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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There are few people who are the best at there craft to name a few are as follows for barrels ,It is Irv Stone-Bar-Sto,for checkering it is Pete Single , for Browning Hi-powers it is Kurt Wickmann,And last but not least for 1911's it would have to be Richard Heinie and from what I hear this Vicker's fella is gooood real good .I must admit these guys inspire me when im builing 1911's .Ocg1911
 

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Irv does make some nice stuff, but I'd probably be inclined to add Fred Kart to the list...

On the 1911 side, I'd also consider Chuck Rogers and Bill Wilson, although Bill probably doesn't build too many guns these days, doubt Chuck does many either, but they've been doing it for longer than I can remember. I would also include Wayne Novak for BHP's, he's really set quite a high standard, although Kurt's work is easily comparable.

How about leather gear... Certainly, Lou Alessi is among the leaders in his 'craft', and right along side would be Tony Kanally. There's another chap named Mitch, who can cut and sew a nice piece of leather, but he's not the 'visionary' in the same league with Lou, and Tony. I won't even get into the Kydex stuff.

Then there's the craft of fighting, and while Jeff Cooper is the Dali-Lama of pistolero's, Clint Smith is no slouch, hell, Hiede could out-fight me, but of course it'd be tough not to mention Suarez, or Givens in the same breathe.


Geee... I know there's many more... Some even lurking about here that dabble in edged weapons


Anyway, I will leave at this...
 

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Jaydee, I have to agree with you about Fred Kart. Hard to say anyone can make a better barrel than him. On the other hand, Kurt Wickmann was the "BHP Man" that set the standards at Novak. He built them there for many years before going on his own. Hopefully, soon I'll have first hand knowledge of how good he really is.
 

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For 1911 pistolsmiths, even though he is now out of the public eye, Larry Leutenegger comes to mind. And I am very pleased with my C.T. Brian 1911.

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http://www.isra.org

[This message has been edited by Baer1911 (edited 02-08-2001).]
 

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Johnny... That's right about Kurt at Novaks, I had bumped across a dea brain cell when I was writing that, of course, it was late, and I'd been up since 5am when the new puppies started playing, and [insert some other lame excure here]
 

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I do not mean to be argumentative here, but IMO the days of a single "best" are (almost)over.

This is great for us all as consumers for it makes outstanding products both physically and financially more available.

Can you honestly say a Heinie gun is better than a Dane Burns gun or a CT Brian gun or a Larry Vickers gun? Likewise a BarSto barrel vs a Schuemann? A Caspian slide vs an Infinity slide? By objective and subjective standards all are very high quality.
JMHO, YMMV
 

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Man, I think once you reach a certain level defining the "best" is an impossible task. It is a subjective exercise after some point.

All I know is what I have seen, shot, carried, fought with, and trained under. With that as my compass, there is no 1911 I would swap even-steven for my Burns Customs in .45 and 9 x 23; no BHP I would trade for what Kurt has worked on for me; no rifles I would trade for my Bill Wylde built AR's and bolt guns, no knives I would trade for my Darrel Ralph auto, Busse Combat custom long blades, my Newt Livesay "discreet" knives, and no hand-to-hand instructor I would study under in trade for training with Jack McVicker, Megaton Dias, and Paul Vunak.

I am deeply honored to have the guns, knives and training that I do, and for me, whether they win the "best" award or not does not matter...the stuff is timeless, beautiful, and purpose built. Nothing I own will rot in a museum or spend a life in the safe. I am thankful each of the folks mentioned above have done the work they have done, and I consider each a good friend. How much better can one guy have it
 

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Obviously this is a very subjective thread. For me, the "Best" gunsmith is someone who'll make me exactly what I want, and then ensure me that it works as exactly as ordered. I'm sure there are several talented individuals who can and are willing to perform to this level. The last thing I'll ever pay for is ego, and IMHO, 'smiths who will only build what 'they' think is best are of little use. No flames intended towards anyone; rather, just providing an opinion.

