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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, all. This is my first post here, so ... be nice. :)

I have my grandfather’s 1943 Ithaca 1911A1 he carried in WW2 and Korea. I’ve had it for 10 years and have put maybe 200 rounds through it. Before that, it hadn’t 200 rounds through it ... since Korea and none between WW2 and Korea.

Do to rising hostilities against Jews generally and being increasingly harassed while walking to synagogue on Shabbat, I’d feel more comfortable dusting off the 1911 than continuing my weekly sidewalk commute unarmed. (Yes, local police have increased patrols in our area and have generally urged greater situational awareness to those who won’t be deterred from Shabbat observance.)

My question: if I am to brush off my average shooting skills with the 1911, I’ll want to hit the range more. What work should I do to the 1911—if anything—to keep it happy? Replace the recoil spring? Hammer and sear springs? Hand it over to a gunsmith for general inspection? It has always shot fine and has no visible issues.

My brother has it now and is going to bring it to me, so here is the one photo he sent me to show y’all. He dropped it at his FFL on Monday. Pardon the upside-down photo and other “toys” he stored it with. He’s an idiot. :)
 

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You flipped the photo! Thank you. I did not ask to be sent the grenade, much to my son’s chagrin. I have prayers in upstairs that it’s a training pineapple or an “empty” pineapple.
Never take it outside. Some officers won't see it's empty...

Strip and clean the 1911. Lube it and at minimum put an 18lb recoil spring in it. I was carrying a Colt 1911A1 on duty last night. I changed the trigger (I prefer flat triggers) and "tuned" the trigger pull to 3lbs (my preferance). Mine has a hardened slide and old NM sights with the front sight silver soldered on. Be advised if you shoot it, the front sight is staked on, and may fall off. Not unusual.
 

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Thank you. Is there anything I can or should do to keep it in place? Solder, it seems for you.
Understand the original sight is not soldered on. The slide will be milled to put a slot in it for the sight to be soldered into the slot.

Second to that is having a dovetail cut into the slide to mount a sight, but SS'ed front sights aren't unusual for the old military and commercial 1911s that come with staked sights.

BTW first time I ever got shot at was up in the Golan in 1970.
 

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As a semi-regular resident of Houston - I have a bunch of family in Houston - I'm sorry to hear about the necessity of the pistol.

I know that Houston is a very different city than it was twenty plus years ago when I first started staying there a number of times each year.

I had not heard about problems with anti-Semitism in Houston. However, I am also not surprised. I have tried to be more observant moving around the city myself. Stay safe.
 

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Thank you. Is there anything I can or should do to keep it in place? Solder, it seems for you.
Just in case I didn't cover everything, there is a staking tool you can get at Brownells. However if you're seriously going to use this pistol, I strongly advise you to find a good 1911 smith and have him do it right. Since there are several decent smiths in the country, it would help to get a general idea of where you are.

Also understand, 1911s do take work to be proficient with. Please never take that for granted.
 

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as others stated....

1) detail strip and inspect the internals for any signs of rusting or cracks.

2) buff up the internals where metal meets metal but NOT the sear nose/hammer hook engagement...you'll need a gunsmith for that or the proper jigs to get the proper angles. But you CAN buff up the trigger bow, where the trigger bow rides the disconnector, the sides of the hammer (not the hammer spur itself), etc.

3) Maybe buff up the feed ramp and barrel throat to insure feeding,

4) get some new mag's (just as important as refreshing the gun) or replace the mag springs and buff up the magazine tubes/bodies to insure reliable feeding

After all the inspection/refresh...shoot the heck out of it and see what is working and what is not...maybe you'll need better sights, a different beavertail grip safety, accuracy may be crappy and need some barrel fit work, etc....only way to tell is going to be shooting it...

Good luck and keep us posted on how you make out...we all love refreshes like this!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Just in case I didn't cover everything, there is a staking tool you can get at Brownells. However if you're seriously going to use this pistol, I strongly advise you to find a good 1911 smith and have him do it right. Since there are several decent smiths in the country, it would help to get a general idea of where you are.

Also understand, 1911s do take work to be proficient with. Please never take that for granted.
Understand the original sight is not soldered on. The slide will be milled to put a slot in it for the sight to be soldered into the slot.

Second to that is having a dovetail cut into the slide to mount a sight, but SS'ed front sights aren't unusual for the old military and commercial 1911s that come with staked sights.

BTW first time I ever got shot at was up in the Golan in 1970.
I’m glad they missed, Bob.
 

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as others stated....

1) detail strip and inspect the internals for any signs of rusting or cracks.

2) buff up the internals where metal meets metal but NOT the sear nose/hammer hook engagement...you'll need a gunsmith for that or the proper jigs to get the proper angles. But you CAN buff up the trigger bow, where the trigger bow rides the disconnector, the sides of the hammer (not the hammer spur itself), etc.

3) Maybe buff up the feed ramp and barrel throat to insure feeding,

Not if he's a novice. Let him learn about the pistol first. Classic 1911s and 1911A1s are usually loose as it is and quite frankly the pistols were made for hardball. Getting it past this is something for a good gunsmith

PS dry firing before live firing helps avoid bad habits that will need to get fixed later on
 

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Get it inspected, it will probably just need springs and lube.

Don't fix what isn't broken.
This right here ^^^^^^. If your not very familiar with the 1911 a good gunsmith an go through it, clean it up, replace recoil and hammer springs, lube it, and have it ready for service in short order and it shouldn't cost too much. Also, if you ask he'd probably show you how to field strip it and do basic maintenance. It'll serve you well just like it is, same as it did for your grandfather.

Still needs an 18lb recoil spring.
Why? 16lb springs have been serving 1911s just fine forever. Our personal preferences aren't must haves for other folks.
 
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