Building a 1911: Introduction

Given sufficient time, 20/20 hindsight blurs and requires corrective lenses, which often happen to be rose-colored. This is apparently what happened recently when I decided to build another 1911. The previous attempt had been an exercise in frustration that nonetheless turned out okay in the end, but impressed the lesson of not buying cheap junk parts lest one end up with a trauma-based aversion to building 1911s of sufficient intensity to last for several years.

Now that it has been several years and I’ve managed slowly to acquire parts of decent quality at bargain prices, it’s time to jump into the fray once more. This time, the final product will hopefully demonstrate the value of proper tools and in-spec parts. I don’t know for sure, though; unlike last time, the process of building the 1911 will be serialized and posted as it progresses. Although this will slightly reduce the coherency of the project and impair my ability to create an illusion of competence through clever editing, it should be worth it for the suspense, drama, and excitement of watching a 1911 take form in front of your very eyes. Will the barrel timing work with magazine height? Will the extractor end up clocking? Exactly how many times will he make himself bleed through clumsy misuse of a file? Does buying good parts actually make building a 1911 easier?

Let’s find out.


Chris has absolutely no qualifications to justify speaking with authority on any gun subject whatsoever. He compensates for being a poor shot by embarking on quixotic gunsmithing projects of both mediocre quality and dubious value. Because his taste in firearms runs to overpowered and outdated designs, Chris' opinions on guns should be treated with suspicion.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *