Building My Own 1911: Feasible? Cost Effective?
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:28 PM   #1
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Default Building My Own 1911: Feasible? Cost Effective?

Ok, seeing as how I am building an AR and it is coming along VERY easy, maybe this is the way to go with it. Ok, so since there are several receivers (frames) for the 1911 out there, if I were to pick up a caspian or an STI and start fresh with a budget of around 1000 bucks, what all needs to be done to this frame to even start? I keep seeing "Gunsmith required" when I would think the receivers came ready to be put together with other various parts. Any insight on this?

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Old 01-25-2011, 08:30 PM   #2
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I can't contribute much, but I can tell you that building your own 1911 is considerably more difficult than building an AR.

-Fred

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Old 01-25-2011, 08:32 PM   #3
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I can't contribute much, but I can tell you that building your own 1911 is considerably more difficult than building an AR.

-Fred
I would figure, but still, I like the hobby of building the AR with all the best parts available, doing the same with the 1911 may be a way to go instead of picking up a Colt or Kimber. Not sure though.
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Old 01-25-2011, 08:35 PM   #4
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Every manufacturer has a little difference in tolerances. The best "bang for the buck" is to purchases a kit from one manufacturer (go to gunbroker.com and lookup Fusion Firearms, hint).

You will not save any money by assembling one yourself.

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Old 01-25-2011, 09:05 PM   #5
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If you're determined to build a 1911 yourself I'd (and I did/do) go with Caspian frame & slide. They make excellent products for the price. Caspian has integral plunger tube as an option. I'd TOTALLY recommend you go with that option. That will ensure you don't "mess up" when staking the plunger tube-it's machined right in and can't ever come loose. Also I'd order the slide and frame as separate items instead of a set. That means you'll be able to hand fit them yourself. There's a lot of hand fitting when building a 1911 the correct way, it's not for the faint of heart. Brownells has a frame parts kit that has everything you'll need for the frame. That's about all I can think of offhand but I'm sure the 1911 gurus can add a lot to what I recommended. If you have any other questions feel free to ask.

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Old 01-25-2011, 09:12 PM   #6
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The skill level for building an AR and building a real 1911 are in two COMPLETELY different ball parks.

AR platforms are, by design, so easy anyone can do it. Even on the field of battle with components from another rifle. These are pins and springs. They have loose tolerances and don't require, really, any specialized tools should you NEED to effect repairs.

The 1911 on the other hand is a concert of well built and fit components, many of which are not mix and match. Buying the best barrel on the market isn't going to drop right into the slide of your choice, nor is the slide of your choice going to have the best possible tolerances to the frame.

That is why there is such a price difference between machine assembled weapons and custom hand builds.

Unless you are going to build a bunch of them, the tooling need to do one correctly is going to add thousands of dollars to your end cost.

JD

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Old 01-25-2011, 09:13 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FCross7 View Post
I can't contribute much, but I can tell you that building your own 1911 is considerably more difficult than building an AR.

-Fred
By a magnitude!

You can assemble an AR with little to no gunsmithing skillz, 1911....not so much.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
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By a magnitude!

You can assemble an AR with little to no gunsmithing skillz, 1911....not so much.
Gotcha, figured being an engineer would help, but guess not. LOL! Oh well.
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Old 01-25-2011, 09:43 PM   #9
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CDD if I can do it-anybody can.

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Old 01-25-2011, 09:52 PM   #10
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CDD if I can do it-anybody can.
How long you been a gunsmith Bear?

The point JD made is very important - by the time you buy the jigs, stones and special tools - you'll have invested LOTS of money. Hardly worth it to build one gun...
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