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Hello Everyone, this post is directed to answer Hydra-shokz’s question on choosing a Caspian cast or bar-stock frame. I titled the post for future reference. Listed below are some of my experiences with the Caspian product. I hope you find them useful in making the correct decision on choosing the best frame for your needs.

Hi Hydra-shokz, I see you already made your decision to buy the Caspian and chosen a good smith. You have good taste, you chosen some of the best in the business. If it can be smithed, George can smith it. I’m sure you’ll be pleased with both.

Allow me to enlighten you a little on why to select a bar-stock over cast or vise-versa.
I’ll give you the punch line first, in my experience working with both of these frames I think the vast majority of shooters will be satisfied with either the cast or bars-stock. There are a few trade offs though for the $130 bux you’re going to save for choosing the casting.

There tends to be wider range of minor dimensional variations in the quality of castings in general. Where as in bar-stock parts the dimensional quality is more consistent.
I also believe the strength of the cast frame is more than adequate to do the job.

Finding porosity (small air bubbles) in the casting is not that common but they do pop-up from time to time; most people can live with that for the savings.
A competent smith can easily work around most of the minor variation in the castings if they crop-up. Don’t be surprised if your smith wants to charge you extra for time he spent welding a small cosmetic pinhole found in the casting or correcting some other variation. Keep in mind the flaws I’m speaking of are minor and if there are any major problems Caspian offers great customer service. Most smiths will correct these minor flaws at no charge but that kind of goes against my grain because it’s costing him more labor because you bought the casting.

Awhile back they were selling frames with fairly thin front straps at a bargain price. These are great frames for the money but if you want to have it checkered 20 lpi they are a little to thin for my liking. If you are not going to checker the front strap don’t worry about it, there is plenty of metal there for general use.

If you want to checker the cast frame make sure you ask for one with a nice thick front strap. There current manufacture that I have seen is of very high quality with nice front straps. Quality so good it would take a trained eye to detect any casting flaws. They appear to be fully machined inside and out.

Keep in mind though there is a remote chance you may find a small air bubble about the size of a pin head in the front strap after it’s checkered and there is not a damn thing you can do about it except maybe plug the hole with some JB weld. You may worry about it if you were building some sort of masterpiece but for general use you’ll soon forget it’s there.

It also may depend on what you’re going to do with the pistol. I look at some guns as almost disposable. For example it may be a pistol you’re going to take white water rafting and camping, mountain climbing, you may have to leave it in a your truck unattended and it could be stolen etc…. Some people build guns to stretch them to the limits like shortening and lightening slides, shoot’n cannon ball loads through them. They only expect the pistol to last maybe 10,000 round before the pistol starts to self-destruct. For this type if gun I’d definitely go cast. I’d hate to leave my nice bar-stock pistol lying on the bottom of a river or roll down a cliff (or any pistol for that matter). If the pistol is battered, lost or stolen you won’t suffer that great of lose.

If you prefer traditional bluing keep in mind some castings don’t take well to bluing, some will turn reddish purple with age. It also depends on the bluing salts, some types work better than other on casting so check with your smith if he can handle the blue job. If the bluing doesn’t work you can always hard chrome which will hold-up 100’s times better than bluing or a spray and bake Teflon type of finish.

Bottom line is to think about your needs and discuss them with your smith, check your wallet and choose the one that best fits your needs.
If you want to remove all doubt and cover all the bases get the bar-stock, you will never regret spending the extra money because the product leaves nothing to be desired.
On the other hand you can purchase the current casting for less money and there is a good chance you’ll never be able to tell the different.

Caspian bar-stock slides are also very nice and the most consistent I’ve measured.

I have no positive comments on cast aluminum. I’d definitely go bar-stock.

I hope the above is not to confusing and helps you make-up your mind, Metal Smith
 

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Metal Smith,thanks for taking the time to explain the differences between the Caspian recievers.As you figured out EGW will be building my pistol.George is from my home town and I know him personally,somewhat.I've heard nothing but great things about EGW and have seen some of George's work in person.All those reasons added up for me to pick him for my custom 1911.Unfortunately I now live 1300 miles away from Doylestown,Pa. so I cant bug him on a weekly basis.This is probably a good thing.For him.

I've pretty much decided that I'm going to go with a SS receiver and a blued bar-stock slide. The slide may well make its way to W.E. Birdsong at some point.

I am now undecided again about the frame.The front starp will be checkered at 25 lpi.I want this gun to last a life-time and I shoot a good bit.I have Glocks and HK's to swim in the river with.This 1911 will be my masterpiece.It will be a daily carry gun but only when I know it wont get beat up.I will be spending a good amount of money,atleast for myself,so I want it built right.$130 savings may not be worth it.Plus me knowing its a cast frame and there is better.I dont know.Maybe I'll just buy one dem Charles Daly's.
 
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