My idea for a custom 1911 as a project for me


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FIVETWOSEVEN
July 21, 2012, 01:12 PM
I'm thinking about building myself a 1911 in the near future. My idea is a officers model chambered in .40 S&W. I don't want to bore you in other details like finish and grips but what I want to know is how feasible a officers model in .40 S&W is. Are there barrels and slides available?

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Carter
July 21, 2012, 02:54 PM
I looked at sti and they have bare slides for commander length. They have .40 barrels, but they are ramped. That might be good for that round though.

rcmodel
July 21, 2012, 03:01 PM
I can think of a lot better choices for a first 1911 build then a Shorty Forty.

The 1911 platform was designed for a longer cartridge.

And the Officer size guns are the spawn of the Devil, even for the manufactures to get to work right.

rc

9mmepiphany
July 21, 2012, 03:28 PM
I agree with rcmodel (I've found that a pretty safe position) that selecting a short 1911 platform and the short .40 cartridge in a project is taking on a lot of unneeded reliability variables at the same time.

The OACP sized 1911 already has a reduced window of functionality and the .40 brings a whole bushel of feeding issues to the table. That is why folks who shoot the .40 in competition, in full sized guns, are loading them long

JTQ
July 21, 2012, 04:36 PM
No doubt there are other tidbits on the 'net, but this one may be worth reading before you start parting with your money and grinding on metal.

http://how-i-did-it.org/1911-project/index.html

Sam1911
July 21, 2012, 04:39 PM
So just make it an officer's in 10mm -- problem solved! I'd go for an Aluminum frame...

FIVETWOSEVEN
July 21, 2012, 07:15 PM
A 10mm does not sound that bad. How are ammo prices compared to .45 acp? It will be awhile before I can start reloading. I am on my phone so it is difficult to look stuff up. I would prefer a steel frame for durability. How does shortening the slide affect reliability?

Sam1911
July 21, 2012, 07:26 PM
10mm is less common than .45 ACP, but it can be had. Probably a bit more money for premium factory ammo, but really cheap 10mm plinking ammo is probably not easy to find at WalMart.

In its better loadings it is pretty snorty -- more power and recoil than .45, but some is loaded pretty much down to hot .40S&W levels so no big deal.

I would not really get an Al frame 10mm. I'd think between the loss of recoil-taming weight, and durability as well, the Aluminum would be a bit uncomfortable to shoot much, and might not last.

Sam1911
July 21, 2012, 07:29 PM
Actually, if you can order it, it isn't that bad: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ItemListing.aspx?catid=731

50 rds. for a little over $20.

9mmepiphany
July 21, 2012, 07:32 PM
The shorter slide has less mass, will travel at a higher velocity, and have less available travel length available. Folks try to off-set this with a stronger spring. This stronger spring, when compressed, reduces the dwell time slide has available to allow the magazine spring to raise the next round in the cartridge column to be fed by the returning slide.

In simple terms, you throw the timing of the action out of balance when you shorten the slide/barrel beyond a certain length.

FIVETWOSEVEN
July 21, 2012, 08:04 PM
How have certain companies been able to make Officers reliable?

9mmepiphany
July 21, 2012, 09:24 PM
As I posted in post #4, they are reliable in only a small window where the springs are correctly balanced....that is why you have to change springs more frequently on 1911s as the slides get shorter to keep them functioning

rcmodel
July 21, 2012, 09:31 PM
In addition to that, the shorter the slide & barrel is, the more acute the angle becomes in order for it to unlock and clear the locking lugs on the barrel & in the slide.

Pretty soon, the barrel needs to drop further to unlock then there is a place left for it to drop in the back & henge upward in the front that far.

You will also lose one barrel locking lug in order to get enough slide travel for it to pick up the next round in the magazine.

While that's OK on the 21,000 PSI .45 ACP.
It's probably not a good thing on the 35,000 PSI .40 S&W.

rc

RX-178
July 21, 2012, 09:32 PM
Now the most important thing to remember about this project, Fivetwoseven...

Don't forget to share pictures. :D

FIVETWOSEVEN
July 21, 2012, 10:35 PM
I am thinking that now I am gonna do a Commander slide/officer frame hybrid in 10mm. That is unless the commander length is good enough for .40 S&W round. What did Springfield Armory do to design the EMP? I know that they did some redesign but what exactly?

9mmepiphany
July 21, 2012, 11:20 PM
The Commander slide on an OACP frame (now commonly called the CCO) is a good combination which has been around for about 30+ years. The 4.25" length slide/barrel adds a lot more latitude for reliability with .45 ACP length cartridges. The action length is still the same and you'll avoid a lot of issues with the longer 10mm cartridge.

With the EMP, SA shortened the action length to optimize it for the 9mm/.40 cartridges. A .45 ACP won't fit in an EMP frame and wouldn't work through the action if it did

FIVETWOSEVEN
July 22, 2012, 12:12 AM
If I just stick with .45 ACP, how good would an officers model be?

9mmepiphany
July 22, 2012, 12:23 AM
With a Commander slide/barrel, it would be excellent and very desirable.

With the 3.5" barrel...I refer you to rcmodeler's post in #3

cyclopsshooter
July 22, 2012, 12:34 AM
I too would recommend a 5" or Commander size pistol for a first build... in fact, I would never try to build an officers... never owned one either.. I do believe that a lightweight Commander is an excellent choice for a carry pistol.

