Best 1911 Upgrades: Aged Like Fine Wine

The M1911 Colt designed by John Browning was a part of both world wars. While you are not fighting any wars with this anymore, the gun still has some sentimental and practical value to it.

After all, it never went out of production since 1911. There are tons of revised and “upgraded” models available on the market for Colt. But not all of them scratch your itch.

If you own a 1911 and want to make it more competitive with modern guns and maybe hit up the range as well, then this post will benefit you a lot. Welcome weary travelers, I know you are here to find the best 1911 upgrades and you shall receive that. Jokes aside, let’s find out what 1911 mods are worth doing.

1911 Grip Upgrades

The first thing that you might want to change on this gun is the grips. The original grips aren’t that bad and they hold up pretty well while wearing gloves as well. But if you are upgrading the gun, why not start with something that will allow you to use the gun for even longer?

1. Magpul MOE 1911 Grip

Magpul MOE 1911 Grip

Who hasn’t heard of Magpul? The company single-handedly delivers upgrades to almost every pistol you can find on the market. All while maintaining killer durability and excellent comfort.

This set of grips from Magpul is made out of reinforced polymer. The polymer is not as hard as wood nor as soft as rubber. It’s somewhere in the middle of them. It doesn’t have a sticky nature like rubber. But it retains hard structural integrity like wooden grips.

If you want to make your 1911 even more colorful to give it a custom 1911 feel, then you should get multiple sets of these grips in different colors. That’s right, it comes in 5 different colors and all of them are vibrant. Mix and match to see what sails your boat.

2. VZ Grips Operator II Tactical 1911 Gun Grip

VZ Grips Operator II Tactical 1911 Gun Grip

VZ Grips is one of the biggest names in the grip industry. Their products are expensive but they are well worth the premium you are about to pay. The grips are made out of G10, carbon fiber, and micarta.

All of those materials are excellent and will last you a long time. Besides looking fancy, the grips also offer aggressive-looking groves that make it easier for you to grip the gun with or without gloves. The aggressive design may put you off at the start but you will get used to it.

Even if you sweat a lot or drop your gun often, the grips won’t break or lose texture. It will stay the same as it was on day 1. The price tag makes it a bit hard to mix and match. As this is already available in multiple different colors, you will not need to mix and match.

1911 Magazine Catch

The next upgrade you can do to your 1911 is adding a magazine catch on it. The job of a magazine catch is to make it easier for you to reload the gun in a hurry. This is something you will come to appreciate as you blaze through more magazines.

1. Wilson Combat – 1911 Extended Magazine Release

Wilson Combat 1911 Extended Magazine Release

This magazine catch from Wilson is a lifesaver in tricky situations. It has an extended grip that allows you to grip the gun better and the rounded bottom makes it easier to carry without being a menace.

The catch also helps you to remove the magazine on a whim and instantly reload it. Thanks to the affordable price tag, it’s an easy choice for any 1911 owners out there. Once you catch yourself using a catch, you cannot go back.

2. Egw – 1911 Heavy Duty Magazine Release

Egw - 1911 Heavy Duty Magazine Release

EGW is another fan-favorite brand when it comes to choosing accessories for their guns. This magazine release is made to last in a war-like environment without breaking down on you. The magazine catch is made out of blued/stainless steel.

Depending on what tickles your fancy, you might want to go for one above the other. Both of their qualities are top notch and you will like both of them. Thanks to their robust build quality, you will be able to enjoy the company of this for a long time.

1911 Mainspring Housing

Chances are your mainspring is fine. Even if you bought the gun used or got it from a relative, the gun probably has a working mainspring. But if you are talking about upgrading 1911, then upgrading the mainspring is a must in that list.

1. Ed Brown Maxi Well

ED Brown - 1911 Drop-In Maxi-Well

This mainspring housing for 1911 is made through CNC machining with proper alignment to drop in and fit. You will not need to sand anything or take down materials from anywhere to make it fit.

The material for this mainspring housing is stainless steel. It will not rust or break down on you anytime soon. It will probably outlast any other mainspring housing you had in the past.

2. Stan Chen Customs – Shooter Installed Magwell

Stan Chen Customs - Shooter Installed 1911 Magwell

This mainspring from Stan Chen is also made out of stainless steel. You will also find an option with blued steel. Both of them are designed to fit 1911 without any issues and drop right in.

You will not need a gunsmith to install or remove this mainspring from your gun. The durability of this mainspring is much better than most cheap ones you can find in local gun stores.

1911 Magazine Upgrades

Now that you are done with the mainspring and magazine catch, it’s time to focus on the next big thing. That’s right, the magazine. An extended magazine can increase the total bullets you shoot and a good one can lower your reload time as well.

