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Old 08-07-2003, 12:39 PM   #1
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My second 1911 build from 80%

I'm doing this as part of a "builder's squad" group buy. We got the 80% frame from KT Ordnance and the parts kits from Sarco. For a sub-$300 deal it wasn't bad. I'm going to use most of the parts but several, including trigger, hammer, and sights, will be replaced by quality aftermarket components.

This will be strictly a beater range gun, and deciding this on the front end gives me a little more freedom to do some more extreme modifications than I would be comfortable performing (at this point) on, say, a $600 Colt.

Here is how things look so far.



Details are here: http://grahamcracka.dns2go.com/1911frame2, if anyone's interested. (I'm doing this mainly as a guide for some of the other guys who are building a 1911 for the first time.)

Some of you might recall my first 80% build. I posted photos here and the entire process was documented at http://grahamcracka.dns2go.com/1911frame/1911frame.htm
 
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Old 08-15-2003, 09:03 AM   #2
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I got the ejector and plunger tube installed, and now the gun is ready for a function test. I'm going to take it to the range this weekend and will post a report if anyone's interested.

Here's how it looks at this point. There are still plenty of rough looking spots, but I want to shoot it first before I spend a lot of time on the cosmetic and custom touches.



I don't much appreciate the profile of the Millet rear sight (aka "poor man's Bo-mar"), but the sight picture it provides is hard to argue with. The front sight is the EGW fiber optic, the face of which I serrated with a 40 lpi file.

 
Old 08-15-2003, 01:06 PM   #3
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Talk about a silk purse from a sow's ear! Your first 1911 project was a beautiful example of what can be done with a little skill and a lot of patience. This is turning out as good. I would take that Millet rear sight and use it for something appropriate, like fishing weight . Have you thought about milling the rail off to standard gov't length, like the Caspian rail? That would flow with the lines of the slide a bit better.
 
Old 08-15-2003, 03:24 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lane Mullins
Talk about a silk purse from a sow's ear! Your first 1911 project was a beautiful example of what can be done with a little skill and a lot of patience. This is turning out as good. I would take that Millet rear sight and use it for something appropriate, like fishing weight . Have you thought about milling the rail off to standard gov't length, like the Caspian rail? That would flow with the lines of the slide a bit better.
Aw come on now, that Millett's not that bad... it's cheap and effective!

I am conflicted about what to do with the rail. On one hand I don't have any long dust cover 1911's, and the weight up front might be helpful.

On the other hand I am awfully tempted to cut it off to standard length and give the front of the slide the "Browning High Power" lightening cuts.
 
Old 08-15-2003, 05:35 PM   #5
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The Millet is not as bad as some, but there are better choices out there. :lol: The Novak rear to fit the standard dovetail is good, and the Wilson Combat snag free looks good and gives a good sight picture. The Hi Power cuts on a 1911 are phenominal. I don't know why it isn't done more often. The cuts with that rail would be a awesome combo. Give us a price list, not counting shop hours.
 
Old 08-19-2003, 11:52 AM   #6
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Well, one reason I went with the Millett is because it didn't require any machining, so I could use it right away. I'm not sure which sight I ultimately want, though I'm leaning toward a Bo-mar. And did I mention it was cheap?

Anyway I got the slide cuts completed and cut the dust cover to match. Here is a quick pic of work in progress:

 
Old 08-19-2003, 10:07 PM   #7
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I also admire the patience and work. Reminds me of why I pay to have this work done. ops: Great job.
 
Old 08-20-2003, 05:10 AM   #8
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Ken,
I have to echo Steve's comments. Looks like it is really coming along nicely. And I REALLY do admire your patience.
I really enjoy seeing your work "along the way" as it progresses. Kind of an ongoing reminder of how very much work goes into the building.
Great work, and best of luck.
Jeffro (Jeff)
 
Old 08-20-2003, 12:09 PM   #9
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It looks great. From the looks of it, machining a Novak or Heinie rear cut should be no problem for you. Don't leave us hanging. Post it along the way and give lots of detail.
 
Old 08-21-2003, 06:53 AM   #10
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Here's the price list on the parts and tools I bought for this project. The frame and parts kit were bought as part of a group buy, normally they run a little higher.

1911 FRAME, KT ORDNANCE $135.00
1911 PARTS KIT, SARCO $160.00
DOVETAIL CUTTER .300 x 60 DEGREES $28.63
1911 AUTO BEAVERTAIL GRIP SAFETY, BLUE $23.00
EGW 60 DEGREE .200 FIBER OPTIC SIGHT $24.00
MGW221 COMBAT HAMMER $21.60
MILLETT MK II REAR SIGHT, TARGET $22.46
HAMMER STRUT $3.81
PLUNGER SPRING ASSEMBLY BLUE $2.81
WOLFF 20# HAMMER SPRING, 1 EA. $2.86
WOLFF 18# RECOIL SPRING $5.00

Total: $429.17

Thanks for the kind words and encouragement, guys!

Coming up on the next episode of "This Old Gun" :

Undercutting and checkering the frontstrap
Softening the sharp edges
Polishing and sandblasting
Painting and baking
 
Old 08-31-2003, 09:30 AM   #11
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I'm finished with checkering the frontstrap, sandblasted everything, painted the parts with moly resin, and currently am waiting for the parts to finish baking in the oven.

 
Old 09-02-2003, 05:08 AM   #12
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It's kind of strange that when you're working on a gun you really don't know how it will look until you have put a final finish on it. You visualize it in your mind, but the finish ties it all together in a way that just can't be fully anticipated.







A photo of it next to my first 80% 1911.



Total cost of parts $406
Cost of new tooling required: $29
 
Old 09-02-2003, 07:36 AM   #13
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Ken,
REALLY great work. Quite impressive for such an "early piece" in your gun-building career. You should be very proud of yourself.
Reach around really far and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back :lol: :P :wink: !!!
Best of luck, and let us know how she performs,
Jeffro (Jeff)
 
Old 09-02-2003, 07:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeffro
Ken,
REALLY great work. Quite impressive for such an "early piece" in your gun-building career. You should be very proud of yourself.
Reach around really far and give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back :lol: :P :wink: !!!
Best of luck, and let us know how she performs,
Jeffro (Jeff)
Thanks! That's high praise indeed coming from someone who frequents this forum. I took it out today and put a few mags through it with no malfunctions. It seems to be a fair shooter as well. Someday soon I'll do a real range report on it.
 
Old 09-24-2003, 09:31 AM   #15
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I assume you have a milling machine for completing the rails? Intriguing concept , nice work.
 
Old 09-29-2003, 07:15 AM   #16
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Yes, I have a Grizzly benchtop mini-mill, mostly because that's all I have room for. Still, it works well for what I do.
 
Old 09-30-2003, 08:00 PM   #17
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Fantastic!

This is just the kind of project I've been looking for! How might I get hooked-up with another group purchase?
 
Old 09-30-2003, 09:00 PM   #18
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Nice job Ken, looking forward to #3.
 
Old 10-01-2003, 01:03 PM   #19
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Re: Fantastic!

Quote:
Originally Posted by pantaz
This is just the kind of project I've been looking for! How might I get hooked-up with another group purchase?
I hang out mostly on ar15.com and http://www.roderuscustom.tzo.com, where the group buy was decided.

Bud Burma was the initiator and coordinator. No word if he's planning another one as of yet.
 
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