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What are the real differences between having a custom smith work on factory gun like a Colt govt. or Springfield mil-spec vs. a new slide/frame from say Caspian? What I could think of would slide frame fit and rollmarks or undesired machine work for your particular build. What are some other things? Also pros and cons.

Thanks
 

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Back when "all you could get" was the Mil. Spec. 1911, customization was a necessity. Now, with all of the various models from each manufacturer, you can pick and choose what you really want, factory installed and thus a factory warranty.

The only thing I change are the grip panels. I like the built-in palm swell of one of the Hogue models. Other than that, I get what I want, to start with. Also saves time.
 

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Thanks for the reply. I guess what I meant was if you are going to spend the money and have a large amount of custom work done by one of the big name custom shops, wouldn't say a matched frame and slide be a better platform to start from? Is a base factory pistol used more for potential value because is says Colt or Sprinfield Armory on it rather than no brand markings? Can the same fit and finish be achieved on a factory pistol as an unworked slide and frame? I'm not trying to throw jabs I'm just curious.
 

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Thanks for the reply. I guess what I meant was if you are going to spend the money and have a large amount of custom work done by one of the big name custom shops, wouldn't say a matched frame and slide be a better platform to start from? Is a base factory pistol used more for potential value because is says Colt or Sprinfield Armory on it rather than no brand markings? Can the same fit and finish be achieved on a factory pistol as an unworked slide and frame? I'm not trying to throw jabs I'm just curious.

You are right. Richard Heinie used to have on his website some of the package's he would build and one of the features was to straighten and true of the slide and frame -- cost was steep, something like $1700 and it was all cosmetic. You could get much better from Caspian and spend the money on other bells and whistles. However, you may not that Caspians don't seem to have the appeal if and when you decide to sell you custom gun. Colt seems to be of most value and then the rest follow. If you plan on never selling, then it is not an issue.
 

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Not sure what you mean by "custom." Exotic wood grips, two tone, painted finishes are all "custom." Techincally the pistols from folks like Ed Brown are not custom, they're standard production pistols. Very tight quality control, but standard production pistols.

Don't confuse tight for accurate or reliable. 5 minutes with a ball peen hammer and I can make your pistol tight.

Exotic "custom" pistols have poor resale unless you can find some guy with the exact same taste. High end production pistols retain more value.

A Spingfield Professional is still on my buy list. I'll buy a factory version, not send a GI model to them to work on.

-- Chuck
 
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