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I decided I wanted to build one. So far, I've built 3 (one for my brother). The first two were engraved as retirement mementos since my brother and I are both retired law enforcement, they were engraved specifically for that occasion. The third was built 'just because I wanted another one'. There is one more planned, then I told my wife I will stop. Maybe. It's just fun to be able to finish an 80% frame and fit it and make something really nice. All of them are great shooters.
 

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Custom 1911's.....are they truly necessary?

The above title to this thread is a bit vague. A firearm, whether it is a pistol or rifle, is a "tool." Like any tool, it may have some features that work better for a specific need. I have a variety of pistols used for various reasons, and most all are based on the 1911 "short recoil" operation.....however, some are for self defense, some are for competitive shooting, and some are for specific types of competitive shooting...... I own a few 1911 .45acp pistols, and have used a mil-spec style 1911 in NRA Outdoor Bullseye competition, that was built by Jim Clark, Sr. Bullseye requires an accurate pistol that will shoot small groups at 50 yards, if you want to be a top competitor. In addition, it should have a very good trigger: not a great deal of take up, a clean and crisp pull, and a surprise "break" when the sear is released from the hammer...... A super accurate pistol with a terrible trigger that weighs in with a 10 lb. trigger pull is not easy to allow small groups when shooting and is much more difficult to produce optimal scores downrange..... We have custom gunmakers that specialize in different shooting sports, so this is just one reason where there are gunsmiths that specialize for different custom gun builds..... Although the 1911 .45 acp was used by our military forces for over 60 years, law enforcement used .38 special and .357 magnum revolvers for a very long time with good success. However, over time, the high capacity pistol came into vogue, and many agencies switched to semi automatic pistols that carried more than eight rounds in the magazine. I would say the Glock pistol is used by the majority of large LE agencies, while many of the smaller agencies allow their officers to make their own choice of sidearm. Modern gunpowder has improved to the point that a good 9mm +P+ round with a JHP bullet has much better terminal ballistics compared to the 9mm round ball ammo of the past. Using a 1911 .45 is still a good choice, but stopping a person with one shot requires a round that will allow enough penetration to disrupt the central nervous system....which is usually a head shot or one that penetrates enough to hit the spine......otherwise, a hit that does not disrupt the central nervous system may allow the perpetrator to return fire, and even with a seemingly good hit, they may only quit returning fire until their blood pressure drops to the point they pass out or die......with most pistol rounds, shot placement is critical to stop a "bad guy" sooner than later........;) (y)
 

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Nothing remotely “BS” about it. A Wilson, Brown, Nighthawk, etc. will be a better 1911 than any mass-production 1911. Better fit, better parts, greater durability owing to more correct geometric relationships between parts throughout the firing cycle, and so on. (And full-custom guns from the best of the best pistolsmiths will raise the bar considerably higher from there.)

Everyone wants to believe he’ll get something for nothing, but, no, I’m sorry to tell you that your Colt, Kimber, Springfield, SIG Sauer, Taurus, or whatever other 1911 built by low-skilled assemblers who grab looser-tolerance parts from bins at random and spend about five minutes throwing each gun together is not going to equal a 1911 made with better materials and far greater attention to detail. Not even close.
Opinions vary.
 

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I'm tight on 1911s. Sure don't need any more. That's not a guarantee that there won't be any more however.

Every so often I read of others and their custom 1911 guns and feel a slight twinge of inclination to start down that path of 1911 ownership. There are already too many competing collecting tangents clamoring for for my time and funds so I've held off so far.

All my life I've enjoyed endless opportunity to shoot with always convenient places to shoot, so shoot I do. I'm in my 42nd year of 1911 fun and frolic and greatly enjoy them, collecting them, and feeding their appetite for handloads.

I've been lucky with 1911s. They've always performed for me in unmolested original condition and have given perfect satisfaction. I enjoy not mod'ing them or fiddling with them, all while avoiding the supposed pitfalls that are encountered (a) because I didn't choose to accomplish the requisite modifications du jour, or (b) because I monkeyed with "improving" them so as to render them problematic.

