I've been shooting 1911s since I was a wee tot, owned several, tricked a few more, but never built my own (as I have with my AR, FAL and AK).
A recent gun show left me with a hot iron up my ass to construct my own way-custom and wicked-ass 1911.
I've essentially found all the parts I'm after from a combination of sources (Brownells, Wilson Combat et al.). I have a pretty bitchin' Colt slide (in that beautiful mile-deep blue) already to build around. Same with a whole slurry of Wilson Combat and Chip McCormick innards and sights and what-nots.
I can't, however, seem to find the parts that I'm truly after.
I need and can't seem to find:
1: Frame with accessory rail. - I'd love to have an accessory rail. Full-length like the Springfield Operator if possible. Barring that, I'd like to find some variety of bolt or weld-on rail to which I can simply attach a M6 Streamlight.
2. Hard-chromed barrel - Norincos had these, and I love the look and feel of hard chrome. Would it be best to buy a generic barrel and have it hard-chromed or is there a place where they are readily available for purchase?
3. Ivory Grips - Ha ha right.
I'm not on a $2500 budget here or anything, if I were, I'd just purchase an Operator. I'm hoping I can find the frame for less than $250. The others are essentially secondary, as I'd be just as happy with a standard chrome or parkerized barrel.
As for Ivory. Man. I crack me up.
No, faux-ivory nylon grips are not an option. I'm not that much of a tool.
Hmmm, you can pretty much forget getting a frame under $250 with a rail, unless you go with the %80 KT frame. I would recommend against that though. You could get a Caspian cast frame, and put on their rail. $175 for the frame, and $45 for the rail.
As for a chrome lined barrel, they usually are not particularly accurate, and bore wear is not an issue as long as you clean it every couple months. I'm guessing you clean it every time. If you really want one, they are still fairly easy to find at gun shows, though I'm not familiar with any online resources right now. You might want to put an ad in the EE on that one.
With Ivories, if you really want those, I can give you a couple resources for real ivories but expect to pay a minimum of $200.
In retrospect, I think that I'm not going to even bother with the accessory rail.
What about those Armscor 1911 frames that I see on the back page of the Shotgun News every so often? Are they of any decent quality?
Those ARMSCOR frames are okay for a plinker, but nothing else in my opinion. You can get one together that will shoot, but they are usually soft, are most of the time out of spec with regards to pin hole location and parallelity, and if you don't have a lot of 1911 building experience, you run the risk of serious assembly issues depending on how out of spec the frame is.
I could go into a lot of detail about different frames, and their pros and cons. I've worked on Colt, Springfield, Kimber, LSA, Les Baer, Para Ordnance, STI, Essex, ARMSCOR, Charles Daly, Auto Ordance, various USGI, AMT, Griffon, RIA, etc. I have definite opinions regarding quality.
You can go cheap, but you are taking a serious gamble with regards to the final product being completely reliable, and also with regards to ease of assembly. ARMSCOR, RIA, Charles Daly, or any gun made in the Philipines are serious risks. I've had varied success building on Essex/Auto Ordnance. The absolute cheapest of the in spec qaulity frames are the Caspian cast frames. If you go with any frame cheaper than that, you run a substantial risk of gettng an out of spec frame.
Look at the caspian frames (www.caspianarms.com). They offer frames with built in rails (and magwells if you wish)... The prices are not bad if you choose steel (they also offer SS and Titanium).
All right! I think I might go with a Caspian setup then. I'm appreciating their prices on their bolt-on accessory rail. Although I might have it welded on, even though I only plan on using it to mount a flashlight.
I'd love to have one of their hi-cap frames, but I fear that 500 buckeroos is a bit out of my price range (for that much, I may as well just buy a used HK USP or a new Glock 21).
Since my Springfield is already on my CCW however, I'm wondering if Springfield sells just frames so I can 'roll my own' as it were and not have to re-qualify with my new 1911, one that's exactly the same as the Springfield, with the only exception being the manufacturer's name on the frame (Nevada's CCW rules state that one cannot simply place 'Colt 1911, Caliber .45 - And Clones' on their permit).
This is wholly academic however, as the Caspian frames are delightful.