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Posted: 2/9/2006 5:18:35 AM EDT
What advise can you all give about building a 1911 in 45.

Where is the best places for receivers, kits, etc?

What is good?

what is Junk?

This will be my first build.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 9:16:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vatopa:
What advise can you all give about building a 1911 in 45.

Where is the best places for receivers, kits, etc?

What is good?

what is Junk?

This will be my first build.



here is a list or recievers and companies that make parts. Caspian is by and far the most reccomended. You will have to have several tools, specificallly good calipers since every part will more than likely need to be fit, files, stones, etc, a dremal or higher end version of with sand paper/cratex/etc if you plan on fitting a beavertail. building a 1911 is not a pick the pieces and throw the thing together build like it is for an AR. I've not build my own yet, but I started off with a 1991a1 and slowly started replacing everything and reading Jerry Kuhnhausen's shop manual fo the 1911.

Caspianlink
Rock River Arms link
STI link
Essex link
Sarco Inc link (not on website, advertised in Shotgun news, unknown quality)
Wilson Combat link
Les Baer link
Mccormick link
Nowlin link
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 3:55:54 PM EDT
Your'e better off buying a complete gun or getting a smith to build it.

Barrel fit is extremely important to function & accuracy. Anything that is "drop in" will be a disappointment with regards to both.

Don't say we didn't warn you.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 4:18:35 AM EDT
P-dog,

You are probable correct.

I have several 1911's.

I just want to try this as a "project" I will research it for several months before I jump in to it. This post is just my first thought towards building it.

I have considerable machining experience, I taught wood / metal shop for 10 years.
I think I can probable handle the exacting tolerances for building the gun, But then again I may end up with a paper weight.....

Thank You.

Tom
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 5:04:35 AM EDT
vatopa - There is not a lot of machining involved in building a 1911. There is a LOT of fitting of parts, generally with hand tools. This 'hand fitting' requires very good working knowledge of the 1911, and, a mentor or a lot of skill. Book knowledge, even Kuhnhausen's excellent references will NOT convey these skills. Good luck. Charles the Gunsmith.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 5:26:37 AM EDT

Originally Posted By 1911builder:
vatopa - There is not a lot of machining involved in building a 1911. There is a LOT of fitting of parts, generally with hand tools. This 'hand fitting' requires very good working knowledge of the 1911, and, a mentor or a lot of skill. Book knowledge, even Kuhnhausen's excellent references will NOT convey these skills. Good luck. Charles the Gunsmith.



Perfectly stated. Whenever I see someone wanting to build a 1911, even if it's a simple assembly of parts, I try to tell them to find someone near them who has some experience doing it. I can give you many examples of people I know who had machining experience and experience building guns other than 1911s, who bought high quality parts, had every book and video known to man, and still hit many stumbling blocks. I've purchased my share of 1911 projects cheap because of this. My advice is to see if there is someone local to you, perhaps on your Hometown Forum, who is willling to share a little time when you hit a rough spot, if that happens. That way, you have a backup when things don't go together as planned.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:01:16 AM EDT
Hey Hobbs, your post brings up a question. I know a lot of 'smiths will build a gun and charge for a complete unit, but do you take projects when the customer sends you all the parts? It would seem to me that is a person has an idea about the "perfect" 1911, they could buy the exact parts that they prefer and send it off to a guy like you to put it all together. That keeps the customer a lot more involved and , in selecting the components feels like they had a hand in the finished product, but doesn't fall into the pitfalls with building.

What would it cost a person to send you a box of part for a build? As long as the parts are all of high quality, this would seem like a good way to get a true custom pistol by a professional but with more personal input.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 6:13:02 AM EDT
I've built people guns strictly from parts, and yes, it does end up being more personalized. As far as cost goes, I don't charge, so I can't comment. Here's some guns that were strictly frame/slide/parts.

Les Baer frame, Colt GI slide, GI barrel, Mostly Ed Brown parts, belonging to RockDoc:


Caspian frame and slide, mixed bag of aftermarket parts:


Old style Para frame, Colt S70 slide, mixed bag of aftermarket parts:
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 8:50:19 AM EDT

It is a shame that I do not live in arizona, seems to be alot of good 1911 guys out there.

I will let you all know how I fair, IF I decide to try this. Even the best gunsmith had to start somewhere. What is the worst thing that could happen? I have someone who knows the 1911 help me out, Because, if I build it, I will certainly have a qualified person look it over before the first round goes down the barrel.

As, I said, I will research and ask many more question before I proceed throwing my money into this project.


Thanks Guys....

Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:07:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By vatopa:
It is a shame that I do not live in arizona, seems to be alot of good 1911 guys out there.

I will let you all know how I fair, IF I decide to try this. Even the best gunsmith had to start somewhere. What is the worst thing that could happen? I have someone who knows the 1911 help me out, Because, if I build it, I will certainly have a qualified person look it over before the first round goes down the barrel.