When I was young it was Colts and U. S. military 1911s in our family for the first 1911 clone hadn't been introduced yet. The 1911 reputation within the family was fully equal to the reputation that the Glock enjoys today, that of perfection and flawless reliability. Somewhere along the way a generation arose that has viewed the 1911 as finicky, persnickety, and not to be taken seriously. I yet hark back to a time when the 1911 was the serious automatic.

What is the appeal of the custom, high dollar 1911? What can it really accomplish that good ol' factory Colt Government Models, the best of the 1911 clones, or the military contract pistols cannot do? I'm inquiring from a state of extreme ignorance, but I do want to know if I'm really missing out on something.

I read about various high dollar custom 1911 creations, their makers, and the accolades heaped up on them by owners. I've handled and shot a few over the years and they are nice, but yet somehow less than meets the eye. Perhaps it's a case of: "if ya' have to ask then yer too dumb to comprehend it."

I can appreciate the yearning to modify or customize as a hobby for its own sake. Perhaps it's like a deuce coupe. I can appreciate the updates, performance features, reliability enhancements, and artistic appearance enhancements. I think I would prefer to own an all original '32 Ford though.



My 2¢....the preceding is a hint to my age. I do know what this symbol ¢ is, and used the symbol frequently when younger.

Would I like to owe a high end 1911. You bet your sweet bippy -- an Ed Brown or Wilson would be fine, and there are a lot more that make those two seem inexpensive I won't mind owning. Will I ever buy one -- highly, very highly, doubtful. Why? I could afford the first and most if not all that are more expensive unless gold plated. One reason not to do so is need. Don't need one. Second, what would I do with it. I have two 1911s with which I compete. Would never subject a high end pistol to the wear of Kydex. Nor would I want to shoot thousands of rounds through one year after year. So, I guess if I owned one it would be for the ego trip or the scratch the itch of avarice. And, would be a safe queen expect on rare occassions.

I don't need or want top end, price is no object 1911. I am perfectly happy with what meets my needs today. No need to show off what I bought but won't shoot. I would like a 1911 in 38 Super built by one of two great gun smiths in my local area. They would look great, shoot better than that and better than I can, and they would always run when needed if kept clean. Would it have all the small details some high end guns have? No. Is what is missing needed? No Would be nice to have but not a true need. But, they would have quality parts, shoot great, always work, and be a quality pistol to pass on family when I do...

Would much rather speed the $ for one or both the cars pictured above. Both are classics in there own way.
 

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Yes, because a real gunsmith is needed to make them work well. I have had many production guns that were unreliable (12 and counting). I went to Dan Wesson as a way to “guarantee“ getting a good 1911, but two out of three were duds. The cost for the two duds was $2,750 plus tax. Add in the additional $1,500 for the good one and I could have had a full custom gun.

Glocks and similar guns are always available for those who do not want to spend that much money.
 

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Ironic
I do enjoy shooting both WC CQB and LB Custom Carry. I prefer them in practices and matches with sights they came with. when i shoot, on occasion, my USGI 1911A1, it always works, not ammo sensitive and the narrower grip seems easier to pick up and send lead postcards. The drawback is the original sights which should be called a slit and dot. Can hardly see them


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I put guns in 4 categories, Carry / defensive, fun shooters, Historical / Collectable, and Investments. My carry gun is as close to stock as possible while remaining extremely reliable. Don't want to explain a lot of modifications in court. Fun shooters can be tricked out. Historical collectable need to be original. Investment guns are the Ferrari's and the Audi's. If I had the money and my wife's permission I would have a high end 1911 or two, or three, or..... Sadly I have neither
 

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No.
 

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Had a nice 25-line heartfelt and Pulitzer worthy reply for you and then the scotch induced keystroke error happened and it was- poof- gone. After rereading your post, I have decided my reply was largely un-necessary. Given your experience and history, I think you already have the answer to your questions. Go with your gut.
 
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