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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just bought a new SS Colt Gov't Mdl, that I am going to use as the base for an old school style custom 1911. I am going to polish it until it looks like nickel.

I am going to keep the factory low fixed sights as I want it to look like a throw back to the 40's, no extended beaver tail, no extended grip safety, no commander style hammer, no extended magwell, ambi-safety, mag release, or slide lock catch.

A few modern customization touches I want is to have the slide machined to a flat top with grooves, and replace the trigger with an aluminum trigger, I will also have the bbl bushing fitted by a gunsmith or replaced if necessary (it's going to be a shooter) so I want it to be accurate. I am going to go with a flat mainspring housing and have it and the front strap checkered at 30Lpi.

I was wondering if there are any parts that have shown to be weak, and would bear replacing at this stage of the build? Does Colt use MIM parts, which if any?

Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.

Regards,

Rick
 

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The only MIM parts Colt uses are the sear, disconnecter, magazine catch, and catch lock.
Everything else is either cast steel or forged steel.
Those MIM parts are extremely durable and Colt has been using them since at least the 1970's with no problems.

Unfortunately, there is no quality wide/long hammer made today in stainless steel. The few wide/long hammers are either pretty much junk, or very expensive parts as made by Cylinder & Slide Shop and I think, Doug Turnbull.
You could have a quality hammer fitted to the gun, then have it hard chrome plated to match the stainless.

A 40's commercial Colt would have had an arched, checkered main spring housing with a lanyard loop.
You can buy stainless checkered main spring housings with lanyard loop from Smith & Alexander.
The grips would be fully checkered walnut, not the earlier double diamond type.
Trigger would have been a short trigger.

Here's my early stainless Series 80 Mark IV with an arched checkered MSH, short stainless trigger, and a long/wide hammer shortened slightly to look like a WWII era hammer.

Firearm Gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory
 

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This thread is a pleasant surprise; I anticipated someone longing to install guide rods, duckderriere grip safeties, flashing strobe lights, and other nonsense.

My experience is that mainspring housing configuration--flat or arched--and trigger length are related. Decades ago a wonderfully patient armorer at the 2ID MTU spent the afternoon swapping these parts back and forth on my match pistol in different combinations until I decided that what worked for me was a flat mainspring housing and long trigger. But what works for me might not be the best fit for you.

I have been very pleased with mainspring housings checkered to 30 lines per inch. I find this both aesthetically pleasing and practical. I agree on the lanyard loop; I have never used one for its intended purpose, but it is definitely a retro touch.

I have found that in a pistol used for extended training sessions involving repeated presentations (drawing) from the holster, checkering on the front grip strap is NOT desirable. Such checkering is primarily a target pistol feature.

Before substituting a match bushing I would shoot the pistol to check its accuracy so that you are not fixing a nonexistant problem.

You do not mention a trigger job. I have yet to see a Govt Model which did not benefit from one.

Lastly, I believe the late LTC Jeff Cooper said the essential modifications for a Govt Model were trigger job, good sights, and 'dehorning,' that is, rounding off any sharp edges which came into contact with the hand, typically in the area of the grip and thumb safeties.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
arjay, dfariswheel, El Bibliotecario, Oyeboten,

Thank you for your comments.

I like the idea of the lanyard loop, I will try to incorporate that into my build list. I've been going back and forth between the flat and arched msh, and I am having a hard time making up my mind. I want 30Lpi checkering because in my mind it will be less obvious, and not stand out. I really like the idea of shortening the hammer spur a little, and I will definitely do that. I am compiling a list of all the things I could do, and I will whittle my list down to what research is showing was common for that era. True, I didn't mention a trigger job, because that went without saying. I am really excited about this build. Let me know if you have anymore ideas!!

Regards,

Rick
 

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Lastly, I believe the late LTC Jeff Cooper said the essential modifications for a Govt Model were trigger job, good sights, and 'dehorning,' that is, rounding off any sharp edges which came into contact with the hand, typically in the area of the grip and thumb safeties.[/QUOTE]

+1........... I seem to recall: "Sights you can see and a trigger you can use"
 

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Another person who would like to see the completed pistol.

This last year I bought a SS Series 70. It is under the Series 70 I bought new back in 1978. Back in 1978 I had the old guy throated and ported, plus new sights put on by a gunsmith now long dead who helped me with installing the longer trigger and flat MSH. Back them my only other 1911 was a 1977 GCNM, which I still have also. Anyway I carried the 1978 for years. It has over 40K rounds through it now and is semi retired. On the new SS guy I changed the grips. That is all I plan to do with it. I have many 1911s now.

 
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