80 Percent 1911 Spotlight: The Classic .45 ACP, 5" Government Black Frame

Posted by 80-Lower on May 18th 2019

80 Percent 1911 Spotlight: The Classic .45 ACP, 5" Government Black Frame

We're ramping up our new 80 percent 1911 product line, and first up is the Classic .45 ACP, 5" Government Black Frame. Before we break down this bad-ass unit, let's talk about what an 80 percent 1911 frame is first: A few years ago, some intelligent gunsmiths came up with the 80% lower for the AR-15. You take this 80% lower, finish machining the last 20% with a jig, and boom, you've got an AR-15 stripped lower receiver, ready to be built. Fast-forward to today, and the same gunsmithing trick is working for America's Greatest Handgun. An 80 percent 1911 frame allows you to legally and safely build a real 1911 at home! We only felt it fitting to introduce our Classic Government frame first:

The .45 ACP, 5" Government Black 80% 1911 Frame

45 ACP / 5″ Government / Anodized Black 80 Percent 1911 Frame - Blog Photo #1

If you want to build an original, G.I.-style 1911, then the .45 ACP 5" Government Frame is how you'll do it. This unique 80 percent 1911 frame is not made from steel (like most 1911s). Instead, we decided to innovate by making it out of forged 7075 T6 aluminum! The Government Frame (and all our 80 percent 1911 frames) are manufactured by some of the country's top gunsmiths in Ohio. We believe the 1911's frame should only be made in America, and we back it up with a Lifetime Warranty.

Forged 7075 aluminum is the same material the U.S. Military uses to build its service-issued M16s and M4s, so it's perfectly suited for building a new 1911. But what are the advantages?

Compatible with Standard 1911 Parts

45 ACP / 5″ Government Anodized Black Slide 1911 Parts Kit - Blog Photo #2

Part of the allure of the 1911 is its legendary reliability and simplicity. We kept things in line by making sure the 5" Government frame - and all our 80 percent 1911 frames - are compatible with off-the-shelf parts in the appropriate caliber. Of course, we also carry the right Parts Kits so you can finish your build with one purchase.

If you've already decided this project is for you, be sure to pick up the .45 ACP 5" Government Anodized Black 1911 Parts Kit. This is the kit you'll need to complete this frame. It also ships direct to your door, no FFL required.

A new, lighter 1911

The aluminum construction of the 80 percent 1911 frame helps to reduce weight by over 60%. It's tricky to argue that the original 1911 doesn't weigh a ton, so we decided to fix that. The result is a lighter, more ergonomic frame that's perfect for all-day carry.

Featuring a mil-spec Type III Hardcoat Anodized finish

In keeping with innovation, we decided to ditch the old-school parkerized finish on this frame. Instead, we kept up with the times and felt it appropriate to finish it off with a Type III hardcoat anodized finish - just like any 80% lower or store-bought tactical rifle or pistol. Our 1911 Parts Kits's finishes also match, so you'll end up with a finished 1911 that looks like it rolled fresh out of a factory.

The 80 percent 1911 is easy to build!

Phantom 1911 80% Jig by Stealth Arms - Blog Photo #3

So, how do you even finish this frame and make a 1911 at home? Good question. It starts with an 80 percent 1911 jig! The Phantom Jig from Stealth Arms was made to act like a miniature CNC machine. All you need to do is set up your 1911 frame in the jig, follow the instructions, and make a few holes and cuts. Specifically, you'll need to do the following:

  • Cut the side rails
  • Cut the barrel seat
  • Drill the hammer pin hole
  • Drill the sear pin hole

And that's all there is to it! The 1911 jig comes with a "cutting car", a device that incorporates a blade, handle, adjustment knob, and manually-operated slide. The 1911 jig includes all the tools you'll need to complete the job. All you need is a hand drill, and about 30 minutes to an hour to get it all done.

No FFL is required for the 80 percent 1911 frame

The best part about this project is that you do not need to go through an FFL to purchase, ship, own, or build your new piece with an 80 percent 1911 frame. Because the frame isn't finished, it can't be made to fire. The ATF calls this a "receiver blank", much like the 80% lower. The same rules apply for the 80 percent 1911 frame. That means we can ship everything you need to build your gun straight to your front door. Now, we're not lawyers, so be safe and check your local laws first. It's time to build!

DISCLAIMER: If you are new to the world of DIY gun building, you likely have a lot of questions and rightfully so. It’s an area that has a lot of questions that, without the correct answers, could have some serious implications. At 80-lower.com, we are by no means providing this content on our website to serve as legal advice or legal counsel. We encourage each and every builder to perform their own research around their respective State laws as well as educating themselves on the Federal laws. When performing your own research, please be sure that you are getting your information from a reliable source.