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Time to build a 1911?

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

  1. Dryft

    Dryft Well-Known 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 Well-Known 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 Well-Known 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 Well-Known 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 Well-Known 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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