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· Not a Gunsmith, but learning more everyday.
294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Doing a build for fun! Using all leftover scrap parts , a $20 raw casting I overcut the rails on this summer , and a $60 llama 9mm Commander length slide that came with a bunch of parts.

And to make this thread fun,
Please post your cheapest build, the Bubba' ier the better. Rattle can /unfinished, weird Frankenstein, duct tape, jb weld, plumber solder, egged holed, over Parkerised , scaly ,scummy, homemade , awesomeNess.

I'm going to use my strangest oddball parts on this, a Deltonic Ambi slide stop off a combat master, a 2 piece guide rod I made from tapping and hardening some rod stock(trying to incorporate a laser bore sighter, looking for 22lr one, or other with tiny batteries), a diy trigger i made with a shoe , square or extended swappable, blued bar,added over travel screw, adj tab, a really interesting italiam Adjustable Hammer, clear "baby doll" Plexiglas grips with a few different pics & things to mount behind, pin up girl, pics of my grandfather & uncle, & a stream punk clock & watch gear thing. A funky aluminum grip safety with a non standard radius, a homemade bobbed MSH I'm making out of a spanish arched steel MSH, an officer main spring. some old slotted copper plated grip screws , bushings, whatever else I can find thst looks interesting, weird, hillbilly or ghetto.

Electroplating the slide and/or frame & parts , a mix of copper, and nickle, black & white powder coating, torch n oil bluing, grey gunkote, black matte guncote, who knows,maybe just black it out.

Oh, and I may to try a couple alternative methods to fix the over cut rails without welding them.

1. electroplate / electroform nickel over copper to build them up . (Actually not that far out of spec, just rattles)

1.a use powder coat in an unconventional way, possiblypossibly by filling a toaster oven tray 1/4" full of powder, then putting the frame in it upside down, cooking, then milling the hardened powder coat layer.

2. (Wierd on e) Drill slightly oversize round holes in the slide.
Straight down the slide frame rail slots, and then weld hardened steel rods in place of standard frame rails . . Like. ....oh I forget who does a similar mod, but a Removable version..can't remember.....Oh! Doug Jones Accu Rails! Except mine will be larger and completely replace the rails.
3. Grind the whole top deck off, (not for this build, but I was thinking it would a better way than peening or welding up rails ). Cut & weld on a piece of flat stock ( shaped like s ruler) that slides nicely inside the slide on top, , cut out holes for the mag, etc

4. Let it rattle, & hope the flgr helps. They say rail fit Doesn't affect accuracy more than 10% " they say". Hoping, attention to barrel lower lugs & making sure the bushing is wrench tight may

Probably a mix of #4, and #1.

Obviously not a match gun. Just something for fun in spare time.

My goal is 2- 3" groups at 7-10 yards. And less than 1 in 100 ftf , fte, or other screw ups.

Parts list and prices.

$60 -
Seemingly unfired Llama ix 9mm slide,4.25 pencil barrel (sticks out 1/4") (1911 standard measurements,, with nice external extractor, not a flat), and original fitted 9mm barrel w link, with Match fit bushing. Looks like top lugs were professionally fitted well.

I dehorned and started polishing it last night, when it came it was black with gunk , covered in grease, scratched n banged up, , but by the perfect barrel bore & shiny blued small parts condition ,zero rail and part wear, I would be surprised if it was fired more than 100 times. Theory, Cheap gun (250 or so new in 79 ) . Looks to have lived in tool box, tackle box, truck box, who knows. Seller didn't know.

Came with unknown brand 1911 parts, a new sharp sear, new pins, recoil springs, spur hammer, 2 sears, stock firing pin & springs, & new stainless firing pin (never saw a llama pin in stainless, slightly different than a standard 1911, inertia, but still little longer, different rings etc, will post pic pics, I think someone made it), new looking 9mm llama extractor, sharp hook, not deformed or bottom smoothed.

{{ $60 included slide, barrel and these parts probably not being used on this build, 1911 interchangeable , very shiny nice comfortable blued grip & thumb safety,& slide stop,steel arched lined complete MSH (holes a little off placed, but I'm bobbing it anyway ) extra brl bushing , trigger, few links, pins, mini wedge rear sight, an adjustable rear sight that won't fit }}.
$15. EGW extended 9mm ejector (member)
$10 older dan Wilson I piece FLGR w plug & spring
(Have my homemade one,so not counting $)
$free grip bushings
(NoidMeister, Ty Curly!)
$1, drilling and adding fiber Optic to existing front sight.(have spares front sight)
$20 Italian adjustable hammer, been wanting to try it ( bin )
$20 Detonics ambi slide stop (in bin )
$15 Ambi safety, Colt, parts ( bin.)
$10 unconventional beavertail aluminum grip safety (bin)
Plexiglas grips with pics or watch n clock gears (wish they turned) (bin)
$20 frame casting,

So about $100!
(Yes, adds up to more, but lots of stuff already had)

Now some pics. I KNOW some of you HAVE to have weird projects you cut corners on, were not happy with, buggered up, Frankenstein d up for the hell of it, PLEASE post pics of your strange, poor, or, early builds.

