What makes your pistols different from those of other builders?
The main difference is the method of manufacturing. Most "custom" pistol shops are actually factories that build guns in assembly-line fashion. This means that the pistol will change hands between many different factory workers from start to finish. In our shop, the head gunsmith oversees every aspect of the build from start to finish, including final function and accuracy testing. This method, which is extremely rare in the world of custom pistols, ensures a very high standard of fit and finish in every build.
Slide to frame fit is the foundation upon which true match-grade accuracy is built. As such, we do our slide to frame fit differently than most shops. Our slides and frames are mated by surface grinding the frame, followed by 800 grit hand lapping, until the slide glides effortlessly on the frame without perceivable vertical or horizontal play. When there’s play between the slide and the frame, each time the slide returns to battery, it will settle in a slightly different position and thus the barrel will point in a slightly different direction – this is obviously detrimental to accuracy. Meticulous attention to detail in slide to frame fit eliminates this variability in the pistol’s function. This tight slide to frame fit has other benefits. Contrary to popular belief, it actually increases reliability – when slide to frame fit is this tight, grit cannot wedge itself in between the slide and frame and impede function. Also, the closely mated fit produces uniform wear because there is significantly more surface area in contact between the slide and frame. This leads to increased longevity – your barrel will need to be replaced many times over before the slide to frame fit begins to loosen significantly.
The next step, and arguably the most important in terms of accuracy, is the barrel. We start with the best barrels we can find, KKM Match-Grade. The tolerances are held very close on the machining of the barrel. If a barrel is overcut, it will not be welded up and refit - it will become scrap. Customers will not be given a brand new custom pistol with parts that have been "fixed", a practice which is unfortunately all too common in the firearms industry.
We also are very meticulous about the "Link and Time" section of the build - selecting the correct link and fitting it such that the barrel is in the proper position in relation to the slide and frame during the cycle of operations. This is another aspect of custom 1911 pistol building which is often done incorrectly.
Once the gun has been completely fit and assembled, it is given a very rigorous function test. Many of the production and "custom" pistols that we see in our shop fail our function test in one or more categories.
Our method of building pistols also allows great attention to be paid to ergonomics. When you pick up one of our pistols, you can feel the difference in your hand. The fit and blend of the safeties is of particular importance to proper pistol ergonomics. When it comes to walnut grips, we individually fit each set of grips, which starts off oversized. You'll notice our grip panels cover much more of the pistol frame than others, and as such, have a much better feel in the hand. These are the kind of details which most other shops overlook.
In the age of CNC Gunsmithing, the best guns in the world are still built by highly skilled craftsmen. They are built by hand, one at a time. This is how we are different. Because we choose to produce our 1911’s in this manner, production is limited to forty pistols each year. We are building these pistols to meet our own personal standards of quality and to live up to the passion we have for the 1911.
How long does it take to build a custom 1911?
It normally takes four to six months for us to complete your custom 1911 order. Options like custom hand engraving can extend delivery. Pistols on the "Ready To Ship" section of the website are ready for immediate delivery.
Do you work on customer owned firearms?
We are focused on building custom 1911's. However, we will also Accurize customer owned 1911's. For details on this service see the Accurizing information on this sight coming soon. Other than custom builds and Accurizing of 1911's we do not work on customer owned firearms.