Another 1911 Budget Build - Final Assembly Complete

Viper22

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I've been on a kick to find a decent used 1911 that was affordable. HAH!!! The closest I came to affordable was an Argentine 1927. Internals were good, but the exterior of the gun was rough. Very rough. Looks like it was used as a hammer more than once. That and I would have to swap some parts to make it lefty friendly. By the time everything was brought up to what I needed it to be, I would have had enough into the gun to buy a new S&W 1911...

So this brings me to reading the thread by bbarer found here: http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulletin/threads/156497-Budget-1911-400-or-less!!

Well...that got the cogs turning. First off was coming up with funding for this project. Up on the chopping block went my CS9. Neat little gun, but it sat in the safe more than anything else. After selling that, I got the orders from my fiancee that I could NOT go over my budget. I had $450 to spend, not a dime more(for now[wink]).

After some searching, reading, more searching and more reading, I pulled the trigger on ordering a 1911 build kit (minus the frame). While its nothing fancy, this kit will get the job done. In fact, its the same kit bbarer used for his build. Next comes the frame. I took a quick ride out to Remsport and picked up an over-run gov't frame in carbon steel. Its got an undercut on the trigger guard, and what looks to be 25lpi checkering on the front strap. Since I need to meet or come in below my budget, I chose to blue the frame myself with what I had laying around. Two applications of Formula 44-40 did the trick. I am hoping to eventually get the frame done in OD Green Cerakote. I think it will look darn good with the Parkerized slide & small parts that are in the build kit. One last thing...I had to order an ambi thumb safety since I'm left handed. I chose the one sold by Cylinder & Slide due to the two levers are equal in size. I can't stand the ambi thumb safeties that have a huge lever on one side and a half a lever on the side I need to use.

I have the frame, and I'm waiting on delivery of the rest.


Anyway, on to the numbers:

1911 build kit (less frame): $210.00
Walnut grips: $13.95
Remsport gov't frame: $165.00
C&S ambi thumb safety: $54.99

Build Total: $443.94

And if I was a righty (less ambi safety): $388.95


Not bad, not bad.

I will be updating this as I build the gun. Here's some pics of the frame. First its in-the-white, and the last two pictures is the bluing I did.









 
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Absolutely continue!!.. I want a 1911 myself but in a specific combination.. 9mm and OD Green.. looks like I will have to go your route.. same as I did with my beloved AR15.. <smacks forehead> why didn't I think of this earlier..
 

Viper22

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Well, that went WAY easier than expected. Gun is assembled and safety checks are good!!! To the range tomorrow...
 

Viper22

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Build Kit Evaluation

Waiting for my parts to arrive wasn't too bad. Took 4 days to arrive. Luckily the ambi safety I ordered from Midway came in at the same time as the rest. Tearing into the box revealed everything packaged neatly in one gigantic bag. The large parts were individually bagged and then put in the gigantic bag, while the mid size parts were at the bottom of the gigantic bag. Small parts were in a heavy duty business envelope (think of what you got your lunch tokens in back in kindergarden/elementary school).

As I unpackaged the bag, I inspected each component. I'll outline what I liked/disliked.

Barrel- I was impressed by the finish of the barrel, and the link was already assembled to the barrel lugs. The lugs were very clean. Slide is marked CAL 45 ACP.

Slide- Again, very impressed. No machining marks, even finish (parkerized), serrations looked good.

Hammer- new style (commander?) hammer. Not the old GI spur hammer. COOL!!!

Grip safety- Not the old GI style either. This one is seen on the certian website I ordered the kit from as a seperate item. Its a wide, flat beavertail. It doesn't curve up like a typical beavertail, but it does a good job of keeping the web of your hand away from the hammer. Slight gap from the frame to the beavertail, as my frame was probably cut for the new style beavertail. Blued finish

Mainspring Housing- WTF!!! I repeat, WTF!!! Now, I expected the old GI style MSH, with the lines on the back. What I got has nothing. Totally smooth, but with the lanyard ring. Whatever, I'll buy some files and do my own checkering to match the frontstrap.

Thumb safety- Nice, but I'm a lefty. Had to order an ambi safety seperate.

Misc small parts- Nice. Everything fit like it should. Mix of parked and blued.

Grips- Man, am I glad I ordered the walnut grips along with the kit. The plastic grips included in the kit are horrid! Ugly, used and abused, chipped, crushed...ugh!!!


Here is a picture with most of the larger parts. Small bag of parts not pictured.

 
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Viper22

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Getting there!

