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Old December 16, 2010, 05:00 PM   #1
That'll Do
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1911 Custom Work...Recommend a Smith

So I'm looking at having some work done to my Kimber Stainless Target II.

Lots of work, really. Mainly accurizing, like a match bbl and bushing, tighten slide to frame fit, an action job, checkering the front strap, serrating the top and rear of the slide, fitting a magwell, and replacing the front sight with a fiber optic or gold bead one. And I'm going to have the gun refinished, probably two tone (black slide and hard chrome frame).

Here's my question: does anyone here have a gunsmith or company they have used personally and recommend? I'm currently looking at the Springfield Armory Custom Shop, and Coal Creek Armory. Anyone else I should look into?
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Old December 16, 2010, 06:25 PM   #2
Bill DeShivs
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Can't help with a smith.
Why would you want to hard chrome a stainless frame? The only way to "blue" the stainless slide would be to paint it.
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Old December 16, 2010, 06:59 PM   #3
That'll Do
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill DeShivs
Can't help with a smith.
Why would you want to hard chrome a stainless frame? The only way to "blue" the stainless slide would be to paint it.
I like the look of hard chrome versus the appearance of the stainless steel on my Kimber. I could have the frame flats polished, but that's not the "look" I'm after.

I realize stainless steel can't be blued, so I'd be looking at a coating, like Cera-coat, ArmoryKote, etc.
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Old December 16, 2010, 07:27 PM   #4
BigJimP
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Wilson Combat is the shop that I'd recommend.

Look at the Armor Tuff finishes ...for your best options. I have black Armor Tuff on my carry gun / and its held up for years with no issues ...and at least 20,000 rds thru it by now ( but its a Wilson CQB ).

Wilson has worked on one of my Kimbers / a gold combat stainless model - and they did a good job - new trigger, new hammer ( got rid of the MIM parts), cleaned up the action, took out the series 80 junk, etc ...
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Old December 16, 2010, 07:42 PM   #5
That'll Do
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigJimP
Wilson Combat is the shop that I'd recommend.

Look at the Armor Tuff finishes ...for your best options. I have black Armor Tuff on my carry gun / and its held up for years with no issues ...and at least 20,000 rds thru it by now ( but its a Wilson CQB ).

Wilson has worked on one of my Kimbers / a gold combat stainless model - and they did a good job - new trigger, new hammer ( got rid of the MIM parts), cleaned up the action, took out the series 80 junk, etc ...
You're reading my mind–I like the Kimber, it just needs "refined" (like a Prep School for 1911's). And I can have it refined for less than the cost of new gun that already has everything I want out of the box.

Thanks for the advice.
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Old December 16, 2010, 07:53 PM   #6
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Give Terry Tussey in Carson City a look

http://www.tusseycustom.com/
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Old December 16, 2010, 08:13 PM   #7
orionengnr
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Bead blasting the frame and slide, then Cera-Koating certain parts black will result in a durable, good looking two-tone, no-glare finish.

Quote:
Mainly accurizing, like a match bbl and bushing, tighten slide to frame fit, an action job, checkering the front strap, serrating the top and rear of the slide, fitting a magwell, and replacing the front sight with a fiber optic or gold bead one.
Pretty sure all Kimbers have a match barrel and bushing. All of mine shoot as well as or better than any 1911 I have owned, and that includes a Les Baer and a Dan Wesson. Of course, it's your money, so spend it as you will.

An action job, checkering, mag well, front sight...not rocket science. If you were in my area, I could recommend a good local 1911 guy. Find one in your area and support your local economy. And save yourself some money shipping.
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Old December 16, 2010, 10:18 PM   #8
Bill DeShivs
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As Orionengnr said, a simple polish and bead blast of the frame will give you the exact look of a hard chrome finish, without plating it.
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Old December 16, 2010, 11:10 PM   #9
Tamara
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Well, I can enthusiastically recommend CCA, but I might be biased...

I will add that that gun shoots under an inch-and-a-half at 25 yards with generic 230gr FMJ (I haven't stuck it in a Ransom Rest with match hardball or SWC yet) and yet it came right out of the box on Friday and was taken to a 2-day, 1000-round Todd Green AFHF course on Saturday without having fired so much as a single "break-in" round since it had been coated and it went the distance without a bobble. I wouldn't do that with a Baer or a Wilson...
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Old December 17, 2010, 12:55 AM   #10
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The cosmetic "look" thing does not amount to much for me.Dull,matte parkerizing is a fine,practical look,IMO.
What may be a very good practical reason for a hard chrome or electroless nickle or other hard coating on stainless is about the potential for galling.
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Old December 17, 2010, 08:05 PM   #11
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Stainless can be hot blued using special salts. Brownells sells their Oxynate 84 for the purpose, but you need someone set up for doing hot bluing who is using it or its equivalent.

Hard Chrome on stainless should not be difficult to apply, given the chromium already in the stainless, but it will thicken the surfaces a little, so you need to have some play you can afford to have removed by the thickening. I remember Russ Carniak saying he used to have frame rails selectively hard chromed to them build up if they were too loose to be tightened reasonably by conventional methods. He got excess plated on, then surface ground them to the desired final dimension.
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Old December 25, 2010, 09:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Well, I can enthusiastically recommend CCA, but I might be biased...
Nice looking play-purty, Tam - new purchase, or refresh of one you already had?
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Old December 26, 2010, 09:57 AM   #13
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Unclenick is correct, stainless steel can be blued or blacked without resorting to paint.
Paint looks good on a Lorcin or Jennings but not on a fine 1911.
As for the hardchrome over stainless steel, I did this on many of my hard use guns.
The hardchrome puts a hard skin on the gun ( somewhere around 72 on a rockwell C scale) that resist wear very well.
Also hardchrome on the frame rails seems to slick up the rails.
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