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Posted: 12/3/2005 4:52:25 PM EDT
i really like the idea of building my own guns... both with black rifles and 1911's.

i'm just wondering how many of you out there have taught yourself to build some really nice guns... it seems like it would be an entertaining and enlightening thing.

i can think of all the different 1911's i'd want to build, if i got good enough at it.

anyways, just curious if it's as common as an ar. i know it involves a lot more work, but also a lot more pride in building a precision pistol.
Link Posted: 12/3/2005 8:54:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/4/2005 8:12:47 PM EDT by Dano523]
I build my own, but let me put it this way,

For the cost of tooling up, I could have bought many custom pistols/rifles, and one screw -up during the build or retune may cost you a few hundred bucks to replace an item if you distroyed it.

As for my reasoning behind building my own, I tend to burn firearms up, and at the very least, need to have the pistol brought back into spec for match shooting, and the idea of having to wait months or even years to have a firearm built or retuned just got way over the top.


Simple put, it just got the point that I wanted my toys (read a place to thow money at) when I wanted them, and building them myself was the fastest way to get them.
Note: you better have very deep pockets before even toying with the idea of gearing up to build you own firearms, much less that money that you are going to spend until you perfect it in regards to distroying parts.
Link Posted: 12/4/2005 10:09:15 AM EDT
Building a 1911 is much, much, much different than building an AR15, requiring specialized tools (especially a milling machine) and specialized knowledge about the gun itself and machining processes. It's a lot more complicated than watching some vidoes and parts out of a brownell's catalog.

If you are a machinist by trade, you might be able to do a decent job at it.

I do my own sear/hammer work, extractor tuning, mag catch fitting, safety lock fitting, and some other misc things like sight changes if they are not too hard, but then I've been to the 3 day armorer class and I have probably over $1k in 1911-specific tools.

Closest you might be able to come to building your own 1911 might be to buy a gunsmith kit (offered by Caspian, STI, SVI), where the slide/frame/barrel/slide stop/grip safety/sight cuts are already done, and then to buy a pre-fitted hammer/trigger/sear kit.

Even then, there is a lot of things that can go wrong on you, and finished product will not be nearly as nice as something you can buy off the shelf, or have made for you.

Many 1911 parts are advertised as "drop-in", or requiring "minor fitting". In both cases, you'll find that not to be necessarily so.

If you really want to do it, check out the cylinder and slide homepage. Bill Laughridge offers classes on how to build these guns.

For some good basic info on choosing a base gun, check out www.signaturegrade.com

I really suggest you either find a good smith (I recommend Evolution Gun Works, and Cylinder and Slide - but there are many more) and consult them what you want (rather than buying a gun and then contacting them), or simply buying either a Les Baer, Rock River, or Nighthawk Custom.

FWIW, my $3200 custom 1911 based on a SA Mil Spec is not quite as nice as my $1800 Les Baer Premier II with the 1.5" guarantee, primarily due to faults in the base gun. I would not build on a mil spec again, I'd use a Colt new series 70.

SF

Link Posted: 12/4/2005 3:03:11 PM EDT
Link Posted: 12/4/2005 5:43:04 PM EDT
I have assembled several Gov't model clones and an FAL. I currently have enough parts salted away to put together an AR15, and will finish that some time this winter.

If you are willing to accept the fact that you are occasionally going to kill a part, it can be a great hobby. It is, however, an expensive hobby.

I seriously doubt that I would have ever had a 9x23mm if I hadn't decided to build my own.

For the Gov't models I can heartily recommend Caspian frames. I have had real good results with a Doublestar frame for one of my economy projects.

Be sure to put together some thing that you like, because you are going to have it a long, long time.
Link Posted: 12/4/2005 6:34:35 PM EDT
I have built 1911s, but I must say they are talent oriented. On the build scale, they're above the FAL build.
Link Posted: 12/4/2005 8:10:19 PM EDT
thanks for the info guys, i appreciate it.

i have no intentions of doing any heavy machining work myself... i figured i'd send anything out to have any checkering, or ejection port flaring, that kinda stuff, and probably send out all the finishing work too.

i was thinking of ordering a pre-fit slide/frame combo, and doing the fit work of the bbl, trigger work, that kinda stuff. then, send it off to be finished, and have any custom machining done.

i figured i'd start by just getting a cheap kit and essex frame to assemble to start, and go from there. i thought it would be fun, but have no illusions of it being easy.

then again, my dealer probably still has that pair of dw pointmans, they're old (i've never seen these... they're definitely dw's, but the slides are printed like billboards lol). he had a pretty decent price on them (they ARE new), so maybe i should go that route, and have a smith modify those.

i miss my old 1911
Link Posted: 12/4/2005 8:18:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By iroc409:


i figured i'd start by just getting a cheap kit and essex frame to assemble to start, and go from there.



