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I've been jonesing for a custom 1911 for a long time, and I'm about ready to take the plunge! If you could buy anything you wanted, which of these bad boys would you own? Is the Nighthawk really worth the $3500 they want in comparison to a Les Baer at $2100? Wiley Clapp at $1500 looks good, but I'd like night sights instead of the brass bead up front. Is there really any difference in the way a WC shoots in comparison to the more expensive guns? If you've got a custom 1911, why did you buy it and how does it shoot?

Thanks in advance for your response!
 

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A nighthawk custom...I do not own one, but if I were in the market for a custom it would be one of these...

Nighthawk Custom
 

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You have to think there are diminishing returns, and at some point you are paying for either materials that aren't necessary (gold bead front sight for example) or a brand name. Even those who spend an arm and a leg on a top notch match barrel - most people aren't going to benefit much from a gun that is more accurate than they are. I would keep it simple, with a high quality gun, that isn't ostentatious.

My preference would be a Les Baer 1911 Prowler 3. Perfect combination of quality, accuracy, and without unnecessary materials and features.
 

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IMHO, once you step up to the semi-custom ranks (Nighthawk, Wilson, Baer, Ed Brown, Dawson, et al) you are gonna' be picking the fly scat out of the pepper when it comes to fit, finish, accuracy, reliability & snob appeal. Even the "Custom Pro Shop" Springfield, S&W and Colt models run like banshees. Then you can really jump the fence with a full custom by; Vickers, Heinie, Leibenburg, George Smith, Jim Garthwaite, Wayne Novak, Kim Ahrends, Mark Morris, David Stagg, Bill Laughridge, Bill Wilson, Dane Burns, John Nowlin, Pete Carber, Chuck Rogers, Pete Single, John Harrison, Tom Novak, etc. (please excuse anyone I omitted because of my old guy memory & space restrictions). Here it becomes more about the gunsmith & less about the components, 'cause these guys won't risk their reputation(s) on any less-than-optimal starting point. I picked my gunsmith FIRST & spoke with him at length about the specific features I wanted. Then I listened carefully to his observations about my choices. We ended-up buying parts from a dozen or so manufacturers (Caspian frame/slide, Wilson firing pin & mags, C&S matched forged hammer & sear, etc.). The result was (again, IMHO) the best parts available at any price assembled by a man that I trusted without reservation. It will never be an "wise investment" because; it will never be sold, there's not another one like it, and handling/shooting it is a semi-religious experience. The sad part is that I've paid dearly for what is, in my mind, the ultimate fight pistol. And now? It's too damn nice to...fight with! :biggrin2:
 

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I've been jonesing for a custom 1911 for a long time, and I'm about ready to take the plunge! If you could buy anything you wanted, which of these bad boys would you own? Is the Nighthawk really worth the $3500 they want in comparison to a Les Baer at $2100? Wiley Clapp at $1500 looks good, but I'd like night sights instead of the brass bead up front. Is there really any difference in the way a WC shoots in comparison to the more expensive guns? If you've got a custom 1911, why did you buy it and how does it shoot?

Thanks in advance for your response!
I've heard mixed reviews on the Nighthawks. I'd go with the Baer or a Wilson Combat.
 

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...since you're not likely to get it back...
Where do YOU live? A no-bill defensive shooting around here gets your gun back pretty fast. And they don't vibra-engrave a reference number across the slide either. But realistically, if you ARE involved in a defensive-shooting prosecution, the cost of your handgun will pale in comparison to the cost of your legal defense in both the associated criminal & civil proceedings.
 
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Do you want a custom, or a semi-custom?



ETA: One that hasn't been mentioned is the Springfield FBI Professional, it'll dance with any of those named.

So true, but I just wanted to be a snob for a day...LOL
 

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Custon 1911...

The Night Hawks are nice or the Kimbers. I personally want to pick up a Para Oranance P-14. Not necessarily because of the custom aspect, but for its capacity to hold more than ten rounds. It holds fourteen rounds of .45 caliber firepower. OOH-RAH!!!
 

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Nothing wrong with a custom. It just depends on what you desire, and you dont have to have a reason for it other than " cause I want it".

I think now, if I were to get one of my Colts customzed, I would just drive over to Charleston WVa, and see Wayne Novak where I could sit down with him and discuss options that best suited my needs, and gave it character that reflected me. To me, thats what true customization is, moreso than how or who makes it, or price.

And......Id probably pick up a BHP and drop it off as well, seeing how he is the HP master. But make no mistake, Wayne knows his way around any JMB product.
 

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When I asked myself that question a couple of years ago, I looked at Wilson, Baer, Brown, Nighthawk...and I ended up going with Les Baer (Custom Carry, to be exact). The reason was--and I mean absolutely no disrespect to other manufacturers when I say this--but I think you get the most bang for your buck with a Baer.

But, I think that there are also some personal preferences when it comes to looking at those pistols as well.

Of course, those are all semi-custom; full custom is a whole different ballgame...

My Baer--


And a full-custom Colt Officer's done by a local smith...this pistol is amazing for a compact, and has the best trigger I've ever felt.

 

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i'm not really a 1911 guy, but i do own a Kimber Gold Match, which is really only a range gun for me, and not carried for SD.

you didn't say how you intended to use this gun.

my dream 1911 has long been a Les Baer Heavyweight Monolith with 1.5" at 50 yards accuracy testing.

ii think Baer guns offer the most for the money. IMO, at 2K+, it's hard to make a bad choice as long as you stick with well known names. previous posters have mentioned virtually all of them.

have fun choosing!
 

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When I asked myself that question a couple of years ago, I looked at Wilson, Baer, Brown, Nighthawk...and I ended up going with Les Baer (Custom Carry, to be exact). The reason was--and I mean absolutely no disrespect to other manufacturers when I say this--but I think you get the most bang for your buck with a Baer.

But, I think that there are also some personal preferences when it comes to looking at those pistols as well.

Of course, those are all semi-custom; full custom is a whole different ballgame...

My Baer--


And a full-custom Colt Officer's done by a local smith...this pistol is amazing for a compact, and has the best trigger I've ever felt.

Nice pistols, Cuda. :hand10:
 

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Don't currently have a 1911. Had one, an STI Shadow .45ACP (Officers size). For myself, a truly custom 1911 isn't one of the guns I would pursue. Probably the one I'd go after with all the features that I'd like would be a CZ / Dan Wesson CCO, ECO, Guardian or V-Bob in .45ACP.
 

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Don't currently have a 1911. Had one, an STI Shadow .45ACP (Officers size). For myself, a truly custom 1911 isn't one of the guns I would pursue. Probably the one I'd go after with all the features that I'd like would be a CZ / Dan Wesson CCO, ECO, Guardian or V-Bob in .45ACP.
I was going to say, if your talking semi custom guns, don't leave out Dan Wesson. I have a CBOB from the last production year for it. I just wish I shot as well as it does.
 
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