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Greetings Gentlemen,

I sent off a new Kimber Classic Custom a few weeks ago to Novak's shop, to have work done on it by Joe Bonar. I had just gotten into 1911's and basically picked up an old gun magazine and picked out a name of a custom shop, and decided to go with it. I've seen their sights and like them, and thats about all the experience I've had with Novaks.

Regardless, I'd like to hear about your opinions (either good or bad) and experiences with their shop. Im hoping that I made a decent decision in selecting a gunsmith to build my 1911, given that I did absolutely no research to find gunsmiths beforehand.

Thanks in advance!

-Jim

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: JimGA on 2001-04-07 17:01 ]</font>
 
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Jim,
I have had work done on two psitols by Novaks.
The first was a S&W 442 that was given a cylinder chamfer, trigger polishing and sight work. It was very well done IMO and I carried the piece for four years until I sold it and purchased the new 342PD.
The second gun was a 5" comp gun that Novaks
originally built as a pin gun that I picked up while in New Hampshire, they cleaned it up for me and I traded it in a deal to pick up two Les Baer pitols.
The work was very good and I should note that I do not care for thier sights though.
 

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I had four guns built by Novak's. A Hi-Power (Kurt Wickman), A P-13 Para (Joe Bonar), a pre-70 series Colt (Joe Bonar) and a stainless Series 80 Colt (Joe Bonar). All were good guns, but I paid a heavy premium and waited a VERY long time (years) (it is not worth the wait, given the quality of Les Baer's guns). I like Heinie's sights better than Novak's. I don't own any of them any more. I had to go to Open Class because of poor vision and my gunsmith is now Lynndell Jarrett, but my open sight guns now sport Heinie fixed sights and Bomars.
 

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I have had many Spec Ops Highpowers done by the Novak Custom shop. Work was done by Kevin Stump and all customers and owners of the guns were extremely pleased with there purchase.

I have also had action and reliability packages done there for other guns for other customers.

Timely, high quality work and the Shop stands behind the work.
 

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Novaks shop has modified 2 pistols for me, a Sig P220 and a S&W 4013TSW. The Sig had more extensive work done than the Smith... and I was pleased with the quality of the work and the turaround time.
 

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Here is a link to my P14-45 that was done by Joe Bonar. This is their "tactical conversion" (what isn't these days?)and I am very happy with the pistol. It has the Kart barrel and shoots about 3" at 50 yards. Finish is Black T which added significantly to the delivery time (1 year). I would have additional work done by them. If you can, visit the shop. You will be suprised ho small it is; basically a big garage. I have seen a few HPs done by Kevin Stump and they are great. I think they come a little faster from what i have seen.
http://albums.photopoint.com/j/View?u=1 ... p=46320065
 

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Thanks for the compliments and thanks for posting the images. I will try it the way shown in the edit. Forrest
 

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Hi folks!
I've had Novak's build 5 guns for me, first was a S&W 4516-2,
next was a BHP by Kurt Wickmann, then a Sig P229-also by Kurt,
then a S&W 640-1 that Wayne himself built, and a Sig P220-1 .45/
.400 Cor-Bon. I am currently waiting for a Colt Commander ltw.
.45 that came out of Wayne's 1950's safe still in the original
box, Joe Bonar built it, but had an ejector problem so I sent
it back and decided to have it hard chromed/Black-T'd, maybe I
made a mistake because I haven't seen it in 6 months! It took
them 6 months the first time too, but it's a full-house gun
with checkering and Bar-Sto barrel, etc. I must say that when
Roger Echard built my full house Sig P220, he turned it around
in 3 months-Black-T, Bar-Sto and every other damn thing!!!
 

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They have done three guns for me. The first was a HP that Kurt Wickmann did. The other two were Colt Commanders done by Joe Bonar. I have been very pleased with the quality of their work. The last Commander had extensive work including checkering by MetalSmith, and I still had the gun back in under two months which I received this past April. Let us know how your gun turns out.
 

