Appreciate your input on the various manufacturers of slide/frames. New to custom work, considering full custom, and would appreciate guidance from you seasoned pros on proper selection. It will be a carry/fun pieces in a full size .45
I am doing the same thing. I have never had a 100% custom single stack gun built before. I did alot of checking/research. Talked to several custom smiths. The general thought was that a good way to go would be to buy a Caspian slide and Caspian frame. Most everyone thinks highly of Caspian frames and slides.I found that Caspian had more choices to offer as far as ordering your slide with your choice of the serrations and sight cuts made by them.
You can order a slide/frame from Wilson or Les Baer, but people have varied opinions on these and also you are limited in options. Be advised that going the total custom route like this probably will not be the cheapest way to go. But if it is important to get exactly what you want in a gun, it is very satisfying to hold the finnished gun in your hand knowing it was built just for you and you don't have to change a thing.
I too have been considering slide/frame choices for a full house custom. It would seem more logical to just provide the slide/frame to the pistolsmith and have them build it from scratch, rather than provide a complete pistol and have them "throw-away" everything but the slide/frame anyway.But this brought another question to mind, Federal Excise Tax.
Do you pay FET at the time you purchase the frame/slide, or would you pay the FET upon the completion of the gun? Is the FET based on the value of the gun, or is it a fixed amount? If it is based on value of gun, and paid upon completion, wouldn't it be cheaper to go ahead and buy a base gun, (knowing that everything but the frame/slide would be a loss) pay the FET at this lower price and then have the smith build you a $3000-$5000 gun? How does it work?
Mike, I believe you are correct.
The FET is slapped on the value of the complete gun before it is sold to a private buyer from the FFL.
Everytime you buy a new firearm from the gunstore, the FET is already tallied into the price you pay.
So, the cheapest route to take is to just purchase the frame by yourself first, and then shipping it off to the smith. If a smith buys the frame for you, and then works on the gun, he is required to tax you on the cost of the entire gun (parts and labor) when it is transferred to you.
When I bought my AR-15 (Bushmaster Shorty), I bought the lower receiver first, and later ordered the complete upper. I calculated the difference from doing it that way, as opposed to ordering all at once, and I did manage to save a little (don't remember the exact amount, but it was way under $100). Not much, but hey, the less tax money the goverment gets from me, the better :grin:
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