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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've always wanted to have a double stack 1911A2....

The only 80% Frame could find was a Rock Island Armory (RIA) with a cut for a Clark/Para barrel, so I decided to go ahead with that...
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While I'd prefer SS, I can only find it in 4140 carbon steel... just about all the rest of the parts will be SS...

A quick comparison with my regular 1911 frame
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SInce I'm doing 2 80% projects at the same time, I just had to order two of everything, except for what is different on 1911A2 (i.e. the double stack)...
This is what is different,
The frame of course, which has a much wider grip to fit a double stack magazine, all of the differences in parts come from accommodating the wider grip, they are....

1911A2 Double Stack Specific Parts, i.e. regular 1911 parts won't fit/work....
  • Plunger Tube, you don't need one, it will be formed into the frame... (you will need the rest of plunger parts to install in existing tube)
  • Trigger, the bow has to be wider to fit around the wider magazine
  • Magazine Catch, it has to be wider to fit around the wider magazine
  • Hand Grips, the have to be thinner and wrap around the back of the magazine swell to make a smooth transition to the narrower rear frame to better fit in the hand, also there is slot in the frame to fit the wider trigger bow, the grips will have a little tab to cover the open slot.
  • Grip Screw Bushings, you don't need them, the thinner grips can't accommodate a bushings, the grip screws screw directly into threaded holes in the frame
  • Grip Screws, since they thread directly into the frame with thinner grips, they have to shorter and often they are different diameter and thread pitch...
That's it, all the rest of the parts work equally well in either version.... ....heck, 2 of the list from above are not needed, they are already in the frame when it arrives...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
The parts, mostly Wilson Combat Bullet Proof....
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Trial Fitting of parts....
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The Grips are Stoner CNC in O.D. Green/Black
The Mag Catch/Release I can only find for the 1911A2 the actual RIA part that is only in Carbon Steel.
The Mag Well is the RIA part also.

For the Hammer I wanted something unique and went with Fusion Firearms
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I wanted a flat skelotized trigger, which is hard to find, remember the standard trigger won't work in the A2, you need a specific trigger for the A2

I got trigger for a 2011 hoping it would work, it does and it doesn't.....
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Its too small, but it will actually work, it will just have a ton of play in it, like nearly a quarter inch up and down play cause the shoe and bow both are way undersized for the A2 frame. But the magazine will fit and the trigger will make the hammer fall, but as you pull the trigger, it will move down before it starts moving back and up again as you take off pressure. So scrapped that idea.

I got a Caspian Trigger, despite them stating it will only work in their Para based Frame. I also got a RIA trigger, which the only RIA trigger available is the short solid pad.
Sure enough, the Caspian Trigger won't fit, like they state, its tight, but the trigger won't go all the way forward and most importantly the bow is slightly narrower and the magazine will not fit through it. So I did this....

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Pulled them apart and fitted the Caspian Shoe to the RIA Bow....
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It works perfectly

The Slide from 1911builders
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The Barrel is from Spectre Supply off Gun Broker, its a Government Profile Threaded Barrel that has a Clark/Para Ramp for .45 ACP, a pretty hard to find combination...

Trial fitting of all the parts
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Prepping the frame
Its been decked and the Hammer and Sear Pin Holes drilled
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This frame is cut for a Clark/Para Ramp, so no barrel seat is needed to be cut....
Used the Wilson Combat Jig to shape the rear tangs for 0.25" Radius for a high rise beavertail grip safety
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Fitting the Grip Safety
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I had to shave a little of the tabs on the grips as well
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The RIA Magwell is this weird arrangement of having to shave off the bottom of the mag section of the grip. I used a cutting wheel on a dremel to cut it and filed it to fit. I also used a sanding wheel to undercut the trigger guard to make for a higher grip.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
And why do I refer to this project as war hawk....
The pattern for stencils I'm going to make with my daughters Cricut.
Stencil for White
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Stencil for Red
Head Eyebrow Eye Mouth Eyelash


Stencil for Black
Head Eye Mouth Jaw Eyelash


With some luck the final product should look like this
Head Eye Mouth Jaw Line


I plan on attempting to paint this on the muzzle end of the Slide.....
 

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I'm working on one of these too, I was seriously considering swapping out trigger shoes with one of the RIA single stack triggers since all I could find for the A2 frame was the GI trigger. I'd be concerned that play would cause issues with the sear release/disconnector reset and grip safety engagement.

Right now I'm in the waiting phase. Ordered the slide, barrel, and associated upper components from Fusion, so waiting on them to do the machine work and ship those out. And I ordered the firing and control componenets from Midway & some misc stuff from RIA this week. I've got the frame decked and ready to roll and I've fitted a Caspian accessory rail to the frame. Mostly. I'll need the slide in hand before I can finalize that. And I need to sort out if I'm just gonna screw it down or go the extra mile and solder it down. Soldering would probably look cleaner if it were done right, but I've never worked with it so it could also end quite poorly. No time like the present to expand the skill set I s'pose.

