Building the 1911

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by travihanson, May 25, 2007.

  1. travihanson

    travihanson New Member

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    Milo, ME
    I have been interested in building my own 1911 since I was a little kid.....I have not done much research however, could anyone recommend a decent frame? I have heard from a few friends of mine that Rock Island frames are alright.
    I would like this pistol to be the best of every other pistol, if it fits together.
  2. MRMIKE08075

    MRMIKE08075 Member

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    Aug 26, 2005
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    ESSEX

    get a "matched" frame and slide from them...

    i have built 2 guns with Essex frames and am 100% satisfied

    if you have money to throw away consider STI...

    best regards, mike.
  3. mo jenkins

    mo jenkins Member

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    New Hampshire
    For what it's worth, I have a Crown City/Essex(VT.) 45 that was puchased as a complete gun about 27-28 yrs ago. It has had countless tens-of-thousands of rounds through it. It is about to go through another extensive rebuild(I just got the parts in a couple of weeks ago) Even before this current rebuild, the only original parts are the frame and slide. It does have a little peening in the slide around the barrel locking lugs , but other than that, it shows amazingly little serious wear(as far as I can tell.)
    I'm bringing it back to more or less original G.I. configuration(it now has ext. beavertail, bushingless barrel, millet sights, etc, etc) My biggest fear is that one of these times, the gunsmith is going to tell me that the old soldier isn't fit to stand muster anymore......Wish me luck, We may be discussing options for this gun in the near future.

    Your buddy,
    mo jenkins
    Last edited: May 25, 2007
  4. stash247

    stash247 New Member

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    It kinda depends on your budget, skills, and knowledge.
    Given a BIG budget, Ed Brown, or Les Baer, are sources for frames and slides, pricey, but all the fitting is perfect, and will save many hours of work.
    I have the skills, knowledge, and equipment, on site, to undertake such a project, yet, in todays marketplace, can buy a new Kimber cheaper than I could 'build' a 'kit gun', from parts, even if I count my labor as free!
    The backside of this is, that after you have built, rebuilt, adjusted, rebuilt again, your first 1911, you WILL know how and why it runs, based on fixing initial errors, in it's 'birthing' process!
    Pick your poison, but life's too short to be spent in the shop, IMHO!
  5. Mosin_Nagant_Fan

    Mosin_Nagant_Fan Active Member

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    You can find some gun schematics here.
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    I built a 1911 from a Rock Island gun using readily available parts from Brownells and Midway. While some of the parts were "drop-in" parts (meaning no fitting required) few of those parts dropped-in on the RI frame. After doing the RI I was left with these impressions:

    1) the RI frame is hard but is not exactly the same tolerance as a real Mil Spec 1911 which results in small amount of fitting of drop-in parts.

    2) the barrel has inherently very good accuracy if you crown it, fit a barrel bushing, and use a Dwyer Group Gripper recoil spring guide that pushes (via a small leaf type internal spring) the slide up and into the slide lugs repatedly exactly the same for a tight lockup.

    3) The internal parts of the RI (which you would expect to replace) fit the RI well, work well, and are hard, but perhaps slightly different from original GI parts.

    4) The RI, with a little more work than you might have to put into another more expensive frame, can be made into an excellent gun, with an excellent fire controll system (trigger, etc), and end up with very good accuracy.

    I bought mine as a 45ACP gun just for the frame to use with my Marvel Precision 22LR conversion but as a second project took on the slide and barrel in 45ACP and ended up with an excellent 45ACP gun as well (never planned at all and was only pursued when a couple of potential buyers for those parts backed out and pissed me off). Why buy a whole gun for the frame......I live in California and that the only way you can get a new frame!

    LDBennett
    Last edited: May 27, 2007
  7. Shooter45

    Shooter45 *Administrator* Staff Member Supporting Member

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    10,025
    Pick up a used Norinco 1911 for your build. They are made to exact tolerances and will hold an accuracy job. The Norinco is one of the few pistols that Wilson Combat will do custom work on. I have built several and all performed flawlesssly, parts will interchange and fit without alot of work.
  8. travihanson

    travihanson New Member

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    Thanks for the advice guys, I will take all into consideration.....But I don't think I'll be going with the RI.
  9. travihanson

    travihanson New Member

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    Oh, and PS:
    What I meant by the best of every other pistol was the best "parts" of every other pistol...
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