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Best U.S. 1911 Custom Pistol Maker

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Ala Dan, Feb 15, 2006.

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The Best U.S. Custom 1911 Pistol Manufactuer'er Is

  1. Les Baer

    21.4%
  2. Ed Brown

    25.9%
  3. Nighthawk

    7.1%
  4. Larry Snow

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Yost

    29.5%
  6. Wilson Combat

    16.1%
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  1. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Vote:

    For the best U.S. custom pistol maker~!:uhoh:
     
  2. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Member

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    I've only handled a Baer and a Brown so I have no input on the others. While the Baer is a very fine weapon, I liked the Brown better. I am hoping to be able to afford a custom in a year or two, so hopefully I'll be able to weigh in with more authority on this subject in the future.:)
     
  3. bigmike45

    bigmike45 Member

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    I have handled and shot several brands......but ultimately chose Wilson Combat. I have a CQB, CQB Compact and a stainless Professional.
     
  4. Bladeandbarrel

    Bladeandbarrel Member

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    Who the heck is Larry Snow?
     
  5. osteodoc08

    osteodoc08 Member

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    You know, that guy that builds those dern 1911 type pistols:neener:

    Seriously, I was wondering the same thing. I googled the name and nothing difinitive turned up. Ala Dan, can you shed some light on this individual.
     
  6. Dale Taylor

    Dale Taylor Member

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    Dave Sample !!
     
  7. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Yes, Larry Snow is a very fine professional Custom 1911 builder who
    mainly serves the southeastern part of the United States. Back in
    the very early 90's, he built a "Custom" 1911 for me using a Safari
    Arms frame and all Colt parts. I doubt whether Mr. Snow has a web
    site, as he is a very small one man operation~!:uhoh: :)
     
  8. Black Majik

    Black Majik Member

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    At first I read "stainless Professional" and I thought, whoa, stainless SA PRO!

    ...then it clicked.... ah, Wilson Professional :D


    For me, it doesn't seem as if mixing the semi-production pistols vs. the true custom smiths is fair.

    For a Semi-production/custom pistol, I'll take a Ed Brown. They definitely have the smoothest feel compared to any of the other SP/C pistols.

    I love Ted's work, I think if I had the time to wait, I'd love to have a Colt 1* pistol over a SP/C pistol.
     
  9. waterhouse

    waterhouse Member

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    I wouldn't kick any of them out of bed, but I've always felt that a yost 1* was a great gun at a not unreasonable price. Then I got to meet Mr. Yost and the rest of the LTW crowd at the SHOT show, and now I want one even more.

    I can't really justify spending what any of them cost, but if you laid them all on a table and told me I could have one, I'd go with Yost.
     
  10. Ric

    Ric Member

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    What about Paul Liebenburg at Pistol Dynamics. :D :D
     
  11. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Who the heck is Paul Liebenburg? Oh, never mind I just found their
    web-site. That Signature Series sure is some nice look'in
    ordnance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2006
  12. dmallind

    dmallind Member

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    Well I'm not qualified to vote because I flat out don't know but I hope Ed Brown is up there pretty high because I'm sending off a $2K+ check for one of his Executive Targets tomorrow.

    FWIW after a lot of research and anecdote gathering and some store fondling I ended up going EB to avoid teh overtightness issue and because I did not find one single complaint about his stuff from any user, dealer, thread or review. The same was almost, but not quite, true of most of the others I considered. The only other two with zero quibbles were the Nighthawk , which was more expensive and required a wait, and the Yost, which required a wait and which I did not like aesthetically as much as the EB.

    My guess - and that's all it is - is that any of these high level names produce guns so darn good that normal mortal shooters would not be able to distinguish the difference in performance, just in feel and looks - so go that route to decide.

    The thing that absolutely sold me on the EB -even though I was leaning that way already? Something as ephemeral as racking the slide on one in a store - it was the smoothest, most precise (yet not tight) mechanical feel I have experienced on anything. Is it worth $1500+ upcharge on a decent SA/SW?etc? Probably not in any utilitarian way, but it sure is nice.
     