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Hi folks!
I just recieved my '57 Colt Commander lightweight back from Joe
Bonar at Novak's. It's very nice, but after it was built full
house, then blued/anodized, I recieved it and shot about 500 rds
thru it. About 50% of the ejected brass hit me in the forehead,
so I sent it back to be adjusted. Since he was going to have it
anyways(and FedEx is too expensive to keep shipping back and
forth)I decided to have him hard-chrome the lower, Black-T the
upper, checker the mag-release button and change the McCormick
aluminum trigger to an STI titanium/aluminum model and then
engrave my name on the slide. When I recieved it after 6 months,
the extractor was adjusted and it had been refinshed is all.
I like Novak's and they sure are friendly people, but I wish
they would have looked at the work order a little closer! In
all fairness, they didn't charge me for the things they didn't
do, and Joe did bolt on a nice set of Spegel grips for free...
other than that little bitch, the work is excellent! I've been
dealing with this group of guys since 1989, and they are a great
bunch!
 

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The folks from Novak's shoot at the same club that I do.

I can't recall ever seeing one of their guns not fuction.
 

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I've had five guns done by Novak's. Two Spec Ops P35s (Kurt Wickmann), a P-14 done before the FBI-HRT guns that could have been cloned from mine, a L/W Officers acp (that sadly, must be sold to pay for my wife's landscaping fiasco) and a Government Model. All are flawless.
 

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Much like Terry Peters stated above, I've had Novak's build quite a few guns for me, and for resale. I keep several Hi Powers in the pipeline at all times. Currently, I carry one of the Special Ops Hi Powers in .357 Sig, which is one of the most accurate pistols I own, and utterly reliable. I also had Joe Bonar build my wife a .38 Super Colt Commander, which she won't part with. They are good folks to do business with, and I highly recommend them.
Allan
 

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I ordered a Series 70 Colt Commander (9mm)from Novaks along with a significant amount of work. Joe Bonar was a pleasure to work with and he turned the gun around in a very rapid manner. The work is top notch. I am so pleased with it that I ordered another in 45acp. I have also owned a Novak full house High Power and it functioned flawlessly and was incredibly accurate. Several of my friends also own and carry Novak full house guns and they too are extremely pleased with the work.
 

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I've had numerous guns worked on by Novaks. Several revolvers done by Wayne himself, with the rest done by Joe Bonar. Joe and I have become good friends over the years, so I am not totally objective, but I haven't used anyone else for my .45's. All of the work is first class, and the few minor glitches have been fixed with extra goodies thrown in for free. They are great people and won't try to sell you on something you don't need.
 

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I called Novak's a few months back to order some take-off Colt hammers and sears. After a brief conversation with Joe Bonar re: my needs, we wrapped up an order for one Colt hammer and one Colt tool steel sear. When I got the package, I was surprised to see not one, but FOUR Colt sears in the box. I was only charged for one! This was highly generous, and I was certainly satisfied with my order. Any time that I've called Novak's for anything, I've always been treated well.
 

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Guys, I'm in a bit of a quandry.....I've used
Novak's for several guns in the past, but I'm
having a bit of a problem. On Nov. 20, '01,
I ordered 2 Videcki triggers from Joe Bonar.
On December 5th, they cashed the money order.
Concerned that the transaction was lost, I
called and asked about it. It is very unfor-
tunate that Joe's wife was in a car accident
right about then. So I offered my condol-
ences and rang off, figuring to wait until
things got back to normal. So, on Jan 3rd,
I e-mailed, and got a response from Karen,
who assured me that they were on the way,
Joe had just forgot. On Jan 10th, I called
again, and got Joe. He had forgot again,
but assured me that he would take care of
it right away. It's now Jan 20th, and still
no triggers! Fortunately, Mr. Burns has a
ready supply and my gun can now be finished,
(by Mr. Pete Carber-Custom Arms Co.).
I don't wish to start a flame, or slam any-
one unduly, but I think 3 months is enough!
It's not like he didn't have any, he told
me he had "thousands of them". Any opinions
on what to do?
 

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Marc, You are right it has been to long to wait , and I apologize for my response to a good customers order. I have no excuse other than trying to organize the 93 pistols on or around my bench for other good customers. Sometimes I get a little overwelmed. My fault and I hope you recieved your Triggers today. again I apologize for not taking care of a very good customer!!! I will work to do a better job in the future!! signed Joe Bonar
 

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Sometimes I get a little overwelmed.
Joe don't feel like the lone stranger :grin: I talked to Lou tonight and Dick a couple of days ago. Everyone is swamped. Never fun to drop the ball but I have been doing a lot of apologizing myself lately.

Can't work any more than I am and can't be cloned yet! I suspect most of us are in the same boat.
 
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