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How to Build Your Own 1911 Pistol at Home

45 ACP / 5″ Government Tactical / Bead Blasted 1911 Build Kit - Blog Title Image

They call it “America’s handgun”. It’s helped to win wars, save G.I.s in foxholes, and take down bad guys on the streets for over a century. Yes, it’s the legendary 1911! For the past hundred years, you’ve been relegated to picking out your very own version of Old Slabsides off the gun store shelves – usually paying a premium in the process. That ain’t the case anymore. Thanks to the 1911’s ageless design and proven worth, the 80% lower market has answered the call by introducing the 80% 1911 frame. Here’s how to build your own 1911 pistol at home using your own blank 1911 frame!

It starts with the 80% 1911 frame

45 ACP / 5″ Government / Anodized Black Frame - Blog Photo 1

We’re super excited to bring to market the 80% 1911 frame in proper fashion. Just like we did with the 80% lower and the AR-15, we’re giving gun lowers like yourself the opportunity to build a 1911 the way you want! The all-new 1911 frame boasts the same conveniences and legal protections as the 80% lower. Much like the AR-15’s lower receiver, the 1911’s only regulated component is its frame. The frame of the 1911 is considered the firearm itself in the eyes of the ATF. So, until you complete your 1911 frame, it isn’t considered a firearm! The best part? The ATF says you don’t need any paperwork to complete your frame at home!

Buy a frame and Stealth Arms Jig

This is easy! First, you must decide which 1911 you want to build. The 1911 is available in different sizes, including full (5″, Government profile), and compact (4.25″, Commander profile). We offer our 1911 frames with a mil-spec anodized black finish, as well as a bead-blasted raw finish that’s ready for your custom coating! Once you’ve decided which configuration and finish you’d like, all you need to do is pick up a Phantom 1911 80% Jig by Stealth Arms.

Phantom 1911 80% Jig by Stealth Arms - Blog Photo 2

The Phantom Jig is the genius little component that allows you to quickly and easily complete your 80% 1911 frame at home with some basic tools (you really only need a hand drill!). The Phantom Jig is the quickest way to complete a 1911 frame and it only requires four simple steps:

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

That’s it! Once you’ve completed these four steps, you’ll be the proud owner of a functional 1911 frame that’s ready for assembly. Drilling those holes only takes a minute or two, and all cutting is done by hand. Even that only takes a few minutes per side. It really is that easy.

Pair your frame with a 1911 Parts Kit

The next step in your project is picking out the right 1911 Parts Kit. Our Parts Kits include every component you need to build a 1911 – minus the frame, of course. Our kits are also sold to match all our available 1911 frames, including Government and Commander kits that ship coated or raw.

Each of our 1911 Parts Kits is proudly built in the good ole’ U.S. of A. All components in our Parts Kits are made from mil-spec, forged 7075 T6 aluminum or mil-spec Chromoly Vanadium steel (CR-V). Many customers report a clean, crisp trigger in our kits and many have commented on our Parts Kits’ ability to provide laser accuracy and smooth functionality. Trust us, our kits are not equivalent to those bottom-tier shooters you might find at the local gun store for $450. Here, you’re getting what you pay for.


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