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Doug  Wyllie

Doug Wyllie

Doug Wyllie has authored more than 1,000 articles and tactical tips aimed at ensuring that police officers are safer and more successful on the streets. Doug is a Western Publishing Association “Maggie Award” winner for Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column. He is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers’ Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA).

Lou Salseda

Lou Salseda

Lou Salseda is a retired LAPD sergeant with 34 years of law enforcement experience. He is the chief instructor of TAC-1 Defensive Firearms Training in Santa Clarita, Calif., and is a consultant for law enforcement training and litigation.

Nick Jacobellis

Nick Jacobellis

Nick Jacobellis is a medically retired U.S. Customs Agent and former New York police officer who was physically disabled in the line of duty while working undercover as a federal agent.

How to Get Your 1911 Ready for Backup Duty

To carry a 1911-type pistol as a backup gun, you'll want to make several modifications.

February 17, 2011  |  by Ronnie Frigulti - Also by this author

The 1911-type pistol can be an effective choice as a backup gun with proper gunsmithing. Of course, you'll also want to choose a smaller model for better concealability.

Any backup pistol you carry must be counted on for accuracy, reliability, a crisp trigger, and visible sights. To achieve better accuracy with a 1911, a good barrel, barrel bushing fit and link, and tight slide to frame fit are necessary.

The trigger should be clean and crisp, with no creep, and set for 3.5 to 4 pounds. The barrel and frame should be throated and ramped to feed all ammunition. Options such as ambidextrous safeties, extended slide releases, and beveled magazine wells are matters of personal preference.

However, the frame should be designed to properly fit the shooter's hand. This can be achieved by utilizing a short or long trigger and a flat or arched main-spring housing with appropriately sized grips.

If the firearm has been set up properly, it will feed, chamber, and operate with any type of ammunition loaded into it.

Editor's note: Bruce Park also contributed to this article. Park is the senior armorer and a reserve deputy with the San Bernardino County (Calif.) Sheriff's Department. Park is certified as an FBI and NRA Police Firearms Instructor, as well as an FBI Armorer.

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