I'll probably spend some time today practicing stamping so I can get the stuff I want stamped onto the frame square and more or less straight when the time comes for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Did you get a frame cut for a ramped barrel? That was the only one I could find a few months ago and haven't seen anything with a come available for a fitted barrel, but haven't been actively searching since I got my frame.

Trigger - The swap of the trigger shoes and bows between the Caspian Trigger and the RIA trigger - The Caspian Trigger will not work in the RIA Frame, Caspian warned me it wouldn't. Swapping the trigger shoes, the biggest challenge was the RIA trigger, I did not see the RIA trigger shoes is pinned to the bow, I wasted hours trying to get the RIA Bow off the Trigger shoe, only after I had cut it apart with a Dremel did I find the shoe is pinned to the bow. I would have saved a lot of time if I knew and found the pins and drove them out, that pin the RIA shoe to bow. The Caspian is the same, except that its not finished with parkerizing or bluing, so the pins are very easy to see and drive out. Once I triail fitted the shoe to the RIA trigger bow and had it all lined up, I drilled new holes in the RIA bow and drove the roll pins through those holes. The trigger feels solid and rigid, but the true test will be if it continues to feel that solid and rigid hundreds or thousands of rounds later...

Solder is not difficult, you could practice with some scrap metal.
Silver Solder is different than just solder, its more brazing and its done at higher temps, temps high enough an amateur could easily ruin the hardening and heat treatment of the components. Regular solder is done at a lower temp and is not nearly as strong as silver solder, but you can still crew up the metal if you're not paying attention. Epoxy, a good epoxy designed for metal can be even stronger than solder and even survive higher temperatures.

I have never tried to finish metal that had solder, I doubt bluing or parkerizing will change the color of solder. But if you do it right you won't see any solder.
 

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As far as I can tell the only double stack frames RIA has available at the moment are Clark/Para cut. Which is fine with me, I can work with that.

Yea, when I saw your pictures of the trigger taken off the bow I had to take a second hard look at the trigger I have. RIA hid those roll pins really well, I was just barely able to see them. I spent a bit of time with my last build trying to pluck the GI trigger shoe off thinking if I could get it loose I could swap with something else. Needless to say it's still wearing the GI shoe because I didn't want to risk ruining it to remove it. Now that I know they can be pulled loose that just might change. But that's a later problem, for now it works so I'll leave well enough alone and focus on this.

Epoxy is a route that I hadn't considered - and one that would be much more familiar. Silver solder seems more permanent though. I will admit the heat treatment of the metal is a slight concern, it is just a dust cover & accessory rail, but it could still be a problem if it got too hot for too long and wound up over hardened or annealed. I'm nowhere near ready for that though, I just got it rough fit. I'll have to get the slide rails cut and slide fit so I can figure out where exactly I want the rail. Then I'll have to temporarily secure the rail and figure out where I want the rail and dust cover cut to fit the Commander length slide. Afterward there will probably be a bunch of blending so the rail looks like it belongs on the pistol before I'm willing to permanently secure it.

I think when I'm done with it I'm going to have it cerakoted. I'm not really well set up for parkerizing or bluing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cutting me some frame rails!
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Lapped with the lapping compound that came with the rail cutting tool.
I had to do a little fitting and filing with layout fluid, 0.002 clearance apparently was not enough, or more likely, my tools are good enough to produce perfect edges and straight planes, etc... I ended up with the slide not being as tight as I would like, but isn't exactly loose either.... ....there is a little rock and lift in the slide to frame, but barely enough to see it move, you can feel it move a bit...
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First off, there is no such thing as a 1911 double stack pistol. The OP is making a custom double stack pistol using many 1911 parts. Using an 80% double stack frame, like the one the OP uses, requires a lot of work to make a pistol work and function properly.

The STI 2011 is a proven success in gun manufacturing. After the patent on their 2011 frame expired, a few manufactures cloned the STI 2011 frame. Rogue-tac.com sells an STI 2011 style frame, along with a grip to attach to the frame for roughly $400 depending on your options. With this in mind, it would take a slide, barrel, and all remaining slide parts to fit and complete a true STI 2011 style double stack gun. STI 2011 guns from STI are not cheap, and pretty expensive; they have changed their company to "Staccato" but you can still view their product line at: Staccato 2011®: The World's Best Shooting Handguns
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
First off, there is no such thing as a 1911 double stack pistol. The OP is making a custom double stack pistol using many 1911 parts. Using an 80% double stack frame, like the one the OP uses, requires a lot of work to make a pistol work and function properly.
Para-Ordnance produced the first double stack. Several Companies have imitated it. Remington actually bought Para-Ordnance and produces their Double Stack with their ugly roll-mark on the slide. The design was the 1911 adapted for a double stack magazine which meant expanding the Grip and Mag Well to fit the double stack. This resulted in having to change several parts affected by expanding the grip and magazine I listed above. The frame I purchased was produced by Rock Island Armory. There are differences in the double stacks between the different companies that produced them, just like there are differences in 1911's between the companies that produce them, but since they are based on the same design, the bulk of their parts are standard 1911 parts.