1. Wilson Combat 1911 Elite Tactical Magazine

Wilson Combat 1911 Elite Tactical Magazine

The first magazine I want to recommend to you guys is from Wilson Combat. Their products are really good for what they are and they have a low fail rate as well. This magazine is available in two different sizes. The “full size” magazine is capable of handling 10 bullets whereas the “low profile” is capable of holding 8 bullets.

If 8 isn’t sufficient for you, then you should opt for the full-size ones. I know how clutch those extra two bullets can be on several occasions. The magazines are rust-free and they will not leave lakes that might slow down reload.

2. Chip McCormick 1911 8RD 45ACP Power Magazines

Chip McCormick 1911 8RD 45ACP Power Magazines

No, the brand has nothing to do with chipmunks. Just like the Wilson Combat mags, this one is available for all sorts of 1911 firing different calibers. From 9mm to .45 ACP, Chip McCormick got you covered.

The mags are made out of really durable and rust-free metal. With the chrome-like finish to them, they don’t drop flakes either. Depending on the variant of the magazine you opt for, you will end up anywhere from 8 to 10 bullets per magazine. Which may or may not be higher than your current capacity.

Best 1911 Sights

The next big upgrade to change the entirety of your 1911 should be the sights. Whether it’s a pair of night sights or a red dot optic, any kind of sight will make a big difference in how you use the gun.

1. MEPRO Tru-Dot tritium Night Sight

MEPRO Tru-Dot tritium Night Sight

This pair of night sights is made for all sorts of 1911. They help you focus on your target better and also come with the advantage of being visible during the night. The exterior housing is made out of steel and there is an aluminum cylinder inside that holds the tritium fiber optic sticks.

Depending on the variant you opted for, the sight may have different color rings on the exterior of the sight. The ring helps you focus in between the front and rear sight. Giving you the perfect focus on your every shot.

2. Trijicon RMR Type 2 3.25 MOA LED Red Dot Sight

Trijicon RMR Type 2 3.25 MOA Adjustable LED Red Dot Sight

When it comes to handgun sights, Trijicon will always manage to squeeze in. The RMR Type-2 is one of the most versatile red dot sights Trijicon ever created. The sight can be used with a handgun or can be used as canted sights on rifles.

The chassis of the red dot is made out of durable aluminum. As it’s made through CNC machining, there are no visible flaws present on the optic. The lens is also fully multi-coated and it features an illuminated red dot reticle. You can adjust the brightness of the red dot with the buttons on the side.

The battery compartment is also waterproof. As this is not too big, it sits on top of the 1911 perfectly without obstructing too much of your vision. The fast-focus reticle helps you aim with your 1911 instantly 24/7.

Some Other Upgrades That You Might Want to Consider

These are upgrades that are worth doing but not mandatory instantly. You will benefit a lot from upgrading them that’s for sure.


The trigger upgrade should be your priority after all the mandatory upgrades are done. The reason why I didn’t mention the trigger as mandatory is that the 1911 comes with a really good trigger with the right amount of creep. But if you want to change it to something else, then I recommend looking into the Wilson Combat 1911 Ultralight Match Trigger.

Add a Rail

Adding a rail underneath the gun allows you to mount more accessories like a flashlight for example. Or maybe even laser guide equipment. Keep in mind that you won’t be able to use your favorite grips if you use a rail. As rails are part of the grip system. If you want to make the sacrifice then you should look into Recover Tactical 1911 Rail. it’s a very good and versatile 2-in-1 system.

Should I Upgrade My 1911?

Now that you know what are some good upgrades for your gun. The question remains, should you upgrade it? Is it a must-have for all 1911 owners? Can’t I just live as it is?

Of course, you can. I really cannot say that you absolutely should upgrade this or that. What I can do is give you a guide on what you can upgrade on your gun. Now, whether you want to do it or in what order you want to do it will depend entirely on you.

If the budget is an issue, then take it slow and upgrade what’s affordable. You can also skip some upgrades depending on your shooting style and preference. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether 1911 is the gun you want to upgrade or want to swap out to a different thing entirely.


And that’s the gist of it. Those are some of the best 1911 upgrades you can do right now or ever honestly. This list won’t become obsolete all of a sudden. As long as the 1911 exists, companies will keep making accessories for it.

I will leave the upgrade order for you to decide. Don’t worry, there is no wrong way of approaching this. Take it slow and enjoy the ride. Sure, your wallet might not enjoy it as much as you. But such is life.

With that said, that’s all for now. I hope to see you on the next one. As always, thanks for reading and I appreciate you hanging around. Bye, for now, make sure to come back soon, yeah? Ciao.

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