So you’ve finished your 1911 build kit – congratulations! You’re now the proud owner of one of the greatest handguns ever built, even to this day. But we at 80-lower are believers in continuous improvement, and the ages-old design of the 1911 could always use some upgrades here and there if it wants to make the jump from near-perfect to, well, perfect. So, here are the 3 best 1911 upgrades after you finish your build!
#1: Upgrade Your 1911’s Trigger
We’re not saying our triggers are junk – no, by all means, they are quite crisp with little take-up, overtravel, or creep. They certainly break cleanly and they feel how a factor 1911 should feel. But maybe that’s now how you want your 1911 to feel.
An upgraded trigger will allow you to reduce the naturally high trigger pull weight of the 1911. Remember, this is a handgun designed for combat, not competition shooting. A simple drop-in trigger will further reduce travel and pull weight and increase accuracy.
Competition triggers can be had for relatively few dollars – south of $200 will net you a Match Trigger with a new fire control group, or you could pick up an adjustable trigger assembly from Wilson for under $50, allowing you to just travel and reduce trigger bounce.
#2: Invest in a Match 1911 Barrel
Swapping out your 1911’s barrel is so simple, it takes less than 3 minutes. It would make complete sense to invest in a Match 1911 barrel to help that big .45 ACP or 9mm find its target more readily. Our Chromoly barrels easily provide MOA accuracy up to 25 yards, but a Match barrel will allow you to get into practical longer-range shooting for a small cost.
Again, Wilson Combat is the leading name in the 1911 barrel industry, with Stainless Government and Commander barrels available at around $200. You can opt for a threaded barrel and enjoy throwing on a compensator of your choice for the ultimate in accuracy.
#3: Pick up Some Better Sights for Your 1911
The 1911 features simple, open-leaf sights that provide a wide field of view and simple target acquisition at close to medium range. While these suffice for the daily wearer or casual shooter, a set of fiber-optic sights or ghost-ring sights will greatly improve your running-and-gunning.
A pair of Novak sights is highly recommended for home-defense applications thanks to their ability to amplify ambient light, providing a confident and open sight picture in low-light conditions. Ghost-ring sights allow for even quicker target acquisition if you enjoy speed-shooting or competition.
#4: Invest in Ergonomic Upgrades for Your 1911
The 1911 is a reliable workhorse with a simplistic design that just works well in any situation. Yet once again, century-old ergonomics could use an improvement and the 1911 market is replete with numerous upgrades that’ll make your 1911 more comfortable and easier to manipulate.
Common ergonomic upgrades include flared mag wells, extended or ambidextrous safeties, an extended beavertail, and new magwell grips. For the competition shooter we recommend investing in all three, including oversized Hogue grips for better control and follow-up.
Haven’t built a 1911 yet? Build your own today with a 1911 frame and build kit!