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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
[I realize this is a Dane question but I thought I could get advice from others as well.]

I've recently been (re)struck with the need for a 9x23. So, that begs the question: which is the best platform? I'm looking at either a SA .38 Super or 9mm, or a Colt 1991 in same calibers.

Also, is the stock Colt 9x23 worth the going price of around $700 NIB? Is the barrel quality up to snuff or would I need a new barrel along with a reliability job to use factory loads?
 

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Buzz,

A lot depends on how much of a *custom* pistol you are talking about. If you are talking about a simple caliber conversion, then either the SA or Colt .38 Super or 9mm would make good base guns. If the $700 Colt you mentioned is one of the 'enhanced' 9x23s (not a .38 Super or 9mm 1991A1) then you could make do with the factory barrel -- but it ain't no BarSto. Some don't like the way the factory reamed the chamber either. There is also a slide rib that I don't like on the enhanced Colts (it may be fine with you). SA did offer 9x23 from the factory. The barrel lockup is stronger on the SA than the Colt, but you then you have to deal with the front strap squareness and dust covers issues (if you find them a problem).

I have a NIB Colt 1991A1 with Dane right now that I paid $435 two years ago. I *thought* I was going to do just a caliber conversion with a few extras and ended up asking Dane to build a best grade gun instead. I like Colts a lot, so I don't regret the decision -- but it wasn't the cheapest approach. The slide needed a fair amount of work in order to bring it up to the standards of a best grade gun. If that same Colt 1991 were now $700 and I was considering building a best grade gun, then no question I would have Dane start with a frame and slide set.

Having a gunsmith fit an oversized frame and slide set is a better approach IMO. Some would argue that unless it is a frame up build, then it is not a *true* custom. There is also a group of folks that would argue a Colt is the only base gun suitable to for an heirloom pistol. There are merrits in both arguements. If you never plan on selling it, then both points are kinda mute. Buy what you like. Resale value only matters if you plan on selling it. My fullhouse BCP Colt 9x23 will be a keeper. :smile:

DD

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Desert Dog on 2001-05-06 12:57 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, DD

I wasn't really looking for a full-house, at least not yet. I'm mainly interested in getting one that's 100% reliable with factory loads, as well as Dane's recommended loads.

Some fellow board members have directed me towards NIB 1991 9x23s. I may pick one up just to see what 9x23 is all about.

Of course, a Kimber 9x23 would be fantastic. Hey, Kimber, are you listening?

As for resale, what's that? :smile:

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: buzz_knox on 2001-05-06 12:46 ]</font>
 

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Kimber IS making a .38 super Gold Cup Stainless (with a flat top though) any time now. I'm planning on ordering a pair for the store, but sure hope they sell :smile:
You'd still end up converting caliber, and I'd think the slide-frame way would be better for building a gun. (Why buy a factory gun, only to replace everything but the frame and slide?)
Maybe you can have Dane engrave "Golt" on the slide, with a little unicorn on it. That's not infringing copyright, right? :smile:
 

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Buzz,

I was editing my post as you were adding yours. See the additional comments on the Colts. There were NO non-enhanced 1991A1s in 9x23. There were some 'enhanced' Colts that came with both a .38 Super and 9x23 barrels. If you want a 100% reliable 9x23, then you need to send it to Dane. IMHO, no one knows how to make 1911s chambered in 9x23 run better. A gun for fun is one thing, but if you plan of carrying it for self defense, then be aware there are some issues.

DD
 

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I would go with a frame/slide set if i were building a gun up. Just too many variables in fit using a gun from the factory. End up throwing too much away...not that is a bad thing...series 70 guns and all.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: eerw on 2001-05-06 16:45 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I've heard that Kimber is making the .38 Super. I've even seen an ad for someone pre-selling them. They've got them listed at around $1400! Reminds me of the Honda S2000 fiasco.

By the way, DD, thanks for the correction. I was told they were NIB and assumed it was a 1991.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: buzz_knox on 2001-05-06 13:11 ]</font>
 

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I would suggest a 9mm Springfield loaded model as the current best conversion gun for 9x23.

George and Tom, my two professional and astute 9x23 smiths, how about an answer to the gentlemen's question? What is the best base gun for a 9x23 IYO?

