Best 1911 Frames of 2020 – A Comprehensive Guide

Best 1911 Frames (2020)_ A Mini Review Guide

Perhaps you are building a new 1911, or your current firearm is in dire need of an improvement of its skeleton: the gun’s frame.

Whatever your needs are, we can help find you the best 1911 frame on the market (as of this writing). Those that are also affordable enough to not break your bank. We’ll explain everything there is to know about 1911 frames and how you can tell apart good picks from the ones that are not.

Frames Name Editor’s Comment Rating Get The Deal
​Caspian 1911 Recon Receiver

Most Recommended Option

1. Single-stack receivers
2. Stainless steel or carbon finish
3. Accessory rail included

10/10 Check Current Price
Fusion Firearms 1911 Lower Frame Assembly

Premium Option

1. Completely machined from 4140/50 Solid bar-stock
2. All internal parts fitted
3. Commander-type 

9.5/10 Check Current Price
Brownells 1911 Government Model Frame 1. Carbon or stainless steel finish
2. Great budget option
3. Government-type
9.5/10 Check Current Price
​​Caspian 1911 Officer Receiver 1. Precision cast
2. Carbon or stainless steel finish
3. Small and compact
7.0/10 Currently unavailable

Upgrading vs. New Builds – What You Need to Know 

When it comes to 1911, you can choose to do two things with them; start a new 1911 build or upgrade your existing firearm. Both options have advantages and disadvantages, however you’ll have to decide for yourself which of the two is more convenient for you. 

Upgrading​

If you choose to upgrade your 1911, right off the bat you can anticipate a decent amount of work. Due to the complicated process surrounding such an in-depth modification to your firearm’s characteristics, you should visit a gunsmith if you’re not entirely confident in your workshop and smithing skills yourself. In addition to it, an upgrade may need different parts than are currently integrated with your original 1911. 

That means it’s important that you make sure you have all the springs, screws, and smaller pieces you may need before enacting an upgrade. You may need to buy a 1911 parts kit on top of an entirely new 1911. 

New Build 

On the other hand, you can build a new 1911. While this will likely be more expensive generally than simply upgrading the frame, you’ll be able to make sure that everything works out smoothly and add customizations and accompaniments in the process of the build. This may be a more worthwhile choice if your 1911’s other aspects, such as the slide or barrel, needs replacing soon nonetheless. You can sometimes save yourself time by building an entirely new 1911 firearm. 

How to Choose the Best 1911 Frame 

Before we look at our favourite 1911 frames for your money, let’s look at some critical factors to keep in mind as we go through. These are aspects that will unswervingly affect the 1911’s performance, so they’re important to remember. 

Material​ 

Most frames are made from some sort of steel metal, such as stainless steel. However, you may want a 1911 with a different kind of material build, so have a look to see what each offering advertises. SomeThe best 1911 frames have titanium or aluminium compositions to change weight or balance. You should also make sure that whatever material you choose fits well with your existing pieces if you’re upgrading. 

Color​ 

This is a personal preference for gun owners, but most people like their weapons to look good. Double check the colour before you purchase it so that it matches with the rest of the 1911 part. In this way, you’ll end up with a unified, good-looking gun instead of a cobbled-together custom job that’s kind of messy in appearance. 

Style​ 

This denotes to the machined shape of the frame. Some are made to government specs, meaning that they’ll look like the traditional weapons often chosen by law enforcement officers or the military. Others look humbler or even quite different and unique. The difference is largely the overall looks and totally up to you. 

Size​ 

Last but not least, make sure your frame’s size matches with your other pieces and that it’s going to be a comfortable fit in your hand when all is completed. A frame that’s too big in weights for the other pieces is no good at all. 

Types of 1911 Frames 

There are 3 main kinds of best 1911 frames you can choose from. We’ll look into these in-depth each individually so you can decide which ones you like the best for yourself. 

Officer 

These frames are around 3.5 inches in length and are usually considered to be “compact”. Most of the parts that fit onto an officer-style product can’t be freely switched with other1911 frames due to the size difference. This kind takes smaller magazine sizes, however may be a really great pick for concealed carry if you have the proper permit. 

Commander 

These 1911 frames are around 4.25 inches long from the barrel all the way through its length. It’s a little smaller than the government model and can take normal magazine sizes, and it allows a lot of diverse attachments just like the government model. Due to its size, it’s often considered an intermediate choice between officer and government frame types. 

Government 

These are 5 inches long and their parts can be switched with best commander-model frames. These take normal-sized magazines and can take on all of the attachments you might be considering. Most people fancy this style because it replicates the gun seen in pictures and movies sometimes. 

The Best 1911 Frames – A Quick Review 

The following is a list of some of the best 1911 frames that are currently on the market (as of this writing). As you take a look at the best features and characteristics, make a decision on which ones will be best fit for you and which ones may be considered as the best for you. Let’s start off with the first choice on our mini guide. 

