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A Guide to Building a 1911 Frame at Home – Part 1 (Drilling)

So you’ve decided to build a 1911 at home, of course based on our expert opinion – great! But how do you actually do it? All that cutting and drilling can seem overwhelming if you’ve never touched tool to metal. Rest assured, we’re going to help walk you through the steps of using the Stealth Arms Phantom 1911 Jig. Here’s a guide to building a 1911 frame at home!


The Phantom 1911 Jig

The 1911 Phantom Jig is an incredibly simple yet effective gunsmithing jig. This jig will allow you to machine your 80% 1911 frame in about an hour and no milling machine is required. You’ll need the following before we get started:

  •         Table Vise with Cloth
  •         Drill Press or Hand Drill
  •         Stealth Arms 1911 Phantom Jig
  •         Micrometer
  •         Hand File


Secure the 1911 80% Frame in the Phantom Jig

First thing’s first, grab your 80% 1911 frame and secure it in the Phantom Jig. To do so, grab each side plate (LH and RH) and place them side by side. Grab the right hand (RH) side plate and the grip safety/hammer pin and slide stop pin. Place each pin in the correct hole in your 80% frame. Grab the RH side plate and rest the 80% frame atop the plate, lining up both pins with the holes in the side plate.


Now, grab the LH plate, orient it, and press it onto the 80% frame, again lining up both pins. Next, grab the plate-connecting hex-head bolt and use it to tighten and secure the two side plates together, sandwiching the frame in between the plates. Be sure not to over-tighten. Hand-tighten with light pressure only.


Drill the Sear and Hammer Pin Holes

For these two holes, you’ll need the provided drill bits in the kit. The #22, or larger, drill bit is intended for the hammer pin hole. The #35, or smaller, drill bit is intended for the sear pin hole. A drill press is recommended, but a hand drill can be utilized with careful alignment. If using a hand drill, a table vise is highly recommended to secure the Phantom Jig and 80% frame.


Tips while Drilling and Next Steps

While drilling, be sure to clean up aluminum debris and use plenty of lubricating oil. This will ensure your drill bits and aluminum frame do not suffer damage from excessive heat, debris, or friction. Once you’ve drilled both holes, loosen the jig and table vise for the next steps – we’ll walk you through how to cut the frame rails and hammer seat in part 2 of A Guide to Building a 1911 Frame at Home!


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 1911 Frame, 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.


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