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My curiosity has been piqued lately.... I've drooled appropriately over work from Lou Biondo, Stan Chen and others, but I'd love to hear about some experiences with some of the lesser-known heroes... New blood, lower volume builders, or those who simply choose not to widely promote themselves.

We're talking about builders who start with Colts or other Mil-spec and do complete builds.

Who's your favorite unsung 1911-custom hero?

Pics and build-sheets a must!
 

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Pics have long escaped me, but two pistols that I’ve had in my ownership were pretty remarkable.

1) Dr Barry Grayson. I don’t think he has worked on 1911’s in quite some time, but his work was precise and top notch.

2) Robert Miller of Miller Custom. He was pretty active building incredibly detailed customs for some time, then his professional career required a step away from his bench. He’s been getting his new shop set back up and getting ready to build custom 1911’s again. All I can say, be ready for the day when he takes names to build for. You definitely want to be on that list.
 

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Here’s a couple names that I’ve been curious about, why they all but disappeared?

JT Timmons. Seems once his gun oil hit the market his 1911 smithing went away. I’m hoping I’m wrong and that he’s quietly smithing, somewhere.

Anthony Durning. He showed some real promise, he seemed to vanish over the course of a few months and then went radio silent.

Tim Cronin. Is Elkhorn Precision gone? He spent time studying under Ted Yost, and his work was incredible.

Rob D’Andrea. Has anyone seen anything come off of Benchmark Precision’s bench within the past year or two?

David Clevinger. I know he’s a man of many talents. Does his engraving keep him pretty tied up?

Chad Kandros?

Ray Harms?

Marianne Carniak?

I could continue the list, seems a lot of these individuals have stopped smithing. Shut down websites,”boarded up” shops. Damn shame, lots of great talent.
 

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Pics have long escaped me, but two pistols that I’ve had in my ownership were pretty remarkable.

1) Dr Barry Grayson. I don’t think he has worked on 1911’s in quite some time, but his work was precise and top notch.

2) Robert Miller of Miller Custom. He was pretty active building incredibly detailed customs for some time, then his professional career required a step away from his bench. He’s been getting his new shop set back up and getting ready to build custom 1911’s again. All I can say, be ready for the day when he takes names to build for. You definitely want to be on that list.
I’ve had some of Bob’s work, it’s exceptional. He did manage to ruffle some feathers. One AZ smith was rather livid due to Bob applying a golf ball grip texture for his client. Certainly not a trademarked texture, but I’m sure someone’s blood pressure still spikes when the name is heard.

708953
 

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I never was much interested in getting a full custom gun, but recently bought from the classifieds a Dave Lauck (D&L Sports) professional 1911. It is built like a tank. I shot it once and it is very impressive. Prior to buying I emailed Dave to find out if he still was building and the price. He quoted me a price that was out of my range, but I bought the lightly used one from classifieds and itmay have turned me into a full custom snob.

708522
 

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Cav Troopers Dad
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Here’s a couple names that I’ve been curious about, why they all but disappeared?

JT Timmons. Seems once his gun oil hit the market his 1911 smithing went away. I’m hoping I’m wrong and that he’s quietly smithing, somewhere.

Anthony Durning. He showed some real promise, he seemed to vanish over the course of a few months and then went radio silent.

Tim Cronin. Is Elkhorn Precision gone? He spent time studying under Ted Yost, and his work was incredible.

Rob D’Andrea. Has anyone seen anything come off of Benchmark Precision’s bench within the past year or two?

David Clevinger. I know he’s a man of many talents. Does his engraving keep him pretty tied up?

Chad Kandros?

Ray Harms?

Marianne Carniak?

I could continue the list, seems a lot of these individuals have stopped smithing. Shut down websites,”boarded up” shops. Damn shame, lots of great talent.
Way back in 2004 or so I won a Colt Officers model that Ray Harms worked over. The raffle was on one of the H&K sites for some benefit. I paid I think $100.00 for the ticket and won. The pistol was amazing, actually carried it off duty for a year or so. Foolishly sold it for a nice profit chasing something else. Thanks for reminding me of that pistol and the fact I rarely win anything but occasionally I do. Wish I had pictures of it, will have to look around for some.


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Every day is Saturday and every night's a party!
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Here’s a couple names that I’ve been curious about, why they all but disappeared?

JT Timmons. Seems once his gun oil hit the market his 1911 smithing went away. I’m hoping I’m wrong and that he’s quietly smithing, somewhere.

Anthony Durning. He showed some real promise, he seemed to vanish over the course of a few months and then went radio silent.

Tim Cronin. Is Elkhorn Precision gone? He spent time studying under Ted Yost, and his work was incredible.

Rob D’Andrea. Has anyone seen anything come off of Benchmark Precision’s bench within the past year or two?

David Clevinger. I know he’s a man of many talents. Does his engraving keep him pretty tied up?

Chad Kandros?

Ray Harms?

Marianne Carniak?

