View Full Version : New to the 1911 world...
4th October 2004, 16:56
I have been shooting for years and have bought many firearms, but I have never purchased a 1911. They have always intrigued me, but I never fronted the cash to purchase one. However, last weekend, an uncle of mine gave me his 1911. It's a Colt .45 Government Mark IV Series 70. I traced the serial number, and it appears to be linked to those models that were made in 1971. I am highly interested in firing it and perhaps one day carrying it. I didn't know if anyone had tips on the weapon concerning replacing parts etc. It's in excellent condition. My uncle had installed Pachmayer (sp?) grips on the gun. It fits great in my hand. I also need some new magazines. I heard that Wilson Combat made some killer mags. True??? Any tips/suggestions would be appreciated. It sounds like many of you know what you're talking about. Thanks...
5th October 2004, 00:29
Welcome to the forum aerox711!
Your uncle gave you a very nice gift. I have one just like the one you've received. I've still got the box with it. If yours is in excellent condition, its worth 700-900.00
The only thing that you may want to do some watching over is the barrel bushing. Instead of it being a solid piece, it has been split into 4 fingers. Which if not fitted properly from the factory, can break. Generally due to insufficient clearance in the slide causing the fingers to bow inward, which puts undue stress on the skirt of the bushing (where the fingers meet the solid part of the bushing). After time this will cause the fingers to fatigue a bit then eventually break. I've seen then go for a life time and not cause any problems as well. If you're going to carry it for........say defense purposes, I would suggest replacing the bushing with a solid type.
As for other parts.........go out and enjoy it before thinking about any mods. Do some research on 1911's. You'll find some great reading on this forum, and the home page as well.
I use Wilson 47D mags. for duty use. One thing that I'm sure most folks here will chime in on.........don't get a quality gun, then give it cheap mags. Your nice gun will give you fits ever after.
5th October 2004, 02:19
Wichaka is right to the point. Quality mags are important. Also, do yourself a favor and get rid of that barrel bushing, as soon as you can.
Then, go out a shoot the pistol. If your hand gets scratched between the index finger and the thumb, have a decent gunsmith install a beavertail for you and you are done.
Welcome to the Forums.
5th October 2004, 03:48
Welcome to the 1911 family, you have a pistol that many 1911 afficionados would want to have(including me! :D )
Do what Wichaka and John have advice, go out and shoot and have fun before you do any mod. with it.
'I rather have it and don't need it, than not have it when I need it'
5th October 2004, 09:36
Great! Thanks alot guys. I spoke to someone today who advised that I should atleast replace the guide spring. He suggested one rated at 18.5 lbs. I have a MIDWAYUSA catalog that sells Wilson Combat accessories...is that a good choice? Also, where can I find one of those bushings? Any links would be helpful. Does anyone suggest purchasing a full length guide rod, instead of having the shorted 2-piece? I have heard of guys doing that, but again, this is all new to me. I am an officer in NC and I would love to wear it off duty, but I NEED it to be reliable and dependable. Thanks for all of the great advise thus far. Keep it coming....
5th October 2004, 12:15
aerox711, you might want to look at replacing the spring...........afterall, sitting in the gun for the last 30years........I'm sure it has taken a 'set'
I would advise heavily against putting a 18.5lb spring in it. All 1911's if made properly will cycle with finger pressure. If you put a heavier spring in it, the forward motion of the slide going back into battery while cycling will jar the gun more. Which means its slamming itself more than it should, and its harder to keep it on target for followup shots. Most springs coming out in factory guns these days, don't measure up to the lbs. they're rated for. Example, the ones I've tested for the gun you have (which is supposed to be a 16lb spring) usually rate out anywhere from the upper 14's to mid 15lbs. Commanders are to have 18lb springs, but rate out in the 16-17lb area.
If you're going to replace the spring, go with a 16lb Wolff. Wolff seems to make their springs closest to their advertised rating. I've got one here for ya that I'll send to you. Just give me a PM with your address.
