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View Full Version : Which smith for her 1911?


FortyFiveCal
07-11-2005, 9:08 AM
My girlfriend is looking to send her Springfield Loaded 1911 off to a reputable smith for some cosmetic and internal modifications. We were talking with the guys at Reeds indoor range in Santa Clara, and they recommended John Jardine from Valtro. I know Mr. Jardine does amazing work, but sending it there would probably take 1+ years getting it back. They didn't recommend Springfields custom shop for some reason. I've never heard anything negative about SA's custom department before. Bottom line is my girlfriend doesn't want to wait long. She's the impatient type. Yes, I know custom work can take awhile if you want it done right. Can any of you guys out there recommend a decent 1911 smith that has a good turn around time? Thanks in advance.

gunsnrovers
07-11-2005, 10:06 AM
Tripp Research. About 4 weeks on my last project which include milling top of slide, milled serrations on front strap, trigger work, new hammer and grip safety, new thumb safety, fitted and tuned extractor, new bushing fitted, dehorn pistol. Refinish in satin hard chrome.

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=118625

bu-bye
07-11-2005, 10:44 AM
What does she want done to it? I know a local smith that works at the shop in Watsonville who did a nice job on my buddies Springfield 1911. He had the slide finished, new grips, new megwell with a nice blend, and Novac night sights. His name is Ray at Markley's In Watsonville. His number is 831-722-6945. I think he is only in a couple days a week so if you miss him ask for Joe (his father). He should have a good idea about what his son can and can't do.

USCG1988
07-11-2005, 11:54 AM
i would put a vote in for Yost-Bonitz.com They are about 4-6 months wait but my full custom Milspec with a *1 elite package turned out very nice and very clean.

Andy

worth the wait and $

kalibear
07-11-2005, 11:56 AM
Unfortunately most of the well established, and reputable smiths out there have a long wait time. Finding someone local (maybe someone that works at the gun store) would be her best bet if all she wants are some minor modifications/fitting.

gimmejr
07-11-2005, 1:18 PM
I talk to a guy on IRC who works at Tripp and I get to see alot of work there doing. Seems like they do good work to me.

esskay
07-11-2005, 8:10 PM
Originally posted by USCG1988:
i would put a vote in for Yost-Bonitz.com They are about 4-6 months wait but my full custom Milspec with a *1 elite package turned out very nice and very clean.

Andy

worth the wait and $

Hey Andy,
Did you use a GI model (PW9108L) or the Mil spec model (PB9108L) as your base gun? Besides Colts, YoBo's site suggests SA "mil spec" blue pistols as base guns, but the GI model seems a better choice since it's cheaper and the Milspec model seems to have additional features like 3 dot sights which would be replaced anyway. Also both guns seem to come with parkerized finishes not plain blue, I guess this was ok?

I also read Hilton Yam mentioning that sometimes SA guns lack an ejector pin hole, and may come with undesirable 2 piece barrels. Did you face or YoBo raise any of these concerns?

Thanks for your input, been mulling over the idea of getting them to build me a gun.

gunsnrovers
07-11-2005, 9:24 PM
When I sent my Milspec to Yost-Bontiz for a 1* last year, it was almost 6 months to the day.

In regards to the finish, the finish on the Milspecs apparently lends it self to a nice refinish. Ted said he would let me know what he could do after he received the pistol (and older Milspec that had what SA called parkerizing, but was much more of a matte blue).

The other issue with using a Springfield is that there are a lot of MIM parts that aren't replaced until you specify and are willing to pay.

I've seen a few SA's that don't have pinned ejectors. Both my Milspec (an old 1992 model) and my GI (2004/2005) did.

I prefer the looks of the GI myself.

FortyFiveCal
07-12-2005, 8:44 AM
Originally posted by bu-bye:
What does she want done to it?

AS far as the internals go, she wants a trigger job, match barrel and bushing (Kart), Maybe tighten up the slide to frame fit, but thats not necessary. AS far as cosmetic, she wants tritium inserts in her novaks, high cut front strap, 25LPI FS checkering, possibly hard chrome it, and replace all MIM small parts.

USCG1988
07-12-2005, 12:25 PM
esskay

My base gun was a Milspec which i purchased new then stripped to the frame. I used only the frame from the Milspec. Kart barrel, Damascus slide and the rest of the parts were spec'd in the *1 Elite package on the Y-B site.

To my knowledge my Custom doesnt have a pinned ejector. I am not concerned about it though. I can send you a pic if you like.

Andy

esskay
07-13-2005, 2:39 AM
Andy,
Thanks, PM sent!

I'm curious why you chose to build up on a Milspec model (especially since you stripped it to the frame) as it is more expensive than the GI model?

Is there a difference between the two SA frames? (there didn't seem to be)

CraigC
07-13-2005, 8:45 AM
Originally posted by esskay:
Andy,
Thanks, PM sent!

