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Posted: 9/25/2005 5:52:46 AM EDT
I have a Springfield GI and was wondering what you guys would recomend I do to it to make it a better pistol. I am looking for long term reliability so that means I need to replace the mim parts with something better quality. I have no idea which parts are mim though...

What are some recomended upgrades I can do myself?

Also I am looking for a good extended bull barrel with deep threads so that I can add a suppressor down the road. And a thread protector.

Thanks!
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 6:13:30 AM EDT
MIM parts are not always a bad thing. Some will say they are the anti-christ, while others would argue they are no weaker than cast parts. Nobody can say with certainty whether or not they are worse, though the empirical data would show that there are more undue breakages. I never thought to ask someone in the know if MIM is worse, and the silly thing is that my father in law is an engineer who specializes in metal stress and fatigue. I'm positive he will know the answer.

Anyway, here is a list of MIM parts in the SA, though it's not all inclusive. Also, some i'm sure of, some I've just read are MIM. Here we go, from top to bottom:

-extractor
-firing pin stop
-barrel bushing (not sure on this one, just read it)
-hammer
-ejector
-thumb safety
-slide stop
-grip safety (not sure on this one)
-mag release
-disconnector
-sear
-mainspring housing

The fact is, some of these parts are completely non stressed ot low stressed items, and it would be a complete waste of money to replace them, unless you just want to. Parts that are prone to breakage to begin with, and are critical if they fail, are: hammer, slide stop, firing pin stop, and in guns with ambi safeties, the safeties seem to break often at the joint.

Other items to consider replacing strictly from a quality standpoint in a performance enhanced 1911 are the extractor, the ejector, the sear, and the disconnector. The sear and disconnector are only important to replace if you intend to get a trigger job, as they don't hold cut angles well. The GI ejector is non extended, and will not be an issue, but you might want to upgrade it eventually to an extended type. The extractors don't hold tensioning as well in my opinion. Many poeple eventually replace the mainspring housing, not becuase it's MIM, but because of the ILS system.

Upgrades you can do yourself largely depends on how mechanically inclined you are. Since you are asking, I assume you cannot yet detail strip a 1911. I would recommend a couple books. A very basic book is Hallock's .45 Auto Handbook. Much better is The Colt .45 Automatic A Shop Manual, by Jerry Kuhnhausen. There is also a companion volume, but it's much more advanced.

Anyway, for upgrades you can do yourself, some basics might be fitting and tuning a new extractor, though this is the single most critical job in a 1911. It's relatively simple though. Also, you could fit an oversized match trigger, maybe try out cutting the frame for a beavertail, and replacing that ILS housing if you desire. You could also try fitting new drop in sights. These are just some ideas.

Good luck! Welcome to the addicting world of 1911 tinkering.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 8:45:53 AM EDT
I have built two ARs with no problem and used to wrench on my camaro allot so I am confortable with stripping down weapons. I am not too concerned with the beavertail as I have small non meaty hands so I have never gotten pinched by the hammer. Thanks for the list of items!

Link Posted: 9/25/2005 3:32:40 PM EDT
I think SA extractors are barstock, but they simply do not tension them right. I had mine tensioned, and it was fine after that. Though, it would not be a bad idea to swap it out for a Wilson Bullet-proof, or Ed Brown Hardcore extractor.

Basically, all of the small parts in an SA are MIM. Only the frame, barrel, and slide and titanium FP are not, and perhaps some of the pins, but they may be MIM as well. I dont mind having MIM in some non-critical spots(barrel bushing etc.), but the sear, hammer, slide stop and FP stop must be good castings at a minimum, barstock and forgings are ideal.
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 3:57:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Gooch:
I think SA extractors are barstock, but they simply do not tension them right. I had mine tensioned, and it was fine after that. Though, it would not be a bad idea to swap it out for a Wilson Bullet-proof, or Ed Brown Hardcore extractor.

Basically, all of the small parts in an SA are MIM. Only the frame, barrel, and slide and titanium FP are not, and perhaps some of the pins, but they may be MIM as well. I dont mind having MIM in some non-critical spots(barrel bushing etc.), but the sear, hammer, slide stop and FP stop must be good castings at a minimum, barstock and forgings are ideal.



The extractors are MIM for sure, no offense. At least that's what SA says. Anyway, I had a long talk with my father in law regarding MIM, and he basically said that MIM technology is not a bad thing at all. They use it in some pretty high stress parts at his company including some main gears in motors (the name has changed so many times, but he works for Honeywell something or other, as part of the engineering team for certain military helicopter engines).

