Semi-Custom vs Accurized Production 1911

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Post by PilotPhill on 4/11/2019, 11:59 pm

Hi All,
I was just curious what you all though about the difference in buying a semi-custom 1911 (e.g. RRA, Accuracy X, etc) as compared to buying a stock pistol of reasonable quality (e.g. SPRFLD Range Officer, Gold Cup NM, etc) and sending it away to a BE smith.

I am  very new to this sport of BE shooting and have heard quite a few people talking about their accurized ROs etc.

It seems like I could buy a nice new production Gold Cup NM, send it away to a known BE smith like Dave Salyer and get a gun back that is just as accurate as those from the semi-custom shops for nearly half the price.  

Is this a reasonable thought process?  If so, what is the benefit of going semi-custom?

Thanks, Phillip

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Post by Wobbley on 4/12/2019, 12:17 am

At your level, I’d either opt for a used “built” gun or a production gun like the RO or a grade higher then send it to a BE smith for a tuneup.  When you get to “Expert” then look at an “all up” build.

Spend the money you’d have spent on ammunition 15000 rounds of 22 and 5000 rounds of Zero or Atlantic Arms match 45 ammo.
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Post by zanemoseley on 4/12/2019, 6:59 am

Your problem is you're now at the beginning of the season and I'm afraid you don't really have time to have one of the top smiths rework a factory gun. I recommend Jon Eulette on this board but he's backed up pretty good right now, no way you're getting a rebuilt factory gun from him to shoot this season. Dave Salyer might get to it quicker but personally I don't think he's in the same league as Jon and KC. 

Are you planning on shooting irons or red dot? If you're just shooting irons you can get a rack gun and maybe just get a trigger job to get you through the season then have a smith rebuild it over the winter. I would also look at the RRA pistols, they're my preferred semi-custom.

Jason off this forum that is now headed to the AMU shot a Springfield Armory Mil Spec pistol that was rebuilt by Jon (welded and refit slide/frame, hand fit barrel, trigger work) and he hit HM easily with it. 

As Wobbley has eluded to, you also have to feed your pistol once you get it. Most everyone ends up reloading,  you can make match ammo for $.15 a round versus $.50-.60 a round for Atlanta Arms or Zero ammo.

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Post by SW-52 on 4/12/2019, 7:15 am

zanemoseley wrote:Your problem is you're now at the beginning of the season and I'm afraid you don't really have time to have one of the top smiths rework a factory gun. I recommend Jon Eulette on this board but he's backed up pretty good right now, no way you're getting a rebuilt factory gun from him to shoot this season. Dave Salyer might get to it quicker but personally I don't think he's in the same league as Jon and KC. 

Are you planning on shooting irons or red dot? If you're just shooting irons you can get a rack gun and maybe just get a trigger job to get you through the season then have a smith rebuild it over the winter. I would also look at the RRA pistols, they're my preferred semi-custom.

Jason off this forum that is now headed to the AMU shot a Springfield Armory Mil Spec pistol that was rebuilt by Jon (welded and refit slide/frame, hand fit barrel, trigger work) and he hit HM easily with it. 

As Wobbley has eluded to, you also have to feed your pistol once you get it. Most everyone ends up reloading,  you can make match ammo for $.15 a round versus $.50-.60 a round for Atlanta Arms or Zero ammo.
+1 Kc Crawford  and jon Eulette work is High Quality.
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Post by DD_USMC on 4/12/2019, 4:56 pm

Make sure your gunsmith has or is using an valid FFL if you are shipping a firearm for accurizing. Additionally, make sure the selected carrier will cover the replacement cost if it is lost or stolen during shipment.

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Post by Arthur on 4/12/2019, 8:26 pm

My Colt Gold Cup was a disappointment. Yes I should have sent it back,,,,,,bushing loose, barrel hood not square to the breach, poor fit on the lugs, windage adjustment super tight in places. Nice crisp trigger, pretty bluing. Had a friend (Bernie P.) fit a Noland barrel full length guide rod. Accurate now.
I was so aggravated my wife gave me the money for a Range Officer. Dropped in a KC roll trigger kit. That is what I will shoot this season. The gun is not holding me back. $875 out the door for the gun and $200 for the trigger kit. Waiting on Frank for a trigger shoe. 
FYI Marksmen shooting irons Jacketed HP ammo (Zero).
I am willing to spend some money on the two I have. Will end up with two nice 1911 over time. If I like the sport enough and can progress, I might get a Rock River. Can't justify at this time.

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Post by Jwhelan939 on 4/12/2019, 10:00 pm

I went from production, to home made, to custom, so take this for what it's worth, my understanding is that even many of the "semi-custom" guns will require a trigger job. If you're going to have to send it away anyway, why not save a buck and have a production gun made right?

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Post by mikemyers on 4/13/2019, 5:11 am

PilotPhill wrote:..........It seems like I could buy a nice new production Gold Cup NM, send it away to a known BE smith like Dave Salyer and get a gun back that is just as accurate as those from the semi-custom shops for nearly half the price........
Curious, why think of this as "just as accurate"?  Dave, Jon, KC, and the others are capable of sending you back a gun that is better, not just "just as good".  

Do you already have a gun you're shooting?

You might want to keep checking the "Commercial Row" section of this forum for a used gun.
https://www.bullseyeforum.net/f14-commercial-row
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Post by JKR on 4/13/2019, 6:04 am

Check out the Nygord listed in the commercial row section.