I'm curious why you chose to build up on a Milspec model (especially since you stripped it to the frame) as it is more expensive than the GI model?

Is there a difference between the two SA frames? (there didn't seem to be)

I haven't examined each model that closely personally, but the consensus is that the Mil-Spec has a wider bevel in the frame mag well. LINK (http://www.1911forum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=97065)

I DO, however, know for a fact that the ejection port on the Mil-Spec is lowered/flared, which requires more machining. That, plus the extra machining on the mag well would certainly bump up the price.

esskay
07-13-2005, 10:54 AM
Ah, that link was very helpful. Thanks Craig. I see the appropriate choice in base guns will depend on the scope of custom work desired. I'll give it more thought.

I have been leaning toward a railed frame of late, so I guess here in Kali I'd either have to go overboard for a base gun (e.g. SA Operator or Kimber TLE/RL) or have a Dawson rail retrofitted.

Adventurer_96
07-13-2005, 3:58 PM
Jeff, that looks like a nice Commander. I laughed when I read you used Mac's on your other 1911 build as I've planned on having Mac's finish job on my custom 1911 as well!

I'm interested in the info on this thread as I'm looking to have a 9mm 1911 built up from a stripped Caspian frame in the near future. I've got a request for info in with Tripp Research, they may be the way I go unless there are other recommendations here.

gunsnrovers
07-13-2005, 4:24 PM
I took the Commander to the range for the first real session today. 500 rounds of PMC & S&B ball and 100 rounds of Hornady TAP (my house load).

Simply awesome. The accuracy is light years ahead of where it was. It's amazing what a great trigger and a properly fitted bushing can do. A good pistol becomes a great one.

No hiccups or bobbles. At 10 and 15 yards I was nailing groups I have never been able to shoot with my other full sized 1911's.

I can't say enough about it.

_dk6@excite.com
07-13-2005, 6:21 PM
I would consider Cylinder and Slide. First class work. Check out their web site.

esskay
07-13-2005, 6:25 PM
A_96,
A bunch of incredibly talented smiths hang out here: http://www.louderthanwords.us/

Links to a number of smiths on the front page.

Also, check out the Custom Pistols Section (http://www.louderthanwords.us/forum/viewforum.php?f=6&sid=26a3d4f1c9fa7bb5969fe266f250c0b4). Some incredible builds.

Another neat resource:
10-8 Custom 1911 Forum (http://www.10-8forums.com/ubbthreads/postlist.php?Cat=0&Board=custom1911)

Also, Hilton Yam (who is apparently booked for the next SEVEN years... http://calguns.net/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif) has some interesting articles expressing his opinions HERE (http://www.signaturegrade.com/sg/articles.html).

Adventurer_96
07-13-2005, 9:17 PM
Good links, thanks.

I also need to figure out what parts to go with.

esskay
07-13-2005, 9:25 PM
Originally posted by Adventurer_96:
Good links, thanks.

I also need to figure out what parts to go with.

Take a look at the Hilton Yam articles. He goes almost part by part with what he likes to use in his builds.

Army
07-14-2005, 12:34 PM
There is always the king of .45 smiths...

Kings Gunworks! http://www.kingsgunworks.com

If these guys can't swap internals in a 1911...nobody can!

07-14-2005, 8:04 PM
Try Charlie Granger in Atwater. He has built both of our IPSC open raceguns and has done quite a bit of other work for us as well. His email is Guntriks@aol.com.

Bruce gray in Sacramento is also very well regarded. Sorry no contact info for him since I havent personally worked wirth him but he does come highly reccomended. I am sure google will turn up contact info.

Both of these guys are capable of much more complicated custom work than you have described and both are local and are easy to work with.

The theory that there are NO good california smiths is BS. You just have to look around and develop working relationships. There are quite a few others local to the bay area but these 2 I can vouch for.

07-14-2005, 10:20 PM
Originally posted by Army:
There is always the king of .45 smiths...

Kings Gunworks! http://www.kingsgunworks.com

If these guys can't swap internals in a 1911...nobody can!

I second that. They did some great work for me.

07-14-2005, 10:23 PM
Originally posted by GunsnRovers:
Tripp Research. About 4 weeks on my last project which include milling top of slide, milled serrations on front strap, trigger work, new hammer and grip safety, new thumb safety, fitted and tuned extractor, new bushing fitted, dehorn pistol. Refinish in satin hard chrome.

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=118625

Wow! Four weeks? Very cool. Congrats on a fine looking pistol.

Adventurer_96
07-14-2005, 11:35 PM
Thanks again, I've got calls in to Tripp and King's. I like the idea of having it back in a month, but I can deal with waiting a couple of extra weeks if there's a significant difference in price and work.