"Rebuild" a New Colt or Springfield?

Has anyone here tackled a “rebuild” or customization starting with a new Colt, Springfield, or similar? Some of the top end customizers do that as a routine and end up with little from the original besides the slide and frame, in many cases.

It may not be a cost savings over a Caspian Slide and a JEM frame, but perhaps more parts are reused than I’m thinking. The slide-to-frame fit on my Springfield Loaded is really quite good.

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Wouldn’t call it a rebuild, but I did work on a friend’s SA 9mm 1911 and another friend’s DW PM7.
Mostly cosmetic changes.

PM7 did have some issues that I fixed, but I don’t remember what they were.

SA 9mm had a mangled frame hole at grip/thumb safety, but the owner just wanted me to fit the parts better.

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Dosnt Colt have far more forged parts for almost the same price too? Not that MIM is bad but forged is generally higher grade.

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I’m not sure of the MIM parts in the two; but they both use some. Both frames are respected for being cut and drilled to "standard’ which is probably why they are popular starting points.

Colts are “Series 80” and Springers “Series 70.” I like the smaller roll marks on Springfield, but the pony is iconic.

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Generally at the shop it’s more of a issue of people buying a 1911 thats in there budget and then someone telling them hey these parts suck you need Wilson parts or Ed brown parts etc etc
Most of the work I do daily is fitting parts changing out sights and accurizing them ie barrel bushing fitting for tighter tolerances
Occasionally some one will want hand checkering or spring refits or retapping grip bushing holes
Or refinishing

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Do you see much barrel replacement work to get a tighter lockup and better accuracy?

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Occasionally it goes that far
But honestly it’s really just bad fit buschings

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Good question. I don’t go to M1911.org much these days, but it seems like the answer to that is no.

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@Joe-Bob back in the day this was generally true and I still see a lot of tool stack parts from them
But newer colts have a lot of mim parts

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Figures, Colt is a bunch of shitheads anyhow.

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This is what is out there now.

How the current Colt 1911 pistol parts made:

MIM
sear
disconnector
magazine catch
magazine catch lock

CAST
Thumb safety
grip safety

FORGED
slide
receiver
barrel
slide stop

MACHINED from bar stock
hammer
all pins
bbl link
bbl bushing
trigger finger piece
ejector
firing pin
firing pin stop
extractor
plunger tube

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Thanks for the breakdown

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I was wondering if you’ve rebuilt a existing pistol
Before ?

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So from the places I looked for info they all pretty much say the samething. The mag catch, mag catch lock , sear and disconnector are MIM and the mainspring housing is plastic…does that sound correct?

That’s still more forged parts than SA, Kimber, Ruger and pretty much everything untail you hit $1200 on up starting with Dan Wesson, right?

https://www.coltforum.com/forums/colt-semiauto-pistols/64808-when-did-colt-started-using-mim-parts-their-1911-s.html#/topics/64808

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I know pre 2014 sometime there were major QC issues with Colt and also back in the early 90s they were having issues.

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I wouldn’t say all the parts are mim
I have seen some that weren’t
That being said I’ve never ran into a plastic main housing on a colt
On kimbers yes

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My Colt 1991 (80 series) had a plastic MSH. The higher end stuff I dont think does.

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Colts are very popular base guns for a gunsmith to build-to-order from. Their dimensions are consistent and to spec. And their iconic stature among 1911s holds their value up. I doubt someone would go wrong with either a Colt nor a Springfield, based on their tastes. Other manufacturers? No so much.

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It would not be surprising to leave out as many cost saving parts as possible and go with higher quality - higher costs - during a rebuild and especially for customization.

And yes, I have seen multiple smiths prefer SA and Colt frames to others due to then being closer to spec. Not that smiths can’t work with other frames, but fitting in-spec parts to out-of-spec frames is going to take more work, and thereby cost more money and time. And then having to explain to customers why additional work is needed and why certain (customer selected) parts should not be used.

If you are doing it for yourself, I (not a professional smith) would also recommend going with in-spec frames. But since I would like to become a professional smith, I would actually prefer the variety to get experience.

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I agree with this statement
A lot of folks that I see come through the shop with 1911 jobs ussualy come in with a rock Island or something in the lower end and want it rebuilt with Wilson parts mostly
I advise them all the time when asked the cost of this rebuild that it depends on how long it takes me to fit all the parts they want to change
Most folks assume that everything is drop in like most plastic guns
Or the screwed something up trying it themselves

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