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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,
I ain't the brightest bulb in the circuit when it comes to the finer points of what to look for when purchasing a used weapon. My question is this: Can someone here on the board give us a class on what to look for in purchasing a beat up old weapon we intend to use as a base model in sending to a reputable smith for work? I know we can get someone to build us a full-house version, but what about the $200.00 beater we pick up from a friend or gunshow and want some customization done??
 

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To my way of thinking, the ideal "beater" gun to use as the basis for customization, is one that has been shot very little, but which has enough finish wear to not look nice anymore. I'm not talking about pitting, just blue wear (it's going to be refinished anyway), buggered up stocks & stock screws (likewise, probably to be replaced), and so forth.

Those selling these "beaters" take a beating on the price they can get, because most folks can't see past the stuff that's going to be redone anyway.

Rosco
 

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On 1911's, something of which to be very careful is the feed ramp and barrel throat. The barrels can be tossed if the throating is buggered up, but a feed ramp ruined is a frame ruined. I prefer to look for original feed ramps and barrel throats now, and refuse any gun that's not original. Too many knuckleheads with errant Dremel tools ruin it for everyone.
 

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Can't they be welded up and re-done? I'm sure there are extreme cases, but by the same token, there must be plenty than can be salvaged...especially for low pressure 45acp loads...don't you think?
...or do you? :wink:
 

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EGW offers a repair that replaces the feedramp with an insert..You could also go to a ramped barrel that replaces the feedramp. Dane claims using a ramped barrel isn't the most reliable, but I guess you keep the frame.
 

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It's a really good point though, I will certainly be lookin' at that area...If it's a prob to start with, might not be somethin' to buy as your one chance at a build-up...Good point indeed!

:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
OK, particularly, I have heard a lot about "cracks in the Frame". Where do these cracks occur; what to look for; what frames to be leery of; problems in trigger play, etc.
 

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Cracks frequently occur at the junction of the dust cover and frame. I've also heard of cracks above the slide stop hole cutout, but have never seen them.
 

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If you really just want a custom gun, I would think that a Caspian Fram and slide would be close in price. It may be a bit more, but the gun would be perfect in the end. No refitting or throwing parts away seems more efficient.
 

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Ok, I'm gonna give away two secrets. At the annual Camp Perry shoot, the manufacturers most times bring factory seconds to sell to smiths there. However, THE BEST LOW PRICED PISTOLS that are generally fairly inexpensive are (drum roll please) recycled police department pistols. While they have lots of holster wear, they are generally well maintained and have been shot VERY LITTLE. Look for those that appear to be well taken care of (ie no pitting or rust apparent). One of my local dealers currently has some PD .38 revolvers (S&W I think) that are currently running about $175. For you semi-auto freaks out there he has a ton of Berretta M92s. Comes with either two or three high cap mags. And I think the price is about $350. I will stop by there tomorrow and double check. It's right next door to my vet and we happen to be taking our 9+ yr old Grt Pyr in for acupuncture. So I always have to take a few minutes and browse.
 
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