He said that MIM in the gun industry lends itself to making mass quantities of parts where elimination of machining steps will reduce cost. He says the trouble with MIM in gun parts is that poor quality is the result of poor quality powdered metals, and it really comes down to who is making the parts and what material they use. Maybe Springfield and Kimber should look into their parts suppliers, as they use vendors for the numerous MIM parts. If they put pressure on their vendors, quality could be stepped up.

Anyway, Knife_Sniper, I assume you want to be a little economical when upgrading your 1911 parts. If you want to do it over a period of time, start with the slide stop and hammer, as when they break, the gun doesn't work. Replace your FP stop next, since they usually only crack at one corner and continue to function. Since you don't have an extended ejector, replace it later, but you don't have to worry about the nose breaking. The studs could shear off, but it's extremely unlikely. Replace your sear, disconnector, and extractor later on if you want a consistent trigger job or a higher quality extractor. Past taht, you should be fine. Good luck sir!
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 4:47:13 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hobbs5624:


The extractors are MIM for sure, no offense. At least that's what SA says.



Yeah, Im not too sure about it but I thought thats what it might be because on SA's M1A bolts, they use an F or B to denote if the bolt was made from forging or barstock. On my loaded's extractor, it has a B stamped onto the inside flat of the extractor where the hammer goes past. It is for that reason I think that it is barstock if SA is consistent with their markings.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 5:20:47 AM EDT

Originally Posted By The_Gooch:

Originally Posted By hobbs5624:


The extractors are MIM for sure, no offense. At least that's what SA says.



Yeah, Im not too sure about it but I thought thats what it might be because on SA's M1A bolts, they use an F or B to denote if the bolt was made from forging or barstock. On my loaded's extractor, it has a B stamped onto the inside flat of the extractor where the hammer goes past. It is for that reason I think that it is barstock if SA is consistent with their markings.




Maybe your's is barstock. I'll look at some of my older SAss and see. Usually you can see very small rings on MIM parts from the mold, and a B is most likely not going to be on an MIM part.
Link Posted: 9/26/2005 6:57:47 AM EDT
If you plan to reload, lowering and flaring the ejection port is a must. The GI Spec pistols have the standard port, and they put a nice ding in the case as it is ejected usually. Makes them much harder if not impossible to reload.
Link Posted: 10/2/2005 12:10:51 PM EDT
Buy a new gun if you're thinking about lowering and flaring a GI SA!!

I think the joy behind owning the SA GI is that it holds to the original form of the 1911. Once you start cutting it with dovetail sights and lowering a flaring the ejection port, you might as well buy a Milspec or Loaded. Once you cut, you kill off all original value. If you do change the parts be sure to save the old parts as they will add value to the gun 10 years from now. There is no rule that says you can only own one 1911.

Link Posted: 10/2/2005 12:26:13 PM EDT
The SA GI has no value above what you pay for it, and will never bring any special collector value. It's not an actual GI gun, and it's never goingto be rare due to the many thousands out there already.

As for buying a Mil-Spec instead, many buy the GI because it is a solid base gun that has traditional vertical cocking serrations. The GI also has a tradtional profile to the frontstrap and dust cover.
Link Posted: 10/2/2005 1:58:28 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hobbs5624:
The SA GI has no value above what you pay for it, and will never bring any special collector value. It's not an actual GI gun, and it's never goingto be rare due to the many thousands out there already.

As for buying a Mil-Spec instead, many buy the GI because it is a solid base gun that has traditional vertical cocking serrations. The GI also has a tradtional profile to the frontstrap and dust cover.



I'm sure they said the same about the Colt 70 series back in the day.
Link Posted: 10/2/2005 3:19:27 PM EDT

Originally Posted By drobs:

Originally Posted By hobbs5624:
The SA GI has no value above what you pay for it, and will never bring any special collector value. It's not an actual GI gun, and it's never goingto be rare due to the many thousands out there already.

As for buying a Mil-Spec instead, many buy the GI because it is a solid base gun that has traditional vertical cocking serrations. The GI also has a tradtional profile to the frontstrap and dust cover.



I'm sure they said the same about the Colt 70 series back in the day.



