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Modern off the shelf 1911 for Bullseye.

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Post by Pinetree Thu Dec 14, 2023 12:41 pm

What would you pick as a base pistol for building a Bullseye pistol?


I'm not talking about scouring the interwebs for an out of production gun (Springfield RO).. not talking about spending $4K at Les Baer.. just walk (or drive ) to the LGS and picking up a new gun.

Savage? Kimber? Springfield Garrison? Rock Island?


Thanks
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Post by SmokinNJokin Thu Dec 14, 2023 12:50 pm

Dan Wesson Valor.

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Post by javaduke Thu Dec 14, 2023 1:59 pm

It could be just my personal an unpopular opinion, but I think pretty much any 1911 is good as a base gun, unless it is severely damaged or way out of spec. I'm saying this because all important parts will need to be replaced anyway, i.e. a new barrel and bushing fitted, all ignition components and springs replaced and adjustable sights installed (speaking of which, if you want iron sights on your BE gun, do not pick any gun with fixed Novak sights, because it involves making or purchasing a new base for the Bo-mar style sight, it is much easier to machine a mil-spec slide for Bo-Mar cut. If you only plan to shoot optic, it doesn't really matter).
One inexpensive and pretty good option may be a mil-spec Tisas, if you don't mind shooting Turkish guns. Rock Island is GTG too. If you want me to build a BE gun for you, please PM me for details.

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Post by chiz1180 Thu Dec 14, 2023 2:49 pm

If I was building a bullseye 1911, I would not start with a base gun, I would start with a high quality frame and slide. Why pay for parts that you are going to toss?
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Post by javaduke Thu Dec 14, 2023 2:58 pm

chiz1180 wrote:If I was building a bullseye 1911, I would not start with a base gun, I would start with a high quality frame and slide. Why pay for parts that you are going to toss?
This is another option, but a quality slide and frame may cost even more than a donor gun.

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Post by Tripscape Thu Dec 14, 2023 3:09 pm

OP,

I second, third and fourth the Dan Wesson series.  As javaduke mentions you likely want one with the adjustable sights, so PM7 in 45ACP.  From my fumblings with DWessons the Valors / Specialists and PM's are all same build quality with differences in external options.  You cannot go wrong with either one, but the PM series would bemore appropriate for bullseye.  
Depending on your proficiency the DW will take you loooong way before you need to start accurizing. 

Why specifically DW? No MIM parts, quality machining and assembly, tight tolerances out of the box, minimal / no failures, price range.  You can find either of the above mentioned pistols within 1200-1700 price range.

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Post by chiz1180 Thu Dec 14, 2023 3:32 pm

javaduke wrote:
chiz1180 wrote:If I was building a bullseye 1911, I would not start with a base gun, I would start with a high quality frame and slide. Why pay for parts that you are going to toss?
This is another option, but a quality slide and frame may cost even more than a donor gun.
Potentially but you get more control of your options. For example grip safety, not all feel the same and for the best feel they need to be fit and blended. The grip safeties I have fit on my personal guns feel way better than any of the "factory" options. In regards to the slide, I can have my choice on what (if any) sight cuts and slide serrations. Not to mention I can have a better slide/frame fit. Checkered or stippled front strap/mainspring housing, more limited options starting from a base gun than a quality frame.

From my perspective, if I am going to put the time and effort into building something it is worth investing in quality parts and components. The few hundred dollars potentially saved starting with a base gun is significantly less than the cost of my time, especially if I would have to correct certain aspects of a base gun.
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Post by john bickar Thu Dec 14, 2023 3:35 pm

javaduke wrote:
chiz1180 wrote:If I was building a bullseye 1911, I would not start with a base gun, I would start with a high quality frame and slide. Why pay for parts that you are going to toss?
This is another option, but a quality slide and frame may cost even more than a donor gun.

This is generally solid advice; yet some of us who live just west of the United States of America (and maybe other places, like Illinois, or the Northeast) don't have the option to purchase raw frames and we have to resort to "donor guns." I had to go through 3 or 4 to find one suitable for a KC build.

