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OofieXD
07-30-2009, 5:00 AM
So I'm thinking of getting a colt 1991 A1 from the for sale board here but I have a question. It comes as a no frills government model and I want to change out some parts like the trigger, grip safety, thumb safety, slide stop and sights. Do I just order these parts from midway or brownells as long as they are for a series 80? I browsed these sites and found several parts from Les Baer, Ed Brown and STI. Can I use these parts?

GM4spd
07-30-2009, 5:09 AM
You can use parts from the other makers you listed. Pete

OofieXD
07-30-2009, 5:13 AM
Thanks Pete. Are most parts dropin or do I need to take it to a gunsmith?

GM4spd
07-30-2009, 5:38 AM
Most SHOULD drop in,however, that does not apply to the grip safeties--
they have to be fitted very carefully in most cases. Now that I think
about it--I have ONLY used or been around COLT parts and put them in
Colt pistols. I really don't know how they fit into the other makers guns.I
have used Wilson and Ed Brown parts in Colts with no problem. In any case
if you own a Colt you have a good pistol to work with. Pete

sholling
07-30-2009, 5:46 AM
Both the grip and thumb safeties should be installed buy a competent gunsmith. I'm also not fond of trigger jobs in a box. If you decide to have trigger work done then have it done by a competent smith.

B Strong
07-30-2009, 5:52 AM
Thanks Pete. Are most parts dropin or do I need to take it to a gunsmith?

I know lots of guys do their own plumbing on 1911's, and I know lots of 1911's are brought into professional 'smiths to correct bad amateur plumbing jobs.

Do yourself a favor.

Unless you've got some actual training on how to 'smith on a 1911 (and reading an article on the subject is not training...) find a good pistolsmith.

GM4spd
07-30-2009, 6:03 AM
I know lots of guys do their own plumbing on 1911's, and I know lots of 1911's are brought into professional 'smiths to correct bad amateur plumbing jobs.

Do yourself a favor.

Unless you've got some actual training on how to 'smith on a 1911 (and reading an article on the subject is not training...) find a good pistolsmith.


Good advice,I should have given the OP that info. I forget that I have
been handling 1911's for almost 40 years and my familiarity has made
me lose sight of the fact that they sometimes require professional help.
I wish some of the AR builders(with their dangerous trigger jobs) would also take that advice!Pete

m1match
07-30-2009, 6:06 AM
Ron, for the work you want to do, I'd send it out to a competent smith. You don't have any experience with working on the 1911 platform, an Ed Brown or STI beavertail grip safety involves removing a lot a metal from the frame and a lot of fitting, sights will, depending on the sight involved metal work, and changing a trigger involves fitting. In reality, very few parts for the 1911 are truly "drop in". At this time, I don't know any good 1911 smiths in San Diego County. In Southern California there's Will O'Hare in Corona, (951) 371-4971, Alan Tanaka in Gardena (310) 327-2721, and Jim Hoag in Canoga Park 818/998-1510. Alan Tanaka will probably have a long wait. I'd probably give Will or Jim Hoag a call for that type of work. I'd also let the gunsmith provide the parts. That way they make a little money on parts (Brownells gives them a trade discount so it doesn't cost you anything more) and if something is wrong with the part, there isn't any question of who has to deal with it. If you supply the part and something isn't right with it, most smiths will deal with it, but it isn't all that fair to them since you supplied the problem part.

OofieXD
07-30-2009, 6:12 AM
Thanks everyone and thanks Ted for the gunsmith list. I'm actually just thinking what my future plans would be and how much it would cost me. I'm still negotiating the sale of the 1991, lol.

m1match
07-30-2009, 6:19 AM
Good luck with the negotiations. If you buy it you quickly find that the 1911 isn't like the AR in that you can't put parts together and expect them to work very well. I love the 1911 and have a few very good ones, but it takes more knowledge and skill to maintain them and keep them running, or to diagnose problems when something goes wrong.

dfletcher
07-30-2009, 8:13 AM
With the caveat that some parts improperly fitted can result in a dangerous condition - such as the gun firing when it should not, or almost as bad, not firing when it must - and that you should buy two of each part because it's a learning process; and that even though the parts may be fitted to function properly they may not be fitted well .....

In short, if you're willing to go through a "trial and error" learning process you can learn how to fit a thumb safety, grip safety, slide stop, new hammer & trigger, sear, etc. It is for the most part careful handwork and knowing how the parts interact. If you're the careful type it can be learned, if you plan on aquiring alot of 1911s may be worthwhile, but for the sake of changing one 1911 I'd go with a good gunsmith who knows 1911s.