Now that we have all of the technical deliberations talked about, let’s start looking at the best 1911 frames on the money market today.

1. Caspian 1911 Recon Receiver 

​Caspian 1911 Recon Receiver

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New users are very happy with the sturdiness and the structural integrity of this 1911. They said it was easy to install and was well-fit for a huge number of 1911 models. A gun user said that it does a good job being able withstand reliable amounts of firing power for its money. Not forgetting to mention, it’s very impossible to wear it down in widespread shooting sessions. 

If you are looking for a frame that will be proven to last you quite a long time, then this may be what you need. These frames are heat-treated and undergo so many tests before they even hit the shelves. So if you come across something that passes quality tests with flying colours, then you know it’s that pretty good. Furthermore, it’s a frame that can accept various sights that you may plan on installing in the not so distance future. 

The Caspian is a great sample of a standard-issue government type of frame for a 1911. It’s made with a lot of great functionality, such as a heat treatment over its surface that can allow it to resist heat and shock beyond that of typical offerings. It can also be changed to be either cast from carbon or stainless steel. If you are allergic to certain metals, stainless steel is certainly your go-to choice. 

It also has an accessory rail that makes setting up attachments or other modifiers really convenient. This product is sized and machined with excellence to duplicate the look and feel of your typical government-style frames that you can see in films or on real-life law enforcement officers.

This is large enough that your gunsmith can set a tight slides at its top, allowing exceptional performance. The colour may be a bit bland, so if you like a darker finish you’ll likely want to put a bit of paint on it before you start the incorporation process. 

Altogether this is an excellent item that’s perfect for most customer 1911 builds or repair jobs. The government-style is most popular for a very good reason after all! If you are looking for a lightweight, super solid frame that will is great for overall support and even opening the door to some customization chances, then you may want to consider this frame as your go-to option. You’ll install this in a matter of a few minutes and turn your pistol into a high-quality force to be reckoned with.  

The Caspian 1911 Recon Receiver is 1 of the best quality frames that you’ll find on the market for the purpose of adding on a frame of high quality that will last you a long time. This will be great for when you plan on using your pistol in the long run. It can endure constant use for many years or even decades. That’s how tough and strong it is.  

This is a great government-type frame that allows you to choose between 2 types of finishes. It comes with a handy accessory rail for putting on attachments later on.

​Check For Best Price

 

2. Fusion Firearms 1911 Lower Frame Assembly 

​Fusion Firearms 1911 Lower Frame Assembly

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This was a great frame for anyone who is looking to make a complete upgrade to the lower halves of their pistols. The install didn’t take quite long and it improved the grip and allowed for more solid trigger protection for those who used their 1911 for quite a bit of time. This was a great frame for those who are looking for a more plug and shoot type of install rather than find something that can make the installation more complex. 

This frame doesn’t cover the whole frame. However, it does cover the bottom half of the frame that supports the barrel, the trigger, and the grip. So if you are looking for a solid frame that will handle a bit of the most vital parts of your 1911 pistol, then you may want to consider buying this bad boy and install it the minute it reaches your doorstep. By the time you install this, you’ll be quite happy with how much of an improvement you can get just by installing a solid frame.  

The Fusion frame is made in the commander-style, so it’s a transitional between the lighter, smaller officer-type and the heavier, official government-type. This piece is made from a solid bar and heat treated to allow for excessive use and rapid firing without suffering any kind of a presentation drop. It has a number of other features that makes it worth your time and money. 

The thumb safety has been protracted to improve quick switching, which is an important deliberation in tactical shooting situations. There’s an undercut trigger guard and plenty of the smaller pieces you need to finish installing this frame on a 1911 are already included in their locations accordingly.

This can quickly speed up either a total 1911 model or a repair job, particularly if you are going from one type or size of frame to another. The price may be a bit high, but the value you get out of the purchase is remarkable. We feel that this frame is well worth the money. It is well-made and has a substantial list of great perks to make it worth your while. 

This is a great 1911 for anyone who are looking to install something that is sturdy but will not add on much weight to your pistol. You may find frames made from different materials and will weigh to varying degrees than others. However, you’ll be quite happy with this one for a few reasons. We’d be surprised if you didn’t see an improvement in your grip than anything else.  

If you want a frame that is greater in quality and will definitely stand out as the go-to choice for anyone looking to provide exceptional support for their 1911 pistols, then you may want to consider giving this frame a look. It will certainly give you a few good enhancements compared to your current frame. 

Although it’s a bit pricey, this commander frame has everything you need to finish installation as soon as possible. It comes with a number of extra features too.

