1911 project


December 3, 2008, 02:17 PM
After one year of competition shooting it was time for my first "big bore" semiautomatic pistol (i´ve been shooting hämmerli sp20 for half a year), but big question what to buy (glock, colt, cz, taurus, etc...).
After alot of thinking i fell for the idea to build my own gun and after locating a Sti 2011 frame for a fair price (Sti are hard to come by in Sweden) i started to look and found Norinco´s slide, barrel, bushing, slidestop, recoil spring for less cash.
A couple of weeks ago i started my build by shaving and lapping slide and frame together (no problems very tight fit),but when i fitted the barrel i realize that norinco hade "poor" fitting so i tigwelded the hood and shaved it to tight fit and tigwelded the underlugs and shaved those to tight fit(if the guns hold up it will be a "naildriver").
After lots of phonecalls trying to buy the rest of the parts needed i started to make some parts for myself and i have fabricated recoil guide rod and recoil springplug (even lapped those to fit the slide), Last week i orded beavertail, hammer ´n strut, sear, disconnector, pinkit, and springs but the supplier has not returned a answer to me (kind of hurt my feelings).

oooh maybe some pictures: one in bits´npieces, one when the gun fits togehter and one fabrication guiderod on my lathe

Hopefully you can read this thread (my english might be a little "rusted")

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December 3, 2008, 02:25 PM
Made like a Swiss 1911! :D


December 3, 2008, 03:02 PM
Be nice RC. ;)

I'm no gun smith... and I certainly don't discount your years of experience. But I'm not a professional mechanic either. If people didn't have faith in me, that I could edumucate myself enough to rebuild the engine in my Mustang, Corvette, F250, several others, completely rebuild differentials or transmissions or teach others to do the same over the years, I never would have attempted such challenges. I have, and many of those components have functioned for thousands of hours and hundreds of thousands of on/off road miles including abuse at the race track. I think I could build a pretty accurate reliable 1911. Not a BE gun, but functional. So, I'm leaning that ojje here has some pretty good know-how and will succeed. I dunno that I'd stick with the Nork barrel though. I'm not a real fan of the 2011 frame either...


December 3, 2008, 03:52 PM
I wasn't being mean.
Just joshing him! :D
Hope it didn't come across otherwise!

We don't see too many folk building 1911's in Sweden.

I do agree with you though about the Norinco barrel.
If I invested that much money in an STI frame, I'd sure go for a new Bar-Sto or Kart match barrel instead of welding up a Norinco.


December 3, 2008, 04:01 PM
OK. It's been a long day at the office. Maybe I twisted the interpretation of your post RC.

Kart... Although I hear that Clark sent out a lot of accurate guns with just the Colt barrels.

Reminiscing some recent posts... What extractor will everyone suggest to ojje?


December 4, 2008, 01:24 PM
Yes i´m one of the lonely "trail ´n error" gunbuilders in Sweden but why not try ????
Norinco´s POS barrel will be replaced later on but will be the "testbarrel", my plan includes a new barrel (kart or bar-sto) and a new slide, i bought the less expensive slide ´n barrel i could find in case i screw something up during my learning period ....

December 4, 2008, 01:34 PM
Sounds like a good plan!

I welded up GI barrels years ago, before there was anything else available, and they are perfectly adequate if done properly. The only limiting factor is the sometimes loose chambers you can't do much about.

Sounds to me like you have enough metal working experiance, skill, and the equipment to do it right!

Good luck, and keep us posted on how it comes along!


December 12, 2008, 03:25 PM
Jim Clark senior used to weld up all the colt barrels he removed from his BE guns and sell them at Camp Perry years ago. When I asked him about them he'd look you straight in the eye and tell you Colt made as good a barrel as any custom shop...

December 14, 2008, 04:17 PM
One thing thats been on my mind is the poorfitted Norinco barrelbushing but i have not found a barrelbushing "that speaks to me", i kind of like the melted look but i would like a unique bushing that´s "one of a kind", sooooooo time to fabricate, i revved my lathe, got hold of a nice piece of stainless steel, worked on it for a couple of hours and my "hypermeltedlook" bushing is done.
Of course the bushing is handlapped to tight fit, one down is that the bushing sometimes "grabs" the barrel and force it forward jaming the gun in open position (need a beer and some thoughs).

...Picture!!!!!!!! need some polish and glasblastnig.

December 14, 2008, 04:43 PM
What you actually need is some relief cut on the barrel, back of the muzzle where it fits the bushing at full lock-up.

Match barrels already have this relief cut. But your Norinco barrel probably doesn't.

Look at 2nd. barrel from left in this photo. You can actually see the step-down in diameter behind the bushing bearing point:

You may also need add bushing clearance on the bottom rear to allow for barrel tip-down.

BTW: Better do it before, or after, the beer though! :D


December 15, 2008, 02:42 PM
Today i grinded some clearance on the bottom rear of the bushing to allow the barrel to tip down a little more and i also grinded the inside of the slide to stop the barrel from "hooking" the top of the slide (just a little smothening out).
After that the gun does not jam anymore i even tryied to feed some rounds trought it, just to check the gun in normal feeding operation and it is very nice no jam at all.

