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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy Do New Snake Owner - it's been a while since we've heard from you and I hope all is well with you and yours.

Regarding your intent and desire to build your own - Go For It. There may be some tricks involved in fitting things together, and some of the guys out there may clobber me for this, but it can be done fairly easily.

You will need a frame to slide match - that is, a good fit. Here you may have to work on some of the slide rails on the frame or on the slide to get the slide to match up nicely to the frame. Then I would install the ejector to see if you still have clearance and ease of slide movement. You may need to work out some burrs or casting materials from the trigger cuts and the sear and disconnector holes but it should work for you. I would go one step at a time.

It sounds as though you want to put together a nice package. You may wish to contact Caspian and see what they advise about using the Commander slide - they may have concerns about the fit. Maybe they have one they would prefer you use.

Yep, this is involved but not beyond you. Your slide to frame fit can have some tolerance to enhance reliability but your barrel should fit your slide tightly when in battery.

I've done this before and it wasn't too bad. I just want to encourage you and hope that some of the other fellas out here who have done this themselves offer up some more detailed advise.

This is Mikey. :D
 

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Building a .45 Auto

The task is not as difficult as you might think. A couple of good books exist to help you through the process. One is "Hallock's .45 Auto Handbook," and the other is Kuhnhausen's "The Colt .45 Automatic - A Shop Manual." Try the Brownells catalog for the books, and also for a number of parts and jigs and tools. "Shooting Times" also ran a series on building .45 a few years ago.

The first thing you need to decide is whether you are building a basic shooter, or a match fitted .45. With an aluminum frame, match fitting is not a consideration unless you opt for an embedded rail system (not something self installed).

One of the beauties of building a .45 is you can start with a basic version, then add bells and whistles as you save up the $. When selecting parts, also consider whether you are building a "Series 80" style with firing pin lock plunger system. The Caspian frames I've built on do not have the provision for the plunger business, so I make sure the slide does not either.

Triggers jobs can be done but only with the help of a sear jig. A good one for the $ is the Wilson jig, available from Brownells and also from Gil Hebard Guns, 125-129 Public Square, Knoxville, Illinois 61448. Fitting a thumb safety can be a bit tricky, but a grip safety is a little easier. Beaver tail safeties are not too difficult if you have a jig for the correct radius, and the guts to start grinding on your frame.

For the .45's I've built in the past I've generally done most everything except refinishing the pistol, and silver brazing the front sight. I've farmed out barrel fitting for the ones that had an integral feed ramp on the barrel and the frames had to be machined for it. Kart has a kit for fitting their barrels that Gil Hebard sells. Reviews of the easy fit kit rate it pretty high.

Good luck with your project. Having made it with your own hands will provide you a pistol with special value.
 

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Doin' it Yourself

Hay a_kayacker: BobK gave you some really great advice and you should look into those books.

In addition, you can purchase drop in beavertail grip safeties fro King that require no modification to the frame to install and for triggers and hammers you can easily get some quality Chip McCormick parts - actually a kit with a trigger, hammer, sear and plunger - that make the job much easier. Having read those books will make a difference for you.

Once you've gotten the pistol to shoot and function the way you want then is the time to find someone to help with the cosmetics. years ago there was a knifemaker in the PRK who reworked slides on 45s to resemble those on the Browning Hi-Power and they looked really sweet.

Good luck. Let us know how it goes. This is Mikey.
 

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1911 Step by Step

Here is a site that describes one guy's step by step process as he built his .45.

http://www.roderuscustom.tzo.com/

Look under PROGRESS, then 80% Commander Project.
 
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