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PT 1911 Mods

7382 Views 16 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  98C5
Hey guys! I am a new Taurus PT 1911 owner, and was searching for a good forum to gain some knowledge from knowledgable people, and after reading through this site , I found what I was looking for! Anyway, I love the gun, but I am not a fan of the grips if came with. I also want to refinish the frame and slide after some time, and drop in some Wilson combat parts; such as a bullet-proof firing pin and extractor, and a tactical ambi-safety. My question is, how easy is it to do these mods, like any particular machining or fitting, and any other brand of these parts that are better quality/more reliable? Thank you.
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The 1911 is a "mil-spec" meaning that given the fact that many parts are slightly over-sized to allow for slight variances. Such things as grips are universal... firing pin should fit out of box, however extractors tend to need to be adjusted and all safeties are slightly oversize. Make sure that the part you replace are a matter of "true interest" rather than just the typical swap out the parts scenario! Realize the the fire control parts are matched, so if you replace the hammer then realize you will want to replace the sear and disconnecter from a "matched set".

The genius of the Taurus PT1911 is that it tends to be a reliable and accurate gun. Get replacement parts (ejector, extractor, etc) if you wish for the just in case moment... but do the cheap things that really personalize your gun... grips and finish on the slide or frame.

Good luck with you new gun... look at the pictures. Just be careful about paying $500 for add-ons and upgrades. Folks who then want to sell their guns take a bath on those parts... a $1,000 gun with upgrades on sale for $750. Check out the Springers that have been "personalized".
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Well, after some range time, and one kB!, I can safely say that this is one tough gun! I put 200 Winchester FMJ, then proceeded to put 400 more LRN reloads though it. With 5 minutes until closing, 3 rounds into last magazine, and casing failed at the web. Blew magzine apart, and broke platic grips into 5 pieces, but after clearing jam and wiping off blood from my face, I put two test rounds of Hornady +p JHP through it. It worked beautifully! Very surprised. Nothing broken but grips and magazine, and I had already ordered a set of Hogue wrap-arounds earlier that day, so just a spring and base pad should fix the mag right up. Trouble is, I cannot find any mag parts anywhere. Can anyone give me an idea of where to look? Thanks.
Well not sure which parts swap for what, but MidwayUSA has Mag parts. for 1911's.
With as cheap as some 1911 mags are you may just want to replace the mag and keep the trashed one as an example of what could/did happen (along with the remains of the grips).

FYI - I cracked the lips on one of my brand new mags after 200 rounds. I called Taurus Customer Service about it in the beginning of December. They told me to send them the broken part and they'd replace it. I'm still waiting. Wilson mags seem to be very strong and well made, so that's what I'm using now. Maybe someday I'll hear from Taurus, but I'm not holding my breath.

FYI - Pachmayer sells neoprene grips with steel inserts for situations just like the one you described.
Since my last post I have received a new magazine from Taurus.
It took approximately 4 weeks, but they did follow through.
Hope this helps!
Check out gungripguys.com for grips ! I got the Laminate Black Crimson ! $ 21.00 delivered. They needed slight fitting around the ambi safety on both sides. Look Great ! I will post pics ASAP.
Steeltown Joe
Welcome Navy Seal. If that is just a nick name, glad to meet you. I'm fairly new to the board myself. If the name represents the fact that you have completed Navy Seal training then I stand in awe and want to say "Thank You" for your military service. Wecome aboard!! ;D . I earned my nickname on the NRA High Power competition circuit.

You mentioned grips so let's start with those. It would be in your best interest ($$) to get catalogs from Midway (800-243-3220), Natchez Shooters (800-252-7839) and Brownells specialty 1911 catalog. (800-741-0015). Also Call Wilson Combat (www.wilsoncombat.com) (800-955-4856) and get one of their catalogs. Hogue offers some awfully nice grips in various hardwoods but to the best of my knowledge none are inletted for the ambi safety. So you need a Dremel tool and some patience. The Taurus grips are thin and actually contured (side view) for the hand grip. They offer a good grip surface but they are UGLY and do not do justice to the pistol. For me since I have small hands thin was a requirement. I found the perfect solution (for me) in the Chip McCormick "Slim Carry" Checkered Rosewood grips Part #83000. (Midway, 2007 Master Catalog, Page 628, Part# 957-443 @ $43.99.) This grip set is inletted for the ambi safety and also includes the smaller frame grip screw bushings as well as new (shorter) screws and the installation tool. These grips are also offered in the slim line smooth if you don't like checkered.

A word of caution on removing and installing grip screw bushings. Taurus uses a screw adhesive, so you need the proper size screw driver for removal. (Wheeler Engineering make a special screw bushing tool for removal/installation.) Acetone is the only thing I have found that will remove the residual adhesive and clean the frame screw threads. These are 60tpi threads and are fragile. Install the new CMcC shorter screw bushings with Loctite #242 (blue). Just be careful not to cross thread the screw bushings. Once all four are installed put the pistol down and don't touch it for 24 hours. Now install your new grips using the provided wrench.

