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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With 4500+ hits I think the consensus is devided on the "gun review" issue. But I do think we need more of them.

The more you the customer knows the better of the custom makers are. The more critical the eye the more the any maker might learn from the comments.

I think frank discussions on value and quality is a good thing for all of us.

I also think we should be defining what value is. What is expected on a $500 gun? On a $1000 gun, a $2000 gun and on the $3000 and up price range.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-06-10 17:33 ]</font>
 

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Dane-

This is GREAT!! Would you consider starting with a $1000 to $1500 pistol for us guys with champagne tastes, but beer budgets. :grin:

Thanks

_________________
Sic Semper Tyrannus

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Witherspoon on 2001-06-10 14:18 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How about starting at the $500 range? Double the price of the pistol in some cases. Let's see what that might include and the level of fit and finish. I'll see if I can dig up a gun in the shop with a similar work order and show you what I think can and should be done for $500.

My list would be reliability, beavertail, sights and trigger job. If it is a Kimber rebuild I can stay close to $500 with my preference for a parts upgrade and the labor. If it is a Colt, sights will add heavily to the price tag and break $500.

In order of what I would done first on any 1911 here is my preference.

Reliability
clean trigger
high visability sights
ergonomics..IE beavertail

Next step up in price range would be
better sights usually with inserts, Heinie, Bomar, MMC or Novak with a dovetail front.

thumb safety

Vedecki trigger
tool steel parts on the trigger system

Carry melt on the gun

That level of work would normally break $1000 in my shop.

Next step up in price is a match barrel, BarSto or Brown in my case usually, bushing or cone.

Grips, fit, finish details, and metal prep and finally a overall finish.

The price range above $1000 is where you get the best detailing. $2000 is where I would expect another big jump. $3000 the same.

Let me see if I can add pictures and guns to this commentary. I would welcome others to do the same.

What is good I think to realise is that I can spend 40 hours in labor on a basic $1000 gun and the value at least in my mind may not be there. IE a full house gun and no match barrel. I expect a certain level of quality and parts at $1000 and another at $2000. On the other hand I could put all the best parts into a gun and not finish it to the level it should be and the value is not there IMO. Poor fit of the frame, no barrel crown and other details that should have been addressed are good examples.

Hopefully your smith and you discuss the options and you don't get over sold or undersold...or worse yet sold something that is not what you required or needed....UP or DOWN money wise.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-06-10 14:43 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here is the 'hog" gun. IT is NOT a $500 gun. Lets start here for a few comments. You guys give me yours and then I will tell you how it shoots and EVERTHING I know is wrong with this gun. Lets see what you catch and see if I see it too :grin: No one is going to hurt my feelings :grin:

I will get a $500 gun on line asap.

I'll also give you a list of what I did and what I would charge. My price list is suppose to be comparable with Heinie's.

No question this is going to be harder with out the awesome photos of Nagata. May be soem one else can post different views of the gun from my photopoint account?





<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-06-10 15:02 ]</font>
 

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On 2001-06-10 12:56, Dane Burns wrote:
With 4500+ hits I think the consensus is devided on the "gun review" issue. But I do think we need more of them.

The more you the customer knows the better of the custom makers are. The more critical the eye the more the ALL makers learn from the comments.

I think frank discussions on value and quality is a good thing for all of us.

I also think we should be defining what value is. What is expected on a $500 gun? On a $1000 gun, a $2000 gun and on the $3000 and up price range.
Dane

With all due respect while I think the concept is good, that`s not a good idea in the past open type format. Re: The Vicker`s Thread.

That started with good intentions by DD, and ended up both devisive and partisan, with folks I like and respect like David DiFabio and Richard Heinie expressing their unhappiness with the whole thread.

Perhaps that`s the nature of an Internet forum, perhaps not, but it sure seems to end up there. Witness 1911.com

I do not think that Pistolsmith.Com should be a vehicle for that stuff.


An open Thread invites any nitwit with a keyboard and/or an agenda, or too many Sixpacks to slam the work, and therefore the livelihood, of serious professionals with a national reputation.

