Thoughts on a rebuild/upgrade project...

Discussion in 'General 1911 talk' started by awpk03s, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. awpk03s

    awpk03s Active Member

    Aug 23, 2011
    Okay, so my main carry 1911 is a Smith & Wesson Pro Series Subcompact 3" 45ACP. I have made some updates to it to make it better suited to my purposes:
    - Hogue Grips
    - Ambi Safety (fit and done in IonBond at Nighthawk)
    - Heinie sights
    - Nighthawk magwell/serrated MSH


    I really like this gun, but I am spoiled by my other 1911s (Nighthawk Heinie Tactical Carry & Nighthawk Enforcer Recon) and would like to spice this one up a bit.

    The trigger fit is sloppy (as typical with S&W) and the pull leaves some to be desired. The grip safety also leaves something to be desired in terms of fitment and engagement. The finish on the small parts I believe is a black oxide of sorts, and not the Melonite that is on the slide. To correct these things, here is what I am tossing around in my head...

    - 10-8 0.140" Rear Sight
    - Harrison Custom Ignition Set (Hammer, Sear, Disconnector) in Black IonBond DLC
    - Harrison Custom hammer strut in black IonBond DLC
    - Harrison Custom medium trigger in black IonBond DLC
    - Harrison Custom Extreme Slide Stop in black IonBond DLC
    - Wilson Bulletproof Concealment Grip Safety.... Brownells says this part requires use of a Wilson BP hammer, so unsure on this.
    - Crimson Trace Master Series G-10 Laser Grips
    - After fitting, have the Grip Safety and barrel done in black IonBond DLC. Possibly also have barrel crowned by John Harrison.

    What I'm looking for here, are any comments or thoughts to the parts I've selected... and also thoughts into another thought that has been swimming around for me... obviously the above is a pretty big commitment of $ (also includes some tools that I will need, more mags, etc.). With this kind of investment, plus the cost of the pistol as it sits - is doing the above still a good move (I personally think it would make a KICK ASS carry pistol) or would I be better to sell the S&W and invest in another pistol that has most all the features I want? And what would that pistol be? Sig has a new 3" gun... Dan Wesson is rumored to have a 3" gun in 2012...

    Thanks for reading, and your input!
  2. Earlsbud

    Earlsbud Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 28, 2011
    Wait on the DW sounds good. You'd start with a kick ass platform.

  3. 230gr

    230gr Active Member

    Aug 23, 2011
    only thing I'll say is man press-on with what you want to do. BUT, be wary...upgrading can spin out of control and you've got more money in the gun, very quickly, than it'll ever be worth. Now if you plan to keep it forever, heirloom kind of thing, good, but you'll never sell it and get back your "investment".
  4. jst1tym

    jst1tym What No Delete Button? Supporting Addict

    Aug 23, 2011
    And so it begins! I really stacked up the dough on my emp. Since your doing it all yourself everything will be a lot more convenient. Sounds like you have a good game plan, enjoy it! Please give us updates as you progress. With the time and referrences I would have loved to do some of the work myself, but in my case, a lot required machining. Have a great time :thumb:

    If for some reason you choose not to go ahead with these upgrades and sell it. Many to include myself, really like the emp for a good compact carry piece..
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2011
  5. 50GI-Jess

    50GI-Jess Member

    Aug 24, 2011
    I would make som changes to your priority list.
    I would focus more on the reliabilty aspects first being a carry gun. In most cases you'll be able to save some money, by working with the existing parts in relation to a better trigger job. It's just as important how these parts are fitted, as compared to buying newer parts.
    More important things that come to mind, would all be reliability realted. Such as extractor, breech face dimensions, chamber depth, correct throating and feedramp, ejector, hammer/sear relation and that the safeties are working properly.
    Well, just a thought from here. And good luck with your new projects.
    If anything goes bad.....relax, drink a six pack and watch a good movie.....and call us in the morning:thumb:
  6. knedrgr

    knedrgr Low capacity, low tech...

    Aug 15, 2011
    To answer your question on the WC BP Concealment BTGS, it must be accompany by the corresponding/matching hammer for the complete kit. The reason for this is due to the BT's solid design. There is not a trench cut into the BT for the hammer to deeply nest inside. This WC design requires a shorter (front to back) so it won't hit the BT and will engage the sear correctly.

    If you want to build up the gun, then go for it. Sounds like a nice plan.
  7. Sir Guy

    Sir Guy Sharpening Ockham's Razor Supporting Addict

    Aug 20, 2011
    I'd agree with Jess about the reliability stuff.

    230gr makes some good points about upgrading spinning out of control.

    You can buy a Honda Civic and spend three years "upgrading" it to compete with a Mustang, or get the Mustang to begin with and save some money.

    Regardless, there's a good argument for putting money towards proper fit of the parts you have, rather than just getting new parts (which will have to be properly fit anyway).

  8. 50GI-Jess

    50GI-Jess Member

    Aug 24, 2011
    It's a little bit of an illusion to rely on all these improved trigger pull kits, which usually consist of hammer,sear, disconnector, sear spring. And the reason being, is that most frames differ slightly from the blueprints. Which again means that pinholes and the width of the slot for hammer/sear varies from maker to maker.

    Yes! on most cheap 1911's, they will improve the felt triggerpull, but is it considered safe too??? Changing the location ever so slightly on pinholes...or if the have a minor angle too them, will certainly change the pre-set hammer/sear relation and there as contact areas.

    Also the thumbsafety will have to be fitted to make sure it's function works as intended. Which relates to both the sear and hammer. Things are not always what they seem to be at first. And this can turn into an unexpected costly affair.

    This is not written to scare or turn any products down, but only to make sure that folks with upgrading plans, truely understand the mechanics of their projects.
  9. awpk03s

    awpk03s Active Member

    Aug 23, 2011
    Thanks for all the replies and good thoughts.
    The pistol itself is already a reliable piece, and quite accurate. I'm more than happy with it, but would just like for it to be... better.
    With that said, I am more than aware of the risk of dumping more $ into a gun than it will ever be worth.
    At this point, I can just upgrade the few minor things I want (10-8 rear sight, Crimson Trace) and live with it and see if I want a DW 3" model (if they build it), or I will see if I can get a top tier smith to do the work for me. I presume that having a good pistolsmith do this work, along with reliability improvements - can only lead to goodness no?
    I've asked John Harrison if he can do the work... hopefully he responds favorably.
  10. awpk03s

    awpk03s Active Member

    Aug 23, 2011
    Thanks man... I will have to see if I want to go that route or not. I may leave the existing BTGS and just see if it can be tuned for increased sensitivity. The fitment really isn't that bad...

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