Pistol Frames: Beyond the Basics

Pistol frames are in demand mainly for one of three reasons. One, hobbyists and competitive shooters like to create their own home builds from 80% frames that are unfinished. Two, builders like to use frames to recreate functional handguns using parts or build kits. Three, shooters with older, aging firearms that may not be operable may need a frame to make repairs or restore the platform.

Naturally, the pistol frame or blank you choose must be compatible with the other components you use as a part of a pistol build kit. You will have some leeway, but you need to make sure the frame is properly sized.

Other than that, what are the other features you need to consider before embarking on a build project?

Pistol Frames: Materials
Pistol frames can be made from a wide variety of materials, but are most commonly made from steel, some other alloy, or a polymer.

Polymer pistol frames are the lightest. They are not as strong as steel, but they are corrosion-proof, and they make for a light, quick-pointing gun.

Steel frames are both the heaviest and the strongest, and while they add substantial weight and can be uncomfortable to carry or shoot all day, they absorb recoil and are more stable.

Alloy frames offer a good balance between the two, as alloy frames are usually lighter than steel while remaining stronger than polymer. Many alloy frames are also highly corrosion-resistant.

Pistol Frames: Weight
The weight of a pistol frame naturally ties back to weight, but there are considerations you should make for your shooting discipline.

If you intend to carry your pistol, consider a polymer frame. They are lighter, and if you build a compact, subcompact, or pocket pistol, will be surprised by the weight savings.

However, if you intend to use the pistol you build for hunting, self-defense, or competition, go with a heavier frame. They absorb recoil and are more stable.

Other Solid Features
There are a few other features you can make for in pistol frames to ensure you’re getting a quality solution for your build.

One is that you should get a frame that has grip adjustments (if applicable), so you can tailor a custom-like fit after attaching grips or scales. Another is to look for a frame with a dust cover.

One more feature – and perhaps the most important of all – is to look for a frame that has a section of rail along the front in front of the trigger guard. This will give you the flexibility to expand your pistol platform with lights, lasers, and other accessories if you so choose.

Pistol Frames Online (1911, Rock Island, and Hard-to-Find Models)
Looking for high-quality pistol frames for popular handguns like M1911 pistols, Rock Island 1911 clones, Para Ordnance, and Swedish Lahti pistols? Visit SARCO, Inc, online at SARCOInc.com. They carry a wide range of pistol frames, build kits, and other parts you’ll need for home builds customizations and repairs.

Or, if you’re in their area, get the full experience at 50 Hilton Street in Easton, Pennsylvania.

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