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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/28/2005 9:18:39 AM EDT
A buddy of mine just got an SA Gov't Model 1911. He wants to swap out the standard grip safety for a beavertail one.

Some of these are listed as "semi" drop in. Neither of us know the first thing about working on 1911s...is this something that's relatively easy to do, or should we let the "professionals" do it?

If it is easy, which one do you guys recommend? thanks....
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 10:22:58 AM EDT
It really depends on how picky he is about the appearance of the finished product. If you buy an Ed Browns high ride, I have a fitting jig that you're welcome to use. Even with that though, you have a good amount of hand fitting with a file or even a Dremel tool.

I installed a Wilson on a Sig GSR and did the install by free-handing it with a Dremel tool. The fit was not perfect. Well, it fit well and felt great, but there was a bit of a gap on the right side. It didn't look perfect, but it did what it was suposed to do. If you've got the guts, it can work, but if you want it to look right, you really need to send it off to somebody who knows what they are doing.
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 1:06:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/28/2005 1:08:32 PM EDT by hobbs5624]
A lot of people do their own, and there is not a lot to get one functionally correct. Getting them to look professional is another story, and a sloppy one detracts from a gun's resale value, if that's a consideration. Here's the basic considerations of doing it your self, followed by some specifics on Springfields.

First, there are drop-in (they do not require cutting the frame tangs, but will most likely require fitting of the stirrup inside for proper function), compound radius, .250" radius, and .220" radius.

The drop-ins usually go in easily, but every once in awhile you need to grind down the top portion of the grip safety for clearance as the stem of the hammer will bump it. Also, if you go with a drop in, you will either need to switch to a caommander hammer if your friend's gun has a spur hammer, or you will have to find a drop in beavertail that accepts the spur hammer (King's makes one).

The other three types all require cutting of the frame tangs, and also either a commander hammer or cutting of the spur hammer. The compound radius are difficult for beginners to fit, even with a jig. Examples of these are Wilson Combat, older Clark, Caspian, and Safari Arms. Also, for a professional look, you need to blend the top of the frame tangs, though it's not necessary. If it's a blued gun, and you blend the top, the gun will need to be refinished, or you will have a sloppy area after cold bluing.

The .220" and .250" radius both install the same, but the .220" is designed for the Springfield. Springfield and Para both have a lower radius to the top of the grip tang. Install a .250" on a Springfield and you will have a beavertail where the top of the grips safety sits higher than the frame. It's ugly, but does not impeded function. Also, with .250" beavertails, some like the Les Baer and Smith and Alexander do not require any blending to the bottom radius of the frame tang, but the Ed Brown as well as all the other high hold beavertails do.

The only beavertail that will look good on a Springer without welding up the frame is the Smith and Alexander .220" radius beavertail. Many times a Wilson high ride will work too, but sometimes it does not.

If this all made your head spin, I would recommend you let a pro do it. If you want to try it yourself, there's a lot more detail I can go into, like how to blend everything for a perfect fit devoid of grinding marks. Good luck.

Link Posted: 8/28/2005 2:20:29 PM EDT
I am planning on installing an Ed Brown beavertail on an old Para P14. Any advice you could provide on the fitting would be appreciated. I have the Ed Brown jig on order. Thanks.
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 3:05:29 PM EDT
thanks...I'll wait and learn rpmwfo.

I don't mind messing up my own stuff, but I'd like to keep from fubaring my buddy's gun.
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 3:31:30 PM EDT
I have both a King's drop-in for standard Gov't hammers, and a Wilson drop-in for Commander hammers.

The King's dropped right in. The only problem was that it didn't really fit my hand well...with a high hold, it'd cut into the web between my thumb, and it was highly annoying. Almost as painful as the hammer bite I bought it to cure.

The Wilson Combat one also dropped in..though it did take some stoning on the tang to get it to fit. It's a lot more comfortable, it works, and it looks a lot nicer. Nothing complex was done, just hold it, use my eye, and make sure I don't change the angle. 5 seconds of work on a dremel...zip, and poof, it fit.

I saved the original grip safety as well; in case I ever wanted/needed to swap it back.

Link Posted: 8/28/2005 4:22:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Fenian:
thanks...I'll wait and learn rpmwfo.

I don't mind messing up my own stuff, but I'd like to keep from fubaring my buddy's gun.

I was lucky enough to have a friend let me cut on his gun for the first time. I wish he still had it so I could show you pics of how messed up it is, but some a**hat stole it in SC.

rpmwfo, my advice is to sell the Ed Brown and get a Smith and Alexander .220" radius beavertail and jig. Of course, if this is out of the question, the Ed Brown will work just fine, but will have an uneven edge at the top.

Some smiths/people don't blend the top of the tangs with the top of the BT. Wilson Combat usually only does it on their Master Grade guns. Most smiths do blend them though, and it looks a lot better. I can give you complete instructions if you want, but it would help if you could e-mail me what you already know how to do.

Link Posted: 8/28/2005 6:56:44 PM EDT
this thread is worthless without pics
Link Posted: 8/28/2005 10:44:32 PM EDT
Just have it done by a good smith. It's worth the money. You'll also need to shorten the hammer or install a commander hammer.
Link Posted: 8/29/2005 5:54:08 AM EDT

Originally Posted By supersix4:
this thread is worthless without pics

Well, OK. Dremel tool + Sig GSR + Wilsons = great feel, mediocre looks.

Link Posted: 8/30/2005 5:10:28 AM EDT
ah, now I see what you are talking about.

Link Posted: 8/30/2005 6:23:36 AM EDT
Cliffy109, you did way bettr than most. I would not all that mediocre looks. Nice job.
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