I don't get into petty arguements here, and I think most who read my posts know I'm just trying to be helpful. I have to respectfully disagree with you on this though. Check back with me in 10 years. If the GIs are worth more than other SA 1911s I'll sell you mine for $400 adjusted for 10 years of inflation.
Link Posted: 10/2/2005 3:44:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By hobbs5624:

Originally Posted By drobs:

Originally Posted By hobbs5624:
The SA GI has no value above what you pay for it, and will never bring any special collector value. It's not an actual GI gun, and it's never goingto be rare due to the many thousands out there already.

As for buying a Mil-Spec instead, many buy the GI because it is a solid base gun that has traditional vertical cocking serrations. The GI also has a tradtional profile to the frontstrap and dust cover.



I'm sure they said the same about the Colt 70 series back in the day.



I don't get into petty arguements here, and I think most who read my posts know I'm just trying to be helpful. I have to respectfully disagree with you on this though. Check back with me in 10 years. If the GIs are worth more than other SA 1911s I'll sell you mine for $400 adjusted for 10 years of inflation.



It's your gun. Feel free to bubba the hell out of it. Only makes mine worth more down the line.

I got me a 70 series that I cut years before Kimber came around. It is worth 1/2 of what a box stock one is worth. Sad thing is, I still have the original box and paperwork. Crappy pic, but you get the idea:


If you do decide to cut, I'd stick with well known gunsmiths or send it back to Springfield's custom shop. Gun's done by known smiths will go up or hold their value.
Link Posted: 10/2/2005 3:53:09 PM EDT
with my springer GI, I changed the slide stop to a willson bullit proof, it's really stressed there. I also changed the trigger to a long and that's it other than the cocobolo grips
Link Posted: 10/2/2005 3:55:46 PM EDT

Buy a new gun if you're thinking about lowering and flaring a GI SA!!

I think the joy behind owning the SA GI is that it holds to the original form of the 1911. Once you start cutting it with dovetail sights and lowering a flaring the ejection port, you might as well buy a Milspec or Loaded. Once you cut, you kill off all original value. If you do change the parts be sure to save the old parts as they will add value to the gun 10 years from now. There is no rule that says you can only own one 1911.



I don't have enough money for anything but a few upgrades and a suppressor. I won't skip the suppressor because that's part of the "package" I want if you know what I mean. I wouldn't be upgrading the gun if I wasn't getting a suppressor for it. It's going to be my one and only can platform untill I get out of college. Unfortunatly the cost of a new mil-spec plus a threaded barrel and a can is over my range. :( I would love to dump some cash on a new toy right now but that would set the suppressor a few semesters foreward.

My guns won't have much collector value becuase I play pretty hard with them. My ARs have a few boo boos and I am sure my springfield will eventually get some boo boos as well.
Link Posted: 10/2/2005 6:05:31 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/2/2005 6:24:03 PM EDT by SGB]
This is the 1911 Discussions Forum not the Ak Discussions Forum.

Thank you.

Steve
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 5:55:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/3/2005 12:24:08 PM EDT by LeatherneckOIF2]

Originally Posted By drobs:
Buy a new gun if you're thinking about lowering and flaring a GI SA!!

I think the joy behind owning the SA GI is that it holds to the original form of the 1911. Once you start cutting it with dovetail sights and lowering a flaring the ejection port, you might as well buy a Milspec or Loaded. Once you cut, you kill off all original value. If you do change the parts be sure to save the old parts as they will add value to the gun 10 years from now. There is no rule that says you can only own one 1911.




<sarcasm>You are so right, what was I thinking. I'm sure that Brazillian craftsmanship will be highly sought after in the future. Don't mess with that beautiful South American slide, it may be worth millions down the road. With such a limited run of SA GIs, that thing is bound to be a collector's item. </end sarcasm>
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:08:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By drobs:
I got me a 70 series that I cut years before Kimber came around. It is worth 1/2 of what a box stock one is worth. Sad thing is, I still have the original box and paperwork. Crappy pic, but you get the idea:
www.gunsnet.net/album/data//500/22925colt1.JPG

If you do decide to cut, I'd stick with well known gunsmiths or send it back to Springfield's custom shop. Gun's done by known smiths will go up or hold their value.



There's an important difference. Yours was a Colt, which has always had a comparatively avid following among collectors.

