Many years ago we were allowed to purchase frames direct from GI. They stopped offering the frames when they found we were in the custom gun business. I HAVE recently purchased several frames from GI however they were all replacements for blown guns. We had to return the blown frame directly to GI for inspection or they would not let the replacement frame leave the factory. BTW: Our cheapest cost was $175.
Once in awhile you will see LWD offer brand new 3nd gen frames. We are able to this by purchasing GI factory rebuilds (complete guns) and dismantling them for sale as parts.