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1911 Build

Discussion in 'Projects & Builds' started by texas_teacher, Jan 2, 2010.

  1. texas_teacher

    texas_teacher Well-Known

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    I've read lots of threads about people giving hints and tips on AK or AR builds but haven't seen any on a 1911 build... Anyone ever tackled the task of completely customizing and building a 1911?

    What kind of little things did you add to it?

    Why did you choose to build it from the ground up?

    How much did it cost ya?
     


  2. kerryp

    kerryp Active Member

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    I love 1911's and looked into building me one from the ground up, but it wass too intensive and skill oriented. I think I saw someone on here post a thread about one he built, he'll prolly chime in. I just don't have the tools and knowledge to properly fit the slide to frames, etc. and would likely just booger up a perfectly good frame or slide.....thats why the custom 1911 builders make some good change for what they do, it is a real skill...
     
  3. texas_teacher

    texas_teacher Well-Known

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    Ahhh gotcha... thanks... I was wondering... I was on Gunbroker and saw a nice forged frame and was just thinking how nice it'd be...
     
  4. Charley

    Charley Active Member

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    1911 style pistols are not difficult to build up...it CAN be a bit more difficult to build to the tolerances required for acurcay and function, though. Slide/frame fitting isn't that tough. If the slide will start on the frame, lapping compound and a mallet will allow you to fit with very little play. If the sldie/frame fit is too loose, a peening hammer and large bench vise can tighten things up. Best to do some research on a good guide...Kuhnhausen's The Colt .45 Automatic a shop Manual would be a good place to start. I built my first 1911 a ways back, using George Nonte's classic Pistolsmithing as a guide. Most of the techniques shown there are outdated/uneeded now, with all the parts and information available, but it even it can still be useful. Below is the .38 Super I built years back, replaced the barrel and sights since then, but it is still a good shooter, accurate and 100% reliable. My youngest son shot his CHL qualification with it just last year.
    DSCF0010.jpg
     
  5. MR Redneck

    MR Redneck TGT Addict BANNED!!!

    The most expensive part of building a 1911 is the tooling. Special tooling to hand fit the slide, jigs to hold the barrel for machining the hood fit, special mics. to measure the rails and hood fit. You also need staking tools.
    Building a new custom 1911 isnt possible without a good mill either. I have most everything so far, except for the barrel jigs. Two different jigs for milling the barrel, and one for the lock up.
     
  6. Charley

    Charley Active Member

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    I respectably disagree. Granted, tooling IS needed, if you are going to produce guns as a business, and to cut production time when working for money. If you work on your own, with no time limit (time IS money, of course) many of the items considered as a necessity in a professional shop can be substituted or worked around for home use. The example above isn't a match gun, never was meant to be, but it will give nothing away to my Kimber in .45 ACP. Both shoot what I would call "production grade gun" groups.
    I recall reading a quote from the late Bob Day, telling how he started working on 1911s with a small vise clamped to his wife's sewing table!
     
  7. dickttx

    dickttx New Member

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    In the late 60's after Colt's patents ran out other companies started making frames. Colt would not sell you one unless you sent the old one back. I ordered an anodized aluminum frame (with initials and DOB as the serial #) from AR Sales in California. I found a Grammercy Machine Works slide and barrel in a pawn shop in Lawton, OK. A friend went to summer camp at Fort Polk and brought me a coffee can full of military parts. As Charlie said above, the hard part was fitting the slide to the frame. I spent hours pounding the slide on and off the frame, using lapping compound and a mallet. It probably took me a couple of hours to get it on the first time. After the slide would work nice and smooth, I started assembling the parts from the coffee can. As I remember most of them went in pretty easily. The last thing I got to work was a trigger. The one out of my Mark IV, Series 70, would work in the frame, but the military ones wouldn't. Finally found one that would work. Everything worked at last. I have probably taken it apart and put it back together 1000 times. Only have $50 in it (40 for the frame and 10 for the slide and barrel.)
     
  8. cseale86

    cseale86 Active Member

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    You can buy a kit from Brownells with the frame and slide already fitted but then you would pretty much be putting it together not building it.
     
  9. texas_teacher

    texas_teacher Well-Known

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    True and then how different would that be from taking my completely down (which I do a lot just for shits and grins) and then putting it back together...

    I've given some thought to a Fusion frame/slide/barrel matched set where I then can mix and match the little parts and intricacies that make it my own personal beast... I also like the idea of a slide that isn't constantly blazing some company's branding when I did most of the work to assemble it...
     
  10. shortround

    shortround TGT Addict

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    Quality 1911 work is pure magic beyond the capability of mere mortals, IMHO.
     


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