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OK, at the risk of sounding downright dumb, I am thinking about upgrading my R.O Champion to come somewhere near the quality of a Dan Wesson 1911.
I bought a D.W. Pointman 7 a long time ago, never really shot it, maybe 50 rounds, cleaned it and put it in my safe. I never really had much time for shooting due to working too much, and too many other addictive hobbies and sports. Long story short, I traded the Pointman7 to my son for a revolver he had that I wanted. Now I am getting back in to shooting a bit, and I really like 1911 pistols. (Also, I just ordered a Nelson Custom Guns .22 rimfire upper to use with it.) What would I do in terms of drop in, non-gunsmithing type of upgrades to make the Range Officer shoot better, meaning mostly better trigger, etc..? I already plan to remove the lock system, just because it seems annoying, and maybe a W.C. extractor? I understand that the small parts are MIM? Not a big deal ?
Or, am I just wasting my time and money?
Any upgrade tips will be much appreciated!
Thanks, Mike
 

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I just looked up the specs on the RO pistols and it looks to me like it if ain't broke why fix it? I do have two pricey, by my standards anyway, 1911s a Les Baer TRS and a Wilson CQB Compact as well as three Kimbers. From where I sit the RO looks like a good gun to just take out to the range as is and run a couple thousand* rounds through.
I never shot one but a member at GT had one a few years ago and really liked it. He is departed now but I suspect if he was still alive that he would still be liking his RO.

*After 7 or 8 range trips and a couple thousand rounds you might just like it as is or have a better idea what to change if anything.
 

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What's wrong with the RO that you want to start replacing parts? If you just want to know you have the "quality of a Dan Wesson", sell the Springfield and get the Dan Wesson of your choice. Seems it would be more cost-effective in the long run...especially when it comes to resale value.

I've never handled or fired an RO, but I have played with a TRP Operator, and I own two DW's (V-Bob and Specialist)... and while my DWs appeared to have a more refined fit and finish (especially the front strap checkering) and no MIM parts, I would NOT say its a dramatic difference between my DW's and the TRP. It appeared to me Springfield builds a very nice 1911 for the money.

However, before you pony-up DW money, let me offer something else. With a Brownell's coupon, I got my Ed Brown Special Forces for just over $1700...and its a NIGHT-AND-DAY DIFFERENCE from a TRP. The law of diminishing returns is different for everyone, mine seems to be right around the $2000 mark. That's not to say I don't own 1911's that were more expensive than that...I just can't tell the difference between my $3499 Wilson and my $1799 EB

At the end of the day, throwing additional money at a Range Officer is gonna leave you with an overpriced Range Officer. It you want something higher quality, buy something higher quality.

Just my humble opinion, so take it for what it cost you.
 

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What is meant by higher quality? I have a DW and have had a Springfield and you are right, they aren't in the same league but if something like the trigger is what bothers you that's an easy fix.
 

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OK, at the risk of sounding downright dumb, I am thinking about upgrading my R.O Champion to come somewhere near the quality of a Dan Wesson 1911.
I suggest, in a very friendly way, that you took the risk of sounding dumb and you LOST!:biglaugh::)

Or...

Go full insane and attempt to turn your RO into a Wilson Supergrade?
 

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There is no such thing as drop in/non gunsmithing parts that will be an upgrade.

If anything you would be going backwards with drop in parts.

Bob
 

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Skipping the drop in part, I would start with the barrel bushing and check the barrel link to se if it locks up properly. If the trigger is crisp and 5 pounds or under call that good, if it’s heavier or breaks badly then get that fixed. If that doesn’t get it up to your liking then sell it.
 

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Dedicate it?

OK, at the risk of sounding downright dumb, I am thinking about upgrading my R.O Champion to come somewhere near the quality of a Dan Wesson 1911.
I bought a D.W. Pointman 7 a long time ago, never really shot it, maybe 50 rounds, cleaned it and put it in my safe. I never really had much time for shooting due to working too much, and too many other addictive hobbies and sports. Long story short, I traded the Pointman7 to my son for a revolver he had that I wanted. Now I am getting back in to shooting a bit, and I really like 1911 pistols. (Also, I just ordered a Nelson Custom Guns .22 rimfire upper to use with it.) What would I do in terms of drop in, non-gunsmithing type of upgrades to make the Range Officer shoot better, meaning mostly better trigger, etc..? I already plan to remove the lock system, just because it seems annoying, and maybe a W.C. extractor? I understand that the small parts are MIM? Not a big deal ?
Or, am I just wasting my time and money?
Any upgrade tips will be much appreciated!
Thanks, Mike
Dedicate it as the .22LR frame, trigger job if needed (the Nelson will be worthy of a -really- nice trigger), and buy a Pointman?

The frame from an early S.A. “Loaded” is the platform for one of my .22LR conversions: in the last 30yrs, my hands have polished the finish right off most of that frame. That trigger wore into being pretty smooth.
 