As for aftermarket parts, I would suggest you look at Brownell's. They have their own web site brownells.com, and you can order a catalog. They have everything you need..........or don't need.
Guiderods.........uh...........well, you're going to get differing opinions here.
I use 2 piece full length guide rods on all my 1911's. There's no advantage to using them as maybe you may have read. I just like the spring to ride on something.......and not snaking around inside the gun. I've heard of the 2 piece styles coming loose during firing. I've not had that problem. If they're tightened up properly, they'll stay together. However, should you have a problem with one coming apart..........dab a bit of blue loc-tite on the threads. It will only come apart when you want it.........not when it decides.
The only other thing that may need attention...........is what John mentioned..........that's the grip safety. After an extended shooting session, that safety will dig into the web of your hand........and eventually blood will flow. If you're not wanting to alter the frame, Wilson makes a drop in type safety that requires no grinding on the frame. And they fit pretty well and look good too.
If you need reliability done on the gun, you can send it me. I build 1911's for L.E. personel.
There are people on here with alot of experience and knowledge. Don't be affraid to ask any questions. You may want to use the 'search' function to look for past forum threads on some of the questions you may have.
Again welcome aboard and have fun with your 1911.
5th October 2004, 15:05
I'll have to differentiate my position, as far as the guide rods are concerned, with reference to Wichaka's view above.
I agree that they offer no advantage, actually they make your life more difficult, by making the disassembly more complicated. I disagree on the fact that the spring is shaking around inside the gun, if you do not use a full-length guide rod (FLGR). There is no much room in there, to let the spring move around.
I used to have FLGR in both my pistols for years, actually when my good friend Alan Tillman customized my 9mm Springfield, it was one of the first items on the list. After years of using them, I got rid of them and went back to the original setup. As expected, no difference, and now I can strip the thing without using any bloody allen key.
Of course, this is only my 2 Eurocents.
5th October 2004, 16:59
I agree that the term 'snaking' is really not accurate. True there is not much room between the frame and barrel for much movement, but there is some. I just like the spring to coil in a straight(er) line.
Again aerox711, its going to be a personl pref.
So John whats the exchange rate for the Eurocents?
Are you in the hole, or do I need to send you the diff.?
5th October 2004, 17:59
Thanks guys. I spoke to a guy that works at my department today, and he basically said word for word what you said, Wichaka. I was just on the Brownells site a moment ago, and there's plenty of options to choose from. I'm looking at a new hammer/trigger as well. It all depends. I'm sure the girlfriend will have my head when she realizes just how much money I'm about to put into this weapon. I'm excited about it though. I WAS told however today, to go towards a 18.5-20.0 lb. spring system. If I can afford then, I'll try the 16 and the 18.5, and just see what works. Wilson Combat seems to have alot of the parts that I need. I'm pumped about it all!
5th October 2004, 20:42
You've gotten alot of good advice about your colt so far, the best I can give you is to put in a new wolf or wilson combat recoil spring, get a couple hundred rounds of ammo and head to the range. If you know anyone with a 1911 set up differently (long trigger, full length guide rod, better sights, whatever,) see if they might let you shoot it, that might give you an idea which direction you want to go. It sounds like you are already hooked so look at it this way, since the gun was a gift, even if you spend a few hundred bucks on it you're still in good shape. I've got a series 70 MK IV myself that I recently paid $600 for and was happy with the price. Have fun with your new gun. Also I've had very good results with wilson combat and chip mccormick magazines.
5th October 2004, 23:48
1.2 US$ to a Euro!!! Unfortunatelly!!
Just to add some more ... confusion, ISMI springs seem to be very good (and they are not even my sponsors). I have one in my .45 for a year now, with several rounds fired, no decrease in length!!!
