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 Evaluate my 1911 build list
Runs-N-Guns_66  [Member]
6/21/2010 9:16:40 PM
I'm starting the build list for a custom 1911. I will be building it with off the shelf parts. it will be for CCW, so I am going with a commander length barrel. Please evaluate my parts list and tell me if i am missing something, should change something, or if you have any opinions.

PARTS
* Caspian Arms Carbon Steel Basic Receiver, Commander, 45acp
- integral plunger tube
* Caspian Arms Carbon Steel Commander Slide, 45acp
- Series 70 GI rear cut
- Series 70 GI front cut
- standard serrations
- standard radius
- internal extractor
- no logos
- lowered & flared ejection port
* Wilson Combat bullet proof extractor 1911 45acp series 70 blue
* Ed Brown Frame rebuild kit 1911 government, commander blue (Mainspring, Mainspring Housing Pin Retainer, Mainspring Cap, Mainspring Housing Pin, Mainspring Cap Pin, Hammer Pin, Sear Pin, Hammer Strut Pin, Link Pin, Ejector Pin, Mag Catch Spring, Mag Catch Lock (slotted), Plunger Spring, Safety Lock Plunger, Slide Stop Plunger)
* Bar-Sto Match Target Barrel 1911 Commander 45acp 1 in 16" twist 4.3" Stainless steel (barrel, bushing, link, pin)
* Wilson Combat extended combat ejector 1911 government 45acp blue
* Colt Mainspring housing flat 1911 government, commander grooved polymer black
* VZ Grips operators II black desert sand G10
* Wilson Combat tactical thumb safety 1911 blue
* Ed Brown hardcore slide stop 1911 45acp blue
* Ed Brown beaver tail grip safety with memory groove 1911 series 70 blue
* Trijicon night sight set 1911 stake-on narrow tenon front and standard rear cut steel blue tritium
* Cylinder & Slide grip screw bushings 1911 blue package of 4
* Cylinder & Slide grip screws hex head 1911 blue package of 4
* Ed Brown magazine release with oversize button 1911 blue
* Wilson Combat Shok-Buff recoil system 1911 commander 45acp
* Wilson Combat bullet proof firing pin stop 1911 series 70 blue
* Wilson Combat bullet proof firing pin 1911 9mm/38 super series 70 steel
* Wilson Combat competition match trigger 1911 aluminum silver
* Cylinder & Slide tactical match trigger pull set 1911 government, commander 4 1/2 lb steel in the white (hammer, sear, disconnector, sear spring, 18lb hammer spring)
* Caspian Arms Carbon steel blued hammer strut

Then some 8rd. chip mccormick powermags to top it off.

What do you guys think?
Monkey_Wrench  [Team Member]
6/21/2010 9:23:18 PM
I was never impressed with the way the ambi Wilson safety went together. But that's just me.
Runs-N-Guns_66  [Member]
6/21/2010 9:28:05 PM
Originally Posted By Monkey_Wrench:
I was never impressed with the way the ambi Wilson safety went together. But that's just me.


Its not an ambi safety. Its just a left side safety. I have always been told that ambi safeties could break and jam the gun. link to the part
6mmAR15  [Member]
6/21/2010 9:29:11 PM
Sounds like a plan.......I have used a lot of the stuff you are planning to get.......I would have Caspian fit the frame and slide............I would personally ditch the Barsto and go with Fusion...............for a barrel.......but everthing you have listed is all good.............
Runs-N-Guns_66  [Member]
6/21/2010 9:32:08 PM
Originally Posted By 6mmAR15:
Sounds like a plan.......I have used a lot of the stuff you are planning to get.......I would have Caspian fit the frame and slide............I would personally ditch the Barsto and go with Fusion...............for a barrel.......but everthing you have listed is all good.............


could i ask for the reasoning behind this? I dont know much about either company so any input is appreciated.
beltjones  [Member]
6/21/2010 10:12:51 PM
I would not recommend going with Fusion. The wait times are ridiculous, and my experience has been that they're pumping things out so quickly that their quality control leaves a lot to be desired.

I like your parts list except for two things: The polymer mainspring housing and the shok-buff thing.

If I were you I'd go with an S&A integrated MSH/magwell.

Also, why GI sight cuts when there are so many better, more modern options? Sure the GI sights are traditional, but never let tradition or affectation get in the way of performance - and novak-cut sights simply perform better.
Runs-N-Guns_66  [Member]
6/21/2010 10:37:24 PM
Originally Posted By beltjones:
I would not recommend going with Fusion. The wait times are ridiculous, and my experience has been that they're pumping things out so quickly that their quality control leaves a lot to be desired.

