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Caspian vs. Fusion Firearms vs. Others ETC.

11321 Views 42 Replies 18 Participants Last post by  dandyrandy
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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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. :)

Or when you go to put your slide stop in and it won’t budge on a .200 slide stop.
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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...
You don’t have to go with Jem for a slide. I use Jem frames and Caspian slides.

Caspian slides are very good.
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It looks

It looks like the caspian slides are nice quality, but is there a comparable option that does not have rollmarks?
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.
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I haven’t heard of JEM until now. :shy:
Made by Ed Minshew. He used to work for STI but started making frames. So far they’ve been pretry great. No issues.

One thing about Jem frames is they don’t look pretty when you get them. They are right off the machine and require a lot of hand work to get all the machine boogers off. Once you clean them up they are pretty great.
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The only “complaint” I have, if you can even call it that, is that he doesn’t offer a frame with GI frame tangs. They are all cut for their high cut grip safety which makes grip safety options limited.

Their grip safety is great so it isn’t a huge problem for me but it would still be nice to be able to use something else.
Both frames I have got from them I ordered with their bead blast finish (both stainless). They weren't Ed Brown stainless bead blast, but I really didn't feel I had to do anything else with the finish. I was happy the way they came.

I also asked them to supply and fit the grip safety on both. They did very respectable job on both.
Perhaps the price I pay for them reflects the clean up. I buy them 10 at a time.
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