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Rock Island HC Build - need opinions...


OnVacation
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///open bucket of worms///

I recently picked up a new RIA Pro-Match Ultra HC in .40 (the para clone with checkered front strap and full dust cover).  I'm planning on building it to shoot limited minor and 3-gun.  I need opinions on the build list, I included rationale when I could think of it.  I'm new to the 2011 (not modifying or working on guns, or 1911s).  I know that the RIA HCs have some idiosyncracies, so I want to make sure I'm not getting into a part mixture that won't work.  :

 

Barrel - KKM Hybrid in 9mm, currently backordered, I'm on the wait list.  Going to have barrel/slide fitted by Gans, slide and barrel tri-topped.  

Magwell - Hayes custom (I do not like the sharp edges on the factor magwell and want a bigger target for reloads)

Thumb Safety - Limcat single side shielded safety (I find that I occasionally put the safety 'on' with my hands in a firm grip, or fail to completely deactivate the safety because the ambi-side contacts my knuckle.)

Sear and Hammer pins - C&S TiN coated

Sear, Hammer, and disconnector - Extreme engineering Warp Speed

Hammer Strut - EGW titanium long strut

Mainspring plunger - EGW Titanium

Mainspring - Shooters connection

Firing Pin - Dawson extended

Extractor - EGW Heavy Duty

Magazine Catch - Dawson extended

Trigger - Dlask ultralight

 

Mags - MBX and Hayes tuned Remington 19rd'ers

 

Planning on keeping the current grip safety and pinning and blending it.  Still not sure what/if MSH I would go to, or if the factory one is good enough.  

 

Planning on having the final product cerakoted in the elite series (the low-coefficient friction stuff).  

 

Where am I going astray, what risks am I assuming, what am I forgetting?

 

 

 

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Are you changing the slide or just running the 9mm barrel on the .40 breech face? I know there are mixed opinions about that.

 

Might be worth seeing if it will run on STI mags. Some of them do just fine, some don't. Some run fine with a conversion mag catch, others don't. May be cheaper in the long run.

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3 hours ago, thormx538 said:

Are you changing the slide or just running the 9mm barrel on the .40 breech face? I know there are mixed opinions about that.

 

Might be worth seeing if it will run on STI mags. Some of them do just fine, some don't. Some run fine with a conversion mag catch, others don't. May be cheaper in the long run.

I was planning on keeping the slide, but I have seriously considered getting a JEM 9mm slide to swap on.  I was really hoping for more feedback on this, I need (value) more opinions from people who have run a 1911 conversion slide.  my P226 was a conversion gun (.40 to 9mm with Barsto barrel), but I know that 1911s are more particular with extractor tension, and that external extractors are more forgiving than internal extractors.  This is still very much an open question for me.  thoughts?

 

I thought about checking the STI mags, but they're the same price the the MBX mags.  I figured buy once, cry once?  Will the standard dawson mag catch still work with the MBX-para mags? I was assuming they were interchangeable, but I didn't know for sure...  confirmation/thoughts from people who can compare?

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I've never tried running a 9mm barrel on a .40 breech face so I can't comment personally.

 

The location/size of the mag catch hole is slightly different on the Para and STI pattern mags. MBX Para mags are going to be for the Para style mag catch, but the Dawson is STI pattern I think?

 

I could never get my Rock Island running on STI mags, even with a conversion mag catch designed to run STI mags in a Para gun. The mags that come with the Rock Island have modified feed lips compared to a standard Mec Gar Para mag, and they are a hair longer too. It took me a while and a lot of filing to get the standard P16 Mec Gar mags from Greg Cote to run right, because I couldn't find any more Rock Island tubes at that time. 

 

That was in a .40 gun, I don't know if 9mm is easier or not.

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1 hour ago, thormx538 said:

The location/size of the mag catch hole is slightly different on the Para and STI pattern mags. MBX Para mags are going to be for the Para style mag catch, but the Dawson is STI pattern I think?

Got word from Dawson and Shooters Connection that the Dawson release will not work with the RIA, so I think I'm going to have to send mine in to get drilled and tapped.  

 

Thanks for the feedback on that, I had just assumed they were the same!

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58 minutes ago, Talon75 said:

 

I've seen some mixed reviews on that release.  I did a search for it and there was a complaint on the quality of the finish, poor machining, etc.  It also doesn't list the hole size.  Have you run this one?  

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Mine is a guncraft, that looks to be discontinued, and looks like similar quality . It could be better quality, took some love smoothing it out but has worked flawless with mecgar and MBX mags. I believe the threads are 4-40.

Edited by Talon75
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17 hours ago, Talon75 said:

Mine is a guncrafter, that looks to be discontinued, and looks like similar quality . It could be better quality, took some love smoothing it out but has worked flawless with mecgar and MBX mags. I believe the threads are 4-40.