I like your parts list except for two things: The polymer mainspring housing and the shok-buff thing.

If I were you I'd go with an S&A integrated MSH/magwell.

Also, why GI sight cuts when there are so many better, more modern options? Sure the GI sights are traditional, but never let tradition or affectation get in the way of performance - and novak-cut sights simply perform better.


I picked the polymer mainspring housing to save some weight and some $$. I have a polymer MSH on my other 1911, and it has held up through a lot of abuse and about 800 rounds without anything more than a few scratches. Are there any benefits to having a metal MSH over a polymer one?

Im not dead set on the shok-buff yet. I think it will help fight recoil some, and it costs about the same as a regular one piece guide rod assembly from Ed Brown or Wilson Combat.
I do not want to put a magwell on this gun, as I plan to cut a mini-beaver tail into the frame.

I chose the GI sights because I like the looks. They should perform the same as any set of novak night sights. I think that the technology behind night sights has evolved enough that it doesn't really matter what sight design you get, just so long as they are tritium with white rings. I may be wrong on my thinking with this, and feel free to correct me if Im wrong.
JaredGrey  [Member]
6/21/2010 10:42:30 PM
No stake-on sights. Ever. IMHO, YMMV. Lots of people say the bigger front sights come loose, and the smaller front sights are virtually non-existent. Throw a Heinie 3D Ledge night on the back, a Novak target ring night on the front, that's a sight setup you can be confident in.

I use all Wilson parts in my serious builds (Sarco will do just fine for a budget build). Except for Ed Brown target barrel bushings. I like knowing that all the parts came from the same manufacturer.
Runs-N-Guns_66  [Member]
6/21/2010 11:03:15 PM
Originally Posted By JaredGrey:
No stake-on sights. Ever. IMHO, YMMV. Lots of people say the bigger front sights come loose, and the smaller front sights are virtually non-existent. Throw a Heinie 3D Ledge night on the back, a Novak target ring night on the front, that's a sight setup you can be confident in.

I use all Wilson parts in my serious builds (Sarco will do just fine for a budget build). Except for Ed Brown target barrel bushings. I like knowing that all the parts came from the same manufacturer.


Are staked on front sights prone to breakage, or do they fall off easily? is there a way to correct this?
JaredGrey  [Member]
6/22/2010 1:02:29 AM
Originally Posted By Runs-N-Guns_66:
Originally Posted By JaredGrey:
No stake-on sights. Ever. IMHO, YMMV. Lots of people say the bigger front sights come loose, and the smaller front sights are virtually non-existent. Throw a Heinie 3D Ledge night on the back, a Novak target ring night on the front, that's a sight setup you can be confident in.

I use all Wilson parts in my serious builds (Sarco will do just fine for a budget build). Except for Ed Brown target barrel bushings. I like knowing that all the parts came from the same manufacturer.


Are staked on front sights prone to breakage, or do they fall off easily? is there a way to correct this?


Everyone I've talked to says that if your front sight is smaller than that little GI speedbump, eventually the stake will fail during use. I smothered mine in red loctite, when staking it and it still had a hair of play...and I staked it properly, I made sure of that. I was always afraid of breaking that big sailboat sail off at the base when moving it, either out of the holster or out of my desk. Eventually, my experiments with lowering the rear sight necessitated either buying a new stake on sight set or having the slide cut for something more modern. I got sick of fearing a catastrophic bump against the front sight, and got the slide cut for Novaks. That's when I fell in love with the Heinie sights.
ken_mays  [Team Member]
6/22/2010 1:45:10 AM
If proper sight dovetails are an option at all, I would never go with a stake-on front, especially if you want tritium.

The Colt Series 80 wide tenon is beefy enough to hold most anything on if properly staked, but the night sights are tricky to stake if you don't have the right tools. And with a Commander, I like having the option to address POA issues by easily swapping the sights for a taller rear or shorter front without destroying the staked-on front.