  13. progunner1957

    progunner1957 member

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    1* Elite ROCKS!!!!

    I have a Ted Yost 1* Elite built on a series 80 Colt Gov't. model, finished in hardchrome; let me tell you, it is a thing of beauty, and is the "King" of my meager collection.

    I REALLY like the Ed Brown Executive Target, an am plotting on how to afford one as my next high grade 1911:D :D

    Take a look at Ted's 1911s at www.yostbonitz.com
     
  14. dmallind

    dmallind Member

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    Not knocking Yost at all. They were right there in the running and I have heard nothing but good about them. If I end up ever feeling the need to get another custom 1911 I will certainly consider them again. None of the makers but Baer seemed to have feedback that put me off them per se - and even then it was the initial overtightness not any long term problems.

    Personally though I would ask him to lose the 1* logo and serrate the top of the slide. Just personal preferences that happened to be already there on the Brown. The logo may be a good conversation piece and more importantly have real meaning to people with different careers than my own, but just not for me.
     
  15. Snowshoe

    Snowshoe Member

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    Lynn "Doc" Holt

    For $800.00 He built my commander. This included the hard chroming.
    And the best part of all, I got to choose EXACTLY the options I wanted, not what someone else thought I should have.


    Just my $.02
     
  16. rock jock

    rock jock Member

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    I really like Stan Chen's stuff. So much so, that I ordered one from him. Only 2 1/2 more years till I get it.:D
     
  17. neoncowboy

    neoncowboy Member

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    Glad to see Yost so highly regarded...getting ready to send him a check for my first really nice 1911!
     
  18. hank327

    hank327 Member

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    I really like Wayne Novak's work. His shop has built two 5" Colt Government models for me (.45 ACP & 38 Super) and a Browning Hi-Power. I have found his work to be first rate and the pistols to be absolutely reliable.
     
  19. 106rr

    106rr Member

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    I would have to say that the very finest 1911 smith is John Jardine. Having handled and fired many of his pistols I'd say he surpasses the others. I will admit that most of the people on the poll are very fine gunsmiths indeed. John is a master.
    <www.jardinescustom.com>
     
  20. Frenchy

    Frenchy Member

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    All of them are waaay out of my budget, so I don't really care...:cool:
     
  21. c_yeager

    c_yeager Member

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    I would wager that the very best custom maker of 1911's probably works quietly in a very small shop somewhere in the middle of nowhere, known only by word of mouth among a close tied group of shooters as well as the locals who probably have him instal scopes on their deer rifles.
     
  22. BigG

    BigG Member

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    I guess Clark doesn't count? :confused:
     
  23. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Hey Big G Ole' Bud-

    I figuered I might overlook some well known custom 1911 designer, as
    I did the poll in a very fast pace time in my life. Not making excuses,
    but I needed too be in three places at one time~!:uhoh: Sorry, bout
    that Ole' Pal as Clark is very much alive and well.:D Thanks for the
    reminder.
     
  24. jaysouth

    jaysouth Member

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    Dan,

    The custom makers including one that you mentioned position their work above the 'limited production' guns made by Brown, Les Baer, Nighthawk, and Wilson Combat, to name a few.

    They maintain that none of the limited production guns are truly custom pieces because they are made by shop employees instead of the 'name' that appears on the invoice.

    Then, other custom makers argue that a package job performed on a customer's gun is not a custom job either. Each custom pistol is distinct and unique from all others and incorporates those mods requested by the patron (customer) and innovations from the artist(gunsmith).

    So, according to the opinion of many custom makers, you have mixed guns from three different and distinct categories in your poll.

    My pride of possessions involves objects that I can enjoy every day and showcase to everyone without hearing shreiks from the nervious neighbors and antigunner idiots.

    When I can outshoot my Gunsite Smithy "package' gun I will send someone four of five thousand dollars to make an accuracy package that will make a difference at that level of skill. Until then, some grendels and highpoints make me look bad.
     
  25. gunfighter45

    gunfighter45 Member

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    In the "production custom" realm I like the Baers. In a "gunsmith custom" Mr. Yost's work is exceptional. Roll Tide!
     
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