Home Depot Based 1911 look alike, “Kolt 380”

Clinton Westwood is no stranger to TFB, having been covered previously for different versions of his homemade barrel rifling tool, the first one slightly rough, and the second one much more refined. He has made a name for himself on Youtube through the various DIY firearms and devices that he produces from simple machines, tools, and materials that one could find at most hardware stores. The guy is extremely talented, and perhaps given a chance at working with a modern firearms manufacturer and a small budget, could probably do very well.

In his latest iteration, he has produced a sort of 1911 lookalike that he calls the “Kolt 380”, that will be eventually chambered in .380 ACP, using nothing but off the shelf components. It looks like this current build isn’t fully operational yet, and still has some ways to go, but he appears to be in the right direction. Hopefully, he has his chamber pressures worked out well enough that he will conduct testing in a safe manner. Innovation like this is very refreshing to see among all the high-end companies out there, seeing what is possible at an individual level of imagination.

From his description of the “Kolt 380”-

My latest build is progressing well and somewhat beyond my low expectations. A little background, I have completed two “garage builds” in the past, both of which were mentioned on TFB. If anything, it brings the critics and haters out:) The ย little Krikit continues to perform well. My latest build is a simplified version of Professor Parabellum’s MK.2 sheet metal pistol. I’ve take some liberties and so far it hasn’t bit me.

Anyway, I was laying out the slide grips today and decided to dress the build up in it’s big boy/girl pants and do a glamour shot. I have to love the build to complete it.I have started to round some of the harsher corners off. I’m pleased so far.

Thanks so much Clinton for bringing your projects to our attention!





Miles

Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at miles@tfb.tv


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  • AD

    Interesting. That beavertail looks quite low to me?

    • Old Tofu

      that’s how to avoid slide bite

      • ostiariusalpha

        It’s to avoid hammer bite, same as why it is on a 1911. Only a few guns are really prone to slide bite.

        • MrPotatoHead

          Take Glock for instance…

          • GaryOlson

            Do I have to?

        • Mike Butler

          Walther PPK

          • ostiariusalpha

            Slide bite is for real on the PP/PPK series. I don’t have a fat hand though, so I’ve never been nipped.

        • nicholsda

          MilSpec 1911s are very prone to hammer bite. Please don’t ask me to demonstrate. ๐Ÿ™

    • Jack_A_Lope

      It is interesting. Let’s see your model’s beavertail location, AD. I suspect in testing your prototype you’ve worked out the optimum position for the placement of the beavertail, right?

      • iksnilol

        Ohmigawd, chill, bruh. He only asked if the beavertail was low, why so much negative waves, man ?

      • Edeco

        I wouldn’t make a thing of it myself in this context, but I like all the height over the trigger I can get.

        CZ52’s are tragically flawed to me; the spring over the barrel could save bore height, but there’s a prodigious bulge under the hammer.

    • Sam Damiano

      Could just be because it’s not finished yet. Looks close to the Browning silhouette.

      • Clint Westwood

        Correct, modelled very closely off the 85% Browning.

  • DanGoodShot

    I find this kind of stuff inspiring. I’m not about to build a gun from all home depot stuff. But I will do a 1911 build from a blank. I’m doin’ it!

    • Paul Rain

      It might be easier to build this design to work reliably ๐Ÿ˜‰ (at least without taking a Vickers course).

  • Jtx

    This is exactly what this site needs more of good home brew projects, I don’t care if it ever works just the fact that the man used his own hands to do something neat, I find myself trying stuff like this but I usually get bored halfway through or I mess something up and just give up or it ends up not working , kudos for getting this far

    • aka_mythos

      Agreed. This hobby carries a stigma of being thought of as something only someone doing something illicit would do. This make and remaking process is how understanding of the hobby and the workings of these mechanisms grow. Putting this out there alleviates that.

      • Dakota Raduenz

        But it’s so much cheaper to just buy one.
        That’s what I hear anytime I see an 80% AR, Glock, or other project.

        Maybe some of us want to have a project- firearms are my hobby. Haven’t done it yet but want to build a few 80s…

        • aka_mythos

          Well its not about cheap… In any instance where a sufficiently “mass produced” product can be built by a minimally skilled person for less, that is a failure on the part of manufacturers. Those manufacturers are in effect bringing nothing new to the process and aren’t even taking advantage of economy of scale.

          Firearms however have a higher relative skill level to produce than the average consumer product. People get around that skill threshold by buying and building from 80% receivers.

          Because of the skill threshold and the nature of margins on the sale of guns the difference between what it costs to produce and the cost it’s sold at is the most you could ever offset by building a firearm yourself. ~30% would be generous estimate. This is the needle you’re threading if cost is your motive.

          If 80% of the main component is machined, then it should in theory cost minimally 80% of the cost of a completed one. Though it only represents 30-40% of the cost of a complete firearm.

          So in the best of circumstance you’re saving 30% of 20% of 40%… using an AR as an example you might only save $30 overall… Assuming you can get all the other basic components with the smallest markup.

