10 Best 1911 Upgrades & Accessories (2020) – Get What You Need

Best 1911 Upgrades

Those who love old-fashioned firearms will appreciate the 1911 pistol. However, there’s this range of classic handguns that come with some heavy criticism, especially when compared to modern guns that don’t suffer from the same design flaws that were common in the early 20th century.

But with the right accessories and upgrades, you can quickly turn the 1911 pistol into a truly amazing firearm that can hold its own against some of the best newer models. With so many products on the market today, we understand that it can be a little confusing to pick out the best 1911 upgrades for your gun. Hence, we’ve created a short guide today to look at some of the upgrades you can consider to boost your 1911 pistol’s accuracy and overall performance.

AccessoriesNameEditor’s CommentRatingGet The Deal
Novak Semi-Auto Tritium Dovetail Front Sight

Best 1911 Sights

1. Good for shooting in low light
2. Easy to change and remove
3. Reasonable price

10/10Check Current Price
Parrish EZ Equalizer 1911 Auto Bushing Comp

Best 1911 Compensators

1. Control heavy recoil
2. Easy to install
3. Lightweight

9.5/10Check Current Price
Magpul MOE 1911 Textured Grip Panels

Best 1911 Grips

1. Diamond-shaped cross-section
2. Fits ambidextrous safeties
3. Reasonable price

9.0/10Check Current Price
Sig Sauer 1911 TACOPS Threaded Barrel

Best 1911 Barrels

1. Good weight and length
2. Can attach other accessories
3. Threaded interior

8.5/10Check Current Price
PSA 1911 Trigger

Best 1911 Triggers

1. Improves gun performance and accuracy
2. Better trigger responsiveness
3. Light and durable build

8.0/10Currently Unavailable

The Benefits of Adding These 1911 Upgrades

Though the 1911 is an excellent pistol, there’s no denying that it faces a lot of tough competition from modern guns that come with technological advancements. Attaching a few sweet accessories and upgrades to your 1911 will bring it up to par with other 21st century weapons.

Many of the upgrades come from law enforcement or civilian experimentation, so you can trust that there’s definitely something for everyone.

Grips

Having good grips on your 1911 gun will actually lead to better accuracy and stability than you think. Better control over your gun will ensure you get to pull off rapid shots and also to make the weapon easier or harder to drop when in inclement weather.

Barrels

Having a good pistol guide rod will definitely lead to direct improvements to your weapon’s accuracy, even if your mechanical skill stays the same. Being able to squeeze out extra accuracy from your gun is always a win to us, especially when in competition against newer firearms.

Those shopping for a new barrel can opt for either a gunsmith fit barrel or a match-grade pre-fit barrel. The former will make for a better choice for those who place accuracy to high standards, especially for shooting at farther ranges.

Sights

Most original 1911s come with small, mil-spec sights that might not compete with many modern pistols that feature better optics.

To improve the situation, you can now add better sight accessories onto your gun to shoot more accurately and in better lighting conditions than the standard factory default set.

Night Sights

This is a necessity if you’re using 1911 at night or low lighting conditions. You simply cannot go wrong with night sights from Trijicon, Meprolight, or Truglo.

Adjustable Rear Sight

Adjustable rear sight pairs nicely with visible front sights such as fiber optics. The adjustability not only lets you hone in your accuracy for a set distance and/or ammo, but they also come in different choices of rear colors to match your guns.

Compensator

The classic 1911 firearm’s recoil can often be tricky to get a hang off as the older weapons do deliver quite a bit of kick. However, you can always add a decent compensator to reduce any muzzle rise that occurs.

This will work to redirect the recoil to ensure better control of the weapon to improve your accuracy and keep your barrel on target as you squeeze off multiple shots in rapid succession.

Triggers and Springs

Most 1911s could benefit from a little trigger job to improve the trigger’s pull quality and improve accuracy passively since each trigger pull will jostle the weapon less intensely.

It is recommended to hire a good gunsmith to install the trigger upgrade as a bad trigger modification could break the weapon.

