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Old 07-21-2018, 06:00 PM   #1
Ulfrinn
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Default What sort of 1911 to get?

I've decided I want to put together a 1911 as a project, but I am looking for some inspiration in which direction to go with it. I am looking at both single stack rail gun frames, but also STI 2011 style (someone even makes an 80% version of this). And I could also start with a P14/RIA/Armscor size double stack frame.

For caliber, 9mm is my main but I have heard there could be some reliability issues with 9mm given the longer action and awkward magazines. 38 super is a cartridge I have always liked but never got into, i'd be okay handloading .38 for home defense and self defense. All the power of a +P and +P+ 9mm while being easier on the frame. And I'm not opposed to just sticking to .45acp since I do intend on making it suppressor ready with a threaded barrel and suppressor height sights.

I am leaning towards a single stack 45 cal model with the threaded muzzle, suppressor height sights, G10 grips, matching G10 backstrap, custom slide, trigger, and finish. Unfortunately though the double stack frames are excessively wide for a 9mm or a .38 super unless I used a Caspian frame but thats $500 for the frame alone not to mention the magazines are expensive AF.
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Old 07-21-2018, 06:36 PM   #2
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I just built a 7.62x25 1911 using a J&G 1911 7.62x25 ramped barrel. I used a Caspian (Foster "blem") frame and a surplus RIA Target slide. It looks and runs great but took quite a bit of tweaking to figure out the the right spring weights (recoil and main) to make it reliable. Not my first rodeo as far as 1911 builds and definitely one of my more difficult builds.

My next build will be a 9mm 1911 and employ the use of a Caspian Damascus slide. I need to save up some coin first as their Damascus slides aren't cheap...
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:07 PM   #3
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Spend some time on Sarco site looking at parts kits
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:08 PM   #4
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I just built a 7.62x25 1911 using a J&G 1911 7.62x25 ramped barrel. I used a Caspian (Foster "blem") frame and a surplus RIA Target slide. It looks and runs great but took quite a bit of tweaking to figure out the the right spring weights (recoil and main) to make it reliable. Not my first rodeo as far as 1911 builds and definitely one of my more difficult builds.

My next build will be a 9mm 1911 and employ the use of a Caspian Damascus slide. I need to save up some coin first as their Damascus slides aren't cheap...
How much did you spend on that frame? And I thought x25 was just a tad too long.
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Old 07-21-2018, 07:11 PM   #5
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Spend some time on Sarco site looking at parts kits
I think I will probably buy most parts new so I can specifically select each and every component I want individually. I'd like to find an incomplete slide though, no serrations, no sight cuts, preferably not even radiused across the top and design my own slide, but I can't really find anybody selling slides that don't already have sight cuts and serrations in them.
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:11 PM   #6
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No collection is complete without a simple single stack 45 1911.

I did a 1911 with a RIA kit. Its 9mm with an unramped barrel. No trouble feeding or ejecting. It was actually cheaper than buying a factory gun. And its plenty reliable.

I don't know if I'd used the RIA kit to build my next one, though. Word on the streets is their sights are some sort of special snowflake size. I'd prefer something with novak cuts so I have more options.
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:13 PM   #7
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How much did you spend on that frame?
With the Wilson/Nowlin frame cut and shipping I was all-in at $239. I chose a stainless frame.

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And I thought x25 was just a tad too long.
I use .38 Super Kimber magazines with metal .38 Super Pachmayr followers. I am able to get 6 rounds comfortably in each magazine. I have had zero failures to feed or eject with this set-up and the ramped J&G barrel.
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Old 07-21-2018, 08:40 PM   #8
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Colt all the way. I’ve got a Ruger in .45, RIA in .45, and a Colt in 9mm. It is hands down my favorite one of the three to shoot. Very little recoil, nice trigger, and dead nuts accurate. It has had no issues so far and I will likely buy another one later down the road. I really like the Ruger as well if you want to save some coin. The RIA is my wife’s favorite of the three, she likes the smooth grips.
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Old 07-21-2018, 10:06 PM   #9
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So... how big are your hands?

I'm about 6'2, with size 12 shoes, and equally large hands. (Everyone wears a medium glove in the military, so I have no frame of reference).

