1911 Firearm Addicts banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
for the TLDR crowd: Guy finally buys an 80% 1911 kit, some tools and a book. Manages to build, shoot, hit a target with said kit built 1911 and it didn't blow up or malfunction on him...:)

I've been involved with firearms for about 40 years now, always loved shooting and always wanted to know how they worked. I've built quite a few different rifles, mostly AR's and their different variants. Mk18 clones, SBR's, a 9mm PDW to name a few. Yeah, I have an affinity for the black rifles, I thank my stepdad for getting me started in the 80's when they were still relatively rare, then my time in the Marines cemented that relationship. But I always wanted to build a pistol.

A couple of years ago I started building polymer80 pistols and fell in love with the customization that was possible. In the back of my mind I still wanted to tackle a 1911 but didn't know if I could do it. A few weeks ago I said screw it, I'm going to build one. I started watching videos, Mosinvirus definitely had some good ones, other builders looked kinda sketchy. And honestly I figured "if that guy can build one, I can build one", while I was watching one series of videos.

I started doing some research and took a shot in the dark on an 80% kit from Patriot Armory. Then I bought Jerry Kuhnhausens book and started reading. In about a week I had put together what seemed to me to be a functional 1911.

Today I took it to the range and with just a hint of trepidation, loaded a single 230gr .45 round into the mag. With a buddy watching me, already schooled on my choice of medical facility and family contacts, I inserted the mag, racked the slide back, checked that it was in battery, planted my face behind the sights and slowly pulled the trigger. It went bang... I could see that the shot was in the center of the target as the spent casing flew out the ejection port at 3 o'clock and the slide locked back. I smiled, my friend smiled, no blood was shed. Man that was cool!

I picked up the spent casing, nothing was out of the ordinary. I looked at the breech face of the pistol, everything looked normal, inspected the barrel and anything else I could think of. Everything seemed good to go! So I loaded up another round, in another mag and did it again, and again, and again. Going through about 75 rounds with zero malfunctions. Then I let my friend try it. I knew he would want to shoot it, little did he know that he might have even had the chance to shoot it first if I had thought it wiser to employ an, ahem, "test subject". But heck, I couldn't do that to him, especially if he had already agreed that in the event of an emergency they were not allowed to part my parts out. Only that they could have back the parts in me that weren't mine, just a few ligaments and bolts I really. Anyway, back to the range. The pistol shoots fine, I built it, and I want to build another one. Like right now! But this time I'm going to take my time, do a little more research and make this one even better.

I've got an Ed Brown RMR cut SS slide coming in next week..... I think I have a problem ;)

Gun Firearm Trigger Tan Gun accessory
Gun Firearm Trigger Tan Khaki
Thumb Gas Heat Iron Gunshot
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I was surprised by the amount of gas blowing back from the hammer area. I said I didn't have an hiccups, which I really didn't. But I noticed a ding halfway up the spent casing and asked my buddy to shoot a video to see what was happening. And we confirmed the spent case was just hitting the side of the port, no biggee. But that picture was a still he pulled from the video.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I learned a lot from Kuhnhauser's book, and searching this forum. When I had it all together I had hammer follow. Made an adjustment to the sear spring and trigger travel adjustment screw and fixed it. Then some of my old mags, talking 30 years old and probably should be retired, weren't holding back the slide. I fixed the mags then the slide stop so it was locking back on all of them. The new mag that came with it worked fine.

After the first range trip I broke it down and looked for wear patterns on the frames slide stop, the slide catch pin, lugs and breech. Again, searching the forums and the book helped me to learn what I should see.

I'm not a machinist or smith, but I did spend 8 years working for a swiss company working on cnc equipment. So my metal working experience came from that training. Much tighter tolerances, we hand lapped guideways 10 feet long, measured in microns. On the cutting heads some hand lapped tolerances were 11 microns. That experience helped greatly.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,151 Posts
I learned a lot from Kuhnhauser's book, and searching this forum. When I had it all together I had hammer follow. Made an adjustment to the sear spring and trigger travel adjustment screw and fixed it. Then some of my old mags, talking 30 years old and probably should be retired, weren't holding back the slide. I fixed the mags then the slide stop so it was locking back on all of them. The new mag that came with it worked fine.

After the first range trip I broke it down and looked for wear patterns on the frames slide stop, the slide catch pin, lugs and breech. Again, searching the forums and the book helped me to learn what I should see.

I'm not a machinist or smith, but I did spend 8 years working for a swiss company working on cnc equipment. So my metal working experience came from that training. Much tighter tolerances, we hand lapped guideways 10 feet long, measured in microns. On the cutting heads some hand lapped tolerances were 11 microns. That experience helped greatly.
Congrats on the build!! It looks great and goes bang. Hopefully you have also tested safety features as well.

I’m in the middle of build #5 now and have gained knowledge on all of them.
Like yourself, when the first one worked, it started the juices going for #2, #3........ etc. I’m in the planning stages of #6 and I haven’t gotten #4 back from finish yet.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Congrats on the build!! It looks great and goes bang. Hopefully you have also tested safety features as well.
Pg 33 :grin: Since I really didn't know how the safety features worked I read the book while I had my SA Commander apart. After that I checked fit and function on my new build and made sure I had all the proper alignments. I probably tested the safeties 50 times before I loaded up a round..lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
149 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you guys! My goal was to make a functioning 1911, while I hoped it would look good, I was looking first for function over aesthetics. There are a few things I will eventually do to this frame. The cerakote job is not the greatest, the beavertail has some run marks. So I want to blend the beaver tail and refinish it for one. My next build hopefully will be better looking and more custom towards my taste. I like an RMR on my pistol, so my next build will have that for sure.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top