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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The following is from the Bullseye list:

http://www.lava.net/~perrone/bullseye

a news list about competitive target shooting (Bullseye).

I've slightly edited the post to make it easier to read. None of what it said is changed.

Ed Masaki, the poster of this Bullseye list msg, is a highly competent smiith and competitive shooter who builds pistols for other Bullseye competitors. He appears to be referring to CD's from the last couple of years, not just the newest 'Enhanced' models. I found his opinion of the metal quality interesting.

------ Bullseye msg begins
Hi members,
I once wrote about the new Charles Daly's that was manufactured and I wrote
that I liked the feel of the metal but told newbies gunsmiths not to attemp[t]
working on this gun yet.
I just sent that pistol to its owner and it shot a 1 9/16X 1 9/16" group
at 50yds on the RR [Ransom Rest]. used 185Nosler HP.
Any gun can be made to shoot accurate. It is not the gun itself. Its the
barrel and how it is installed (including the bushing) that will determine the outcome. Why I said not to work on this gun is the slide has a lot of metal that needs to
be removed. If you tried to install a Kart barrel it might not fit good. It is that
far off. Unless you can make your own tooling to grind and remove these certain places you will have an uneven sitting barrel and the results will be bad. They use a smaller cheap barrel that fits in the slide. At least these barrels look much better than the old barrels that look like it has a rust in the leade area. As for the slide and frame metal it felt like I was working on a springfield. They must have tempered them.
------ Bullseye msg ends

Ken Crawley, a Texas gunsmith, fitted a barrel to my CD FS this Spring and appeared to have no trouble with extra metal. He did have to remove a little material inside the front of the slide to fit a National Match bushing, but that's all I can find.


The picture just shows the bushing, not the work inside the slide.

Saw a CD FS, not the Enhanced, at the Ft. Worth gun show Saturday. Stainles frame, blued slide: $325, ON SALE (dealers table, the only one he had). Tight lockup &
nice frame to slide fit.

I probly shoulda bought it, but I'm saving for a Sistema. Oh well.

NetLar


[This message has been edited by NetLar (edited 10-09-2001).]
 

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i hade to remove a little material around the inner part of the slide to fit my match bushing,but it was more of a little polishing. and i polishing a little for the barrel to fit through it just right. the bushing fits real tite....and i can still barely remove it by hand.accuracy hade improved considerably.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is a recent (Monday, 29 Oct.) post to the bullseye list from the smith in question, followup about firearms quality:

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Hi members,
Remember once we talked about which guns are good to work on??? Majority named colt, springfield, caspians as the tops. Do not go by names. In the last 3 weeks I worked on 2 colt National matches 70 series. Now this name is supposed to be the tops. 1st gun the slide face was uneven that the
shells sometimes will not enter the recess. had to recut it open. and also the internal of the slide had some metals that had to be shaved off. It was so bad that it would offset the barrel. the 2nd gun I just finished he complained that all the rims was coming out smashed. so bad that after awhile he could not use those brass because the rim was out of shape. the problem was a very
uneven slide face. every time he fired the shell rim would inprint against the slide face. No it was not the extractor or the ejector leaveing those imprints.

and this from a national match gun??? also I talked about the Charles Daly guns. as I mentioned the slide and frame hardness was like a colt or springfield. But the internal of the slide had lots to be desired.
I would not recommend this gun for a beginner gunsmith. theres good an bad in everthing I guess. ed m
------

bullseye post ends.

Just from reading the experiences of others (on this & other boards), I conclude:

1) Current CNC production of frames & slides (Colt, Kimber, Springfield) probably results in the best production guns since pre-WWII Colts, when hand-fitting was the norm.

2) High volume (relative to 20, 40, or 60 years ago) via automated production, along w/ statistical QA (Quality Assurance) results in a) good 'value' in current guns b) a wider variation in unit-to-unit quality from all mfrs: Every mfr ships the occasional 'lemon.'

Corollary: Colt, Kimber & Springfield service departments _all_ seem to provide variable quality: Sometimes service is fast, sometimes slow. Sometimes a problem is fixed right the first time, sometimes never. Sometimes attitude is good, sometimes not. CD's service department, like their products, seems to provide a somewhat higher proportion of negative experiences.

3) All mfrs are using MIM and/or cast components to save $$$.

4) Second-tier mfr's / assemblers (CD, Auto Ordnance, Dan Wesson, etc.) provide well-tricked-out products (beavertail grip safeties, commander hammers, better sights, extended thumb safeties, etc etc) at a somewhat lower quality level (wider tolerances, more unit-to-unit variation) and a lower price.

These mfr's production quality seems to improve w/ longevity (latest production is better than earlier).

Therefore:
1) If you want a base gun to build from, a current 1991-model Colt might be a good choice - not too expensive, brand name so should hold its value.

2) For a high-value 'out-of-the-box' gun, a good CD with some internals replaced can rival the big three at roughly half the price ($4-5-600 vs $8-1200). But you have to be careful how much $$$ you spend on internals, cause when you're through, it's still a Chuckie D.

3) Custom smiths tend to like Kimbers for their tight frame-to-slide fits. Replace the MIM internals with first rate products, slick 'em up & add custom touches & they provide an excellent 'semi-custom' firearm.

What do you think?

NetLar
 

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I'll agree with that. I was a bit concerned in the beginning, but now thrilled. Had I bought a higher $ gun I probably would not have been that thrilled to take it apart and do the things I've done to my CD. I've learned a LOT about the gun, and am very confident in my abilities to work on the gun so far. I'm going very slow working on one thing at a time. I get to practice working on the original hammer/sear before I replace them (I may never since they are working so great now, no creep, great angles) This gun is working really well now that I've had a chance to play with it. Modified the slide stop to fit better, and works 100% now. Polished sear/disco/spring/trigger bow/series 80 spacer/ramp. Everything is like a mirror now.

I'm saying all this because I agree with the above. If I wanted to spend maybe $100 more on some tool steel internals I can't see why this gun could not be as reliable as any other 1911. But even as you mentioned many others are using MIM too. I don't really mind plastic either. I know a lot hate plastic in guns, but used properly it has a lot of advantages. I think any manuf. 1911 could benefit from some of the things I've done, however I wouldn't have had the guts to do it on a $1000 gun. So I probably would have sent it to somebody and it would have turned into a $1500 gun. Now I've got a $425 gun that I've learned and worked on myself.
 

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NetLar:

I will agree on most of what you stated. Except for the thing about Kimbers. I don't like working with them. They do have one of the better slide to frame fits that can be bought from a production gun. However, they also have one the hardest slides and frames you can buy. It makes it extremly hard to work on. Examples would be tighting the slide to frame fit, undercutting, hand checkering, etc.. The last one I checkered the front strap on had a hard spot right in the middle of the grip. The file wouldn't hardly touch it (wore out two files on one front strap!). They do last good once you get them running, but they require more time to do some of the cutting that needs to be done.
I prefer SA, Colt, then Kimber for building a factory gun. Attention to detail on a factory CD is the only thing keeping it from being on my list in front of Kimber.
 
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