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Novak Custom Colt

Discussion in 'Range Reports & Reviews' started by John Ryder, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. John Ryder

    John Ryder Active Member

    677
    Aug 19, 2011
    After a 13-14 month wait I finally received word that Novak's Custom Shop was finally done with a Colt I had them build. I was quoted about a year for completion so it was a nice their quote was pretty accurate. There were a few reasons why I went with Novak's shop, but the main reason was I always liked their simple, no B.S. approach for pistols and that I had them build me a BHP a few years ago. This will be a two-part review, initial feel followed by an actual range report. I have a class planned next week and might just break it in during the class...but have not decided yet.

    I guess this could be called a "full" custom, though I could care less about such labels. It is based on a package build but I changed what I felt suited my needs best. They key here is my needs, I know some feel FCS “ruin the lines” and whatnot, and that is fine, but everything I had done was for me. The fit on the pistol is well done and is every bit as good as most of my 1911's, better than some and every bit as good as others are. I could not really think of a better way to put it.

    The frame/slide is like a Colt, a little rough and gritty with some side-to-side movement, but I decided not to have anything done about the fit. I felt it was a waste of my money to have it tightened when it is not that bad. I think a thousand rounds or so will smooth it out nicely.

    The barrel locks up tight but is not ridiculous; I would call it a defensive approach to the fit. It is tighter than stock to give better accuracy but not so tight as to cause any trouble. When I compared it to my other 1911's, I would say the fit on my Wilson is the best comparison. The bushing fit is about the same, there is no need for a wrench, and it turns easily by hand. I have had bushing so tight I needed a wrench and those that did not, and in both cases I could never notice a difference at the range.

    The trigger is also setup for CCW type use, I would guess it is around 4-4.5#’s. It is not as crisp as my Nighthawk is, but nothing I own has matched it yet, but would compare it to my SA Custom Carry’s. There was a slight amount of creep but after 50 or so dry fires, I have not noticed it anymore.

    The checkering is perfect, and seeing how Pete Single does Novak’s work, I did not expect anything less. I was a little disappointed when I was told the frame was a little too thin for 20LPI, but here again, if Pete did not feel comfortable doing it, it was the right choice. I was told it is 22.5LPI but cannot tell. It feels just as sharp as the 20LPI on my other pistols so I am not worried.

    The only other thing I was bummed on was the beavertail. I went with the “Answer” package, here again because I wanted it, and wanted the Ed Brown style radius. I spoke with Novak’s and was told they should still have some left over, well, they didn’t. I ended up with a slightly lower radius, but they were able to remove some metal to get a higher grip. I really like not having a grip safety, but that’s a personal choice.

    The thumb safety is a little softer than I like but I plan to switch to a heavy plunger spring, which may help get the feel I like. The one good thing I found is the put a "dog-leg" on the plunger spring. I have NEVER owned a 1911 where the shop did this mod, dunno why not, but it is nice not having the spring shoot out.

    I took some quick pictures since someone was bugging me for some but I plan to take some better ones when I find the time. I have a Guncrafter No Name that I am about to order, and might order another Les Baer, but this Novak is the last real expensive one I plan to buy. Maybe I’ll mean that this time.




    Until the range report/class AAR, a few crappy pics -




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  2. Dwe

    Dwe I'm a terminal 1911 Addict!

    Sep 4, 2011
    Love that Colt.
    Congrats.
     

  3. knedrgr

    knedrgr Low capacity, low tech...

    Aug 15, 2011
    Looks like a solid package. Really nice GS fitment!
     
  4. thecableguy

    thecableguy I hate this addiction Supporting Addict

    570
    Aug 16, 2011
  5. RMA

    RMA Active Member

    242
    Aug 18, 2011
    I like it alot! Love the finish along with the Speigel DD's. They blow away the standard Mil Tac G10's IMO. Looking foward to range reports when you get around to it of course = )
     
  6. Nick

    Nick Member

    146
    Aug 22, 2011
    Nice! "The Answer" is the pinned grip safety right?
     
  7. 230gr

    230gr Member

    450
    Aug 23, 2011
    the fit on the grip safety is phenomenal!!!!

    I had Novaks do the sights on my PT1911, bead blast it and install a new thumb safety....top notch work the did for me!!!
     
  8. John Ryder

    John Ryder Active Member

    677
    Aug 19, 2011
    I will agree, the seamless fit was definitely a welcome sight. I only have one other pistol that comes close for the GS fit.


