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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am starting my first 1911 build soon, and I had a question which I know is going to have different responses. I am wondering which manufacturer to buy my frame and slide from, and there are pros and cons to both. I want a full size frame, preferably with a checkered front strap that isn't 80% and comes in the white with no finish. I have heard Caspian is higher quality, but Caspian does not offer a full size frame with the checkered front strap. Fusion Firearms has a full size frame with checkered front strap, but I have heard their parts require a lot more handfitting. I am not opposed to doing the work to build my gun, I just want to know amongst all the various manufacturers what would be the best choice for me? Are Les Baer match frames and slides worth the extra money? What about 1911 Builders, or STI? I am open to any recommendations. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Whatever you do, don’t pick the Baer frame. You’ll poop your pants when you install your mainspring housing and see that the holes don’t line up or that it takes all day to fit the trigger because you have to remove like a 1/8 of an inch to get it to fit. :)
Glad you said that, because I was looking at Baer. At this point I am likely going to go with Caspian or Jem. I am trying to decide between Stainless and Carbon steel now, because it doesn't look like Jem offers a Stainless slide...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I would give them a call, or write to Elliott. JEM makes frames and slides for a LOT of custom gun smiths and manufacturers. They do accomodate "off menu" requests as well. It can't hurt asking. Elliott's email address is: [email protected]


Here is another JEM frame build BTW. Slide by Colt . . . . .

View attachment 186659

View attachment 186661

View attachment 186663

Very nice! I guess that is the skip line checkering? Yeah, I will call. They may be able to do the slide serrations I want done there as well. That would save me sending the slide off somewhere else.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
You can spec a Caspian slide however you want. Bald, with every option or anywhere in between.

I get them with no options and machine most of the features myself except some of them I get with Colt style cocking serrations. Don’t order them from Brownells and you can get them any way you want.
Well that seals it then, if I can get it bald then I will get a caspian slide and a jem frame. I want to get front and rear GI style thin vertical cocking serrations on the slide, but that's it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
Great info here. OP, I would definitely consider an inexpensive option for your first build. JEM is great! I used one on my 6th build and can't say enough great things about them but the frame alone cost as much as a full ATI pistol. I'd recommend you buy something fairly inexpensive and work from there. There are lots of pitfalls in a build and learning the hard way is definitely how it's done. I've read books, watched videos, got training from a smith, asked lots of questions and still the learning curve is steep. There's just too many things only experience teaches. Start cheap and work into it if you are truly going to do your own build that is to say do the work yourself not just spec it out. It's a great thing to do if you love the platform. I highly recommend it but few things sting worse than doing something to a really nice frame or slide that you can't undo. Good luck!
I am looking forward to the challenge, it's going to be great when I get it finished and it's my own handmade and fitted firearm. I just have to be patient. But how cheap is cheap? Like a Fusion Firearms frame?
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I built a long slide 1911 with a fusion frame and slide. I didn't have any issues working with it. I thought it was good quality. JEM is definitely better no doubt but Fusion was good stuff. I built my first 3 on PSA frames/slides when they were available. That was a good deal because they were only $100-$150 or so apiece so if and when I made mistakes it wasn't heartbreaking. In fact I did have to discard a slide after making a colossal error. It hurt but was only a minor expense. Look into Caspian's discount or blem frames. I forgot what they are called, but it's on their website. That can be a great way to save and get started. If not try just buying a used ATI or something then working on upgrading that in sections. Regardless of what you choose, good luck!
Thank you, I will consider my options. I have some time before I begin purchasing components, as I have a few small projects in the works already that I have to wrap up haha!
 
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