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Who's built their own 1911?

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by glock2740, Feb 14, 2010.

  1. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

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    Title pretty much says it all. I'm looking at getting a kit and taking a shot at building my own 1911. I'm no gunsmith by any means, but I have a desire to build a 1911. How has you attempt at it turned out? Pics are especially welcome as is any and all details. Thanks.
     
  2. zdragon23c

    zdragon23c s&w&me

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  3. tous

    tous GET A ROPE!

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    :mememe:

    If you are dilgent, patient, can do basic metalwork and measure accurately, your first pistol will teach you much.

    If you are none of the above ... retail is for you.
     
  4. Rinspeed

    Rinspeed JAFO

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    It's on my list to do it the next couple of years. I want to take a course first though.
     
  5. 3rdgen40

    3rdgen40 .45 fanatic

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    I thought about building one from scratch, but it's cheaper to buy a base gun to start with.Then,you can tweak it anyway you want to.
    Here's a pic of an oversized bushing that I fitted to my Mil-Spec...
    [​IMG]
     
  6. bac1023

    bac1023

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    Its something I would like to do eventually. :)
     
  7. SgtGing

    SgtGing

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    I have looked pretty hard at the Fusion website. You can get a 1911 kit with the slide, frame, and barrel already fitted. The kit includes the ejector and plunger tube already installed as well. With the price of the kit and parts (mainly Wilson) from brownells, and a hardchrome finish, the total cost would be around $1,300. With the fitting of the slide and barrel, the hard parts are done for you. Everything else would only require minor fitting.
     
  8. tous

    tous GET A ROPE!

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    Indeed.

    Staking plunger tubes requires a tool. Not expensive, but if you only do it once, tool just takes up space. Fitting ejectors is a matter of experience. If you've never done it, plan on wasting a few. The only other expense would be a sight pushing tool. Yes, you can bang them on with a hammer. If you go that route, put the sight in the freezer for an hour. Just be installaion, use a heat gun and heat up the frame dovetail. Run and get the sight out of the freezer and it should slip into the frame with some gentle whacks. This has to be done fast. If things cool and warm, start over.

    Note: you can use canned Freon (they still make that?) to freeze the sight instead of the freezer method.
     
  9. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

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    I'm going to take a class first, but it's definately on my to do list. I just detail stripped one of my 1911's for the first time this weekend. Took it out to the range and it ran 50 rounds flawlessly. It was so fun, I'm gonna break it down again:supergrin: I've always been intimidated by detail stripping, fearing I might mess something up, and if it ain't broke, why fix it? So I grabbed one of my Rock Islands and went at it and it wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it was going to be. The more times I do it, the easier and faster it will be.
     
  10. JBJ16

    JBJ16

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    Me . . . it also runs like a top.

    The 2 on top. Couldn't make the Commander size run flawlessly though . . . . :crying:

    [​IMG]

    Bottom is an upgraded Para P14.45 from 1995. Also flawless with original 14rdr. magazines.
     
  11. itsgottabeapit

    itsgottabeapit

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    AGIs 3 course series of DVDs called Building the Ultimate 1911 might be up your alley. The info is very useful. You'll learn a lot and you'll learn what tools you'll need, where to get them and how to use them. I'd get the first 2 dvds in the series for sure. They're kind of expensive so I guess shop around.

    AGI also makes another DVD that just discusses how to take the 1911 apart and clean it and lube it. IF you don't know how already it's useful, but I'd try youtube or something for that instead since the DVDS are so expensive.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2010
  12. FLIPPER 348

    FLIPPER 348 Happy Member

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    I've built a few. I was luck to have a local machinist show teach me how. Funny thing, once you build your own there is not much desire to own or shoot anything else!! I prefer Essex or Foster frames/slides for the value factor. I have a Fusion set ready for the next build.

    Here is a pic of an early 'Flipper-Spec'
    It's all made in USA with milled made in USA parts. Around $800 total.
     
  13. tous

    tous GET A ROPE!

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    Biggest mistake I see when folk do their first complete disassembly of a 1911 is ....

    The put the disconnector in backwards. Flat part goes to the front.

    Pins come out right to left, go in left to right.

    Good luck. :thumbsup:
     
  14. CMG

    CMG

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    As a young son of a US Marine, I wasn't allowed to shoot my Dad's 1911 until I could detail strip it and re-assemble it without help (no time limits though... and I could have the lights on :supergrin: )
     
  15. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

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    Yeah, the sear and disconnector were a little tricky, but I got it in pretty quick.
     
  16. itsgottabeapit

    itsgottabeapit

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    Brownells has a 1911 catalog. It's free I'd order it if I were you.

    There are a lot of other tools that aren't mentioned about that could be needed to fit the slide to the frame, etc (if you don't get a slide to frame pre-fit.) The tools can add up pretty fast. I think if you were only going to do one pistol I'd buy a slide that was fit to a frame already. You have quite a few to choose from on Brownells website including some Les Baer frames and slides.

    A good 40LPI checkering file would be nice to have too. If you get the DVDs I mentioned about you'll see why. You can use the file to serate lines in the back of the slide. There are even jigs to serate lines in other places on the frame with similar files. Trust me, get the DvDs.
     
  17. JBJ16

    JBJ16

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    If you have the cash, try and start your build with a high quality frame, slide and other big parts. If you are a first timer, use the cheaper smaller parts for "practice" fitting.

    The reason I recommend the high quality frames, slide, it will save you a lot of heartache. I chose the cheaper route, and it involved a lot of cleaning flash from drilled holes in the frame, polishing the breechface, etc etc, instead of just fitting in and minor polishing of the big parts.

    To sum it up, every step a part was put into the assembly, a lot of fitting, testing, re-fitting has to be done with the el-cheapo parts. (I used SAM for all big parts, ARMSCOR and other brands for small parts/pins etc.

    But in the end, I made it run 100% even with the notorious LWSC load. No problems at all with various FMJ, HP etc. factory loads I tried.

    Tip: Detail should be observed on the breechface area, extractor polish and tension, freedramp, barrel throat, for reliability. The trigger job will take another several pages to explain fitting of virgin parts (ie. trigger shoe and bow, sear to hammer, safety lug to sear fit, grip-safety to trigger bow fit etc. etc. ad nauseum.

    You should really try and build one. It is 101% fullfiling especially if you make it run 100%!! :supergrin: