Talking to my Gunsmith

The Biter
My favorite local gunsmith specializes in 1911's. This is the guy that did the excellent custom hammer work for me on The Biter.

It was a slow day in the shop so we were hanging out talking, drinking coffee, petting the cutest pit bull in the known universe.

I was looking for some thin grips and maybe a new trigger. Conversation came around to how he came to specialize in 1911s. His answer surprised me, "1911s are the perfect storm. They are expensive and need a lot of gun smithing to sort out their bugs." He continued, "The design is a hundred years old, we learned a lot in that hundred years. The mag design alone is awful. Even Jeff Cooper would bitch about their capacity and reliability now. What the F&%k, it's been a hundred years."

That was the point when coffee blasted out my nose. But he didn't stop.

Referring to my compact 1911, "People still love em though. This little guy you have will jam at least once every hundred rounds, I'd bet money." He's right. "It weighs a ton. This mechanical design should have a longer slide run. They just made it shorter. No design optimization. They left that to the smiths."

He said, "I Love 1911's,and people that get nostalgic guns that make me a ton of cash.  Average 1911 owner will spend about $2000 on a 1911 between initial cost and smithing. Even then they will still be picky about ammo. Me? I'll carry a gun that can be shot 10,000 times without cleaning, with no modifications."
 
I peeked. He carries an HK 45.

--I still like my 1911. But I only have about $410 into it total so far.

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

He actually said that stuff to a customer?

JB Miller said...

We had just finished talking about mods to my Glocks. Maybe he is just a good salesman!

New Jovian Thunderbolt said...

Yeah, I don't get it. I will post something about this Monday.

JB Miller said...

It's interesting to me that most people I know that have 1911s have had them in for mods and tuning. I'm cool with that. Anyone that knows me knows that almost all my guns have been modified and upgraded. Even my 1911.

Gunnutmegger said...

Thank you for telling the truth about the 1911.

Hopefully you won't have to take as much grief as I did for saying it.

http://www.yankeegunnuts.com/2010/12/20/the-1911-sucks/

Anonymous said...

Fuck 1911s grandpa.

Tam said...

A 3.5" Filipino slag gun has reliability issues?

This is my shocked face.

;)

Anonymous said...

My oldest 1911A1 from Springfield. I'm in a couple of extractors and recoil springs. I have sent it back to Springfield for service twice (Fedex postage). Not bad for beating on a gun every time I go to the range and at least two IDPA competitions every year. I haven't yet needed the help of a gunsmith yet.

Counsel said...

My ria 45 compact has yet to fail after 500 rounds. No fte, etc... It isn't my daily carry, but it satisfies my 45 desire since i couldn't/can't afford the hk45c...

teke175 said...

My Kimber Ultra CDP II only had feeding problems with certain brand JHP's in the beginning.
I switched to a brand where the copper wrapped the nose and it wasn't soo flat and it went away. Once everything worked out and I got some Wilson Mags It runs beautifully and has never been seen by a smith. It sounds like your smith was setting up a future expeniture acount with you saying you have another ~$1500 to spend with him.

Dave Anderson said...

I confess that this is true in my experience. I love my 1911s. One Colt, one Kimber. Both of them took forever to break in and required work to get them right. Use only really good, professional gunsmiths. Not cheap.

In the end they rock (with the right ammo).

Anonymous said...

Mine was good right out of the box. I did pay $1850 for it.

Ammo? No hallow points or steel casings.

K. Rihanek said...

The 1911 is what it is. If you're not going to train with it every month you shouldn't carry one. HK, Glock, S&W M&P, Springfield XDm just plain work. No fuss, load them and shoot them. Perfect carry guns. 1911s need testing and often adjustments to run 1000+ rounds w/o some kind of failure. I have 1911 ($1400) that so far has been good to me (500 rounds).

Laughingdog said...

I peaked. He carries an HK 45.

I believe the word you were looking for was "peeked".

Even Jeff Cooper would bitch about their capacity and reliability now.

I use Chip McCormick Power Mags. They hold 8 rounds, have worked flawlessly, and I pay $22-$24 a piece for them on average.

My friends Sig P220 has 8 round mags, have worked flawlessly for him, and he pays $35-$40 for his.

I definitely don't get why some people get so emotionally invested in their firearm choice. I guess he got a full sized glass of Haterade with his breakfast that morning.

AJ187 said...

Rock Island Armory for the win. Best 450 you will ever spend. Check out guns bud shop for free shipping and no tax. :)