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I have a 1911 pistol that was born a Springfield.  I made a ton of modifications to shoot the Limited 10 class of USPSA (and later, when they created the Single Stack division I moved into that).  Years ago (15-18 years ago, I'm guessing) I posted a rant on here about some drama involving the gun due to incompetent gunsmithing.  It came with Novak sites from the factory but I wanted adjustable.  I paid a gunsmith to swap out the rear sight for an adjustable Novak.  

 

As can be expected, he had to do a little fitting.  Here is some advice:  If you have two parts and you need to file one to make them fit together properly, FILE THE CHEAPER OF THE TWO PARTS!  He didn't.  He filed the dovetail instead of the sight, and he took so much metal off the sight wouldn't stay in.  Two trips to Novak and six trips to Springfield later and no one could fix it.  They had an oversized sight they tried fitting in, and it still was too small for the gouged-out slot, even when "flooded with red locktite."  

 

On two occasions, the gunsmiths at Springfield put my gun in a vice without protecting it, thereby scratching the BEJEZZUS out of the frame and slide.  It was a blued gun, and both times I demanded they reblue it because they were the ones who mishandled it.  They did it the first time, but on the second time the gun came back to me having been Cerakoted black.  If I had wanted the gun Cerakoted, I would have Cerakoted it.  They thought they were doing me a favor by giving me a free "upgrade," but I don't like spray painted guns.  Pick up the phone and ask me first????  What a novel idea!  

 

Novak lost my gun once, and return shipped it to the wrong place.  Springfield lost it twice and once they found it, refused to return it to me -- they had had it in their possession for 7 months and I was sick and tired of their BS.  I wanted it returned immediately whether they had done anything or not.  They refused, and I had to threaten them with legal action to get them to relent.

 

If you don't already know, Novak is the largest dovetail used by any pistol sights, so I couldn't simply have the dovetail machined to a different sight style.  I just replaced the entire slide and all its internal parts, including the barrel.  Of course that is not a warranty issue because the problem was caused by an incompetent gunsmith.  The problem is, the shop I had paid to do the sight swap had subcontracted it to someone else.  He refused to accept any responsibility and told the gun shop he had never seen the gun before and didn't do the work, which of course was an obvious lie.  So instead of replacing the slide with an exact copy of the original one, I replaced it with the sights I wanted and a match grade barrel.  That was significantly more expensive than the same-for-same replacement, so the gun shop paid for the new slide and I paid the difference for the upgrade.  My cost:  $450.  But now it has Bomar adjustable target sights and a match grade barrel.  

 

Problem solved.

 

ANYWAY, that's just an overview of the drama.  There are probably only about 1000 - 2000 rounds through the gun since the top half was replaced because my job was not conducive to competitive shooting on the weekends.  However, there are maybe 20,000 rounds through the gun as a whole, and the bottom half is all factory original ignition components.  I was at the range a while back, and when I went to load, the gun fired.  

 

Holy crap.  I'm one of those guys who is VERY disciplined with not just muzzle control, but trigger finger placement.  How could I make that mistake???  I looked down, and my finger was outside the trigger guard, along the frame rail where it should have been.  I asked my buddy, and he said he had been watching my trigger finger and I did everything correctly.  So why did the gun fire???  Maybe we were both mistaken and I had gotten careless.

 

The next time I went to load it, I did it more deliberately than normal.  We both watched and made darn sure my trigger finger was where it was supposed to be.

 

BANG!

 

Ok, that's definitely a gun problem.  I had noticed the trigger squeeze that had once been crisp had been progressively getting creepier.  This is a key indicator that the sear was only surface hardened (which is true of factory Springfield parts) and had worn through the hardened part.  It was into the soft metal underneath, and now was "pushing off" and causing the gun to fire without pulling the trigger.

 

This is obviously a dangerous condition, so I pulled the gun from use and started saving my pennies for a complete rebuild.  In the meantime, and to my dismay, my gunsmith retired.  He had been a true artist (I found him AFTER the Springfield drama!), and had once built a completely custom 1911 for me on a Caspian frame and slide -- and by completely custom, I mean the serial number was my badge number!  The cost of that gun from start to finish was close to $4000.  But he was retired, and I had to find a new one.

 

I found a guy here locally that all the IPSC / USPSA shooters use.  Come to find out, I had worked with his daughter when I was a cop.  I got on his calendar...

 

...then his father died...

 

....and he had an emergency surgery of his own...

 

...then the holidays...

 

....weeks turned into months, but I waited for him because of his reputation.  

 

Yesterday I finally got the gun dropped off at his shop (by appointment only!) for him to start the work.  The new hammer, sear, disconnector, sear spring, etc. are all Ed Brown "perfection" parts, as is the "rebuild kit" with all new pins and springs for the entire gun, and the new trigger is a Caspian "trik" trigger.  I'm replacing the slide stop and the magazine release while I'm at it, and bought some fancy grips for it, too.  Depending on how long it takes for him to do the fitting, the whole thing will cost about $300 at the most, plus the $300 I already have in parts.

