Pistol builds


November 25, 2004, 08:11 PM
Now that Ive put together an AK, wondering on a good place to look for pistol builds, various calibers. Appreciate any info, thanks

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November 25, 2004, 10:13 PM
Hrmm... 1911 build, perhaps? Lots of bare frames and slides out there to start from. Can't think of much else you can do that with.

November 26, 2004, 02:08 AM
Build your own Glock? There are steel frames and slides out there, and all the other parts - Glock and aftermarket - are freely available.

November 26, 2004, 02:39 AM
I agree with Kaylee, tackle a 1911. So many parts available. Have fun and let's see some pictures of the new project.

November 26, 2004, 09:11 AM
I certainly appreciate the information, What I am mostly asking is where to find some kits,...Ive done an internet search with not much luck, I thought just like everything else there are good and not so good kits and vendors. Thanks

November 26, 2004, 09:22 AM
I often get my parts kits from ebay, these often include almost everything except the frame.

For example


For frames I usually have my FFL order them, but you can find them on gunbroker.com or in Shotgun news as well as a multitude of other places.

Here are a few we built.



November 26, 2004, 11:02 AM
These folks have a great reputation:


You can also order bare frames from Brownells made by Essex (poor to mixed reputation) and I believe J&T/Doublestar just came out with a 1911 frame. Don't know anyone who's tried 'em, but the guys around here just love all their AR stuff, so I don't see why their 1911s would be any worse.

and you'll want to go here:


November 26, 2004, 11:45 AM
Thats what Im looking for, thanks again for the information....MikeB those are nice pistols!! I can only hope to come close to what you have done

November 26, 2004, 11:55 AM
1911 certainly are the most prolific home-builds.

There are others, though.
One of the guys I shoot with built a Sig from an 80% frame and parts.

Old Fuff
November 26, 2004, 12:34 PM

Be aware that while the parts to build a 1911 style pistol are availabe they don't come with instructions, and building the pistol isn't simply a case of buying the parts and putting them together like a puzzle. Before you even think of doing what you have in mind obtain some manuals, such as Jerry Kuhnhausen's "The Colt .45 Automatic - A Shop Manual" (obtainable from Brownells at: www.brownells.com)

Also do a search on this forum with the key words "Tuner" and ".45", and I strongly suggest you drop what you find to your printer or save it as a file.

November 26, 2004, 12:45 PM
I have a younger machinist friend who got bit by the gun bug. His first build was an AK also, using a FRAME FLAT!! His second was an essex .45 kit, which gave him some grief and I had to help. Now I gave him an old rusted LLama 9mm. He blasted and stripped and milled and Tigged and milled again until it is a really Unique piece! He Air brushes KG coat on everything and they look outstanding! I reccomend buying some old beater semi auto and restoring it! Note I think DA revolvers are much harder! ;)

November 26, 2004, 12:48 PM
Thank you "Old Fluff" for the warning, the AK that I built didnt come with instructions either and I ended up drilling my own holes for the trunnion rivetsand underfolder holes plus the riveting plus other things, I checked everything thoughly before I did something that could not be reversed...I guess my confidence level is up a little.
I will take your advice I will take your advice and get a manual to familarize myself with the task.
It seems from replys one doesnt necesarily need a "kit" so to speak, just the understanding of how it works and goes together and use the various parts from the aftermarket or manufacturer sources to make it. My fear of the unknown is diminishing some. Thanks

Old Fuff
November 26, 2004, 01:44 PM

Unfortunately things aren't that easy. During the pre-historic ages before 1970 you could buy a Government Model pistol from Colt and have a reasonable expectation that Colt parts would fit. Today you have a vast number of companies turning out frames, slides, barrels and all manner of lockwork or accessories. Some, if not most of this aftermarket stuff seems to be made to it's own dimensions without any regard for what was called for in the original drawings and material specifications. Sometimes material specifications can be critical, and in some applications (the extractor being a good example) cast and MIM parts don't work well - or at least not for long.

There was a time when someone who was experienced and knew how could purchase the necessary parts and save money while building their own gun. I don't think that's true today. If you price out ALL OF THE PARTS using the best quality ones were called for I think you will find that it's cheaper to buy a pistol (Colt, Springfield Arsenal, Kimber etc.) and replace a few of the questionable parts then it is to start from scratch. In any case you would be foolish if you didn't:

Study up on what is required and exactly what knowledge is needed to build a pistol before you commit any money to buying parts.

Make a list of ALL the component parts and price them out so that you can see what your "little project" will cost before you are done. Also take in to consideration what it will cost to finish the gun (blue, Parkerize, whatever) unless you are working with stainless steel. Whatever frame and slide you buy will probably come "in the white," and in any case require refinishing when you are done working.

Last, but far from least, find and read "1911 Tuner's" very informative threads on this pistol. They in themselves will give you a lot of valuable insights.

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