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Thanks to those who are helping me along as I compile the parts for my Mil-Spec gun I'm building. There was a point on my other thread (re: finding a Mil-Spec reference book) about maybe buying a Sprng. Mil-Spec. I could, but (1) I've never built a 1911 from the ground up; (2) I want to do it as close to Mil-Spec as possible; and (3) I want to do it as cheaply as possible. Now, there's another reason for #3....I figure that non-pre-fitted parts (e.g., barrel/bushing; hammer/sear) will require the most fitting, which is the experience I want to get out of this.

I got the bug to build one after hanging around the Build It Yourself board. Here is a post that really got me thinking about this:
http://www.1911forum.com/ubb/Forum32/HTML/000087.html

Anyhow, I'm getting started on this soon. Here are the parts (everything's blued) that I'm considering now....any advice or comments would be greatly appreciated.

Frame: Essex (standard)

Slide: Colt 70 Series (although, what does Brownell's mean when they say "80 Series safety cuts" on slide??); this slide comes with sights already installed

Barrel & bushing: Colt

Trigger: Short GI trigger ($20!! seems high) from Sarco

Hammer: I want a normally wide standard hammer. 45gunparts.com calls their's a "Rowell." Never heard of that term before. Sarco has both normal and wide. Any guidance here guys?

All other parts: 45gunparts.com

Grips: Plastic GI grips from Sarco

What else is recommended for as close to an authentic Mil-Spec is possible? Where am I going to find a lanyard loop, for example?

Again, thanks for all the help. I can't wait to get started on this.
 

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Fremont:

Like you, I am embarking on building a pistol. I have acquired a couple of choices for a slide and frame -- Caspian and Essex. I have made up a work sheet to list all of the parts I need to acquire, where I got them, and what they cost. I want to see what a pistol cost to build -- one piece at a time. I can tell you already that I will invest more in good parts than I would pay for a new basic Springfield Armory M1911A1 or Colt basic 1991A1. I plan to acquire the tools required to do basic fitting, but I will not touch hammer hooks or sear surfaces. That is so sensitive that I will let a professional pistolsmith do it. I have seen several pistols that doubled, went full auto, or simply wouldn't function because of amateur "smithing" of the trigger and sear interfaces.

I'd like to exchange info with you offline. Please email me at:

[email protected]

Thanks,

------------------
MDCalvert
Oak Ridge, TN
 

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How well do you feel the 1991 matches the WWII combat 1911? I think its a good pistol even though it has a flat mainspring and long trigger. Which does'nt match WWII GI pistol. I play with the Colts and building them is for you and not me.
 

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Hi fremont,

Here are my answers to your questions in order:

Frame: Essex (standard)
>A decent mil-spec frame is going to be the hardest to find. Some say the Essex are just fine, while others have had problems with out-of-spec tolerances. Most of the quality frames are cut for beavertail safeties, etc. If you buy an Essex frame get it from Brownell's so you have some kind of guarantee (as long as you don't alter it).


Slide: Colt 70 Series (although, what does Brownell's mean when they say "80 Series safety cuts" on slide??); this slide comes with sights already installed
> If you want a real nice slide that is mil-spec, either the Brazilian-made slides from Sarco or the new ones from Olympic Arms will do nicely. The Colt is a bit expensive. It is marked "Series 70" but underneath the slide is the hole for a firing pin safety plunger, which you won't use.


Barrel & bushing: Colt
>They will work, but notice Brownell's and Sarco both have cheaper ones from folks like Israel Arms. As long as you don't buy a matchbarrel and bushing it shouldn't need fitting.


Trigger: Short GI trigger ($20!! seems high) from Sarco
>If they have 'em, good choice!


Hammer: I want a normally wide standard hammer. 45gunparts.com calls their's a "Rowell." Never heard of that term before. Sarco has both normal and wide. Any guidance here guys?
>A Rowell is the same as what you see on Commanders. Not what you want. King's gun works sells a quality wide-spur hammer, again available from Brownell's.


All other parts: 45gunparts.com
>I have no experience with their parts. Be forewarned that true GI parts are hard to find these days. Most "GI spec" parts out there are cast junk that won't fit or will look like crap, so only buy from a place that will take them back.


Grips: Plastic GI grips from Sarco
>These are take-offs from GI guns our beloved soon-to-be ex-president ordered scrapped. They will work but most that I have seen are pretty sad-looking. I only hope the guns were just as sad-looking when destroyed and I didn't pay extra taxes to have mint Singers chopped up.


What else is recommended for as close to an authentic Mil-Spec is possible? Where am I going to find a lanyard loop, for example?
>Gun Parts Corp. The Auto Ordinance mil-spec model had a decent arched housing w/lanyward loop on it and I'll bet GPC still has extras.

Good luck on your project. As I said the hardest part will be finding a decent frame.
 

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Fremont
I have a very nice GI wide spur hammer I used on my last delusion of building a mil spec looker that I ultimately converted to a commander hammer and Wilson beavertail. The guy I bought it from said he bought the pile of GI parts he had at auction at an arsenal in Georgia back in the eighties. Ten + two bucks and I'll even scan it and send you a picture of it.
 
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