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OK, at the risk of sounding downright dumb, I am thinking about upgrading my R.O Champion to come somewhere near the quality of a Dan Wesson 1911.
I bought a D.W. Pointman 7 a long time ago, never really shot it, maybe 50 rounds, cleaned it and put it in my safe. I never really had much time for shooting due to working too much, and too many other addictive hobbies and sports. Long story short, I traded the Pointman7 to my son for a revolver he had that I wanted. Now I am getting back in to shooting a bit, and I really like 1911 pistols. (Also, I just ordered a Nelson Custom Guns .22 rimfire upper to use with it.) What would I do in terms of drop in, non-gunsmithing type of upgrades to make the Range Officer shoot better, meaning mostly better trigger, etc..? I already plan to remove the lock system, just because it seems annoying, and maybe a W.C. extractor? I understand that the small parts are MIM? Not a big deal ?
Or, am I just wasting my time and money?
Any upgrade tips will be much appreciated!
Thanks, Mike
You're gonna love the Nelson 22.

Possibly the single biggest improvement in accuracy is a good trigger pull.

It's popular around here to say "no such thing as a drop-in ...". But a Cylinder & Slide ignition kit is damn close. They have a lot of different kits. I have direct experience with this one https://cylinder-slide.com/Item/CS0214
I recommend you get a full kit with the springs. You won't be disappointed. You can indeed drop it in and then do a safety check and pull weight check. But I think you'll find it will be great right out of the box. And, yeah, I dumped the SA mainspring housing for a standard to loose the ILS (lock).
 

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Well lets start with
#1 Just how does the RO SHOOT ?

#2 Where do you think its not shooting as well as it should .

Because MIM parts and not has high of a standard as DW has does not mean
the pistol will not shoot well . Its not like duty finish is going to make you shoot
better .or 25 LPI vs 20 LPI checkering will make you shoot better . I'll give to DW
that they are a more refined pistol . but a better shooter . An X spot is an X spot .
for 1300.00 the Vigil is a nice pistol . So is the TRP . DW does not have front
cocking saturation's for looks its nice but that is taste .

Comes down to what you like and want . If it was me , Right now and I was spending
1300.00 on a pistol I liked , I'd do it , but I'd ask myself if I can save 1300.00 I bet I can
save another 1300.00 then I'd have 2600.00 and I'd buy an ACW full gunsmith made
pistol . I'd never have to ask the question again who has a better pistol , because I
would own one of the best 1911's on the planet . Then the whole world would be one
beautiful place because I found 1911 heaven .:)
 

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On my SA guns, I replaced pretty much all internals with EGW, C&S, Wilson, etc.. The only exception was the barrels. While they are not hard fitted, an EGW fitted bushing tightened them up to about 1" at 25 yds. I bought a pile of Wilson ETM mags for them as well.
 

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I may be way off here, but maybe you could see your RO now while the markets hot, you'll get top dollar for it. Then when things in the gun market cool down take the money an invest in a new gun? I have a RO Elite and I love it, but if you're going to start spending money on aftermarket parts etc, you just might be better off buying the gun you really want.
 

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Fixing parts that aren't broken is just putting new paint on something. Shoot a few 1000 rounds then re think about it.
 

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I just bought a SA TRP (steel).
New unaltered factory built gun.

Also have a DW Specialist (stainless).
Prior owners have had refinements (?) made to the DW some of which I am removing. Short trigger had to go. Front sight sucks w/the installed 10-8 rear sight (which I like). Searching for the correct front sight replacement. Front checkering is too smooth for my liking. Going to pay a smithy to re-point the front strap checkering. So I am still working to make the gun work for me.

That being said....Both are full size 5" half rail guns.

DW is lighter, smoother w/better trigger. The edges are more rounded. It feels more refined.

SA is every bit as reliable and has equal/superior accuracy. It feels less refined in the hand but everything on the pistol works together very nicely. Comfy 20 LPI checking on the SA.

Multiple shot speed/placement is equal with both guns. For me the SA is more instinctual to shoot compared to the DW but that could be the additional changes I want (need) to make.

Do what makes you happy but in my limited experience w/these two guns...they're different but neither fails to perform very adequately and the SA is certainly no slouch.

You do learn something during the process of making something yours...making it just the way you like it. Just because you buy a DW doesn't mean you won't be changing things around. Fact is both pistols are small money. Have fun.
 

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If quality is interpreted as the manufacture method of the parts, I would question what the vision of the pistol is. If you want DW quality, I agree with others, buy a DW. I would advise to determine the level of refinement desired. Then attain the quality of the build for the attendant use of the pistol. Is the refinement of a Wilson Supergrade needed to obtain a quality build which allows one to shoot their best? Those are two different visions.
 

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I think upgrading is a good idea. Especially now. Good luck finding any gun in this price range at this time. If you do find something, the price will be inflated and may not be exactly what you seek. Times are tough for what were "common guns" not long ago. Move forward.
 

