According to YouTube, anyone can build or customize their 1911 (or any other gun, for that matter). The question isn’t can you, but should you. For the last 20 years, I have trained and studied firearms repair, design, and manufacture. I have on a regular basis had guns come into my shop that the answer is, you really shouldn’t have. No seriously, you shouldn’t have.
I am never against someone learning to take care of their guns. I encourage everyone to know how to work on and maintain all of their guns. This does not make you a gunsmith. A gunsmith knows why an 11 degree angle is required to be there, and he knows how to put that angle in place. He also knows how to tune it not just by measuring but by feel.
A good knowledgeable gunsmith has spent years working under a master to know when you should and when you shouldn’t. Of course, there may be an online video for everything, but it takes a craftsman to do it right. Who posted that video or blog anyway?
You can go out and buy tools and watch YouTube and hope you get it right on the first try, or you can take it to the man that has done it 300 times and knows that gun inside out.
Gunsmiths usually specialize in one type of work. Some know AR15 rifles better than any other gun and can make that rifle work perfectly. I actually specialize in 1911 pistols and Mauser rifles, because during my training, I have worked on those guns more than any other gun out there. I can tell you that working on 1911 pistols is all about PROPER fitting if you want it to run right. When I say “proper fitting,” I mean learning how each part fits to make that part operate the way it was designed, then verifying that fit. Yes, you can drop in a part and hope it works, but I won’t do that. I know several other gunsmiths that feel the same way when it comes to other firearms.
When you decide to work on your gun and make alterations to it, you really need to know what you are doing. A trained gunsmith is the best person for the job. Yes, it will cost you a little extra money, however you get what you pay for. If you do it yourself and it looks simple enough, you can end up in a world of hurt if you make a mistake and don’t see it.
Remember that you are holding a controlled explosion when you fire your gun. If you make a mistake and don’t see it, there is potential for a catastrophic failure. Trust in the people that are trained to work on your firearm, and leave the Dremel tool as far away from the gun as you can.
Not a sermon, just a thought.