 

HOWEVER, because several exterior parts are going to be replaced, that baked-on Cerakote finish will need to be redone.  I figure if I'm going to pay someone $90 an hour to remove a finish I never wanted, I might as well put on a finish I do want -- NP3.  If you don't know, it is nickel with teflon bonded at the molecular level.  It looks like a satin stainless steel finish to the eye, but is even more corrosion resistant and super hard.  I've seen one gun done in it and it's amazing.  This gunsmith does not do NP3, so I will have to send it off again (please, please, please don't lose it!).  

 

So, depending on how long it takes the shop to strip the Cerakote, it looks like the refinishing job will cost close to $500.  

 

By the time it's done, the only original part will be the frame.  

 

EDIT:  I just got it back from the gunsmith, and of course, given the history of this gun, nothing can be done without a headache.  The slide will no longer lock back on an empty magazine unless I push upwards on the slide stop with my thumb.  Holy Moses, this is frustrating.  I told the gunsmith, and he told me he had polished a surface on the slide stop to make it easier to reassemble, so he assumes the fault is his.  He has ordered a new part and overnight shipping, and is going to drive to my house to fit it and get the gun working again.  At least he stands by his work!  

 

Ahh, but there's more.  He actually told me, "Ed Brown isn't what it used to be."  He spent an hour fitting the "drop in" extended magazine release, only to give up and instal a Dawson.  I checked the reviews for this particular part on Brownells, and they are horrible.  Apparently they are turning out junk now.  Fortunately, the gunsmith did not charge me for his wasted hour, but he did charge me for the new part.  So I bought an Ed Brown part that is junk and a Dawson that works.  

 

Anyway, once the gun gets working again, off it will go for the NP3 refinish.  That's going to cost me upwards of $500 because I have to pay them to remove the Cerakote I never wanted.  Holy Moses, this gun has been a two decade nightmare.

Edited by Cyrus Cassidy #45437
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Dang!

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1 minute ago, Buckshot Bob said:

Just curious who is doing np3 now . My understanding is Rhobar shut down. But I guess they probably sold out to someone 

 

They sold it to Wright Armory.

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Wow! You have a lot more patience than I do, Cyrus. 
 

Personally, I like Cerakote, but for me it’s more for utilitarian reasons. It’s an inexpensive, but good coating. 
 

I can’t get over Springfield scratching up your slide. We were just having a conversation at work about various handgun manufacturers and the quality of their warranty and factory repairs. One of the guys I work with raves about Springfield. So I guess perhaps they have issues as well. My experiences with Smith & Wesson have totally soured me in their company. In particular their so-called “Performance Center”. What a ... know what? Never mind...

 

How about a couple pictures when you get your pistola finished? I would love to see it. 

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I guess we all know where your new 'Stimulus' check is going.

 

Mine went towards a new S&W Performance Center 629 V-Comp.

 

...........Widder

 

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1 hour ago, Pat Riot, SASS #13748 said:

Wow! You have a lot more patience than I do, Cyrus. 
 

Personally, I like Cerakote, but for me it’s more for utilitarian reasons. It’s an inexpensive, but good coating. 
 

I can’t get over Springfield scratching up your slide. We were just having a conversation at work about various handgun manufacturers and the quality of their warranty and factory repairs. One of the guys I work with raves about Springfield. So I guess perhaps they have issues as well. My experiences with Smith & Wesson have totally soured me in their company. In particular their so-called “Performance Center”. What a ... know what? Never mind...

 

How about a couple pictures when you get your pistola finished? I would love to see it. 

 

Ugh....this was in the middle of Springfield getting the contract for the FBI's pistols.  They flat-out told me that as a single individual who was not buying as many guns as the FBI, I was not a priority.  That's when I demanded they send it back.

 

As to the S&W "Performance Center," I sent them a Model 29 to have the hand replaced (sometimes called a "pawl" by other manufacturers).  It was a 50 year-old gun and the hand was worn enough to start causing timing issues.  The put the gun in a gun vice to take it apart, and promptly CRACKED THE FRAME!  They didn't bother telling me, either.  THEY JUST THREW THE ENTIRE GUN IN AN INCINERATOR -- CUSTOM GRIPS AND ALL -- and didn't bother telling me there was a problem.  Six months later (I'm not known for being patient, but 6 months is plenty long enough to do a simple 1 hour repair) I called.  

 

That "Performance Center" manager is lucky I was in another state, and come to think of it, so am I.  Because I would have been arrested for a rather serious assault had we been in the same room together.  I was mad enough at their incompetence, but did they think I was just going to forget about the gun?  Why not call me?

 

That is how I ended up with my model 629, but I'll never send anything to their "Performance Center."  

 

I already told you how I feel about Springfield.  They are both stupid and incompetent.

 

Novak also lost my gun, shipped it to the wrong address, and didn't inform UPS it was a gun so they LEFT IT UNATTENDED ON A DOORSTEP!!!  Novak is populated by idiots, too.

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1 hour ago, Cyrus Cassidy #45437 said:

That "Performance Center" manager is lucky I was in another state, and come to think of it, so am I.

Hmmm...that was my feeling on the matter with my gun. 
 

