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  #1  
Old 08-05-2009, 6:04 PM
xounlistedxox xounlistedxox is offline
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Default Seeking Advice on Having Custom Work Done on My 1911

I have a Springfield TRP Operator PC9105LP. This is the half rail version with bull barrel.
I want to send it in to get some features added to it including, but not limited to:
Serrate rear of slide
Serrate top of slide
Checker under trigger guard
Flush cut slide catch
Chamfer frame at slide catch
Fit/install single side frame safety
Finish/refinish as needed

I received a quote from Springfield custom shop of $710, EGW $725, Wilson Combat $875. I'm considering Jardine, Nighthawk and a few others. Most of the price difference from the companies above was solely because of the cost of the finish/refinish.

Anyone sent their pistol to any of these guys, or have any recommendations? I want to get the best bang for my buck. I love the Armory Kote that's on my pistol, but wouldn't mind changing it for another finish just as good.

Any advice will be appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2009, 6:11 PM
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Isn't there someone local that can do it?
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2009, 6:16 PM
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Jardine is pretty close to me. I live in Sacramento and he's in the bay area. I'm not too concerned with having to send my pistol off to someone... as long as it doesn't take six months to come back to me. I should check to see if there is a worthy smith in the Sacramento area though.
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  #4  
Old 08-05-2009, 6:17 PM
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that's a whole lot of tits on your bull.

Jardine is years out, if at all.

If I'm doing $700-800 in custom, I'd do $2k. Dump your pistol and get a full custom build on a base gun.
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Old 08-05-2009, 6:22 PM
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Well I was looking into getting a Nighthawk, Wilson etc, but the I realized I could have all of the features I want added to my TRP at a fraction of the cost.
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Old 08-05-2009, 6:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xounlistedxox View Post
Well I was looking into getting a Nighthawk, Wilson etc, but the I realized I could have all of the features I want added to my TRP at a fraction of the cost.
Nighthawks and Wilsons are semi-custom. Buy used.

The biggest expense with custom work, as you saw, is refinishing. Once you know you have to plunk down $300 just to start, each incremental addition is cheaper. It makes sense to get it all done at once.

All the work you're doing isn't really what custom work is about. You're doing the cosmetic stuff. You don't want to do all that and skip having your extractor & ejector tuned, etc. Your TRP already has a lot of the cosmetic additions on it, though.

Resale value is also cut by not either buying a semi-custom or doing a full house (signed) package.

Another thing to consider is just getting the Springfield PRO.
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2009, 6:45 PM
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I have approx. 2000 rounds through my TRP and haven't had one problem of any kind with it. No jams, no ftf, double feed etc etc, so I have rock solid belief in it's reliability. I have seen no reason to have anything of that nature done to it.
You're right all of the stuff I want to have done is purely cosmetic, but those are the only things that I find lacking on my TRP. I'm well aware I will lose money on the custom work if I decide to sell the pistol later on. I bought it brand new for $1300, so I'm in a pretty good spot money wise with it so far.
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Old 08-05-2009, 7:47 PM
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I'd go with SA, so if you end up having issues you have a better chance of it being covered by their awsome warranty policy.
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  #9  
Old 08-05-2009, 7:53 PM
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That's a very good point Timmy I am the original purchaser of this pistol, so it's covered under their lifetime warranty. As you stated if something went wrong... it was built by them to begin with and it would have went through their custom shop, so anything done to it was by them.
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  #10  
Old 08-05-2009, 8:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xounlistedxox View Post
I have a Springfield TRP Operator PC9105LP. This is the half rail version with bull barrel.
I want to send it in to get some features added to it including, but not limited to:
Serrate rear of slide
Serrate top of slide
Checker under trigger guard
Flush cut slide catch
Chamfer frame at slide catch
Fit/install single side frame safety
Finish/refinish as needed
For the amount of money you are spending, in my opinion you are not getting much bang for your buck.

