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1911 Frame: Bare or Cheap gun?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by bratch, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. bratch

    bratch Well-Known Member

    I'm wanting a 1911 frame to use as a dedicated .22. Should I buy a cheaper gun (RIA,etc) and use the frame or buy a bare frame and build it for the .22?
  2. dsk

    dsk Well-Known Member

    Assuming you have all the parts to build the lower, an FFL can order an Essex frame for dirt cheap. If you don't have all the parts to complete the frame I'd suggest getting the cheapest 1911 you can find. Lots of folks sell off their butchered kitchen-table gunsmithing projects for cheap at gunshows so you might want to start there. If nothing turns up then probably the RIA is a good choice.
  3. bratch

    bratch Well-Known Member

    No parts around mi casa yet but I think my gunsmith might have a few laying around not sure what I could get them for though or if I could.

    If I start taking the MIM out of my carry pistol I would have those parts to swap over.
  4. Icewolf

    Icewolf Active Member

    I would buy an inexpensive stripped frame and then add the specific parts to it from there to get it the way you want it. It is not expensive and it gives you great experience with 1911s. You may even decide to get a .45 slide/barrel later on if you like the "custom" trigger pull.

    To buy a new .45 (even a cheap one) just for the frame doesn't make sense to me. Look through the Brownells catalog and price it out for yourself.
  5. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

    Go to Bud's Gun Shop and get a GI springer and sell the slide and barrel, then you will have a good frame and components that are fitted to it. they had GI springers for under $500, sell the upper for $200 and you have a $300 frame. Buy a frame for $150 and parts for $50 and you have a pieced together thing and only saved $100.....
  6. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Well-Known Member

    You can buy Essex frames for well under $100, and there's a company in Shotgun News selling Armscor frames for (I think) $59. For a dedicated .22 plinker, that frame would be more than adequate.
  7. deputy tom

    deputy tom Well-Known Member

    bratch,go to a gunshow and search out a dumba$$ that looks like me.I just traded a brand new SA Mil-spec for a $350.00 EG Makarov.So people DO perform stupid stunts.That Mil-spec would have made a great base gun for anything you would have wanted to build.tom.(what was I thinking???):confused:

    PS I almost practically gave away my mini-14 to a friend and forum member in a lop-sided trade for "stuff" but someone was watching over me and intervened.PHEEEEW!tom.
  8. bratch

    bratch Well-Known Member


    What exactly do those people look like so I can make a bee line to them:p ?
  9. deputy tom

    deputy tom Well-Known Member

    They look EXACTLY like me! LOL.tom.:uhoh:
  10. StrikeEagle

    StrikeEagle Well-Known Member

    BIG 10-4 on this! :)

    Buy an Essex... they're actually nice frames. I built two .45's up on them, one for UNDER $100! Got the Frame on sale... maybe "used"... or previously owned by someone who never built it up.

    Got GI parts from the gunshows... when I saw something I needed at a good price, I bought it. And of course I already had a cigarbox full of various parts the way we all do. ;)

    Don't rush it... build it up slow and relaxed. Read books about the .45 as you do the project. GI surplus parts are the key here... you can drop major money if you get into a 'custom parts mode' here.

    You'll end up with a piece that's just really really special to you. :)

    I grin a lot whenever I handle or shoot the ones I built. And I sure did learn the 1911!

    Have fun!

  11. farscott

    farscott Well-Known Member

    Another good choice for an inexpensive frame is a "Foster". "Foster" is how Caspian sells their blemished frames, ones with slight cosmetic issues. These can sometimes be found on the Caspian web site. Caspian also has other specials from time to time. Not too long ago, they had some "seconds" with rails that looked just like those frames used by SIG Sauer on the first-run of GSR pistols.

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