1911Forum banner

Essex frames/slide any good?

4120 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  40357
I'm taking a stab at putting together my own 1911. My intentions were using Baer's frame and slide. After checking Brownells, I discovered Essex. It is MUCH cheaper. Are they worth purchasing? I'm looking for something that is durable.
Thanks for any info.
Not open for further replies.
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Essex frame and slides are made out of castings. Les Baer slide and frames are forged. That is why they are more expensive. If I was you I would take a look at Caspian products. I`ve been using them for years and never had a problem.You can check out their site at www.caspianarmsltd.8m.com/

David www.santurriltd.com
I built a 1911 using Essex frames back in the early 70's and since then I have used 20 more of them. The fist one I ever built is still running, my brother in law has it and I dont guess I will ever get it back. I just built one up on another Essex for my nephew and he just, a month ago went thru a three day shooting school and he reported that his Essex 1911 didnt miss a lick. So much for my experience.

Essex fell off in quality some years ago but the last few I have built on were great. They have really imporved from where they were a few years back. I know they have a new shopmeister who's main objective is to put out a quality product and hes doing it.

Many years ago Essex was the only frame that was available to build race guns on without tearing up a Colt. The top pistolsmiths of the time, Jim Clark comes to mind, was using them and making some very fine shooters with them.

I dont build custom guns, just good solid shooters that work. No whistles or bells or other things that are not needed. I will use Essex again, as long as they keep the standards up as they are today. Essex will offer you a lifetime warranty to boot.

Try www.essex-arm.com for more info

No man is above the law and no man is below it. Nor do we ask any mans permission when we require him to obey it.
See less See more
My Dad says if I do not have anything nice to say.......
I like Caspian,A LOT. The frames are great, the rails are right, the holes are in the right places. They are Great people to deal with. I have never seen a Caspian steel frame fail. Just did a Rock River the Other day also and it was very good, They are doing some different things. the pin holes are smaller and will fit many parts well.
They have there own machine shop now so they are free to do more is my take.
geo ><>
I have one of the frames from the time frame when quality was questionable. I contacted Gary, whom I believe is in charge of quality now. Gary had me send him the frame back and is making it right. I think that says something about him, as well as their seriousness about their product. He has been a pleasure to deal with. When I get the frame back, I'll post how everything went.

I second the Caspian recommendation. After just building on a Caspian frame, I am very impressed with the quality, and the price was reasonable. Also, you can order their frames with beavertail cuts already in place and they will stake on a pluger tube for you if you like. You can order their slides with many different sight cut options -- all of which help the do-it-yourselfer and save some steps.

That being said, I don't have any experience with Essex either good or bad, so I can't really make a recommendation one way or the other.

Best of luck to you in whatever you decide.

[This message has been edited by GrandmasterB (edited 06-04-2001).]
I am no smith, but I have used an essex frame to put both 9mm/38s, 10mm/40sw and .45 slides on. At present it has a paraordnance .45 slide on it. My only problem with the frame was to get the thumb safety (TS) correctly working. Thought for a while the TS hole was too close to hammer/sear holes, but it turned out to be cutout for the safety nub between the TS hole and the H hole that needed som reaming.
Thanks fellers. I was just checking the Essex out due to the low price. I friend of mine also mentioned Caspian the other day. The personalized serial number option sounds nice too!
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Not open for further replies.