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SGT Loco
03-30-2011, 9:22 AM
Hey all! So obviously I'm new here, and while I'm not new to shooting, I am soon to be brand new to handgun ownership. Naturally I had a few questions, and please forgive me if some of them are "noobish" or have been asked before. I'm not too hot with search functions...

First of all, I'm enamored with the idea of a 9mm 1911. I've shot and love the platform, but I don't have so much spare income that I can afford to go nuts with .45 ammo. Second of all, while I've never before done any sort of gunsmithing, it is something I would love to learn. I'm not totally mechanically incompetent, I do own files and a dremel, and am not ignorant in their uses.

That said, onto my questions-

Is it legal in California to buy a 1911 on the approved list and do a conversion yourself, or does this move it "off the list"?

How difficult is it (relativly speakin) to install a 9mm conversion kit?

Does working on a 1911 in such a manner require machining tools, or can I accomplish the neccessary modifications with more simple, non-powered equipment?

Am I totally nuts, and diving into something in which I will quickly find myself drowning?

HighLander51
03-30-2011, 9:37 AM
Am I totally nuts, and diving into something in which I will quickly find myself drowning?

Don't know if this has anything to do with being nuts, but if you don't know what makes a 1911 tick, you will find out that powered tools are the fastest way to destroy a gun. This isn't like putting legos together and thats why the 1911 gunsmiths get the big bucks....

If you want a 1911 in 9mm, just buy one. Springfield PI9134L is on the list.

InGrAM
03-30-2011, 12:16 PM
yes, it is legal. the barrel is NOT the gun, the frame is.

It is tricky. But I have done it and I had no technical training. If you want a gun to work on it is a great idea to do this conversion.

(read this thread) this is my RIA .38 super to 9mm conversion
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=405017

It does not take machining tools if you convert a .38 super to 9mm. and its much cheaper than buying an on list 9mm

You might get wet but you will not drown. (there are always gun smiths to throw you a lifesaver)


(links to the barrel I used are in the thread above.)

himurax13
03-30-2011, 4:03 PM
Is it legal in California to buy a 1911 on the approved list and do a conversion yourself, or does this move it "off the list"?

How difficult is it (relativly speakin) to install a 9mm conversion kit?

Does working on a 1911 in such a manner require machining tools, or can I accomplish the neccessary modifications with more simple, non-powered equipment?

Am I totally nuts, and diving into something in which I will quickly find myself drowning?

1. Yes, it does not move it off the list.
2. Unless you have a fair amount of knowledge on how a 1911 operates, how to dissassemble and reassemble one, and have the proper tools, it will be very difficult. In all actuality, you would need to change out ejectors and install a 9mm upper receiver and fit it. Buying a 38 super version and changing out the barrel is probably the easiest way to go but then you will still have a GI version 1911 (unless that is the sort of thing you prefer).
3. The only powered tool I have ever used on a 1911 is a dremel, and only for polishing.
4. I personally would advise against it. Unless you have some experience with working on guns, you can find yourself doing more harm than good. Best case is that you might get lucky and get everything together, after spending way more money and time than you planned. Worst case, you make the weapon unsafe to use.

Your best bet would be to buy used 9mm off of someone via private party or bite the bullet and get a new one that is on the roster.

SGT Loco
03-30-2011, 4:46 PM
First off, thanks for the replies! :D

2. Unless you have a fair amount of knowledge on how a 1911 operates, how to dissassemble and reassemble one, and have the proper tools, it will be very difficult. In all actuality, you would need to change out ejectors and install a 9mm upper receiver and fit it. Buying a 38 super version and changing out the barrel is probably the easiest way to go but then you will still have a GI version 1911 (unless that is the sort of thing you prefer).
3. The only powered tool I have ever used on a 1911 is a dremel, and only for polishing.

I have a very base understanding of how the 1911 operates, and what each part does. Obviously I'd take it very slowly- I wouldn't dream of trying to modify anything until I was intimately familiar with how to dis- and re- assemble it without jacking anything up.

I am also vary aware of how quickly power tools can destroy things, which is why I asked if they were even neccessary. I have a set of files that sound like they'll do me just fine as far as this platform goes.

(read this thread) this is my RIA .38 super to 9mm conversion
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=405017
You might get wet but you will not drown. (there are always gun smiths to throw you a lifesaver)


This is actually almost exactly what I envisioned! In all probability, this is exactly the route I will go after a bit more research. Aside from the barrel swap, did you need to adjust, replace, or modify any other integral parts to make it shootable?


In all reality, this gun would primarily be a plinker/range toy and hobby as much as a home defense tool. I almost want to tinker/work on it as much as I'd want to shoot it.

morrcarr67
03-30-2011, 4:49 PM
Go with a .38 Super. Much easier. Get a GI from Rock Island, buy the barrel, add some 9MM magazines, send your slide off for some new sights and you're good to go.

InGrAM
03-30-2011, 8:09 PM
First off, thanks for the replies! :D



I have a very base understanding of how the 1911 operates, and what each part does. Obviously I'd take it very slowly- I wouldn't dream of trying to modify anything until I was intimately familiar with how to dis- and re- assemble it without jacking anything up.

I am also vary aware of how quickly power tools can destroy things, which is why I asked if they were even neccessary. I have a set of files that sound like they'll do me just fine as far as this platform goes.



This is actually almost exactly what I envisioned! In all probability, this is exactly the route I will go after a bit more research. Aside from the barrel swap, did you need to adjust, replace, or modify any other integral parts to make it shootable?


In all reality, this gun would primarily be a plinker/range toy and hobby as much as a home defense tool. I almost want to tinker/work on it as much as I'd want to shoot it.

No, it was just a barrel swap. No other parts were needed to complete the .38 super to 9mm conversion. And some metalform 9 round 9mm magazines.

Good luck man. It is VERY fun and addictive. lol