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I decided that I'd really like to get the front strap on my Kimber Classic checkered, or stippled, or something along those lines. Then I saw the price.

Could someone explain why it costs over $100 for this job (at my local smiths)? I'm amazed.
 

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a. hand checkering (which is probably what you are talking about) is pretty labor intensive and takes quite a bit of skill to get right, you also need special jigs and files to get the lpi correct, get them straight, and finish them

b. if a machine is used, it is extremely expensive too

the smith must recoop cost or he won't be a smith very long
 

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Yes, it is very labor intensive when done by hand. If you want to try it yourself, you can buy the files from Brownell's and practice on a piece of round stock.

I wanted mine done and like you was amazed at the cost. I bought the files and did my own. It came out o.k., but I got a new appreciation for the guys that do it for a living. They earn that money for sure.

The Bill Wilson do it yourself book has a section that describes how they do checkering. I got my inspiration to try it from an old article in an American Handgunner article written by Ed Brown. The file was $25 or so and I've had fun with it.....and a lot of blisters on the thumbs!!!
 

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For a cheapo solution, step or skateboard tape. Usually black about 80 grit, self adhesive, and it lasts a long time. You can pick it up at a hardware or sporting goods store.

Have Fun!
 

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Nothing like well done checkering to improve the feel and handling of a 1911. But before I took a file to one of my 1911's, I'd do what SA45AUTO recommended. Cheap, and solves the problem.
 

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I know this sounds strange, but I'm to the point where I could care less if the frontstrap is checkered. As long as the frontstrap follows the original USGI specs, smooth is fine with me.

What I CANNOT stand, however, is frontsraps that follow the Springfield Armory pattern. They just don't feel right, checkered or smooth.

I noticed that Dan Wesson is making their frontstraps in this manner. A serious no-no in my opinion.
 

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I agree with Inspector Harry Callahan. My TRS is checkered but had I spec'd the gun I'd save the money. I prefer smooth front straps. I find the checkering somewhat distracting. It looks cool but doesn't feel right.

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ElrodCod
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How about that 8-dollar slipon front strap that Wilson offers, has anyone tried that?

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Jeff More
Irvine, PRC
All your AR-15 are belong to us!
 

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Originally posted by Skunkabilly:
How about that 8-dollar slipon front strap that Wilson offers, has anyone tried that?

I just got mine the other day and installed it. It's a little too shiny for my taste, and it doesn't match the bluing on my Classic Custom II but it works fine. Installation was easy enough, all you need is a screwdriver and an allen wrench. It works wonderfully though, I really like that positive feedback I get when my fingers tighten on those checkerings.



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I put the Wilson on a stainless Colt. It functions fine and doesn't look any cheesier than skateboard tape in my opinion.

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If it wasn't for the NRA, the second ammendment would already be gone!
 

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I also put the Wilson stainless checkering thingey on a stainless Colt Combat Commander and it works and looks fine IMNHO.

7th

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Originally posted by 7th Fleet:
I also put the Wilson stainless checkering thingey on a stainless Colt Combat Commander and it works and looks fine IMNHO.

7th
Yes, Just make sure you get all the gun oil out before grating on a cesar salad.

geo ><>
 

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i have noticed that everone is offering 30 lpi checkering .do you know of any smith who does 20 lpi or 40 lpi checkering ? does anyone do a flat diamond style of checkering ?



[This message has been edited by apollyon (edited 11-02-2001).]

[This message has been edited by apollyon (edited 11-02-2001).]
 

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Yeah, good hand checkering is expensive. I had my 'smith do 20 LPI then "knock it down" with some bead blasting, which softened the edges a bit. Matches the 20 LPI checkering on the flat mainspring I have. That's on my Series 70 Combat Commander. My XSE is getting skateboard tape!
 

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Good checkering is next to Godliness!
 

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I was about to checker the frontstrap of my 1991 a few years back and then I saw an artical on the Robar Stippling.

I ended up getting my pistol stippled, it snags less on clothes and I like the look.

It cost waaayyy less than checkering big time. Just make sure it is done right, ask the gunsmith to show you an example pistol before you do it, because I've seen some horror frontstrap stippling.

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Some guys think the 20 lines per inch checkering is too rough on the hands and go with the finer 30 lpi pattern. The finer the checkering, the easier to screw it up and it is a real show of skill to do it by hand. I got stuck with the 20 lpi on my Colt Gold Cup because the frontstrap came serrated that way. I've done a few 30 lpi checker jobs (for a friend and my brother's 45s) and have to admit they feel more comfortable.
 
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