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Time to build a 1911?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Dryft, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Dryft

    Dryft New Member

    Good evening folks,

    Well, it seems like winter is finally settling in up here in Maine, and I've decided I need a good project to work on. It occurs to me that building a 1911 from parts would either be a great project, or one that will turn me into raving lunatic!

    My gunsmithing experience is minimal, but I have solid technical skills, can read plans and diagrams, and am comfortable taking my time and doing things as best I can. This doesn't need to be a high-dollar tack-driver, and really shouldn't be for my first build. I do know an excellent 1911 'smith from a few towns over, and will have him go over it with a fine tooth comb before I ever drop the hammer on a live round!

    I would greatly appreciate any and all advice y'all might have, especially directions and suppliers to head to should the concensus be "go ahead"!

    Thanks in advance - I can't wait to hear what you think.
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    I think you can buy a working Springfield Range Officer for less then half to a third what a decent quality build will cost you.

    And I'm thinking it will shoot rings around any first build too.

    If you want to "build" something build an AR-15.
    It's child's play compared to building a good 1911, and you can have a real decent rifle when you get done.

  3. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Active Member

    A good book on the 1911 may be a good start. There are numerous ones out there that cover all aspects of the build for a 1911.

    Here is a free read I think that might be an OK thing to start with.

  4. Dryft

    Dryft New Member


    mnrivrat - Thanks so much for that link - I am now petrified of building a 1911.

    rcmodel - I'm beginning to think you are on the right track!

    Again, wow.

    I've been known to bite off more than I can chew on occasion, but a guy has to know his limits.

    Thanks for the heads-up!
  5. wv109323

    wv109323 New Member

    1911 Build

    If you are going to "build a 1911" I would suggest two or three items you leave to your gunsmith buddy two towns over.
    I would not suggest that a first time builder "fit a Barrel" or "do a trigger job". Those two items of the build should be left to a professional. The correct tools to do that cost more than what you pay a professional to do them. The third thing that an amateur may not do easily is attach the plunger tube.
    There is not much difference in the parts cost of a 1911 and that of a "tack driver 1911" and let a professional take care of what you can not do easily.. You may buy a RIA kit and get by cheap but if you buy quality parts the expense of the Quality parts is 90% of the cost. Buy a good barrel and let the professional fit it up.
    But a matched frame and slide or an "oversized" frame and slide. That saves you a lot of work and not much more expemse in parts. Also buy the slide machined for the sights you are going to use. That takes care of a major amount of work as opposed tho buying any ole slide and then having the slide modified/machined for your sights,

    351 WINCHESTER New Member

    I have a friend that built his first 1911. It took him about 3 years. It's a beautiful gun and locks up like a bank vault, but 3 years.

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