Frame to slide fit was good. I though I would be in for hours upon hours of fitting. Not so. The slide started on the frame. Maybe 1 inch or so. Ok. Took the slide off, measured the cuts in the slide. Measured the rails on the frame. Everything was VERY close. Out came the deadblow hammer. About an hour of tapping the slide back and forth I got the slide to fully move on the rails, although with a couple TIGHT spots. Working the slide back and forth by hand brought everything in. Didnt have to file, use lapping compound or any other persuasion. COOL!!!

The one thing I noticed was the rail cuts in the slide had some chatter in them. Nothing too bad though.

Please excuse the disaster of a workbench.






DVD player box is full of 20 gauge hulls.
 
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Viper22

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Final Assembly

Final assembly went OK. I was learning as I went. Ran from the basement to the computer and back 1,000 times referencing how the damn thing went together. Ultimately the assembly took about four hours. If I had prior experience with the 1911, I could have put the thing together in less than an hour. Now that I know the assembly process, its really easy. Anyway, getting back on track here............Everything fit together as it should. I did have to file & fit the ambi thumb safety. That was to be expected. I also touched up the sear. Also, I had to trim the top of the walnut grips to clear the ambi safety. the GI one would have cleared with no issues.

After everything was assembled, I did run into a problem. The slide would only move to the rear about 1/4". Then a clunk and it woudn't go back any further. To the computer I went. Everything I saw online seemed to point to too long of a barrel link. This would not allow the barrel to drop enough to clear the lugs. Looked into that, and no, it was fine. Barrel dropped enough to clear the lugs. The next thing that might be the issue was the barrel bushing. If the back of the bushing didn't have enough of a chamfer, it would not allow sufficient movement of the barrel. Out came the dremel. After enlarging the bottom half of the chamfer, I put the slide & barrel assembly back on (getting to be a pro at this). I pull back the slide.....and.....CLUNK, the problem remains...........and cussing followed. Next though was that the lugs of the barrel may be hitting the frame, not allowing the barrel to drop. Out came the file. Removed some from the bottom of the lugs. Reassembled. Annnnnnnd, clunk.

At this point in time, I've had it. I'm PISSED!

I take everything apart again, and look over everything. I notice the bottom/inside of the slide, that holds the guide rod and spring, is beat up. It looks like the guide rod is bashing into the face, instead of lining up correctly. Out comes the dremel again. I chamfered the inside edge of the bottom of the slide, where the spring and guide rod go into. Reassemble.

With absolutely no hope left, thinking this will not solve the issue, I rack the slide. ALL THE WAY!!! Wahoo!!! That turned out to be the issue the entire time. The guide rod was getting hung up. This makes me think a full length guide rod will be a good thing.

Anyway, I stopped after work and picked up a box of 45 ACP and a Chip McCormick "Classic" 8 round mil-spec mag. Yes. My very first box of 45 ACP. I feel like a man now! No more puny 9mm. I think I just got chest hair. [laugh]

Oh, and the reason behind buying a new mag, even though the kit came with one......One of the times disassembling the gun, I left the mag in not realizing it. The slide wouldn't come off. I thought it was hung up, still being tight on the frame. Out came the hammer. After getting the slide off, I discovered two severely mangled magazine feed lips. DOH!



Here is the semi-finished product. Blued frame is temporary, until I can scrape together some cash to send it to get OD Green Cerakote. Range test will be tomorrow if I have time. Hope it functions.



 
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Nice, looks like you had a lot less fitting than I did, hows your trigger? I strongly recommend a DIY trigger job using the ed Brown sear jig...I have one if you want to borrow it. Nice job cant wait to here how it shoots!!!
 

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Trigger is stiff, but breaks clean. Not too much take-up. I didn't want to mess with it too much off the bat. I want to get it functional, then start making changes. Range time tonight at nenameseck. We'll see if and how well she works.
 

Viper22

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Well, all I've got to say is WOW!

This thing is sweet!!! I put 50 rounds of commercial reloads (230gn RN FMJ) through it without a single hiccup. It ran flawlessly. And even though it is a budget build, this gun is more accurate than I am. Let me rephrase that. The gun is WAY more accurate than I am. Having not shot a 1911 ever before this, I had to adjust to the gun a little, but was regularly putting two to three bullets in the same hole on the target. Indoors at 50 feet. Such a sweet gun. If I slow down a bit and concentrate I'm 100% positive that this gun would shred the X ring.

I do need to dress the bottom edge of the extractor with a file. It is gouging the brass just a bit.

I was mainly shooting at 50' slow fire targets, but someone had left some cardboard targets at the range. I put one up and fired two shots at it. Here are my two shots. 45ACP brass for scale.

 
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