I could continue the list, seems a lot of these individuals have stopped smithing. Shut down websites,”boarded up” shops. Damn shame, lots of great talent.
I don't know about the others but David Clevinger is still building 1911s and doing engraving. I believe he's gotten quite busy the last couple of years. He built my Wiley Clapp 'Roadster' a few years ago.
708525




Robin Dietrich in Otis, ME is a terrific all around gunsmith and he does excellent 1911 work. He's got a full service shop, even does his own bluing. He's well know locally, not so much on the national stage. He built my .38 Super/9mm/9x23 Colt ORM 1991A1 about 7 years ago. He has also done lots of other custom work for me on everything from .22 rifles to revolvers and other 1911 work.
708526
 

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Interesting post. There was a smith in Mississippi, who went by Sum Gy. His name was Art Jackson. He built custom 1911’s and bolt guns. Would love to know if anyone has any examples of his work. I want to say his mentor was Bob Day in his military days.
 

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Here’s a couple names that I’ve been curious about, why they all but disappeared?

JT Timmons. Seems once his gun oil hit the market his 1911 smithing went away. I’m hoping I’m wrong and that he’s quietly smithing, somewhere.

Anthony Durning. He showed some real promise, he seemed to vanish over the course of a few months and then went radio silent.

Tim Cronin. Is Elkhorn Precision gone? He spent time studying under Ted Yost, and his work was incredible.

Rob D’Andrea. Has anyone seen anything come off of Benchmark Precision’s bench within the past year or two?

David Clevinger. I know he’s a man of many talents. Does his engraving keep him pretty tied up?

Chad Kandros?

Ray Harms?

Marianne Carniak?

I could continue the list, seems a lot of these individuals have stopped smithing. Shut down websites,”boarded up” shops. Damn shame, lots of great talent.
Tim Cronin has stopped smithing as far as I know, returned to a full time LEO unfortunately for us.




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Pics have long escaped me, but two pistols that I’ve had in my ownership were pretty remarkable.

1) Dr Barry Grayson. I don’t think he has worked on 1911’s in quite some time, but his work was precise and top notch.

2) Robert Miller of Miller Custom. He was pretty active building incredibly detailed customs for some time, then his professional career required a step away from his bench. He’s been getting his new shop set back up and getting ready to build custom 1911’s again. All I can say, be ready for the day when he takes names to build for. You definitely want to be on that list.
I remember when Mr. Miller was doing the commemorative Heller pistols through ARFCOM for the DC law that was over turned back in the day... easily a decade ago.

I have a semi-custom Kimber he worked over for me in lieu of one of those Heller pistols.
20210222_103020.jpg
20210222_103045.jpg


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I don't know about the others but David Clevinger is still building 1911s and doing engraving. I believe he's gotten quite busy the last couple of years. He built my Wiley Clapp 'Roadster' a few years ago.
View attachment 708525



Robin Dietrich in Otis, ME is a terrific all around gunsmith and he does excellent 1911 work. He's got a full service shop, even does his own bluing. He's well know locally, not so much on the national stage. He built my .38 Super/9mm/9x23 Colt ORM 1991A1 about 7 years ago. He has also done lots of other custom work for me on everything from .22 rifles to revolvers and other 1911 work.
View attachment 708526
More info on the grips please.
 

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Here’s a few more names of guys who’s work is impressive. No first hand experience myself, but real 1911 aficionados have recommended them, and I trust the guys I’ve heard good reviews from.

Dave Laubert, Defensive Creations

James Jimenez, JRJ Custom Pistols

Brett Cifaldi, Cifaldi Precision

Jeff Abernathy, Tommy Guns

Mike Padgett, MP Custom

Mark Graff, Graff Custom

Matt McLearn, McLearn Custom

I’ll add more names as I think of them.
 

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More info on the grips please.
The wood set on the flamed gun are oak, got them from some vendor on Ebay. The other set are giraffe bone, got them from a forum member several years ago. They were made and hand engraved by Tommy 2 Feathers.
 

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Nice! I particularly like the mag well treatment.
Me too. While I like a big weld-on magwell opening, this type of treatment is a close tie for functionality as far as I’m concerned. This gun has one of Steve’s SLR rails, which he recently just brought back into production. The mini-MARS golfballs are a new feature for Steve. Of course this gun got a lot of his in-house made parts. Even the grips are made in house from a glass epoxy composite which is superior to G10 in every way possible.

Ive had the pleasure of visiting Steve’s shop and I’d imagine that his shop has the most high end, advanced machinery and capability of any shop out there. Steve is far too modest to admit that, but I’m certain it’s true. He builds an incredible gun, meant for hard use, and beautiful work too. In fact, as far as machine work goes, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything cleaner, fresh off the machine with no touch up or blasting.
 

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I’ve had some of Bob’s work, it’s exceptional. He did manage to ruffle some feathers. One AZ smith was rather livid due to Bob applying a golf ball grip texture for his client. Certainly not a trademarked texture, but I’m sure someone’s blood pressure still spikes when the name is heard.
Rogers Precision
Chuck Rogers
www.rogersprecision.com

Half-truths.
Heresay.
By an uninvolved 4th party.
An attempt to denigrate my reputation.
 
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