Making A 1911 Pistol

Talking Lead goes to Maximus Arms to check out the process of making a 1911 from scratch, and to have some fun:

I like Talking Lead because they don’t take themselves too seriously.

3:20 – MMMMM lost wax casting

5:38 – For a company I’ve never heard of, they sure look like they are doing well in the 1911 game.  I find this surprising because I don’t know anyone with a non major brandname 1911.

Colt-M191119:57 – This guy better never show up to work hungover or tired.  That day would be his last.

I really had no idea there was such much dirty hands on labor involved in making 1911s.

Thoughts?

7 COMMENTS

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Gizmo June 4, 2014 at 06:06 am

Only partly related, I recently started looking at Jesse James(West Cost Choppers) facebook and he does the dirty part of making his JJFU 1911s. No clue about the finish work though.

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jpcmt June 4, 2014 at 10:51 am

So in short, that is another way of doing metal injection molded (MIM) parts like everyone else does? Isn’t that supposed to be a less desirable manufacturing method?

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ENDO-Mike June 4, 2014 at 11:25 am

I think you’re right.. it isn’t as good as machining from billet, but also is several times less expensive.

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dwb June 4, 2014 at 11:25 am

Nope, still not giving up my hope of getting a Kimber 1911 in 10 mm soon.

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CrunkleRoss June 5, 2014 at 05:10 pm

The casting system they use is called the lost wax system and also investment casting, they are the same thing. Ruger and Pine Tree Casting are famous for using that to make firearms but are not the only ones by far.

What I see in the video is a typical investment casting, nothing special. In fact that frame with the integral mag well is almost identical to the Caspian Race Ready Frame. Caspian used to offer fully machined frames from bar stock and the cast frames. In my experience frames machined from bar stock are less likely to have inclusions but require more hand finishing.

Not shown in the video but I found out by contacting them is that their slides are also investment cast. That is not good. A cast frame is ok but a cast slide is a no go, only cheap guns would do that and other attempts at cast 1911 slides are full of fail. To charge so much money, and claim so much quality, in a all cast 1911 is…..well you draw your own conclusions.

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CrunkleRoss June 5, 2014 at 05:15 pm

If I could edit my comment I would also add that forging is a superior way to build a pistol frame. In the forging process the grain of the metal is forced in one direction, with casting it’s going in every direction. It’s like comparing a wooden board cut from a tree to a piece of particle board.

Colt’s are built from forgings. Forgings are more expensive because they must be fully machined from the forging, the forging is just in the general shape of a pistol, where the cast has most of the features done and needs very little.

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Jon in NH June 5, 2014 at 09:38 pm

Cast vs forged vs billet doesn’t bother me. Engineering is about compromises and each has pros and cons.

What I would have liked to have seen is how the fit the safeties and fire control parts. Also I found it odd that they don’t test fire for accuracy. You can have a 1911 function ok (for a while) but with shotgun type groups. Especially if the barrel hasn’t been fit quite right.

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