Top slide serrations and rear slide serrations are really there for looks more than anything, the functional advantage of these mods is pretty small and the cost to benefit ratio is low, these mods are probably a big part of the expense because they require refinishing and checkering takes a long time to do.

I would highly advise against checkering the underside of the triggerguard unless you are going to be wearing gloves fulltime while shooting. I had a glock with texture under the trigger guard and found it to be rash-inducing and very irritating to the side of my finger. The skin on the side of your middle finger which will be contacting the bottom of the triggerguard is not as tough as the skin on the surface of your hands and will get torn up. Try putting grip tape on that area and shooting your gun, you will see what I mean.

The other three options: flush cutting and countersinking the slide catch and installing a safety can be done for under $150 by any competent smith since they do not require any or minimal refinishing.

For $800+, you would be better off spending it on another gun or more ammo. If you have a gun your really like, it is very tempting to try and go down the full customization route, but in my experience, it is never worth the amount of money you spend.
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Old 08-05-2009, 10:36 PM
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I have already said that I am well aware of the fact that this work is purely cosmetic. I have a Kimber Tactical Custom II which has checkering under the trigger guard and I love it. I can shoot hundreds of rounds without any sort of rash on my fingers. I am a guy who likes Davidson Shredder grips, so keep that in mind. As for the countersinking of the frame and flush cut of the slide... I can easily do this myself as I have done it on a pistol I completely built myself previously, but touching up a small area with bluing on a pistol completely covered in Armory Kote does not make me happy.

Of course customizing any gun in this fashion is not worth the amount of money put forth... but only if you plan on selling it. My TRP is my "end all be all" 1911, so why not have every feature I could ever want?
The closest pistol otherwise to have everything I want is a Nighthawk Enforcer which aren't even on the CA Approved list, so even if I had the $3k to get one I couldn't.
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  #12  
Old 08-06-2009, 12:50 AM
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That's alot of money for cosmetic upgrades.
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  #13  
Old 08-06-2009, 1:10 AM
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Can someone who has some worthwhile input chime in here?
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  #14  
Old 08-06-2009, 9:07 AM
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I think there has been a lot of good input here, it's just not what you wanted to hear.

Send it to Springfield since they were the original manufacturer and gave you a decent price for the work.
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  #15  
Old 08-06-2009, 9:16 AM
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I've always been pleased with my outcomes at Wilson. However if Springfield does it, wouldn't you get to keep your warranty?
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  #16  
Old 08-06-2009, 9:41 AM
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Dirtbiker you're right there has been a lot of great input here. I was talking about the people who keep posting about something that has already been addressed.
I am going to get this stuff done to my pistol in addition to some other things no matter what is said here. Coming onto this post telling me that these modifications are a waste of time and/or money will not change my opinion either way. I am aware that the modifications I have posted are for the most part cosmetic. I am aware that I will lose money on these mods if I go to sell the pistol later. I didn't ask about any of this.
I asked if anyone has sent their 1911 to any of these places, and which one would be the most recommended. When I said "bang for the buck" I meant which place would do the best job for the best price. This means that if Wilson costs $100 more than anyone else, but that extra $100 is truly worth spending because they are far superior than they would be the best bang for the buck in regards to these mods.
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  #17  
Old 08-06-2009, 9:59 AM
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Since your not going full custom and are not changing any of the firing components, I would send it to Springfield. That way there won't be any issues with the warranty. I sent my TRP with the full length dustcover to them and they were great. My only quibble was having them doing the trigger. Since they are a factory custom shop, they didn't reduce the trigger weight as much as I might have liked. I've felt triggers done by other smiths and thought the other smiths trigger work was better. My trigger was very crisp, so the main issue was the weight.
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  #18  
Old 08-06-2009, 10:06 AM
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I polished up my TRP's trigger by myself with some flitz metal polish and about an hour worth of time and I keep it lubricated with Gun Butter. Now my trigger breaks super crisp at 4.1/4.2 lbs. I have done a lot of small custom shop stuff myself and have a decent amount of tools, but this sort of stuff is beyond my experience level, and beyond my tools.