As, I said, I will research and ask many more question before I proceed throwing my money into this project.


Thanks Guys....




Good point. I'm far from the best, but I started workingo n my own guns after a local big name smith messed up several guns of mine. I got tired of spending my money on expensive 1911 work when I was a starving college student.

I lucked out in having a mentor who is a knowledgeable gunsmith with a shop I have access to. I learned mostly by trial and error, but he was always there to bail me out if needed. I have more than one gun where I had to buy a new slide after making expensive machining mistakes.

The only reasons I think most will warn a newbie to be careful is that mistakes are usually costly, building a 1911 will cost more than buying a comparable one, and drop in parts rarely are truly drop in. Learning to build your own gets expensive, and the best reason to do it is for the satisfaction of doing it yourself.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 12:44:23 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/10/2006 12:46:18 PM EDT by vatopa]
Hobbs,

You got the idea, I just wanted to try this for the enjoyment and learning experience. Not that I want to waste money, but I would like to try building on.

Maybe I should try one of the cheapo kits for the first try? Atleast then I would not be out to much cash if all goes to hell in a hand basket.


Any thoughts on this kit from SG.

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/cb/cb.asp?a=213621


Have a good weekend.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 12:53:38 PM EDT
That SG kit has many out of spec parts, and it has the potential of being a real nightmare. I would say it might be a bit easier to learn on a gun that has less potential problems. The extractors suck, as do the triggers, disconnectors, hammers, sears, etc.

I personally think the best thing to do is buy a cheap, but in spec 1911, like a Springfield GI, and then learn the basics by replacing with better parts. You will learn a lot by installing a better extractor and ejector, throating the barrel, polishing the feedramp, doing a trigger job with a new trigger, hammer and sear, installing a better safety, etc.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 1:24:11 PM EDT
Similiar story here. Gunsmith "fixed" my Charles Daly, and then it would only fire three rnds at a time instead of the entire mag. So I learned out of necessity. Started out with a POS and now I have a reliable 1911 clone. Now I have too much $$$ wrapped into it to sell it, so I just keep upgrading parts as funds become available. It is a fun process filled with many lessons. First lesson, don't buy the cheap stuff. It cost me 60 bucks to learn how the safety works, engages, and needs to be fitted properly (2 CMC ambis) then the 2nd one broke. All of that just to put the original back in.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 2:16:55 PM EDT
howabout the kits at DIYguns.com anyone know anything about them?
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 2:47:31 PM EDT
I am with Hobbs5624 on this issue of 'cheap' kits. Start with an operational mil spec Springfield 1911A1. Build skills as you replace all the cheap MIM parts.

The only build or replacement parts I generally recommend are the Wilson and Ed Brown brands. Wilson has 2 lines of parts, premium and value line.

For your first effort I would strongly recommend that you use the value line Wilsons' to learn with. If you wreck one you will not have lost so much money. Plus, the skills you learn from fitting the the value line will transfer to the premium parts later.

I wish you success and if you were here I would be happy to help you where I may be useful. Take care. Semper Fi. Charles.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 2:57:55 PM EDT
Hobbs - what kind of trigger is in Old style Para frame gun ?? I have seen them a few times but don't know who makes/sells them. Any info would be appreciated. JD
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 3:05:43 PM EDT
I just picked up a mil spec springfield micro. I have not even shot it yet. Maybe that would be a good place to start. Just looking at it, I can see the trigger is a little rough.

Thoughts?

Link Posted: 2/10/2006 3:16:29 PM EDT
I generally don't work on any 1911 smaller than a Commander/Combat Commander. In my experience the mini's can be troublesome. Many people swear by mini 1911's, and, the balance of the peoplw swear at them. Hopefully you will have a good reliable one. Charles.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 4:26:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By jackd1:
Hobbs - what kind of trigger is in Old style Para frame gun ?? I have seen them a few times but don't know who makes/sells them. Any info would be appreciated. JD



It's a Dlask trigger. It's made from a magnesium shoe and a titanium bow. The bow can be a little tricky to fit for a first timer. If you've done it before, then all I can say is make sure it's going into the frame straight when you fit the shoe, and subesquently the bow.

It's available in three shoe lengths, short, medium and long. The short shoe has no holes, but still has the relief cut that runs in vertically following the contour of the trigger. It is available for Paras and single stack 1911s. If you decide to fit one yourself, make sure you don't do anything stupid like doing your initial grind of the trigger shoe on a belt sander (darned magnesium burns easy, and it's impossible to put out when you're not prepared for it).

You can get it direct from Josef Dlask, who is a master pistolsmith in Canada, or you can get it from Brownells. Here's a link to Brownells.

www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/catsearch.aspx?k=dlask+trigger&ps=10&si=True
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 4:52:49 PM EDT
Hobbs - Thanks for the information and link. Interesting looking trigger. Good advice on fitting triggers as usual. Thanks again for your time. JD
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