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Posted: 12/20/2005 9:48:34 AM EDT
Did you do it yourself or hire out the work?

Which grip safety did you use? Which hammer?
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 11:31:38 AM EDT
The Mil Spec is probably one of the most tweaked pistols out there. Lots of people buy them for a starting point. Mine is a loaded so it was how I wanted it when I got it but I find myself likeing more of a classic look. As far as do it yourself it depends on your skill level and patients. Some parts are not drop in even though they say they are and need proper fitting and so on. I am sure someone with more knowledge than me will weigh in and I hope I answered part of your question even though I am not super qulified in that area but I hate to see someone with Zero replies waiting for one. I am tempted to get a milspec my self.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 11:47:09 AM EDT
I have done some work on my Springfield G.I.

I used a Wilson drop in beavertail safety and bobbed the stock hammer to fit.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 12:14:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Stemmler:
I used a Wilson drop in beavertail safety and bobbed the stock hammer to fit.



Did the Wilson Combat part "drop in" or require fitting? Any problems with the Milsepc sights? My first on shot dead on for elevation but the windage was off. I have read a bunch of reports of Milspecs shooting low from improperly fitted Brls.

This is my second Milspec build and the Grip safety i used on the first one is no longer available. i emailed WC and they said their drop in unit is for colts and although it might fit on a SA Mildpec it's likely to require fitting where it blocks the hammer, which looks easy enough.

The only thing stopping me from buying the jig and custom fitting a non drop in part is I want to retain the option of returning the gun to stock.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 12:18:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/20/2005 12:19:36 PM EDT by Dolomite]
I also used a Wilson beavertail and installed it using the little jig from Brownells, I just cracked open a beer, blessed myself, and went to town with the dremel. Turned out pretty good.

. Also on the gun is a Wislon skeletonized hammer, and slip on mag-well, a McCormick plastic trigger and flat mainspring housing, and a 2 piece FLGR from King's. The barrel and bushing are SS from Storm Lake Machine. Mac's Shootin' Iron's refinished it once I was done playing.

Next up - I'm looking around for someone to install a set of adjustable sights for me.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 4:12:18 PM EDT
good post ar15fan. i have the same questions. i've posted in the Springfield folder and gotten a few replies, but none that have done work to a mil spec. if you find out some more specific info on modifying or customizing a mil spec, would you mind IMing me? I'll keep checking back to your post for more info.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 6:13:34 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:
Did you do it yourself or hire out the work?

Which grip safety did you use? Which hammer?




I kept my hammer & safety stock; I replaced the trigger, sights, guiderod & barrel. I only changed the things that affected accuracy.

While I would prefer the bobbed hammer, I cringe at the thought of "modifying" my frame. The infamous "hammer bite" has never bit me but I don't have thick ham hands either. I'm real happy with mine & I would put it up against any Gold Cup in bulls-eye.

In my case, I would never change & fit those parts on a 1911, I have too good of a gunsmith locally to not let him do it. A well-fitted barrel is the heart & soul of a truely accurate 1911 & a "drop-in" barrel ain't it.

All the work cost me less than $250, parts & labor. This is with a Wilson NM barrel too.
Link Posted: 12/20/2005 8:38:41 PM EDT
I have a mil-spec commander and have made a project gun out of it.

The only thing left of the original is the frame, and that was my intent from the get-go. I completely dehorned the weapon (not quite Clark Meltdown but more on the lines of the Kimber CDPs) and polished everything internally.

Replaced the fcg with Cylinder and Slide fcg, the barrel (still on order) is a Bar-Sto match grade, went with Novak night sights, used Wilson/Brown components. Had it bobtailed. My gunsmith did all the internal fitting as I just don't have the time to do all of that work.

Once the barrel gets fitted, this will be a true custom project gun.

Mike
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 6:00:21 AM EDT

Originally Posted By AR15fan:

Originally Posted By Stemmler:
I used a Wilson drop in beavertail safety and bobbed the stock hammer to fit.