          My point is it shouldn’t be about cost, because there just isn’t much to save relative to the overall cost.

          It only makes sense when you’re sufficiently skilled to produce a firearm of a quality that has a high retail markup, where you’re willing to make more than just the receiver, or if you’re building something truly custom.

          • Dakota Raduenz

            I understand. I was ranting and did not word that comment properly. I’d rather do it myself once I have the time- but many see the time as a nightmare and don’t want to work with their hands, while simultaneously bashing anyone who does as paranoid and avoiding background checks.

            I just want to build stuff myself one day, to say that I did.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    The Home Despot

    • Clint Westwood

      Cute๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Stephen Paraski

      Homeless Despot

    • Mike Butler

      Homie Dee.

  • El Duderino

    But does Alien Gear make a holster yet?

    • Dakota Raduenz

      You laugh, but if you sent them a model….

  • Zach

    @tfbJames reviewed the Kimber Solo for naught

  • G.N.M.

    This fellow has some great talent! After the anti-gun groups get the guns, they will have to get all of the milling machines, lathes, grinders, drill presses and metal sellers just to make sure. It only proves what I’ve always said, when guns are banned, only machinists will have them.

    • gregge

      A piece of fully threaded lamp pipe about 8″ long, an open ended finial to screw onto it, some Devcon 5 minute epoxy, super glue, a small flat washer, and a couple of nuts that match the pipe’s thread. One cinder block to set it on. A supply of Black Cat firecrackers.

      Screw the nuts onto the pipe and secure with super glue. They’re so it won’t roll off the cinder block. Epoxy the washer to the finial to make its hole smaller. Load something into one end of the pipe. Thread the fuse of a fire cracker through the washer’s hole. Insert firecracker into pipe and screw the finial onto the end of the pipe.

      You now have a miniature, breech loading, firecracker cannon.

      Light fuse. RUN behind a nearby tree. That’s what I was having fun with in my pre-teen years. My ammo of choice was the long part from inside the click mechanism of ballpoint pens. Nicely missile shaped with their bell-shaped hollow end with the bumps to provide stabilizing drag. I never used wadding, to ensure against blowing up the pipe. Probably wouldn’t have but I never was one to take *unreasonable* risks. Downrange was safe, 2+ acres with the firing point atop a hill with the neighbor’s empty field at the bottom. Lightweight projectiles that wouldn’t make it very far. Shooting over grass, I never recovered any, never used any metal objects for projectiles.

      Despite the blowby a Black Cat would punch those pen components through a slab of modeling clay as thick as my palm. I really appreciated the power of even tiny explosives the first time I saw the neat little hole in the clay. Why clay? Because my grandfather gave me all his Guns & Ammo and American Rifleman magazines and modeling clay was the closest thing I had to ballistic clay.

      Several of my rattier 1:64 scale cars fell victim to the cannon. ๐Ÿ™‚

      When I didn’t have BBs I bent a piece of coat hanger wire to make a ramrod for my Daisy Red Ryder. The purpose of that was to muzzle load alfalfa pellets to just ahead of the hole in the barrel where BBs dropped in. Those pellets would punch clean through a soda can filled with water.

      • Herp

        We used to put rabbit feed in our air rifles too!

        I wonder how many people have done that?

        • Herp

          To add to this comment, is there some sort of universal extrusion process for peletizing stuff?

          At work we use a pelletized reagent that looks just like that rabbit food.

          • gregge

            Pellet mills. They use a large, metal ring with lots of radial holes. There’s a center shaft with a ‘fork’ supporting a pair of rollers in the middle of the ring. The rollers press outward against the inside of the ring. The rollers are held stationary while the ring rotates around them. All that is enclosed in a housing made of about 1/4″ thick steel. A feeder auger pumps material into the middle where the rollers mash it through the holes. A couple of stationary blades outside the ring breaks off extruded chunks as they move past. the pellets fall out the bottom.

            This takes a lot of power. A 50 horsepower electric pellet mill is considered pretty small. Over 100HP is more common.

            If something gets jammed in between rollers and ring, a shear bolt at the opposite end of the shaft breaks and the roller shaft spins, usually only a partial turn until the arm the shear pin was through contacts a stop switch. Some operators cause major damage to their mills by replacing the shear bolt with a normal one be cause they get tired of it breaking when they try to run the wrong material through a die not optimized for it, or they insufficiently pulverize the wood and get too large of chunks.

            Another type of pellet mill uses a flat plate and either the rollers run around on top of it, or the plate is spun beneath stationary rollers.

            This is info I’ve picked up from knowing a guy in his 80’s who has worked with and rebuilt pellet mills for 50+ years.

        • gregge

          I’ve seen some alfalfa pellets about 9mm or .38 caliber size. Lightweight loads, eh?

  • tarnishedcopper

    Wow..tell us more about the raw materials and how you did it! I am interested!