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Service Pistol Gunsmith recommendation - 1976 Colt MKIV Series 70

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Post by jam0066 9/20/2021, 8:15 pm

Hello! I’m somewhat new to the Bullseye shooting discipline and I am coming into a mechanically good quality Colt MKIV S70 for a sweet deal. 

I am in no rush and understand wait times are long. Who are some good and reputable gunsmiths that can tune and accurize this pistol for Service Pistol EIC matches?

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Post by orpheoet 9/21/2021, 2:57 am

Dave Salyer rebarreled my Range Officer and turned it into a tack driver. Not sure if he’s taking new work. KC Crawford has a well deserved reputation for being the best. Accuracy X can turn it into a ball gun that switches easily to a wad gun. Also outstanding. Many more.
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Post by robert84010 9/21/2021, 7:12 am

What part of the country are you in? Sometimes that is a key part of making a recommendation.

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Post by jam0066 9/21/2021, 7:14 am

Orpheoet: thanks! I’ll check into those
Robert: I am in Tallahassee, Florida

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Post by Chase Turner 9/21/2021, 2:31 pm

I am really, really impressed with the results of a rebarrel that David Sams did for me. I also have one of his custom builds, and it really is the best quality custom pistol I own. As long as he is taking work, that's where I think I'll be spending my money.

KC is really known for his perfect roll triggers, and the parkerizing job he has on his custom builds is second to none. I also own one of his custom pistols, but the Sams didn't have any blemishes like I got from KC on the mainspring housing, and had an out of tune extractor on a new pistol. YMMV.

Dave Salyer is wonderful. He is cheaper than both of the two mentioned above, though he is without their pedigree of being a former service armorer. He does do good work, and I had him slick up a pistol for my daughter to use; and have used him for other sorts of work (bushing replacement, rebarrel, trigger work) and have been satisfied. 

I have not used Roddy Toyota, but I hear good things about him, and I think a lot of people are very happy with his work. You may also hear the name Jon Eulette, but again, I haven't used him for gunsmithing, so I can't really comment on my experience since I have none. I'm sure there are others also, be neat to see any other names pop up on the thread.

Thanks,
Chase

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Post by 8eightring 9/21/2021, 4:45 pm

Dave Salyer did a fantastic job replacing the barrel on one of my 1911 45 ACP wadguns. That was in the early 1990's and the pistol still shoots great. I would recommend him to anyone.
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Post by Wobbley 9/21/2021, 5:56 pm

If it was my pistol…I’d look at the “multi sight” setup from Accuracy X. 

 https://accuracyx.com/multi-sight-system/

I’m reasonably certain that this way you can use one gun for Service with iron sights AND the same gun by putting on a Pic Rail with dot.  That way you can very likely use just the one gun for service and wadgun (2700) matches.
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Post by jam0066 9/21/2021, 8:48 pm

Chase: thank you for the detailed response! I’ll have to look into David Sams and Roddy Toyota. Their names haven’t come up yet.

8eightring: He is currently at the top of my list with John Eulette. Dave’s name has come up repeatedly and I hear his prices are outstanding for the product he offers. John’s name has come up a ton of times as well.

Wobbley: that’s an interesting product and I’m definitely familiar with accuracy x’s great track record. Are there any concerns with the fitment loosening over time and causing loss of zero?

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Post by SmokinNJokin 9/21/2021, 9:54 pm

My personal experiences. No secondhand knowledge or repeating stuff i read.

Dave Sams: Very expensive, quality work, year plus wait. He is very particular, likes to do things his way, don’t change what you want during the wait time. Will nickel and dime for every little thing he does. Very honest and fair, he just does not fool around with pricing.

Jon Eulette: Best barrel fit and trigger work in the country, period. He does not charge nearly as much as he should, and he has a day job so very long wait. His guns wear very, very slowly.

David Salyer: Rock-bottom prices and very fast turnaround. Not as tight fit as the other guys but you are paying for time and he gets it to a 95% solution quick and inexpensive. Still a massive improvement over factory gun or old-school armorer fit.

Accuracy X: beautiful guns, barrel fit is not great and will wear very quickly. Phenomenal customer service, pricing is fair and parts are top quality. Multi-sight is hands down best sight mounting option ever devised. I would not reccomend adapting an old gun. If you want one, get a new build. The colt frame will look like a crudely machined clone compared to the AX slide, might as well just get a whole new gun. Wait times are under a year, possibly a few months.

Greg Derr: Hes an artist, cosmetically he is a master with old guns, restoration and period-correct details. Decent accuracy with his barrel fit, about on par with dave salyer. Not the best bullseye fit but hes a very good choice for a nostagic gun, heirloom or something you really care about cosmetically. Reasonable prices and moderate turnaround.

End result, I would recommend Dave Salyer if you are a marksman-sharpshooter and want to get shooting quick, Derr if its an heirloom you care about, and Jon if you want the most accurate pistol on earth and are willing to wait a very long time. If you want A-X, buy a complete gun, rebarrel later when groups open up.

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Post by jam0066 9/22/2021, 9:27 am

SmokinNJokin: Thank you for the awesome response! The pistol isn't necessarily an heirloom. It's possible it could eventually become one (like all of our competition pistols could eventually become to kids/family I suppose). I'm certainly a little money conscious on the work. David Salyer and Jon Eulette are the two that I am tossed between. I'll have to seek them both out and get quotes to make a decision from there. I was fascinated by the post that Jon put up regarding barrel lockup and fitting and perceived recoil. If it ever turns into a "heirloom" I can always send it off again for refinishing and a rebuild before shelving it.

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