80% frames require finishing the remaining 20%, even if I had bought a true mil-spec 1911 80% frame I would have had to do much of this work.

Most of the parts I have purchased are parts that require fitting instead of drop-in parts, they intentionally come slightly oversized and require fitting, and state that in advertising and labeling. If I had purchased a surplus mil-spec 1911A1 produced for the military, and tried to customize it with these parts, I would still need to do all of this work.

Arguably there is no such thing as a 1911 Mk V Series 80, 1911 Range Officer or 1911 Mil-Spec, Colt Rail Gun, etc. They are simply names given to a product a company produces. They use 1911 in the name because it based on the 1911 design. Rock Island Armory produces a double stack pistol based on the 1911 design they call the 1911A2 Double Stack. This is the frame I am using and I am referring to as a 1911A2 Double Stack. In fact, I usually try to tac on "Double Stack" when I referred to the pistol as a 1911A2 because the double stack is a big change in the design, to avoid confusion.

So it comes down to, how do you define the term 1911? 1911 is a U.S. Army designation for a pistol adopted in 1911 (BTW, designed before that year and didn't actually go into production with a few changes from the Army several years later)....
A 1911 Double Stack is the 1911 design changed to use a double stack magazine that increases the capacity of the pistol, other than the bigger grip and the parts affected by that, the design is the same.
All the many 1911 pistols offered by many companies, were not produced for the U.S. Army according to their 1911 or later 1911A1 specifications. They also have many changes from the original design, most are incremental or evolutionary changes to improve reliability and safety, but they are not the same as the original 1911 or 1911A1 design.

Even the few authentic reproductions of the 1911, are not true 1911's, my AO 1911A1 designed to be like the original 1911A1 used by the military has been changed from the original design. It has the Series 80 firing pin block and beveling of the bottom of the magwell. Just about all 1911's being sold today have lowered and widened ejection ports on the slide with beveling to reduce ejection failures, even the Springfield Armory 1911 Mil-Spec has this improvement, making it not Mil-Spec.

If you personally draw a line in design changes, that adapting a double stack magazine is too radical a departure to be considered one of the many variants of a design, that is fine. I personally believe you need to include "Double Stack" should be tacked on to any reference because of that radical departure of the design.

The STI 2011 is a proven success in gun manufacturing. After the patent on their 2011 frame expired, a few manufactures cloned the STI 2011 frame. Rogue-tac.com sells an STI 2011 style frame, along with a grip to attach to the frame for roughly $400 depending on your options. With this in mind, it would take a slide, barrel, and all remaining slide parts to fit and complete a true STI 2011 style double stack gun. STI 2011 guns from STI are not cheap, and pretty expensive; they have changed their company to "Staccato" but you can still view their product line at: Staccato 2011®: The World's Best Shooting Handguns
Wait! No military, U.S. or other has purchased the STI/Staccato pistol and designated it the 2011. So is there no such thing as a 2011? See the games we can play. STI/Staccato call their design 2011, so its acceptable to refer to it as a 2011. Rock Island Armory call their design a 1911A2, so I, and others, refer to it as a 1911A2 and I will tac on the end, "Double Stack".

They make 80% frames for the STI/Staccato 2011, I considered going this route for a double stack .45 ACP. The biggest factors were the availability and cost of the parts, and the magazines not being available in .45 ACP, and the cost of those magazines.

If I had gone the route of making 2011 from an 80% frame, I would have to do all the same work that you see above.

The 2011 is based on the 1911 design, and uses many 1911 parts. There are also version for non-ramped barrels, Nolin/Wilson ramped barrels and Clark/Para ramped barrels. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Staccato doesn't produce a .45 ACP, all are 9mm or other cartridge? You have to go with one of the imitations to make a custom .45 ACP 2011. So, should we tell people with a .45 2011 there is no such thing as a .45 2011, they made a custom .45 double stack pistol using a lot 2011 parts, umm, which most also are 1911 parts?
 

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As I mentioned, STI international has been around a long time, and yes, they did offer an STI 2011 in .45acp at one time. Due to the limited sales, they discontinued it. Also, years ago, STI international also sold single stack 1911 style guns.

