Riots are raging across the United States – and have been for days. Consequently, I’ve had a number of emails come in from readers who are looking for the best self-defense pistol on a budget. Let’s not forget that the government lockdowns from the health crisis have left many people in a tough financial situation.
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.
Guns available are the F9, FS9, PL9 and PSL9 versions of the model 941 handgun. All of the guns are equipped with Meprolight Tru-Dot night sights. These sights use tritium vials that glow without an outside power source so you have a better sight picture when aiming in low light conditions.
In addition to the pistol, each kit contains a variety of products. These include:
- polymer paddle holster: This is an open top, OWB carry rig that allows for adjusting the carry angle (aka cant) for best comfort.
- polymer magazine holder: Similar in design to the holster, this is an open top double magazine pouch that also allows for an adjustment of the carry angle.
- Maglula UpLula: This is a tool that can be used to help load ammunition into the pistol magazine. I’ve never found a lot of use for one of these, but I am someone who has been shooting for many years. A new shooter or someone with weak hands may find this tool very helpful. I know there are a lot of Maglula products sold every year.
- cleaning rod and brush: This is pretty straightforward.
- lockable plastic case: This may not seem like a big deal, butÂ a lot of guns are shipping in cardboard boxes. If you would like a hard case to store or transport your gun in, IWI US is saving you from making a separate purchase.
The MSRP on these kits is $699 for the polymer framed pistol and $779 for the steel framed gun.
So, a little bird told me recently that we may see a new striker-fired Ruger LCP in the coming weeks.
Presumably, the company will follow the naming convention it used with the LC9 pistol by adding an “s” at the end of the LCP to indicate the new firing mechanism.
Father’s Day is June 20, 2010. Â Looking for a gift idea for your gun-enthusiast father? Â Here are a few ideas…
$25 or Less
Para-Cord Survival Bracelet – Â The survival bracelets enable you to carry several feet of Para-Cord that can be used in an emergency for countless survival applications. Basically, every inch of your wrist diameter equals approximately one foot of Para-Cord. Â The bracelets use 5/8â€ curved side release buckles for maximum comfort, convenience and strength. Â With over 40 different Para-Cord colors and over 1,500 possible color combinations, you are sure to find a color combination to suit your liking. Â Price? Â Only $14.95.
The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery by Massad Ayoob -Â This book is loaded with essentialÂ information to help you survive a violent encounter with a hardened criminal. Â Ayoob is the foremost legal expert on the use of arms for self defense in the US. Â This book is a great read, and a must have by anyone who carries a gun for protection. Â This book is $16.49 through Amazon.