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My first gun, what should I modify?

1398 Views 15 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Dellikose
Well, for my 21st birthday I was blessed with a brand new Stainless SA 1911 Mil-Spec. Beautiful gun right out of the box, but I was looking around this forum and the internet and noticed that I can (should?) drop in some new, higher quality parts. In particular, I was looking at Ed Brown.

I was already going to replace the factory grips, but I was wondering what you guys thought were the most important upgrades... i.e. what would you modify if you picked up a gun like mine?

All help is appreciated, thank you.
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I don't think I would just start swapping parts to be doing something.Maybe you should shoot it for awhile to see if there is something you don't like.

I do however think pretty much any new gun can use a good trigger job.
Just shoot it. Put money in ammo and break her in. :)
Eljay and Jim,

Yeah, I'm in the process of doing that right now! :rock:

I was just wondering what I should do to make her a vixen instead of the cute girl next door.
Use the orange coupon that came with your pistol to order a bunch of the OEM 7rd mags. Other than that, the grips you already mentioned, and the trigger job already mentioned by eljay, should be plenty to make you happy. You definitely want to shoot it a bit before deciding on other modifications, if any.
I recently purchased a SA Champion Stainless Loaded and will probably pick up a Stainless Mil-Spec after the first of the year. The first thing I will probably do is get a beavertailed grip safety, different (read: LONG) trigger, and hammer installed... More than likely though, these parts will be ones that will be pulled off of my Champion :)

-- OJM/FF-Medic
I would recommend a good trigger job and a match-fit barrel bushing. Other than that, pick your mods based on how you plan to use the gun and the kinds of things you like. Mods are mostly too personal to give any specific advice. Shoot the gun a while and see if there's anything about it that you want changed.

For example:

Some people prefer a flat MSH. I prefer arched. Some people love front cocking serrations; others hate them. Some people must have a beavertail. Beavertails to me are a non-starter. What most people think is hammer bite is actually the sharp edges of the grip safety tang cutting you, which you can fix quickly with some careful Dremel work.

If you really want night sights, there are plenty to choose from.

I don't care for front strap checkering, but I like vertical front strap serrations. It's a matter of personal preference.

One other thought: Search the different pistol sections on this site for picture threads. See what other people have done and see if anything grabs your attention. Also check the gunsmithing section to see different dehorn jobs and the like, just to give you ideas. There are some creative people doing some great work.
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It may sound a little extreme, but I highly reccomend an undercut trigger guard. Every 1911 owner that I know picks mine up and says "Man, why does your pistol feel like it was made for my hand?". You wouldn't believe how much of a difference it makes.
I'm in the process of replaceing some parts on my Milspec as money allows. For Christmas, the wife let me take a stroll through the Brownells catalog... I'm going to replace the extractor with a Wilson combat bulletproof,slide stop will be replaced with a Brown tool steel one, fireing pin stop will also be replaced with a Brown tool steel stop. (I've already replaced the stock fireing pin, and spring with a replacement, and got a tighter replacement barrel bushing) I like the short trigger so it will stay, Down the road I'd like to replace the MSH (to get rid of the ILS thingy) and replace the sear, disconnect, hammer and saftey lever, last but not least would be the sights I figure this little project will take some time but, I'm in no hurry,I'll shoot the pistol as often as I can, and keep evaluating it's performace, I'm wanting a accurate reliable, plain-jane looking 1911, no light rails, nothing fancy, all business.. easy to carry, and will swap CCW duty with my Sig P-220 I feel the Milspec can easily do this. mine has a one piece stainless bbl and has proved quite accurate, the barrel bushing was a definite help,it has been very reliable, no malfunctions in over 500 rounds, (this from a used pistol bought for $375 OTD) The parts I'm going to put in it will only enhance it's reliablity, Get a Brownell catalog and take a look, there lots of parts for 1911's. that can improve it. but, it's not cheap...
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Sry0fcr said:
if it ain't broke don't fix it!:)

Spend the money on ammo and some professional training. As your experience grows you will realize yourself what works for you.
buggsb said:

Spend the money on ammo and some professional training. As your experience grows you will realize yourself what works for you.
+2... Shoot, Shoot and shoot some more - find a good coach/good shot that can take you through the basics, watch good shooter for the right way and not so good shooters to find out what to eliminate from your shooting.

Merry Chistmas Grant
Hind site

If you do get around to changing anything, SAVE your old parts!
They can be used to switch back, when things dont go as planned. You can use them as a guide for fitting new stuff, or put them on a future project.

Man.. what was I thinkin?
Sry0fcr said:
if it ain't broke don't fix it!:)
If YOU ain't broke, go ahead and fix it! :rock:

It's your pistol and if you have the money, change out anything you want. Do it for yourself though, not because someone on the internet told you to. Swap out stuff for better, more expensive parts, or swap stuff out with a similar part if you think it looks better. There's nothing wrong with any of the parts SA uses and they will last you a long time. I have a PX9109L loaded and it has to be getting close to the 10,000 round mark without a failure yet. If any of the factory parts should fail, you just call SA and they will fix under warranty.

That term is a little mis-leading in that a true mil-spec pistol should not require any parts upgrades. However those MLM parts just don't settle with me. I just replaced my ILS MSH with an Ed Brown unit...fit like a glove. I am going to replace the FCG..the trigger in it is missing half the hook! I realize I could send it to SA for repair but by the time I'm done with mine I expect only the frame/slide and a few odd parts will remain original. No it's probably not neccessary but I'm having fun with it. And that's probably the answer to the post. Just don't create a dangerous situation with poor mods. :cool:
Just wanted to chime in and say thanks for the help guys!
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