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Posted: 6/9/2002 5:36:55 PM EST
I have a 70 series colt gov model which I really like, I have owned it for about 6 years ago when I bought it new in box. Well I want to learn about the 1911 and want to do some gunsmithing to my gov model but am a little reluctant to use this gun as my practice gun to learn about "smithing" because if I screw it up I will be pissed. So my solution is to buy a cheapy 1911 similar to what have and practice on the beater gun, so what are some that I should look at I was thinking maybe the norinco 1911's are can anyone reccomend some descent 1911 guns that i could use to practice with?
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 6:17:35 PM EST
Rock Island Armory, all the parts are mil spec.
Link Posted: 6/9/2002 6:21:50 PM EST
Those Argentine ones seem like the best deal for what you want.  Inexpensive, great quality, could use some work, really just what you need.  Unless you think you're going to be a butcher the first couple times out, you'll wind up with a fine gun that you did yourself.  Also learning on real junk that's out of spec really isn't as good as learning on a quality piece.

Link Posted: 6/9/2002 6:57:28 PM EST
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 12:01:54 AM EST
Rock Island and Charles Daly are the same gun, same manufacturer. Possibly a Colt Sistema, built on Colt Machines. Pick which one you can get at the best price.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 6:03:22 AM EST
where can I find the sistema?
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 6:21:46 AM EST
I'm no 1911 expert, but....

I recall hearing that the Norinco's have excellent frames and slides that provide the base for ALOT of custom work. And aren't real bad as is out of the box.

Link Posted: 6/10/2002 6:46:59 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 6:49:36 AM EST

where can I find the sistema?

i think www.cruffler.com has them, or links to someone who does.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 6:54:25 AM EST
Why not get an entry level Springfield? Except for the frame, slide, and barrel if you screw up anything else you can get another part fairly cheaply.Assuming you don't screw it up, then when you are done you will have a nice 45.

If you are serious about smithing work like triggers, you will need to buy a jig, I belive you can purchase these from Brownells.

A lot of customizing can be done by simply replacing parts. By the time you buy a 'cheap' pistol, then replace all the internal parts you will find its just as expensive as buying a loaded model in the first place....BUT...doing the customization yourself is part of the fun and learning experience.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 7:00:31 AM EST
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 8:03:41 AM EST
Auto Ordnance is now made by KAHR Arms, if that might sway anybody.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 8:22:03 AM EST
Sistemas are the same as 1911s.

Ballester Molinas are similar, but not identical. Only some of the parts are interchangeable with the 1911.
Link Posted: 6/10/2002 9:37:35 AM EST
Best gunsmithing book for 1911 is Jerry Kuhnhausen's set...just search under his name and you'll come up with a couple of websites.

He has a Volume I and II for 1911 custom work.  They are both about $30 each plus shipping.

The problem with customizing your own is that unless you have all of the right files, tools, calipers, micrometers, emory papers, gadgets, etc....you end up spending as much or more money than buying a Les Baer.  However, there IS a lot of satisfaction in the finished product...and each subsequent pistol is cheaper since you are not having to buy everything.

As for a good base gun, you can actually buy frames and slides out of Brownell's.  Probably the cheapest way since you are going to want to put in a nice BarSto barrel, nice trigger, nice hammer, killer sights, etc.  Would suggest sticking with Wolff springs, which you can buy a complete set fairly cheap.  Personally, I like their 18.5lb variable strength recoil spring on my 5" Governments.

Good luck!  Have fun...it will take a LONG TIME to do everything properly (i.e...DON'T USE A DREMEL TOOL).
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