1911 80% Tactical Machining Build, Part 1: Intro

Follow me as I complete my Tactical Machining 1911 80% build project!

I make it easy to follow so you can make your own 1911 at home.

I start off with how to get the “paperweights” and jigs.  Then I go over my tooling setup and parts list.  Then finally I dive into actually getting the receiver to 100% and assembling/fitting the rest of the 1911.  Disclaimer of course.

Tactical Machining 1911 80% and Parts Kit
Tactical Machining 1911 80% and Parts Kit

Edit: Just finished my TM build (still need the sights).

Completed Tactical Machining 1911, minus sights
Completed Tactical Machining 1911, minus sights

Finding a 1911 80%

First, you’ve got to actually get the 80% and the jig which allows you to easily finish the receiver.

I was lucky and got their first batch of 80%-ers in June 2014.  Their jigs just came out July and I was able to snag one with the help of a Chrome extension called Page Monitor.

Just choose the 80% Page page, set the refresh rate to whatever, and choose some sort of notification of when the page changes.

Edit (Jan 27, 2016): TM still has some trouble keeping their 80%-ers in stock, but good news is that there’s a lot more providers now.  I’ve only done my project with Tactical Machining’s but here are other potentials.  There are slight differences in what you have to do to get it to 100%, but my guide should still be very useful.

Update: 1911 80% Shootout: Stealth Arms vs 1911 Builders vs Tactical Machining

Next Lesson

Part 1: Intro (Finding the 80%)

Part 2: Tools

Part 3: Parts List

Part 4: Basic Fitting

Part 5: Cutting the Slide Rail

Part 6: Barrel Seating

Part 7: Hammer & Sear Pin Holes

Part 8: Fitting the Slide

Part 9: Assembly & Fitting

Part 10: GunKote Application

Leave a Reply

3 Comment threads
8 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
6 Comment authors
LanceEric HungMikeyeyes07Reychris Recent comment authors
newest oldest most voted
Notify of

Hello, I’m going in a little blind to this build. I have a frame for a 1911, (recieved from a friend who abandoned the build.) and do not know what size it is. ie Full size, Commander. How would I measure to determine what I have? I know that I need to mill the slide rail as well. Is there any way or pictures I can look up to find out if there is anything else I have to mill out? Any information would be useful so I can get the right jigs. Thank You.


can you post 360 degree pictures of the 1911? mainly the back face, is it smooth or is there slide over hang (back face of the slide hangs over rear of the frame)? did you have to blend the slide to the frame?


Dan Smith
Dan Smith

What an impressive finish on this 1911. I really appreciate your sharing your experience with us. You have answered a lot of questions I have had. I hope I can turn out something that is close to as nice as your pistol looks.

Thanks again,


New to Guns ? Check out our beginners guns video course. Start Now