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Old 05-11-2010, 11:17 AM   #11
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To do the job right, you need a lot of specialized jigs and such. Brownell's sells everything you need but it's a big investment to just build a single gun. Like others have said, you'll probably end up with a lot more $$$ invested than you'll ever recover should you decide to sell it. Hardly any parts on a 1911 are truly "drop-in" and they require careful fitting for safe and reliable operation.

Just having the slide milled for sight dovetails means it will make at least one trip to the gunsmith...
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Old 05-11-2010, 12:21 PM   #12
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If you have a Mil Spec to start from, look into a bbl bushing you can hand fit. Also a trigger that you can adjust the take up but also hand fit to the frame. Drop in triggers can be better than the one in there but you can end up wit that little up and down wiggle that you will not be able to get out. A nive beaver tail safety and ambi thumb safety can do wonders especially if you're "wrong handed" like me

Understand that fitting parts is a bit tricky. You are going to be trying to hand fit the parts to the weapon. This will take a good set of stones and maybe a decent set of jewelers files. Though I do not recommend the files as much as it's easy to remove too much material. It takes a while taking off tiny amounts of material, trying to fit the part, then trying more if it does not work. The stones can help a great deal working internals to get that break like class trigger that just makes me feel all warm and fuzzy as I sling lead down range.

You will want to do some research before trying this. Clarke Customs, among a few others have great DVDs on how to hand fit 1911 parts for best results. There are several pretty good books and DVDs on this subject though. I think Midway has them. Brownells might too if I remember right. If I remember right the Clarke one even shows how to fit the slide to the frame a little better to help a bit with accuracy too.

Just remember, it takes time and a steady hand to do this kind of stuff but it is a lot of fun really. I did a few things to my old Mil-Spec and it's a much better pistol that it was. It freaks some people out when you whip out one of those Mil Specs and group what many higher dollar pistols do.


Edit to add: As NGIB said you will need some jigs. This can save you a lot of pain, heartache, and money.

Last edited by DrumJunkie; 05-11-2010 at 12:23 PM. Reason: Added info
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:08 PM   #13
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Thanks guys. This is exactly the type of info i was looking for.

I know If i were to work on the Springfield GI will end with more in it than its worth. But that's not my intent. I want to learn to put together a good 1911. Besides I have a bad habit of hoarding certain things, I rarely sell or trade a good weapon or guitar.

I will look at those different sites and different DVD's and jigs. I will post what i find, and probably lots more questions.

Again thanks for all the great advice, and keep it coming.

JH
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:22 PM   #14
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Some of us may have the things you need that we can loan you. A must have is a complete understanding of how things interact on the 1911. Change one part and you can have different problems pop up. IMHO get a quality starting point. Call a couple of smiths and ask what they prefer to start with for a custom gun. A couple of phone calls now is cheaper than making mistakes later.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:36 PM   #15
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Another option is to get with Cylinder&Slide and enroll in their 1911 class.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:37 PM   #16
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Well I suppose my next question to the forum would be, Doe anyone know a good 1911 gunsmith within 50 ~ 75 miles of Washington Courthouse Ohio?
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:04 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sarsipius79 View Post
Thanks guys. This is exactly the type of info i was looking for.

I know If i were to work on the Springfield GI will end with more in it than its worth. But that's not my intent. I want to learn to put together a good 1911. Besides I have a bad habit of hoarding certain things, I rarely sell or trade a good weapon or guitar.

I will look at those different sites and different DVD's and jigs. I will post what i find, and probably lots more questions.

Again thanks for all the great advice, and keep it coming.

JH
Man, if you really like that weapon and have no intention of fitting rid of it then the money and time is not a big deal. I did a lot of work to my old Mil-Spec. It's no high end pistol but it groups really well now and it is now as it was the day I got it my favorite pistol. It will go to my kids and hopefully to theirs. It was the first 1911 I bought. It's the reason I'm a 1911 fiend now. I have over 30 firearms to date and it is one of three that will never leave me until I can't use it anymore. Then one of my kids will take it and hopefully feel the love for it that I do. Truth be told the best thing I ever did was work on it. It taught me a lot and it become more important to me than the day I brought it home. I have much more expensive weapons here. But that one is special.

I do hope you keep posting your progress. I'm very interested in what you do with it.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Well I suppose my next question to the forum would be, Doe anyone know a good 1911 gunsmith within 50 ~ 75 miles of Washington Courthouse Ohio?
I lived in Wilmington Oh. many years ago. There was one there but I can't remember his name now. He did do very good work though.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrumJunkie View Post
Man, if you really like that weapon and have no intention of fitting rid of it then the money and time is not a big deal. I did a lot of work to my old Mil-Spec. It's no high end pistol but it groups really well now and it is now as it was the day I got it my favorite pistol. It will go to my kids and hopefully to theirs. It was the first 1911 I bought. It's the reason I'm a 1911 fiend now. I have over 30 firearms to date and it is one of three that will never leave me until I can't use it anymore. Then one of my kids will take it and hopefully feel the love for it that I do. Truth be told the best thing I ever did was work on it. It taught me a lot and it become more important to me than the day I brought it home. I have much more expensive weapons here. But that one is special.

I do hope you keep posting your progress. I'm very interested in what you do with it.

i have always been a military rifle nut. My father is a retired 82nd airborne ranger, he gave me my first m1 when i was 10.

I was 26 when i bought my first pistol. it was the Springfield 1911-A1 GI model. I fell in love with the 1911. I now have 8 other pistols, but my 1911-A1 is still my fave. And yes i am more interested in spending time learning about the 1911 than making an investment piece.

If i can do a satisfactory job with it and learn a good deal, I will spend some real money on building a 1911 that will be worth something.

Like I said before I have to start somewhere.
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Old 05-11-2010, 02:30 PM   #20
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Fusion Firearms makes some pretty good parts. They have whole builds too but I've not got to where I have one just yet. I've used them in a couple of my pretties here.
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