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Old 05-15-2006, 02:21 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 2
New gun... Now What?

Hey all,

I just got a SA mil-spec parkerized. This is my first 1911. I wanted this one because it is so basic and to get used to the platform. I plan to do a series of upgrades myself. Basically my goal for this gun is to do all of the simple upgrades and learn how to do the work. Then after I am done with this one I just may start from scratch with a bare caspian frame and slide.

My question is where should I start? What things should I do? Are there any tools I should buy right away? I plan on adding an extended safety, mag release, Smith & Alexander flat MSH and mag well, beavertail, Long trigger, and possibally extended slide release. Are there any other upgrades I have not considered? When I am finished with the things I want to do I will then have the slide cut for low mount sights and then refinished with Roguard on the slide and frame with NP3 on the guts.

Curently on the tool side I have a dremel and some basic hand tools (screw drivers, allen wrenches... et. al.)

All your help will be great
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Old 11-05-2011, 07:05 PM   #2
Junior Member
sgmdmz's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Frederickson, WA
Posts: 5
I recently bought a 1911 Range officer. Here are a few changes I'm looking at doing to it:

Replaced Springfield trigger with a solid medium nighthawk trigger

Replaced the MSH with an Ed Brown flat checkered housing

Replaced the slide stop with a Wilson Bulletproof one

Installed a C&S 4lb ignition kit which also provided the mainspring

Replaced the recoil spring with a 16lb Wolff spring

Replaced the factory mags with 3 Wilson ETMs

Thought you might try a few of them?

Old 11-06-2011, 02:18 AM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Florida
Posts: 131 has an area that might interest you.
In their Bench tech area, you can search 1911 and get a lot of how-to's.

Also Ed Brown has a CD out on the custom 1911 (at, too).
Old 11-06-2011, 04:30 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 1,800
First step is to buy a copy of the Jerry Kuhnhausen shop manual.
These shop manuals were written as training aids for new gunsmith students.
These cover just about everything possible on the 1911 pistol and how to gunsmith it.
These are not the usual reprints of old GI Ordnance manuals.
The manual goes into great detail on how to fit new parts, and how to trouble shoot problems.

Volume One is the most useful. Volume Two covers actual blueprint specs of individual parts and is a companion to Volume One:


Your second move is to buy a Brownell's catalog. Every 1911 part or tool worth having is sold by them. If they don't carry it, it's usually because it's substandard.
They refund the price, and also give a free 1911-specific catalog.

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