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Irish-Pat

Changing a 1911 from 45 to 9mm

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I am bored. I was just wondering what be involved in converting my 1911 from 45 to 9mm? 

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1 minute ago, Irish-Pat said:

I am bored. I was just wondering what be involved in converting my 1911 from 45 to 9mm? 

Better question would be why? 

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I am sitting at home that is why

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Just now, El Hombre Sin Nombre said:

Better question would be why? 

 

So we can have a 12 page argument regarding which caliber is better?

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Changing the slide assembly , 9mm breech face is smaller , ejectors on the frame are typically different also . It not like a glock where you can just swap bbls and mags 

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13 minutes ago, Tyrel Cody said:

 

So we can have a 12 page argument regarding which caliber is better?

 

45

Ford

Ginger AND Mary Ann

:lol:

 

I’ve never owned a 1911 in 9mm so don’t know the answer to the OP. Obviously the barrel would need to be changed and I assume a different weight recoil spring. But are the magazines external dimensions the same? If not then would a 9mm mag work in a 45 frame? Also, the breech face of the slide would probably have different dimensions. 

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Just now, Shooting Bull said:

 

Ginger AND Mary Ann

 

 

At least we can agree on something...

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Put 45 back in the safe and apologize for even thinking about changing it.  Then go buy a 1911 already made for 9mm

 

 

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I found that it is not feasible. The ramp on a  9 mm is made on the barrel. Ramp on a 45 is part of the frame. Frame would have to be hogged out.  I shoot both 9 and 45 in 1911's and like both. Really like my 38 super, except I'm to tight to lose super brass! If you want a compact 9 look at the Springfield EMP series. The grip frame diameter is reduced  to fit a magazine designed for a 9mm cartridge (holds 9 rounds) .  Springfield's are good guns for the money. So are Remingtons and Sigs. And I really like a Wilson EDC that adopted me! Long Live the 1911!

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Posted (edited)

Buy both......one for each hand!  Weaker hand gets the 9....

Edited by Hashknife Cowboy
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39 minutes ago, Hashknife Cowboy said:

Buy both......one for each hand!  Weaker hand gets the 9....

If you do this make sure the 9 has a ambi safety :) 

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The ramp is different.  The best way to do that would be to send the frame off to have the ramp machined out of it, and then install a fully ramped 9mm barrel.

 

Ok, that's the best way to convert one.  The BEST way would be to build one from scratch using a frame designed specifically the way I described.  Caspian makes such a frame.

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All 9 m/m barrels are not ramped.    GW

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Posted (edited)

I have 2, right now, that I changed from .45 acp over to 9mm. No problem with the ramp. I have changed numerous .45 1911's over  to 9mm, .40 S&W, 10mm, .38 Super with no modification to the ramp, and back again. .38 super, 10mm worked best with ramped barrels which require machining the frame and you can't go back to regular barrels without major mods. I also have a .45 that Converted to .10mm with no ramp work. You just can't load the Super or 9mm, or 10mm as hot without a ramped barrel. You do have to change the mags, ejector, slide and extractor. If you get the right slide you can use it with out mods for 9mm, .38 super, .40 S&W and 10mm. Same with the ejector and extractor.

I have a custom Para wide body right now that I changed over to 9mm for 3 gun that is 100% reliable . 

Edited by Texas John Ringo, SASS #10138
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You can get a kit from Sarco that is in Easton Pa. It is Item # C45381 for $245.00. This kit has all the part to will convert a 45 to 9mm.

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"...Then go buy a 1911 already made for 9mm..."

 

that would be correct , that is my choice as well , i do have both in both full and compact and i also agree with the sentiment , now i did do a 22cal conversion but bought a dedicated lower for the purpose and have never looked back , i kept the original parts for my heirs to decide what they might do but ...im happy in this move so far , i did it to have the full size , i have the 22cal in the available sig version as well , i like shooting the 1911 platform , 

 

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6 hours ago, No Horse Hair, SASS #77464 said:

I found that it is not feasible. The ramp on a  9 mm is made on the barrel. Ramp on a 45 is part of the frame. Frame would have to be hogged out.  I shoot both 9 and 45 in 1911's and like both. Really like my 38 super, except I'm to tight to lose super brass! If you want a compact 9 look at the Springfield EMP series. The grip frame diameter is reduced  to fit a magazine designed for a 9mm cartridge (holds 9 rounds) .  Springfield's are good guns for the money. So are Remingtons and Sigs. And I really like a Wilson EDC that adopted me! Long Live the 1911!

Not all 1911 9mm barrels have ramped barrels, namely Colts.

