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The Tinker
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Hi,

My question was what exactly does a Home Gunsmith build when he is done and how does it stack up to the $3000 custom pistols from the Big Boys???
I'll take my single-stack 10mm (my last build) over any factory, semi-custom, or custom 1911 out there. Why? Because it is built to fit my hands, with my desired features/functionality, reliability, and accuracy. It's not pretty, but that wasn't one of my requirements.

The fact that I didn't have to pay stupid money, nor wait a half-decade to get it is just icing on the cake. ;)
 

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I'll take my single-stack 10mm (my last build) over any factory, semi-custom, or custom 1911 out there. Why? Because it is built to fit my hands, with my desired features/functionality, reliability, and accuracy. It's not pretty, but that wasn't one of my requirements.

The fact that I didn't have to pay stupid money, nor wait a half-decade to get it is just icing on the cake. ;)
Hi,
Yes, I built my Commander because, I wanted a 70 series, all steel Commander.

The other bells and whistles on it was my desires and learning to build 1911's and improving my knowledge and skills.

You can't learn to swim if you don't get wet!
 

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With as many in here that own a RIA, myself included, I haven't heard many complaints and of those in here that have owned them, I see that they still do. Part of that is because they are a good at what they do, and they are not going to come close to getting big money for it toward their next custom, or semi custom gun. It is too good of a minimal investment to sell off and is just not as fancy enough to tote around or brag about. I have reviewed mine contrasted to many out there and I have enjoyed the journey. As others have said as well, it is a great base to learn to hone your own home smithing on. From Mr. Chamber's video, he gave a great deal of insight on the measurements to focus on and that would allow for anyone with no fear of screwing up their gun the goals to shoot for. At the 10th annual shoot a new guy there I met brought along his RIA 45, the exact same model I believe, and he was proud to have it and it made him smile to be "In the club" even though it was "just a RIA". That mindset was squashed by a few of us standing around him at the time because we all know the value and the quality he had. Not a diamond, but way better than most shooters out there in the world could make it do. Will I get rid of mine, no. It is mission specific and so much fun to shoot. Do I have one coming that will be a bit better, of course, because you guys are dangerous and got me main lining 1911s. Happy blasting folks!
 

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I had my Rolex serviced last year and now it gains a minute every week. But it does look doing so lol.
Mine use to loose about 4 seconds a day. Sent it to Rolex and now it looses about 1 second every 4-6 months. I was blown away by the precision. After seeing one of Joe Chambers guns and racking the slide it made me think of a high end watch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
Mine use to loose about 4 seconds a day. Sent it to Rolex and now it looses about 1 second every 4-6 months. I was blown away by the precision. After seeing one of Joe Chambers guns and racking the slide it made me think of a high end watch.
Mine is from 1986. I think it’s high time for a current model and movement lol. Or maybe I just need to send this one to the mothership for a once over.
 

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Mine is from 1986. I think it’s high time for a current model and movement lol. Or maybe I just need to send this one to the mothership for a once over.
My 30 year old sea dweller still running like a champ!!

I considered spending some of my pending inheritance on a new Explorer I but with current prices- no way.


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Interesting video & facts, the RIA may be a good choice if one needs something to practice on, hone smithing. Of course based on a sample of one he looked at maybe that one & level of quality is a rarity?

It didn’t convince me that I needed a RIA in my life & it’s still not what I’d choose for a base gun to send to a smith.


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My buddy just sent his Sub in for maintenance, after 18 years! It wasn't very accurate before, we will see if that changes. My Panerai is not very accurate either, but I do like it. However, I would never pay for an expensive 1911 that wasn't accurate!
 

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My buddy just sent his Sub in for maintenance, after 18 years! It wasn't very accurate before, we will see if that changes. My Panerai is not very accurate either, but I do like it. However, I would never pay for an expensive 1911 that wasn't accurate!
I am a member of a few watch forums as well and its always funny (to me) folks citing my watch is accurate/inaccurate within 2 seconds a day or some such, honestly I never have enough time in a day to double check if my watch needs adjusting by 2 seconds. I know when I wear my SD for a month straight I will end up adjusting it back by a minute or so at the end of the month, I could send it in for it 30 year service and see if it comes back more accurate but just hasnt bothered me enough or ever made me late to worry about it.
 

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I am a member of a few watch forums as well and its always funny (to me) folks citing my watch is accurate/inaccurate within 2 seconds a day or some such, honestly I never have enough time in a day to double check if my watch needs adjusting by 2 seconds. I know when I wear my SD for a month straight I will end up adjusting it back by a minute or so at the end of the month, I could send it in for it 30 year service and see if it comes back more accurate but just hasnt bothered me enough or ever made me late to worry about it.
Couldn't agree more, but Rolex has long been known for being pretty horrible at keeping time. His was pretty obvious on a daily basis.

