Building/New Frame for 1911- ? HELP!!

Building/New Frame for 1911- ? HELP!!

This is a discussion on Building/New Frame for 1911- ? HELP!! within the Reference & "How To" Forum forums, part of the Related Topics category; I'm hoping the 1911 Guru's can help me. I have neurotic/friend co-worker who gave me his old Auto-Ordnance 1911A1. no, it's not as cool as ...

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Thread: Building/New Frame for 1911- ? HELP!!

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    Building/New Frame for 1911- ? HELP!!

    I'm hoping the 1911 Guru's can help me.
    I have neurotic/friend co-worker who gave me his old Auto-Ordnance 1911A1.
    no, it's not as cool as it sounds. He bought a beaver-tail and trigger and ambi-safety kit/set from Wilson, and wanted to install himself.
    well, I told him to let me do it as he has zero experience and is just starting out w/ guns.
    he tweaked the frame installing the main spring pin. he did a lousy job working the frame for the beaver-tail.
    this is where his neurotic-ness comes in. he decided since he damaged the serialized part of the gun he better destroy it all. (?) so he put it in his mill and took a huge chunk out of it and it's a paper-weight for sure now. (the frame only)
    he gave me all the rest of the parts. i guess cuz he's disgusted with the whole thing. (like i said, weird dude)

    so my question is two-fold.

    #1 - I've taken apart and added accessories to quite a few 1911, but never tried to mate a frame and slide assy. can i just buy a new frame and since this barrel is already factory fitted to this slide...will i be good to go? do i need to stick to an auto-ordnance frame? where would ya'all source just a frame? is this a fools errand? i am a machinist, and have worked on a lot of guns, but am not a gunsmith, and have no problem if this is above my pay grade.

    #2 - i have not taken possession of the serialized part. i was with him when he bought it and passed the background so i know it's ok. but what is the deal with a destroyed receiver? my intention is to only take possession of the non-serialized parts, but i told him i would try to figure out what he should do with the receiver. he wanted me to take it but no way am i taking a destroyed receiver especially with colo's stupid new P2P laws.

    advise and suggestion all around would be great. not in a hurry this will be 1911 #3 for me.
    Beans, Bullets, and Bandages. The only thing better than being ready is not having to use it!


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    That's certainly an interesting question: Do you need to do a transfer on a demilled receiver? One for the FFL 01's here.

    There's a certain amount of fitting for the slide and frame, which is typically done at the factory. I have never fit a frame/slide, but it doesn't sound or look that hard. It does require a few more tools than I have though, so I always have it done by whoever I am buying the frame and slide from.

    So what I am saying is I am of no help
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  3. #3
    TRX
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    1911 stuff: 1911 Internet Thread Archive

    The ATF doesn't have an official definition for "demilled" for ordinary firearms, just a handful of full-autos.

    You could make replacement bits for the hosed frame and weld them in, but it'd probably be simpler and cheaper just to buy a Foster or Caspian replacement frame and have it shipped to a local FFL.

    An old Springfield Armory 1911 parts kit should "just work" with any decent clone frame; all the the "to be fitted" parts are already fitted.
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    OD*
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    Go with a Caspian receiver . Do some research, building a 1911 consists of more than assembling parts.
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  5. #5
    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    Go with a Caspian receiver . Do some research, building a 1911 consists of more than assembling parts.
    oh, I know that, I guess, specifically;

    1- head space shouldn't be an issue as the barrel and slide are already fitted, correct?

    2- will the take down pin "area" need to be looked at?

    3- it's the feed ramp that's going to be the killer, huh?

    4- I intend to machine the beavertail and leave the frame alone, this is the proper way to this, yes?

    5- what else do I need to look out for?
    Beans, Bullets, and Bandages. The only thing better than being ready is not having to use it!

  6. #6
    OD*
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    Quote Originally Posted by DingBat View Post
    oh, I know that, I guess, specifically;

    1- head space shouldn't be an issue as the barrel and slide are already fitted, correct?
    Hopefully not.

    2- will the take down pin "area" need to be looked at?
    It shouldn't, I've never had a problem with them.

    3- it's the feed ramp that's going to be the killer, huh?
    You shouldn't have to do anything to the feed ramp on the receiver.

    4- I intend to machine the beavertail and leave the frame alone, this is the proper way to this, yes?
    No, the frames are cut, the two most common are, .250 and .220 radius (Springfield frames).
    1911 AUTO BEAVERTAIL FITTING JIG | Brownells

    5- what else do I need to look out for?
    Barrel link fitment for one, honestly, there is a lot to look out for
    ................
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    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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  7. #7
    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DingBat View Post
    oh, I know that, I guess, specifically;

    1- head space shouldn't be an issue as the barrel and slide are already fitted, correct?