The Best 1911 Upgrades and Accessories

1. Magpul MOE 1911 Textured Grip Panels

Best 1911 Grips

​Check For Best Price

These MOE textured grip panels are an amazing accessory that owners can easily attach themselves or with the help of a gunsmith. The 1911 grips feature diamond-shaped cross-sections and are also made to fit ambidextrous safeties – a feature you don’t often see in many grips.

These designs add up to offer very easy handling as the patterns dig into your palms as you hold the weapon to aid you in controlling the gun better while firing and to provide better tension when it’s raining or when your palms get sweaty. It goes without saying that a gun slipping out of your hands can lead to a sizable danger, so we’re happy to see this protective functionality in the MOE 1911 grip panels.

The grips also feature aggressive magazine drop cut out, though we did notice that you may need to trim the panels yourself to make a perfect fit with your 1911 gun. Aside from this minor flaw, these Magpul panels are still one of the best upgrades you can get, especially since it comes in four different colors and a very reasonable price.

The bottom line is that the Magpul grip panels are an affordable modification that every 1911 owner can take advantage of. Not only will they make firing your weapon much more comfortable, but they also reduce the risk of dropping the weapon due to bad weather or sweaty hands. So, if you need an excellent accessory to maintain an excellent grip on the pistol, then this is definitely the one for you.

You would like this if:

You want a better grip over your gun. The textured grips feature diamond-shaped cross-section for easy handling during slippery weather or sweaty hands.
You have ambidextrous safeties. The grip panels are designed to fit over Ambi safeties.

You might not like this if:

You don’t want to make modifications. Unfortunately, the magazine cut out might need some trimming to fit your 1911 pistol.

​Check For Best Price

 

2. Sig Sauer 1911 TACOPS Threaded Barrel

Best 1911 Barrel

​Check For Best Price

The Sig Sauer threaded barrel will instantly boost your 1911 gun’s accuracy right after installation. The improvement is so drastic that you will be able to tell a difference as soon as the first shot is fired at the range. The barrel features a threaded interior which helps to spin your round as it exits the gun to maintain good accuracy over longer distances.

Although it can’t really help too much in terms of velocity, the 1911 pistol is able to deliver enough velocity to make this a non-issue anyway. Additionally, the barrel is also designed to allow shooters to install additional accessories on its front, such as a suppressor to turn this firearm into a force to be reckoned with.

The bottom line is that this Sig Sauer barrel does a phenomenal job in improving the 1911 gun’s accuracy and effective range. Though you may suffer a slight velocity reduction, the threaded barrel will spin each round and cause them to hit further targets more accurately.

You would like this if:

You want barrels with a good weight and length.
You want upgrades that work well with other accessories.

You might not like this if:

You’re shopping with a tight budget. Though this is one of the best 1911 upgrades available, it can be a little expensive for some.

​Check For Best Price

 

3. Novak Semi-Auto Tritium Dovetail Front Sight

Best 1911 Sights

​Check For Best Price

The Novak front sight is an excellent government-style sight that you can now mount on top of your 1911 with little to no effort or trouble. Though we recommend hiring a gunsmith to ensure perfect mounting, this sight is still easy enough for you to take off if you need to make some adjustments.

Featuring a tritium dot, the sight is bright enough to work in most low-light conditions, making this a great choice for using the 1911 gun in urban or interior quarters during tactical exercises or self-defense purposes. While the dot isn’t very ideal for high-light scenarios, we still believe that having a sight to aim your shots more precisely will still bring a net benefit to your firearm.

The semi-auto front sights are made from durable material and are mounted on a dovetail – the perfect location for a 1911. On top of that, the sight even comes at a reasonable price for all the functionality and modifiability you get.

Overall, the Novak dovetail sight is easy to install and remove to let you switch up your weapon according to your mood. The bright tritium images also make it great for shooting in low light environments as it’s balanced and weighted very well.

You would like this if:

You need a great dot for shooting in low light.
You want a gun sight that’s easy to change and remove as and when necessary without special tools.

You might not like this if:

You feel like the white ring is distracting.

