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Posted: 9/20/2009 2:50:15 PM EST
I have never been a fan of 1911 pistols.

But lately, I am thinking... since I don't have any... and my other "needs" are fulfilled....
why not build a fancy custom one? The look has grown on me.

The rest of the stuff I own is all functional, not pretty, "work" type stuff.


Questions:

1) am I crazy?
2) where should I start?

Link Posted: 9/20/2009 2:55:10 PM EST
subscribed.

I might want to do one also in the winter months.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 2:57:04 PM EST
First you should decide what caliber and type(size) you want to build. Go from there.

Personally I think everyone's first 1911 should be a .45.

Link Posted: 9/20/2009 2:57:24 PM EST
Pour thousands of dollars into a custom 1911 to make it run like a champ

or

Buy a Glock 21 and have a machine that runs flawlessly out of the box

Link Posted: 9/20/2009 2:58:39 PM EST

Originally Posted By an_hero:
Pour thousands of dollars into a custom 1911 to make it run like a champ

or

Buy a Glock 21 and have a machine that runs flawlessly out of the box

If you read my post, you'll see that all the stuff I own already is "functional, work-type stuff."


Basically, I've run out of stuff to buy for that purpose... now looking at "pretty" stuff.



Link Posted: 9/20/2009 2:59:58 PM EST

Originally Posted By an_hero:
Pour thousands of dollars into a custom 1911 to make it run like a champ

or

Buy a Glock 21 and have a machine that runs flawlessly out of the box


Or buy a old ratty rebuilt 1911 that was originally made in 1918 and bastardized with commercial parts sometime in the 60's for
$375 and never have a single issue out of it.



Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:06:44 PM EST
Sarco has Rock Island pre-fit frame kits on order, supposedly coming in November. These are (I've heard) the same frames that STI builds off of. They cost about $200 for frame, slide, barrel, ejector, and mag catch.

Essex also sells frame/slide combos, for about $250-300. Keep in mind you're going to have to fit a barrel to them. Caspian frame/slide combos are that price or a little more. Once you get into fitting frame/slide/barrel/bushing, the 1911 becomes a work of art as opposed to a firearm. That's why I went pre-fit or drop-in for all the parts on my first build. Took me 7 hours total to build, and I made a lot of mistakes, but it turned out in the end.

I put Brown and Wilson parts in mine, at least for the parts that needed to be high quality. Grip screws and stuff like that I went with whatever was cheapest. Sights are some very tall LPA adjustable target types. Scarily accurate, but I'm still not sure my staking on the front sight is going to hold up, even after 100 rounds. Time will tell, but it'll be an easy replacement if it flies out.

For $750 I got a pistol with options that I'd have to pay $1500 for, and it's run without a hitch for the past 250 rounds. It's not the prettiest gun, but it doesn't have to be. It just has to work, and it does.

Building a 1911 is lots of fun, and a great learning experience. Take the "easy" way the first time and learn the weapon, and then do one with more custom fit parts. Good luck!
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:08:35 PM EST
Jared Grey, thanks for the reply.

Got any pics of your build?


What are some things that gave you headaches that I can look out for?
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:09:56 PM EST
I can't speak for your mental state, but I can tell you that I was crazier than a loon when I digned on for this project last winter. I have no idea what I was thinking.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:12:54 PM EST
Check here for frames. This is the parent company of Caspian and they put their overruns and cosmetic blemished frames and slides on this site for sale. It doesn't look like they have any frames or slides right now, but keep checking with them. My gunsmith swears by them and I have a couple of pistols built on their stuff.

http://www.fosterind.com/
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:14:00 PM EST
Buy a Les Baer.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:22:06 PM EST

Originally Posted By Bowman1:
I can't speak for your mental state, but I can tell you that I was crazier than a loon when I digned on for this project last winter. I have no idea what I was thinking.


Do you recommend undertaking the project or not?
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:23:19 PM EST
Tag

Posted Via AR15.Com Mobile
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:27:21 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2009 3:32:52 PM EST by Hendricks5150]
There is a great thread on how to build your own 1911 from a box of parts.

Let me do a little digging for you.

HERE IT IS!!
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:30:50 PM EST
Originally Posted By beltfed74:
Buy a Les Baer.


This. Ir an Ed Brown, or one of the other high end 1911's. They are really, really fine guns.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:32:54 PM EST
Nothing wrong with your mind - in fact I believe you finally came to your senses!
I think that building a custom 1911 will be fun, it was for me.
The only problem is that it becomes addictive!!!
I'm no expert, I just took one of my old Springfield GI 1911's and bought a bunch of Wilson Combat drop-in stuff and created a semi custom 1911.
I'm currently looking for another run out 1911 to do another one.
I say go for it!

OP has a good thread on a 1911 rebuild.
Nothing fancy but here is my rebuild.

http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=732126
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:49:08 PM EST
Originally Posted By AZ_Sky:
Nothing wrong with your mind - in fact I believe you finally came to your senses!
I think that building a custom 1911 will be fun, it was for me.
The only problem is that it becomes addictive!!!
I'm no expert, I just took one of my old Springfield GI 1911's and bought a bunch of Wilson Combat drop-in stuff and created a semi custom 1911.
I'm currently looking for another run out 1911 to do another one.
I say go for it!