I appreciate the discussion.
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Post by john bickar Thu Dec 14, 2023 3:40 pm

chiz1180 wrote:
javaduke wrote:
chiz1180 wrote:If I was building a bullseye 1911, I would not start with a base gun, I would start with a high quality frame and slide. Why pay for parts that you are going to toss?
This is another option, but a quality slide and frame may cost even more than a donor gun.
Potentially but you get more control of your options. For example grip safety, not all feel the same and for the best feel they need to be fit and blended. The grip safeties I have fit on my personal guns feel way better than any of the "factory" options. In regards to the slide, I can have my choice on what (if any) sight cuts and slide serrations. Not to mention I can have a better slide/frame fit. Checkered or stippled front strap/mainspring housing, more limited options starting from a base gun than a quality frame.

From my perspective, if I am going to put the time and effort into building something it is worth investing in quality parts and components. The few hundred dollars potentially saved starting with a base gun is significantly less than the cost of my time, especially if I would have to correct certain aspects of a base gun.

Cross-posted with you; I generally agree but see my above.
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Post by Tripscape Thu Dec 14, 2023 3:43 pm

Guys, you have to remember that most don't have knowledge, tools and time to build guns )))  Upgrade - yes maybe, build - no.

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Post by chiz1180 Thu Dec 14, 2023 4:37 pm

john bickar wrote:
javaduke wrote:
chiz1180 wrote:If I was building a bullseye 1911, I would not start with a base gun, I would start with a high quality frame and slide. Why pay for parts that you are going to toss?
This is another option, but a quality slide and frame may cost even more than a donor gun.

This is generally solid advice; yet some of us who live just west of the United States of America (and maybe other places, like Illinois, or the Northeast) don't have the option to purchase raw frames and we have to resort to "donor guns." I had to go through 3 or 4 to find one suitable for a KC build.

I appreciate the discussion.
Thanks for bringing up a perspective for the more challenging locations, I have never had to have that perspective. You do have a valid point on finding an appropriate donor gun, not all are created equal for sure.


Last edited by chiz1180 on Thu Dec 14, 2023 4:41 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : clarity)
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Post by javaduke Thu Dec 14, 2023 4:37 pm

Tripscape wrote:Guys, you have to remember that most don't have knowledge, tools and time to build guns )))  Upgrade - yes maybe, build - no.
That's why we are here Smile (well, speaking for myself, not sure about the knowledge, but at least I have time and tools, LOL )

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Post by ScottB Thu Dec 14, 2023 4:58 pm

I've heard good things about the Dan Wesson.  Cabelas' Gun Library in MN has three NIB Pointman-45s on clearance for $1,300. https://www.cabelas.com/shop/en/101279891

My local Cabelas is running a 10% discount on all gun library firearms until Christmas.  I'm not sure if that's company wide or just our local store.  If that applies that would be a steal but either way it's a decent price and that's what I'd go with if buying today.
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Post by chiz1180 Thu Dec 14, 2023 5:00 pm

javaduke wrote:
Tripscape wrote:Guys, you have to remember that most don't have knowledge, tools and time to build guns )))  Upgrade - yes maybe, build - no.
That's why we are here Smile (well, speaking for myself, not sure about the knowledge, but at least I have time and tools, LOL )
"upgrade" is just the gateway drug to building. The knowledge is out there for those inclined, most of the tools you need for upgrade are the same ones you would need to build. As far as time, I have been building a 9mm for roughly the last year and a half as I find the time.
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Post by hengehold Thu Dec 14, 2023 7:28 pm

javaduke wrote:
chiz1180 wrote:If I was building a bullseye 1911, I would not start with a base gun, I would start with a high quality frame and slide. Why pay for parts that you are going to toss?
This is another option, but a quality slide and frame may cost even more than a donor gun.

I just built a gun this summer from a Caspian frame & slide. Kart Barrel and all the internal parts were EGW and Nighthawk. I think I had a total of about $1700 into the hardware which I felt was reasonable because the gun is a real hammer and has all the features that I want. 

The Frame & slide was around $700 because I had some add on charges like custom serial number, checkering on front of grip, front serrations on slide, etc. so you can certainly get the cost down a little lower if you really want to. 

If you start with a Caspian or Nighthawk frame/slide I am sure you will not be disappointed. Good luck with your choice.

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Post by PhotoEscape Thu Dec 14, 2023 7:33 pm

chiz1180 wrote:"upgrade" is just the gateway drug to building. The knowledge is out there for those inclined, most of the tools you need for upgrade are the same ones you would need to build. As far as time, I have been building a 9mm for roughly the last year and a half as I find the time.