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3. Brownells 1911 Government Model Frame 

​Brownells 1911 Government Model Frame

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Most of the new users are using their 1911 for concealed carry and tactical purposes. Furthermore, it was the closest thing they can find to a frame that was best fit for government-issued 1911 pistols. So far, they have little to no complaints about the install and the overall quality. It was solid, very difficult to wear, and didn’t heat up in the slightest after several extended periods of shooting.  

This frame is made from corrosion-resistant 4140 steel. So you know it will be measured as one of the best frames in the business when it comes to resisting damage. So if the quality is high atop your list of significances, then you know that this frame will be great for your 1911 pistol.  

The Brownells frame is a government model that looks as hard-hitting and capable as it really is. It’s all yours for a very affordable price too. Which is lower than most other competitor offerings on the same marketplace. You can opt between carbon steel or stainless steel finishes depending on your favourite or allergenic needs. 

Either way, it is heat-treated to extend its lifespan and performance even when you’re firing a lot of shots in a short period of time. The holes for screws have been precision-machined to ensure that any installation is trouble-free and as easy as possible. An oversized rail will allow a gunsmith to install a slide for an extremely tight, further improving your results as soon as installation is complete. 

Due to its thrilling precision-machining and durability, it’s highly recommended that you only install this frame with the assistance of a talented gunsmith. However, given all of the excellence it’s sure to confer upon your 1911, this is a small flaw for a very affordable piece of equipment. 

This will be a great choice for most of the 1911 users that are concealed carry users or those who are in law enforcement or the military who still rely on this pistol as their trustable sidearm. Regardless, it’s a frame that is made to last and is as tough as our military might itself. 

The Brownells 1911 Government Model Frame is one that is super strong and will be reliable for most concealed carry users for many years and decades to come. This will significantly improve your grip and will even take on so much shots no matter how many times you pull the trigger. You can get improved quality in minutes with a frame like this one. 

It’s an excellent, affordable choice in the government-style with machined holes to promote easy installation with the exact help of a gunsmith. The rails are oversized to allow for a tight slide additionally in the process.

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4. Caspian 1911 Officer Receiver 

Caspian 1911 Officer ReceiverMost of the new gun users were those who are law enforcement officers that rely on their 1911 pistols for daily use (both on-duty and off-duty). They said it didn’t take them too long to install this. Furthermore, it didn’t add any extra weight to the pistols. Overall, the new users say that it allows for better control (leading to better accuracy) and more shock absorbency. 

Once again, we take another look at a 1911 frame that stands out as a high-quality option for those who hold it to a higher standard. And it’s also another one of those factory tested frame choices that promise that it won’t fall apart on you nor will it ever in this lifetime. If you are searching for a law enforcement grade frame for your 1911 pistol that will give you many years of faithful and reliable service, then this may be what you are looking for.  

The Caspian is an officer-type of frame, so this makes it one of the smallest on our list. You’ll find that this type is great if you’re making a 1911 that you wish to conceal carry, as the smaller size will let it fit beneath clothes more successfully. It’s still quite durable and heat-treated to encourage high performance type as it’s used. 

You can pick between a carbon steel and stainless steel finish, however the colour is a bit dull either way. That means you’ll probably want to paint it at a certain point in the creation or trigger and rails types repair process. The rails are oversized to allow for tight fitting of a slide once every other important trigger pieces are in place, and it’s very affordable for your wallet.

While officer frames aren’t as collective as the other two styles, we feel that they have a positive place in the market and for a particular niche of 1911 users. If you find that an officer choice is right for you, then this is one of the best you can pick from any market. 

If superior quality and looking for a frame that is faultless for the Officer sized 1911 pistols, then this is probably the only frame that can cut it. You will be able to install this quickly and be able to give it a shoot-out at the range. Don’t be surprised if you are able to get a few solid benefits out of it other than a pistol that is lightweight and is able to withstand so many shots. Why not an increase in grip and control, which leads to better accuracy and precision shooting.  

The 1911 Officer Receiver is without a doubt one of the best frames established to handle 1911 Officer sized models. This will never fall apart on you nor will it last you only a few short years. This is the frame that as soon as you tack it on to your pistol, it’s there to stay for good. Good luck trying to get it spoiled.  

This is certainly one of the best officer frames on the market. It’s affordable and you can choose between 2 kinds of finishes. The colour will need to be painted over in most times. 

Conclusion

With everything in this mini list, you should be all set to finish your 1911 build or repair your tried-and-true sidearm. The right frame means everything to the procedure and success of your gun, so make sure that you’ve taken your time and choose the right product before you start gunsmithing.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) some people have about the 1911 frames. 

Q: What makes a pistol a 1911?

A 1911 pistol is based on some features and characteristics that make it slightly more unique compared to other pistols. One unique feature of the 1911 is the moving link that can be located at the bottom of the chamber. If you fire the pistol, you’ll see the slide moving back at a short length. Also, 1911 pistols will always be a single-action pistol. Which means you never have to cock the hammer backwards.

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