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Let me clear up my earlier post since it has been taken at out context.My post was and is in my opinion it was not intended to be a cut on anybody who is not mentioned. My opinion comes from having dealt with all the individuals mentioned and having seen their work.These guys stand out in the crowd again this is my opinion, for example when I look at the checkering that Pete Single does it is simply the best in my opinion I feel the same way when looking at Hi- power that Kurt Wickmann built. Bar-Sto barrels to me are exceptional based on the fact that you can get a great product as well as customer service.And my opinion of Heinie, comes from actually seeing his work years ago I marveled at how well the machineing was the fit and finish and basically how in my eyes no other 1911 smith was paying that much attention to detail.Because I didnt mention Burns,Garthwaite,Morris,and Krebs does not mean in no way that these guys arent at the top. I was just stating my opinion. Its obvious that the ego's on this board are over bearing and once again I have stepped on someones toes.This has lead to personal E- mails to me telling me that I am unprofessional and my message is coming through loud and clear and that I am ******* all because of my post. well this enough for me. I do not consider myself to be in the class of the above mentioned as of right now based on their decades of experience compared to my last five years. But you don't have to be in the industry or for that matter on this forum very long to realize that this is ego sensitive industry and apparently my posts are sending a message to some. For this I appologize since I obviously have struck some nerves I will keep my opinions to myself and for that matter I will no longer look at this forum or contribute my opinions . Mike O'Hara OCG1911
 

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C'mon, Mike, don't leave. Your opinions here are just as important as anyone's. IMO whoever is sending you those personal e-mails really needs to relax a bit!

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Make It Hot!
 

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I agree with the gentleman above, don't let someone chase you off. Your posting was in no way offensive to me.........

[This message has been edited by G. Kennedy (edited 02-09-2001).]
 

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Mike,
I re-read your post and found nothing offensive about it. Stay with us and give your opinion as you see fit. Jerry
 

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Hey Mike, I don't think anybody took your post as being offensive. We were all just throwing in our 2 cents. That's all. Your comments are always welcome. I, for one, know first hand your an "up and up" kind of guy and would hate to see you drift away.
 

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My intent was not to chase anyone away, merely to point out there are a lot of persons and products which are of very high quality in the firearms world.

Perhaps another way to say it is there is more than one guy at the top, and plenty of room on the the pinnacle of excellence.
 

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I wrote one of the private emails and it had nothing to do with this thread but "profesional courtsey" and Mr. Ohara's late championing of the Les Baer parts. I believe he used "best" then to IIRC
How Mr. O'Hara deals with other pistolsmiths or me in particlar (since we in effect live in the same town)is his choice.

If you think your original subjects are the "best", why the whining?

Who gives a **** what others think is the best?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Your right Dane I dont give a s--- what you think and my dealings with you have never happened. other than a call to you to ask what type of plug you used and because i didnt identify myself after call you called me back to scream at me about proffessional courtesy.This was all do to the fact that your comments on pinning a grip safety where overboard. And as far as my post on Baer parts get to future that post was about 8 months ago and I still believe Baer slides and frames are top notch.I find it funny after a post that you all of sudden e- mail me and then tell me that you and Mr heinie are building on gun together and that proffessionals like you wont help a--holes like me if anybody would like to see the e-mail I will gladly forward it to you.You also stated that im rude and unprofessional, you see Dane I dont care what you think none of the posts have ever been directed at you with the exception of the topic pinning the grip safety but since then you and I have spoken I appologized to you ,we discussed Kimbers going to stainless frames we even exchanged holiday well wishes . You and I have not had a problem until now and its because of topic "The Best" and your name wasnt on it well to bad I cant speak for what I have not seen nor will I. OCG1911
 

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Everybody take a relaxing breath.
We are, after all, on the same side here.

There are already enough obsticles in our gun-owning lives to overcome; we don't need to turn on eachother.

Keep on posting OCG1911.

By the way, my 2.5 cents, I don't like Bar-Sto's customer service.
 

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Just my opinion...

In the months I've been a regular on this board, I've noticed far too many excellent participants choose to leave.

I have never felt that contributers have to agree. I have read many, many wonderful and informative posts of differing opinions. I admit I have learned a great deal from these posters and I wish some of them would not have left.

I'm taking no sides at all and I hope my opinion is accepted in that spirit.

my honest best to all,

Eric M.
 

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Just like what TVD said.

Everyone take a deep breath......

Let's take it one step further and have a BIG GROUP hug! Come on, you know you want to


Ok now let's all gather around the campfire hold hands and sing KUMBAYA.


Come on.


HOT COCOA at my place.

i just like it here and like to see what i can learn. Try to make some friends and shoot some sweet guns. i hope you guys can work this out and just chill. Life's too short to sweat the small stuff.

No side picking here either just like to see post from both Dane and OCG.

Ross T.
 
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