So I’m starting this thread to document my trials and tribulations as I take a bone stock RIA “Rock Standard” through the modifications that I feel are prudent, necessary and more than likely just because I want to. I haven’t really worked on a 1911 in probably 15 years or so and I’ve been itching to build one, especially since I have the veritable “butt ton” of magazines, holsters and STUFF for a full size 1911. I used to build them for fun, profit and I actually used to shoot them, A LOT.
So let’s start with the bones of the gun. (forgot to take a right side pic before I started)
The Good and the Bad: Out of the box all the controls functioned as designed. The trigger pull was fair with a terrible reset. I would estimate about 3/16" release to get the trigger reset. The nice thing is that it came with a trigger reset screw and skeletonized trigger which allowed me to eliminate most of that. More on that later. The slide itself was tight right to left as well as up and down with barley a hint of lateral play. The barrel to bushing fit was also acceptably snug. With the slide locked to the rear and pushing the barrel back, the joint between the frame and feed ramp was very acceptable for ball ammo and even hollow points. The ramp will require polishing and contouring as will the barrel feed ramp but out of the gate it works. The sights are basic black with no dot’s or lines and they are of the Novak design which provides a multitude of options going forward.
The Ugly: Other than the trigger over travel the first thing that caught my attention was the Ambidextrous Safety (here after the “Ambi” refers to the right side of the safety). The left side was fine albeit a bit blocky. The right side was horrible with the extended safety pressing down on my trigger finger when disengaged. I also noticed that I could feel the flat of the safety moving in my grip. The next bit is a fit and finish issue which unfortunately is more common than not. The beaver tail safety was rough against the web of my hand after repeated gripping and would have cause some issues after firing.
So we will start with the two most glaring issues out of the gate: Re contouring and or eliminating the right side of the Ambi-Safety and re contouring the beaver tale grip safety to be comfortable when depressed as opposed to looking good sitting on the counter. So without further ado, here we go.
I didn’t happen to take a “before pic” but in this shot I was moving the bulk of thumb lever forward and had taken off two “ribs” in width. Basically contouring with a half round steel needle file. The ribs came off with a large flat file.
After the first iteration the flat of the safety was still dragging my hand sooooo more filing
Still not right
Still not right
My intention (not perfectly drawn with Sharpy) is to keep the portion from the rear parallel with the top of the safety until it sweeps down to the bottom. On the installed pics you can see the sear pin is notched and the safety rides in that groove. If I am still not satisfied at the end I will scrap it and get a left side only extended safety.
I’ve got the grip safety marked out but I’ll show those in a later post (actually you can see how much is going to come off the right side in the last pic). This is where it sits at the moment. I don’t promise timely or regular updates and it will probably progress in fit’s and spurts as the life of a Project Manager allows. Appreciate your thoughts, opinions and feedback.