Unfortunately, my Pan seems to be the same. I can be several minutes late byt the end of the week, it seems.

I also have never tried to determine what angle to rest it at night, and though I have winding boxes, I no longer use them.
 

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Interesting video & facts, the RIA may be a good choice if one needs something to practice on, hone smithing. Of course based on a sample of one he looked at maybe that one & level of quality is a rarity?

It didn’t convince me that I needed a RIA in my life & it’s still not what I’d choose for a base gun to send to a smith.


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I think there is much validity in what you say. I can say that through many, and by that I mean 15-20, RIA's I and friends and family have owned that the quality is not a rarity in my experience, but it still is exactly as you say it is. If someone like Mr. Chambers were my buddy, as in this video, I'd gladly have him work it over for functional purposes. A French border? Probably not. I'd bet the deed to my home that you don't need an RIA, but I'd like to express my example of someone who did need one and what it did for him and his family.

I bought my old, used GI RIA at a Reno pawn store when I had the few extra $$$ for it. We lived in Portland at the time. We focused, took a risk and jumped when our property was identified as the one we were willing to pack up for. Leaving and then getting established in our new place of course took money and we bought our property with cash(to be fair, it was a shockingly good deal and I don't want to pretend we dropped a quarter million dollars on it). The selling of many firearms funded much and my nearly hundred-gun collection was reduced by a legitimate 80%. I would have loved to keep them, but it was all worth it. At first I kept the RIA because it wouldn't sell for more than $300 or so, if that. It then was the gun I and my son shot maybe the most aside from a Ruger BH .357 using half a ton of wheelweights I inherited, cast into bullets, sifted out of the berm and cast again. It served my family for a long time and tens of thousands of rounds. It never gave up on us as though it were part of the deal to keep our eyes on the prize. My gun collection is healthy again. I dabble in semi-customs now. I am preparing for my first custom. The RIA is a part of it all and as cliche' as it sounds, a member of the family.

Do I ever need another RIA? Aside from the double stack .40S&W they make that for some reason I want very much, no I don't. You probably don't need one either, but I can tell you that those that do need them could do a lot worse and I'm thankful for mine. I really think the quality is consistent, but I also won't even begin to claim that I've done any "testing" past shooting them, taking them apart and putting them back together. I would be very interested to see the results if someone were able to do the assessment Mr.Chambers did across something like a 100 consecutive serial numbered guns, but that seems unlikely to happen unless Armscor did it themselves.
 

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That many of you guys sport a Rolex? Dang. I had a Citizen I spent $350 on once, but that doesn't make for much of a story. Please don't misunderstand me, I appreciate the quality of such things, but timepieces don't make me tick like they do some.
 

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My buddy just sent his Sub in for maintenance, after 18 years! It wasn't very accurate before, we will see if that changes. My Panerai is not very accurate either, but I do like it. However, I would never pay for an expensive 1911 that wasn't accurate!
Your Panerai does not keep good time? That is interesting because I have a few and all keep great time. Serviced a couple so far to get polished back to normal. The TI with the TI bracelet is my favorite. Rolex makes a nice watch and over the years have only had a couple fail. One a hand came off and the other the crown cover came off. What movement does it have? Panerai is serviced here at the Richmont Facility just south of DFW. To service your watch will be at least 1k.
 
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I thought Patreon was where all of your wives and daughters secretly sold dirty pictures of themselves. :D

Anyway, interesting video. I do appreciate Joe's effort to establish a set of objective metrics to gauge the quality of the 1911's that are out on the market. It helps to cut through the marketing hype and forum folk lore.

I've heard a lot of positive things about RIA 1911's. But I've always shrugged off such claims as an ignorance about higher end 1911's. I guess I need to adjust my thinking.
 
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Just a reminder of people not always getting what they pay for.

It's truly insane someone can spend 1/4 of another custom 1911 and get an arguably better built gun...

I wish we had a spreadsheet comparing all the popular 1911's dimensions and metallurgy.
Worth noting that Joe specifically states he's not saying that compared to the semis this one's better overall as a gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
That many of you guys sport a Rolex? Dang. I had a Citizen I spent $350 on once, but that doesn't make for much of a story. Please don't misunderstand me, I appreciate the quality of such things, but timepieces don't make me tick like they do some.
Mine was gifted to me when my dad decided he needed a new one lol.
 
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