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Post by David R on 4/13/2019, 7:09 am

I bought a new Dan Wesson PM-9. Its a stainless 1911 9mm. I had to replace the bushing with an EGW Angled Bore. I fit the bushing to the gun. Now it shoots about an inch at 25 yards from my hands resting.

I then bought a Dan Wesson Valor. I replaced the bushing just like the PM-9. Not so good of luck. 2" and a little under at 25 yards. I tried a lot of hand loads and some Federal Match 185 FMC. Best I could get was 1.5" @ 25 yards. After fiddeling with the link and slide stop, I finally got just over an inch at 25 and took it out to 50 yards. At 50 I am getting aorund 2" plus or minus. Holding the gun in my hands on a rest is all I can do for now. I have no access to a ransom rest.
I have almost $2000.00 in each of those guns including the Burris FFIII and mount. These are good, but still not as good as a custom built Bullseye gun. I did my own trigger jobs on both. I can ge from 2.5 lbs up on either one. I am a mechanic and welder.

Next for my wife I bought a used Kimber with a Wegand frame mounted scope moune including a 30 mm Ultradot. I fit a Kart EZ fit barrel and bushing in that one. It did not need the trigger job, It already had what I wanted. This gun now shoots around 2.5" @ 50 yards. I have $700 in the gun and $170 in the barrel plus my time.

I will be sending the Kimber away for Accurails. ($225.00) I will be sending the Dan Wesson Valor to have the slide milled and possibly have a Kart NM barrel installed.

I think a used Bullseye gun would be your best bang for the buck.

Take it from there.
David

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Post by gregg28 on 4/13/2019, 4:35 pm

I started with a Kimber (not series 2) and Han a very good smith do a trigger job and bushing. I got up to master with it. I took a little time off and came back with a nice RRA Bullseye wad and have not done quite as well. Point being, both are beautiful guns and either one can do the job. Buy the best you are willing to spend for, but seriously, you can do it for under $1k.


Last edited by gregg28 on 4/13/2019, 4:36 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by gregg28 on 4/13/2019, 4:36 pm

By the way, I do like the RRA better. It is a beautiful gun.

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Post by Tim:H11 on 4/13/2019, 8:09 pm

Either have Jon or KC build one from a new frame and slide or have them rebuild an existing cheaper gun that’s not a bullseye gun - for example: take a Springfield Range Officer and have it accurized, or a mil spec like mine started out as, or a Colt, or something of the like. 

You can buy a gun from a production like dealer or manufacturer but you’ll get just as good if not better if you go with a smith that has the talents and skills like Jon or KC. You get one smith, taking his time to ensure that every aspect of the job is done right. A production company has overhead to pay for. A smaller outfit like KC or Jon can get you into a high quality gun for less. That’s why I went with Jon. Was it the cheapest? No- there were others that cost less but the quality wasn’t as good either in my opinion. Keep your budget in mind but go with someone who’s gonna build it right the first time. That’s why Jon and KC come so highly recommended here. They may not be the cheapest but they’re fair and they absolutely know what they’re doing. I shoot. I don’t build guns. That’s why I let someone else do it.

My gun was a Springfield Mil Spec. Not a target pistol at all. Jon had the frame rails welded up, refit the slide to the frame, rebarreled it including a bushing and slide stop pin, put a rail on it and I did eventually have him do the trigger too. Whale of a gun. Made high master with it. Shot my first 100-10X TF with it. It’s a bad ma-am-jama!

Different guns will feel different as the shot breaks too. It’ll have more or less snap or push to it depending on how it was built - how it was fitted up. How it locks up. There is a science to it. Productions guns have been reworked many times before... by the Smiths. Get the smith to build it right from start. You’ll never need it altered or reworked.
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Post by chopper on 4/14/2019, 10:38 am

Jason said :
"Different guns will feel different as the shot breaks too. It’ll have more or less snap or push to it depending on how it was built - how it was fitted up. How it locks up. There is a science to it. Productions guns have been reworked many times before... by the Smiths. Get the smith to build it right from start. You’ll never need it altered or reworked."  


 You hit the hammer on the head here Jason and is why I sent one of my guns to him also. I have a Nelson that is getting a dedicated lower done by another smith also. When I get it back, I'll be posting pictures of it and his name ( with permission) on here.
 Stan

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Post by dronning on 4/14/2019, 11:10 am

When you start putting all or nearly all your rounds on the repair center shooting your 22lr it's time to start looking for an accurate 45.

I too went the Gold Cup NM-then LesBaer-then a awesome gun by KC.  
I already had the Gold Cup and had an accuracy job and trigger job done locally (they didn't last).  The LB was a pretty good gun, but I wish I had gone from the NM straight to KC, I would have saved some money. 

If I had it to do over I would try and find a used BE gun done by a known smith or an RO with a trigger and bushing.  Then start saving up for a gun built by KC, Jon or .....
- Dave
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Post by zanemoseley on 4/14/2019, 11:38 am

Keep in mind too that most of us have more than one 45 pistol so we have a backup in case you need to get your primary worked on. So you can always get a bit more budget friendly option to get you started and have a custom pistol built later. I do see some nice used pistols on here from time to time. That lightly used Les Baer with and older Aimpoint for $1500 was a nice deal.

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