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Discussion Starter #1
I'm starting to shop for my second 1911. Since it will most assuredly not be my last, and since I'd like to try my hand at some DIY gunsmithing (I already have the Dremel; should I get a stick welder or an oxy-acetylene rig? :wink:), I'm thinking of going cheap.

I ran into a guy at the range who seemed quite pleased with his Auto-Ordnance, and I've been reading quite a few positive comments about Dalys on TFL. I'm prepared to replace innards as necessary, and am not too concerned about finish, but how do these rate as far as basic slide and frame quality? Are there others I should consider? Thanks.
 

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On 2001-03-30 18:25, Mike Benedict wrote:
Auto-Ordnance and Dalys are bottom of the barrel stuff. Stick with a Kimber or a Springfield and you will be a whole lot happier.
I think a Kimber is the best deal going.
Mike, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but the Chuckie D. boys over in the 1911 Forum say LOTS of good things about them. Maybe those guys don't know any better - or they have never owned a Para (had to throw that one in :wink:
 

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Have you actually looked at a Charles Daly? The fit of the parts is pretty bad. Big gaps, uneven machining, UGH!!

Another thing to consider. What are you willing to do to upgrade the Charles Daly? If you put some money into it which works out to what it would have cost to get a Colt, Springfield, or Kimber what's the point?

If you're looking for something to work on keep an eye out for a used Colt, Kimber, or Springfield in good shape and go that route.

If you go with the Charles Daly....Good Luck.
 

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Don't waste your money on a CD or Auto-Ordnance. It's analogous to hotrodding a Yugo or Daewoo. Why bother. When you're done, you'll still have a hotrodded piece of crap. Something that lots of beginning hobbyists forget is that you pretty much get what you pay for. You'll save some money up front, but the material, tolerances/specs, and general quality will be low. Your efforts may be spent or wasted on fixing problems that will spoil your hobby fun. Get a Kimber or Springfield and know that you'll have a quality platform on which to build. Critical dimensions and metallurgy aren't glamorous to discuss, but you'll wish you'd paid for a Kimber or SA when those things aren't right.
 

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On 2001-03-31 21:13, Hilton Yam wrote:
Don't waste your money on a CD or Auto-Ordnance. It's analogous to hotrodding a Yugo or Daewoo. Why bother. When you're done, you'll still have a hotrodded piece of crap.
:lol: But, how do you really feel? Man, that's funny! Take care.
 

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I really gotta agree with the others. By the time you build a custom gun, the cost of the original is no longer nearly as critical as it seems initially.

A really good example is that I build my own scope mounts. The difference between cheap aluminum and the best is $1 to $15. Huge difference, but on a $100 finished product is it really significant? I kinda would like it to last...
My advice is a bare-bones Springfield Armory or Para Ordnance, and trick it out to suit just you!
 

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Good one Hilton. I always make fun of people who drive souped up Hyundais. Anyway, I agree with the above sentiments. If you want to save money, you're better of getting an older, used Colt.
 

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The A-O's were always pretty wretched. However, my friend Dean Speir got one, 4 or 5 years ago, and had Mike LaRocca go through it and evaluate it. LaRocca thought that the springs and some of the lockwork parts should be replaced, if the gun was going to see semi-serious use, but overall it wasn't bad.

More recently, Kahr acquired A-O. What this bodes for A-O's quality remains to be seen, but Kahr makes some good stuff. The current COMBAT HANDGUNS has a test of one of the Kahr/A-O 1911's.

Bottom line, I've never had the displeasure of having to shop that far down the food chain. I'd rather go the extra for a Kimber, Springfield Armory, or Colt.

Rosco
 

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Yup...It's bad enough that some of those three still have some minor probs. I just couldn't go addin' to the chances of problems by startin' behind the pack...
...Besides...somethin's come over me here lately...I can't get that rockin' horse off my mind!!!:eek:
 

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One of our IDPA shooters here has a Charles Daly 1911. The gun came to him NIB with the front sight bent to the right at about a 30 degree angle! The fit is fair at best, and the finish leaves a lot to be desired.

I got my Springfield Loaded 1911 at the same time he got his CD. After seeing the Springfield, he said he may sell his gun and look for a Springfield or Colt. Quite frankly, I would, too.

_________________
Oz - IDPA# AO9766 "You can't miss fast enough to win the gunfight." - Ross Seyfried

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: OZ on 2001-04-07 01:05 ]</font>
 

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On 2001-04-06 15:04, Rosco Benson wrote:
More recently, Kahr acquired A-O. What this bodes for A-O's quality remains to be seen, but Kahr makes some good stuff. The current COMBAT HANDGUNS has a test of one of the Kahr/A-O 1911's.
I read that article in Combat Handguns tonight. It reads like it might be a decent GI style pistol now. I'm just wondering how you can tell whether your getting one from after Kahr's takeover. If I wanted just a box stock GI 1911A1, it might be the way to go. No firing pin safeties and no boxy grip style. It even comes with a lanyard loop.