    2- will the take down pin "area" need to be looked at?

    3- it's the feed ramp that's going to be the killer, huh?

    4- I intend to machine the beavertail and leave the frame alone, this is the proper way to this, yes?

    5- what else do I need to look out for?
    1- Headspace happens within the barrel. Lock up is a combination of the slide stop lever's (takedown lever's) interaction with the barrel link, the barrel, the slide and the frame, or location of the slide stop holes. There MAY have to be some fitting.

    2- Shouldn't

    3- Not necessarily, assuming the ramp is on the frame and not the barrel. Usually just polishing is in order, but this is where some guys break out the expensive measurement tools to measure angles and such.

    4- No. Not that you can't find a beavertail grip safety that will fit, but it will look like heck with gaps. And different BGS's work with different frames. And sometimes they are even to wide for the frame and need fit to fit into the frame. And of course there's fitting the BGS to the trigger bow so it acts like a safety when it's supposed to. The correct way is to blend everything to it looks right and then file the BGS so it meet the trigger bow correctly.

    5- EVERYTHING! LOL

    It sounds like a great project. But to do it correctly you will need a bunch of files, stones, sandpaper, sanding blocks, beavertail jigs (make like much easier) and other things I am forgetting. Then you will need more. The good thing is you will have everything for your next build.
    I watched a lot of YT vids, especially by Jay Williams I think his name is. He takes you step by step with a clear audio and great video and shows you how to make a lot of mistakes and wind up with a pistol that doesn't function, BUT, it showed me what NOT to do. I learned a lot from them. Then I watched a bunch of Dawson Precision vids and a couple AGI DVD's to learn the correct way. Once I got going it was pretty easy, especially with someone to answer questions.

    It's not that hard, but there's more to it than meets the eye.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Array HK Dan's Avatar
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    I am a match shooter. I do USPSA and IDPA. In the 7 years I've been doing this I have seen a LOT of 1911s fail their shooter. Virtually all of them (bad reloads not withstanding) were due to "tinkering". The owner replaces parts to make the gun faster or more accurate, and what he's really done is mess up the complex interaction that a 1911 needs to succeed at to work properly.

    1911s are not guns for beginners, nor is working on them. Building one? Yeee-hikes! I think you're asking for more heartache than you think you are. Were it me, I'd go buy a Springfield Range Officer and call it done. One man's opinion, and he's an HK guy...LOL

    Dan
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  9. #9
    Distinguished Member Array DingBat's Avatar
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    Thanks Guys.

    Guess it's time to bury my nose in some books... sigh.

    not that I don't like learning and it'll be a fun challenge, I guess I was hoping I could slap together a new plinker w/out taking a design class in 1911's.....not that that's a bad thing, just... lazy I guess.

    Fortunately I have a full shop at home, complete with a Bridgeport, and two welding machines that can weld 5 processes. Files and stones and handtools are a-plenty.

    Sounds like I need t change my thinking from "slapping together a plinker" to "take your time and do it right". I already have a Kimber and a 1950's- ish Colt. So I'm already covered for 1911's, so I guess it's time to rethink this project and lay some clear goals.

    Thanks for everyones input, I may "Necro" this thread at some point to post some more questions when I get into the meat of it.
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Yes, do it right. Then do the next one better. If you are meticulous by nature and a quick study it won't be hard to delve into building one and have it come out right the first time.
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  11. #11
    TRX
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    You have a complete, previously-working gun with a mangled frame. An in-spec replacement frame should restore it to working condition.

    If you were filling the gun full of aftermarket bits, you'd probably wind up needing to do some fitting.

    I'd lay long odds you could just order a new frame, reassemble the gun, and everything would work fine. If not, any problems should be easy to spot.

    You need to order the frame with the feed ramp to match your cartridge. An Auto Ordnance should have a standard mil-spec barrel instead of a "ramped" barrel and notched frame, so avoid anything that says "Wilson/Nowlin" or "Clark/Para."

    ANY time you anything beyond cosmetic changes to a 1911 you need to do a full safety and function check; most of the 1911 sites have all the checks explained in detail. If the gun passes, you're good to go. If not, the problems are usually a mis-cut feed ramp (send the frame back) or in the fire control group; the diagnostic tree for that is well-established.
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  12. #12
    OD*
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    The great thing about a 1911 is that you can do so much to it. The bad thing about a 1911 is that you can do so much to it.
    ............
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    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, donít give them a tomorrow."

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