Go Back > Blogs > Old Draftsman

Rate this Entry

My .45's

Posted 12-03-2011 at 12:59 PM by Old Draftsman
Updated 12-03-2011 at 02:52 PM by Old Draftsman

The Rock Island .45

Sometime around May 2011 I finally purchased my first 1911. My love affair with this model pistol began probably in the 50's when I would play "Army" and had many comic books with soldiers using the 1911 .45 in combat scenes.*

Fast forward to 1964 and my entry into the U.S. Navy and an eventual revival of the love affair. Over a 26 year career, I became very familiar with J.M.B.'s mechanical marvel and though being a family man, (broke) world traveler and career sailor, I knew I would own one eventually. Little did I know that one is never enough.

Out of the box all I did was clean and fondle my first baby. For better than a month I promise my Rock Island GI, remained a constant body temperature of 98.6 degrees (F) and I nearly rubbed the finish smooth.

Then I bought the GSG .22 and then the Colt Gold Cup then the .38 super. Well it's not difficult to see where this has gone so I'll get on with the work I've put into the RIA .45.

Trigger and grips were the first changes. I wanted to put a new hammer and beavertail grip safety on it but learned that drop in parts don't and I didn't want to cut on the frame so I left it be.

At the range I met a bunch of oof's, (other old farts) some of whom shared a similar love for the 1911 .45. One in particular humbly exposed his Ed Brown along with a couple of his "project" pieces and was shooting groups sub 1". I jokingly asked him to make mine shoot that well. He asked if he could shoot my Gold Cup and told me he did not work on guns except his and his sons'. Then, he told me if I wasn't bashful about honing, cutting, polishing, voiding warranties etc. to order a few parts from EGW and that, turned the monster loose. My now GCT shoots sub 1" groups (in the hands of younger, steadier hands and better eyes) and is a smooth shooter. I love it but there's nothing more to do to it.*

Back to the RIA. An aluminum trigger, (I hate the standard GI trigger) and a different set of grips. That's all. It shot every bit as tight as the GCT and needed no work at all. Damn! All this energy and desire to play with it and all it needs is shooting. Ok then, I'll look into making it look more like the one I like. I'll try to polish the flats, better sights, nicer grips, polish the hammer, barrel, thumb safety, slide release... I ran these ideas by my range advisor, (he don't work on guns) and he told me that I was beginning a journey that could take me places I may be sorry I visited but told me what he did to his. I'm going to try to finish the flats bluing on the RIA GI .45 today. I've polished, blued and trued them and removed the roll marks, replaced the sights and grips, now I'm almost happy with it. Though not needed, simply for cosmetics, I'll replace the bushing and plunger tube with an EGW eventually. Now I'm off to re-blue the cold blue. More to follow...

The re-blue of the slide was so easy, I'm done already. In fact, except the EGW bushing, I'm calling it finished.

... for a while.

Posted in Gun Builds
Views 9829 Comments 3
« Prev     Main     Next »
Total Comments 3


  1. Old Comment
    DaFadda's Avatar
    Ahem... Slim.... might we see a picture?
    Posted 12-26-2011 at 05:19 AM by DaFadda DaFadda is offline
  2. Old Comment
    BadOscar's Avatar
    Wow that looks great!
    Posted 01-28-2012 at 06:31 PM by BadOscar BadOscar is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Boats's Avatar
    That is one beautiful pistol!
    Posted 10-15-2012 at 08:19 AM by Boats Boats is offline

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:09 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.6
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.