· North Central AZ Grasslands
3,399 Posts
While this only pertains to the frame and it's internals. This one cost me $38 and most of that was the transfer fee for the frame. All the small parts came from other addicts who donated to the cause.


· Not a Gunsmith, but learning more everyday.
294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
While this only pertains to the frame and it's internals. This one cost me $38 and most of that was the transfer fee for the frame. All the small parts came from other addicts who donated to the cause.

That's great! Really wonderful and generous community here. Add the knowledge...

· Not a Gunsmith, but learning more everyday.
294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)

This is the jig inventors stopping point of what it Should look like this before filings, if you do it right, I get them much cleaner now after some practice, scrap blocks help. The trim router/tslot is better for me, easier to hurt yourself with tho. Can't cut doublestack with my xy vice n drill press wasn't good enough even after replacing bearings.

This is how I cut doublestack castings, and messed up that frame, I tried to use a stack of disks at once, freehand, no debth control. The trick is to use a thin disk to cut the top n bottom, THEN hog out the middle, then file.

I made mine,but metal one is 75 on gunbroker, nice guy.

Now I use a trim router with a keyslot cutter, and a speed control, with a debth control plate, (shims (), cleaner. Works with diamond discs too.

· Not a Gunsmith, but learning more everyday.
294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)

Degreased and sanded slide to 320. Slight dehorn.

Sanded grip safety to 320, made jig to cut frame, marked.

Tightend slide with vice, good enough, lapped to 400. no need to add material, not match tight, but i prefer a little play, i dont like the idea of a little grit causing a jam.disregard my oddball ideas on rail thickening.

Sanded frame, marked holes with transfer punches off an auto ordnance frame.

Copied thumb indentation ground into frame from the auto ordnance frame, but on both sides, for left handed use.

Polished and definished most small parts

Stoned sear to fit a more conventional hammer I think will match better.

I think it's Klonmus. Matches grip safety better, save the adjustable hammer for different project, target.

Easing up on bob, instead slight bob using stock Arched MSH, just trimming corner of frame, and relocation of hole slightly. Similar to stock llama.

Cutting dust cover down

· Not a Gunsmith, but learning more everyday.
294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
While this only pertains to the frame and it's internals. This one cost me $38 and most of that was the transfer fee for the frame. All the small parts came from other addicts who donated to the cause.

That is an excellent gun, you should be proud! Nothing Bubba or crappy about it

What was most challenging for you, and did anything fight you? I'm still having difficulty with bottom barrel lug fitment. Works, but I'm not sure how to tell how well it's done.

Could we get a lit of parts you used?

Nothing beats knowing how your piece works down to the last pin and spring , imo, hands on is the only way to really "get it" it was months before I understood how the barrel lugs worked, then one day it "clicked ", Not at all what I thought was going on inside there.

This is my first casting build, a 45 government on a stainless 60% frame, had to so a lot. (Anyone have a trick to cutting MSH GROOVES? I made a wedge, then use a small flex shaft grinding wheel, then file, it looks fine all put together, but crappy inside there disassembled .

Everything else is straightforward, here is the order I used. No jigs.

1 Deck top based on mag catch hole.
2 Cut rails
3 Measure from top, mark center and top of slide stop hole, punch, drill pilot hole, drI'll one size smaller than 5/16, ream to fit.
4. Measure from slode stop to locate grip safety hole
5. Use 100% frame to locate sear and hammer holes. (Could do all holes that way , alternative is print blue print, glue to casting)
6. Punch n drill Plunger, msh, grip, ejector , and other side holes
7. Locate ejector hole by putting drops of paint on ejector and eyeball uaing the edge of hammer slot. disconnect hole is usually done
8. Flare magwell slightly and clean up inside.
9. Burnish trigger slot to 990 or so
10. Put wedge in msh slot, cut grooves.
I think that's all , then proceed as with 100% frame.

I got lucky and found almost a complete small parts set of Wilson. Combat and EGW parts inexpensively, I didn't realize how much better quality parts really were prior to that. I used a Brazilian army Itajuba slide, and rubber grips, egw extractor, even with the old slide is tightest extractor I've ever tried. I got lucky, followed the Knudsen manual (misspelled ) carefully , ended up with a 4.3# crisp pull, 3" groups at 20, but that's with a 40's GI barrel and bushing still. I keep forgetting to look for a smith fit or collet bushing for that build.

One thing bugs me in this picture, I had Wilson's polished extended slide stop too, that matches the thumb safety and I can't find it, I do have the satin version of the thumb safety, but the poished feels really nice, so I ignore the cosmetica. I know as soon as polish the matte one, I'll find the polished one. STILL haven't decided on a finish, I just keep it well oiled for now, it looks passable as is til I decide. Here is a pic of some of the parts too.

