A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, July 10, 2006

A M1911A1 Copy

Three years ago, in the Spring of 2003, Springfield began producing a pistol that 1911 shooters had craved for a long time. It was a basic, no frills GI styled 1911 with a forged frame and slide. Right out of the gate Springfield had a potential winner. If priced right, and if reliable, it would fill a void that no other pistol occupied. Like many eager 1911 shooters, I pre-ordered mine. When it arrived, it came with black plastic grips in an olive drab cardboard box. It was one of the first 300 pistols. It had a GI style ejection port, Springfield's ILS system, a teardrop thumb safety, vertical slide serrations, and a standard trigger. It also had a parkerized barrel with a loaded chamber indicator, and the older blocky Springfield front strap. For $400, it was a deal. I took it home.

I had long wanted a real M1911A1, but with the prices they command, and the history they represent, I just could not justify buying a nice one to shoot. I resolved to make the new Springfield pistol a representation of a GI gun.

I began to search and scrounge for parts. I ordered a stamped GI trigger from Numrich. I found an arched and serrated mainspring housing with a lanyard loop on ebay, along with some double diamond walnut grips. I ordered some genuine GI grips from Simpson's Ltd, but I preferred the walnut. Next, I ordered a checkered slide stop and magazine catch from Brownells. The wide spur hammer and GI thumb safety came out of a box of take-off parts. I kept the Springfield grip safety. It is a bit bigger than a GI unit, but it effectively keeps the hammer from biting my hand. I slicked up the action, and purchased a couple of GI magazines at the next gun show.

After 600 rounds or so, the pistol began to have an occasional problem chambering the last round in a magazine. I replaced the recoil spring with a 18.5 pound Wolff spring, and the pistol has cycled fine ever since. My home brew GI pistol is not meant to fool people into thinking it is an actual GI gun. It is meant to simulate a pistol that is much like the guns carried into combat in the past century. Like those pistols, it is not a tack driver, but it does bring a smile to my face each time I shoot it. That's good enough for me.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Paul Simer said...

Looks like a cadidate for a church gun...

5:21 PM  
Anonymous Diamondback said...

I'm rather fond of mine as well. only one jam out of roughly 3000 rounds give or take 100. First thing I did when I got it was replace the plastic grips with some nice smooth wood grips. In my opinion, Springfield makes some of the nicest 1911s for half the price of many others. I had thought of building out my MilSpec, but after shooting it a few times, I decided to leave as is. Never had trouble with hammer bite like some do. Only thing I could even begin to complain about is that it only comes with one magazine and the plastic grips are really cheap. easy and cheap fix though. Picked up some decent Kimber mags from Sportsmans Guide as well as some Pachmar (sp?) grips for a song. It's very a very comfortable shooter.

8:51 PM  
Anonymous scott said...

I picked up one in the OD green last October for $435.00. Thought it was a prety good deal.
My other SA Mil Spec which I puchased in 90 went back to the SA Custom Shop in 91 and I purchased a Heinie match barrel for it. Still kicking. In fact I used it to qualify for my CCW course on the range. Shot a perfect score with it.
For my new mil spec SA I found a Dillon Products old School Leather Holster and Magazine Pouch at a gun store for $29.99. They had the belt for it but the guy was a 44 waist. However, I just found a good quality Belt for the rig for $14.99 on clearance at Sportsmnas Guide.

9:15 PM  
Blogger The Conservative UAW Guy said...

Beautiful weapone.
They bring a smile to my face, as well.

Such a great design, and a proud history, too.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Cybrludite said...

I've got one of the Kahr/Auto Ord. GI models. About the only things I've replaced on it have been the recoil spring and the grips. Only instead of the period walnut grips, I went with the faux ivory with the Grim Reaper scrimshaw. Only gripe I have is with the finish being a bit on the thin side. May have it refinished once my finances stabilize.

8:27 PM  

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