SGB  [Moderator]
6/22/2010 2:27:13 AM
How much experiance do you have working on 1911's?
6mmAR15  [Member]
6/22/2010 7:28:49 AM
Originally Posted By Runs-N-Guns_66:
[quote]Originally Posted By 6mmAR15:
Sounds like a plan.......I have used a lot of the stuff you are planning to get.......I would have Caspian fit the frame and slide............I would personally ditch the Barsto and go with Fusion...............for a barrel.......but everthing you have listed is all good.............


could i ask for the reasoning behind this? I dont know much about either company so any input is appreciated.[/quot

I have used three of their barrels........they are super......well made and accurate.........IMHO

Everything else is GTG...................

rod727  [Member]
6/22/2010 7:59:26 AM
It looks like you have the foundation of a good build. I would seriously consider having slide milled for Novaks and ditch the staked on sights. I would also recommend if it is your first build to "scale back" a little. Have you considered buying a used pistol and doing some modifications to it first? Fitting a barrel properly, trigger and beavertail along with a trigger job can be just as fulfilling and less expensive. The only reason I ask is that you will have a large amount of money in this build and I have seen a lot of people disappointed with the end results when they go this route. Even the full custom 1911 builders start with an existing platform. The best piece of advice I can offer is not related to your parts list but this. Get the "Kuhnhausen 1911 manual" and read it front to back "twice" then If your still comfortable with it go forward and have a blast. Don't ask me how I know.
irondog1911  [Member]
6/22/2010 8:10:43 AM
Buy a semi custom already put together and just shoot, it's easier.
DoubleARon  [Team Member]
6/22/2010 11:28:07 AM
Why not an aluminum MSH from VZ? Have you considered using an officer frame?
Runs-N-Guns_66  [Member]
6/22/2010 11:44:05 AM
Originally Posted By SGB:
How much experience do you have working on 1911's?


I worked on my other 1911, a AMT hard baller, to make it more reliable and comfortable to shoot. I have some experience working on bolt action rifles, and a buddy of mines Sig pistol. I also have a book about gunsmithing 1911 pistols.
Runs-N-Guns_66  [Member]
6/22/2010 11:51:57 AM
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
If proper sight dovetails are an option at all, I would never go with a stake-on front, especially if you want tritium.

The Colt Series 80 wide tenon is beefy enough to hold most anything on if properly staked, but the night sights are tricky to stake if you don't have the right tools. And with a Commander, I like having the option to address POA issues by easily swapping the sights for a taller rear or shorter front without destroying the staked-on front.



good points. I have a question though, do you have to buy another sight when you are swapping them out for a taller or shorter version, or do you just return them? It seems to me that you would be spending a lot of money if you couldn't return the ones that aren't correct.
Runs-N-Guns_66  [Member]
6/22/2010 11:56:28 AM
Originally Posted By rod727:
It looks like you have the foundation of a good build. I would seriously consider having slide milled for Novaks and ditch the staked on sights. I would also recommend if it is your first build to "scale back" a little. Have you considered buying a used pistol and doing some modifications to it first? Fitting a barrel properly, trigger and beavertail along with a trigger job can be just as fulfilling and less expensive. The only reason I ask is that you will have a large amount of money in this build and I have seen a lot of people disappointed with the end results when they go this route. Even the full custom 1911 builders start with an existing platform. The best piece of advice I can offer is not related to your parts list but this. Get the "Kuhnhausen 1911 manual" and read it front to back "twice" then If your still comfortable with it go forward and have a blast. Don't ask me how I know.


yes, Ive done some work on another 1911.
Gregory_K  [Team Member]
6/22/2010 12:03:16 PM
good luck. Parts don,t make a 1911 run, the smith does.

If your willing to trash some parts and purchase extras, eventually you will get it runing.

file/sand/ polish/grind the lower cost item first.
Runs-N-Guns_66  [Member]
6/22/2010 12:05:35 PM
Originally Posted By DoubleARon:
Why not an aluminum MSH from VZ? Have you considered using an officer frame?


I didn't know they made mainspring housings. Ill have to look more into it, thank you.
I've handled several officer frame 1911's and hate how they feel and shoot. My hand is too big so my pinky hangs off the bottom and it bothers me. I felt like I was going to drop the pistol every time I shot it.
ken_mays  [Team Member]
6/22/2010 12:13:09 PM
Originally Posted By Runs-N-Guns_66:
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
If proper sight dovetails are an option at all, I would never go with a stake-on front, especially if you want tritium.

The Colt Series 80 wide tenon is beefy enough to hold most anything on if properly staked, but the night sights are tricky to stake if you don't have the right tools. And with a Commander, I like having the option to address POA issues by easily swapping the sights for a taller rear or shorter front without destroying the staked-on front.



good points. I have a question though, do you have to buy another sight when you are swapping them out for a taller or shorter version, or do you just return them? It seems to me that you would be spending a lot of money if you couldn't return the ones that aren't correct.


