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1911 Build Update

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Been working on my 1911 project when I can actually find some free time.  Probably about 24-25ish hours into the project so far.  Got a lot of blood and sweat (A surprising amount of blood! haha) into it but throughly enjoying working on it.


What the back an in progress build looks like before its all prettied up, smoothed, and blended.  That ding on the the left rail makes my eye twitch every time I look at it. My butterfingers dropped it and it hit my vice  :blackeye: . Hopefully I'll be able to do something about it when I blend the slide to the frame.



Full length guide rod because all the cool kids have one



Kart NM barrel locks up nice and tight, nary a wiggle.  A combo of beginners luck and forking over the cash for the right (painfully uni-tasker!) tools.



Nighthawk Custom barrel bushing, kinda blah.  I think I may order an EGW carry bushing, looks a little nicer.



Thats all for now folks.  Thanks for looking, and my ears are always open for tips and tricks for this who have more experience.


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Is this your first 1911 build?  Have you built anything else like an AR, Saiga, or something similar?  I think this is cool as hell, just trying to get a feel for how complicated it can be.


This is my first attempt at any sort of build.  Its definitely something that took a ton of research before I decided whether I was going to do it or not.  If you like working with your hands, figuring things out, and pulling your hair out than its definitely doable if you go super super slow and buy the right tools.  This is one thing where doing it yourself won't save you money, you'll probably wind up spending 3x's more but you get all top of the line parts and a gun exactly how you want it.  There is no such thing as a drop in part in a 1911.  Every part has to be hand fit/filed.  Its frustrating but rewarding!

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Brownell’s complete parts list.  You will learn to hate this company as all of your money will be directly siphoned into its coffers.



Watch this guys series of videos on building your first 1911.  He does a great job of showing you the mistakes he made and how to avoid them.  Watch them and let him make all the mistakes for you before you make them yourself


Fitting the barrel.  This is a series of articles of 4 or 5 parts that have written and visual details on how to fit a barrel which is the most important step in making an accurate gun.



Learn how to assemble and disassemble from on of the best (and most expensive) companies in the industry.



Good step by step diary of an amateur like us trying his first build, and he’s pretty funny in his descriptions too.



Safety checking your pistol. Very important.  Remember to also only load one or two rounds in the mag the first time you shoot your pistol in case you filed the fire control parts to short and made yourself a nice little fully auto pistol.



The extractor is a main source of feeding and ejecting problems



THIS IS THE MOST USEFUL RESOURCE YOU WILL HAVE.  All the questions/problems you will encounter have been asked and answered multiple times over on this site.  Many of these guys are top level gunsmiths or top parts companies owners and reps.  This site is your friend and will keep you from blowing yourself up/creating a really expensive boat anchor.



Before you take on a build you have to accept the fact (as I have) that you will be forking over enough or almost enough money to buy a semi-custom pistol from a top manufacturer and will most likely will not have a pistol that operates like or looks as nice as one of these. What you will have is a pistol with exactly the look, feel, design, and parts you want, with a mortgage worth of your sweat equity in it.  If you like working with your hands doing meticulous little things (It took me literally 16.5 hours to fit the slide to the frame because I went SLOW, which resulted in a tight fit and smooth slide action), figuring things out, and occasionally bleeding at your workbench, you will probably enjoy a 1911 build.  If not, then save your money and you can get a Les Baer for the same cost, or save twice as much and get a Wilson Combat or Ed Brown, up to you.  Be honest with yourself, know your skills and dedication level.  


Edited to add:

I am not a gunsmith (clearly). I am a slightly over confident 25 year old kid who did many months worth of research before I bought a single part.  

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