Building My Own 1911: Feasible? Cost Effective?

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by cddbrowns, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. cddbrowns

    cddbrowns New Member

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    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?
     
  2. FCross7

    FCross7 New Member

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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
     

  3. cddbrowns

    cddbrowns New Member

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    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.
     
  4. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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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.
     
  5. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  6. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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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
     
  7. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    By a magnitude! :eek::eek:

    You can assemble an AR with little to no gunsmithing skillz, 1911....not so much.
     
  8. cddbrowns

    cddbrowns New Member

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    Gotcha, figured being an engineer would help, but guess not. LOL! Oh well.
     
  9. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

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    CDD if I can do it-anybody can.
     
  10. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    How long you been a gunsmith Bear?:D

    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...
     
  11. stalkingbear

    stalkingbear Well-Known Member

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    You're right Dave-I got carried away and forgot myself for a moment. What might be 2nd nature for me or you wouldn't be for somebody just beginning.
     
  12. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Bear, I've been tinkering with 1911s for years and I wouldn't do it...
     
  13. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    I've assembled about 25 of those 1911's. Things just don't slap together.

    If you decide to assemble. There is enough experience here to offer assistance.

    But don't say that you weren't warned.
     
  14. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    my two primer worth:

    fitting a 1911 parts can actually be dangerous when it comes to sear and disconnector. improperly fitted parts (takes skill and experience) can lead to slam fires or runaway full auto which worst case can land ya in jail. happened to a guy in milwaukee 25 miles from me last year. tried making his own 1911 it went runaway on the range some asshat reported him to the batf even tho he had informed the range he was testing hand fitted guns he still ended up on trial.

    not for the weak of heart.

    if you wanna roll your own 1911 baby steps first buy a 1911 built then try some simple slide/frame lapping. and work your way up. starting cold feet not a good idea.

    usually companies like colt baer etc make their smiths have years of experience on the 1911 before they are comfy turning em loose.

    ive taken the army course on them before they went m9. i still take my 1911's to an experienced smith to have some things done. i personally wouldnt attempt it. AR15 no problem just slap em together.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2011
  15. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

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    Speaking to the title of your thread.......

    I really don't think you should be sorry for starting a new thread!
     
  16. cddbrowns

    cddbrowns New Member

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    Its iffy with some of these forums. New guy starting multiple threads is a huge no no, others its fine. Dont ask me.....
     
  17. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

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    I understand that. Why don't you go over to the Introductions thread and tell us a little about yourself? You'll find that we're a good bunch of helpful people!

    http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f2/
     
  18. cddbrowns

    cddbrowns New Member

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    Done aaaaand done. :D