A big thanks to rcmodel for putting me on the right track

December 24, 2008, 06:28 PM
Merry Christmas to all of you out there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

something vague
December 26, 2008, 09:15 AM
Looking good man. I have been seriously contemplating going the same route as you with a custom 1911 made by your truley just for the whole experience of understanding all the ins and outs of a nice fitting 1911. I have lots of metal experience but have just recently been getting into 1911's. Anyways keep us posted on the progress as this is somewhat of an inspiration thread for me.

December 26, 2008, 10:35 AM
Looks good, you’ll have to post some more photos of your work and the completed pistol. Being a machinist/fabricator/welder I admire the work involved. I had a similar project a few years ago. The first version was a commander open pistol that I liked so much I built an IDPA top end for it too.


December 27, 2008, 05:11 PM
Still waiting for parts but i have done some grinding/fitting to my unigue hypermeltbushing and now it blends in nice to the slide.

Img. from pixbox on bushing

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/25330000-25339999/640x480/25339900.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic25339900)

And closeup

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/25330000-25339999/640x480/25339901.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic25339901)

It is very nice to get feedback that i give you guys inspiration to start/continue your own builds...

One question about the "hoodcut" on top the slide, i would like to weld it square (like Svi slides has).

Some pictures with sugestions: first the "standardcut" slide:

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/25300000-25309999/640x480/25308493.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic25308493)

Next my idea done with paintshop:

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/25300000-25309999/640x480/25308494.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic25308494)

And last one with red marking (i case you didnot see the differance):

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/25310000-25319999/640x480/25316591.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic25316591)

Please feedback .. i can´t decide!!!!!

December 27, 2008, 05:14 PM
The barrel hood fitting that cut in the slide is the only thing that centers the back of the barrel exactly in the same place in the slide every time it cycles.

I wouldn't, if you want any kind of accuracy.

I don't know how SVi does it, but if they aren't using the barrel hood, they have to have replaced it with something else.


December 27, 2008, 05:18 PM
I am not going to grind the hood away only built a "roof" over the hood buy welding it to the slide (don´t wanna mess up the barrel centering)..

December 27, 2008, 05:58 PM
I see!

Seems like a better place for dirt & unburned powder to collect, compact, and stop things from working to me.

I like my ejection ports lower & longer in the front to clear loaded 230 RN.

Bigger is better.
Smaller is worser.


December 29, 2008, 03:45 PM
Today i got my package with gunparts and all was fine until i open the package ..... a can of sight black did nor survive the trip and EVERYTHING was covered with sight black but i started cleaning everthing and started to assembly my gun.
Sear and hammer needed a little fitting (some stoneing on the sides) and some bad language when i was trying to drop disconnector and sear in the frame.
Beavertail just dropped in to place (BIG EYES on me when almost everything needed fitting).
Thumbsafety needed some grinding on internal parts (slighly oversize and hitting the sear) and a lot of more bad language trying to fit plungerspring and plungerrods while assemblying the thumbsafety.
But after that it was time to find some ammo and rush out in the darkness and testfire, first a single round (fired without any trouble and all safetys worked fine) and then multiple rounds (reloading test witch worked like a charm).

So overall i am really happy with what i have done (building my own handgun, first one ever!!!)

Things to do after this will be to do the bo-mar cut, polishing slide and reblueing and some minor triming of the beavertail to frame surface.

Some pictures:

Package with broken black sight:

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/25370000-25379999/640x480/25370403.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic25370403)

Fully assembled gun:

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/25370000-25379999/640x480/25370391.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic25370391)

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/25370000-25379999/640x480/25370392.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic25370392)

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/25370000-25379999/640x480/25370393.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic25370393)

Best to you all:

Ojje from Sweden

December 29, 2008, 06:34 PM
Along with what RCmodel says. I would think that would be a place for crud to collect. Also the tollerance there, for when all comes to full battery would be another clearance to deal with.

Now that you've fully assembled your gem, have you had opportunity to fire it yet? How's the current function and accuracy?


December 31, 2008, 06:46 AM
First i would like to thank some people who convinced me NOT to build a "roof" over the hood and as they said it will disturb the funcion of the gun..

And today i took some "freetime" and went to testfire the gun, shoot aprox. 20 rounds trought it and no problem just hammers a new round everytime a push "the playbutton".
Accuracy: a five round test @ aprox 15 yards (deep snow, freezeng like a dog and last Norincos POS sights witch i have a hard time focusing at)....

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/25400000-25409999/640x480/25404705.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic25404705)

I think this is fairly decent for a "first time build"

And HAPPY NEW YEAR to all of you!!!!!!!!!!!!

December 31, 2008, 07:09 AM
looks real good. Are the internals of a 2011 the same as a 1911, with adjustments to the trigger for the wider mag?

December 31, 2008, 07:35 AM
I think that mainspringhousingpin, mag. release and trigger are the only things that are wider on 2011 frames (should only be the parts that are mounted in the grip)...