Bummer, I must have deleted them, here's a few tho.

I need a better phone, terrible pic of the complete 45. Crack in the camera glass

That sear jig makes all the difference in the world, I use it in conjunction with either jewelers 7x goggles , or a bow mount magnifying glass, but reading glasses would help too.

Imo getting the barrel bushing tight to frame, bottom barrel lugs right, and the sear stoned nice and square are most important. (Having a working safety too!).

Thst high polished beavertail and thumb safety feel so good, I live in an open carry state, where people actually often do (because our CCW is so expensive mostly), a Matte black glockish on your hip or sob people hardly even notice, but those 2
shiny bits attract a lot of attention. I wish I could retain the feel, but loose the sparkle.

I'm thinking this cheap 4.25 might be a good carry, it's considerably lighter too.

I was attacked and robbed by 5 kids, pistol whipped with a full size Springfield 1911 45 in desert colors(god help me, I thought it was fake, I read "model of 1911 , and thought. .well....it was a,model! , like in the film , lock stock and 2 smoking barrels, "yours says replica", he was shaking like a leaf, finger ON the trigger of daddys gun,, it wasn't til he re-racked the slide and a shiny 45 went flying that I gave it up...actually I found one and got him to go get my car keys back!, nicest mugger ever ) , cops were 2 blocks away, and I was yelling, got no help. So now I do often carry, even on a grocery run (when it happened). Would have been a different outcome, he snagged his pants on the slowest draw I have ever seen, may have gotten to keep my paycheck . .. I'm bored, rambling, my wife is making me late to go to dinner at Moms....leftover turkey! Never get sick of it! Mmmmm.

· Not a Gunsmith, but learning more everyday.
294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Don't be shy fellas, let's see some sub $300 guns!

I just ordered a Re Cover in pink , thst color is half price, I have a frame with a broken dust cover, might have been able to use the recover only, I chopped off the dust cover from a sarco para lda p 14, and stuck it on, but the angle wasn't perfect ,was rubbing, had to cut it back off.

Are those things hard? Looks like I could leave the duse cover off and just use that.

Now a 1911 RaIL gun, ,especially a cheap or recover one is NOT to my taste, add pink, and she Will be ugly. Putting a para ordnance tac 4 slide on that, if I can still get it for $65.

· Registered
2,878 Posts
A few years back I was digging through the parts bin looking for something. There was a .40 slide, .40 barrel, and SV mag well, all that I had won over the years at various national championships. There was also all the trigger components from my very first Smith build (replaced at some point with a C&C kit). There was a pin kit and springs as I used to like to keep extras on hand.

Long story short, I was able to build a complete gun with partson hand, with only the purchase of a frame. After the build, I would later add a short trigger and wider safety. Final touch would be to get the Frame NP3 finish.

It's a great gun, very accurate, and I've been competing with it in USPSA SS division for the past few months. Prior to the NP3 treatment, it easily came in at under $300.

Will find pics later.

· Not a Gunsmith, but learning more everyday.
294 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If you think you are going to see a lot of Frankenguns from this lot, you don't know your audience very well, Forester :)

Guns pop up in the classifieds here in the 8K range quite often.
I know, and they are straight up technical Artwork, but everybody started somewhere, I'm sure there are more than a few people who put some oddball mods on one of those Rock island sub >500 things. (No offense to low end 1911's, compared to something like a Lorcin or hi point even the most modest 1911 is Oldest Son)

Plus parts just seem to breed in the bin, and if you have empty frames it's hard not to try out configurations, like LEGOS for grown ups .

I was organizing my parts bin an realized I had a whole extra ww2 era 45 1911 set of parts I had forgotten all about buying, barrel and all (poor bore tho), rusty when I bought them, and the sear was rounded off (and not enough meat left to safely restone,) but a couple days in a can of wd40, some brass brushing and 0000 wool has them looking pretty good. just missing the slide, but i found a genuine colt ww2 on ebay he dropped the price on to 130, but I'm saving right now.

The hammer I was going to use, before switching to a ww1 style wide spur and gi safety has 2 half cock notches, it's also very light. It rubbed a bit rough so I'm going to save it to use it with a harder slide, maybe a stainless one, but why are there 2 half cock notches, and any idea who made it? I guessed Klonmus, but it doesn't look exactly like one of thiers.

The frame I was going to use for this came, but the llama slide is VERY tight, it wouldn't fit on any of my frames, so I might use it on a double stack frame I overcut, then overfilled. Someone must have squeezed the hell out of it. I'll measure later, forgot I had started a build thread for it, so I'll go post my progress on that, and hope some more >500 builds get posted here.

How about all those 250$ sarco sets that used to be available ? Anyone build one of them? By the time I got started they were long gone.
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