Total waste of your time.

The parts are mostly drop in which means that that they are aready oversized/too sloppy to be fitted. Also, a cast frame is the last thing that you want to be peening on to tighten the frame/side rails since for starters, they may snap off, and if you do get a tight fit, it will not last for long. If you want a cheap 1911 builder, then just get a Norico 1911 copy since at least the main parts are forged and in spec. Pistol should set you back about $300 if you find a deal, then you can start swapping parts.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 5:25:46 PM EDT
I've built a number of 1911's! I started with a couple of Norinco's. Swapped out almost all of the original parts. Made a dot sighted race gun of one and a custom carry of the other (eventually). Also built a Para P-14 race gun - been using it to win lots of stuff over the years (including some pistols)! Built from ground up a (Para) 9mm race gun :-) ! Next project will be a STI .40 race gun (can you tell I like to race?). I would say it's helpful to have some machine experience - I'm a retired machinist! Also to have some experience with fitting parts and trouble shooting machanical problems. Or, you need at the very 'least' good mechanical ability. I also have a small machine shop in my basement! I love the 1911's and working on 'em - AND throwing money, money, money at 'em! I've had to pay for every kind of mistake that can be made, before I could build one up without excessive expense. You will, not only have to 'tool up' but get all the gunsmithing info, books, you can find. You cannot have too much info! I suppose if I took into consideration all the money I've spent on EVERYTHING, I could have saved tons if I just bought the guns already complete. Then I'd be complaining about how much all the ammo cost me! :-) I don't regret at all building my guns, expense included. I cannot express the feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment of winning with the gun 'I built"!
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 11:28:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2005 11:36:19 PM EDT by desertmoon]
G tester and I built a frankengun last week. what a pain in the ass....in fact we're still doing some tuning here and there....the original "kit" was a compilation ( cobble-ation is more like it ) of all kinds of parts, ranging from decent to shit. Lots of swapping, fitting, testing, filing ( cussing and whining, too ).....some parts we had to make do with until we pick up some other stuff on Monday.....here's a pic of the result. As G-tester and Hobbs can tell you, this thing was UGLY before we finished it.



This thing shoots REALLY well. We got it running really smooth today...the ejector ( which I wasn't happy with, anyway ) did lose it's front leg today ( it was fitted REALLY tightly ) but the gun still ran at about 95 percent. Gonna fit up an extended ejector on Monday.....just a little more fit and finish and she'll be good to go.

I am not happy with the nylon trigger as far as the looks go due to the trigger itself having a poor fit in the vertical dimensions in the trigger guard....but I'll tell you it sure makes for a VERY soft shooting gun....a pleasure to shoot. That may stay for the time being...it makes for a nice, comfy feel.
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 11:35:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By desertmoon:
G tester and I built a frankengun last week. what a pain in the ass....in fact we're still doing some tuning here and there....the original "kit" was a compilation ( cobble-ation is more like it ) of all kinds of parts, ranging from decent to shit. Lots of swapping, fitting, testing, filing ( cussing and whining, too ).....some parts we had to make do with until we pick up some other stuff on Monday.....here's a pic of the result. As G-tester and Hobbs can tell you, this thing was UGLY before we finished it.

photos.ar15.com/ImageGallery/Attachments/DownloadAttach.asp?iImageUnq=44093

This thing shoots REALLY well. We got it running really smooth today...the ejector ( which I wasn't happy with, anyway ) did lose it's front leg today ( it was fitted REALLY tightly ) but the gun still ran 100 percent. Gonna fit up an extended ejector on Monday.....

I am not happy with the nylon trigger as far as the looks go due to the trigger itself having a poor fit in the vertical dimensions in the trigger guard....but I'll tell you it sure makes for a VERY soft shooting gun....a pleasure to shoot. That may stay for the time being...it makes for a nice, comfy feel.



Yah, she needs a new ejector for sure. And if we can finger out how to make her NOT choke when you drop the slide from the slide lock, that would be good as well, but that was the only thing that failed....

Now I need a 3 inch....
Link Posted: 12/31/2005 11:38:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 12/31/2005 11:39:38 PM EDT by desertmoon]

Originally Posted By Gravity_Tester:
Yah, she needs a new ejector for sure. And if we can finger out how to make her NOT choke when you drop the slide from the slide lock, that would be good as well, but that was the only thing that failed....

Now I need a 3 inch....




but that only happens to you....never happened to me...I only had the one bobble when the front ejector leg broke...and after that it still ran for the rest of the day.....


anyhow...by monday it'll be square


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