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Featured Gunsmiths Who Choose Function Over Form

Discussion in 'Beginner's Corner' started by Leadslinger585, Aug 7, 2017.

  1. Leadslinger585

    Leadslinger585 New Member

    Aug 6, 2017
    Who are some gunsmiths that focus more on reliability rather than looks?

    I have heard that John Jardine is a guy who doesn't care about how it looks (i.e. parkerizing rather than that beautiful bluing that so many do) but rather how it runs. I suspect Karl Sokol of Chestnut Mountain Sports is the same way (heard of him via Marcus Wynne).

    Any others?

    I've seen lots of great smiths, and they post beautiful work (Burton, Rogers, Wilson Combat, Nighthawk, etc) but I'm not looking for a heirloom piece. So long as everything fits together right, the checkering/serrations is how I'd like it and it runs well, it doesn't matter if it's a royal blue finish with indexed grip screws and french borders or if it's a plain-jane parkerized 1911 that gets mistaken for a Philippine gun.

    Kinda like saying I'd rather have this guy:

    That runs fast as hell


    Which runs just as well, but has the added expense of cosmetics work. Plus you probably wouldn't want to use it as a driver (those gravel trucks on the highway will scratch up my paint job!).

    EDIT [- I should probably say what I need in a smith:

    Build a 1911 from a caspian slide/receiver, not a rework on a factory production gun. I want a 9mm commander with a rail, which doesn't seem to have been produced in great numbers.
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2017
  2. GeorgiaRedfish

    GeorgiaRedfish Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    Of the smiths and companies you listed they focus on both. You don't have to have one with out the other. The smiths you listed can build you a "sleeper" if you like, but I would say a Rogers and Burton gun have been given every attention to its reliability and function. They aren't just pretty they also will run like a sewing machine. Most people don't spend thousands just to have a reliable Pistol , they do it to have a good looking and reliable Pistol.

  3. Kyle Burt

    Kyle Burt Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Aug 26, 2015
    Taking into account you don't want it off a base gun I would certainly add Combat Precision, Bunker Arms and Evolution Armory
    my .02
    crcornish, Kip and kellingtonw like this.
  4. Jeff

    Jeff Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Feb 17, 2013
  5. tarosean

    tarosean Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Apr 7, 2013
    Just a thought... You don't have to toss every option in the book at it, regardless of who does the work.
    crcornish, azpoolguy, Kip and 3 others like this.
  6. GeorgiaRedfish

    GeorgiaRedfish Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    ^This. Thats why they call them custom.
    azpoolguy, WC145, Kip and 1 other person like this.
  7. william adams

    william adams Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2014
    We are blessed with many fine 'smiths that regularly share their products and information with any who will learn as supporters here @ Addicts. Contact them and don't look back
    Bro. Pappaw, Weiker and Kip like this.
  8. Stogies

    Stogies Nighthawk Nut! Supporting Addict

    Aug 22, 2015
    Benchmark Precision would be one to add to the list
    crcornish, Alpina9, SCS1911 and 2 others like this.
  9. limbkiller

    limbkiller Pulling my hair.

    Aug 18, 2011
    All gunsmiths will do what ya want to do. Just need to make a call or ten and get pricing and lead time.
    Kip, cwoods, SCS1911 and 1 other person like this.
  10. Leadslinger585

    Leadslinger585 New Member

    Aug 6, 2017
    Thank you for all the responses so far.

    One of the reasons for wanting a no frills build is quicker turn around time (hopefully) and less expense. And plus, like my Glocks, I'd be less inclined to worry if I cosmetically fudge it up.

    A bit of a tangent:

    Who should I look at to buy parts from to go in the frame/slide? One of the parts that needs special focus is the thumb safety. I'm left handed so I need an ambidextrous safety. A good one - while I've never experienced it myself, I have heard of them breaking.
  11. limbkiller

    limbkiller Pulling my hair.

    Aug 18, 2011
    The gunsmith you choose will let ya know what ya safety ya need.
    Kip likes this.
  12. GeorgiaRedfish

    GeorgiaRedfish Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2011
    I wouldn't buy anything until you pick and talk to a gunsmith
    jw perry, Kip, cwoods and 2 others like this.
  13. azpoolguy

    azpoolguy Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Jul 4, 2013
    Less frills won't cut down lead time and expense much. A good smith won't leave a bunch of file and machine marks just because you want it parkerized. Also any smith worth considering will focus on fuction first and aesthetics second. What good is a good looking pistol that is just a paper weight that won't run?

    The only option now that any good smith is using is the EGW Ambi.
    I would also look through their catalog for most of your parts as well as NightHawk, Harrison and Wilson Combat for hammers and sears.
    Kip and cwoods like this.
  14. Ethanol Red

    Ethanol Red Make it a double Supporting Addict

    Jul 12, 2015
    You can get a DW or GI without having the built wait time. If you definitely want to go custom, go for it. It's fun choosing all your own options.

    Dan Wesson IMG_1250.JPG Guncrafter IMG_1251.JPG
  15. Leadslinger585

    Leadslinger585 New Member

    Aug 6, 2017
    I like Dan Wesson guns.

    But unless I missed it their frames are stainless steel, save the new A2 and Guardian. I'm wanting a carbon steel (I'd do stainless too) and a duplicate aluminum frame.

    I know it's just an aesthetic hang up, but I dislike how that railed frame meets up with the slide. Wish it was more like the Colt Combat Rail Unit.

    EDIT: If Dan Wesson offered their A2 in 9mm with a rail and with the option of carbon or aluminum... I'd be speed drawing my card, because that would be perfect!

    I have not heard of GI. Google searched "GI custom 1911", came up with Guncrafter Industries. That the one?
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
    1911wheelsnomore likes this.
  16. limbkiller

    limbkiller Pulling my hair.

    Aug 18, 2011
    Yep that's the one.
    1911wheelsnomore likes this.
  17. Ethanol Red

    Ethanol Red Make it a double Supporting Addict

    Jul 12, 2015
    Can't go wrong with a Guncrafter.
    crcornish and NewWaveGuy01 like this.
  18. BigDeeeeeeee

    BigDeeeeeeee Low Speed, High Drag

    Aug 19, 2011
    Guncrafter with melonite = no nonsense.

    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
    crcornish, NewWaveGuy01, Kip and 3 others like this.
  19. Philip A.

    Philip A. Well-Known Member

    Feb 24, 2017
    I'd second the Guncrafter suggestion... A gun called "No Name" does put function before frills! :D

    Do some searches on specialized forums, and see what the people who have them say about them.

    Guncrafter have a few stocking dealers, if you're lucky you may even find a railed Commander without the wait.
  20. bgw45

    bgw45 Member

    May 31, 2013
    A lot of people say Les Baer guns lean twords function. I sure like the way mine shoot.
    Longmire, Uncle Bob and crcornish like this.

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