Did the Wilson Combat part "drop in" or require fitting? Any problems with the Milsepc sights? My first on shot dead on for elevation but the windage was off. I have read a bunch of reports of Milspecs shooting low from improperly fitted Brls.




The beavertail dropped in, I only had to bob the hammer so it would not hit the beavertail. It had the tendency to shoot low with most ammo. I have the GI sights on it and modified the elevation to where I wanted it.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 8:21:50 AM EDT

Originally Posted By mbsigman:
I have a mil-spec commander and have made a project gun out of it.

The only thing left of the original is the frame, and that was my intent from the get-go. I completely dehorned the weapon (not quite Clark Meltdown but more on the lines of the Kimber CDPs) and polished everything internally.

Replaced the fcg with Cylinder and Slide fcg, the barrel (still on order) is a Bar-Sto match grade, went with Novak night sights, used Wilson/Brown components. Had it bobtailed. My gunsmith did all the internal fitting as I just don't have the time to do all of that work.

Once the barrel gets fitted, this will be a true custom project gun.

Mike

]

Why not just start out with a frame? I don't know if SA sells just the frame, but I do know that Brownells has a number of options + other companies sell them.

Just curious not trying to be argumentative.

Robert
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 10:00:11 AM EDT
Frames are at least as hard to get as a full firearm (FFL, etc), amd often cost nearly as much as a bottom of the line complete gun on the same frame. Sales volume is not there for frames.
I have purchased and reworked dozens of SI guns over the years. You have something to shoot, and some spare parts if you need them.
Link Posted: 12/21/2005 5:43:39 PM EDT
I have SA GI in layaway that I will probably get in January and I intend to build it into a carry gun. Sights, beavertail, trigger, hammer, grips, etc. Kind of a winter project.
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 9:57:30 AM EDT
Robert,

First and foremost, thank you for being polite and showing some respect in the way you asked your question. All too often people on the internet forums flame and trash and are downright nasty, and IMHO that defeats the purpose of the boards. Your question was not only respectful, it has a great deal of merit and may help others.

However, for the answer Mr Brickeyee beat me to the punch! I have attended Dave Sample's 1911 Patriot class and our class built a ground up 1911. The weapon that we built, based on a Caspian frame and slide and very high quality components, is F-I-N-E fine (if I do say so myself)! But the time to do this class was, well, for me anyway, exhorbitant. I mean to do it right takes me a lot of time because my guns are one of the very few things in life that I'm really anal about so I tend to go very slowly and do the work very meticulously. As an example, I didn't stop polishing the disconnector rail until I could see myself good enough to shave in the reflection.

I'm an airline pilot and we're on a 'work a lot more for a lot less money' kick now so spare time is like non-existent. Additionally, as Mr Brickeyee pointed out, the money spent for the slide/frame combination, even with pre-fitting, would be almost as much as simply purchasing the weapon whole.

I had discussed my desire to do a commander sized project with my gunsmith, telling him that I simply didn't have the time to devote to it the project. He suggested looking at a steel Springfield Mil-Spec Commander and using that as the base gun. Everything will already have been fitted and they have a good reputation; I could dehorn and polish and he could do the rest of the stuff that takes me a long time like fitting the barrel, the safeties, the fcg. Hmmm... the seed is planted! This may indeedy work!

I was at a gunshow and found the weapon at a really reputable dealer that I've done a lot of business with in the past. The situation was that someone purchased it as a gift for another guy, and the gift receiver didn't like this gun so he traded it for a different gun. It had never been fired, had the original box and papers, and I got a helluva deal on it because technically it had been previously sold.

This still t'isn't cheap. This will be a true custom gun when the dust settles with really high quality components. But for me it was a good compromise between getting a full smash gunsmith custom and waiting months or years for it, and I was able to do some of the work with my limited available time. Sweat equity, I suppose.

We're now waiting for the Bar-Sto match grade barrel to come in. He refinished the gun after he did the bobtail conversion with this teflon finish but I don't like the color; I'm seriously considering Virgil Tripp hardchrome. I'll try to post pix when it's all said and done.