OP has a good thread on a 1911 rebuild.
Nothing fancy but here is my rebuild.

http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=732126


Gunsmithing has a tendency to become addicting. I am a lot closer to my 10/22 than any other gun because I have poured hours and hours of time into that rifle.

You really get to fully understand and become a part of the weapon that you work on a lot.

Its really hard to explain.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:51:36 PM EST
Here's a question:


What tools do I need, other than a dremel?

Link Posted: 9/20/2009 3:58:43 PM EST
TAG for results.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 4:51:45 PM EST
shit. I just read gaspain's build article.

I had no idea it requires that much work.


Fuck me. Should I fo it?
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 4:54:20 PM EST
For the love of Pete, STOP NOW...!
I've BTDT.

The answers to your questions are:

1. Yes!
2. Don't!


On the other hand, I completely agree with you...
Go for a LONGSLIDE.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 4:56:45 PM EST
I don't own a 1911 and I'm not a gunsmith but Fusion sells 1911 kits.
http://www.fusionfirearms.com/
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 5:12:05 PM EST
You're not crazy. I love the trigger and feel.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 5:15:27 PM EST
If you ever build your own 1911 you will not like your tupperware guns any more
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 5:20:32 PM EST
I have two Caspian frame/slide sets in Heinie's shop. Ask me what crazy is.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 5:27:45 PM EST
Holy crap, I'd love to do that one day, but it looks so hard and complicated.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 5:35:48 PM EST

Originally Posted By lazycat:
If you ever build your own 1911 you will not like your tupperware guns any more


But you'd still use them, because you'd bet your life on them...


at least I would.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 5:51:16 PM EST
Originally Posted By patchouli:

Originally Posted By lazycat:
If you ever build your own 1911 you will not like your tupperware guns any more


But you'd still use them, because you'd bet your life on them...


at least I would.


I use my 1911 rebuild as a personal defense weapon quite often.
I don't "bet" my life on it - I totally TRUST my life on it.
I don't see any problem....
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 5:59:33 PM EST
I figure this one only ran me about $800-900 total, but consider I got the mil spec Operator for a steal at $400 as a base gun.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 6:03:59 PM EST

Originally Posted By patchouli:
shit. I just read gaspain's build article.

I had no idea it requires that much work.


Fuck me. Should I fo it?


It depends on what you want to build, what youre willing to do yourself, what you order already done for you. To take a slide and frame from say a Colt and build it from the ground up to a high end custom with all the good stuff you'll have as much in tools as you do parts providing you dont ruin something.

Its not like building an AR or a 10/22 or even an AK.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 6:10:51 PM EST
If you get the good book, buy decent frame/slide and good parts and a few tools, it isn't hard. Just time consuming.

Do it. We have a sub forum here on just the 1911.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 6:11:42 PM EST
How about those of you with custom 1911s post pics.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 6:18:06 PM EST
Originally Posted By patchouli:
I have never been a fan of 1911 pistols.

But lately, I am thinking... since I don't have any... and my other "needs" are fulfilled....
why not build a fancy custom one? The look has grown on me.

The rest of the stuff I own is all functional, not pretty, "work" type stuff.


Questions:

1) am I crazy?
2) where should I start?



Well if you get a good 1911 you will have a functional, not pretty, work gun. It did help win a few wars/conflicts. And it is steel.

Tupperware belongs in the dishwasher, not in battle.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 6:18:56 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 6:19:33 PM EST
Go with a MEU-SOC clone.
Link Posted: 9/20/2009 6:22:39 PM EST
Me too.


Link Posted: 9/20/2009 6:45:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/20/2009 6:54:46 PM EST by AcidGambit]
Honestly, if you don't own a 1911, I would purchase an off the shelf model and shoot it for a while, then decide what you want. I would recommend Springfield and Colt as they both have kept a reliable standard of good quality control. My choice is to avoid the firing pin safety (Colt Series-80) but it really isn't that bad and the most reliable out firing pin safeties out there.

Look for a Colt Series-70 Repro if you don't want the bells and whistles, and you want a base gun for a future build. Check out the XSE series otherwise.

Springfield, the TRP is the one to get, or the Pro if you have the coin.

Stick with 5" models and run Chip McCormick Power mags. Note that pistols with extended mag wells will not run a CMC 10rd mag w/o modifying the magazine.

If you want to build one yourself, it's not as easy as you think (though not as hard either, but your screw ups can cost you). Look at Caspian for the Slide/Frame. You can have them pre-fitted, pre-dovetailed for the sights, etc. Caspian does good work. Then go crazy with the Brownell's catalog. You'll want to pick up a copy of Jerry Kuhnhausen's "The Colt .45 Automatic- A shop manual" whether you decide to build your own (I wouldn't recommend) or by the pistol out of the box.

There is only one person who built a perfect replica MEU-SOC and he has stopped taking orders. Even the Marines have upgraded from the MEU-SOC that has been so written about.
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