Building a Springfield 1911 from parts

This is a discussion on Building a Springfield 1911 from parts within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Has anyone built a 1911 from parts purchased online or from gunshows? How difficult is it? What kind of a quality can you expect from ...

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Thread: Building a Springfield 1911 from parts

  1. #1
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    Building a Springfield 1911 from parts

    Has anyone built a 1911 from parts purchased online or from gunshows? How difficult is it? What kind of a quality can you expect from the end product? Is it worth doing?

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    Did it back in the 1980s. I wanted a 1911 but could not afford one outright, I started with a bare frame and purchased parts as I could afford them. I still have it and call it my Johnny Cash gun from the song “One Piece at a Time”. The only problem was a failure on my part in fitting the hammer and sear, full auto in a 1911 is no fun if you are not expecting it. A trip to the gunsmith and a replacement took care of the problem. Still have it and it does see carry duty on occasion.

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    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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    It can go easy or it can go tough. It just depends on the parts.
    And you must know how every part interacts with every other part or you will end up with a very dangerous situation.
    If the barrel is not perfectly fit you can split your frame rails or break off your barrel lugs.
    The hammer and sear engagement can get tricky.
    The thumb safety is not a drop in part. The grip safety that blocks the trigger may or may not be a "drop in part. The mainspring housing you can train a chimp to install.
    Your barrel link also needs to be the correct size.
    Also...if there is too much pressure and stress on slide stop pin that can break.
    The disconnector can get difficult also. The sear spring needs to be correctly tensioned.
    I do not want to scare you off the project. Buy a good 1911book.
    Also plan on buying additional parts because not all parts will mate with all other parts.
    You know the old saying...you can a Corvette from all spare parts but, what you will end up with when you are finished will never beat a factory Corvette in a race.
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    Did it back in the 1980s. I wanted a 1911 but could not afford one outright, I started with a bare frame and purchased parts as I could afford them. I still have it and call it my Johnny Cash gun from the song “One Piece at a Time”. The only problem was a failure on my part in fitting the hammer and sear, full auto in a 1911 is no fun if you are not expecting it. A trip to the gunsmith and a replacement took care of the problem. Still have it and it does see carry duty on occasion.

    IMG_0581.JPG
    Looks like you ended up with a nice firearm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    It can go easy or it can go tough. It just depends on the parts. And you must know how every part interacts with every other part or you will end up with a very dangerous situation. If the barrel is not perfectly fit you can split your frame rails or break off your barrel lugs. The hammer and sear engagement can get tricky. The thumb safety is not a drop in part. Your barrel link needs to be the correct size. If there is too much pressure and stress on slide stop pin that can break. The disconnector can get difficult also. I do not want to scare you off the project. Buy a good 1911book.
    Also plan on buying additional parts because not all parts will mate with all other parts.
    You know the old saying...you can a Corvette from all spare parts but, what you will end up with when you are finished will never beat a factory Corvette in a race.

    I have read the same exact points your are making and that is a concern.

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    I was going to get a schematic and start looking for parts from Brownell's, Midway, and others. Any suggestion where to obtain parts? It should be a good way to really learn the intricacies of the 1911. Thanks.

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    Buy the 1911 book by Jerry Kuhnhausen - that will be a huge help & will help you to get things right the first time.

    I actually typed the above post from my phone and that was a PITA so I am going make a couple of additions because I am certain that other members will want to also try a build.

    An older book that might be helpful is Hallocks (SP?).45 Auto Handbook.
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    If you buy your parts from Brownell's you can return any part for a refund or replacement even if you try and fit it and you mess it up.

    What other company will do that?

    The easiest barrel to install is a Storm Lake Drop In.

    You can also go here for some helpful hints. The Blind Hogg <~~~ http://www.blindhogg.com/gunsmithing.html

    Also if you go to YouTube and type in "Brownells" they have a pile of Videos posted there. I do not know how many are 1911 related but, there are some....like this one.




    I think that it's great that you want to do this. You CAN do it but, just plan on a few things getting very frustrating.

    Plan on taking the firearm apart and putting it back together again LOTS of times.

    And do a complete function check before you shoot it and initially only put one cartridge (or two MAX) in the magazine.

    Beware of nameless 1911 parts of unknown origin. There is a TON of totally crap 1911 stuff floating around out there.

    AKA Out Of Spec rejected parts. Rejected old MIL Surplus - TERRIBLE Chinese Knock Off Parts etc. etc.

    It IS possible to spend a PILE of money on high dollar Super Duper 1911 UPGRADE parts.

    In most cases if you are just wanting a good shooter you can buy the Colt Factory equivalent parts from Brownell's and they will be fine.

    Unless you want to fork out $80 + Bucks for a hammer and $50. for a EGW Slide Stop etc etc.

    If you do not want to bother trying to drill and pin the ejector you can "dry fit" that part - & make certain that it fits properly and that your slide will run on it - then degrease the ejector holes in the frame and the ejector legs and you can set that in with Loc-Tite Stud & Bearing Mount RED or the newer Loc-Tite GREEN and it will never come loose if you carefully get everything immaculately clean and degreased before you Loc-Tite it. Do not use Loc-Tite BLUE.
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    OD*
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    How well versed are you on the 1911 platform?

    If you are starting from scratch, it would be more economical to buy a complete pistol.

    I started with many parts to begin with, it still wound up costing the equivalent of a new lower tier pistol.

    Frankin45;
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    Just buy a plain ol Colt Gov Model. You won't have to worry about quality or proper fitting parts, and then you will have something you can tweak to your needs and likes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    Did it back in the 1980s. I wanted a 1911 but could not afford one outright, I started with a bare frame and purchased parts as I could afford them. I still have it and call it my Johnny Cash gun from the song “One Piece at a Time”. The only problem was a failure on my part in fitting the hammer and sear, full auto in a 1911 is no fun if you are not expecting it. A trip to the gunsmith and a replacement took care of the problem. Still have it and it does see carry duty on occasion.

    IMG_0581.JPG

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