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1911 New build brand options

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Tripscape
funski
tovaert
Larry2520
Ed Hall
Jon Eulette
chiz1180
kc.crawford.7
swehrman
hengehold
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Post by hengehold Wed Mar 22, 2023 7:33 pm

If building a 1911 for BE in 45acp, what frame/receiver sets are available? I have looked at Caspian, Nighthawk, and Jem, are there any others?

Is there anything that makes one brand better suited for BE than the others? 

Thanks,
-Trevor

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Post by swehrman Wed Mar 22, 2023 9:40 pm

Les Baer and Rock River Arms also sell stripped frames and slides.  Personally, I would just go with Caspian unless they don't offer an option that you're looking for.

-- Scott
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Post by kc.crawford.7 Thu Mar 23, 2023 3:33 am

Better for bullseye, not really.  Rock River Arms, Nighthawk (SS) or JEM would be my choices.  I would avoid caspian and baer at all costs.
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Post by hengehold Thu Mar 23, 2023 4:06 am

kc.crawford.7 wrote:Better for bullseye, not really.  Rock River Arms, Nighthawk (SS) or JEM would be my choices.  I would avoid caspian and baer at all costs.

Is there any particular reason that you say to avoid Caspian?

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Post by chiz1180 Thu Mar 23, 2023 6:23 am

hengehold wrote:
kc.crawford.7 wrote:Better for bullseye, not really.  Rock River Arms, Nighthawk (SS) or JEM would be my choices.  I would avoid caspian and baer at all costs.

Is there any particular reason that you say to avoid Caspian?

I'm not KC but in my limited experience, some of the tolerances on the Caspian's are not as good as other choices. You can make a good gun with one, however it likely will require more work than other options.
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Post by Jon Eulette Thu Mar 23, 2023 7:16 am

My only Caspian gripe is the trigger track can require extra filing/stoning which sucks up some extra time. JEM has CNC marks on all the rounds which takes more time to cleanup than all the other receivers. 
I predominantly use Caspian and have used them all, none are perfect. The worst tolerances are SA. I routinely toss the upper and use new Caspian slides to compensate.
Each manufacturer has their own unique typical thing you have to address or compensate for. I remember Jerry Keefer helped someone do a build class before he died. They used JEM receivers. Jerry wasn’t to pleased with the tolerances. I say that reflecting we all have our likes and dislikes about a manufacturer.
If you’re a first time builder you’re just not going to know the differences. 
I wouldn’t hesitate to use any of the name brands. I know that many gunsmiths like using the same brand over and over because the build’s typically go the same from gunsmithing perspective each time. The barrel fit is more important than any other component (frame/slide). 
Jon
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Post by chiz1180 Thu Mar 23, 2023 10:09 am

Jon Eulette wrote:The barrel fit is more important than any other component (frame/slide). 
I politely disagree, the barrel fit is irrelevant if the trigger sucks. In the context of the frame, the most critical aspect for a good trigger is the hammer and sear pin holes, they must be parallels to each other and square. Yes you can do things to work around some inconsistencies but it takes far more effort than if they are square and parallel as they should be.
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Post by Jon Eulette Thu Mar 23, 2023 10:40 am

Trigger jobs are individualistic. You may love your trigger job and 99 people out of 100 will hate it. But it's your trigger. Barrel fit is barrel fit; It either was done right or is crap. Most are crap!

Major components of gun build are frame to slide fit and then barrel/bushing, but barrel governs the quality of the build and how the gun will shoot. A slightly loose frame/slide fit can be compensated for when the barrel is fit. Everything else can be slop fit or loose and will not affect the accuracy. Parallelism between hammer and sear pins is a myth; most never truly parallel. That's why the holes in the hammer and sear have play to compensate for the pins not being parallel. The force of the hammer pushing against the sear aligns them both together through their engagement, not the pins.

Go get a rack gun and do a good trigger job on it. Let me know how it goes? Trigger jobs are apples and oranges.
Jon
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Post by hengehold Thu Mar 23, 2023 11:33 am

Thank you for all of the great feedback. I have heard that the parallel holes are important for the trigger so appreciate the discussion on that in this thread.

A friend that builds 1911s for BE recommended that I use a frame that has an integral safety plunger. This seems to leave very few options of manufacturers to choose from.

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Post by Jon Eulette Thu Mar 23, 2023 11:40 am

Properly staked plunger tube works fine. Also easier to prep the pistol for bluing/finishing when plunger tube not integral.
Jon
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Post by Ed Hall Thu Mar 23, 2023 3:04 pm

Question for the 'smiths here:  A gunsmith friend I haven't seen in quite some time used to prefer STI frame/slide kits.  I rarely ever see anything elsewhere about STI and a quick search this morning showed "discontinued/out of stock" everywhere in reference to STI components.

Are they still around and what are the opinions of them?

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Post by Jon Eulette Thu Mar 23, 2023 3:13 pm

Ed,

STI became Staccatto in 2019. Much of the product line went by the way side. So STI no longer making frames/slides. Mountain Competition Pistols (MCP) used STI components, which built into really good pistols from other gunsmiths. All the STI's I've rebuilt worked out excellent. The frame to slide fit could've been a little better, but was pretty good. The new frames and slides i've used worked out well.