If you really don't care about traditional 1911s, and you have large hands like I do, those large double stacks may actually be quite nice. My Colt 1911A1 clone (arched MSH and WWII short trigger) feels a bit on the small end in my hands.
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Old 07-22-2018, 03:22 PM   #10
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Hmm, I really like that Caspian size frame for a 9mm/38/22tcm build. It is the width of a 9mm frame and the perfect size for these calibers. But $600 for the stripped frame alone, big ouch. I am not sure if I would spend that much on a frame alone just for a double stack capacity. I also looked at the STI 2011 frames and the various, inexpensive 80% options floating around and will have to pass on this. I do not want a two piece frame with a plastic grip.

So, I guess my options are to bite the bullet and buy the Caspian frame, or go with a single stack. Grip size doesn't bother me, but the only way to get a double stack steel frame that I am aware of right now is to buy a completed RIA/Armscor pistol and I think doing that would take away the whole process of building it with personally selected components and fitting which I am looking forward to.

Last edited by Ulfrinn; 07-22-2018 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 07-23-2018, 03:51 PM   #11
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I have a few questions.

First: What is the point to series 80s? Is a firing pin safety all that necessary? It would appear that many people with series 80 pistols deactivate the firing pin safety anyway, does it really make them more drop safe or was this a lawyers move?

Second. I know I won't be using a bull barrel, I see little reason to them, but I am looking between unramped and the Para ramped barrels, It seems like Para ramped barrels would be more reliable especially for a 9mm or 38 build, and even more so if you plan to switch to other calibers in the future, is this true?

Third: What is with the neglect of the .38 super? 9mm +P+ performance from a standard pressure round extending frame life, the ability to use .355 and .357" bullets equally well, the ability to push 180 grain bullets at a subsonic 1100fps vs a 9mms 147s at a mere 900, and the option of using your spent .223 brass, trimmed down to make some 9x23 velocity loads. What's not to like?
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:24 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulfrinn View Post
I have a few questions.

First: What is the point to series 80s? Is a firing pin safety all that necessary? It would appear that many people with series 80 pistols deactivate the firing pin safety anyway, does it really make them more drop safe or was this a lawyers move?
Yes, more drop safe with a crappy trigger pull. More parts to break and jam up the gun when you absolutely don't need it to also. I'm certain Lawyers were behind the design...

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Second. I know I won't be using a bull barrel, I see little reason to them, but I am looking between unramped and the Para ramped barrels, It seems like Para ramped barrels would be more reliable especially for a 9mm or 38 build, and even more so if you plan to switch to other calibers in the future, is this true?
Yes, Wilson/Nowlin or Clark/Para ramped barrels both increase reliability of feeding in a 9mm or .38 Super in a 1911.
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Old 07-23-2018, 11:54 PM   #13
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After doing some more reading it would appear that unramped barrels can actually be pretty unsafe when used with higher pressure cartridges like 9mm and 38 super on top of feeding more reliably. And the frames I was looking at are already cut for what I believe is the Para/Clark ramp. They are also series 70 frames and there appears to be no series 80 option anyway. I do not believe I will be conceal carrying this pistol at any point so the added level of safety on top of what is already a pretty safe pistol is complete unnecessary.

I may still just stick with .45acp though. It's not my main pistol round, but it's still a pretty good round, and works pretty well with a suppressor to and they seem to function better.

Last edited by Ulfrinn; 07-24-2018 at 12:02 AM.
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Old 07-24-2018, 08:20 PM   #14
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The guy at 1911builder.com that I spoke to says they'll be doing a production run of double stack para style frames with a rail, Although I wanted the full length dust cover mostly for aesthetics, it is a small sacrifice. As for the width of a single vs double stack 1911, I really don't have any preference when it comes to ergos. Thin frame with a wide grip, wide frame with a thin grip, is it really that big of a deal?
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Old 07-25-2018, 11:30 AM   #15
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Let me ask this question before I decide on a frame. Earlier this year I had to move to a ban state, albeit temporarily, I will still be stuck here for at least another year meaning a 10 round capacity limitation. Should I go for a double stack now, try to find reduced capacity magazines which isn't very easy to do, and expensive, or just go with a single stack? Lmao, I probably should have lead with that info.
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Old 07-25-2018, 11:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ulfrinn View Post
I've decided I want to put together a 1911 as a project, but I am looking for some inspiration in which direction to go with it. I am looking at both single stack rail gun frames, but also STI 2011 style (someone even makes an 80% version of this). And I could also start with a P14/RIA/Armscor size double stack frame.

