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Francis Marion
09-06-2010, 1:51 PM
Is it feasible to swap out the slide/barrel/recoil spring assembly and convert an M1911 from 45 ACP to 40 SW?

Why? A 'just for fun' project for informal range shooting, no self defense or competition purpose.

I see 1911 40 SW barrels for sale at Midway, but no 40 SW slides to go with.

To do a conversion- and assuming off the shelf parts exist to do it-
what parts need to be swapped out?

Is professional gunsmithing necessary, or is this just a drop-in and shoot project?

Barrel,
Slide assembly,
Recoil spring,
Magazine,
...?

Thanks.

genesis121
09-06-2010, 2:02 PM
I too have been looking into getting a 1911 in .40 cal.

Thanks for starting this thread

willssmithing
09-06-2010, 2:05 PM
Yes, you will need a complete top end in 40S&W, also a new ejector.
The 45ACP ramp you have on your frame will probably not work with a standard 40S&W barrel, so you may have to go to a ramped barrel and the frame will have to be machined for this, that will take it out of the drop-in and shoot project. This will also keep you changing back to the original 45ACP top end.

Woodworker2
09-06-2010, 2:17 PM
I looked into this before, and here are the parts I was considering:

1. Slide with .40 S&W breach face.
2. Barrel in .40, non-ramped (i.e. don't need to machine the frame).
3. New front and possibly rear sights
4. Firing pin and spring (the diameter is smaller)
5. .40 Magazines
6. .40 ejector
7. .40 extractor
8. Recoil spring

The slide will most likely require some "fitting" to match your frame. When I added up all of the parts and extra work on my list, it was about $800. If you can find one, it might be cheaper to buy another pistol.

FCinCA
09-06-2010, 4:55 PM
I got all fired up about 2 years ago on this subject. I ended buying a Springfield Champion PX9141. They are discontinued now and I haven't shot the one I bought. Seeeing this thread made me go to the back of my safe and pull it out. SWEET!!!

map
09-06-2010, 5:40 PM
I got all fired up about 2 years ago on this subject. I ended buying a Springfield Champion PX9141. They are discontinued now and I haven't shot the one I bought. Seeeing this thread made me go to the back of my safe and pull it out. SWEET!!!

+1 I did not know these were discontinued. I have one too. Sweet!!!

about the .40 cal 1911, that would be nice to see. I prefer the .40 cal over the 9mm lugger. Keep us posted and let us know if you finish it.

mike452
09-06-2010, 5:48 PM
This looks like lots of work!

This beauty is under $1K.
http://www.para-usa.com/new/images/product_large/SX1640Sphoto_big.jpg

FCinCA
09-06-2010, 9:42 PM
Nice!!

jinggoyd1967
09-07-2010, 1:02 AM
I recommend going with a ramp/fully supported barrel for the .40 because of it's operating pressures.

sti2011
09-07-2010, 12:41 PM
It's expensive converting your 1911 from 45acp to 40 s&w. I've done it once and learn my lesson. I will never do it again, just buy another pistol.

dilligaffrn
09-07-2010, 12:43 PM
By a 10mm and change the barrel and recoil spring, 2 guns in one.

wamphyri13
09-07-2010, 3:18 PM
Easier swaps are 10mm to .40 or a 9mm to .40 (9mm frame is already ramped)
Complete upper end is needed plus extractor.
I used to have a Colt Combat Government in .45ACP that came with a complete 9mm upper and extractor. Worked like a charm.
And you ALWAYS want a ramped barrel for the .40S&W in a 1911. It's already hard enough with the truncated cone on the bullet, why make it harder.
Ryan

PS- I own a comped Springfield Defender in .40S&W.

JTROKS
09-07-2010, 3:43 PM
Yes, you will need a complete top end in 40S&W, also a new ejector.
The 45ACP ramp you have on your frame will probably not work with a standard 40S&W barrel, so you may have to go to a ramped barrel and the frame will have to be machined for this, that will take it out of the drop-in and shoot project. This will also keep you changing back to the original 45ACP top end.

+1. The frame's ramp that is chambered to 45acp has been machined to accommodate the 45 acp. A non ramped 40 S&W barrel will stick out or just be flushed with the ramp of a 45 ACP 1911 receiver, which won't work due to the 1/16" of step needed from the frame's ramp to the barrel's ramp/throat. If you don't have it, it will not feed any other bullet profile except for round ball.