Essential upgrades to SS Bisley 5.5" 45 Colt / ACP

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Aug 22, 2009
Due to wise advice on these forums, we are acquiring a Stainless Steel 5.5" Bisley 45 Colt / ACP. This is our first .45 and we are looking forward to having fun exploring various hand loads for this caliber.

What would members here consider essential upgrades to this Bisley? This won't be a show or target gun, but rather a field/hunting gun. So we don't want to spend money on fluff, but we also want to make sure that we are doing anything that is necessary to bring the gun up to its full potential without creating a full blown custom job.

I have read about base pin, trigger jobs, cone work, new sights, etc. What would you do, how much would you spend and is there a particular gunsmith you would recommend who is well experienced? As we are new to the .45 Colt and this particular gun, any opinions would be appreciated.

Many thanks to those who have helped us to this point so far. This Bisley is going to make a fine addition to our collection.


Aug 15, 2009
To be honest I would leave it alone and see how it shoots first.

As for the Base Pin you may or may not need to replace it. You will not know till you put some rounds through it. If it backs out after say 100 rounds replace the pin with a Mountain Pin. But if not it will be fine.

As for the Trigger work well you can do the poor mans trigger job for nothing and if you do not like the way it feels later down the road you may wish to have a gun smith take out any creep you may have.

Cone work again see how it shoots. The only concern with the .45 Colt chambering is to measure the cylender and slug the barrel to make sure the bullet that comes out of the cylender is not smaller than the bore.

Sorry I just feel why spend money when you do not have to. :)

Lloyd Smale

Aug 10, 2003
munising MI USA
about all my stock rugers have a belt mountain pin a good action job (no poor man trigger for me) and most have a bowen rear sight and a clements front post sight. Throw in a nice set of grips and you will have a semi custom gun without laying out much money. One more thing that most 45 rugers benifit from is having the throats opened to a consistant .4525. Alot of them come undersized.


Oct 24, 2006
Virginia, USA
I just did a "poor man's trigger job" on mine, and later added a set of Hogue exotic wood grips because I have large hands and like the slightly thicker Hogue wood grips. It shoots great, no need for cone or cylinder reaming work, base pin seems to work fine with the heaviest of loads.

I say just do a poor man's trigger job and see how it shoots for you. Probably best to leave it as near stock as possible with multiple users -- (this seems to be a collective effort from your plural references?) -- and other users may have differing opinions once they try it.