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  • 1911 Parts

    I am purchasing a Para-Ordnance GI Expert 1911. This will be the first 1911 pistol I have owned and I have a few questions for the gurus:

    Are 1911 parts uniform?
    Specifically, will a set of grips for a Colt 1911 fit on the model I'm purchasing?
    Can I swap barrels, safeties, guide rods, etc. with other brands?
    Will magazines for Colts and other 1911's fit on this model?
    Beyond normal cleaning, are there any other things I need to be aware of?

    Thanks for the help
    "I would suggest that when a person has a thought of doing anything serious against the law, that before they did, that they should go to a quiet place and think about it seriously."

    William George Bonin - Executed in Calfornia Feb 23rd 1996

  • #2
    Originally posted by Stop Resisting View Post
    I am purchasing a Para-Ordnance GI Expert 1911. This will be the first 1911 pistol I have owned and I have a few questions for the gurus:

    Are 1911 parts uniform?
    Specifically, will a set of grips for a Colt 1911 fit on the model I'm purchasing?
    Can I swap barrels, safeties, guide rods, etc. with other brands?
    Will magazines for Colts and other 1911's fit on this model?
    Beyond normal cleaning, are there any other things I need to be aware of?

    Thanks for the help
    They have a good warranty so that's always a plus. A piece broke on the frame years after I bought a P10 and there were going to take care of it.

    The GI is a single stack so most magazines, etc. should work. Some pistols seem to like some mags better than others though and the higher end models have tighter tolerances so might not swap out without some fitting. Depending on the part, of course. Guide rods, grips and such are fairly universal, assuming ambidextrous safety considerations.

    I believe Para has a bit of a different trigger safety system, as does Kimber and a few others.

    Comment


    • #3
      The answer is that yes, they'll fit, but will require some hand-finishing to get them to fit correctly.

      If you buy a two-piece guide rod, you're golden. Full length guide rods are sold long and cut to fit.

      Safeties, springs, sears, and pins are likely all drop-in. Triggers will require some polishing. Dovetails may drop in if you end up with a smaller one than the pistol had originally, or require some polishing if you come up with a bigger one.

      Heck, I sent in my Rock Island 1911 for service and got it back with a replaced barrel, linkage, slide, trigger, sear, guide rod, and main spring. I haven't gotten around to refinishing it yet, but the smith had to blend down to rear of the frame to fit flush with the new slide as well as polish the trigger and even out the slide rails. This was with all factory parts from the same manufacturer!
      **Not a LEO**

      Comment


      • #4
        If you're gonna be tinkering with 1911's, you may want to invest in a couple books. My old 'smith recommended these to me and while I never got around to getting them, they are on my list to purchase:

        http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=1...__45_AUTOMATIC

        http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=1..._A_SHOP_MANUAL
        NRA Life Member

        The police are the public and the public are the police; the police being only members of the public who are paid to give full time attention to duties which are incumbent on every citizen in the interests of community welfare and existence. - Sir Robert Peel

        Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats. - H. L. Mencken

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Stop Resisting View Post
          I am purchasing a Para-Ordnance GI Expert 1911. This will be the first 1911 pistol I have owned and I have a few questions for the gurus:

          Are 1911 parts uniform?
          Specifically, will a set of grips for a Colt 1911 fit on the model I'm purchasing?
          Can I swap barrels, safeties, guide rods, etc. with other brands?
          Will magazines for Colts and other 1911's fit on this model?
          Beyond normal cleaning, are there any other things I need to be aware of?

          Thanks for the help
          -All grips should fit except Officer size 1911 grips and magazines.
          -Not all barrels are interchangeable as well as magazine and do not always work well with your particular 1911.
          -Beyond normal cleaning the only thing you should be aware of is that the 1911s are temperamental when it comes to the ammunition you use. Once you find the ammunition that will feed properly with a magazine that will not fail, you will have a great pistol that shoots pretty dam straight on target.

          Comment


          • #6
            First of all congrats on the purchase of the fiinest handgun platfrom the 1911. Second I am a member of http://forum.m1911.org/, there you can ask questions and see forums exactly about what you are wishing to do to your pistol. There is a Para Ordnance forum there. While I am not an expert I research and have learned much about the 1911.

            1) Most parts are not drop in. Check Midwayusa.com under the 1911 parts and read the reviews for each part you want, others post about if there was or was not fitting required.

            2) The grips should be universal, bushings are different on different makes of guns so keep that in mind.

            3) Guide rods, mainspring housings, slidestop, mag release, springs, barrel bushing are drop in for the most part. Barrels, anthing to do with the hammer-sear-disconnect are not drop in as they have to be fitted to each other. For example you can just drop a new hammer in but it will affect the trigger pull and may even not work. Safeties-thumb and grip are not drop in and reqiure fitting by you with time in mind.

            4) Single stack mags Government/ Comander from Wilson Combat, Ed Brown, Springfield, exc... 7 or 8 rounders will work, some guns prefer some mags. I have a Springfield Loaded Government and to loves Springfield 7 rounds but does not work with Wilson Combat 8 round ETM.

            5) Maintinence- Every 1-3k rounds a detail strip should be done, which means everything comes off of the gun except the sights and the ejector. While no hard, just reserach it and have plenty of time to do it.
            6) Run 500-1000 rounds to properly break the gun in, I was told by a wise person the metal in the gun looks stright but is just like a knife blade and is jagged and not smooth. After those break in rounds are shot, the metal surfaces have had time to wear and become smooth and work better with each other.

            Good luck and enjoy your pistol,

            Kansas
            I trust my life with J. M. Browning's design, the 1911.

            Comment


            • #7
              1911's ARE NOT like AR15's. Other than grips and some other ancillary parts you DON'T just go swapping parts willy-nilly.

              If you do you will either end up with a malfunctioning paperweight or a pistol that batters itself to pieces.

              Get the pistol, put your choice of grips (I like Pachmayr Combat Grips) and get some McCormick Shooting Star or Tripp magazines for it. Run the **** out of it before you ever think of carrying it. Some 1911's run great, some need "tuning" before they are 100%.

              There is a lot of "hand fitting" to the 1911 design. That's why a good 1911 costs what it does when compared to more modern designs.

              A custom 1911 build is on my list of things to do as some point. Since it will require that I invest in a bunch of new tools I have not delved into it. To really get into working on 1911's you are going to need a mill and welder.
              "People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell
              8541tactical.com - Ammo Wallets

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Stop Resisting View Post
                I am purchasing a Para-Ordnance GI Expert 1911. This will be the first 1911 pistol I have owned and I have a few questions for the gurus:

                Are 1911 parts uniform?
                Specifically, will a set of grips for a Colt 1911 fit on the model I'm purchasing?
                Can I swap barrels, safeties, guide rods, etc. with other brands?
                Will magazines for Colts and other 1911's fit on this model?
                Beyond normal cleaning, are there any other things I need to be aware of?

                Thanks for the help
                All 1911 parts are not uniform. Some can be swapped, some can't. From your list above, some will, but things like barrels no, safeties, maybe, but don't count on it. If you plan on buying this gun, then doing all that swapping, why not just start off with a better gun with more options, if that's what you really want? If you want a good base gun to build up on over time, get an SA GI. That's the base gun choice for the majority of smiths BTW, from Hilton Yam to Larry Vickers, etc.

                Para, not so much...
                - Will

                Performance/Fitness Advice For the Tactical Community

                www.OptimalSWAT.com

                General Performance/Fitness Advice for all

                www.BrinkZone.com

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