Drop in barrel, yes or no? 10MM to .40.

Discussion in 'Beginner's Corner' started by Steve Page, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. Steve Page

    Steve Page New Member

    11
    Apr 8, 2019
    I'm not new to 1911s but I am new to working on them.

    I recently became the proud owner of a Kimber 10mm 1911. I've shot 1911's for years but have never modified one at all so I don't know a lot about that aspect of 1911's.

    Because of ammo costs and other reasons I'm interested in setting it up for.40 Cal ammo. I've read it's an easy thing to do because depending on what you read it's either just a barrel or a barrel and a spring.

    That's a long way of getting to my questions.

    Is there such a thing as a good drop in barrel? If there is what brands should I look at?
    Is fitting a barrel as difficult as some people say?

    Thanks for the help.
     
  2. Greg45acp

    Greg45acp Double Secret Banned Supporting Addict

    Oct 31, 2016
    How well a drop-in barrel will work depends just as much on how "in spec" the gun is.

    I have no idea how closely a Kimber sticks to the blueprints. You should probably order it from Brownells since they are so easy to deal with in regards to returns.
     
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  3. Steve Page

    Steve Page New Member

    11
    Apr 8, 2019
    That makes sense. I was surprised to read that a barrel even needs to be fitted if the gun is made to spec.
     
  4. Greg45acp

    Greg45acp Double Secret Banned Supporting Addict

    Oct 31, 2016
    Each one is a different beast. Even the same brand can vary quite a bit.
     
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  5. hks1911

    hks1911 Well-Known Member

    349
    Oct 7, 2018
    You do need to re-spring the gun as well. I think the last one I saw used a 14lb recoil.
     
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  6. Slapshot

    Slapshot Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    I once asked the same question about 38 super and 9mm and was told NO and not to try it because it could be bad by a very well respected smith on the forum. I would think the same would apply here.
     
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  7. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016
    My 2011 has both a 40 and a 10 barrel because the only difference is the length of the case. I use a different (lighter) spring with the 40 barrel, but everything else is the same.

    The 38 super and 9mm have different case dimensions other than just the length.
     
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  8. Steve Page

    Steve Page New Member

    11
    Apr 8, 2019
    I've read that if you are going from .40 to 10mm there could be an issue, but not the other way around. I'll check that though
     
  9. Steve Page

    Steve Page New Member

    11
    Apr 8, 2019

    I read in another forum that it's possible to put a 9mm barrel and spring in and fire 9 mm from a 10mm 1911. Sounded a little far fetched to me, but have you ever heard that?

    Did you fit your barrel or did a drop in work for you!
     
  10. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016
    I'd be interested in this 'what you read' information.

    I bought a bare STI frame and slide (STI sells it as a 40/10mm slide) and fit both barrels to the same frame and slide. Barrels are ramped and gunsmith fit by me.

    My pistol is set up with a heavy hammer spring and square bottom FPS so I don't have to use quite as much recoil spring when throwing the 40 barrel in.
     
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  11. wrmiller

    wrmiller The Tinker

    Oct 29, 2016
    A 9mm cartridge will not properly register on the breach face of a 40/10mm slide. You might get away with it for a while, but I'd never do it.
     
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  12. Steve Page

    Steve Page New Member

    11
    Apr 8, 2019
    I'll try to find it when I get home and I'm in my computer. Working off this phone makes it to difficult to look up. But if I remember it was on a post about RIA 1911s and the resident "experts" recommended the guy contact RIA before he converted it to 10 mm.
     
  13. Steve Page

    Steve Page New Member

    11
    Apr 8, 2019
    I think I understand what you are saying and that's similar to what I thought as well.
     
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  14. Greg45acp

    Greg45acp Double Secret Banned Supporting Addict

    Oct 31, 2016
    Back 20+ years ago, Colt sold a 10/40 version of the Combat Elite that came with both barrels.

    You can look those up on gunbroker.
     
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  15. Jim w.

    Jim w. Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2016
    That's strange, there are untold numbers of 9mm/.38 combos out there, some by prominent gunsmiths and factories. I have read that there are 9mm slides with breech faces too narrow for .38 Super semirim but a lot of places use the same dimension.
    Some places use the same for .40, Kimber, maybe. Not that that is a good referral.

    As to .40/10mm, 10mm max chamber pressure is 37,500 psi vs 35,000 in .40; a 7% increase.
     
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  16. Mike0251

    Mike0251 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    876
    Mar 25, 2016
    Send it to Kimbers custom shop and have them fit a barrel and supply the spring. Then you will have no worries or issues.
     
  17. Slapshot

    Slapshot Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    My original question was if you could take a 9mm gun and drop in a 38 Super barrel from the same Mfg. There's a difference from between a gunsmith fit barrel and dropping in a barrel blindly. I'm sure a qualified smith could fit both combinations successfully. Drop in maybe / maybe not.
     
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  18. Steve Page

    Steve Page New Member

    11
    Apr 8, 2019
    I wish I could, I'm on a budget and nothing I've seen on Kimber's site fits my budget. I got the gun on a trade.
     
  19. Steve Page

    Steve Page New Member

    11
    Apr 8, 2019
    I looked through my history and couldn't find that again. Sorry.
     
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  20. Jim w.

    Jim w. Well-Known Member

    Jul 27, 2016
    Of my two such, only one was a gunsmith project.
    The other was a 1950s Colt Super with a 1970s Colt .38 Super barrel and a Springfield 9mm barrel. No "fitting" involved except extractor tension. Not a centerfold model or a bughole shooter, but it did as well as the typical factory gun.
     
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