What do I care what JoeBlowe in Dubuque thinks of Dane Burns work ? However
I would care immensely if Richard Heinie would comment in detail on Dane Burns work, or vice-versa.

Do you get my drift here Pard :grin:

How about a closed posting ,by invitatition only, Pistolsmiths thread that is open for viewing ??

Smiths could comeby, post pics and explain what & why they did what they did and
their peers could comment.o ( or not )

It harks back to your original concept for this Forum, which IMHO was a good one.

As my Dear Wife, who gave 30 years of her life to an Inner City School in NYC said after reviewing some of the recent threads here.." sometimes a little structure is a GOOD thing "

Rich L

Addenda: well looks like as usual you beat me to the Draw....





<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Blackjack on 2001-06-10 15:18 ]</font>
 

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Dane, this is a good subject matter and I thoroughly agree with you but unfortunately it will break down into three camps. The 1st camp would be the ones with the economic recourses to purchase what ever floats their boat. The second camp would be the less fortunate who will settle for the Chevy instead of the Cadillac. The 3rd camp would be the gunsmiths who would love cater to just camp #1 but in realality needs camp #2 to pay the bills.
I have no problems paying an expert $45.00 to $50.00 an hour for his/hers services because I know that he/she too must make a living to support their family. Dane I have seen pictures of your work which looks outstanding and I have read your remarks on many past post on many topics and in most cases they are logical and reasonable so I applaud your efforts as a mediator. But being a member of camp #1 these are items that I would expect for < $1,200.00 on my Colt.
1.Low mounted Bomar type sites installed.
2.Semi tight fit between slide and frame.
3.Custom barrel installed.
4.Custom frame grip safety.
5.3.5 # trigger job.
6.Checkered Front strap 20 lpi. (can be machine cut).
7.Flawless feeding of lead semi wad cutter bullets.
8.Hold 3” groups @ 50 yards.
9.Gun completely refinished.

I have done some gunsmith work for myself and friends and found the hardest job to successfully do is checkering on the frame front strap. My hat is off to those that have mastered the art of checkering the front strap on a .45, and some day I truly would like to be as proficient as others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Guys, first off if I have the time...which I may or may not, I don't mind discussing my gun and labors with "Joe Bubba" if he is polite. Hell, I remember a time when I though EVERYONE charged too much :grin:

So like I said my ego isn't going to be insulted and I can take the heat from anyone, professional or not if any one cares to have a discussion or comment on the guns under discussion. I will keep it safe and sane by using only my own work. I might even learn something from all of you.


Let me address this comment which I think is valid and let's see EXACTLY what is asked for in $1200 of pistol work.

I would expect for < $1,200.00 on my Colt.

1.Low mounted Bomar type sites installed.

Cost of the rear sight alone
$66. without shipping or a front sight. Dovetail front sight, finished part only $20.
At least two rear sight cuts to choose from and the front dovetail. Both best doen on a mill. So you have mill work..say $75/$100
worth.
Total on the inside $160


2.Semi tight fit between slide and frame.

Depends on the gun and maker..$0 to $200

3.Custom barrel installed.

Depends on the barrel and the maker again, $100 to $450

4.Custom frame grip safety.

Depends on the maker and part and labor
$30 to $200


5.3.5 # trigger job.

Parts and labor again..$50 to $250

6.Checkered Front strap 20 lpi. (can be machine cut).

$100 to $300

7.Flawless feeding of lead semi wad cutter bullets.

Reliability package? $50 to $200

8.Hold 3” groups @ 50 yards.

Hummmm from what? Your hands and ammo or a machine rest and specific ammo?

$?


9.Gun completely refinished.

Blue? How detailed a refinish? How much metal prep? $50 to $200

So on the inside $520...I couldn't do the quality of work I require for that price no would I want the gun. My friend Brian Bilby did jobs at that price level and ended his buisness in debt. But I could not do the work at that price.

For $1500 to $1600 I could in fact do that list fairly easily. At $1200 I would not, but you are very close and by down grading some of the parts and not doing the level of machine work I require or refinish to a high level you could easily get into the $1200 range IMO.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-06-10 16:03 ]</font>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It's really not fair because the detail needed in the picture isn't there and the Black T covers up some of the problems.