 
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Discussion Starter #13
I recently handled an A-O "WWII Parkerized" which appeared to be fresh out of the factory. The good news was that the slide to frame fit was Kimber-esque. However, the barrel fit was about like a Series 80 Colt prior to the XS models. I didn't care for the very shallow markings. The serial number looked like it was in danger of being washed out, and any future refinishing would likely result in their removal. (I can't believe that the ATF will give A-O a pass on that for very long.) The hammer and some other parts still appear to be pretty rough investment castings. The hammer in particular looked like it was taken fresh from the mold and then bead-blasted and parkerized.
 

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Rosco relates:
The A-O's were always pretty wretched. However, my friend Dean Speir got one, 4 or 5 years ago, and had Mike LaRocca go through it and evaluate it. LaRocca thought that the springs and some of the lockwork parts should be replaced, if the gun was going to see semi-serious use, but overall it wasn't bad.
The full story on that curious project is on-line at http://communities.prodigy.net/sportsre ... 911a1.html

The "curious" part was that I had come to believe, not-unreasonably, that all A-O stuff was crap. When someone downloaded one of my critical comments and sent it off to Bob Lippman (then of A-O, currently Cole Distributing), he called me up and carried on like the grand finale of an Italian opera! I finally agreed to accept one of their 1911A1 "WW II" .45 ACPs for a "let the chips fall where they may T&E," and we were off.

What I wound up with, for only the second time in my life, was a plate of steaming crow. At around $325 at the time, this was an incredible value… so much so that that's when I sent it to LaRocca to make sure that A-O hadn't sent me a ringer. (I don't pose as a 'smith, so I wouldn't have discerned certain subtle enhancements.)

I still have that pistol… O, yeah!, it was a keeper!… and have logged every round through it since the day I got that sucker. I've been determined to turn it into a chunk of slag for six years now, and haven't been able to do it. And if truth be told, it's been my Number One Fun Gun for the past four years… doin' standard drills such as an El Pres and the FAM Qual Course with the A-O with it's "bump 'n' a hump" sights and stock manual safety is great practice. And when I go back to working with "Rod, the Wonder Pistol," it's like hittin' overdrive on the Autobahn.

But I too have some concerns about what sort of QA/QC A-O has maintained under the Kahr stewardship. My A-O is a genuine, circa 1994-5 West Hurley model… and I must say that I never anticipated that being a positive point! :smile:

_________________
• Dean, jus' visitin' from http://www.TheGunZone.com


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dean Speir on 2001-04-17 18:54 ]</font>
 

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I late April I made several calls to Auto-Ordance and Kahr. One fellow at A-O told me that both frame and slide are cast. He said they had two sources. One was their own shop and another in Spain. He would not give me the name of the company in Europe. Later A service rep. returned a call. He verified that the frame and slide were cast. He said that cast parts keep the cost of the finished gun low. He also said that in the future A-O will offer a bastock slide at a higher price per unit. I hope this helps. Have not seen a CD. Now busy with a new to me Colt.
 

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calthrop wrote:
I late April I made several calls to Auto-Ordance and Kahr. One fellow at A-O told me that both frame and slide are cast. He said they had two sources. One was their own shop and another in Spain. He would not give me the name of the company in Europe.
The frame and slide are investment cast (lost wax process) by Ecrimesa Feinguß of Santander, Spain.
 

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I got to handle a perfectly cleaned and lubed recent-production Charles Daly and it felt like it was stuffed with coarse sand. Pulling back the slide actually made a "crunchy" sound. I'm no expert but I'm pretty sure that is a bad thing.
 

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Since your goal is to try some homestyle gunsmithing,and you are not a gunsmith and have no real expierience then buy the least expensive 1911 you feel comfortable with. If you buy a nice 1911 and mess it up with your efforts you will be out a fair amount of money, on the other hand if you don't mind the possibility of throwing away $300-500 on a 1911 that you may mess up then go cheap.

Pat
 

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Since your goal is to try some homestyle gunsmithing,and you are not a gunsmith and have no real expierience then buy the least expensive 1911 you feel comfortable with. If you buy a nice 1911 and mess it up with your efforts you will be out a fair amount of money, on the other hand if you don't mind the possibility of throwing away $300-500 on a 1911 that you may mess up then go cheap.

Pat
 
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