6th October 2004, 00:14
I made my first purchases for the Colt today. I bought a EGW melt bushing, Wilson Combat recoil spring, 2 Wilson mags., and a Wilson drop-in grip safety. I have a question though. I plan to eventually put in a new hammer and trigger...Now since I have my original 70 hammer, will it mesh with the tang curve UP of the new Wilson grip safety, or will I have to stay with the original safety till I buy a hammer? As SOON as I made the order online (at Brownells) I realized that it may pose a problem. Should I go ahead and make another order, or will I be ok for now? (trying to avoid kicking out an extra $40 now)
6th October 2004, 00:56
Yup, you'll have to change the hammer if you install the Wilson grip safety. The spur on the factory hammer is too long, it will run into the drop in.
I've got some new hammers and sears here if you're interested. I think I can save you some shipping too.
I've got a Wilson Ultralight Hammer & a Nowlin 203C Commander Match Hammer, and a Nowlin Pro Match Sear. The Nowlin sear is the one I use for all my builds. One of the few that's actually steel.
6th October 2004, 01:01
Thanks! I would take you up on the hammer, but I may as well go ahead and get a trigger now while I'm at it, to match it. I'm getting the "bug" badly now. It's always fun to spend money that you don't have. Do you think I should go ahead and replace all the pins, or should I hold off? Wilson makes a "kit" containing all necessary pins to rebuild the weapon, and it's decently cheap. I'm overwealmed with options....
6th October 2004, 01:07
I've got an oversized Nowlin trigger here too if you want that. You'll have to fit the hieght to your gun, which is very easy to do.
I see no reason to re-pin the gun unless there's some wear on them to the point that things are sloppy.
I usually keep a pretty good stock of after market stuff on hand, as I keep pretty busy doing rebuilds.
6th October 2004, 01:17
I've also got some Wolff 18.5lb recoil spring kits. They come with the extra power firing pin spring. I have them in conventional & variable rate.
6th October 2004, 01:19
1.2 US$ to a Euro!!! Unfortunatelly!!
So I guess I owe you 2.4 US cents........check's in the mail pal.
6th October 2004, 01:23
You have a web site, b/c it sounds like that salesman is coming out of you? :) I am on Brownells site right now...The Wilson Ultralight hammer is 49.95 etc. etc. I am looking at a McCormick Auto Lightweight trigger, but it's out of stock!!! It's $18. You have one???
6th October 2004, 11:45
I have a web site, but its for my horse packing biz, troutlakepackstation.com
I'm a firearms instructor and the armorer for my dept. and
I do alot of builds and reliability work for L.E. personel and dept.'s, so I always have a fair bit of parts on hand.
Just ask John, ask and ye shall recieve!
I sent you an email.............
6th October 2004, 12:28
Reliable man he is, Wichaka, quite well stuffed as well, as far as 1911 parts are concerned.
6th October 2004, 14:00
quite well stuffed as well, as far as 1911 parts are concerned.
Thanks for the compliment John. As for stuffed, I'm glad you attached that to the 1911 parts, and not my aging physique. Although I'm still oblong in that department.............
6th October 2004, 19:06
Well gentlemen, I made 2 orders in the past 2 days containing the magazines, EGW bushing, springs & pin kits, ultralight hammer and match trigger (Wilson Combat), grip safety, etc...I appreciate all of the fine advise that you have provided. The next steps will be installing all of the parts, shooting it, and picking an ammo. for off-duty carry. I am very excited. The girlfriend only knows of an "order", containg "inexpensive" items....(trying not to let my new obsession become a problem. :rolleyes: ) I do plan to stay on the forum due to the hospitality and great info. I'm starting to look at tritium sights if anyone has any input on them. (I'm looking at Novak right now) Until next time...
7th October 2004, 01:33
I do not remember the beginning of this thread, but if your pistol is blue, I wouldn't go tritium. You see, what happens, is that if your pistol needs reblueing, then the sights have to be removed, and obviously, they cannot be reblued (the tritium inserts would get destroyed).
I had them on my pistols (even on my first Sig Sauer P-226 I had them installed) and now I went back to the plain ones. If you live in US though, it's a different story.
Novak tritiums are OK.
vBulletin v3.0.13, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.