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Discussion Starter #1
which would you prefer to build a custom 1911 on, a barstock or a cast frame? As an example, Caspian offers both, with the cast going for $155 and the barstock going for $285 ($295 for stainless). Is the extra $130-140 worth it?
While we're at it, I would guess based on this that Norinco 1911s are cast?
Are there other options out there in the frame world? I hear the term "cast" from time to time, but don't know how that's different than forged.

Enlighten me!
 

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Caspian cast frames are very high quality. I have a custom built on one and am completely satisfied.

But the real question is: "What kind of custom are we talking about?" I mean, do you want an heirloom piece to hand down to future generations, or do you want a nicely built carry gun for fun and IDPA, etc.? If the former, why not go barstock? If the latter, cast will serve you just fine.
 

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Investment cast is porous. Molten metal is poured into a ceramic mould, allowed to cool and machined to specifications then heat treated.

Barstock is a little more dense. Molten metal is cast into a large retangular mould and rolled through a machine, then milled into spec then heat treated.

Hammer forged is very dense and the most durable. Molten metal is poured into a mould, allowed to cool then heated red hot, then a big machine hammer pounds it down....basically what a blacksmith would do with a forge, hammer and anvil. Then it is machined into spec and heat treated. When you see a blacksmith hammering out the steel, he is hammering out the air pockets.

Norinco 1911 parts (slides/frames) are HAMMER FORGED.

There is a distinct sound difference between forged and cast parts.

Release the slide of a forged COLT 1911 and you hear CHINK.

Release the slide of a cast Springfield Armory 1911 and you hear CHUNK.
 

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Another thing.......

The quality of metal being used.....

Caspian frames/slides are made from 4130 Steel.
Colt frames/slides are made from 4140 Steel....military specifications.....harder than 4130....yet not forged.
Norinco frames/slide are made from 4140 Steel.

The Caspian Stainless Steel is 410 SS.....about what they make lawnmower blades out of....soft but hardenable, mostly it's application is corrosion resistance.
 

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Parts breakdown of the new 80 series Colt 1991A1......

Made from forged steel:
Slide, Frame, Barrel

Made from machined barstock:
Barrel Bushing, Slide Stop, Extractor, Firing Pin, Hammer, Recoil Plug, Barrel Link, Grip Screw Bushings, Sights, All Pins

Investment cast:
Thumb Safety, Grip Safety, Plunger Tube

Stamped steel:
Firing Pin Stop, Springs, Trigger Bow (alloy or steel finger pad)

MIM (Metal Injection Molded):
Magazine Catch, Mag Catch Lock, Sear, Disconnector

Molded nylon:
Mainspring Housing
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm not interested in heirloom pieces. All I'm interested in is a combat handgun that I can also use in IDPA.
But, it sounds like the Norinco is still a damn good deal if you can find one in the neighborhood of $300.
Even if you go cast frame from caspian, that and a $200 slide will put you over $350.
Either way it's extra for the sight cuts ($55 for front and rear Novacks on a slide), so it's not like you save the machining cost.
 

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Allie said:
Springfields are forged frame and Slide,I believe.:)
Springfield frames and slides are Investment Cast, this is fact. Their M1A's are cast as well. If you have a SA 1911, lock back your slide, drop your mag and release the slide. Report back on the sound of the metal contact.

Most manufacturers cast their metal. It's cheaper due to the cost of the forging machinery vs casting machinery.
 

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Springfield Armory makes much of their forged slides and frames. I know that Colts have a nice ring to them, but I wasn't aware that it was possible to tell cast from forged by the sound; what about barstock, what does it sound like?
 

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Rrotz said:
Springfield frames and slides are Investment Cast, this is fact.
Do you have a source for this information to back up your claims? Springfield has always marketed their slides and frames as forged. If you have verifiable information to the contrary, I'd like to see it.

Springfield states on this page that every Springfield 1911 begins with a forged frame and slide. If you can prove your claim, I think that would be interesting.
 

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RickB said:
Springfield Armory makes much of their forged slides and frames. I know that Colts have a nice ring to them, but I wasn't aware that it was possible to tell cast from forged by the sound; what about barstock, what does it sound like?
Rick, SA slides/frames are cast in Brazil.....at the same plant the M1A is cast. Try the sound test, you can really experience metallurgy first hand...the density of materials. Like the old science experiment with Lead. Hit lead with a drumstick and it goes thunk......put lead into liquid nitrogen and then hit it and it'll ring like a glass.

The sound resonates from the density of the metal. Barstock is still cast....poured into a mould and then rolled out like a bread dough....the sound is between a chink and a chunk.

:biglaugh:
 

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Paten said:
Do you have a source for this information to back up your claims? Springfield has always marketed their slides and frames as forged. If you have verifiable information to the contrary, I'd like to see it.

Springfield states on this page that every Springfield 1911 begins with a forged frame and slide. If you can prove your claim, I think that would be interesting.
These must be just for the CUSTOM frame/slides or they just changed the process this year. Last year's productions were CAST. I checked out half a dozen mil-specs last year and they all sounded just like their M1A's when racked or the slide was released.

I'm judging from first hand experience with 1911's and M14's. The sound test really works!

Let's go over to the SA forum and get the skinny.
 

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Right... and your claims mean that Springfield has been lying for all these years. Springfield has always claimed that their slides and frames were forged. Not just this year. That's what they mean by "Every Springfield 1911 begins with a forged frame and slide". Sorry, I'm going to need more then your word that your sound test really works. As it is now, it's just your opinion and everybody's got an opinion. That doesn't make it the truth.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I'm not interested in heirloom pieces. All I'm interested in is a combat handgun that I can also use in IDPA.
But, it sounds like the Norinco is still a damn good deal if you can find one in the neighborhood of $300.
Even if you go cast frame from caspian, that and a $200 slide will put you over $350.
Either way it's extra for the sight cuts ($55 for front and rear Novacks on a slide), so it's not like you save the machining cost.
 

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Paten said:
Right... and your claims mean that Springfield has been lying for all these years. Springfield has always claimed that their slides and frames were forged. Not just this year. That's what they mean by "Every Springfield 1911 begins with a forged frame and slide". Sorry, I'm going to need more then your word that your sound test really works. As it is now, it's just your opinion and everybody's got an opinion. That doesn't make it the truth.
What is the source of their Slides/Frames? Who makes them? Where? When did they start adding CLI's to their designs? What kind of metal do they use? Who owns the forging machinery?

If they are forged, I retract my "OPINION." For all you know, they may be lying. What does SA say about how the M1A receivers are processed? What would a normal consumer know about metallurgy other than what a manufacturer tells them?
 

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I have learned on the SA forum that IMBEL makes the frames/slides.....shoulda made that connection between the two.....

Still no confirmation about the original process involved in making the 1911's tho.
 

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Colt, S&W, Kimber, Wilson and some Dan Wessons are forged. I believe Les Baer and Rock River Arms are all forged too.
 

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Sam, correct me if I'm wrong, it is the DW Patriots are made from forged frames and slides???
 
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