Help me build a quality milspec 1911 from scratch...

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by sarsipius79, May 10, 2010.

  1. sarsipius79

    sarsipius79 New Member

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    I have been reading a lot of folks write about building themselves quality 1911 pistols from match grade parts. I would love to do the same. Can anyone suggest some quality vendors of match grade 1911 parts, as well as any good advice for some wanting to spend good money on a DIY pistol.

    I already have a basic Springfield 1911-A1 i could use as a starting point, unless anyone would recommend otherwise.

    Any good advice is welcome, thanks.

    JH
     
  2. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    What is your skill level? It's not a simple project.
     

  3. sarsipius79

    sarsipius79 New Member

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    never built a pistol before, i have to start somewhere
     
  4. sarsipius79

    sarsipius79 New Member

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    well suppose when i say "from scratch" that is a bit disingenuous. I can not possibly smith a quality weapon. But i do know of people who have put them together. from match grade peices.
     
  5. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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  6. sarsipius79

    sarsipius79 New Member

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    yeah exactly. Only i dont know where to buy quality parts. Also id like to hear from those who have built up 1911's in the so i know to/not to spend money on.

    Of course the Springfield inst necessarily a must if anyone has any other suggestions for a good frame i could start with.

    Thanks

    JH
     
  7. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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  8. bigdaddy

    bigdaddy New Member

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    parts

    If you really want to do this . Then get a Brownell's catalog they have everything you can imagine . They even have dvds and books to help with what you are doing. I would personally just trade off the stock gun and instead of spending all that money on parts buy a better one .If you go the customizing route you will have way more tied up into it than you will ever get out of it should you decide toget rid of it.
     
  9. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

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    I would agree. After you pay a precision smith to mate the slide and frame, buy the trigger group, barrel and lug, skelitonized trigger and pay for some extra work heer or there and you'll have much more than the $1000 you would pay for a Colt Gold Cup.

    Colt 1911 Gold Cup Trophy 45 Blue
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2010
  10. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    I purchase my parts from Brownells. See if you can login to Brownells.com and look at their webtech articles. They have one where someone took a RIA and did some work. While there, buy the Kuhnhausen books on the 1911, and the CD from Ed Brown. To do something like this, I would suggest that you also get with a 'smith who can help you get out of trouble. You will need a good caliper, files, a way to refinish, and PATIENCE. Do not take any short cuts (example: use a Dremel tool to "polish" the sear). Remember that you can remove metal, but you can't put it back. Good Luck
     
  11. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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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...
     
  12. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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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:D

    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: May 11, 2010
  13. sarsipius79

    sarsipius79 New Member

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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
     
  14. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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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.
     
  15. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Another option is to get with Cylinder&Slide and enroll in their 1911 class.
     
  16. sarsipius79

    sarsipius79 New Member

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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?
     
  17. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    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.
     
  18. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    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.
     
  19. sarsipius79

    sarsipius79 New Member

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    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.
     
  20. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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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.