1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

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1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by Dcforman on Wed Jun 06, 2018 7:54 pm

Read an old thread on targettalk and someone mentioned that there was a gunsmith in the US converting 1911's to 32 ACP. Anyone know who that may be? Also, why haven't we seen any 32 acp conversion for 1911's? I realize the market may be small, but it seems like someone would have done it by now. Pardon my ignorance, I don't know enough about it to know if this is a stupid question...

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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by Orpanaut on Wed Jun 06, 2018 8:34 pm

People have been talking about a 32 ACP conversion for the 1911 for years but I haven't heard of anyone actually doing it. I guess it doesn't make sense to make the R&D investment in a product that would have such a tiny market.

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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by zanemoseley on Wed Jun 06, 2018 10:33 pm

You find one I want one. I would give 1k for a conversion that worked well. The market is small but the price could be 2-3x what 22 conversions sell for.

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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by mpolans on Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:09 am

I’ve seen a video or two on youtube. I’m surprised Marvel doesn’t do it, since they already have a steel slide conversion. I wouldn’t think it would take much effort, the hardest part being a reliable supply of mags.

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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by Chris Miceli on Thu Jun 07, 2018 6:12 am

2 people i know of are building their own. Lots of work. The conversion doesn't have enough demand to tool up and build.  And it requires a complete redesign of the conversion.
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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by Allgoodhits on Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:57 am

Many dimensional challenges here. Magazines would be a huge problem. I wonder if that Browning reduced size 1911 style .380 would be worthy of considering for a .32 ACP conversion? Heck maybe even the .380 accurized may be worth looking at. 80-100 grain bullets are out there.
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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by Chris Miceli on Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:00 am

could always try  9mm, 38 special, 38 super  for CF ?
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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by jmdavis on Thu Jun 07, 2018 10:06 am

Better barrel availability and more gunsmiths to create .38 super and  9mm accurized 1911's. That makes them a good choice, and there are more than a few .38 specials in  use. When I looked at this my thought was 38 super with faster twist and slightly heavier bullets (147 swc). My other thought was that most civilians that I see shooting smaller Centerfire calibers also don't perform as well with the 45 in the 45 match. 

Your mileage may vary. 

The people that I know when began shooting a .38 centerfire did so when they were either just below the 2600 mark (in the 1960's) or were members of the 2600 club already and looking for some extra points to win in a very competitive Master Class. 

If you want a 32 acp, you can have one today from Pardini. Or you can send off a 32 S&W to a Bullseye Smith and get it converted. They are not 1911's but you can get 1911 angle grips for them.

I have shot a 32 S&W with a faster twist barrel. With factory Fiochhi it did ok at 50 yards (but my 1911 in 45 did better). At the shortline it was quite pleasant and my scores were the same or higher than the 45. 

In the end it depends on your goals I guess.
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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by jglenn21 on Thu Jun 07, 2018 11:33 am

Nelson considered it for a while but not enough market I believe.

Chris I think we share knowledge of one of the individuals who is making one.. The one I know of is a MAJOR conversion of the 1911...

I think you could lighten up a 1911 slide and make the super awfully light recoiling.. the ones I built for myself and nephew have a std weight slide and no special ignition parts.. Very light recoil using a 126 Dardus LSWC .. 3.6-3.8 BE.  with a lightened slide you could go lower.  pretty easy to make them shoot and function very well too. in my experience much more reliable than a special.

My wife shot a .380 Browing model 10/71 in BE matches years ago.. We loaded 105 gr lee bullet in it..  fine at 25 but  not so hot at the long line..I'll admit though that I did not mess with the pistol much as she loved it as is..
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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by mstot on Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:22 pm

Here is a photo of my 32SWL conversion that I made 15 years ago. The 32acp that I made looks the the same but uses different mags. Both conversions shoot the same load with near the same results. The 32SWL is easier to build because the mags are not much of a problem. I have never tested many loads or used jacketed bullets. One of the best things about these 32s is that you do not have to search for your brass they almost put them at your feet
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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by lyman1903 on Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:28 pm

nicely done!!!

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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by Mike38 on Thu Jun 07, 2018 2:54 pm

I'd like to see a Ruger MkII Target in .32acp. Good entry level CF pistol.
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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by Dcforman on Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:35 pm

mstot wrote:Here is a photo of my 32SWL conversion that I made 15 years ago. The 32acp that I made looks the the same but uses different mags. Both conversions shoot the same load with near the same results. The 32SWL is easier to build because the mags are not much of a problem. I have never tested many loads or used jacketed bullets. One of the best things about these 32s is that you do not have to search for your brass they almost put them at your feet
Mstot, is that a 1903? What are the details of the build?

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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by Dr.Don on Thu Jun 07, 2018 3:45 pm

I built a 32acp conversion for myself last year.  It is a "Marvel style" unit and required a lot of work.  It turned out accurate enough, but I could not get it to function reliably.  Several different approaches to the magazine failed to give a functionally reliable gun.  So the project failed in that regard.  I may post it here someday to give others some ideas of what has been tried.

In the course of my project I spoke with Larry Nelson.  Larry told me he had built a successful prototype conversion in 32acp, but did not plan to follow through with the project because he felt the investment required did not yield a good business case.

I'm currently enjoying my Pardini.....
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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by zanemoseley on Thu Jun 07, 2018 7:56 pm

I know the tooling investment is large but I swear if you could get a 32 acp conversion out there you could charge a grand each for them. Its probably a pipe dream but would be awesome. When I'm coming off of winter with little practice shooting 180 shot with a 45 can be rough, those are times I fantisize of a 32.