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"Sorta like neutering a fine quarter horse stallion."   :lol:

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If I were ever to change calibers it would be from .45 to.50!!!!   :P

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12 hours ago, LostVaquero said:

Forget 9mm what you want is a sweet 38 super. 

If you can find one, the Sig Match Elite is the way to go.

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Posted (edited)

There are several steps to the process and almost all of them have been listed above.

 

To summarize:

1. You'll need a new slide because the breech face for 9mm is smaller,

2. 9mm slides are usually machined for a 9mm/.38 super firing pin, and new firing pin stop,

3. You'll need a different ejector as the .45 ejector will not reach the 9mm rim, nor fit the cutout on the slide,

4. You'll need a 9mm barrel, and bushing,

5. The ramp in the frame is a different angle, sometimes you get lucky and it will still work, but the most reliable

    way to do it is to machine the frame to take a ramped barrel. NB: That is a one way conversion requiring ramped

    barrels on that frame after that.

6. New Magazines, lighter power recoil spring (12# - 14#)

 

Alternatively, you can get all the upper stuff you need, and build an 80% alloy frame (or steel) to do this.

I'm almost ready to build a full size alloy frame just for s&g's.

 

SC

 

p.s. - I'll add that I really like shooting the steel 9mm Colt Gov't model a lot, it is easier to do a 500 round weekend with this

compared to the .45, my wrists prefer it.

Edited by ShadowCatcher
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21 hours ago, G W Wade said:

All 9 m/m barrels are not ramped.    GW

I know, that's why I said the "best" way is to machine the .45 ramp and install a fully-ramped 9mm barrel.  The words I chose literally mean there are other ways and other barrels.  

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Grizzly Dave had the best answer. Put the .45 back in the safe and buy a 1911 built in 9mm. I picked up a Dan Wesson Guardian in 9mm and find it to be the softest shooting 1911 I own and 100% reliable out of the box. Way better than tuning a conversion to run right unless you are really good with 1911's.

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I change .45 to 9mm all the time. I just reach into a different side of my range bag.

Real easy swap over.

 

Marshal Stone

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All of the above having been said, isn't it sacrilege to even mention 9mm and 1911 in the same sentence? :D

 

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I have a Springfield 1911 45ACP,  a few years ago, the company offered the parts to change the gun to 9 mm. They sent me a slide, barrel, ejector , slide stop and a magazine. All the parts swapped easily, I don't know if they still offer this service, also at that time, I purchased the 22 cal. conversion kit from a company in Florida. Now I have a pistol that I can shoot 3 calibers in. So in fact, if you can get the parts, the conversion is possible.

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13 hours ago, Charlie MacNeil, SASS #48580 said:

All of the above having been said, isn't it sacrilege to even mention 9mm and 1911 in the same sentence? :D

 

Not really, Colt introduced the LW commander in 9mm in 1950.  That's a good 70 years of time to become part of the herd!   :D

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I saw a 9mm conversion unit in a gun store for sale really cheap so just had to buy it.  It was a Springfield unit consisting of slide complete with extractor, firing pin, bushing, recoil spring and barrel with link.  (No ejector).  I put the “kit” on a Remington Rand (WW II vintage 1911) and it ran just fine with the factory ramp and ejector.  Later I bought an old Colt 1911 45 frame at a gun show for a cheap price.  This too worked fine with no modification other than installing the “kit”.

 

I since found another slide, barrel with associated parts to convert back to .45.  Either frame works fine with either caliber with no ejector or ramp modifications.  I’ve heard that the ejector for 9mm is different, but mine works fine for either caliber.
 

The one the right is the converted 9mm and .45 slide/bbl.  The other is the Remington Rand .45.

43BFECEE-2E74-4598-A3C8-0D2DC5905CF9.jpeg

DC029CA0-BEF6-4579-A776-171FEC683C6D.jpeg

6EA2CD64-DA37-47B4-BF05-7D8AE3C6BD5C.jpeg

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On 4/8/2020 at 3:37 PM, Tyrel Cody said:

 

 

At least we can agree on something...

Not so fast ...Mary Ann and then Ginger

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On 4/8/2020 at 3:40 PM, Grizzly Dave said:

Put 45 back in the safe and apologize for even thinking about changing it.  Then go buy a 1911 already made for 9mm

 

 

 

Better yet, get it in .38 Super

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1911's in 9mm can be very nice.  Boggus Deal built me this beauty as my new IPSC "Classic Division" pistol......:D

 

There is ONE problem in having a 45 AND a 9mm, especially if they look identical.   If you put a loaded 9mm mag into your 45 (Yes, it will go in nicely) and rack the slide.....you will entertain your friends by having the whole ROUND  come out the front and fall to the ground.  Velocity dependent on recoil spring strength!   

 

As me how I know!   ;)

My1911.jpg

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