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How good is the SA Custom Shop?

2667 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  JerryM
I guess I shouldn't have expected better out of a less-than-expensive sidearm, but I did and now I want to upgrade.

Originally, I thought to simply sell my loaded and buy something better, but now I'm thinking of simply having the pistol-in-hand tricked out.

What I'm looking to do is as follows:

Fill in the forward slide serrations (or replace the slide entirely).

Add Ashley sights (non-useable rear sight one more reason to replace the slide)

Overall reliability. I've seen a lot of wiggle where I don't think wiggle belongs. Is that barrel link supposed to flop around on the slide stop?

I haven't seen many SA guns that are stock (all the local smiths own them and tinker incessantly) so I can't say how my weapon compares to them. I have put it up against customs and there is no comparison; that Les Baer compact I passed up a few years ago still sticks in my mind as a faux pas of serious magnitude.

Anyhow, do you think it would be better to send it back to SA for work? Or should I just send it to a smith like Clark or Burns?? Or...is this Fate's way of telling me to buy another gun?


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MD, I'm sitting here with the weapon stripped down so that I can see what I'm saying as I type it.

The slide stop pin does not contact the bottom lugs. Instead, they long-linked the barrel so the top lugs mesh with the slide(the corners of the top lugs are rounded and dinged). There is a lot of wear on the slide stop pin as well as the bottom of the link wear it's apparently hitting the frame.

Also, the sides of the bottom lugs where they join the barrel are scored from slicing across the dado cut for them in the receiver. The gap between the receiver and either side of the bottom lug is immeasureable. The polished metal and fine shavings in this area also indicates wear. I wonder how long it will be before the lugs shear off.

I already had to send the weapon back once to have the thumb safety recut so the hammer wouldn't fall to half-cock and that hurt my confidence in the maker. What does more damage, though, is that these other flaws would have been overlooked.

As I explained to SA when I sent it back, this was to be a duty weapon. Unfortunately, my belief in the weapon is such that I would hesitate to use it even as a club. Now what I have to decide is, can SA renew my faith be repairing this piece, or should I simply demand a refund and go with a better maker? Should I just send it to a good smith like Clark or Burns? Is the weapon really worth it considering what might have to be replaced?

As for the sights, I simply want something better. Those black-on-black novaks are worthless for real world fighting (98% of engagements occur in low-light).

As always, your thoughts are welcome.

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