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Discussion Starter #1
I've been wanting to purchase a very nice custom 1911 for many years and now I'm down to trying to choose from the many custom 1911 makers. I want to do it once and I want to do it right.

The big three that I'm most attracted to are Les Baer, Ed Brown, and Nighthawk Custom. I hate stainless steel and I want a 5", single stack model with all the bells and whistles. I plan on getting night sights to whatever I choose. I'm also debating if I should get a 1911 with a light rail.

As far as guide rods are concerned, I'm really confused. I've heard of one piece, two piece, and some Ed Brown models have NO guide rod (not sure why). Need help here.

So....if you could only own ONE custom 1911...which maker would it be? And if you want to get into details...which model?
 

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I am very happy with my Kimber Warrior, not sure I would spend the money to step up to a full custom. That being said, I doubt you'll be unhappy with either of the three you listed.

As for the light rail, I really like having it on mine. The Warrior is my nightstand gun and I have a Stremlight TRL-1 under it. Great set up and pretty much lights up the whole condo.

I'm not sold on the need for a full length guide rod, and it certainly adds time/complexity to field stripping the gun. If you decide that you want to go with a full length, I will say go with a one piece over a two piece. They perform the same function, but the two piece unscrews into two pieces with the front piece sliding out so you can tear the gun down from that point on like normal 1911. Perhaps somebody is referring to the original style as no guide rod? The standard guide rod is more like a half guide rod I guess you could call it...

Features I would go with:
Night Sights (I like the lower profile ones especially when holstered)
Light Rail frame
Front slide serations
Stryder/Simmonich Gunner Grips or Pachmyr signature grip
Ambidextrous Extended Safety
I like a 4-5 lbs trigger pull, I don't want it too light.
Beavertail safety and Delta hammer (I've received hammer bit from the original style grip safety before)
Any custom gun should have all the fitment and tolerances taken care of properly, so no real worries there

Things I would not order on my custom:
Front grip checkering
Full Length Guide Rod
Firing pin safety

That's all that comes to mind... at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Bad Karma.....thanks for the valuable info.

A friend of mine called and said the Smith & Wesson 1911 is worth checking out. For some reason when I think 1911 I don't think S&W.
 

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...Or a Colt Centennial 1911. :wink:

Like BK, I also have a Kimber that's my "things that go bump in the night" gun. It's a TLE w/light rail. I'm a real fan of rails n' lights, it allows me it illuminate an area temporarily without compromising my grip on the gun or changing my reload procedure.

An FLG doesn't do a lot for the gun; it was developed in the '70's when IPSC was in it's heyday and it was seen as a way to increase reliability by decreasing the chance that the recoil spring would kink and bind up the gun.

Ed Brown, Les Baer and Wilson Combat/Nighthawk would be who I'd look to for a production custom gun. For a semi-custom, I'd look at Kimber and the SAI TRP and Operator models

I differ with BK in that I like front strap checkering. Foremost, I live in SW Oklahoma and our summers are long and hot. My hands tend to get sweaty pretty quick and I like the additional grip checkering provides when I'm shooting without gloves. I would go with 30 LPI versus 20 LPI checkering, because the smaller "bumps" will put less wear and tear on your hands.

I would also go with a standard size ambi- safety. I've used an extended one in the past and found that I would sometimes accidentally safe the gun while shooting. For scales, I like AlumaGrips - very light, very grippy.

Leb
 

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I think you'll be happy with a purchase from any of those companies but I'll have to be in the minority on the light rail. When I think of a custom 1911 I think of a well made gun with nice, smooth lines with that extra added touch you may not get with a cheaper 1911. I think a light rail adds a chunky block to the front and just messes up those lines. There are plenty of cheaper guns with light rails if that's what you want but most people don't spend thousands of dollars on a custom pistol just to hang a light on it and sit it by their bed, go buy a Glock for that.
 

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custom 1911

don't get a full length guide rod its pure snake oil....all three are great choice I would choose the ed brown out of the three. the executive elite or the special forces.
 

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I do not know if you would call it custom, but I would want a Springfield TRP. I have a Lightweight Operator and love it, but, had I the money then I would have gotten the TRP.
 

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Wilson Combat CQB no guide rod. the light rail for me does nothing you want a light rail buy a cheap Glock or XDM
 

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Well I say buy the Brown!! I love mine!! I carry it Daily!!!
Baer's are almost as nice!















STI are AWESOME also!!

 

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Discussion Starter #11
Very nice! I really like the first pic of the Special Forces model. I've also seen it with the rail option.
 

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Check out kandros customs out of hendersonville, TN. It's not a gun you'd want to scratch up, but he's the guy you'd send a les baer to for improvements. Just one opinion and def worth looking at.
 

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I have a nighthawk GRP, very nice pistol, it was a LOT of missed lunches and saving my pennies. Any of the three you stated are gonna set you back 2 grand, but for me when I bought the GRP, I knew it would be the last, I didnt get a rail, but if you must have a rail, also consider adding the Dawson rail, I put one on my kimber custom. It doesnt stick out from the sides. Any one of them you wont be disappointed.
 

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I don't know, I didn't pay 2k, but I absolutely love My GSR Revolution.

I've only used her in one competition so far, but damn!



 

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+1

I have thought of getting a Sig 1911. I hear they are actually very good guns and as custom or tricked-out as more expensive guns but, due to manufacturing scale, Sig can offer such a gun cheaper.
 

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Re:

Aaron said:
Bad Karma.....thanks for the valuable info.

A friend of mine called and said the Smith & Wesson 1911 is worth checking out. For some reason when I think 1911 I don't think S&W.
I love mine. bought it second hand and havent had any problems with it a few hundred rounds later. :mrgreen:
 

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The guide rod issue is a matter of personal taste. If you google it you will get all kinds of answers. Neither one is right or wrong. I have four 1911's and love all of them: Ed Brown Special Forces, Double Star, Smith & Wesson alloy frame commander and Sig Sauer SOCOM. My Ed Brown is my favorite (just feels good in the hand). I have done some minor modifications to the other three. I custom fit a threaded barrel to my Double Star and will do the same to my Sig in the next few months. All four will put 8 rounds in a 1 inch group at 15 yards. I like the light rails. My Double Star and Sig have rails. I'm looking to purchase a Wilson Combat light weight commander with light rail in the future.

I've manage to save a lot of money on all 4 pistols by buying used. Check the fit of the frame and barrel when looking at used. With the slide forward in battery, press down on the hood of the barrel if it has any play keep looking. The barrel lock-up is where 90% of your accuracy comes from. It's okay to have a little lateral play in the frame and slide, full length guide rod will fix that. You don't want any vertical play. Lock the slide to the rear and check for play, should be none.

When you decide to buy one, go with your gut and buy the one that feels the best no matter what make it is.
 
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