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-05-06 17:52 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dane,

Why is the 9mm better than the .38 Super and why SA over Colt? Isn't it more expensive in the long run if you want the frontstrap and dustcover to Colt specs?
 

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First off,let me say that dane does know a lot about the 9x23,his
website has a lot of great info.But there are other smiths out there that can build a GOOD 9x23 gun also.I know for fact that EGW can.most of the 9x23 guns I do are play guns,but have done a few carry also.As a base gun(for carry)I like colt,but prefer
frame & slide build ups. Tom Novak

Novak's Handgunner Outlet
(724)539-2774
[email protected]
 

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On 2001-05-06 13:09, buzz_knox wrote:
I've heard that Kimber is making the .38 Super. I've even seen an ad for someone pre-selling them. They've got them listed at around $1400!
That's probably full retail. I haven't seen a price on one, but it should be around the price of the other Gold Matchs in SS, which we have out for ~1100 IIRC.

Still expensive if you're ditching the barrel and stuff too, frame/ slide combo seems the best option.
 

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Springfield doesn't make a 38 Super loaded model, hence the 9mm.

Springfield over Colt? I like the Springfield and don't care much for the current Colts.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-05-07 02:09 ]</font>
 

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buzz...good luck on finding what you are after, the 9x23 is a great little caliber, IMFO.

Let me also say this regarding a "fun" gun. I have some friends who are into IPSC up to their eyeballs. Chances are some of their names are familiar to some here, but their names aren't relevant to this post. Point is, it is one thing to only lose a few clicks on the clock when a gun doesn't work, as *many* race guns don't from time to time. It is another to absolutely positively have to have the thing go off in your hand when you press the trigger. Want a gun that would be fun when it shoots, hell, do one of the Glock 20 or 29 conversions. People in the "know" say all you have to do is "drop in a barrel, bend the mag lips a little and go shooting". Uh huh.

As a customer who pays full price on every gun he has had 'smithed [call me a fool, I guess] I will say this...Burns knows how to build a 9x23. I am on the other side of 3k rounds with mine, nary a hiccup yet :grin: Course, the gun is filthy most of the time...maybe that is the secret, eh?

Btw, buzz, my next 9x23 will be a STI from Dane, ordered it the other day, can't wait.

Whoever pointed out that DD has posted 7% of the posts here, good work. What you did not say is what I have discovered: In exactly 34.78652% of those posts, beautiful pictures of guns from various shops appear. In exactly 12.986428%, he is congratulating someone on a gun they either built themself, or, more in line with the conspiracy theory I like...they had built by someone else. Hmmmm. Now, oddly, in only 1.0000077% of those posts, does the word "Dane" appear, but in a full 98.9999923%, some sort of smilie is used. See where I am going? DD will not use a smilie when making a reference to Dane, or a gun Dane has built. Well, off to do more investigation into a developing conspiracy...now, where is that foil hat of mine......

You guys have a good night, and don't take this internet stuff so serious :smile:
 

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This forum is open to all, smiths included and encouraged. Be nice if the smiths that do contribute would actually add to the commentary wouldn't it? I started this list to help us all out professionally. "US" being the smiths in the business. George you and I both know in intimate detail what happens when a pistolsmith's business fails. Our customers suffer. I was hopeing this forum would be a place to strengthen all of our businesses. Our industry is important to me. Enough to share some of my profits to help others succeed.

I welcome everyone, professionals or not, to take advantage of this forum. If you think the content isn't fair to you use the board more. Actually adding some useful content instead of bitching about my customers supporting me would be nice.

