I gotta agree with 225ACP. It will cost many more dollars to build from scratch then let's say a Mil-Spec Springfield (their parkerized bottom of the line pistol), but on the postive side, you also come away with the working knowledge of the 1911.
I'm not a gunsmith but some terrible things can go wrong too.
Heck, you can order every part from Brownell's to do what you want to do.
Look at my post on a "A Good Book". There are many books listed there that will help you.
Keep us posted how your project comes along.
Oh...and try those videos from the American Gunsmith Institute. They are pretty darn good.
[This message has been edited by Ramjet (edited 01-13-2001).]
Well for what its worth, when I was in the Army I worked in a Class IX warehouse. Some of the parts we carried were for issue small arms. I was in back in '92-'94 in Germany with the 3rd ID. I saw, numerous times, slides, receivers, barrels, barrel bushings, magazines, etc. You name it, I saw it for the M1911A1. The parts are there, you just have to find them.
Don't begin to assemble a 1911 until you invest in one of Jerry Kuhnhausen's shop manuals. That way you'll know what to do BEFORE you screw up a part and have to replace it!
Building a 1911 by itself is easy. The hardest thing will be finding quality parts at a good price that will fit. Trust me, some of the stuff is so bad you'd think it was for a different gun! For example I once bought a cheap mainspring housing that had the pin hole drilled in the wrong spot so it was useless.