If you like to build your own firearms, the Liberty MkIX line of 80% 1911 frames may be of great interest to you.
The new Liberty MkIX pistols from Freedom Concepts Laboratory promise fewer parts, lighter weight and improved fit for a range of shooters. With a range of frame sizes, you will be able to build a 1911-style handgun that meets your needs instead of trying to arrange your life around the gun’s size.
Sizes & Models
Initially, there will be three basic models:
- MkIX-G – a government sized model with a 5″ slide, short accessory rail, full grip and 8 round magazine
- MkIX-Gx – an extended model with a 5″ slide, full length accessory rail, full grip and 8 round magazine
- MkIX-O – an officer sized model with a 4″ slide, short accessory rail, full grip and 8 round magazine
All three models are made of a proprietary blend of glass filled polymer. The frame rails are made of steel for increased durability.
I should be careful to note that these are 80% receivers, or frames, and not completed firearms. To be used as a firearm, you must complete a number of machining actions on the part before it can be assembled into a working handgun. Once you complete the required machining operations, you can complete it with 1911 parts.
The machining process will require some simple tools and work on your end. Until the machining is complete, this is (legally speaking) just a hunk of polymer. It can be shipped straight to your home without paying $30 or more to have it transferred through an FFL.
Yes, it is perfectly legal to build your own gun. Homemade firearms are completely lawful under federal law and most states. See my article on the federal requirements about applying a serial number to a homemade firearm for more information.
According to Freedom Concepts Laboratory, the new 80% 1911 frames use standard 1911 magazines, slides and internal parts. However, the company says the frames require 40% fewer parts than a standard 1911 pistol.
In addition to the 80% 1911 frames, the company will sell a reusable jig. This will be sold separately since it can be used to complete multiple firearms.
Freedom Concepts Laboratory states it will support the frames with a full line of parts kits to make assembling the guns as easy as possible for the home builder. This includes a “one box, one gun” package that includes all of the parts you need.
Hand Fit, Lefties
One of the things that 1911 shooters tend to love about the guns is the way they fit into the hand. However, that doesn’t mean the traditional 1911 grip is ideal for all shooters.
To improve the shooting experience for folks of all hand sizes, the company designed the frame to accept different sizes of backstraps. Interestingly, the patent pending backstrap system also captures the mainspring assembly. I look forward to seeing exactly what the designers did here.
Left-handed shooters may be interested in the ambidextrous nature of this frame. The frame comes with the parts needed for a right-handed shooter: magazine release button and frame mounted safety on the left side of the gun.
However, the company will also offer an ambidextrous upgrade kit for $75. No modifications to the frame are needed to install the ambi kit.
Pricing, Where to Buy
The pricing of these new 80% frames is interesting. The full suggested retail price is $139. This puts them in the same ballpark as the Polymer80 frames for Glock compatible pistols.
However, to sweeten the deal, Freedom Concept Laboratory will offer full pistol kits that include everything you need to assemble a completed frame into a working 1911. These kits will have a MSRP that starts at only $399.
One of the complaints I hear regularly about building your own Glock-style pistol is that the cost of all the parts exceeds the price of just buying a new factory Glock. At $399, the Liberty 1911 is a real bargain. Not only do you get to build your own gun, but it comes in a lot cheaper than nearly any 1911-style pistol on the market.
All three of the models are expected to ship in March 2018.
Last Update: October 23, 2022
According to Freedom Concept Laboratory, the Liberty MkIX pistol frames will be sold through Brownells and the Glockstore. I’m a fan of both companies, and would not hesitate to do business with either in the future. If you like doing business with Brownells, please use my affiliate link here so that I receive a small portion of the profit from that sale. It doesn’t affect your price and it literally helps me feed my family. I do not have an affiliate relationship with Glockstore, but I recommend them regardless. You can access them through this link.