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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by Chris Miceli on Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:01 pm

zanemoseley wrote:I know the tooling investment is large but I swear if you could get a 32 acp conversion out there you could charge a grand each for them. Its probably a pipe dream but would be awesome. When I'm coming off of winter with little practice shooting 180 shot with a 45 can be rough, those are times I fantisize of a 32.

I bet if you got 2,000 preorders at 2,000 each you might be able To talk Nelson into making them
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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by fpk on Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:08 pm

Chris Miceli wrote:
zanemoseley wrote:I know the tooling investment is large but I swear if you could get a 32 acp conversion out there you could charge a grand each for them. Its probably a pipe dream but would be awesome. When I'm coming off of winter with little practice shooting 180 shot with a 45 can be rough, those are times I fantisize of a 32.

I bet if you got 2,000 preorders at 2,000 each you might be able To talk Nelson into making them
Someone that knows him should ask. It is very likely that more than 2-300 pre-orders at $1000 each should be sufficient as an initial order.

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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by mpolans on Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:39 am

Mike38 wrote:I'd like to see a Ruger MkII Target in .32acp. Good entry level CF pistol.
Here's something close...and it's for sale (not mine):  https://www.gunbroker.com/item/771374680

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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by mpolans on Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:40 am

mstot wrote:Here is a photo of my 32SWL conversion that I made 15 years ago. The 32acp that I made looks the the same but uses different mags. Both conversions shoot the same load with near the same results. The 32SWL is easier to build because the mags are not much of a problem. I have never tested many loads or used jacketed bullets. One of the best things about these 32s is that you do not have to search for your brass they almost put them at your feet
What did you do for mags?  Bend sheet metal from scratch?  Convert from a different caliber and bend the lips?

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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by LenV on Fri Jun 08, 2018 8:20 pm

What if were thinking about this wrong? I just spent some time in my gun room playing with an idea. Ok, probably a bazillion people have thought of this already but the way to go (I think) is to convert a model 41. You only need 4 parts and some skill. That old barrel that you want relined have it bored to a 32acp. Or lined. In only takes one pin to remove the bolt and extractor. That very small part could be machined or replaced with a bolt face and extractor to fit the 32. The other part that needs work is the magazine. I choose the 41 over a High Standard to measure because of the extra mag well space it has. The 32 acp would fit in existing model 41 mags if the magazine was smooth sided instead of recessed in for the thumb gripper. In other words if it looked like a 1911 mag it would fit the well and hold the round. With .011" clearance on the rim and .020" OAL. The last part is a stronger spring. I just happen to have an extra barrel. Anyone want to make a 32acp out of it? Laughing
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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by mpolans on Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:44 am

LenV wrote:What if were thinking about this wrong? I just spent some time in my gun room playing with an idea. Ok, probably a bazillion people have thought of this already but the way to go (I think) is to convert a model 41. You only need 4 parts and some skill. That old barrel that you want relined have it bored to a 32acp. Or lined. In only takes one pin to remove the bolt and extractor. That very small part could be machined or replaced with a bolt face and extractor to fit the 32. The other part that needs work is the magazine. I choose the 41 over a High Standard to measure because of the extra mag well space it has. The 32 acp would fit in existing model 41 mags if the magazine was smooth sided instead of recessed in for the thumb gripper. In other words if it looked like a 1911 mag it would fit the well and hold the round. With .011" clearance on the rim and .020" OAL. The last part is a stronger spring. I just happen to have an extra barrel. Anyone want to make a 32acp out of it? Laughing
Firing pin...centerfire vs. rimfire.

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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by Wobbley on Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:38 am

I would go with a whole new slide. You need mass to counteract the extra impulse of the 32.
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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by LenV on Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:13 am

mpolans wrote:
LenV wrote:What if were thinking about this wrong? I just spent some time in my gun room playing with an idea. Ok, probably a bazillion people have thought of this already but the way to go (I think) is to convert a model 41. You only need 4 parts and some skill. That old barrel that you want relined have it bored to a 32acp. Or lined. In only takes one pin to remove the bolt and extractor. That very small part could be machined or replaced with a bolt face and extractor to fit the 32. The other part that needs work is the magazine. I choose the 41 over a High Standard to measure because of the extra mag well space it has. The 32 acp would fit in existing model 41 mags if the magazine was smooth sided instead of recessed in for the thumb gripper. In other words if it looked like a 1911 mag it would fit the well and hold the round. With .011" clearance on the rim and .020" OAL. The last part is a stronger spring. I just happen to have an extra barrel. Anyone want to make a 32acp out of it? Laughing
Firing pin...centerfire vs. rimfire.
That's the easy part of changing out the bolt. when replacing you drill firing pin hole in the center. original is actually a little canted in bolt to strike the rim. 

Also: Stronger spring would take care of extra impulse
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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by atrfod on Sat Jun 09, 2018 10:45 am

One could TIG extra material to the slide in strategic areas to strengthen it and add weight to compensate for the extra recoil forces.Or add tungsten inserts to the slide.-Mike

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Re: 1911 .32 ACP Conversion Gunsmith?

Post by dronning on Sat Jun 09, 2018 1:52 pm

Wobbley wrote:I would go with a whole new slide.  You need mass to counteract the extra impulse of the 32.
This would be my thought as well, also mags would have to possibly sit higher to get better feeding, would that mean you would have to modify the part of the slide that picks up the round too?
- Dave
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