I know that nobody will take back a staked-on sight. Once it's removed, it's trashed. Dovetailed sights could theoretically be returned if you hadn't modified them.
Runs-N-Guns_66  [Member]
6/22/2010 1:24:33 PM
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Originally Posted By Runs-N-Guns_66:
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
If proper sight dovetails are an option at all, I would never go with a stake-on front, especially if you want tritium.

The Colt Series 80 wide tenon is beefy enough to hold most anything on if properly staked, but the night sights are tricky to stake if you don't have the right tools. And with a Commander, I like having the option to address POA issues by easily swapping the sights for a taller rear or shorter front without destroying the staked-on front.



good points. I have a question though, do you have to buy another sight when you are swapping them out for a taller or shorter version, or do you just return them? It seems to me that you would be spending a lot of money if you couldn't return the ones that aren't correct.


I know that nobody will take back a staked-on sight. Once it's removed, it's trashed. Dovetailed sights could theoretically be returned if you hadn't modified them.


I did some searching into novak front sights, and found the XS 24/7 sight set. It has a novak front, and a standard rear. They look very nice, and have good reviews. Anyone ever use these sights for a commander size pistol? It doesn't look like they have different sizes so my POA/POI will not be able to be changed much.
rod727  [Member]
6/22/2010 1:34:09 PM
Originally Posted By Runs-N-Guns_66:
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
Originally Posted By Runs-N-Guns_66:
Originally Posted By ken_mays:
If proper sight dovetails are an option at all, I would never go with a stake-on front, especially if you want tritium.

The Colt Series 80 wide tenon is beefy enough to hold most anything on if properly staked, but the night sights are tricky to stake if you don't have the right tools. And with a Commander, I like having the option to address POA issues by easily swapping the sights for a taller rear or shorter front without destroying the staked-on front.



good points. I have a question though, do you have to buy another sight when you are swapping them out for a taller or shorter version, or do you just return them? It seems to me that you would be spending a lot of money if you couldn't return the ones that aren't correct.


I know that nobody will take back a staked-on sight. Once it's removed, it's trashed. Dovetailed sights could theoretically be returned if you hadn't modified them.


I did some searching into novak front sights, and found the XS 24/7 sight set. It has a novak front, and a standard rear. They look very nice, and have good reviews. Anyone ever use these sights for a commander size pistol? It doesn't look like they have different sizes so my POA/POI will not be able to be changed much.


For a carry weapon I use this standard low profile rear on my 1911 colt.
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=181994

I recommend this for the front
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=341369

I don't use any dots on the rear I prefer plain for my carry weapons with a front that is easily acquired.
Good luck with the build!
Runs-N-Guns_66  [Member]
6/22/2010 2:50:28 PM
Originally Posted By rod727:

For a carry weapon I use this standard low profile rear on my 1911 colt.
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=181994

I recommend this for the front
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=341369

I don't use any dots on the rear I prefer plain for my carry weapons with a front that is easily acquired.
Good luck with the build!


how difficult is it to find that rear sight in low light situations? It has nothing on it to orientate you so you know your sights are lined up. Ive never used a sight set up like this, but would be interested to learn the mechanics/theory behind it. do you have a link that explains this sight set up?
rod727  [Member]
6/22/2010 3:49:02 PM
Originally Posted By Runs-N-Guns_66:
Originally Posted By rod727:

For a carry weapon I use this standard low profile rear on my 1911 colt.
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=181994

I recommend this for the front
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=341369

I don't use any dots on the rear I prefer plain for my carry weapons with a front that is easily acquired.
Good luck with the build!


how difficult is it to find that rear sight in low light situations? It has nothing on it to orientate you so you know your sights are lined up. Ive never used a sight set up like this, but would be interested to learn the mechanics/theory behind it. do you have a link that explains this sight set up?


For me it's personal preference as I spend a tremendous amount of time training on "front sight" here is a link that outlines the theory of using a plain rear sight.

http://pistol-training.com/excluded-pages/handgun-low-light-essentials-p2

Some will agree some will disagree. For me I want a system that allows me very fast and natural acquisition period. I can assure you if you are ever in a position where you have to use your 1911 to defend yourself you wont be worrying about lining up all three dots. It's my opinion and what I'm comfortable with and there are those who disagree. One has to use the system they are comfortable with that's why they make them both ways right?