Might also thing about building a .38 super- They are not any more difficult than a .45 and a 9mm barrel is an easy swap in. Super .38 mags can also run 9mm

FIVETWOSEVEN
July 22, 2012, 12:37 AM
I was looking at the STI lineup and they have quite a few 3" .40 S&W 1911s. Here's one example. http://www.stiguns.com/the-sti-escort/

STI doesn't appear to offer frames and slide for an officer's model in any caliber so I'm not sure about going that route. They do seem to show however that a short .40 can be done.

9mmepiphany
July 22, 2012, 12:49 AM
We're not saying it can't be done, we're saying it isn't a good idea as a first build as it requires experience best obtained on a platform with fewer inherent function issues.

The 1911 is an interesting platform with interesting quirks which aren't always obvious...like the breachface not being vertical or why you should not cut the barrel completely flush with the bushing.

But please build whatever you'd like...it is your money, time and learning curve..we were just responding to your request of feasibility

FIVETWOSEVEN
July 22, 2012, 01:30 AM
I guess I'll yield to your advice and just settle with a hybrid 1911. Would .45 be the easiest to start with?

cyclopsshooter
July 22, 2012, 01:31 AM
absolutely

ugaarguy
July 22, 2012, 12:11 PM
527, if you just want something different and 1911esque in 40 S&W, there was the S&W PC 945-40. Best pics I can find are from a closed auction - http://www.gunauction.com/search/displayitem.cfm?itemnum=8156251. I only know of this thing because I saw one last night that's ANIB that got traded in at a local dealer.

JTQ
July 22, 2012, 12:18 PM
Just make sure you enter the project with the understanding the 1911 is not like an AR. I know there a lot of young guys (and not so young guys) that figure, "hey, I built my AR from a bunch of parts, how hard can putting a 1911 together be?" The parts on a 1911 don't snap in "Lego style" like they do on an AR or Glock. A poster on one of the 1911 forums suggested the only drop in parts on a 1911 are springs. Be prepared to file and grind a bunch of parts, and also be prepared to buy extra parts to replace the ones you messed up.

FIVETWOSEVEN
July 22, 2012, 01:23 PM
527, if you just want something different and 1911esque in 40 S&W,

I'm not looking to own something different, I wanted to make something different. I've decided that I'm just gonna go with a .45 ACP Commander/Officer Hybrid.

Just make sure you enter the project with the understanding the 1911 is not like an AR. I know there a lot of young guys (and not so young guys) that figure, "hey, I built my AR from a bunch of parts, how hard can putting a 1911 together be?" The parts on a 1911 don't snap in "Lego style" like they do on an AR or Glock. A poster on one of the 1911 forums suggested the only drop in parts on a 1911 are springs. Be prepared to file and grind a bunch of parts, and also be prepared to buy extra parts to replace the ones you messed up.

I've been looking at building a 1911 for years, I have complete understanding about fitting parts. I'm expecting that with the time that I have for this project to take a month or two to complete.

ugaarguy
July 22, 2012, 01:29 PM
I'm not looking to own something different, I wanted to make something different.
Awesome! Have fun with it and keep us updated. :D

9mmepiphany
July 22, 2012, 03:57 PM
A poster on one of the 1911 forums suggested the only drop in parts on a 1911 are springs
I was going to add the pin retaining the MSH, until I looked at my current 1911 :rolleyes:

I'm pretty sure the firing pin should drop in and the recoil spring plug...but, no others immediately come to mind

FIVETWOSEVEN
July 22, 2012, 04:04 PM
One poster here interchanged his 1911 slides and they worked. I know who it was but I do not remember his name.

FIVETWOSEVEN
July 23, 2012, 03:13 AM
Thinking of going a cheaper route for starting and going with a RIA as a base gun for a new slide. How is the metal in the RIAs? I heard that it wasn't as strong as most steel that we are accustomed to. Would that cause the frame to wear down faster than usual?

RX-178
July 23, 2012, 06:18 AM
The RIAs are a softer steel than the higher-end models on the US market. They're about equal to the Remington R1, Auto Ordnance 1911.... basically the same as the old US Govt 1911A1.

I don't really know if that means it'll necessarily wear down faster, due to the longevity even of milsurp 1911 frames.

9mmepiphany
July 23, 2012, 12:47 PM
I heard that it wasn't as strong as most steel that we are accustomed to. Would that cause the frame to wear down faster than usual?
If you'd like to work with the toughest steel used in a 1911, find yourself an old Norinco.

Be warned, they can be harder on your tools...but they are built to mil-spec, so most parts should be a close fit

FIVETWOSEVEN
July 24, 2012, 12:11 AM
The RIAs are a softer steel than the higher-end models on the US market. They're about equal to the Remington R1, Auto Ordnance 1911.... basically the same as the old US Govt 1911A1.

I don't really know if that means it'll necessarily wear down faster, due to the longevity even of milsurp 1911 frames.

I just read somewhere that if you put a slide of a harder metal on the softer frame that it wears much faster. That's my concern.

If you'd like to work with the toughest steel used in a 1911, find yourself an old Norinco.

Be warned, they can be harder on your tools...but they are built to mil-spec, so most parts should be a close fit

I'm not too worried about having harder than usual steel but having something wear out fast.

Jim Watson
July 24, 2012, 12:19 AM
Slides have been harder than frames, on the average, for a long time now. The frame is not stressed nearly as much as the slide.

Frankly, I doubt you will end up shooting a CCO enough to put significant wear on it.

If you want a gun to shoot, set up a full size one.

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