Still, I see your point -- the SA GI is today's Norinco 1911, which have appreciated and sought after more than ever. However, I am willing to bet that any potential increase in value of a box stock GI will not offset the enjoyment of shooting a gun that is more tailored to one's needs.
Link Posted: 10/3/2005 7:25:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/3/2005 7:27:46 AM EDT by skpp108]
I have one of the stainless GI's, and while it was decent out of the box, I knew that the tiny little GI sights had to go.
So far I have changed/replaced:

Sights, King's Hardball
Trigger job
Wilson trigger
Wilson one piece guide rod
shock buf
flat mainspring housing from a Springer loaded
Ajax rosewood grips and stainless socket head screws

I would say the two best improvements you can do are the sights and a trigger job. However sometimes the fun of a gun like that is screwing with it and adding stuff to it even if it doesn't really matter much. When you are done you'll have enough parts left over to build a Springfield GI-
Link Posted: 10/4/2005 5:12:45 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Knife_Sniper:

Buy a new gun if you're thinking about lowering and flaring a GI SA!!

I think the joy behind owning the SA GI is that it holds to the original form of the 1911. Once you start cutting it with dovetail sights and lowering a flaring the ejection port, you might as well buy a Milspec or Loaded. Once you cut, you kill off all original value. If you do change the parts be sure to save the old parts as they will add value to the gun 10 years from now. There is no rule that says you can only own one 1911.



I don't have enough money for anything but a few upgrades and a suppressor. I won't skip the suppressor because that's part of the "package" I want if you know what I mean. I wouldn't be upgrading the gun if I wasn't getting a suppressor for it. It's going to be my one and only can platform untill I get out of college. Unfortunatly the cost of a new mil-spec plus a threaded barrel and a can is over my range. :( I would love to dump some cash on a new toy right now but that would set the suppressor a few semesters foreward.

My guns won't have much collector value becuase I play pretty hard with them. My ARs have a few boo boos and I am sure my springfield will eventually get some boo boos as well.



Don't know if you caught my post before SGB edited it.

But I said that I understood upgrading what you have and I personally have invested $1K into an AK that originally cost $350.
I also posted a picture of said ak, which must be against the 1911 forum rules.

I also said something to the extent of if you are allowed in your state to can that SA. Go for it!!!

Link Posted: 10/6/2005 2:42:46 AM EDT
If you are fortunate enough to have an F.I.B. ( forged in brazil by Imbel ) Springfield here's what I would do....strip the gun down to the frame and slide....take all of the parts you have stripped from the frame and slide and toss them in the trash....including the barrel if it is a two piece....rebuild the entire gun with QUALITY componenets. You'll actually end up with a hell of a gun. I wish I could buy genuine Imbel frames and slides......WITHOUT the Springfield Armory markings.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 3:51:21 AM EDT
On the issue of MIM. It can be a good thing, provided the parts come from a reputable, quality manufacturer. There are a lot of crappy parts from India and such out there. Colt actually uses pretty good MIM parts, The sears have very good hardness. There are top 1911smiths out there that will trash the Springer and Kimber MIM parts but leave the Colt parts in.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 7:07:27 AM EDT

If you are fortunate enough to have an F.I.B. ( forged in brazil by Imbel ) Springfield here's what I would do....strip the gun down to the frame and slide....take all of the parts you have stripped from the frame and slide and toss them in the trash....including the barrel if it is a two piece....rebuild the entire gun with QUALITY componenets. You'll actually end up with a hell of a gun. I wish I could buy genuine Imbel frames and slides......WITHOUT the Springfield Armory markings.


My frame says IMBEL foreward of the trigger guard.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 7:30:49 AM EDT
I just had an older Springer upgraded so I've got some first hand experience with this. Mine was an old "enhanced" model which had a spur hammer, no beavertail, pinned but decent 3 dot front sight, 3 hole trigger and beveled mag well. It did not have the flared and lowered ejection port and the edges were sharp. I had previously installed a Wilson "drop in" barrel (it didn't drop in but I managed to fit it in). I had also bobbed the hammer, installed a drop-in grip safety, replaced the grips and mainspring housing and thumb safety. It was a decent gun but I was ready for upgrades.

Here is a list of what was done by Vandenberg Custom:

CMC hammer
Ed Brown grip safety
S&A magwell
flared and lowered ejection port
carry bevel
dovetail front sight
installed Wilson Night Eyes sights
installed extended mag release
Kings ambi safety

Upon getting it back, I also installed a Wilson slide stop, slim grip bushings and VZ Gatorback grips. Vandenberg also did a hell of a nice trigger job, tuned the extractor and ejector and refinished it in black Gunkote.

I shot it at an IDPA match last night and it is one sweet shooter. I can't describe how much difference a well tuned pistol makes.



BTW... not all Springer ejectors are MIM. Some are forged.
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