I bought a model 60 Pro Perfomance Center revolver that went back to S&W 4 times before they ALMOST fixed it. I won’t bore you with the whole story. I sold the darn thing. 
I did call S&W customer service and I wrote their CEOs, yes, they have, or had, two to let them know that until they fixed their QC issues that I will not be buying another S&W. I got no response from the CEOs and I got a half hearted apology from the dippy girl in Custody Service. 
 

My next DA revolver will be a Ruger. I have never tried their DA revolvers. It’s about time to try one. 

Edited by Pat Riot, SASS #13748
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WOW CC, you just can't make this stuff up. You have way more sense of humor than I. Hope these things work out for you.

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Cyrus,  Wayne and I are personal friends but I can tell you I know some of his help is like everywhere else and mistakes happen. Sorry to hear that about Ed Brown, I used his parts for years but he is not really running the company anymore. In the last few years I have used mostly Bill Wilson (know him too, we used to shoot together) or Dawson parts. I had a 1911 at a legendary smith's shop for over 3 years back in the early 70's. Finally got it back untuned. 

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Sounds to me like that particular gun is cursed. I've never heard of someone having so much bad luck and dealing with so many Bubba gunsmiths over one firearm. Unfortunately I've had my share of bad 'smiths as well, from the idiot who gouged the slide on a Colt Commander during a sight install to Kimber putting scratches in a slide sent in for warranty work. My luck with auto mechanics isn't much better. Nowadays I do as much as I can myself and only go to a "pro" when I absolutely have to.

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1 hour ago, Sixgun Sheridan said:

Sounds to me like that particular gun is cursed. I've never heard of someone having so much bad luck and dealing with so many Bubba gunsmiths over one firearm. Unfortunately I've had my share of bad 'smiths as well, from the idiot who gouged the slide on a Colt Commander during a sight install to Kimber putting scratches in a slide sent in for warranty work. My luck with auto mechanics isn't much better. Nowadays I do as much as I can myself and only go to a "pro" when I absolutely have to.

When I went to gunsmithing school some students did excellent work and some were gun butchers . The attrition rate was like 75% when I was there , allot of people starting out though it was going to be like the good old time hanging around the gunshop . Dunlap did a pretty good job of weeding for a college instructor. But some butchers made it through. It’s no different than an auto mechanic, or any other tradesmen or I guess profession for that matter. How many people out there have got the shaft because their lawyer sucked ? It also doesn’t help that there really is no standard to be a gunsmith. And I’m not saying there aren’t any good self taught gunsmiths out there because there are , it just muddies up the water even more for the consumer . 
When I became a Instrument man I had to do a 4 year apprenticeship where you took classes taught at different manufacturers and college. You were tested and graded on all of it . Plus working with and being graded by over a dozen journeyman. And while the vetting was pretty good there were still people who made it through that were mediocre at best . 
In any small business very few people have the skills to be good at their trade/skill and do everything else that is required to run a small business. That was one reason why I never opened my own shop. I always enjoyed working on guns and liked dealing with 90% of the customers but the other 10% can really test your patience. And I definitely didn’t enjoy the inventory and paperwork issues . 
What can you say , sometimes it’s hard to find good help 

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2 hours ago, Happy Jack, SASS #20451 said:

Cyrus,  Wayne and I are personal friends but I can tell you I know some of his help is like everywhere else and mistakes happen. 

 

Jack, I'm not sure who Wayne is.  None of the gunsmiths involved have been named Wayne.

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On 2/17/2021 at 11:58 AM, Buckshot Bob said:

When I went to gunsmithing school some students did excellent work and some were gun butchers . The attrition rate was like 75% when I was there , allot of people starting out though it was going to be like the good old time hanging around the gunshop .

 

The sheer number of butchered 1911s on Gunbroker and at gun shows is stark testimony to the level of incompetence that's out there. I've said many times that of all the different guns out there the 1911 is the #1 Moron Magnet.

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I'd have sold this gun - too much bad Karma built into it.  Start over and build new.

Just me . . . .

 

SC

 

 

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16 hours ago, Badger Mountain Charlie SASS #43172 said:

I have to look away. The 1911 is soooo much more deserving of TLC than this. 

 

Absolutely right. When I finally got tired enough of my old '70s vintage IPSC-modified Gold Cup rattling like a bucket of bolts, I decided to have it resurrected by Frank Glenn of Phoenix. Frank rebuilt the gun and then sent the frame to Turnbull's for CCH. It looks and shoots better now than it did when it was new.

 

If I decide to opt for burial, I might have this one and it's leather placed in the casket with me...on the off chance there's Open Carry wherever I wind up.

 

"Ad"

 

   

Gold Cup.jpg

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I'm amazed that someone didn't just TIG weld your boogered dovetail up and recut it.....that would have been the proper repair.  Not that difficult nor expensive.

 

Edited by Moustache Les
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On 2/20/2021 at 4:07 PM, Moustache Les said:

I'm amazed that someone didn't just TIG weld your boogered dovetail up and recut it.....that would have been the proper repair.  Not that difficult nor expensive.

 

You can't do that with a blued or Parkerized gun as the repair will end up a different color after refinishing. You can only plate or Cerakote it afterwards.

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