The Right 1911 Barrel For The Job

Be it for enhanced accuracy, feed reliability or due to actually being worn out, understanding the aftermarket options in 1911 barrels and how to install them is an oft-needed gunsmithing task.

by RK Campbell

Over the course of the previous thirty years I have replaced dozens of pistols barrels and the great majority have been 1911-type handgun barrels. Most were replaced in order to gain an advantage in accuracy or feed reliability, although a few were replaced simply because they were badly worn or corroded. With the rapid disappearance of GI pistols and their comparative rarity, the replacement of these types is far less common today. Many military pistols needed new barrels, but these pistols are no longer a common resource for building custom 1911s. Today we replace 1911 barrels primarily to increase accuracy potential. When I first began building 1911 handguns to one degree or the other, the good fit and accuracy demonstrated by Bar Sto Precision was a main reason for fitting new barrels to standard pistols. While a few modern 1911s come from the factory with a match grade custom barrel, they are not common and are relatively expensive. The barrel is, of course, only one ingredient. The skill of the person fitting the barrel is more important, given a quality barrel to work with.

Read more in our August 2011 issue. Back issues are available.

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