Saturday, February 19, 2011

Custom Damascus 1911 The Saga Part 1

  This is a story about a boy and his toys... well, something like that. I love the 1911, enough said? Not quite, most "enthusiasts" will probably say no collection is complete without a 1911. Is any collection ever complete? There are several way to approach a complete custom build on a handgun, I probably took the least advised route. The easiest route would be to find a custom shop with pre-built "custom" guns already sitting in their inventory. There are plenty of custom/semi-custom production manufactures around for the choosing, I think it is a good idea to do some research before making a decision of course. The next would be to call up one of these shops and do a ground up consultation. This will cost you more money and result in a longer wait for the final product. Some times you can wait on a list for more than a year before they even get to your build or your will call and the company you wanted to build your gun isn't even taking orders because they are so backed up.
  Now the route I took was this, buy all the parts I would like to build a gun with then start calling people only to find out they will not build a gun with my supplied parts. This leads into my first warning, do not start buying parts unless you have already found someone to build your gun and they have cleared you to purchase parts on your own. I had no idea this was the case when I started purchasing parts. I had gotten this idea that I could save a lot of money by buying parts with a military discount and then have one of the bigger names in custom hand guns build it for me. I was a little more than disappointed when I started calling people, getting turned down then being referred to another only to get turned down again. Now I didn't just get the idea that I would be able to take this route for no good reason. I have spent many hours reading hundreds of magazines and books all focused on firearms and their customization. The authors of many great articles have done what I was trying to do with great success, the thing I failed to realize is I am not an author that is going to provide such companies with thousands of dollars worth of free advertising. I was not worth their time and my money was no good. Some of you may be thinking that I just didn't get the right parts or quality parts something along that line. To the contrary I bought great parts and did not "cheapen" anything when it came to that. This is not to say that I wouldn't swap some parts out if I were to build another. Most of this is just based on personal preferences and biases not that one part is better than the other.
  I have finally found the man to build my gun. Neil Keller, owner operator of Kustom Ballistics currently has my project and will be doing the complete build. I believe I will be much happier with this experience now going through Neil than if I had been able to get one of the bigger names to build my gun.

Next: Parts used and technical specs on slide and receiver


  1. Just curious how your work through Neil Keller turned out. I had two small jobs done by him and they both turned out terrible - I had to by a new slide and bushing in one case. That would be a real nightmare in Danmascus!

  2. I too am curious about the final results. I had two bad experiences with Neil. I won't be burned a third time.