How to Accurize the Colt 1911

by Jeremiah Blanchard

The Colt 1911 is a .45-caliber semiautomatic handgun that was issued to the U.S. military in the early 20th century. This weapon remained the standard issue sidearm until being replaced by the Beretta M9 in the 1980s. Accuracy is a critical aspect of any weapon, and many gun enthusiasts choose to accurize their weapons. Accurizing is the process of making the weapon more accurate and comfortable for the shooter. Accurizing a Colt 1911 can be done in several ways and can be accomplished by a competent gunsmith.

1. Eliminate any movement between the slide and frame. Take your gun to have the slide and frame calibrated and and reworked to eliminate space and play between the two moving parts.

2. Install a new "match" barrel and barrel bushing on the 1911. Harmonically tuned, high-quality barrels will allow for a smooth shot, imparting optimum spin on the bullet as it exits the rifled barrel.

3. Install a new trigger. "Match" triggers and lightweight trigger assemblies can be installed for a much lighter trigger pull, resulting in less hand tremor. Less hand tremor equals a stable shooting position and less deviation from trajectory as you fire the round.

4. Replace your factory grips with custom "comfort" grips. The easier it is for you to grip and hold the weapon, the more comfortable you'll be while firing the weapon. This results in a much more accurate shooting posture.

5. Equip your 1911 with high-grade sights. This can include an optical scope mounted onto the slide, laser-grip sights for pinpoint accuracy, or adjustable fiber-optic sights.

6. Experiment with different ammunition loads to find the best match for your 1911 and your personal shooting style. Many shooters find that a slight difference in bullet grain weight or powder grain weight can affect the accuracy of the round when fired.