I got skittish on the reviews and mailed mine off to Hayes to get drilled and tapped for a button today.  

 

Still debating between a replacement 9mm slide and running the .40 as a conversion slide.  I figure the bright side to getting the slide is I could always keep the slide/barrel assembly for the .40 and run it as a limited major for USPSA, but I'd need a whole different set of mags, and those aren't cheap...

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Many years ago several gunsmiths tried putting a 9mm barrel in a 40 slide. It was hit and miss, mostly miss!  I think just about everyone decided it was not a good option. Regular 38 super case rim is much closer to the 40 dimension so that conversion would work. 

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35 minutes ago, Don_B said:

Many years ago several gunsmiths tried putting a 9mm barrel in a 40 slide. It was hit and miss, mostly miss!  I think just about everyone decided it was not a good option. Regular 38 super case rim is much closer to the 40 dimension so that conversion would work. 

Thanks.  I think that's where I'm at.  the cost of a slide isn't that big in the grand scheme of things for doing it right the first time I guess.  I'm looking at a JEM slide I think. looked like for bare slides there were only a few players right now.  is there a better option?

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13 hours ago, OnVacation said:

Thanks.  I think that's where I'm at.  the cost of a slide isn't that big in the grand scheme of things for doing it right the first time I guess.  I'm looking at a JEM slide I think. looked like for bare slides there were only a few players right now.  is there a better option?

 

Depends on how much you want to spend.

 

Fusion and TR-Enabling (Remsport) sell blank slides. Same with Caspian. 

 

I think RIA actually sells a 9mm bull barrel slide with LPA sights, like the .40 one your gun came with. Check Hooper Gun Works out, they sell a lot on their site and on Ebay.

 

Or find a pre-cut slide at Shooter's Connection that you like.

Edited by thormx538
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3 hours ago, inertia said:

Not to be a jerk but once you do a slide and barrel, all the parts, refinish pay a smith to do all of this fit all those parts, aren't you close to $ of a basic 2011?

yes, but not for a sight tracker.  I considered just doing a base STI but then I'd still not have what I wanted.  And price wise for doing a build myself for a sight tracker 2011 was about $1000 more than doing this way.  

 

I'm not paying a smith, I do most my own work, so really my only out of pocket expenses are for machining the slide and the costs of refinishing.  At the end of the day I get what I want.  the RIA complete pistol is quite a bit cheaper than buying a 2011 frame and a steel grip module.  And I can sell off parts I don't use.  

 

I may not save much money, but it shouldn't cost anything more either.

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4 hours ago, thormx538 said:

 

Depends on how much you want to spend.

 

Fusion and TR-Enabling (Remsport) sell blank slides. Same with Caspian. 

 

I think RIA actually sells a 9mm bull barrel slide with LPA sights, like the .40 one your gun came with. Check Hooper Gun Works out, they sell a lot on their site and on Ebay.

 

Or find a pre-cut slide at Shooter's Connection that you like.

Thanks, I hadn't thought to check hooper.  They don't have any of the slab sides, but might be worth watching.  That'd make life a lot easier...

 

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5 minutes ago, OnVacation said:

yes, but not for a sight tracker.  I considered just doing a base STI but then I'd still not have what I wanted.  And price wise for doing a build myself for a sight tracker 2011 was about $1000 more than doing this way.  

 

I'm not paying a smith, I do most my own work, so really my only out of pocket expenses are for machining the slide and the costs of refinishing.  At the end of the day I get what I want.  the RIA complete pistol is quite a bit cheaper than buying a 2011 frame and a steel grip module.  And I can sell off parts I don't use.  

 

I may not save much money, but it shouldn't cost anything more 

 Makes sense I just got the impression when you sent your mag catch out for drill and tap that you would have to pay smiths for all of the work. If you can do some fitting and assembly and only pay for machining you may be OK net but it may be closer than you think.

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16 minutes ago, inertia said:

 Makes sense I just got the impression when you sent your mag catch out for drill and tap that you would have to pay smiths for all of the work. If you can do some fitting and assembly and only pay for machining you may be OK net but it may be closer than you think.

acknowledge all.  and agreed.  

 

I'm planning on farming out the slide machining, the D&T for the catch, and the refinishing (nickel-duplex finish I think).  I'll fit my own ignition parts, do the tuning, fit the barrel to frame and stop, do part fitting, fit trigger, and do my own tuning.  

 

I also like the comfort of knowing that I did it, how it all goes together, and that I can maintain it myself.  Besides, I had to leave all the rest of my guns with family with my upcoming PCS, I've got nothing else to do...

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