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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a colt that is getting new parts installed by my Gunsmith (adding a new AMBI Safety, Hi-Grip Bevertail, and [email protected] Magwell blended to frame).

The question i have is should i checker the front strap and hard chrome it. It is fully done up with all the goodies you can think of. It is my IPSC pistol.

My smith said i should do i now when he has the parts un-installed and fitted. I am questioning if the checkering is worth $150. The Hard Chrome is also an extra $180-$200.

BTW it is a blued frame with SS parts now. It looks kind of weird. The frame is also scratch due to holster use and the previous owner.

If i use it for IPSC would refinishing be worth it? Also, grip tape works just as good as checkering.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here is what is done to it now.

· Wilson Combat Hi Sweep Beavertail
· Ed Brown Extended Thumb Safety
· CMC Sear, Hammer and Disconnector
· CMC tactical Mag Catch
· Wilson Combat Speed Chute Magwell
· Casull Videki style short trigger
· Caspian Ejector
· Wilson Combat Match Barrel Bushing
· Wilson Combat Barrel Link
· Wilson Combat Firing Pin
· Armco Oversize IPSC Rear Sight
· Armco Stainless Full Length Guide Rod
· Armco Front Sight (0.110 width)
· Wolff 17.5lb Recoil Spring
· Wolff Sear Spring
· Wolff Mag Catch and Plunger Spring
· Series 80 FP Safety has been removed and replaced with a shim
. Kimber Rubber Grips



I am adding and replacing these parts.

. Ed Brown Ambi Thumb Safety
. Ed Brown Hi-Grip Beavertail
. Smith and Alexander Magwell Blended/Flared to frame.
 

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Personal Opinion

I kinda like it black. If you want to experience the benefit of checkering for next to no cash outlay, use some of the abrasive tape 3M makes for putting on stair steps. You can get it at Home Depot or Lowes, and trim it to fit your frontstrap just under the grips. Try that for awhile and see what you think.

I had my frontstrap checkered and then had Virgil Tripp hardchrome it. I love it that way. EGW did 30 lpi machine checkering, undercut the triggerguard and recontoured the grip front and rear to make my SA match a Colt grip. With all that work, I had to refinish, so I sprung for Hard Chrome and love the way it looks. And after almost a year, it looks totally new.

If you ARE going to refinish, hardchrome is the way to go.
 

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Wilson markets 'add-on' checkered frontstraps here:

http://www.wilsoncombat.com/store.cgi?&shop=city&Category=10111

Wilson Checkered Frontstrap; Blue W100B 8.95

Wilson Checkered Frontstrap; Stainless

Steel W100S 8.95


I found a picture of them here: http://www.entreprise.com/

follow this path: online catalog--1911 parts--Wilson--checkered frontstrap (top right, 2nd from top)

Never seen one in person; it may be an option if you don't want to commit to checkering the frame. I've found I really like the feel of a checkered frontstrap, but 30 lines is about right for me; 20 is too rough, and 'unforgivable' in that the grip is tough to change once the hand wraps around the front.
 

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The "drop-in frontstrap checkering" is a curved piece of thin steel which is perforated somewhat like a rasp or fine grater (to provide traction), which simply clips into the side openings in the grip area of the frame (which are otherwise covered by the grips). Comes in white or blued.

It works, but it's kinda cheesy.

I tried it on an old Series 70 Gold Cup nearly 20 years ago.
If I were to do such a thing nowadays, I'd probably use skateboard tape instead.

I prefer a more permanent and higher quality approach, like checkering or "snakeskin".

Hard chrome is the most durable finish for guns.
None of the readily available dark finishes (boron carbide having become scarce) can compare to it for toughness, but you have to be content with a white finish.

Best.
 
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