Best 1911 Build Kits [2022]: Top 3 Expert Picks

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.

By Dennis Howard •  11 min read

Building guns, both rifles and pistols, from parts kits is becoming popular. The satisfaction of taking a collection of partially finished parts and, with a little work, assembling a new pistol or rifle is a satisfying experience. However, not all parts kits are the same. Finding the best 1911 build kits can be a challenge

The best 1911 build kits will include everything to complete your 1911 pistol. The frame is the key part of the build. A good kit should have everything but the sear hole, hammer pinhole, barrel seat and slide rails. You may need to purchase a jig to ensure that the drilling and milling of these parts are accurate and clean.

Before you begin any firearm build from an 89 percent kit, you should be familiar with the tools and equipment you need to complete the build. An understanding of how the firearm operates is also essential. We looked at the available 1911 build kits and, in our opinion, these are the best options on the market.

What Is Involved with A 1911 80 Percent Build?

In general, if you buy a quality 1911 build kit, you should get everything you need to assemble a complete and shootable 1911. The frame you receive will be 80 percent complete. Typically, the frame must be drilled and milled to complete the build. You can expect to perform the following operations on the 80 percent frame.

It is the opportunity to build a gun that you know fits perfectly in all its parts that attracts many shooters. The satisfaction of shooting the pistol that you built is immeasurable. 

What Else Should I Consider Before I Buy an 89 Percent 1911 Kit?

There are several other considerations to be taken before you order your 80 percent 1911 build kit. The most important of these considerations include these choices.

Finding an 80 percent 1911 kit with your exact specifications may be a bit of a challenge. However, several manufacturers offer to do custom work to ensure you get exactly the kit you want.

Finding the Best 1911 Build Kits

We searched among the retailers and manufacturers to find the best 1911 build kits on the market. These kits offer a range of materials, styles, and options that should fit almost any shooter’s specifications for a 1911.  All these manufacturers offer high-quality 1911 build kits. You will be well served by purchasing a kit from any of these companies.

STEALTH ARMS 80% 1911 Pistol Kit

Stealth Arms has been producing 1911 8-0 percent build kits since 2012. The quality of their products is well known. Every part in a Stealth Arms build kit is made in the USA. In addition to kits, Stealth Arms also makes and sells a line of jigs and tools that make doing the finish work on your 80 percent frame easier and faster. 

You won’t be disappointed in the variety of options and features you get with a Stealth Arms 80 percent 1911 build kit. 

Every part included in a Stealth Arms kit is machined in the US using the latest CNC technology. Each part is hand-checked for tolerances and finish before being individually packaged, labeled, and assembled into a kit. 

Stealth Arms frames are machined from the highest-grade aluminum available. These frames are strong and durable and produce a lightweight 1911 that is comfortable to shoot and carry.

What Sets Stealth Arms Apart?

If you want one thing that sets Stealth Arms apart from the other 80 percent 1911 build kit manufacturers, it must be their “One Time Mistake Guarantee.”  If you mess up your 80 percent frame for any reason, you can get a replacement from Stealth Arms one time. Nobody is perfect. Stealth Arms recognizes that completing an 80 percent 1911 frame can be difficult.

The Advantages of a Stealth Arms 80- Percent 1911 Build Kit

Purchasers and Users of Stealth Arms 80 percent 1911 build kits are overwhelmingly positive in their reviews. These comments are consistent in almost all the reviews that we found of these build kits.

The Disadvantages of a Stealth Arms 8-0 Percent 1911 Build Kit

Some builders using the Stealth Arms Kit do mention a few downsides to these kits. Fortunately, these downsides have nothing to do with quality. 

Stealth Arms does market a jig to complete their 1911 build kits. The Stealth Arms jig allows you to finish the frame using a drill press instead of a milling machine.

US Patriot Armory 1911 80 Percent Build Kits

US Patriot is perhaps the largest retailer of 1911 80 percent build kits. This company sells their own line of 80 percent 1911 build kits and kits from most of the other manufacturers. US Patriot Armory has a reputation for quality in its kits and for providing exceptional customer service. 

80 percent 1911 build kits made by US Patriot offer features and options that usually exceed what other manufacturers offer. You can expect to find choices and features from US Patriot Armory that include:

What Sets US Patriot Armory Apart?

US Patriot Armory is one of the few manufacturers of 80 percent 1911 frames that offers color options on their aluminum frames. Currently, you can order a kit with a frame and slide finished in midnight bronze, OD green, or shimmer aluminum. You can give your 1911 build kit a distinct and personal look.

The Advantages of a US Patriot Armory 80 Percent Build Kit

 Reviews of US Patriot Armory 1911 build kits are uniformly positive. Most purchasers of these kits comments fit into one of these categories.

The Disadvantages of US Patriot Armory 80 Percent 1911 Build Kits

Some users comment on some minor problems that deserve to be mentioned and considered.

US Patriot Armory 80 percent 1911 build kits are a middle-of-the-road option. You can spend more money on a build kit. You can also spend less. If you take your time, do the necessary fitting and finish work, you can produce a remarkably high-quality 1911.

1911 Builders 80 Percent 1911 Kits

If you want choices, 1911 Builders is your go-to manufacturer of 80 percent 1911 build kits. The product lineup includes more options than any other manufacturer that we found. 1911 Builders offers 80 percent 1911 kits in the following categories.

You can be assured that you can find an 80 percent 1911 kit that fits your idea of the perfect 1911 at 1911 Builders. In addition, the features you expect in a quality 1911 80 percent build kit are all included. For example:

What Sets 1911 Builders Apart?

The wide variety of options, materials, and styles of 1911 80 percent build kits sets 1911 Builders apart. If you want to truly customize a 1911 build, the options you can choose at 1911 Builders could make your project easier. 

The Advantages of 1911 Builders 80 Percent 1911 Build Kits

By and large, purchasers of 1911 Builder kits find these products of high quality. Many mention ease of finishing. Overall, builder comments about these 1911 Builder kits fall into these categories.

The Disadvantages of a 1911 Builders 80 Percent 1911 Build Kit

Just like any other product, some users have complaints and issues. Most of these we found didn’t speak to the quality of the kits. Most users found an issue with other things such as:

1911 Builders is a great choice for a first-time or experienced 1911 builder. We suggest starting with an aluminum frame for your first build. The steel and stainless frames are harder and more difficult to finish.

Getting into the Build Business

At some point, most of us toy with the idea of building a gun from an 80 percent kit. Building your gun can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience. The satisfaction and pride that comes from carrying and shooting a gun that you built is the reward for your work and time

Dennis Howard

A life long hunter, fisherman, and outdoorsman, after surviving a devastating tornado in his home town, he saw the effects on people's lives as they struggled to cope. He built his first bugout bag a few weeks later and has been a dedicated prepper/survivalist since that time. After a career as a fireman, Dennis opened a retail store (FFL approved) catering to the military, law enforcement, and like-minded individuals. The store built their own AR platforms. Furthermore, Dennis was also an NRA instructor in both long gun and handgun as well as a certified range safety officer. Read his full interview here.