From what I have read, STI had a patent on their double stack frame, and their designatiion to call it a "2011" pistol, but after 17 years, patents expire. The military used the 1911 .45acp pistol for well over 60 years. When they changed to a new pistol, the Beretta 92 was adopted which holds 15+1 rounds of 9mm (double stack magazine) in the gun when fully loaded.

The US military never adopted the STI 2011 pistol, nor did they adopt the Glock...... Some special forces still like and use the 1911 .45acp pistol. A good military armorer can make a 1911 .45acp pistol shoot with extreme accuracy. Years ago, I shot NRA outdoor bullseye competition, and was amazed how good the 2600 military shooters could shoot! However, NRA Bullseye shooting is a static sport, shooting with one hand only. I was shooting low Master scores when I became interested in Action Pistol sports like USPSA. I no longer shoot Bullseye, but I have shot quite a few different Action Pistol sports and still compete in local matches.

Many years ago, and prior to the STI 2011 guns, I made a Para Ordnance .45 acp pistol, and the double stack flush fit mags allowed 14 +1 rounds in the gun. It is an all steel gun, and a bit heavy fully loaded, so I prefer the STI 2011 design that uses a polymer grip that attaches to the frame. The polymer grip saves weight when carrying concealed.

I still have my custom made Para Ordnance, but I don't call it a 1911 double stack .45acp pistol. Technically, my Para would be called a P-14, since it holds 14 rounds of .45acp in the mag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Don't get me wrong, STI/Staccato has every right to call their design 2011 and everyone refer to it as a 2011. It is the 1911 design updated in 2011. It is based on the 1911, and still uses many 1911 parts, 100% interchangeable. And just like 1911 wasn't really designed, patented or went into production in 1911, I suspect neither was the 2011 in 2011, and it was more symbolic a redesign 1 century later.

My only point was, if we're going to get so picky with terms, you have just as valid an argument there is no such thing as 2011 either.
I still have my custom made Para Ordnance, but I don't call it a 1911 double stack .45acp pistol. Technically, my Para would be called a P-14, since it holds 14 rounds of .45acp in the mag.
There you have a point, the first double stack based on the 1911 design, wasn't called a 1911 by the designer. And the current double stacks are based on them.

BUT, they are based on the 1911, and besides the provisions for a double stack magazine the rest of the design is the 1911, using 1911 parts, which is like 90% parts, probably more than 2011.

Remington bought Para-Ordnance and still produces their design, and they call it 1911 Enhanced.

Caspian produces a double stack they just call "double stack", it is based on the 1911, but it is 9mm/.38 only. I can attest, since I bought their trigger for the shoe, despite their warning it will only work with their double stack, the trigger bow, thus logically the magazine well of the grip, will be narrower than a double stack .45 magazine and thus they won't fit. See above, how I swapped trigger bows from a Rock Island GI trigger.

Rock Island Armory produced their version and it is called 1911A2 High Capacity. High Capacity, and for that matter Enhanced even less, doesn't really identify the key difference, it uses a double stack magazine. I started with their 80% frame, with a Clark/Para Ramp Cut, because it was the only one available, and I thought it would be interesting to have a ramped barrel 1911, since I will have three by the time all my projects are done.

Is the Rock Island or Caspian designs clones of the original Para-Ordnance? I don't know, it isn't that hard to take the 1911 design and make the few changes necessary for a double stack magazine. Considering how the Magazines for both work exactly the same, (I am told, I will find out, hand cycling it certainly does), they at least made sure of that, if not just copied the blueprints exactly, and forgoed putting the lightening holes in the grip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you look at my Project: M45A1 Clone thread, I made up a CAD Model of the Rail Block that clones the one on the Colt M45A1 and Rail Gun and then had it 3d Metal Printed. I had to order two, since they had a minimum cost threshold to order. So I have an extra, with another pistol build project that has a naked dust cover..... ....so provided I don't break or ruin the first Rail Block I had made, this second one is destined to be affixed to the frame of my double stack.
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It was only $75 per unit, while CNC Machining or the better Metal Laser Sintering 3d printing is many times more, almost 10 times more. But, half because the cheapest metal 3d printing (Metal Binder Jet) has limitations that you have add bolsters, supports, clearing hole, shrinkage, etc in the structure and half because its the least precise you end up with parts being slightly off dimensions with rough surfaces. So these will require fitting. The actual fitting part would be fast, like a few minutes, but I had to add bolsters and supports on the inside of the structure that require me to grind/file/sand out, that will take longer, and knowing the surface would be very rough, I padded up the dimensions a few thousands to file/sand it all down smooth, as much work as removing the bolsters/supports. That is why the block is only half on the dust cover, I still have to do the fitting, and removing the bolsters/supports to get it to fit up.
 
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