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  1. #1
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
    TedDeBearFrmHell is offline Senior Member
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    now its time for me to ask some advice.....

    i have never owned a 1911A1.... i worked on a few way way back but they just were not my thing....

    lately i have been thinking about getting a basic blued inexpensive model as a base for my own build up. i want to get a complete gun and use it to see how it preforms after i refine it.

    the frame and slide will be the only mandatory parts that i keep.... i plan on taking the original gun, refitting the slide to the frame (by tightening or lapping as needed), cleaning up (deburring and polishing) all the parts and then reinstalling to see how it improves and then replacing the major sub-parts with aftermarket barrel, hammer, trigger, grip safety, springs and grips to see if it gets better and if so, how much?

    not trying to build a race gun but just a slick, reliable stock A1....

    since i will refinish the entire gun after the rebuild, i am not worried about factory finish or tool marks etc.

    so my question here is basically the metallurgy of the low end 1911s

    the thompson/ao , the ria, armscor/charles daly

    i realize that the ria is probably the best of the group but does anyone have personal knowledge of frame or slide failures of any particular brand? and if so, what ?

    since my time is free, i wanna see what the best gun i can make with the minimum out of pocket is.....

    yep, i need yet another project.

    thanks in advance

  2. #2
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    RIA, ArmsCorp, and CD(out of business) were all on cast frames. The AO is still forged I believe. While I'd preferably use a Springfield Stainless GI or MILSPEC (what I'd really like to use is a Colt Series 70 repro.) for a build...whatever floats your boat but I'd take a forged frame over a cast frame.

  3. #3
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    .... I'd take a forged frame over a cast frame.
    if i may pick your brain, why?

    btw, it doesnt matter if the gun is used, just looking for a low end, unaltered make....

  4. #4
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Forged frames are thought to be more durable and may take machining better. As for low end, why build up a turd? The frame and the slide are going to be the bedrock of your project, why base it on materials that come from the bottom of the barrel?

  5. #5
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    Forged frames are thought to be more durable and may take machining better. As for low end, why build up a turd? The frame and the slide are going to be the bedrock of your project, why base it on materials that come from the bottom of the barrel?
    the project is to see if i can use basic gunsmithing to convert a turd to a decent gun....

    i have read about the casting process and see that they are not as highly regarded based on density. but i am not sure if that necessarily excludes them from my needs unless they have a high failure rate.

  6. #6
    FNISHR is offline Member
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    Ted,

    Most of the "breathed upon" 1911's you hear about in my neck of the woods are either Colts or Springfields. The Mil-Spec is probably the most common starting point, but you see a variety of things if you keep looking.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by FNISHR View Post
    Ted,

    Most of the "breathed upon" 1911's you hear about in my neck of the woods are either Colts or Springfields. The Mil-Spec is probably the most common starting point, but you see a variety of things if you keep looking.
    nope, colts and springfields are too good, looking for a turd

  8. #8
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    Hey, Ted;
    One of my almost-twin Government Model 1911s is built on an Essex frame. I believe (but don't know) that it was investment cast.
    My shortie 1911 is also an Essex-frame pistol.
    (Both are steel.)
    Back when they were built, the skinny was that Essex frames were, um, turds. But the guy who built them, Chuck Ries, made them into reliable, accurate jewels.

    Instead of working up a new-made dog into a useful 1911, why not work on a very old, much abused gun? Or an older investment-cast-frame gun? Either would be easier to find cheap, I think, than any newer version.
    Another plus would be that they would not have a firing-pin-safety "feature" to work around.

  9. #9
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    ted
    from my research on said "turd" i have seen rock island firearms to be pretty popular on the low-end 1911 framed pistols. i have no real experience with them but i have read good things about how well of function and somewhat descent accuracy. only real flaw that i have read about is that the finish doesnt last too well, but you said you plan to refinish it anyways so it shouldnt be a problem for you, i have seen a few and they seem to be pretty well built guns but i am how you say, not a 1911 owner as i do hope to change sometime in the near future. but good luck keep your eye open im sure youll find something to tickle your fancy. but id suggest looking into the rif more to see if its something youd be wanting for your play-toy.
    45Sidekick

  10. #10
    45Sidekick's Avatar
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    hope it helps

  11. #11
    45Sidekick's Avatar
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    Rock Island, good or bad ? hopefully youll find this somewhat informative

  12. #12
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    Hey, Ted;.........

    Instead of working up a new-made dog into a useful 1911, why not work on a very old, much abused gun? Or an older investment-cast-frame gun? Either would be easier to find cheap, I think, than any newer version.
    Another plus would be that they would not have a firing-pin-safety "feature" to work around.
    idealy i would like to find a little used piece of crap that is known for reliability issues.

    and thanks, i hadnt thought about the firing pin safety.

    i dont think i want an abused gun, i think the idea i am going for it refinement as opposed to restoring. the abused gun may have metal fatigue or stress issues as a result of long term use.... i thing a fresh frame and slide turd is the way to go.

  13. #13
    45Sidekick's Avatar
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    hope you find what you like i think a RIA would be a good gun for your project

  14. #14
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45Sidekick View Post
    hope you find what you like i think a RIA would be a good gun for your project
    i am looking at ria but it has a pretty good rep for a low end gun.... i may have to use one but still hoping someone can come up with more info on the "turds" (thanks for the nomenclature VA)

  15. #15
    45Sidekick's Avatar
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    yeah i think itd be a good project gun though for what your looking to do, are you looking for a full-sized 1911 or compact? or do you even care? not gonna lie they are about the cheapest other than interstate arms corp

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45Sidekick View Post
    yeah i think itd be a good project gun though for what your looking to do, are you looking for a full-sized 1911 or compact? or do you even care? not gonna lie they are about the cheapest other than interstate arms corp
    what is this compact that you speak of??? nah, full size only.... 1911A1 clone only... blued only

  17. #17
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    well i ran across a handsome one in a local gun shop awhile back it was a 1911 framed compact about a 3" barrel if i had to guess based on memory, nickel plated, it was a RIA. she was a sharp lil gun but i was hesitant on getting it cuz i had never really heard anything about the company. but another cheap one is the interstate arms corp, but sadly i have no real info to back up the company as i have no clue about how well they operate

  18. #18
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TedDeBearFrmHell View Post
    what is this compact that you speak of??? nah, full size only.... 1911A1 clone only... blued only
    If you're dead set on "blued" only, a Metro Arms American Classic is probably your best bet. pretty sure all of the others are Parkerized or other finishes.

  19. #19
    TedDeBearFrmHell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 45Sidekick View Post
    well i ran across a handsome one in a local gun shop awhile back it was a 1911 framed compact about a 3" barrel if i had to guess based on memory, nickel plated, it was a RIA. she was a sharp lil gun but i was hesitant on getting it cuz i had never really heard anything about the company. but another cheap one is the interstate arms corp, but sadly i have no real info to back up the company as i have no clue about how well they operate
    actually this IAC might just be the gun i am looking for

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    If you're dead set on "blued" only, a Metro Arms American Classic is probably your best bet. pretty sure all of the others are Parkerized or other finishes.
    perhaps i misspoke.... i would take parkerized also..... no nickel or stainless tho ... and thanks for the link too

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