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I carry two 1911s, and did kind of what you are talking about with one of my guns, so here's my experience. When the Colt Series 70 came back into production I bought one to use as a base gun so I could have it customized to my liking. It sounded like a good idea at the time, but turned out to be much more expensive than I planned, mainly because I had to do some reliability work that I didn't expect. I now have a really nice reliable Colt that is not worth the money I invested when I could have invested in a Dan Wesson and had a gun that is worth it's money.

Next I bought a Range Officer Compact 45 as an EDC. I made a few changes, that I do on all of my 1911s, which is replace the trigger with a short Videki style trigger, removed the ILS and replaced it with a Smith and Alexander FMSH, replaced the firing pin with an Ed Brown SS pin to eliminate lite strikes, and installed G10 grips. That's all I did. My trigger is a crisp 4.5lb pull with the stock trigger. This has become my primary carry, and I can shoot it as well as I shoot my full size.

My personal experience leads me to suggest to you to either keep and shoot your RO Champion, it's really a great gun for the money, or if you want to make a lot of parts changes to bring it up to Dan Wesson quality, sell it and buy a Dan Wesson. That way your Dan Wesson will always be worth the going price of a DW, unlike my Colt that is worth much less due to all my modifications, although it's now a very expensive lovable gun with little market value.
 

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What's wrong with the RO that you want to start replacing parts? If you just want to know you have the "quality of a Dan Wesson", sell the Springfield and get the Dan Wesson of your choice. Seems it would be more cost-effective in the long run...especially when it comes to resale value.

I've never handled or fired an RO, but I have played with a TRP Operator, and I own two DW's (V-Bob and Specialist)... and while my DWs appeared to have a more refined fit and finish (especially the front strap checkering) and no MIM parts, I would NOT say its a dramatic difference between my DW's and the TRP. It appeared to me Springfield builds a very nice 1911 for the money.

However, before you pony-up DW money, let me offer something else. With a Brownell's coupon, I got my Ed Brown Special Forces for just over $1700...and its a NIGHT-AND-DAY DIFFERENCE from a TRP. The law of diminishing returns is different for everyone, mine seems to be right around the $2000 mark. That's not to say I don't own 1911's that were more expensive than that...I just can't tell the difference between my $3499 Wilson and my $1799 EB

At the end of the day, throwing additional money at a Range Officer is gonna leave you with an overpriced Range Officer. It you want something higher quality, buy something higher quality.

Just my humble opinion, so take it for what it cost you.
Listen to the Medic!
 

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OP,
If you elect to upgrade your Range Officer, here are some things that improve accuracy and reliability...they won't give you the Dan Wesson fit/finish but will improve performance.

For starters, your Range Officer is most likely a 3 inch gun (or better) at 50 yards with good ammo. I've Ransom Rested 5 or 6 different ROs and they usually group closer to 2-2.5 inches (10 rounds of match grade ammo like Federal Gold Medal Match or Atlanta Arms 185 JHP). To increase mechanical accuracy you need the barrel to lock up in the same place from shot to shot. If the barrel shifts by 0.001" from one shot to the next (muzzle or chamber end), that will move the theoretical point of impact by half an inch at 50 yards.

Angle bore bushing EGW made to fit your slide & barrel. You'll need the ability to accurately measure in thousandths of an inch. I usually order my bushings with an OD that is 0.001 smaller than the opening in the slide and an ID that is 0.001 larger than the OD of the muzzle of the barrel. May take a bit of fitting but this increases lockup consistency and improves accuracy. Specify in the order that you do not want them to add additional clearance.

Your gun may also benefit from a larger diameter slide stop pin but you'll need pin gages to determine if this is the case. For example, if your slide stop pin measures 0.198 but you can cycle the gun with a 0.200 gage pin in the place of the slide stop, you would benefit from a 0.200 slide stop.

For the extractor, search for posts by Steve In Allentown...he's got some great info. An extractor hook that hits the bevel of the case affects accuracy and is fairly common. Closely inspect your fired brass looking for dings in the bevel. If you find them, your hook geometry needs a change. Extractor tension and deflection are also important for reliability.

Upgrading the ignition system won't change the mechanical accuracy but will help you take advantage of it more easily. This is a more expensive upgrade but you get what you pay for. Consider looking at kits from Harrison Design or Cylinder & Slide.

For accuracy, feed both the RO and the Nelson with good quality ammo. For the .45, consider Atlanta Arms 185 JHP or Federal Gold Medal Match 185 jacketed SWC. If you reload, consider the Zero 185 JHP bullet. For the Nelson, CCI Standard Velocity is great ammo to practice with. Bulk-packaged .22 ammo and high velocity stuff will be less accurate.

For reliability, I recommend replacing the factory titanium firing pin with a steel one. I had to do this to get rid of occasional light strikes on my RO.

I would also recommend an 18lb hammer spring, particularly with your Nelson conversion.

Again, these things won't make your RO into a DW but should help with accuracy and reliability without breaking the bank...hopefully some of this helps.
 
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