Down the Rabbit Hole

I have two 1911 type pistols, a 9mm and a .40 S&W.  After thinking about getting a gun for USPSA Production Class, and then realizing that I had a perfectly good gun for Production, I kicked a few more rocks around (thought about rifles) and then realized that by not owning a good .45 ACP 1911, I was doing a great disservice to John Moses Browning.

That was part of my 1911 Madness post,  wherein I realized that no matter what I did short of buying a $2k custom made pistol from Wilson Wombat that I would have to replace a bunch of MIM parts no matter where I get my gun from.

That lead me to wander around the intertrons pricing out things like beavertail grip safeties (hammer bite sucks), magazines, trigger groups, and I’ve suddenly realized what a wonderful world I’ve entered into.

You see, I’m a tinkerer.  I like to take things that work just fine and see if I can make them better, whether it’s a cell phone, a holster, or what have you.  The world of aftermarket 1911 parts is essentially a tinkerer’s dream.  There are jillions upon jillions of parts for me to choose from, with a huge user support base in the form of blogs and gun forums.  It’s absolutely phenomenal the amount of information and just plain cool toys out there.

I will probably buy a “mil-spec” model, and just kind of go from there.  I want to build a gun to my specs so I can put all the silly crap that I like, and none of the silly crap that I don’t like on it.  But my goodness, the rabbit hole goes a loooooooooooong way down.


  1. I was just looking at a Springfield Armory GI thinking the exact same thing. I’m wondering how many I am going to ruin before I get my skills where they can make me what I want. 🙂

  2. This is the same reason I love reloading so much. First is the idea of developing progressively more accurate rounds for each gun I have. Second is seeing things people do that goes way beyond standard reloading (such as the post on using .22 brass to make .223 bullets), and trying to figure out if I could do the same.

  3. If you are going to buy a milspec and build to suit, there is only one word you need to know: Springfield.

    (That is, unless you find a screamin’ deal on a Colt 1991A1…)

    I will bring a small stack of books to the BRBP on Sunday to get you up to speed on the 1911. A bright lad like you should have no trouble taking the various authors and their points of view (plus your own experiences) and getting the proper equation of “Thesis + Antithesis / 2 = Synthesis”. 🙂

  4. You might want to try building one from a Caspian frame/slide. Mine (I didn’t build it) is VERY tight & runs as slick as a bean, & if you start from scratch, well, take it where you want.
    Good luck!

  5. If you like to tinker, but don’t have access to a complete machine shop, you might take a look at Fusion Firearms. They sell partly complete 1911 kits, with the barrel pre-fitted, slide cut for BoMar or Novak sights, frame has the frontstrap checkered, etc. Basically all the stuff that you need a vertical mill for, is already done.

  6. Since you’re embarking on a road I’m already part way down, I gotta warn you: this isn’t going to be cheap. Many moons ago, I swapped a Smith n’ Wesson 4006 that I paid $350 for to get a brand new SA 1911A1 Lightweight. That gun was not the GI Spec gun, as it had the ejection port lowered and flared, as well as high profile sights, but everything else was pretty much bone stock. $1200 later, that gun is almost finished, and that’s only because I’m probably not going to be checkering the frame. She’s a runner, but she hasn’t been inexpensive!

  7. Haji,

    Don’t checker an alloy frame unless you can have it re-anodized. Else you’ll cut through the hard surface anodizing and expose the butter-soft aluminum underneath and your frontstrap will crack from window to window…

  8. I’ve eyeballed those Caspian frames and slides for a very long time. They can be ordered with the machine work for beavertails, low-mount sights, and front sight dovetails already done.

    The integral plunger tube option appeals to me, too. I had one work loose once.

  9. I like my S&W scandium 1911($750). Light, all the bells and whistles and it shoots better than I do. Of course, so does the Rock Island Armory($350) that I have for a desk gun. I think the next one will be a STI ($1000) Escort, 22 oz, 3 in barrel.

    Of course I don’t shoot “competition”, I just carry for myself. And then I have a Glock 22, 26 or, most often, a Kel Tec 380. Among others.

    ATF NOTE: If you feds are reading this, I sold all my guns at the gun show last week to pay the margin on my hedge fund account.

Comments are closed.