December 31, 2008, 12:20 PM
OK, time for some ~45meter (50yds) sand bag or Ransom Rest testing with some good target ammo.

200gn Hensly & Gibbs LSWC pushed by 3.9gns of Bullseye, CCI large pistol primer etcetera etcetera...

Oh, you might want some better sights then... :D


December 31, 2008, 03:14 PM
Of course i will test the long range accuracy, be starting the slidemilling for the new sights tomorrow but sandbags and laying on the ground will be aprox. 5 months away (summer!!!!!!!!!!!!)

January 2, 2009, 05:17 PM
New years day i started to mill down my Norinco slide for the Sti sights, first i "flatmilled" rear end of the slide:

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/25430000-25439999/640x480/25435367.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic25435367)

Next i milled out the cuts for the blade and adjustment screw:

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/25430000-25439999/640x480/25435368.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic25435368)

And then i got busy and forgot to take pictures of my work so now the rear sight is testmounted and the cuts for the frontblade are done:

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/25430000-25439999/640x480/25435369.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic25435369)

Last picture of the complete sight installation:

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/25430000-25439999/640x480/25435371.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic25435371)

For a "first timer" i think i´m doing a darn good work !!!!!!!!!!

Now all i have to do is to grind and polish the slide down (take those nasty "norinco" markings away), figure out what serrations i want and cut those and last reblueing the slide (got a tip from a guy here in Sweden that i should "glasblast" the slide and blueing it for a long time "gives me i silkblack nonreflection surface").

But as always i´m open for sugestions from you guys (color, blueing and serrationcuts).....

January 2, 2009, 05:56 PM
I think you're doing a fine job, too.
As far as the aesthetics go, right now it looks cold and sterile to me. It doesn't ask me to pick it up and fondle it. I'm not a big fan of the squared trigger guard but maybe it's all the sharp edges left all over that Norinco slide. I like 'em de-horned a bit. Speaking of slides, does a slide have enough metal to remove the serrations and put new ones back in?
Just eyeballing my Colt slide it looks like it would be getting real thin around the ejection port. I like the single set, angled, Gold Cup style serrations. I could live with the two-toned scheme. I guess the whole thing is looking pretty tactical at this point so I guess a bead blast finish would be OK. I'm a sucker for a deep blue job though.

February 18, 2010, 06:04 PM
One year has gone and my first ever 1911 project needed some "upgrades"...

I have orderd a new slide, slidestop, barrel, reverse springplug and extractor (all Sti), all new parts have arrived and are handfitted to my Sti frame.

Maybe a picture of new parts:

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/30340000-30349999/640x480/30342385.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic30342385)

First thing was barrel to slide fit (hood needed to be shortened), and barrelnose were oversized and needed some minor adjustment (overall it all came to a nice tight fit).

Picture of oversized area at the "barrelnose":

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/30340000-30349999/640x480/30342388.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic30342388)

Barrel in lockup:

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/30340000-30349999/640x480/30342386.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic30342386)

The slide and barrel got a new glasbeadblasting (very nice finish):

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/30340000-30349999/640x480/30342390.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic30342390)

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/30340000-30349999/640x480/30342396.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic30342396)

Next up "slide to frame fit", started with a stone and gently handstoned slide and frame to a where the slide begin to fit over the frame:

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/30340000-30349999/640x480/30347061.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic30347061)

Time for lapping compound, thick gloves and some hard work, after some strokes the slide fits tight to the frame:

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/30340000-30349999/640x480/30347066.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic30347066)

The slide where already cut for Bo-Mar so sightinstall should be easy ... NOT, after some hours with a stone the sights begun to slide into place:

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/30340000-30349999/640x480/30349529.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic30349529)

/Ojje "the amateurgunsmith from sweden"

February 18, 2010, 06:20 PM
Next day recutting frame for "nowlin/wilson" (exciting don´t wanna screw this up):

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/30350000-30359999/640x480/30353786.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic30353786)

Final "timingcut" (needed to grind my own cuttingtoll for this one):

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/30350000-30359999/640x480/30353789.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic30353789)

Testassembly of the gun checking "barreltiming" etc.(everything looks good):

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/30350000-30359999/640x480/30353793.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic30353793)

Used my dremel and blended the gripsafety to the frame and tore the gun appart and glasbeadblasted frame, slidestop, springplug, thumbsafety and beavertail (i like the "rawsteelfininsh"):

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/30420000-30429999/640x480/30426183.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic30426183)

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/30420000-30429999/640x480/30426185.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic30426185)

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/30420000-30429999/640x480/30426190.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic30426190)

A couple of days later i testfired the gun checkin accuracy (5shoot@28yards) ... this gun performs very nice:

http://archive.pixbox.se/arkivet/synligt_32/30370000-30379999/640x480/30372876.jpg (http://www.pixbox.se/pic30372876)

/Ojje (still a amateurgunsmith from sweden)

February 22, 2010, 10:08 PM
Wow great work!

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