After all if it wasn't for that support (across board from all of our customers) neither of us would have a place to show our wares.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-05-07 00:26 ]</font>
 

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Ok here is my opinion on the 9x23 question

Colt.
The firing pin hole is .068-.069 the stock pin is .062
put a steel .068 pin in
the stock extractor is probably (usually) too rounded off on
the bottom, where the round is waiting to be ejected.
replace with a quality extractor and put a Smaller radius on
the bottom. We make sure it has .065 from the bolt face out to the hook to give the round room to come up out of the mag.
the firing pin stop will allow the extractor to rotate.
replace with an oversize to keep it from turning.
Colt has a nasty habbit. When they cut the ejector cut in the
slide it goes through the slide of the bolt face. the case
comes down out of battery and tetters on the edge that should
not be there but sometimes is. We weld the side up and edm
the bolt face to .410 ish,
colt also has a habbit of making the bolt face toooo wide.
the super rim is .404 the 23 rim even smaller. We have had
colts in that measured over .424. If you set the extractor tension with the bolt face that wide it can cause some feeding
problems as the round tends to come in from the side.
The sear is mim has been from '82 ish on. we rockwell it and
if it is less than 48 we do not use it. The mag catch is usually
fine. We replace the bushing as the stock is loose as a rule.

On The Springfield
The bolt face tends to be small. Not a problem on 9x23 just in
super. Extractors tend to be better. the firing pin hole is
.075 so we use a fitted pin again with x power fp spring.
I have not seen the problem with the ejector cut in the springfields personally. Again the O/S firing pin stop keeps the
extractor from turning and is a good idea.
For agressive hollowpoints I like the ramp barrel. the round in the same position in the mag (hi as Dane points out compaired to the 45 which is good)
with a round nose and a big hollow point the contact point of
the hollow point is lower on the ramp. Typically ramp barrels
are .310 from the rail down. somewhat deeper than the small ramp
on a stock colt. Big issue on 10 round mags for the first round
but much better than the super in this regard. Again new barrel
bushing as the stock is loose.
Of course I would want to polish the bolt face on both guns
and the feed ramp. Polish the top of the firing pin hole as some
times rounds stop there. Check the chamber size and depth.
The Springfield new guns have the Mim hammer and sear and I have
not had luck with them. 2 have come in now only touching on one
side of the hammer. I replace them as a matter of course.
If you checker the Springfield during the process you can convert
it to a colt radius. I think the Springfield would be less expensive to do.

Hope this is helpful.
geo ><>
 

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EGW,

Now your cooking with grease !!! Very nice post there. That's the kind of stuff which really makes interesting reading. Keep it coming.

You know, I've seen on several boards some smiths talk in extreme generalities, almost like they don't want to give away any secrets. Pisses me off. This post was informative. Thanks for sharing. Gonna be a great site with content like this.
 

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George,

You apology is accepted -- no hard feelings. I appreciate that you considered your thoughts further. I would add, this site is not about being one continuous commercial for Dane Burns -- far from it. In fact, if you will take the time to read this thread, you might gain a better understanding about what we are trying to accomplish here. What is going on, is far more selfless than your (now deleted) post suggested.

While my enthusiasm and appreciation for Dane's skills may have seemed like a commercial to you, I can assure you it is nothing more than sincere admiration. If I am over the top with singing his praises, then please pardon exuberance -- it is sometimes hard to contain. I am not so naive as to think Dane is the only great gunsmith on the planet. In fact, I do have work coming from other gunsmiths. Part of me wishes Dane was a little less well known, as his wait is now measured in years. Such is the price of success. I also wish more gunsmiths would allow themselves to be happy for another gunsmiths success.

There is much work going on here that clearly you are not aware of. I am volunteering my time (and small amounts of money) in an effort to make this site a success. I seek no monetary rewards or professional discounts, only the good feeling that comes from being a small part of promoting the artisans I admire, while helping to provide the shooting community a better information resource. A modest but worthy aspiration in my view.

If you would like to help us in this effort to better educate the customers, while at the same time helping to promote worthy pistolsmiths, then please continue adding content here. You have lots of experience in the business to offer and many here would benefit by you sharing what you know. I think the post you just put up is a good start. Your comments on the "Checkering - hand cut vs. machine cut" thread would be interesting to hear you weigh in on. I will look forward to reading more of your posts in the future. Elridge Cleaver once remarked: "If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem." Nice to see you want to be part of the solution. :smile:

DD

p.s. For complete intructions on professional registration, go here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wouldn't SA's Milspec .38 Super be acceptable for a base gun? The frame and slide are the same, aren't they?
 

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That was a GREAT post...:eek:

Thanks to George on that one, gave me at least three things to check on my SA...

Great stuff all 'round...


Thanks everyone!

:wink:
 
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