Jon
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Post by Larry2520 Thu Mar 23, 2023 4:06 pm

In this day of CNC machining I would consider going with a Springfield or equivalent. Slide to frame fit should be good to go. Then all that's left is barrel, bushing and link fitting then trigger work. Then you can personalize it with grips and sights. For the barrel I would go with a KKM. Cart barrels are very good but I put a KKM 9 mm barrel in a 1911 I built and what a surprise. They even chambered it after I got it fit to the slide.

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Post by Jon Eulette Thu Mar 23, 2023 4:57 pm

SA dimensionally is undersized in comparison to the custom order receivers. Their custom shop guns are actually fit vs RO, Loaded, etc just thrown together. So realistically there is no comparison.
Jon
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Post by chiz1180 Thu Mar 23, 2023 6:26 pm

Ed Hall wrote:Question for the 'smiths here:  A gunsmith friend I haven't seen in quite some time used to prefer STI frame/slide kits.  I rarely ever see anything elsewhere about STI and a quick search this morning showed "discontinued/out of stock" everywhere in reference to STI components.

Are they still around and what are the opinions of them?
The first 22 lower I built was on an STI frame, the front strap is flatter than a GI style frame (could be good or bad depending on preference). However, this particular frame was significantly better QC than any Caspian I have encountered. Hind sight 20/20 I should have bought more than one.
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Post by Ed Hall Thu Mar 23, 2023 7:33 pm

Thanks for the replies.

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Post by tovaert Fri Mar 24, 2023 4:36 am

I'm going to be working on one of these for a friend. I handled one at my LGS, and I was pretty impressed. Turkish-made, great price.  

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/974921485


Last edited by tovaert on Fri Mar 24, 2023 5:47 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by hengehold Fri Mar 24, 2023 5:31 am

chiz1180 wrote:
Jon Eulette wrote:The barrel fit is more important than any other component (frame/slide). 
I politely disagree, the barrel fit is irrelevant if the trigger sucks. In the context of the frame, the most critical aspect for a good trigger is the hammer and sear pin holes, they must be parallels to each other and square. Yes you can do things to work around some inconsistencies but it takes far more effort than if they are square and parallel as they should be.

This self-contained, drop-in trigger kit by Nighthawk is advertised to mitigate the issues you mentioned. 

Looking for feedback about the use of this in a BE gun. 

https://www.nighthawkcustom.com/parts-and-accessories/main-kits/drop-in-trigger-system

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Post by chiz1180 Fri Mar 24, 2023 10:29 am

In regards to the nighthawk kit, I have no experience with that set up. I use the more traditional parts in my builds, roughly 1/2-1/3 the cost of the Nighthawk kit and it gives me the flexibility to set up the trigger to how I want it (short roll, medium roll, long roll, ect.) With that said, over the time that I have been tinkering with my own stuff I have made/had made and bought several tools to make that process work consistently for me and can address certain aspects such as the hammer and sear pin issue as mentioned, without getting too detailed, basically you want as close to equal hammer hook engagement with the sear, as I mentioned before it is more time consuming to do if the pins are off.  In the case of the nighthawk kit the hammer, sear, and disconnector set up is different from the more traditional style. How that kit feels and the longevity is something that I personally would question. 

Other things to look at when considering venturing out to build on your own is why? You will need some specialty tools to work efficiently that you may not already have and may not see much use in the future (One such example is a chamber reamer). If you have not built a 1911 before, and are doing so on your own based on books, or other information rather that working with an accomplished smith you will make mistakes or overlook a small detail that you won't realize until later on. It is 100% possible to build without such supervision just keep in mind a first attempt will not be comparable to a build by a master smith, but with care can be better than typical off the shelf offerings. Also chances are building your own will likely come close enough to the cost of a smith built gun that from a financial perspective it makes sense to get the smith built gun. 

All that said I build my own because I enjoy the process. It is a very detailed oriented process that requires quite a bit of patience and skill. I also come from a background of woodwork, metal fabrication, welding and a day job as an engineer in manufacturing.
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Post by funski Fri Mar 24, 2023 10:56 am

Is Clark Custom Guns building bullseye guns?  Never hear their name mentioned anymore when talking about top of the line custom bullseye guns. Just curious
Jim

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Post by Tripscape Fri Mar 24, 2023 4:00 pm

This is a huge thread, I did not read it all. However, there ia an Infinity frame and slide for sale on GB currenty starting at 1K. I have no skin in this game, but from what I know these are pretty good in general.

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Post by jglenn21 Sun Mar 26, 2023 3:17 am

Clark does.still make bullseye pistols. Saw one yesterday at our regional match..it was a 6" gun..i did not get a chance to handle it so i can't comment on build quality
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1911 New build brand options  Empty Many 1911's & 52's available for sale

Post by Gustavo1957 Sun Mar 26, 2023 5:44 am

There are a lot of quality Bullseye pistols for sale at todays Amoskeag Auction site.  1911's, 52's , etc.  Some interesting history reading about the builders on the 1911's..   52's look little used by collectors. 

I'm glad Bruce Martindale told me about this site.  Great resource for guns that are checked out ...... 

https://www.amoskeagauction.com/

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Post by troystaten Sun Mar 26, 2023 6:17 pm

If you are having a gunsmith build your bullseye 1911 I would use the parts that the gunsmith recommends. Smiths like K.C Crawford and John Eulette know what they are talking about and their guns speak for themselves.

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Post by hengehold Sun Mar 26, 2023 7:57 pm

I already have a couple great BE pistols but am building this one for an education in the process of building a NM bullseye pistol.

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