View Full Version : 1911 barrel swap possible?

May 04, 2017, 19:38
Can a barrel from one 1911 be safely intsalled in a different 1911? I am having trouble with my Armscorp 1911 hitting the plates at the club. I can hit time fine with my R1. I want to take the barrel from the R1 and put it in the Armscorp and see if that will make a differance. I know that each barrel is fitted to it's slide, bushing and barrel to set up the locking and headspace. But just how interchangable are they? I have dropped the barrel in the R1 into the slide of the Armscor at the table and it seems to lock up OK but that is WAY different than actually firing the gun.
I was shoting the Armscorp yesterday. I could not hit crap with it. When I got it home I noted that the barrel was really rough. I had seen this before right after I got the gun and one the first cleaning. I just figure that it was rough from the factory. I ran a brush down the barrel and the makings changed. The more I scrubbed the cleaner the barrel came. It appears they sold me a gun that had been shot with unlubed lead bullets as I am 99% sure that is what I got out of the barrel. It is now pretty and shiney. And the dealer sold it as brand new. So it looks like someone took it to the range and "tested" out before they sold it. But I still can't hit crap with it.

May 05, 2017, 04:09
Is barrel bushing sloppy? My RIA bushing was quite loose.

May 05, 2017, 06:58
Seems tight to me. I might try another one. The problem is, my pistol is nickle plated.

May 05, 2017, 07:15
Swap barrels if you really want to but it's not a good idea as you already know.
I wouldn't do it. I would fix the problem with the Armscorp

The bore of your Armscorp barrel could be too loose or too tight.

The best thing would be to take the Armscorp to a 1911 smith or ,at least, someone who's fairly knowledgeable with the inner workings of one. Your 1911 probably has an easily fixable problem

May 05, 2017, 08:08
One of the best ways to clean a barrel after firing lead bullets is to run half a dozen jacketed rounds thru it. I don't know what kind of crap you are cleaning out, but it shouldn't be lead. I don't doubt your observations, just think it strange.

No reason why you shouldn't be able to swap barrels in standard "rattletrap" 1911's. Unless you have Match-fitted hoods, links or bushings it should work. Make the swap and do a function check with dummy rounds before trying live ammo.

I have "test fired" a number of 1911 barrels that I dropped in the pistol for that purpose.

I would suggest slugging the bore on the Armscorp if possible, just out of curiosity.

Hebrew Battle Rifle
May 05, 2017, 09:22
45ACP has a very generous head space. .022 in fact.
Some barrel hoods are longer than others. Once you have swapped barrels, check proper function and make sure that the barrel is locking into the lugs properly. If you have a 45ACP NOGO gauge, swap the barrel and check for excessive head space. If it passes the test, it is safe to fire. If you don't have a set of gauges, send me your address and I will loan you my set.

After shooting lead bullets in my 1911s, I use a #2 pencil and 0000 steel wool to scrub the bore clean of lead build up. 0000, also known as 4 aught steel wool is harder than the lead but softer than the barrel steel. It will scrub the lead out and leave your bore clean, bright, lead free, and unharmed.
When lead builds up in my 1911 bores, it slings bullets all over just as you described. Once clean, the bullets go where I point them.

V guy
May 06, 2017, 11:21
45 ACP velocities are only 850 fps.

As a result of low velocity, shooters have successfully used lead bullets for years in 45 ACP and .45 Long Colt loads.

I use lead exclusively in my .45 LC loads, black or smokeless at 8-900 fps; no leading, even with dead soft lead, which is preferred, as it fits the bbl.

I used to create a hollow in the base of the flat base semi hard cast lead bullets to create a "skirt" on firing to get better accuracy, but it did not seem to make any difference.

Leading might occur if the previous owner was shooting lead bullets with no lube in the grooves, but then he would be shooting unsized oversize bullets with no lube. Odd very odd.

A rough 45 ACP bbl with grooves should still shoot ok with jacketed bullets.
A minor error in the front sight might explain it.

Is the bad bbl marked and original to the gun? Maybe someone already swapped it out on the gunshop owner? The bbl might not be fitting very well at all, if that is the case.

May 06, 2017, 20:23
As previously stated, I bought the gun from a dealer in the Texas Hill Country as new. As is my standard procedure, when I got a chance after we got back home, I took the gun completely down to the frame and cleaned it. I noticed the barrel looked strange with black streaks between the lands but for some reason it did not register that something was wrong with the way the bore looked, I brushed it and didn't really see any difference in the appearance and I figured it was a bad machining job on the barrel. So I put it up.When I got around to ging to the range, I had some teething problems with it not wanting to chamber the last round in the mag but I attributed that to either limp wristing, new gun or stiff magazine spring. The recoil spring is very heavy. When I took it out last time, I had a round that did not feel or sound right. So I stopped shooting, cleared the bore and took a look see down the bore. There was a LOT of black fouling and a small "mound",at least that is what it looked like, of the fouling just in front of the forcing cone. It looked like black powder fouling. So I loaded it and shot it. Could not hit crap with it.

When I got home, I took a brush to the bore and once I got the black goo out of the bore, I could see the streaks previously mentioned. Took my brush, put some CorrosionX on it and started scrubbing. The streaks changed in their appearance. I scrubbed and used a couple of different chemicals, Hoppes 9 and Sweet's 762 and finally got down to the base metal in the bore. I polished the base metal using Isso gun polish. The patches where coming out black so I suspect it was lead but I have not way of knowing for sure. I shoot nothing but greased lead bullets in my Cowboy guns, 44-40, and never have a leading problems.

I also have noted that the center of the bore see "looser" than rest of the barrel. When I run a tight patch down the bore, it is tight then loose then tight.

Don't know exactly is going on. But I am convinced that the barrel is the major problem. I am not the greatest pistol shooter but I can shoot a decent group with a certain amount of consistency. I will shoot with a clean barrel and see what happens.

May 07, 2017, 09:47
If you have a loose spot in the middle of the barrel you have a junk barrel. I would talk to armsport and see if they would send you a new barrel. If not I would buy a drop in barrel. Problem solved. I doubt that you are getting lead out of the barrel. It is probable fowling from test fire at the factory. I have seen barrels that looked like someone took a dump down the barrel and I was the one that opened the factory box.

V guy
May 07, 2017, 11:32
Sounds like a bullet was stuck in the bore from a duff load, and created a bulge when the next round fired.

New bbl is in order.

May 07, 2017, 18:46
Don't know Steve. I have never seen fouling like this before and it took a lot of scrubbing with a brush to clean it out.

Since I bought the pistol from a dealer should I contact the dealer, importer or Armscorp? The dealer is a three hour drive from me.

May 08, 2017, 10:25
Some companies use the junkiest ammo for test firing. It could be fowling and they could have used lead bulleted ammo to test fire. Either way if the barrel has a loose spot it is junk. I would start with a call to the dealer and then go up the chain. For what you can buy a drop in barrel it might be easier and faster and less headachs to just replace the barrel yourself and go on. First try the barrel out of your R1. It probable will fit. It the slide closes you should be OK.

May 09, 2017, 14:08
Thanks guys. It really irritates me that the dealer would let this gun out. They are a reputable dealer and I have always had good luck with them but they may have not know there was a problem.

I will tyr out the barrel swap the next time I go to the range.
gotta load some .45 first though! I probably should try it with factory ammo and see if it is my reloads that is cause ing the problem. They seems to shoot OK out of my R1.