    More or less. It is really a one-piece design, but it is just a more expensive version of a pinned GS. I wasn't going to get it but figure I had already spend this much, why not go the rest of the way
     
  9. seanmac45

    seanmac45 1911 Junkie

    41
    Aug 21, 2011
    Beautiful pistol you have there.

    I own three Novak builds and wouldn't part with any of them.

    Looking forward to your range report.


    Sean
     
  10. Dumbell2

    Dumbell2 Member

    126
    Sep 7, 2011
    Indeed!
     
  11. Blayglock

    Blayglock Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 18, 2011
    Nicely done right up and pics. I like the looks personally and the approach you took with the build.
     
  12. John Ryder

    John Ryder Active Member

    677
    Aug 19, 2011
    Range Report

    I decided to get out of the house for a quick visit to the local range, plus I don't like leaving a nice pistol NIB for very long. I only fired 200 rounds of FMJ just get to get a basic feel for the pistol. I don't really care about a pistols performance until it runs at least 1000 rounds without issues. I brought along the typical alphabet soup of magazines; 47D's, CMC's, and Novak's.

    The pistol is like a laser, it hits where it was aimed as long as I did my part. It is nice to not have significant adjustments to make with a brand new pistol. This is another one of my pistols where being "looser" doesn't have any noticeable impact on the accuracy compared to some of my other "tighter" 1911's. I'm not a huge fan of Novak sights but I can't expect them to install some other brand, but I think I will leave the alone. I went with the .145" rear notch so it is great for speed without sacrificing accuracy.

    The pistol isn't as smooth when shooting as some of my ground-up builds, but I think that is to be expected. I didn't have anything with the slide/frame fit adjusted so I was expecting a rougher feel compared to my other 1911's. Either way, it doesn't really matter to me, it just makes the pistol feel different during recoil...it's nothing bad, just different.

    As far as reliability does it feed everything I shoot, though 200 rounds doesn't say much, it is at least a start. It is also better than some of my past experiences so I'm happy that I'm off on the right foot. I had one user inflicted malfunction, I must have hit the slide stop and had one failure to lock open. I'm pretty sure it was me since it didn't happen until the last few mags. The thing I love and hate with the "ledge" style slide stops is how easy they are to hit.

    I might flip a coin on taking this pistol to my class coming up, I'm not 100% if I want to spend more training time with a 1911 or keep with a M&P 9 like I have lately. Either way, I have a feeling my Novak will be a performer...at least I hope it stays that way.


    I decided to change the grips for the time being since I like G10's more for use, so I felt like taking some new pictures.






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    Maybe someone can fill me in. It is a Kart barrel, it has the Kart logo on the lower lug, but nothing on the hood. It has the "NM" markings with a number. I've never seen one like this so I don't know if it was done by Novak's like this or if older Kart's were like this or??? Just wondering.
    [​IMG]



    I compared the feed ramp to one of my "semi" customs just for curiosity. The Novak's ramp is much deeper than my "other" and is down to the slide stop window. Just an observation, plus it's much shinier :biggrin1:
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    And a nice happy Novak circle of pistols
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  13. Blayglock

    Blayglock Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 18, 2011
    Glad to hear it shoots well for you.
     
  14. 230gr

    230gr Member

    450
    Aug 23, 2011
    I really hadn't noticed the grip safety in the first set of pictures, I think some one had asked if it was "pinned" but I hadn't taken notice of it below the tangs.
     
  15. thecableguy

    thecableguy I hate this addiction Supporting Addict

    570
    Aug 16, 2011
    Glad to hear that your luck is changing for the better. Again congrats on a mighty fine looking 1911.. The HP ain't to shabby either.:biggrin1:
     
  16. Sir Guy

    Sir Guy Sharpening Ockham's Razor Supporting Addict

    Aug 20, 2011
    Good review and photos. I haven't seen too many pistols so far with his "Answer" grip safety (well, lack thereof, anyway). Glad to hear it's running well so far. Looking forward to hearing how it continues to break in. :thumb:

    Andy
     
  17. RMA

    RMA Active Member

    242
    Aug 18, 2011
    What a difference in feedramps between your SA CC & the Novak. Looking at your Novak pics is making me impatient for mine to finally show...thanks again for posting this = )
     
  18. matthew03

    matthew03 Member

    30
    Sep 24, 2011
    The final picture of the P-35 and Colt from Novak's is my dream team... maybe someday. Very nice set and I like the mod's you chose.
     
  19. Bender

    Bender Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Aug 15, 2011
    Utter perfection,.......:thumb:
     
  20. polizei1

    polizei1 It WAS Quack

    Aug 18, 2011
    That's awesome! Novak does some amazing work!
     
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