Top 10 Essential 1911 Mods – Part 1 Video

Hey guys. So every time somebody comes to me to either buy a 1911, or have me work on their 1911, I always get asked the same questions. What modifications should I do to this gun? What features should I look for when I’m buying a new one? So on and so forth, and I find myself answering these same questions with the same answers over and over and over again. So I thought it would be a good idea to come up with a list of what are my 10 essential 1911 mods.

They are in order of priority to me, from 10 to one, 10 being the lowest on the priority list, one being the highest on the priority list. I’m going to break this up into two videos. We’ll cover 10 through six in this video, and five through one in the next video. That way all you ADD people have a bite-sized video to watch instead of a 30 minute video.

Again, I need to stress that this is my opinion, okay? Some people out there are going to disagree with the modifications I discussed. Some people are going to disagree with the order that I discuss them in or the order of priority that I put them in, and some people are going to disagree with me just because they’re Internet idiots. And that’s just the way it is and I get.

So take everything I say with a grain of salt. As always, do your own research, do what works best for you. Don’t take what I say to be gospel. It’s never intended as such. Without further ado, let’s go to Rich’s/ Essential 1911 Mods.

Number 10 on my list is – well first let see, empty? Right. Okay, good. Number 10 on my list is dehorning. And what dehorning is taking a file or a dremel, preferably a file, and breaking all the sharp corners, externally, on the gun and that means all of them. Up here around the muzzle, along the slide, on the back of the slide, on the sights, on the rear sight, along the ejection port, and this serves two purposes.

One it decreases wear and tear on your holsters and it also decreases wear and tear on your hands, especially if you’re shooting practical matches IDPA, IPSC, USPSA, so on and so forth, or you’re doing a lot of combat drills with your gun, okay. It helps keep your hands from getting so torn up. It’s pretty basic and simple and it’s self-explanatory modification.

Number nine, an accuracy job. An accuracy job is a little more evolved and some people are going to question why I have it so far down on the list and the reason is simple. Out-of-the-box any modern gun is going to be more accurate than the driver, nine times out of 10, maybe 9 1/2 times out of 10. Most defenses shooting type scenarios or combat shooting scenarios with a handgun occur at a very short distance, so accuracy – the inherent mechanical accuracy of the gun is never going to be a factor. It’s always going to be the driver, but an accuracy job includes tightening the slide to frame fit, okay, to decrease wobble, fitting a match barrel with an oversize hood and an oversized lugs, a tighter barrel bushing, stuff like that to keep the gun, the 1911, from the slide from wobbling so much on the frame.

Early 1911s are very loose, very loose tolerances and there’s a reason for that. For just for sheer reliability in a combat situation, and really bad conditions with mud and sand and water and snow and ice and all that other sort of crap, nowadays, it’s not so much an issue and a lot of people like their tight, like a Wilson Combat, I think there’s what a one-inch group at 50 feet or something out-of-the-box. So that’s the reason for it and that’s also the reason why it’s so far down on the list, okay?

Number eight, magwell and an oversize mag release. Magwell, you should have one. If you carry a gun and you practice with a gun you should have a magwell on your gun. And I’m not talking about some big obnoxious open class magwell that’s seven-inches long and wider than your hand and this other stuff. All a magwell does, all it serves to do is when you have the muscle memory and you’re going for a reload, okay, all it serves to do is just make it so that you don’t really even have to look at the gun, okay? As long as your hand is in reasonably close to the right place it’s going to funnel the magazine into the gun. Okay?



Rich: Oh yeah. Well, this isn’t a 1911 mag, but this is. I don’t feel like unloading my mags, so, all it serves to do is just funnel the magazine into the gun without you really having to look at. Okay? Also, if you’re using certain kinds of magazines like the Wilson Combat 500s, you kind of have to have a magwell for them to see properly.

Oversize mag release, that’s kind of self-explanatory. You don’t have to go to this big, but it’s going to be a little bit longer than stock. This isn’t really that much longer than stock, but it’s enough for me and I like it, okay, to where my thumb is always right there, and it’s really nice.

Number seven, an extended or ambidextrous thumb safety. I’m right handed, like the majority people on this planet, so an ambi safety doesn’t really affect me. I don’t actually like them. A lot of people of them do. And in some stages, and there’s got to be some places where an ambi safety would come in a little handy, but I’ve been doing this long enough to where I get by without. However, I do have an extended thumb safety.

And that’s just again minimizes the movement of my hand when I’m driving the gun, okay? I can keep a proper grip without having to exchange my grip to flip the safety down or anything like that. An ambidextrous safety, if you’re a lefty, maybe you need it, okay, but again, personal preference. Okay? I prefer the oversize safeties.

Number six, some sort of front strap treatment. The front strap is this part of the grip. Now some sort of, buy some sort of front strap treatment that’s exactly what I mean, either checkering on the front strap or in this case like on this gun I have grip tap. Okay? It helps you maintain a positive grip on the gun and regardless of weather, temperature, moisture, sweat, blood, mud, oil, whatever, okay, and it’s kind of a big deal, but it is again about halfway down on the list so we’re getting closer.

The next video is going to be my 1911 mods from five to one, in order of importance to me. And don’t forget to send me your questions at for another installment of the viewer questions video series. See you next week.