Chris and all,

Let me add one more variable for consideration.  OP has his age stated in his user information - 64.  While building gun from ground up might be an interesting project, someone like OP or myself also want to shoot it in our life time.  That's why Javaduke's statement of having time and tools is worth of the attention.  I know that he can do the job, and also put his heart and effort in it.  Well known BE mechanics are overwhelmed with amount of work they already have and their time is scheduled out for several years forward.  Hence my take on the subject would be in order of options: finding quality donor gun that requires minimum work (I concur, Dan Wesson is excellent option) and entrust doing such upgrade to Javaduke (or 10sandX, or jglenn,  or Froneck - just an idea),  or purchasing semi-custom gun like Rock River Arms (do not confuse with Rock Island) and shoot a day light out of it before doing anything with it.

Just my 2 cents.
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Post by chiz1180 Thu Dec 14, 2023 10:11 pm

AP,
Valid points for sure. The two key words from the OP that I focused my reply on was “modern” and “build”. Buying an off the shelf model and sending it to a smith is not the method to get a modern (all parts well fit and accurate) gun. A Rock River is probably the best value of a modern bullseye gun that is around. The “well known” smiths are busy for a reason, quality work takes time and quality parts (in which availability in the last few years has been a bit challenging in some cases). The gun, if well maintained, is the least expensive part of this game. Good guns also hold their value better than ones that are cobbled together, which is also a consideration.
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Post by wizzer Fri Dec 15, 2023 12:06 am

SmokinNJokin wrote:Dan Wesson Valor.

Agree^^^^^ Dan Wesson extremely accurate out of the box.  Easily get you distinguished and probably up to Master no work needed.

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Post by bruce martindale Fri Dec 15, 2023 8:07 am

Caspian; start with oversized parts. A donor would almost always require adding metal.

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Post by BE Mike Fri Dec 15, 2023 9:15 am

For the money you'd put into a donor pistol and necessary parts, you could get an accurate and reliable used bullseye pistol. Our club newsletter has a couple for sale right now. One is a Leutenegger wad gun for $1,500.
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Post by troystaten Fri Dec 15, 2023 6:24 pm

A friend of mine has several Wilson Combat 1911's in 45 acp and they both shoot very well. In one he put a lighter recoil spring and it shoots 185 grain bayou bullets hi-teck coated lead SWC under 3.8 grains of Bullseye with no issues and very good accuracy. Wilson 1911's are a bit spendy but nice.

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Post by 1911-45 Fri Dec 15, 2023 9:47 pm

BE Mike wrote:For the money you'd put into a donor pistol and necessary parts, you could get an accurate and reliable used bullseye pistol. Our club newsletter has a couple for sale right now. One is a Leutenegger wad gun for $1,500.
What is the other one? I am looking for a BE 1911 45

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Post by RoyDean Fri Dec 15, 2023 10:27 pm

TISAS made in Turkey. Several folks have bought these and found them to be surprisingly well made using good quality components. The very basic A1 version is super cheap if you intend to add a rail and red dot. But if you want one with adjustable sights this model at MSRP $799 looks good:-

https://tisasusa.com/tisas-1911-d10/

I have not shot one of this model, but based on those I have handled I'd say that it probably just needs a trigger job to be good enough to get you going.

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Post by BE Mike Sat Dec 16, 2023 8:52 am

1911-45 wrote:
BE Mike wrote:For the money you'd put into a donor pistol and necessary parts, you could get an accurate and reliable used bullseye pistol. Our club newsletter has a couple for sale right now. One is a Leutenegger wad gun for $1,500.
What is the other one? I am looking for a BE 1911 45
I believe that it is a Salyer accurized hardball 1911 in .45 ACP. For some reason I can't access the current club newsletter online right now.
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Post by Allgoodhits Sat Dec 16, 2023 10:33 am

Wasn't the question, what recommendation for an off the shelf BE pistol among the brands the poster mentioned? It seems most of us answered a question which wasn't asked.

Of the brands listed, I would not choose Rock "Island" for sure. Have little knowledge of the Savage, so for me that too would be no. I would go with a SA Garrison first and Kimber next. I don't think the SA Garrison is available with adjustable rear sight, which would be helpful.
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