How hard is it to build a 1911?


January 20, 2008, 11:22 PM
Just as stated, how hard is it to build a 1911. I am thinking about a 1911 outer shell kit and a Brownells internal kit. Could this be done? How difficult is this. I'm fairly mechanically inclined (engineer who actually builds stuff :what:). Anyways good luck

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January 21, 2008, 12:03 AM
If you are mechanically inclined, it's quite easy. Some parts will need proper fitting, but that is true of any type of assembly from new parts.

January 21, 2008, 12:11 AM
Pretty darn easy for someone that has gun experience. I hear that guy over at WWW.2RCO.COM has some other parts and grips available. I would deal with that guy any time--shameless plug!

January 21, 2008, 12:24 AM
Does anyone sell a complete "Build Your 1911" in a box (similar to black powder rifles)?

January 21, 2008, 12:29 AM
Does anyone sell a complete "Build Your 1911" in a box (similar to black powder rifles)?

They're still relatively new, but the owner's background is solid.

Fusion Firearms Kits are a professionally fitted kit manufactured specifically so that the average home gunsmith can build a 1911 with limited skills and tools. The professional pistolsmith will also enjoy these kits due to the high quality and the majority of the fitting is already complete saving the professional time and money.

Included in these Fusion Firearms kits are these features and professionally fitted components:
*Frame to Slide fitting
*Match Barrel
*Barrel link
*Barrel Lugs
*.250" radius for High Ride Beavertail grip safety
*Beveled magwell
*Frontstrap Checkering or Chainlink stippling (certain models)
*Tactical Rails (certain models)
*Popular sight cuts (Bomar or Novak)
*Lower and relieved ejection port
*Plunger tube installed
*Ejector installed
*Full length recoil guide system

These kits are engineered by Bob Serva, the previous President of Dan Wesson Firearms and creator of the 1911 Patriot and Pointman series. He has professionally built thousands of pistols over the last two decades and has worked with basically all the vendors in the industry and knows what works and what doesn't. The idea behind these kits are to take out the difficult and complicated fitting procedures that arise when attempting to build a quality 1911 pistol. These fitting procedures and machining operations are beyond most home gunsmiths capabilities to complete within his or her expectations for a premium custom built pistol.

With these kits it is possible for the home gunsmith to build a pistol comparable to any custom manufacturer with the help and expertise of Fusion Firearms.

With the purchase of a Fusion Firearms kit, the customer is entitled to a minimum of 15% off the remaining parts needed to complete the kit.

In addition the purchaser of these kits is entitled to special discounts on services such as: Bluing, Parkerizing, (finishing services), and any other services the customer may need. Fusion also provides a 24/7 tech email line to help the customer through processes they may have trouble with.

These kits are for the enjoyment and pride of the Fusion Firearms customer. Our Fusion professionals are here to guide and help you through your build experience.

January 21, 2008, 01:37 AM
The kits look GREAT! But they are only slightly less cost than a fully assembled pistol with a warrenty. Still much less costlyhan a full on Kimber, Springfield or a custom 1911. I was thinking of taking a RIA frame and working with it (I have full access to a full on maching facility to help with any needs I have....). Anyways good luck and don't work too hard

January 21, 2008, 01:46 AM
Hit me up with a Prive Message and let me know if you can put together and internal parts kit (Something like Brownells has)....
Let me know, take it easy and don't work too hard.

January 21, 2008, 01:53 AM
quite do-able; I did once

the only thing I could not do is stake-on the plunger tube and front sight, since it required a special tool

the rest took some minor fitting, but it was a good experience

January 21, 2008, 01:56 AM
While most M1911 parts will fit together and work, you may need to hand-fit many of the parts to make it reliably operational.

I suggest that you buy Jerry Kuhnhausen's The Colt .45 Automatic A Shop Manual (vol. 1) to read and use as a ready reference if you want to build your own 1911s.

It's probably the best all around manual that will give detailed & clear instructions on assemblying and disassemblying a M1911. More than that, he shares his massive knowledge on how every part should fit, the proper specs and why they need to fall into certain tolerance range.

January 21, 2008, 09:52 AM
esq stu

Same with me; the cost of the tool for staking the plunger tube was like $20; I had a local gunsmith do it for $5.


Other than that, it's a regular DIY project. Get yourself a good book on the workings of the 1911, preferably with lots of illustrations and step by step instructions. It would be better to get both the frame and slide from one source, as fitting two different manufacturers parts together can be somewhat of a problem if they're out of spec. Buy only quality parts, especially the sear, disconnector, and hammer, as these have to really fit together properly to make the gun work. Take it nice and easy and you'll have a functional 1911 you built yourself.

January 21, 2008, 03:15 PM
Look in gunsmithing, there are some VERY helpful sticky threads.

I have plans for a couple, I want to build a frame to leave my .22 kit on permanently. I also might eventually build a .460 Rowland or a .400 Corbon. (Or both.)

Order the Brownell's 1911 catalog, it's free, it has all kinds of stuff you never knew you needed. One thing the guys in here pointed out to me is that Caspian will hand-fit the frame for you for an extra $50, that might be the most difficult part.

January 21, 2008, 04:24 PM
I recommend buying a pre-fit slide and frame together. That's probably the hardest part of hand-fitting for someone new to 1911s. Fitting the barrel, etc. is comparatively easy with some forethought and caution.

January 21, 2008, 04:26 PM
We will see, it seems that RIA doesn't sell their frame and slide kits in **********. Its kinda a bummer because i was looking forward to putting together a modest kit. But it looks like i'll have to buy a fully assembled pistol and then work from there. Take it easy

January 22, 2008, 12:41 AM
Looking at the Fusion website, I was wondering about the idea of interchangability? I've read and responded to a few posts in the past about others who's want to convert their .45 1911A1 into a 10mm or some other type high pressure, High speed round but I was wondering about the opposite. What if I got the 10mm unit, would I be to convert down to .460, 9mm, .45, etc? At least without much hassle?

January 28, 2008, 11:18 AM
Wow, that Fusion kit is close to $600 on sale and still needs parts.

I don't know anything about 1911s and thought it would be fun to learn about them by getting a book and putting one together from spare parts, maybe picking parts up over time from gun shows or something. But of course I wouldn't know where to start and thought I could get away with something like that in the $200-$300 range.

January 28, 2008, 11:29 AM
Just an idea. Buy a cheapie 1911, take it apart, put all the parts in a shoe box, gently shake box and then reassemble. Very educational.

January 28, 2008, 12:06 PM
I'd suggest you not use a RIA frame and start with something like a Fusion or Caspian. When you get all that work into a low budget frame, you'll wish you spent the extra on the upgrade. Do it right the first time, you are building a custom gun after all.

You put that Fusion kit together fitted properly, you'll have about a $1200 gun. You put that RIA together right, you still have a budget 1911 by any value standard no matter how sweet it functions.

January 28, 2008, 01:30 PM
The poster is from california. We can't buy stripped frames and have them shipped in. We have to find frames already in state and do face to face ffl transfer. Mark

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