For caliber, 9mm is my main but I have heard there could be some reliability issues with 9mm given the longer action and awkward magazines. 38 super is a cartridge I have always liked but never got into, i'd be okay handloading .38 for home defense and self defense. All the power of a +P and +P+ 9mm while being easier on the frame. And I'm not opposed to just sticking to .45acp since I do intend on making it suppressor ready with a threaded barrel and suppressor height sights.

I am leaning towards a single stack 45 cal model with the threaded muzzle, suppressor height sights, G10 grips, matching G10 backstrap, custom slide, trigger, and finish. Unfortunately though the double stack frames are excessively wide for a 9mm or a .38 super unless I used a Caspian frame but thats $500 for the frame alone not to mention the magazines are expensive AF.
If you want a 9mm 1911 get one. Ken Hackathorn and Bill Wilson encourage it.


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Old 07-25-2018, 11:49 AM   #17
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I honestly have no bias towards either caliber. As long as it's not a .40 ;-).
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Old 07-25-2018, 11:51 AM   #18
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I'm not a 1911 guy, but my understanding is that 9mm 1911s are much more reliable than they were in the past. Supposedly 9mm are more reliable than .45s at this point. A 9mm through a 1911 must shoot like a dream.
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Old 07-25-2018, 12:17 PM   #19
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Yeah, I am a 9mm person anyway, but I do want to start experimenting with 22tcm and 38 super as well, all using the vast majority of the same components so that dictates a primarily 9mm build as well. Given the ban state situation, and that I would really prefer a Caspian size frame for 9mm/38/22tcm builds, I will start with a single stack and do a different build on a Caspian frame later after I move.
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Old 07-29-2018, 10:11 PM   #20
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So how are the Commander size 1911s? I heard they have a lot of reliability issues, is this true? They look like a PITA to field strip when compared to government size models.
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Old 07-30-2018, 07:45 PM   #21
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Commander size (midsize) 1911's typically don't have reliability issues. It's the Officer's size (compact) and Ultra Compact 1911's that typically have the problems. Commander size 1911's are no more difficult to field strip than full size 1911's IMHO...
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:27 PM   #22
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What makes the officer size less reliable? What I am thinking for an all-around gun I can use as a main duty/combat pistol plus be concealable would be a commander slide on an officer length frame with a shortened bobtail grip. Would the issues of the officer size pistols exist with something like this or are those related to the shorter barrel and slide?
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:32 PM   #23
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Get youself a Colt in .38 super. It is very enoyable to shoot. Muuch more fun then 9mm.
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:34 PM   #24
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Get youself a Colt in .38 super. It is very enoyable to shoot. Muuch more fun then 9mm.
I can't disagree with liking the .38 super. It is a cool round, does what a 9mm needs overpressure ammo to do, and it's American. But if I go that route I will still have a 9mm barrel.
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Old 07-30-2018, 08:43 PM   #25
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Commander size (midsize) 1911's typically don't have reliability issues. It's the Officer's size (compact) and Ultra Compact 1911's that typically have the problems. Commander size 1911's are no more difficult to field strip than full size 1911's IMHO...
You feel a certain way toting a government model. That pistol pops anytime I pull the trigger. It weighs a couple ounces more then a commander. I like holding a bit heavier gun. They shoot so soft. It looks huge when you point it at somebody's face.
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Old 07-31-2018, 09:10 AM   #26
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I don't mind full size, but it seems if you want a gun that could fill a variety of roles, a large 5" maybe isn't the way to go. I am just wondering if a commander slide fits an officer frame and if there would be reliability issues associated with the officer size pistols. I would imagine not.
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:42 PM   #27
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I am just wondering if a commander slide fits an officer frame and if there would be reliability issues associated with the officer size pistols. I would imagine not.
A Commander slide will fit a full sized 5" frame. However, a Commander slide will not fit an "Officers" frame. The dust cover on the Commander (and full sized) frame is longer than that of the Officer's frame.
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:51 PM   #28
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Hmm, I just looked that up and it would seem there is enough length around the recoil spring plug that there are no gaps with an officer frame and a commander slide. It is called a CCO 1911. Simply putting a commander slide on an officer frame though, the lightening cut at the muzzle end of the slide wont match up with the dust cover so that would have to be machined back to match.
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