Steampunk 1911 Projects - Salvaging early 'custom' USGI guns and series 70's


March 8, 2013, 06:07 AM
Some Rather amazing projects fell into my lap....

It looks like I'm going to be building up some steampunk 1911's






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March 8, 2013, 01:23 PM
"Wonderfully insane" about sums it up, but that wonder is mixed with the macabre. I kept thinking of the movie Hostel, but instead of people, classic guns were the victims of torture and horrible experimentation. Do you have any more information on the original owner and what he might have been trying to accomplish? Was he a competition shooter or smith? Was anything else known about what he produced from his shop? My mind can't help but ask "Why?" to all this. You refer to him as if he may have passed away, but if he's still alive it would be interesting to find out more about the goal of his projects.

Beyond that, I admire your adventurous spirit. The pile of parts you came into are already misfit toys that most would relegate to the scrap bin. Trying to turn them into something usable along the stylistic lines of where they came... You're doing God's work, son.

March 8, 2013, 02:52 PM
steampunk is awesome
gun art is awesome
Half-a%% and dangerous is not...
I like the sketches, I'm interested in seeing where this one ends up :)

March 8, 2013, 09:50 PM
I like where this is headed :)

March 9, 2013, 02:57 PM

March 9, 2013, 04:22 PM
Many, MANY years ago I read an article about a mad gunsmith like your guy. He wanted to hot rod the 1911 platform with his own .38-45 cartridge, but the slides kept stretching, so he welded reinforcements on both sides. There was too much muzzle blast so he stretched the barrel to about 7", with the front sight on the muzzle. The cartridge cases kept bulging, so he cut down and necked .30-06 brass. His only complaint about the finished product was that he had to wear a hat when he shot it, because the front sight kept hitting his forehead.

God bless the American Pioneer spirit!

Armed 24/7
March 10, 2013, 05:05 AM
Wow, this will be another interesting series to watch from Ajax22

March 14, 2013, 01:25 AM
AJAX!!!!!!! You are my favorite 'TV Show.' Not exaggerating, completely serious.

LOVED the 'dug relic' project. Just finished watching all of these in this thread and man I really can't wait to see these guns take shape! This is like guns/1911s meets 'Kustom' hot-rod culture meets Steampunk. I really like all of your ideas for them so far too. Can't wait to see those visible-mag brass grips. Too cool.
I think a bobbed hammer on the triggerguard-less might look awesome. Maybe an extra large, almost SAA-style hammer on one of the others if it'll function? Maybe on the longslide?

So I have to ask, are the finished guns all spoken for by you and your buddies? :D If any are available to forum members I wouldn't mind calling dibs on one :evil:
Sounds like you'll be putting a lot of time and effort into them.

These are going to be so unique and so dang cool. They'll be almost 'anti-conversation pieces' as when people see them at the range or whatnot, their jaws will drop and they will stare in awe and curiosity for some time before they'll be able to start with all the questions. hehehe

March 14, 2013, 12:59 PM
Could you post some still photos in this thread?

March 14, 2013, 01:45 PM
Ill try to post some pics here this evening

March 14, 2013, 04:45 PM
Oh, as for getting rid of some of these afterwards, i had not planned on parting with any.

A lot of the parts were given to me for the project, and i am bumming machine time from friends who are are hooking me up as a personal favor.

It would be kind of a slap in the face to people if i then turned around and sold the guns.... some of the participants are full time professional gunsmiths who could be spending the same time making a lot of money from paying customers.

Also, just to cover the fab time on these the price would have to be ridiculous

Once i finish them i can find out what it would cost to duplicate the result, but i would anticipate spending barret money on one.... one off stuff is expensive...

March 14, 2013, 05:00 PM
I think i read someone that a boy and his dad use to gun to gun shows and bring back 1911s were maybe $9 and the tables were piled high and you could have your pick.

looks like he had some interesting ideas and at the time I'm sure the guns were cheap and plentiful.

March 16, 2013, 02:56 PM

Picked up a pair of magazines with brass 'drop free' weights on the base.... It should be a good starting point for customizing

April 3, 2013, 07:00 PM

April 3, 2013, 07:27 PM
Nevermind, link got changed

April 4, 2013, 02:07 AM
Can't wait to see more! I Love these ideas. Guns don't have to be just tools, you're making art :)

September 10, 2015, 06:31 PM
Finally got around to working on these again


F-111 John
September 10, 2015, 10:12 PM
Do you still have the rusted out 1911 that you used electrolysis on to free up?

September 11, 2015, 02:42 AM
Yes, still got her ;)

I'm working on getting another one actually.

September 11, 2015, 03:24 AM
I'm curious to see how the projects turn out. Looks like long term projects, but I'm in for the updates.

Some of my bright ideas seem pretty pedestrian now.

September 11, 2015, 03:30 AM

September 11, 2015, 03:54 AM
I don't have time to watch all the BoobTube Vids.

But do you plane to shoot these??

Just fair warning if you do.

The recoil spring plug housing on the slide you cut off?
And the little tab on the barrel bushing you don't seem to be using?

That's all that keeps the slide from blowing off the back of the frame and sticking it in your eye the first shot.

But, I'm sure you know that.


September 12, 2015, 11:32 PM
There's also a barrel/link, right? Blowback tube-guns have had their endcaps come apart before (crummy homebuilds) and the results aren't near as cataclysmic as you describe, so long as the shooter is using proper eye protection. It's more embarrassing to get socked in the mouth by the gun than anything.

I'm more curious how the slide is being arrested; is it just going to be hammering on the brass tube down there? If it is brazed/soldered into place in the slide, the connection should be plenty strong, but I would still wonder about peening. I also question the lack of trigger guard adjacent to the expose guide rod & slide nose, but I guess that's what gloves are for (and thimbles :uhoh:)

Is that one of the Sarco "80%" castings? Yeah, those things are nowhere near any state of completion. I'm digging the look, very "Golden Gun-ey" if you don't fancy it up much beyond the brass bits. Depending on how you do some engraving and finish work, you could go Art Deco or Victorian-ish with it, I think. Steam punk is hard to do with something as polished as a 1911, simply because it has clean & graceful lines (a Tokarev could pull it off easier), and it's not like you'd want to ruin those any way.

BTW, if your holes are in the wrong spot, it may be worth having a buddy TIG/MIG them up for you, and using an endmill in a rigid machine to reposition it. So long as you haven't done much else below the rails, I would think you can get as many do-overs as you need to square it in the jig properly.


If you enjoyed reading about "Steampunk 1911 Projects - Salvaging early 'custom' USGI guns and series 70's" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!