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Tuning options for the 1911.


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Best thing going is to use the best mags you can afford. Reliability increases dramatically with great mags. A lot of of use Tripp magazines. They are either to high or to cheap depending on your point of view. 

If you have small sights like original series 70 a blockier sight is nice. 

Trigger job if you have a crummy crunchy trigger.

are you actually having any problems right now? If not step out and start shooting! 

Do you shoot modern or traditional? 

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Reliability work is first on my list.  So, that would include

 barrel, throat, link and ramp adjustment as needed to shoot the ammo you will use.  If your gun is tuned to shoot hollow point jacketed ammo, it is probably going to shoot lead bullets that we use

 extractor set to be 100% reliable when feeding and extracting

 ejector set to be 100% reliable and preferably toss all cases up, to the right, and behind shooter

 all magazines feed and drop freely from gun, never letting slide return on empty gun

 recoil spring and mainspring matched to the power factor of ammo you will shoot.  (Hint - 15# recoil spring and 19# mainspring work real well in my WB 1911s).  This will lighten the effort to rack the slide.  As will radiusing the bottom of the firing pin retainer plate. 

 mainspring housing may need polishing of the bore in which the mainspring lives to let you use the lighter mainspring

 very good magazines.  Tripp mags are highly valued in WB because they FEED so well, and the follower design prevents rounds nose-diving into the feed ramp.  Cheap (gun show, no-name) mags are the friend of nobody's 1911.

Trigger and other fire controls second

  3.5 to 4 # trigger, smooth break and no creep

  mag release lightened with a lighter spring, can easily be actuated to drop mag without shifting your grip

  slide release 100% reliable and can easily be actuated to drop slide without shifting your grip

  as mentioned above, as good a set of iron sights as you can use quickly and stay within the rules for your intended category

Accuracy third

  4" groups at 25 yards will be plenty good enough.  General tuning, deburring, polishing to take care of all of these three major concerns.

Dehorning and fancy thumb safety 

  Since we don't carry concealed and we NEVER have to put on the thumb safety, worrying about these things is in the weeds

Prettiness

   Since this is not a beauty contest, you can suit yourself and ignore the rest

 

And probably the two MOST important things - reliable feeding ammo and PRACTICE.  If you shoot WB, you will probably need to load your own ammo.  Both for big cost savings, and much easier availability during shortages (like now).

 

good luck, GJ

 

Edited by Garrison Joe
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Now, that stuff above may seem like a long list.   The newer your gun and the higher quality build that was done with, the less you probably will need or want to have done.

Since you didn't tell us what 1911 you plan to campaign (vintage, model, existing work done), that list above covers the main areas which at least should be checked, if not tuned and improved.  Nor did you tell us the expected category and level of competition you are setting your sights on. You can easily get started without glitches if your 1911 is reliable and you have reliable, good feeding ammo and magazines.   

But I have seen many pards start with much less, and unfortunately (for both them and our sport), they get pretty discouraged after their first match.  Many soldier on.  But some bail, to our mutual loss.  You will learn a LOT by attending your first WB match, and even more by shooting your first match.  Get out there, before great shooting weather takes a vacation.

good luck, GJ

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