We don’t generally engage in conspiracy theories or political debate. We do, however, understand why many gun owners might be hesitant to purchase a handgun with the knowledge that he or she must submit extensive, personal information to both state and federal officials and databases.
Today we’re talking about how to legally build your own unregistered 1911.
Rest assured, everything detailed in this article is presented within the confines of Federal law. We do not support the illegal manufacturing, ownership, or sales of firearms by individuals who are not legally entitled to such rights.
Building a 1911 Starts with Knowing the Law
Building a handgun for personal use is 100% legal by state and federal law. The ATF has repeatedly clarified this, though misinformation remains. Simply put, you can legally build a 1911 at home if you’re otherwise legally able to own a firearm. Most importantly, you must review your local and state laws first. The ATF’s federal laws dictating gunsmithing and ownership don’t always coincide with state laws.
For example, if you live in California you’ll have to submit for a state-issued serial number before you build your 1911, according to Assembly Bill 857. Once you’ve confirmed you’re in the clear to build your 1911 at home, the fun steps begin!
You Need a 1911 Build Kit
First, you’ll need a 1911 frame blank. A frame blank – more commonly known as an 80% frame, or 80% 1911 – is an almost-complete frame. It’s not legally considered a firearm until you machine it into a functional piece.
Alongside that 80% 1911 frame, you’ll need a complete parts kit – barrel, trigger components, slide, springs, and so on. We strongly recommend investing in a 1911 Build Kit which includes every component you need. Our Build Kits are all 100% made in the U.S.A. and feature premium aluminum alloy frames that reduce weight by over 60%.
You’ll Need a 1911 Jig – and Some Tools
To complete that 80% 1911 frame and get it ready for assembly, you’ll need a 1911 frame jig. The 80% jig acts as a drilling and cutting guide, measuring every machining step for you. You’ll need to drill the hammer pin hole and sear pin role and cut the slide rails and barrel seat. Each process takes a few minutes and instructions are included – rest assured, you can do this at home with little to no experience.
Once you’ve completed these four machining steps, you’ll need a simple hand file to ensure your frame is ready for final assembly. Assembling your 1911 build kit with your completed frame usually takes less than one hour, even for first-time builders!
“How is this legal?” The Law Explained Further
You’re probably wondering how building an “unregistered firearm” is even legal. It always has been. The Bureau for Tobacco, Alcohol, and Firearms has always protected an individual’s right to build a firearm at home, no need for paperwork, no need for licenses or background checks.
As long as you don’t intend to sell your completed 1911, you’re 100% free and clear to build. Our build kits also ship straight to your front door because nothing inside your kit is legally considered a firearm until you’ve machined it! Ready to build?