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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was curious why builders did not source frames and other parts that are in-spec versus performing all the heroic work that goes into rebuilding obviously out-of-spec guns that are provided by customers.

Amazing to watch these artists at work but seems like a huge waste of time, effort, and money.

As always, I deeply appreciate this forum and those that post here. I have learned a lot and been greatly entertained.

mark
 

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I'm done buying guns, I'm just a bystander now
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it's like a 32 Ford Roadster, you can but all the parts on-line and put it together or you can find an original 32 Ford and restore one
 

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IMO it's because they are selling 'art', not perfect functionality. And this is what many in their customer base want. Or so I believe. :)
This is a very bold statement that I think needs some very hard evidence to back up, and I don’t think it can be done.
If the 1911 builders on this board weren’t building reliable and functional guns, these guys wouldn’t have the backlog they do.

I will agree that many of the custom guns seen on this board have more “fluff” that I like or need, but to each his own...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Interesting perspectives.

Why not create functional “art” using the best possible materials- of which there are many suppliers- versus silver solder, micro-welding, remaching, building from bar stock?

Are there “bragging rights” or added value to having a gun that someone had to weld and recut the rails, weld up and remachine the grip tangs, or close and relocate holes?
 

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Consider my signature line before replying . . . .
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Then there are us weird birds who try to fuse the present with the past. One cannot simply "redeaux" the past . . . .

PCZoid-grips-final - 01.JPG


PCZoid-grips-final - 07.JPG


PCZoid-grips-final - 08.JPG


PC Zoid.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Appreciate the different perspectives.

I don’t see the analogy of the Roadster. Perhaps true for an older, rare Colt or similar but many of these custom guns are built on ordinary Springer’s, etc.

I was envisioning a Gunsmith or a group of them buying frames from a reliable source manufactured to their (oversized) specs to avoid all the rework.

I posted this question in a thread a few months back and someone suggested that Smith were doing this “because they can”. Maybe true but not very satisfying answer.
 

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Consider my signature line before replying . . . .
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Interesting perspectives.

Are there “bragging rights” or added value to having a gun that someone had to weld and recut the rails, weld up and remachine the grip tangs, or close and relocate holes?

I think this work is primarily executed on vintage guns being modernized and brought up to contemporary standards, not scratch built guns.

Perhaps some additional education is in order.
 

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Dremel jockey
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Several of the top smiths are using frames made to their specs by Jem.
With a 07 FFL, the frames can bear the name of the smith.
I don't know who the 'go to' slide manufacturer is.
 

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Since you used the terms "builders of 1911s" in place of gunsmiths I can answer your question.
I do.
Not much of an answer but its accurate. I have built 5 1911s (working on #6) I always buy a slightly oversized frame. Since that's how it is made, I fit it to the slide I'm going to use.
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The answer is that most people who are spending big bucks on a custom want a Colt 1911.

Nothing else has the pedigree, history, cache or resale.
I wholeheartedly disagree with you. Yes some of the lower line customs use a colt as a base gun but when I spend the big bucks there better not be a pony on it. It will be marked with the smiths info and serial number. Honestly I own a laughable amount of 1911 & 2011’s including some very nice customs and not a single one is a Colt.

Several of the top smiths are using frames made to their specs by Jem.
With a 07 FFL, the frames can bear the name of the smith.
I don't know who the 'go to' slide manufacturer is.
 

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Dremel jockey
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I wholeheartedly disagree with you. Yes some of the lower line customs use a colt as a base gun but when I spend the big bucks there better not be a pony on it. It will be marked with the smiths info and serial number. Honestly I own a laughable amount of 1911 & 2011’s including some very nice customs and not a single one is a Colt.
You make me feel........small.
:(
 

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I was curious why builders did not source frames and other parts that are in-spec versus performing all the heroic work that goes into rebuilding obviously out-of-spec guns that are provided by customers.

Amazing to watch these artists at work but seems like a huge waste of time, effort, and money.
I like to think the best answer is that the base gun has some significant heirloom meaning to the owner. The gun one’s grandfather carried in a war, the gun a father or mother carried while an FBI agent or the gun one purchased when completing military indoctrination 40 years ago and is time for an update.

There’s no money that can make up for that meaning.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

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99% of my client base would rather have a newly built gun on oversized and properly fitted parts with the Chambers Custom name on the frame than a rebuilt brand XXXXXX. It took me a long time to understand why guys continue to build on other brands, but I do understand. Just like most of them understand why guys like myself get an 07 so we can have frames made to our specifications with our names on them.

There are, in my opinion, places in the market for both options. And there are, again in my opinion, people who can do both well. It really boils down to what the client desires. Early in my career I spent enough time rebuilding factory guns to realize the time vs. money ratio simply doesn't add up for me or my clients. The exception to this rule for me is sentimental value of the base gun. That and the fact that no one has yet been able to prove to me that a Colt built into a custom is more valuable than a properly built gun by a quality smith.

So I say to you, if you like rebuilds, awesome! Find a smith that is capable and willing to do the build for you. If you like "new guns" then awesome! Pick a builder from a relatively small pool of men who can take oversized parts and fashion them into a properly functioning pistol of your choosing.

And at the end of the day remember to smile, because either way you'll have a 1911 in your hands, the way God intended man to live.
 
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