Base Gun or From Scratch Build

Discussion in 'General 1911 talk' started by GeorgiaRedfish, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. GeorgiaRedfish

    GeorgiaRedfish Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Is there a measurable, tangible, or real difference between sending a base gun (springer, colt, etc) to a custom smith to have it completely done over, as opposed to getting a slide and frame and building those from scratch? Thoughts? I thought it would be fun to get people's opinions.
     
  2. John Ryder

    John Ryder Well-Known Member

    820
    Aug 19, 2011
    I think the biggest difference is total investment. Using a base gun can cost a good deal more than a quality base gun. With a base gun you're more than likely ditching everything, so using a Colt for example, spending $800+ for just a frame/slide isn't the most economical thing.

    I picked up a Wilson frame/slide kit for less than even a base SA would cost. I just look at it as, if you're ditching everything just for the slide/frame, it may be smarter to get a quality kit. I'm looking at a Baer frame on a new, unplanned build I just started...just easier given my experience.
     

  3. polizei1

    polizei1 It WAS Quack

    Aug 18, 2011
    I agree. If you're doing a full custom build, I would just buy a frame/slide kit UNLESS you really want a Colt/SA, etc. frame. Otherwise, there are cheaper options, and more to choose from.

    The only real benefit that I see from a base gun is that you'll get everything original back, which will include a lot of spare parts. But, again, it's probably still cheaper to buy a kit and just buy extra parts.
     
  4. AlchemyCustomWeaponry

    AlchemyCustomWeaponry Crabby Old Gunsmith

    Nov 4, 2011
    Don't buy a Baer frame whatever you do.
     
  5. sjd78

    sjd78 Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    191
    Sep 29, 2011
    How come?
     
  6. Greg Derr

    Greg Derr Custom Pistolsmith Supporting Addict Sponsor

    660
    Oct 3, 2011
    I get this a lot. The benefit of let's say getting a Caspian slide and frame is that you can pick and choose each and every part you want for the build out. You also get oversized rails to get a better fit without welding. Chnces are you'll do so much to the donor gun that you need a new finish, so an in the white Caspian is cheaper and better in the long run. Or a Wilson if you choose. Why pay twice for things you don't need. Now if you must have a Colt, and I get this too, then find a nice base gun of the right material that you want, knowing that 80% of the parts are not getting used.
     
  7. AlchemyCustomWeaponry

    AlchemyCustomWeaponry Crabby Old Gunsmith

    Nov 4, 2011
    They require a lot of filing, and fitting to get them to accept parts that should fit easily. If a guy is going to try to build it himself, he will be cussing a lot.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  8. sjd78

    sjd78 Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    191
    Sep 29, 2011
    Well that's scary since I just ordered a PII. Now I'm kinda nervous...
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  9. AlchemyCustomWeaponry

    AlchemyCustomWeaponry Crabby Old Gunsmith

    Nov 4, 2011
    Not to worry. I just mean that if you were going to do a from scratch build at home, they would be very difficult for you to work with. Of course, you could always call me up and I could give you some pointers.

    I don't really like to get too detailed on open forums because big brother is watching. Just for the record, I never say anything that isn't true, and if "big brother" has a problem with that, he knows where I am, and he isn't man enough to stop by and say so anyway.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  10. knedrgr

    knedrgr Low capacity, low tech...

    Aug 15, 2011
    If you can afford it, then start the build with a kit frame and slide.

    If you already have a current 1911, and want to upgrade some parts, then do that. It may eventually have all small parts replaced, by the time you're done. And you're just left with the original slide and frame.
     
  11. GeorgiaRedfish

    GeorgiaRedfish Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    I will be saving up, (now that I am working again) and either sending off my springer or start from scratch......It will be a little bit down the road, but that's why i am thinking. I just want to know if there is real difference besides cost of the frame/slide vs a base gun.
     
  12. DRYHUMOR

    DRYHUMOR Well-Known Member

    Sep 20, 2011
    The skills required to fit a pistol that runs like a sewing machine or shoot small groups.... those skills are hard earned. There is the labor cost involved you have to factor in also.
     
  13. knedrgr

    knedrgr Low capacity, low tech...

    Aug 15, 2011
    Here are a few questions you might need to answer for yourself:
    1) Are you happy with the SA?
    2) Does it shoot OK or is it completely a POS?
    3) If it shoots OK, then what parts do you want to replace for cosmetic and personal function?
    4) If it doesn't shot OK, and you want to increase the accuracy, do you want to replace the barrel and have one fitted up?

    You need to have a concrete plan before heading down the path. Before you know it, you're left with only the frame and slide and a bucket of extra parts to build another 1911.

    If you're planning on replacing all of the parts, including barrel, on that SA, then it might be best to put that money into building from the ground up.

    Those are similar questions that I had to ask myself when I wanted a rail 1911. I could've settled on a SA OP and then replace parts, contour and then refinish for me to like it. So I chose to do a ground up build.
     
  14. whisky22

    whisky22 New Member

    12
    Aug 30, 2011
  15. Mechanized

    Mechanized He's a large "member" Supporting Addict

    Sep 24, 2011
    The downside to wilson frames is IIRC is that you are stuck using some proprietary parts. (don't quote me I am not a gun smith)
     
  16. knedrgr

    knedrgr Low capacity, low tech...

    Aug 15, 2011
    their proprietary ejector.
    http://shopwilsoncombat.com/Full-Si...-45-ACP-No-Rear-Sight-Cut/productinfo/440CFK/
    BP ejector is their own design for how it's staked into the frame.
    http://shopwilsoncombat.com/Extende...llet-Proof-Blue-In-The-White/productinfo/34W/
     
  17. GeorgiaRedfish

    GeorgiaRedfish Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Thanks ACS
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2011
  18. knedrgr

    knedrgr Low capacity, low tech...

    Aug 15, 2011
    sounds reasonably. Without fitting the new barrel, it doesn't sound that bad.
     

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