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Posted: 1/3/2006 1:29:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/3/2006 1:32:53 PM EDT by Joe_Blacke]
Sometime this year, I want to build a complete 1911 from scratch. I figured a good starting point would be identifiying a suitable frame and slide.

As I understand it, Chip McCormick is no longer making frames and slides. Neither is Nowlin. So, from what I can tell, my options for a bare frame is Baer, Caspian, or STI.

The Baer frame/slide combo in Brownells come prefitted, with 30LPI checkering. Since I don't like 30 LPI checkering, and I wanted to fit the frame and slide myself, I'm not really interested in this.

The Caspian frame usually gets good reviews. However, I've heard that you should only buy the frame as is, with no beavertail cuts, checkering, etc. I've heard the same of their slides.

I have no experience with the STI frame sold by Brownells www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=19607&title=1911+AUTO+LSA+PREMIER+FULL-SIZED+FRAMES. It looks to be of good quality, comes with a .250 radius cut, beveled mag well, and high cut front strap. Being forged is a plus, and the price isn't bad either. Does anyone have experience with these STI frames?

Are there any other frame recommendations? I really want to do a complete build, and not start with a donor pistol to customize (already doing some of that).

Thanks,
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 3:25:40 PM EDT
Ed Brown, Caspian Arms, Les Baer, Dlask Arms, STI, and last time I checked I believe you can still get a Para-Ordnance frame. Essex Arms has cast frames with race gun features already cast into them and are a little cheaper. Enterprise has it's own frame and slide but I don't know who makes them. Haven't tried one out yet. There are others. You can enter 1911 Pistol frames on google and start clicking. Most of them will come with enough metal on them for fitting. Midway is also a shooter supply similar to Brownells. FFL holders get better prices from some of those guys too. So if you have a buddy with an FFL...

Rick
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 4:46:15 PM EDT
Who sells Ed Brown frames? They aren't listed on Brown's website.

Are the Dlask frames of good quality? How about STI?
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 7:22:45 PM EDT
Holy cow, my bad. I meant Rock River Arms. I recieved a package from Ed Brown today and I have them on the brain. I wish I could vouch for Dlask or STI. The only Dlask parts I've ever used are their long triggers. Never worked on an STI but I've had the opportunity to shoot a few of their widebodies.They are comfortable or soft shooters (my terminology) and the parts fit well. The Dlask machine work looks good from the pic but I wouldn't ever suggest buying one from that criteria. Sarco, Dlask, and The Tannery have 80% frames if you want to do a little machine work. In a nutshell, the downside is you can't sell them when your done unless you are a manufacturer. The upside is you don't need an FFL to order one. I am positive someone will come along and give you the skinny on Dlask and STI.

Rick
Link Posted: 1/3/2006 8:16:46 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 7:49:15 PM EDT by hobbs5624]
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Link Posted: 1/4/2006 6:56:05 AM EDT
John,

Once again, thanks for the help. I'll send you a PM.
Link Posted: 1/4/2006 7:30:14 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/8/2006 7:49:20 PM EDT by hobbs5624]
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Link Posted: 1/5/2006 2:52:20 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/5/2006 3:00:13 PM EDT by lilricky2]
Correct. There are no U.s. distributors. You wold have to order through an FFL holder. If I remember correctly, their prices are in Canadian dollars. The sticker shock will be less when converted to U.S. dollars.Edited to add: Enterprise has Caspian frames showing price at $145 for 4130 and $165 for aluminum and stainless. Still need to go through an FFL though.

Rick
Link Posted: 1/7/2006 8:25:11 PM EDT
I bought three Mitchell Arms frames and slides from Sarco... I'm happy, but have only inspected.... finishing up other projects, then will build

pretty plain, but beefy at spots... dust cover, magwell area, trigger guard, etc.

looks like best value I found, seems quality to me... under $200


other than that, after I practice on a couple of these, SVI/STI looks like the way to go... a lot of match wins

Link Posted: 1/8/2006 7:47:31 PM EDT
Chopperbob,

I have been looking at those. How well do they fit up. Does it look like tightening is needed?

Rick
Link Posted: 1/9/2006 2:21:32 PM EDT
yes tightening is needed, but tried pairing the best slide/frame combos, really weren't any, they were all about the same. I have a pile of name brand parts I bought to build em with. But haven't checked w/ gauging, etc. But have scrutinized em a bunch, price was right, and seem quality

If you want pics IM me w/ email, I'll send em to you if you want

or want me to check dimentions....

just got other cool projects need to finish first, then 1911 buildin, have invested a bunch in tooling/gauging

will still prob have $1k in each. But they will be kick ass pieces when done. I want to build something I couldn't afford to buy.

waited on my Sarco order forever, then called, they were holding my 1911 parts (and my FFL's order) because I wanted the slide/frame/barrel deal. Well, they don't have the barrels, even though they still advertise em, order without barrel and got em fast

No bushing cut, fine w/ me, I only have bushing guns, want bull barrels, maybe a comp.

I have extra Bridgeport table I have used for anvil. I successfully peened three of my own guns, then lapped. Nothing major, but the Brownells jig was only starting point for clamping frame for this work.

We used Brownells frame (ground the mag insert a bit so slide could be installed without taking frame out of fixture) Then supported undertrigger w/ brass rod that I turned so it would JUST fit thru triggerguard. Blocked at first w/ standard bridgeport stepblocks (brass would fit thru holes on big triangles) on each side of frame. also supported under dustcover

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