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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Not sure if ANYONE here really cares much about a review on the cheapest entry-level 1911 made, but Covid has all but killed my social life and I'm bored...so before I muck this pistol up, or successfully customize it, here ya go.



I bought a very inexpensive Charles Daly Field Grade 1911 on which to learn how to gunsmith. Charles Daly is apparently part of Chiappa Firearms (which I did not know), and they're manufactured in Italy by a company called "Brixia". It comes in a cardboard box (albeit, nicer than the one LB uses :D) with one 8-round magazine. Frame is forged and finished in a Manganese Parkerization that shows every little fingerprint and spot.







The magazine looks like the ACT Mag brand that ship with the Armscor pistols. It was nicer than I expected, no exposed welds and the polymer base has zero play.







The smooth grips look and feel exactly as cheap as they are, and they're cut for an ambi safety...I'm guessing for cost containment. Odd that some I've seen come with double diamond "CD" logo grips. Not that they would be any "nicer", but texture would provide more grip purchase.








The conventional barrel and ramp mate up nicely with minimal gap.







The laser-etched roll marks are subtly tasteful compared to some others I've seen (Taurus, Magnum Research) and the frame has no instructions to "Read Manual" or reminders that the pistol "will fire with magazine removed".








Took it to the range today with two boxes of Blazer Brass 230gr. The VERY FIRST round (upon racking the slide) failed to feed until I massaged the slide, then the second round did the same thing. I thought for sure this was going to be a sign of things to come but, to my great surprise, the next ninety-eight rounds cycled without a hiccup. Guess it just needed to remember its purpose. Trigger was crisp, but unremarkable, and felt to be like around 5 to 6 lb pull. I did not get a chance to measure accuracy as I forgot to put my staple gun back in my range bag for the paper targets, but at 7 yards I was running the steel plate rack consistently. My next go-around I will shoot from a bench at distance to see if the rear sight needs to be drifted. Eventually I'd like to try my hand at installing new sights, but I have a LONG way to go before attempting to alter dovetail cuts. First I just want to simply tear this thing completely down and learn how all the parts go back together.


Any recommendations on projects to start off my gunsmithing adventures are greatly appreciated. Perhaps polishing the feed ramp? :D LOL
 

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Interesting. I believe Brixia is the successor to Valtro, but I don't know any more detail than that. They made another 1911 in recent years that looked pretty much exactly like a Valtro 1998A1, minus the lustrous blued finish. Granted, the Valtros only became truly special guns once John Jardine had worked his magic on them and were pretty ordinary otherwise (apart from great metallurgy -- full 4340/NiCrMo construction), but perhaps Brixia retains some institutional knowledge from the bygone Valtro-Jardine collaboration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Yeah, supposedly they make a lot of sporting shotguns in Italy. Fit and finish on this pistol is actually better than I expected for a sub-$500 1911, but for slightly more money I would have rather had one of the Springfield Defender series. Unfortunately I missed the boat on that offer, they're back up to $640, and some desperate fool just paid $1025 for one on GB on Dec 12th.


Up until now I had no desire for a bare bones 1911, had I known I would have bought them by the dozen and flipped em....after I obtained my FFL of course (cough-cough).
 

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Get yourself a nice little (1/2x1/2 or smaller) fine india stone and some fine wet/dry paper and polish every flat surface on the internals. Stone every edge except for the mating surfaces of the hammer and sear. Cut a popsicle stick the with of the trigger track and put some of the wet/dry paper on it and run it along the trigger tracks. If you can find a stone the fits the trigger track that's even better. Brownels has them.

Bob
 

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Inexpensive 1911’s sometimes get a bad rap. An inexpensive 1911 will never be a Wilson. Great project guns though. When they run just fine to begin with, great. If not, most of the time they can be made to run with some TLC. A bit of judicious polishing sometimes goes a long way. All seem to benefit from a bit of attention to the trigger. Great project! Enjoy!
 

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I would see just how far I could get using the stock parts (only) to start. If it runs, and it sounds like it does, I wouldn’t be over zealous with the feed ramp. If you do polish that, take great pains to avoid changing geometry. After a couple mags of ball, I usually try to choke them on hollow points and semi wadcutters. If they choke, I try to figure out why. Can be many many things besides the feed ramp. Metal is a lot easier to take off. Much harder to put it back on. When you replace the grips, use hi quality after market grip screws. I have found screws on inexpensive 1911’s to be prone to fracture from brittleness. Sometimes the screws heads have shallow or wallowed slots. Get some good US made pins. Pin sets are cheap. The 1911 books probably are the best first purchase. An assortment of sandpaper is a good idea. I have grits up to 6000. Avoid the temptation to correct something that doesn’t need to be corrected.
 

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Hi,
Never liked those ACT Mags, but opinions vary...

You can "massage" it if you want, new grips, better mag, a REAL trigger job using the oem parts...

I would not put a lot of high price parts into it, just make it more comfortable to shoot, shoot it a lot and enjoy it.

If I was going to use it for a truck gun or self defense, might also put in a better extractor, to go along with the better mag.

Just some thoughts I have come to, owning a few of the RIA pistols which is probably comparable.

Nothing wrong with the "cheap" pistols, helps get people into the 1911, which is a good thing!
Machine Iron Metal Engineering Steel
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
tune the extractor to Steve from allentown's spec's , adjust the grip safety for disconnect level to your liking , deburr the trigger channel and MSH interior , notch the slide release to avoid scratch ... ect?
Cool. Where would I learn how to do these things? Youtube?

Also...what is a "disconnect level" and how can I tell if its to my liking??
 

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Coll. Where would I learn how to do these things? Youtube?

Also...what is a "disconnect level" and how can I tell if its to my liking??
the disconnect point or level (could be incorrect with that tern) is the point where the grip safety tang is pushed inward far enough to turn it off allowing the trigger to be pulled ....

this foum, select youtube, wilson combat instruction videos ..

for example, I used the info I could find on shaping the claw of the extractor from the wilson videos on youtube plus tips on deflection, spacing, ect from the sticky by Steve from Allentown on this forum....

if you search the forum you can find almost every one of these with a detailed set of pictures from this forum's posters ..
 

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Coll. Where would I learn how to do these things? Youtube?

Also...what is a "disconnect level" and how can I tell if its to my liking??
Hi F M, Go here;
Pedro.
 

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So, is it the very cheapest new 1911 one can buy? Is there anything lower priced? Because it seems like a heck of a deal to me.
Dad bought a Tisas m1911 in the same price range. It turned out better than I expected: runs 230gr ball ammo fine and shoots to PoA. Fit and finish seems much as ‘Flight Medic’ describes his Charles Daly.

R.I.A. used to have offerings in that price range; not sure that they still do. Bought as classroom guns, but before disabling them for classroom use, I did shoot them: fine. Not the lightest nor cleanest 1911 triggers : still better than anything at the time that wasn’t a 1911. Back then (2007/8), their sight regulation was haphazard: I corrected the sights, drifting and grinding as needed, and GtG. Two government models and one general officer’s model for the price of one mid-range, brand-name pistol.
 

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Dad bought a Tisas m1911 in the same price range. It turned out better than I expected: runs 230gr ball ammo fine and shoots to PoA. Fit and finish seems much as ‘Flight Medic’ describes his Charles Daly.

R.I.A. used to have offerings in that price range; not sure that they still do.
My fave LGS has a RIA basic GI 1911 for $439. They do not gouge on guns or ammo.
 
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