colt 1991a1

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  • txbikerman

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    want to upgrade my series 80 colt. Thinking hammer,trigger and beavertail. also heard about converting it to a 70 series. It is hard or difficult to make these changes.What tools would i need ? thanks
     

    40Arpent

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    Those parts are going to need hand fitting, so by the fact that you're asking, I'd recommend taking it to a good gunsmith.
     

    Kingsnake

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    I agree. Based on the way your question is framed it is obvious your only recourse is take it to a qualified 1911 specialist and discuss proposed modifications with him..
     

    txbikerman

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    I guess i need to do more research. I have tools just didn't know if there were any speciality ones needed
     
    Last edited:

    shortround

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    The series 80 has a funky firing pin block. Part of the sear spring/frame/slide cutout arrangement. It makes the trigger pull quite peculiar -- not bad, just not right.

    Someone makes a spacer to replace the firing pin block. Others offer hammers, triggers, sears, beaver tails, sear springs, etc. All over the internet available for your perusal. I would start with Brownell's, and have a look at their 1911 videos.

    No special tools or jigs are necessary if you have a steady hand, good eyesight, and are handy with a file, straight edge, and a stone. (Stay far away from the dreaded Dremel Tool).

    My Series 80 1991A1 Commander is a project gun, and although it shoots well, it cannot be converted to a true Series 70 model because of frame and slide cuts. It still shoots better and more accurately than any Kimber I ever owned.

    To make matters worse, the youngun shoots it better than I can, and that always costs me a case of beer. At least he shares the beer!

    It is no surprise Colt reintroduced the Series 70 some time later.
     

    txbikerman

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    The series 80 has a funky firing pin block. Part of the sear spring/frame/slide cutout arrangement. It makes the trigger pull quite peculiar -- not bad, just not right.

    Someone makes a spacer to replace the firing pin block. Others offer hammers, triggers, sears, beaver tails, sear springs, etc. All over the internet available for your perusal. I would start with Brownell's, and have a look at their 1911 videos.

    No special tools or jigs are necessary if you have a steady hand, good eyesight, and are handy with a file, straight edge, and a stone. (Stay far away from the dreaded Dremel Tool).

    My Series 80 1991A1 Commander is a project gun, and although it shoots well, it cannot be converted to a true Series 70 model because of frame and slide cuts. It still shoots better and more accurately than any Kimber I ever owned.

    To make matters worse, the youngun shoots it better than I can, and that always costs me a case of beer. At least he shares the beer!

    It is no surprise Colt reintroduced the Series 70 some time later.
    thanks for the info
     

    Shorts

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    If you intend to do the work, I would highly recommend you get Jerry Kuhnhasen's 1911 Manual. It is THE 1911 textbook. Get it before doing any work. You need to see the totality of the 1911.

    Tools you want on hand are listed in the Kuhnhausen manual. But generally when I'm fitting new parts I use a set of jewelers/needle files and a good vise with padded jaws. I also have various paper grits on hand, 220-600. I often have 'mag polish' too. A good set of dial calipers. You want to work on a good surface with a good light. I generally have toothpicks & qtips to get into small areas, especially detail stripping a 1911. I use a Starrett set of brass punches to remove frame pins. I use a two headed mallet, one side hard rubber the other that hard plastic. Allen wrenches are around depending on the screw head designs on grips. Keep some Hoppe's 9 and oil/grease. Rubbing alcohol is good too for cleaning before using Al or steel black after sizing parts. Keep a handful of paper towels or napkins.

    Anyway, I get serious when I do stuff and I love tools. So, I can go overboard. But it isn't difficult to fit parts but you HAVE to know what you are doing and why. Also be certain you are familiar and you do all of the safety checks before that gun gets off the bench. Safety is the priority after your modifications are done. Next is reliable function both dry fire and at the range. The Kuhnhausen manual will walk you through function checks as well.

    Good luck and have fun.
     

    Army 1911

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    If changing the hammer or sear, you may need to re-fit the thumb safety or get an new one and fit it. Disabling the FP block requires a spacer shim to replace the series 80 levers that pivot on the sear pin and hammer pin. The shim keeps the parts from shifting into the otherwise empty space milled out for the levers. A very good trigger pull can be made with the series 80 parts still installed. Most of the top smiths won't remove them.

    In the world of 1911s "drop-in" parts seldom drop in without fitting. I would not work on a sear without a sear jig. The True Radius jig by Chuck Warner is the easiest and in many folks' opinion, the best. Harrison Design has already prepped TR sears and hammer sets available it you want.
    EGW makes one of the nicest beavertails.

    To install a beavertail properly, you will need a jig for that as it requires filing on the frame tangs. It will also require refinishing of the frame. Wilson Combat makes "drop-in" beavertails which will work but don't look fitted, kinda sloppy. Make sure you get the one for either a commander or government model depending on which your frame is.
     

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