80% TM Recon 1911 Frame

Tactical Machining recently released their new TM Recon 80% 1911 frame. As with 80% AR lowers an FFL or paperwork is not required and you’ll have to finish the remaining 20%, which include the hammer and sear pin holes, barrel seat and slide rails. They’re CNC machined from 4140 ordinance grade steel and include a MIL-STD-1913 picatinny rail. They retail for $159 over at Tacticalmachining.com.

Ray I.

Long time gun enthusiast, archery noob, Mazda fan, Sci-Fi nerd, Whiskey drinker, online marketer and blogger. My daily firearms musings can be found over at my gun blog ArmoryBlog.com and Instagram.

Shoot me an email at ray.i@staff.thefirearmblog.com


  • JohnnyBGood

    I can’t wait till i have my own garage, I would love to build a 1911. I don’t even like 1911s all that much.

  • WV Cycling

    In the bicycle world, 4140 is classified as “(natural)gas pipe tubes” for a frame to be built out of. I’ve always thought of it as a mediocre (compared to other METALS and ALLOYS) product that rusts easily. I know M4 barrels are also made out a different alloy of Chro-Moly steel, but not sure.

    The only benefit I see to using 4140 is that it is cheap, and can be case hardened.

    I still would fear rusting like crazy.

    Please correct me if need be, I’m not a metallurgist.

    • JohnnyBGood

      4140 is one of the most common steels used along with 4150. The difference being 4140 is easier to work with compared to 4150. There aren’t many steels you can choose that won’d have a problem with rust if left untreated. I’m surprised someone wasn’t come out with an 7075 series aluminum 80% 1911. It’s even easier to machine, lighter, and relatively proven in the market place.

      • WV Cycling

        Agreed, every piece of attachable metal on my bikes are 7075 or Ti. 7075 has been cast, then hydroformed into crazy shapes lately, so I’m sure it would take CNC machining just fine.

  • I’m waiting for a Glock 80% lower… If someone could make one that uses all of the standard Glock parts, but without violating patents/trademarks, I imagine it would sell quite well.

    • Mystick

      There are tutorials out there for ground-up Glock manufacturing, in the home shop… it’s all welded sheet metal.

    • John

      lol patents and trademarks

  • An Interested Person

    I guess I will be “that guy.”

    It`s O-R-D-N-A-N-C-E.

    The product itself is very cool, I am happy to see more 80% options available for those who like to do that kind of stuff.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    I’ve wanted to get one since they came out about 6 months ago except they STILL don’t have a Jig to finish it. They really should have coordinated the release better. That, and the fact that they only offer online sales, which after the Ares Armor raid is worrisome.

  • Dan the Man

    Richard@ theirs as company called Armus that sells kits to make a glock lower. They offer Marigold Glock 17, Snap Dragon Glock 19, and Daisy Glock 26 kits as well as a welding jig for them. The only issue is the kits are out of stock and I don’t believe the company is going to be offering anymore. They are quite nice though and I think there may be pictures of one on northeasternshooters.com.

  • gunslinger

    so how easy is it for a normal joe to finish one of these off? It seems a bit more complicated than an AR lower.

    An article detailing how to finish would be nice.

    • I’m pretty certain that you can’t do it with a drill press or a Dremel tool.

      • Ahmed

        The whole point of an 80% lower is to finish it on a drill press. If you have a mill, then you’d be just fine doing it from 0%.

        • How do you cut rails in a 1911 frame with a drill press?

          With a milling machine, which is very heavy and stable, you can use a slitting saw. My drill press is not very stable. It will work for cutting pockets, although leaving an ugly finish, but I don’t think it would do a very good job on frame rails.

        • Incorrect. The point of an 80% is simply to FINISH it so that you are the personal manufacturer of your own firearm thus eliminating the need to register / FFL it.

          A drill press works for AR 80%’s … not very well , but good enough.
          I would imagine that you could get away with a drill press to do a 1911 frame, you would need a sliding x/y table , not just the press though. I would also think you would end up with a very poorly functioning 1911 …

          Also, just because you have a mill does not mean your fine doing it from 0%, there is a tremendous leap in skill required to go from being able to mill out a fire control pocket to milling an entire lower.

          I have a mill, and I doubt I could complete a 0%.

    • Rusty Shackleford

      You first need a 80% Jig made specifically for the receiver since it isn’t a standard M1911, then you need a well made drill press that is strong enough to handle the amount of side load for cutting the slide rails, or you could just get a Grizzly Mini Mill so you can do AR15 receivers as well.

  • MclarenF1Forever

    How about a single stack frame for 6″ slides with extended dust cover?