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Posted: 1/30/2006 6:57:24 AM EDT
OK Hive mind...

I want to build a 1911 (non series 80 or any other redundant safety setup).
Things I want quality and reasonable cost.

The pistol I have in mind is a combat carry pistol, not a target pistol, and will be going back to basics. As in no front slide serrations, no full length guide rod, no ambi safety, no uncomfortable beaver tail grip safety, just a solid, dependable, basic .45 with night sights.
.45 ACP
full size 5" barrel
commander style hammer
flat mainspring housing
non beavertail grip safety
slide cut for snag free tritium sights
no mim or plastic parts will be used with the possible exception of mim rear sight
prefer no front serations on slide (useless holster shredders!)
but beveled mag well and lowered ejection port are plusses

I have a box full of parts from other .45s, mostly wilson and stuff
the parts I have on hand that I am thinking of reusing are;
Heine match barrel(drop in) with bushing(was always good to me)
wilson deluxe sear
wilson commander hammer (need to buy, sold the one I had, duh.)
wilson trigger

I am not a gunsmith but have worked on my pistols and .mil pistols before. At home Kuhnhausen's books are my bible. The big thing I'd have to have done is the machining of the slide for sights and possible application of a coating.


My initial thought is a Springfield base pistol and go from there but there may be other quality options around with CNC frame and slide.

Thanks for your thoughts,
SoS
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 7:49:39 AM EDT
Springfield is a good choice because their base pistols are used by many gunsmiths as a starting point. If you can find a cheap Norinco thay are well made from an in spec standpoint, and accept just about any part as a drop in. If you have to go the frame\slide route, Caspian is probably your best bet. If you already have most of the parts and don't mind swaping out all the internal MIM crap, the Springer GI or Mil-Spec may be the best starting point
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 11:14:10 AM EDT
If I were to build one today I'd use a RRA frame and slide.

Link Posted: 1/30/2006 12:15:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By comp1911:
If I were to build one today I'd use a RRA frame and slide.




Comp,

Just because I've never done it I have to ask; The RRA frame is radius cut for the beaver tail, how compatible is that machining with a stock like regular grip safety?

I did look at them online on their website but came up with that question. If I recall correctly they're about 5-600 for the frame and slide.

SoS
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 3:04:19 PM EDT
I would assume a 0.250 radius but I'm not sure. Most likely you will have to fit the frame for the grip safe anyway.


Originally Posted By SteelonSteel:

Originally Posted By comp1911:
If I were to build one today I'd use a RRA frame and slide.




Comp,

Just because I've never done it I have to ask; The RRA frame is radius cut for the beaver tail, how compatible is that machining with a stock like regular grip safety?

I did look at them online on their website but came up with that question. If I recall correctly they're about 5-600 for the frame and slide.

SoS

Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:20:22 PM EDT
Caspian, all the way. Check their website and you'll find you can have most basic slide and frame cuts done at the factory.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:22:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By pisgahrifle:
Caspian, all the way. Check their website and you'll find you can have most basic slide and frame cuts done at the factory.



Caspian are cast, not forged, if that matters to you. It does to me.
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 6:51:27 PM EDT
Why not a new series 70?
Link Posted: 1/30/2006 7:05:17 PM EDT
Springfields are IMO the best value for the $$ in base pistols.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 7:54:41 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2006 8:22:46 AM EDT by SteelonSteel]
The springfields are forged right? I spent some time on their website looking at models and didn't see any mention of forged or CNC.


Edited to add, I found the answer as to Springfield = forged on another thread.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 2:40:08 PM EDT
You wont save any money trying to replicate a Basic 1911.
You will end up with a somewhat better pistol.

A good Frame ,Slide, and assorted parts will cost at LEAST $600

You didnt mention any fancy options or special finish.

So for what you described , you could get a SA Mil-Spec , install night sights , and
replace a few MIM parts.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 2:46:45 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/31/2006 2:47:25 PM EDT by ASU1911]

Originally Posted By SteelonSteel:
no uncomfortable beaver tail grip safety, just a solid, dependable, basic .45 with night sights.



The fac that you find a standard grip safety more comfortable than a beavertail indicates to me that you do not grip the pistol high enough. The higher your hand is, the less muzzle flip you will experience.

Furthermore, night sights are a little over rated. My pistols have a front tritium insert and no rear. I like Heinie sights over Novaks. Both require cuts. If I were to use a rear sight without cutting, it would be a Yost Retro. I will not own a pistol with a front sight that is not dovetailed in.

The best frames on the market are made by Les Baer and Caspian. If you decide that you do in fact want a beavertail safety, get one of these frames without the radius already cut, for a better fit.