It seems like mostly everyone so far is agreeing with my initial gut feeling of sending this straight to springfield. I have seen their custom shop stuff, so I know it's top notch just as good as any of the other big names out there.

One thing I can't understand though is how they charge so much less for refinishing? Refinish with Armory Kote $140! Black T $195! everyone else is ~$100 more. That's where the cost savings comes from with Springfield all the rest of the stuff is about the same as everywhere else.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xounlistedxox View Post
Dirtbiker you're right there has been a lot of great input here. I was talking about the people who keep posting about something that has already been addressed.
I am going to get this stuff done to my pistol in addition to some other things no matter what is said here. Coming onto this post telling me that these modifications are a waste of time and/or money will not change my opinion either way. I am aware that the modifications I have posted are for the most part cosmetic. I am aware that I will lose money on these mods if I go to sell the pistol later. I didn't ask about any of this.
I asked if anyone has sent their 1911 to any of these places, and which one would be the most recommended. When I said "bang for the buck" I meant which place would do the best job for the best price. This means that if Wilson costs $100 more than anyone else, but that extra $100 is truly worth spending because they are far superior than they would be the best bang for the buck in regards to these mods.
Point taken.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xounlistedxox View Post
Can someone who has some worthwhile input chime in here?
I will try....
I would send it to Springfield. Their custom shop is very well thought of. While it's there, I would also have them replace all the internals that are mim with the higher quality parts they use in the Professional model. I think you should have all the "cosmetic" mods that you want. It's your gun. For those that think otherwise, many of those "cosmetic" mods do have a functional propose.
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xounlistedxox View Post
One thing I can't understand though is how they charge so much less for refinishing? Refinish with Armory Kote $140! Black T $195! everyone else is ~$100 more. That's where the cost savings comes from with Springfield all the rest of the stuff is about the same as everywhere else.
They do the Armory Kote in house in large lots. They have a nice contract with Birdsong for the Black T, because it's the finish they use on the Professionals.
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One guy walks over to the black rifle area and starts gazing. An employee asked him if he knew what he wanted. The guy answered "Not sure......definitely something black.............and short...............and tactical."

"I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him."
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Last edited by paladin4415; 08-06-2009 at 10:29 AM..
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:15 AM
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Thanks paladin. I've tried looking up which parts are MIM on the TRP Operator, but I have yet to find a listing of sorts. I suppose before I send it in I can call Deb again and find out. I have only asked her about doing this stuff up to this point. Before I sent it in I planned on calling her back and asking what she would recommend for this pistol specifically because she would know how to take it from being an excellent 1911 all the way to a top notch 1911
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Old 08-06-2009, 10:50 AM
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Critical parts that I suspected of being MIM and I thought I confirmed by doing some searches online were the hammer, sear, disconnector, safety, and firing pin stop. The safety for sure because that part broke on me pretty early.
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:07 AM
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I wrote Deb again from SA Custom Shop and she said she would only recommend changing the Hammer and sear and only because she likes trigger pulls under 4lbs
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Old 08-06-2009, 11:32 AM
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Paladin's advice is spot-on.

My recommendation wasn't to avoid doing what you want, but to do more if you're going to do it - to make sure you get all you want out of the custom work.

He's also correct about the reduced cost reasons for the refinishing - those finishes they do for their house custom guns in big lots.
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Old 08-06-2009, 12:37 PM
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I also agree with more work if you're going to do it. Initially I was only going to have them replace the broken safety but since I was paying for shipping to them and I had to package my gun anyways, I had them do more work. Unless you're absolutely certain you're not gonna do any more work to the gun, doing more work is good idea.
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Old 08-06-2009, 1:25 PM
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I would go with Springfield for the work. Also look into some french borders on the slide. I gives it a very nice custom look.
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