Again, thanks for a great question.

Mike

Link Posted: 12/22/2005 8:21:38 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/22/2005 9:05:44 PM EDT


SA Milspec
Wilson: beavertail, ambi, slide stop, firing pin stop, barrel bushing, hammer, sear, disconnector
BarSto: match target barrel
Vicecki: short trigger
Heinie: tritium straight 8 sights
Pete Single: 20 lpi checkered frontstrap
S&A: 20 lpi checkered mainspring housing-magwell
Tripp Research: Hard chrome

Work done by Mike O'Hara of Redmond, WA
5,000+ rounds and counting
Link Posted: 12/24/2005 3:19:14 PM EDT
Got a Smith & Alexander "EZ-Fit Hi Grip" Safety from Brownells. Definately would require extensive frame modification, on top of being a very low quality part. Lots of sharp edges and burrs. Its going back and I'm going to try the Wilson Combat instead.
Link Posted: 12/25/2005 12:53:19 AM EDT
Here is my Springfield 1911A1 with its mods:







Link Posted: 12/27/2005 5:17:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/27/2005 5:18:25 PM EDT by cookie]


The only thing I didn't do myself was the Novak Lo-Mount installation. You can read the details (including the part numbers and prices) here: www.uzitalk.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=7807
Link Posted: 12/27/2005 9:58:02 PM EDT
I know several gunsmiths that actually prefer to start with a SA Mil-Spec. Larry Vickers and Yost-Bonitz being two of them.
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 12:24:32 PM EDT


Link Posted: 12/28/2005 12:44:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By a38337:
i32.photobucket.com/albums/d39/sff70/DSCN0983.jpg

SA Milspec
Wilson: beavertail, ambi, slide stop, firing pin stop, barrel bushing, hammer, sear, disconnector
BarSto: match target barrel
Vicecki: short trigger
Heinie: tritium straight 8 sights
Pete Single: 20 lpi checkered frontstrap
S&A: 20 lpi checkered mainspring housing-magwell
Tripp Research: Hard chrome

Work done by Mike O'Hara of Redmond, WA
5,000+ rounds and counting



Nice looking firearm and impressive list of parts. Mind if I ask what was the total cost (base gun + parts and labor)?
Link Posted: 12/28/2005 3:43:09 PM EDT

Originally Posted By a38337:
i32.photobucket.com/albums/d39/sff70/DSCN0983.jpg

SA Milspec
Wilson: beavertail, ambi, slide stop, firing pin stop, barrel bushing, hammer, sear, disconnector
BarSto: match target barrel
Vicecki: short trigger
Heinie: tritium straight 8 sights
Pete Single: 20 lpi checkered frontstrap
S&A: 20 lpi checkered mainspring housing-magwell
Tripp Research: Hard chrome

Work done by Mike O'Hara of Redmond, WA
5,000+ rounds and counting



Can you IM me any contact info for Mike O'Hara? I like the looks of his handy work.
Link Posted: 12/30/2005 12:21:14 PM EDT
It was around $2500 for everything.

I called Mike at his house, but no return call yet.

If you ever visit Seattle, stop in at Adventuresports Gun Shop 425-771-3877 in Edmonds, WA to see some of his work. They usually have some of Mike's custom guns on display/for sale. That's how I learned about him.

It's a cool shop to check out anyway. They have Les Baer pistols and rifles in stock, among other things.

Link Posted: 12/30/2005 1:26:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/30/2005 1:28:01 PM EDT by Shipwreck]
Full length guide rod, skeleton hammer and trigger done by a local smith. I then wanted another trigger, so I had it changed again later.

Had the trijicon sights, black trigger, saftey and hard chroming done by Springfield Armory's custom shop back in 1999. I no longer have this gun. I sold it to buy a telescope. Only think I left stock was the grip safety. I was satisfied anough w/ the stock one and didn't feel like paying for another.

I had to put the hogue wrap arounds on the gun because they screwed up 1 spot on the finish in the front strap area. After waiting 6 months to get the gun back, I didn't want to send it back.

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