The cheapest option is usually a Springfield. Colt is also very nice, if somewhat pricey.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 2:58:57 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SteelonSteel:
OK Hive mind...

SoS



We keep bees here ?
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 3:01:07 PM EDT

Originally Posted By wetidlerjr:

Originally Posted By SteelonSteel:
OK Hive mind...

SoS



We keep bees here ?



No, but some members bumble and some are a pain in the ass...
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 3:01:47 PM EDT
There are two frame/slides that I would use as a base. The first is Les Baer, which, when starting with oversized rails, can achieve the best fit compared to a pre assembled base gun. The second, my usual preference, is a Colt Series 70 or pre series 70, to include the replicas. I like the pony on the side. Roll marks are probably the only thing that makes the Colt better than the Springer.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 3:02:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ASU1911:

Originally Posted By wetidlerjr:

Originally Posted By SteelonSteel:
OK Hive mind...

SoS



We keep bees here ?



No, but some members bumble and some are a pain in the ass...



Link Posted: 1/31/2006 3:29:28 PM EDT
It would be stuff to beat a SA Mil-Spec for a base gun.
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 5:37:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By ASU1911:

Originally Posted By SteelonSteel:
no uncomfortable beaver tail grip safety, just a solid, dependable, basic .45 with night sights.



The fac that you find a standard grip safety more comfortable than a beavertail indicates to me that you do not grip the pistol high enough. The higher your hand is, the less muzzle flip you will experience.

Furthermore, night sights are a little over rated. My pistols have a front tritium insert and no rear. I like Heinie sights over Novaks. Both require cuts. If I were to use a rear sight without cutting, it would be a Yost Retro. I will not own a pistol with a front sight that is not dovetailed in.

The best frames on the market are made by Les Baer and Caspian. If you decide that you do in fact want a beavertail safety, get one of these frames without the radius already cut, for a better fit.

The cheapest option is usually a Springfield. Colt is also very nice, if somewhat pricey.



My grip style is not the perfect one but it's not because I'm not high enough. My compromise in my grip is rotating slightly toward the right so my damn midget finger reach the already shortened trigger. The problem then is my middle thumb joint rubs on the left side of the beaver tail grip safety. I have a beaver tail on my Kimber target and I'm so tempted to take a grinder to it. This is worsened by the gap between the frame and the grip safety on the kimbers leaving an opening with a sharp edge to hit my knuckle. I had a beavertail on my Colt Officer's model too but that one wasn't as bad.

I know this is a F'd up grip but I shoot expert at work with my Glock and have shot that way for years with the 1911s and M9's. I'll never be an all american shooter but I still shoot!

As far as night sights, I work at night in law enforcement and have worked with and without them on Glocks. I'll definitely opt for them. (Especially with the glocks, at night I have shot right over the top of the paper target w/o nightsights) ((still had that 1911 muscle memory going and couldn't see the sights to realize I was way off))

I did spend some time looking at Brownells at Les Baer, Chip McC, online at RRA setups.

Thanks guys, I'm haunting EE and will have to check out the local shops to for prices on the springfield milspecs. I'm going to call RRA arms too and see what they'll do as far as minor customized slide.

SoS
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 10:30:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/2/2006 10:42:00 AM EDT by ASU1911]
Steel, I believe you are the kind of guy that needs what we call knuckle cuts. I'm going to see if I can find some pics for you. Basically it's a relief in the beavertail to give your knuckle somewhere to go.

Have you tried thin grips?

Edit: No luck finding pics.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 4:15:27 PM EDT
ASU1911,

No, I haven't tried a set of thin grips.

I do need to replace the rubber double diamond grips on my Kimber. I'll try a set. Does Navidrex make a pair? I have a regular rosewood double diamond pair from my officer's model that I loved the quality of.

This is the first I ever heard the term knuckle cuts. Thanks for the tip!

SoS
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 4:26:09 PM EDT
Go to STIguns.com. STI beavertails are cut like ASU1911 was talking about.
Link Posted: 2/2/2006 7:24:22 PM EDT
ONly bad I can say about LB frames are that they require a lot of work. As all custom builds from bare frame and slide. The LB I am working on right now has all holes under spec. So I had to ream em out. Not that it is a big deal since I already know I was in for a lot of hand fitting with a build. The Caspian I used was great. Only had to smooth out machine markings and the usual sitting of parts.

I too am looking at an RRA for one of my builds. That will be down the road though. Have to get this one done first then i will move on. Hope I was of some help to you SteelonSteel. Good luck

Aim straight and have fun
Jon
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