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Discussion Starter #1
Let's say built up from scratch. Basic parts, nothing MIM, but nothing super-fancy. Sights, beavertail and extended thumb-saftey would be the only things cosmetically obviously different than a mil-spec. No extra checkering, serations, stippling, or whatever. Standard Guide-rod, a barrel that ain't super-fancy, etc.
Just start with a frame & slide, perhaps even an Essex or a cast Caspian.
Let's assume that you pay someone competant to do it, but not somebody that's getting paid for their name. Just Joe 'Smith (get it?) that's good at his work but isn't some big "star" in the 1911 field.
 

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If the gun was built from parts, I don't see how it could possibly be done for less than $1000. I built a gun from less-tan-top-drawer parts, and those alone were about $800. Then you're looking at fitting, finishing, shipping, etc.
 

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I'd expect to pay $1100 - $1300 for a custom made, hand-fitted 1911 as you described.
 

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RickB said:
If the gun was built from parts, I don't see how it could possibly be done for less than $1000. I built a gun from less-tan-top-drawer parts, and those alone were about $800. Then you're looking at fitting, finishing, shipping, etc.
I did the same, bought all the parts and just happened to catch items on sale and so forth, spent about $650 in parts and probably a month of working on it in my spare time. I was thinking $1500 would be bottom dollar, but I've never gone that route.
 

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Interesting question. If you lowball a made-from-scratch gun too much, you wind up with the same thing as a production gun, only more expensive... which defeats the whole purpose of the exercise. On the other hand, you CAN omit alot of cost-adding stuff without impacting the function of the gun.

Some food for thought... with a cast Caspian frame, Caspian barstock slide, & alot of the small inside bits, you are already looking at about $550. A good value in a match barrel like a Kart or Schuemann will cost about $150+$100 installation, and the thumb & grip safeties together will probably cost about $250 installed. That's over $1,000 before you even consider fitting the frame, slide & small parts, finishing, etc. So I'd say that if you want a QUALITY from scratch gun, you are looking at spending at least $1,500, maybe closer to $2,000.

marvl: sure, but with a bunch of cheap cast and MIM parts, mediocre quality control & indifferent fitting and finishing. ;)
 

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It would have to be one of the cheap Philippine-made guns like the Rock Island, which I believe are all cast (not MIM).
 

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The last time I costed out a buildup to MY tastes, it was $983 in parts. My local guy would probably have done the skill work for about half that much more. Say $1500.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
marvl said:
Springfield Armory and Kimber sell what you describe for $600 to $900. :D
Actually no they don't, they both have full-length guide-rods and front cocking serations, and I believe the Springfields all have ambi-safeties.

oh, and I forgot to mention in the original post, I don't want any useless parts on the gun, so the Springfield lock-out msh and the series II ruin that.

I will concede that the Kimber used to come damn close. It wouldn't have been too much of a pain to get rid of the full-length guide rod.
 

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I guess it depends on the pistol and what you want done to it. My Noricos ran about $800, my Sistema Colt 1927 about $800, and my Ballester Molina (BM) about $500. I didn't buy Bar-sto barrels, have their front straps checkered, or have them hard chromed.

What did I have done? New barrels on the Sistema Colt 1927 and Ballester Molina. The BM also didn't require a trigger job and it doesn't have a grip safety. All of these pistols recieved match bushings, new sights, and grips. The 1911s all recieved new triggers, sears, and grip safeties. I am please with the work that was done by Marianne Carniak of the Accurizer Gunshop in Troy, MI. I should add the guns do not bobble and they are accurate. That is all I wanted.

Regards,

Richard:D
 

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Let's say built up from scratch.
Well, the guy is asking about building a gun from scratch, not customizing a factory gun. ;)

Let's assume that you pay someone competant to do it, but not somebody that's getting paid for their name.
Incidentally, prices from 'smith to 'smith don't seem to vary much, even with name recognition thrown in. With a couple exceptions, guys who don't suck charge about the same. Sometimes even seemingly more expensive guys really aren't at the end of the day, since they often don't nickel-and-dime you like somebody cheaper would. A name usually just means a longer wait.
 

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Caspian Slide/frame w/checkering, sight cuts, with other parts from Brown, Caspian, Wilson, Novak Sights/(cut) work out to around $1,200 for the parts alone. It's possible to get a better price on some parts, use different parts, etc and maybe it will be less.

If you send a Slide/Frame to some gunsmiths (name of the one I called withheld) they will send you a gun back for an additional $1,300 (this could be more depending on how it is finished. So you have a custom gun for $1,800.

Maybe I have figured this all wrong?:)
 

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For around $2,200 I could have SVI

build a gun to my exact specs, including a custom serial number. Not to mention all the patents Infinity pistols have the benefit of; the Tri-Glide trigger system, Interchangeable Breechface System, the patented barrel bushing, the plunger tube being an integral part of the frame, and the AET barrel treatment.

Custom smiths are great, but I'd rather have greater control over design and the benefits of a coherent system than get a potpourri of parts.

If BOTH will be hand-fitted (and they will be), why not get ALL the goodies; your design, your serial number, patented parts, and hand-fitting?

Like I tell my wife: Think of it as an INVESTMENT! It is. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Well, from what I've seen so far, it would appear that $1500 is the magic number. I'm kind of embarassed to keep emailing my list of requirements around though. I don't want to give the impression that cost is what will drive this, but in fact it IS what will drive it.

I looked into having a Springfield Milspec "customized" by adding a beavertail, extended thumb safety, and Novaks, and the price was about $800+, because if you're going to replace the thumb & grip safety (and the hammer as required by the beavertail) you might as well do the trigger-job as well. Here's a sample list of parts & the installed cost as quoted by one 'smith for installation on a Milspec
Nowlin Night Sights $159
Wilson Beavertail $125
Brown thumb safety $69
trigger job (with new trigger, hammer, sear) $150
total so far, $503
add $400 for used donor gun $903
optional accurize of existing barrel +$125 = $1028


Which leaves you with the stock Springfield barrel and other internals, and leaves me to replace the grips & ILS on my own. Not to mention probably at least $60 for shipping both ways. Kinda makes having a full-bore custom at $1500 seem like a good idea.
 

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CastleBravo said:
... with a cast Caspian frame, Caspian barstock slide, & alot of the small inside bits, you are already looking at about $550. A good value in a match barrel like a Kart or Schuemann will cost about $150+$100 installation, and the thumb & grip safeties together will probably cost about $250 installed. That's over $1,000 before you even consider fitting the frame, slide & small parts, finishing, etc.
CB just described the new SIG 1911, available from www.adcofirearms.com for under $900.
 

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I think if it was me, I'd call some gunsmiths and get some quotes. I'd tell them what I'm looking for and about how much I would like to spend and then let them help you figure it out. If the prices are too high then maybe you should wait till you have time to put some more money together. While you may want a plain jane gun you still want the best materials you can get. Otherwise you might consider buying a stock gun and having it slicked up. Kind of semi custom if you will, until your in a better financial situation. Just my .02.
 

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Well, if forced, I'd go as low as $900 for a custom from Bob Brown, PistolWrench or Ned Christensen! :hrm:

The problem is getting either of them to agree.
:biglaugh:
 
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