Chrome on the other hand high lights others.

While the fit is OK on the beavertail, some bone head cut the engagement leg too deep and now it don't work at all. You wouldn't have know that unless I told you of course.

Dare I see a hole under the pad of that thumb safety?
 

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Dane,

Would there be any way for you to take pictures of say: the frontstrap/backstrap, the back of the slide to highlight the extractor/ejector/frame rails etc? I'm guessing the answer is NO, and you maybe have someone else do your photography for you? It would be nice to be able to see that stuff up close and personal so to speak :smile:

I think its great that you are openly putting up your own work to public scrutiny.
That show's a lot of character IMO :grin:
 

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LOL...here we go...Just when we've got him to stop postin' so many of those pretty "pitchers" too!!!

...get out the check books~!!!
 

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On 2001-06-10 17:50, JLM wrote:
Dane,

I think its great that you are openly putting up your own work to public scrutiny.
That show's a lot of character IMO :grin:
I would like to emphasize the word "CHARACTER". I think this is going to be great. So much to learn and so few places to learn things. Thanks Dane.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Would there be any way for you to take pictures of say: the frontstrap/backstrap, the back of the slide to highlight the extractor/ejector/frame rails etc? I'm guessing the answer is NO :grin:
I do my own photos. I can do what you ask. Just give me some time to get them up over the next day or so.
 

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Cool :smile: Thanks Dane....
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·




Parts list?

Springfield frame
Wilson slide
Heinie rear Wilson front sight
BarSto Barrel
Vedecki trigger
Colt Slide stop
Wilson beavertail
Brown safety
Wilson pin set
Colt mag release
Colt recoil system and plug
Brown main spring housing
S&A grip screws
C&S hammer and sear @ 3.25#
Black T entire upper
Chrome frame
blued Wilson ejector
Wilson extractor
23# main
16.5# recoil
Hogue grips

I built this frame as is in 1995 I think...hard to be specific on the exact date. Internals have changed sevral times. Cosmetic flaws? The blued ejector...bad move I forgot to get it black T'ed. Rookie error. Hammer edges could have bee melted better. Hammer is very thin on the spur and I no longer use the C&S hammers because of that fact. I had my own designed by the same maker as C&S. Bottom of slide is beveled, as is front and rear of slide. Thumb safety hole was almost covered but not quite. Beavertail is sligthly thinnner than the frame. That could have been blended better. Wilson no longer makes that beavertail so I cut them myself. Hammer and sear pin are domed and actually do match. Thumb safety is much longer though and should have been cut down to match the other two. Frame to slide is not a perfect match. In time and with use the slide is now slightly forward of the frame. I suspect it should have been cut more origianlly after the barrel was fit. In this case I didn't want to rechrome the frame so I left a small mismatch that is not easily seen unless you look closely. Mag release is lower than the frame. I have fit several mag releases and this one is the least offensive cosmetically for pin lock and frame recess. Beavertail could have been fit tighter, but at least it is uniform on both sides. I am better at it five years later :grin:

I do see some piss poor melt line, a couple of machine marks and some serious wear, tear and abuse. Tell me which is which?

Tell me what was done to enhance the shootability and portability of the piece?

Feel free to comment or question.

I have a very nice (read expensive) gun and a basic gun that we can compare if there is interest. If this is a waste of time I will give it rest.


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-06-11 14:45 ]</font>
 

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Keep posting. Very interesting.

Riddle me this Dane...of all the stuff done to this pistol, what were the top 5 [in your opinion] *necessary* changes to make it a more reliable (better) carry pistol?

Forget cosmetics, tool marks, wear blemishes, etc., tell us why you did what you did to this gun, and why you didn't change the stuff pointed out as being less than perfect. As this one is a sister / brother to the .45 I have from you, guess I want to hear why you built it this way, as opposed to some other way.

Also, what would be the cost to have this pistol duplicated in your shop?

Thanks
 
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