​Check For Best Price

 

4. Parrish EZ Equalizer 1911 Auto Bushing Comp

Best 1911 Compensator

​Check For Best Price

Easy to install and affordable, the Parrish compensator is a great choice for 1911 owners who do not want to visit the gunsmith just to have their piece installed onto their gun. Once you have this setup, you’ll notice a solid difference in recoil control right away as you squeeze off rounds.

This 1911 compensator is well-balanced and also well-made with heat damage and corrosion-resistant coating.
It is also pretty lightweight such that owners won’t even notice any weight difference before and after you install it onto your 1911. More importantly, it won’t throw your shot off just to adjust to a new balance or tilt to the feel of the firearm.

One tiny flaw we found with the compensator is that the color does not seem to match the metal shade of the 1911 right off the bat, but this is nothing a little paint job beforehand can’t fix. Aside from that, the compensator leads to a great performance boost for your gun to control the 1911 recoil and make it easier to stay on target for quick, successive shots.

All in all, the compensator is easy to install and remove as you please. It works amazingly at recoil reduction to help you get your shots right where you want them to go. The compensator also works well with all calibers of rounds suitable for a 1911.

You would like this if:

You need a compensator to help you control heavy recoil.
You want something easy to install without needing gunsmithing skills and special tools.

You might not like this if:

You place a focus on aesthetics as the color might not match with the gun.

​Check For Best Price

 

5. PSA 1911 Trigger

Best 1911 Trigger

PSA is a popular company that produces various upgrades and firearm DIY mods in the industry. For today, we will be looking at a great PSA trigger that’s designed for the 1911 specifically. The trigger features aluminum construction to offer a light and durable build without distorting the balance of the gun and to ensure smooth and buttery trigger pull.

This trigger is definitely a far cry from the stock trigger or other triggers made with bulkier, thicker metals that have difficulty sliding past other machine parts. Other than that, the trigger is a three-hole variant that allows for a multitude of sensitivities to be specified for the particular weapon. In general, sensitive triggers also translate to better response time and better accuracy as you don’t need to apply too much force just to pull the trigger that may potentially shift your gun.

Overall, the PSA 1911 trigger is light and made of aluminum to afford supreme durability without compromising the ability to slide smoothly past other gun parts, delivering a satisfying and consistent trigger pull. Though you might need a gunsmith’s help for effective installation, the three-hole style still allows you to specify the kind of sensitivity you want for your 1911 trigger setup.

You would like this if:

You need affordable enhancements to improve gun performance and accuracy.
You want to improve the trigger responsiveness.

You might not like this if:

You don’t want to pay extra for gunsmithing services.

Other 1911 Upgrades and Accessories

1. Magazine Catch

Swapping out the magazine catch can be a great solution to address problems with reaching the magazine release easily. It is easy to install and the hardest thing that you may need to do is to do some light sandpapering to make it fit into the pistol frame.

2. EGW Extended Mag Release

The EGQ extended magazine release is one of the best mods available since it makes it easier to hit as it raises loose-fitting magazines a little higher into the mag well for reliable feeding. This is the best choice for those who are tired of feeding problems with the first few rounds of their new magazines.

​Check For Best Price

3. Mainspring Housing

While the mainspring housing that came with the 1911 is fine, you can opt to swap it out for a different pattern that’s either more or less aggressive, depending on your personal preference. It will also give you the option to add a palm swell or a combo extended mag well onto your 1911 pistol.

4. Ed Brown Maxi Well

This mainspring housing incorporates an extended magazine well into its design to assist in easier magazine changes. These are great mods for those who find their existing 1911 magazine well a bit too small and difficult to handle under stress.

​Check For Best Price

 

5. Full-Length Guide Rods

A full-length guide rod adds weight to the front to reduce pistol muzzle flip will minimize recoil spring from potentially binding to a shorter guide rod.

Conclusion

With all the upgrades mentioned in our list above, you can easily imagine how well your 1911 will perform in the field. Adding these upgrades will transform your handgun into something new with a solid, steady core of a trusty 1911 pistol. The improved parts also work to enhance durability and longevity to last you years. Hopefully, today’s article and guide have given you enough information to help you in the search for the best upgrades.

Leave a Comment