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75 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Some folks have asked from another thread, here's the details.

Bought a base CD FS last summer. My 2d 1911. The first, a Springfield Champion, was stolen.

Shot the CD awhile. Added rosewood grips, some add'l mags (MecGar & Wilson).

Had a case blow out last Fall, most likely from a heavy charge. Blew the mag out the well, loosened the grips. No other damage, to me or the gun - I was wearing shooting glasses, almost surely prevented burned eye from hot gas jetting out ejector tunnel (reddened my cheek below the glasses - like a sunburn). Had a smith check it out, he rec'd replacing the barrel. Had him polish the breech face & replace the ejector while he had it. Came back with a National Match bushing, too.

Then I saw James Beam's rebuild here on the forum, noticed the can of Brownell's lacquer I had sitting around and decided to go for it.

These have been posted on another thread, reposting here.



Here's what it took:
Base gun at a Dallas gunshow .. 330.00

Ed Brown parts
811 Disconnector ............... 16.95
812 Match grade sear ........... 19.95
814 Rebuild kit ................ 14.95
820 Firing pin stop ............ 9.95
823 Hammer Strut ............... 6.95
824 Firing pin ................. 5.95
871 Stainless Hammer ........... 38.95
1301 Extractor ................. 21.95
STot: 135.60

Other parts
Wolff 18.5 lb Recoil Spring .... 6.95
Fitted .45 barrel & NM bushing..250.00
Hi-Viz front sight ............. 26.95
Pachmayr PT-45 long trigger .... 14.00
Pachmayr Accu-set rear sight ... 48.00
Stot: 345.90

The above are 'functionality parts.'

Blued Hexhead grip screws ...... 6.95
813 Grip screw bushings ........ 5.49
818W20 Wedge Mag well .......... 67.95
S&A grips ...................... 38.95
Brownell's lacquer ............. 10.00
Stot: 129.34

Total dollars (gulp)

Is a CD worth $1K? OF COURSE NOT: It's still a CD. Was it worth it to me? Yep, cause I know way more than before and I've ended up with an accurate, reliable 1911. Of the two, the knowledge is worth more.

Observations, in no particular order:

1) From what I know now, the barrel didn't need to be replaced, for safety or accuracy. Having a smith check it out before shooting was a good idea but I let him talk me into the work. A $20 Wilson drop-in bushing wasn't as tight as the NM bushing, but it was _way_ tighter than the factory bushing. I didn't measure it, but that puppy was _loose_. Accuracy was significantly better, the little I got to shoot it between installing the Wilson bushing & the blow-out.

2) Not counting the barrel work, the functional parts I replaced were in the $250 range, counting the front & rear sights.

3) If I had it to do over again, I'd probly use a Springfield or Kimber for a base gun - superior frame & slide & I can pick up a complete working gun at a Dallas gun show. Ditch the factory internals & replace with Ed Brown parts as above. The right selection of firearm could yield better factory sights, negating the approx $75 expenditure (and considerable elbow grease) for the aftermarket ones. From watching the Kimber & Springfield forums here, lots of owners have had functional problems. I'd have no hesitation _now_ in replacing the internals myself and not worrying about shipping it back to the factory 1-2-3 times to get it running right.

I wouldn't go with a new Colt cause of the Series 80 h/w, nor an older Colt cause it wouldn't likely have the sight dovetails. And a Series 70 might carry a price premium.

I'd consider a 1927 Argie, knowing I'd have to have the slide machined to upgrade the sights. The fact that they're C&R is way cool, too. Some people have said their steel is soft - but I've also heard it's significantly harder than newer guns.

4) I haven't counted the cost of mags, tax or shipping: Unless it's a Wilson gun, _any_ 1911 I buy is gonna get replacement mags.

5) The Ed Brown wedge mainspring housing wasn't drop in. It took a couple hours of careful work on the frame and grip safety to fit it. I used files on the frame and a dremel + stones on the grip safety.

6) The Ed Brown 814 rebuild kit is a _great_ buy - everybody should have a couple. It includes most all the pins & small parts for a 1911.

7) I kept the factory ambi safety, cause I haven't had any problem with it, unlike James Beam (his broke). I melted & reshaped both sides to not gouge my thumb and to clear the S&A (fat) grips.



233 Posts
Netler i feel the same way. im sure you'll have years of enjoyment. makes a great conversation peace as well
i think you did a excellent job. handfitted parts make alot of differnce. i paid $15+ship for my brownell's bake on finish. itleast we learn and didnt have to pay a gunsmith as well. give us some range reports
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