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Thread: Building a 1911

  1. #1
    Member duckslayer56's Avatar
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    Default Building a 1911

    I was thinking of building a 1911 Commander this winter as a project to keep me busy during the cold months. How difficult is it to build a 1911 from the ground up? I was going to order the parts from midway and try to assemble. Would this be a bad idea? Are there any good references on how to build one that I could research before trying this out?
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  2. #2
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    I have toyed around with the idea myself. You can really glean much information on the 1911 forum as this seems to be a popular idea for many. The outcome of a build by most average guys will most likely be far less quality than a good entry level 1911 from any of the major makers from what I've learned. I guess that is all subject to the skills of the builder though as a machinest or tool and die maker would be well ahead of me and could probably turn out a masterpiece. I think your outcome will also depend on the quality of the parts you put into it, as an example, you can drop about $700 on a pre-fitted Wilson Combat frame and slide. That would be a very good start! There are many shop manuals and dvd's available as well. Look at Brownells or Midway.

  3. #3
    Member rimfirematt's Avatar
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    I attempted this with a fast build kit. Meaning all the parts just required minor fitting. I gave up with mine and sent it out to be assembled. It is amazing the amount of fine grinding, polishing, trial and error that is required when using your hands. I am not a patient person however. If you think you have the patience and the ability to understand how the pistol works go for it. For some light reading check out http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=1...__45_AUTOMATIC as well as part 2 http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=1..._A_SHOP_MANUAL

    I jest though. These books are super technical and contain everything 1911. A degree in engineering would be helpfull in reading these books.

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    Good points. The 1911 platform is definately not a modular design. There is much fitting required to end up with a decent pistol not to mention correct timing to get them to run reliably and look good. Another point is that years ago, a guy could aquire the parts cheaply to put together a decent gun, or so I've heard, but now days there are many good entry level 1911's being mass produced so not much money to be saved. I figure it to be more of a project just to learn from and gain satisfaction from knowing he built it from parts plus an excuse to buy some more tools. Hopefully, your build turned out decent.

  5. #5
    Member kjsl105's Avatar
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    If you have the time and patience (and proper capital to replace parts) it's a great idea. Another option would be to take a simple 1911 milspec, say a Rock Island or a Springfield and fit new parts to it. Beavertails, sights, triggers, safety, hammer, etc. pretty much everything but frame & slide.

    Let us knoe what you decide and keep us up to date with pictures. It'd be great to watch as your project progressed.

  6. #6
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    I have done a few of these in years past, was just thinking about doing another one soon in .460 rowland. Years ago you could get parts for the 1911 at reasonable prices but like everything else those parts have gone up, but so have the guns. If you do one, do yourself a big favor and buy a good quality frame and slide. the fit between these two parts will make or break the gun. The other parts are alot cheaper to change if you don't like them. you can order them with undersize rails and do the final fitting yourself (if you are a very patient person) or you can order them pre fitted. If this is your first build I would recomend ordering the frame and slide prefitted from Brownells, caspian, Chip McCormick,STI etc.. There are a bunch of manufacturers that sell quality units. My favorites are Caspian and Chip McCormick.
    Take your time and have fun with it, there is nothing like shooting a quality accurate gun that you built yourself. And don't forget to post pictures of the finished product.

  7. #7
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    building a 1911 is stupid easy, just read this and be patient. Down toward the bottom you will find the list of everything you can source from brownells and other components and tools required.


    http://deadlysteel.com/page1/page1.html

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