I have seen a number of manufaturers that sell 1911 frames, slides and other parts. I was just curious how difficult is it to fit the parts yourself? Is there any online or printed sources that could give me an idea? I expect it will be very difficult and require lots of research, but I am patient and I love to tinker.
"Difficult" is a relative word. Some of the task you might be called on to do are relatively straight forward and obvious. Others are not.
If you were to take all the parts required to assemble a complete 1911 family pistol and lay them
out on a piece of paper in front of you, you could probably with the assistance of a "do it yourself"
book get them all together. What would you have on completion?
Mating Slide and Frame and installing a barrel bushing. checking all pin holes for proper location,
mating the trigger assembly, checking feed ramp and barrel lug, selecting springs and bringing the entire mechanism into harmony are task that require an understanding of action sequence and some idea of the normal wear and binding spots.
Having said that is it possible that you may know someone with this ability and knowlege (assuming that you do not have it) that would assist you? What you want to be able to do is a good
thing and if you have some machining skills, can read technical manuals and understand tolerance
ranges you can eventually master the skills to do it.
I would suggest that you do some reading on line, and try to get a handle on what it is going to take. The 1911 is a modern mass produced machine and it can be mastered. You must determine
if you have the time, tools and know how to master it. Like i said read up first and get an idea of what you have to do and what you need to do it.
Here are a few links I used when I built mine...I built it from scratch and had never seen the inside of a 1911 at the time...Without the following links I could have never done it
www.blindhogg.com/gunsmithing.html General 1911 Gunsmithing
www.roderuscustom.tzo.com/progressDetail1.htm Remodeling a 1911
www.roderuscustom.tzo.com/progressDetail2.htm Building an 80% 1911
grahamcracka.dns2go.com/1911frame2/ Another 80% build
www.homegunsmith.com/cgi-bin/ib3/ikonboard.cgi Home Gunsmithing Forums...Register to gain access to more (the 1911) forums.
Cylinder and slide offers a class from time to time.
I took the Colt 1911 armorer class from Ken Elmore, but there's a big difference between armorer and gunsmith.
The Kuhnhausen books are a must.
AGI has videos, but I can't vouch for them as I haven't watched them.
Best thing would be to have someone who knows what they are doing show you.
You can buy kits with the slide/frame/barrel/slide stop all fitted, specific cuts for beavertails, and also checkered frontstraps and modified slides, leaving you to install the fire control parts and sights.
Plan on ruining a bunch of parts while you learn.
"The Kuhnhausen books are a must."
Take a look at Caspian's web sight. They can do most of the fitting / milling that you will need at their factory. This way you can order what you want before it even gets to you. Then just assemble the "kit". There WILL be fitting that has to be done, so be ready. Get quality parts! Don't cheap out on parts.
The next 1911 that I build (won't be anytime soon ) will be from Caspian.
That first link is great.