One of the best investments you can make is to order the video "Colt 1911 Complete Disassembly and Reassmbly" from Wilson Combat. The next is the book "The Combat Auto" by Bill Wilson. Your Taurus PT-1911 is a clone of the Colt Gold Cup, Series 80 and uses the frame style fit code "O". Frame styles are listed on Wilsons Web site as well as page 92 in his catalog.

Your PT-1911 Taurus firing pin is probably a life time part, however if you dry fire about 300,000 times you might need a new one. A spare extractor is a good part to have on hand, but unless you kow how to disassemble a Series 80 you will never get it out and I consider it a shop bench job on a big white towel. (You need the Video.)

The Taurus ambi-safety is an almost duplicate/clone of the Wilsom Combat #192 Tactical ambi-safety. So why change? (They aren't cheap!) So you need to ask yourself, do I really need an Ambi-safety? Do you know how to get it apart without damaging or scratching the frame? For all of my competitive matches, even shooting weak hand I have never used the right side safety. Unless you are left handed, carry left handed it is just a "look good" part. Everytime you field strip the Taurus for a deep cleaning /lube job you will have to pry (Emphyhsis on pry, it is an interference fit) it apart. After a few times of being pried apart it won't stay together. The are a pain in the rear end. I replaced all my 1911 Ambi's with a Wilson Combat #6 Extended Thumb Safety (Wide). Unless you know how to fit a safety and have the files, it's a gunsmith operation.

I don't know about refinishing. (I have done gold inletting, now that really makes it stand out!) The scratches and holster wear marks just add character to the pistol. It's like painting a car with some expensive paint and hand rubbing it out. Someone is going to open a door next to you in the parking lot and ding the side.

There are more WC drop in mods that will help, but this is getting to long. Buy the video and book, shoot a 1000 rounds to break it in and then we can talk accuracy mods.

Once again welcome aboard.

High Power Bob in wet and cold SC. :D
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Well, thank you for the welcome! It is just a nickname, though I have always wanted to join the service, I have been having knee ligament problems since HS. This has always kept me out of consideration, though it is well enough for running and training, never good enough for the Navy. Anyway, I have put about 2000 rounds through the gun in 2 weekends, and no breakages after that brass failure. The rounds were severely overloaded during that failure, they were loaded with max charge and magnum primer. When I looked at brass, they were literally dozens of cases that were bulged at the web, I guess that last one was just too weak to handle it. Anyway, the last range visit I put many rounds through it again, and aside from one squib that lodged the ledge a few inches into the barrel, nothing else went wrong. I put a set of Hogue rubber grips on it, and I love them. IMO, much better feeling than the stock plastic grips. So, after the last range visit, the trigger got really sludged up. I didn't de-grease the thing after I purchased it, and after 2k rounds the internals were all gummed up with powder and grease. The internals were stuck together with grease, but after a whole bottle of Hoppes #9, and some elbow grease, the whole gun frame and each individual part was shiny clean. I then Flitzed every single piece of the thing, and put it back together. I really like the shine that the flitz brought out in the gun. Also, I could tell the wear points on the internals were the finish was rubbed off during operation, and shined them up to a mirror finish. Overall, I really like this gun. I was thinking about put a Group Gripper kit from WC in it. Do you think it would produce anything noticeable, as far accuracy?
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Do the rubber Houge wrap around grips clear the ambi saftey or do they need a trim?
What screws and bushings did you use to get them on?
tomh1426 said:
Do the rubber Houge wrap around grips clear the ambi saftey or do they need a trim?
I have a set on my PT1911 as well. No trimming was required.
Don't bother with the Group Grippers, as they tend to make the gun less reliable and overly tight!

For general 1911 mods, see here:

The thing is that, your PT1911's probably won't need some of them and others, just nice to have. I particularly recommend the Extractor Mod. My Colt needed ALL of them!
just courious on my PT1911 the ambi-saftey likes to work its way out on right side of the gun is this normal or is something wrong......P.S. it takes awhile to start coming outword from slide but dont like it....
Does anyone know what Taurus' 1911 B3 model is , just left their factory web site . gotta figure the B means blued finish but does the 3 stand for three in. barrel? the web site said picture "not available" and FEATURES had BARREL LENGTH..."0" I'd LIKE TO SEE TAURUS make short barrel 1911 thanks for any insight .
It did indicate it was a "compact".
fltrucker73 said:
just courious on my PT1911 the ambi-saftey likes to work its way out on right side of the gun is this normal or is something wrong......P.S. it takes awhile to start coming outword from slide but dont like it....
Well flt, you are another owner of a bad safety. You can send it back to Taurus (good luck) or buy a Wilsons ambi-safety. I had to do this to one I had. You will have to fit it though. I did it myself, but it takes a while and you have to be VERY careful. Good luck.
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