arms", becareful when you work on it. Old Colts had very hard slides, if you try the normal method of adjusting the slide by tapping it or bending it, there is a 75 percent chance you will crack it.
If you are going to bend it, put it in a 200 degree oven until it is thouroughly warmed and then CAREFULLY try to work with it.
Do not go over 200 degrees as that can start to alter the metal.
You can leave steel at 200 degrees until hell freezes and it will not harm it.
One other possibility for a barrel. S&W used barrel designed especially for the 455 in their revolvers, including rifling. My instrructor said I could take a barrel off of a 1917 S&W turn it down and then take any Colt auto barrel and bore a hole a few thou. larger than the turned barrel then insert the S&W barrel into the Colt barrel using locktite black. BUT you have to get it right the first time, there would be no second try.
The only thing then would be rechambering the barrel for the .455.
Bob
 
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