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When ordering a frame and slide set from a vendor, say Caspian, is it better to have them perform things such as sight cuts (Bo-mar) and flattening/serratting the slide or will a custom smith do a "cleaner" job? Is it better to let the vendor do the slide to frame fit or is this a job best left to the smith building the gun?

It would seem more economical to have the vendor do it but are there any hidden pitfalls with a quality company like Caspian?
 

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I just ordered a slide to frame fit kit made by STI. I had them do that at the factory since it is not so critical to accuracy as the barrel fitting. I'm having that done by a good local smith.

On the issue of sight cuts, that depends. I'm having Bo-Mars put on mine and I want them to be mounted just like the top picture. On the bottom pic, the blade is hanging off the back which I don't like. Again I'm having that done here rather than take the chance that STI, Caspian, etc.. will use a Bo-Mar cut like the bottom pic.

 

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I've built a ton of Caspians and in my opinion, you would do well to let them do the slide-to-frame and the sights. They do excellent work. I'd also let them do the front strap checkering....cheap and very nice. I've never had them do a slide top so don't know about the workmanship, but if you don't like it, send it back and
Gary Smith will fix it for you. If you have them do the radius cut for the beavertail, your smith will still have to finish it so you won't gain any savings there.
 

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Hello Bob,
I am trying to evaluate my ability to actually build a high performing 1911 from top quality parts. Given your experience, if I would get a frame/slide match from Caspian, is it possible for someone (as me) to do the finish work needed to mate the rest of the parts without a machine shop ? I have an offer from a gunsmith for assistance, but I am trying to understand how much I can attempt myself ..... I have Kunhansen #1 and am trying to memorize it


My gunsmith has recommended a steel/stainless pairup to prevent galling - any comments ??

Best


Originally posted by Bob Brown:
I've built a ton of Caspians .........
 

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Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. I've been glued to the TV since the 11th.
It sounds to me like you might be able to handle the building job, IF you can really understand Jerry K's book and IF you get the right tools. The two most troublesome areas you'll face are the trigger job and fitting the barrel/bushing, if you do have Caspian fit the slide-to-frame and do your sight cut.
I'd urge you to buy or borrow the right tools for those jobs...and that volunteer 'smith you mentioned just might be the answer to the tool situation.

If you want a salt and pepper pistol, you could use a stainless frame and blue steel slide, but you still may have a bit of galling. And if you do go that route, give a lot of thought to the color of all external parts, including the pins. There are several possibilities and you're the guy who has to make the decision.
 

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Hello Bob,

I fully understand : I have just been doing things slowly and without conviction.
The sight on the news a few minutes ago of the Guard at Buckingham Palace in England playing the StarSpangledBanner was a bit too much to keep the sadness from showing in my eyes.....

I am considering via the 'smith, to use a chromed steel frame and stainless slide.

I am purchasing the smaller pieces and now have enough to do a 'test action job' on my KimberEclipse with a set of EdBrown parts. I purchased the Yavapi sear tool from Brownells but returned it. I received yesterday the Brownell/Marvel trigger/sear tool - it looks like it will work if I can ever understand the directions...

I purchased an ActionSet from TeddyJacobson and will be using this as a ReferenceTool for my work. Under examination via a loupe, TJs work looks excellent; the EB pieces need work.

progressing, albeit a bit more slowly since Tuesday ...

Thanks,
 

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Looks like you're on the rigdht track. I do have two suggestions for you.
I'd recommend you consider the Ron Powers hammer/sear jig for your trigger work. It is easy to understand, only has 2 adjustments and will last a lifetime. It ain't cheap and you'll need 3, 1/2 by 6" stones to use it, but I suspect you'll be using it for many years down the road to tweak your trigger and probably that of some buddies.

Number two is the frame material. I recommended stainless there because it'll better resist wear and tear from the oil and acid on your hand. I prefer nickle steel for a slide because it's the most important part of your pistol and needs to be hard to
resist wear. Stainless is tough, but not hard. And, if you're going to use iron sights, there's the reflection problem.

Good luck with it.

Bob
 
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