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Thread: Help me plan my Colt Rail Gun build!

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Michigan

    Help me plan my Colt Rail Gun build!

    I purchased a black cerakote model "XSE" style Colt Rail Gun several years back. I had grandiose ideas of turning this pistol into a full house custom, but every damn time I get ready to pull the trigger, other life expenses come up or I talk myself out of it and buy another 1911. I've tried to get this done 4 times in the past 5 years, and ended up with a SA MC OP, a DW Specialist, a new furnace, and a rebuilt back deck.

    I'm going to make the commitment this time and slowly gather parts until spring, then everything is going to Evolution. If I piece meal the parts, I think I'll have a better chance of getting this guy completed.

    This particular gun is more accurate than I am, the barrel locks up solid as a rock, and I can live with the less than perfect slide to frame fit. It is a Colt after all. However, the remainder leaves quite a bit to be desired cosmetically. The stock ambi safety has shot loose and feels mushy, the grip safety is fit like sh*t, front strap needs checkering, it needs tritium, I want a magwell, I want a solid trigger, maybe a dehorn, maybe a Clark rib, maybe replace some MIM, and then Ionbond DLC all over everything.

    I'm thinking WC Bullet Proof Ambi Safety and Beavertail Safety, Solid Long Trigger, and maybe a hammer, sear, and disconnector. Also want a set of Heinie Straight 8 sights like the set on my Specialist. I was going to order a WC one piece magwell, but my only options are 20 or 30lpi, and I want the FSC at 25lpi. I usually wouldn't care, but being that I have waited this long, I want everything matchy matchy. Now I'm thinking I should just save some additional coin and have Evolution fit a Stan Chen Gen II while the gun is there.

    My goal is to carry/shoot the piss out of it, establish some honest wear, and give this to my oldest son on his 21st birthday (he's 4). So I want it to be something special. Heirloom Customs did a "Blackened Rail Gun" awhile back that I'm drooling over for inspiration, but that had to have been a 5-7k build. I'm gonna try to mod this out for $1,000-$1,500, not including the parts I'm going to start picking up.

    Any advice as to the direction I'm headed? Any 1911 aficionados have a better idea for the parts list?

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    NW Florida
    My caveat is I've never done this, but I've been into 1911's since the 1980's.

    I'd tell the gunsmith of your choice what you want the gun to do and what you want from the gun and let him pick the parts that he wants to work with and will provide the experience you want.

    You may pick some part, that the gunsmith doesn't care for, or knows doesn't work well with your Colt, then the gunsmith needs to do extra work to get that part to function with your gun.

  3. #3
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Athens, AL, USA
    Many smiths will not guarantee parts that are provided by the customer for two reasons:

    1) Bad parts have to be returned to the customer, not the vendor, causing issues and delays.
    2) Smiths get some markup by buying parts at FFL prices and selling at retail.

    I strongly suggest selecting a smith that listens to input, provides feedback, and then outlines the final choices in writing so there are no surprises later. Sight types are easy and most smiths will have no issues with customer choices, as long as the part is decent. Heinie definitely qualifies. Trigger style and length is another good input, but I suggest letting the smith choose the exact part. Grip safeties and thumb safeties are parts you can specify but the smith should source. There are some issues with grip safeties and the holes in the frame for the safety pins. John Harrison has a good article on that on his website under his FAQ. It is good reading, as is the rest of the FAQ.

    Also from his FAQ.

    You'll notice that my prices include the cost of parts as well as labor to install and fit each part. I am confident that I can do a better job, with fewer interruptions and delays, by supplying all parts myself. I have learned this the hard way. My experience working with customer-supplied parts has typically been poor. Sending me parts to use on your pistol that you have obtained is something like taking your car to the dealer for a brake job and you supplying the pads. How well do you think thatís going to work out?

    If you want something that you don't see offered in the "Services and Prices" section, please ask, as I can most likely supply it.
    Last edited by farscott; 10-14-2019 at 05:08 PM.

  4. #4
    Are you referring to Evolution Armory for your build?
    Critical thinking, done in the absence of context and relevance, can only produce something useful to someone with an overactive imagination.
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  5. #5
    Site Supporter
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Fredericksburg, VA
    Yes, you'll want to decide if it is essential for you that you are providing parts that you want to see used, or if you could be happy sending off the gun and requesting the parts that you'd like to have installed.

    Some notes:

    1.) Wilson Combat parts have an excellent reputation, so while I understand that from the smith's perspective, it might be preferable to avoid being required to use customer parts, this is probably less of an issue if you're staying with Wilson parts.

    2.) The BulletProof magwell is offered with a smooth mainspring "ready for your choice of texture".

    3.) Have you considered sending the gun to Wilson for the modifications? Except for the Heine sights, and the IonBond, everything you listed, Wilson can do to your gun, using the parts that you want. You could then have the sights and finish completed elsewhere.

    Love the plans, sounds like a perfect scheme and present!
    Per the PF Code of Conduct, I have a commercial interest in the StreakTM product as sold by Ammo, Inc.

  6. #6
    My last build with Jim Garthwaite, I supplied a few critical parts. They were a Vickers ignition kit, and a King's safety. Both items are no longer available and there was no way for him to source them. The thing is, he knew what I was going for, and was accommodating enough to give them a shot, BUT we also agreed that if they weren't up to his standards or liking, we'd nix their use.

    I wholeheartedly agree with @JTQ and @farscott and their above comments. Your plan can be made to work, but it will take real effort and mutual understanding to do so. To me it's not worth it, for off-the-shelf parts that the builder can get on his own.

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Michigan
    Quote Originally Posted by 41magfan View Post
    Are you referring to Evolution Armory for your build?
    I am. Iíve spoken with them on the phone before and their work appears outstanding. The gent I spoke with seemed crazy knowledgeable and was real polite too. I decided during that call Iíd be going with them when it was time. That and their wait time was months and not years, granted that was a year ago now.

    Iíve only been looking at parts that I know they use regularly.

  8. #8
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Michigan
    Quote Originally Posted by theJanitor View Post
    My last build with Jim Garthwaite, I supplied a few critical parts. They were a Vickers ignition kit, and a King's safety. Both items are no longer available and there was no way for him to source them. The thing is, he knew what I was going for, and was accommodating enough to give them a shot, BUT we also agreed that if they weren't up to his standards or liking, we'd nix their use.

    I wholeheartedly agree with @JTQ and @farscott and their above comments. Your plan can be made to work, but it will take real effort and mutual understanding to do so. To me it's not worth it, for off-the-shelf parts that the builder can get on his own.
    I wholeheartedly understand that and I wish I could squirrel away the extra cash to have the whole project handled at once. However, my wife will scrutinize this less if I can break the total cost down a bit over a period of time. She is super understanding when it comes to my shooting affliction, but she has limits that Iím routinely testing.

  9. #9
    Ideas Are Bulletproof RevolverRob's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
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    Baddest Part of Town...
    You may consider calling MARS. They do a package on the XSE that is sweet and not particularly expensive overall - http://www.marsguns.com/store/index....roducts_id=211
    "P-f: I lurked for wonderful combat pistolcraft advice, but I ponied up cash for my daily dose of Dada." - Baldanders

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  10. #10
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    Aug 2012
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    CA
    Quote Originally Posted by RevolverRob View Post
    You may consider calling MARS. They do a package on the XSE that is sweet and not particularly expensive overall - http://www.marsguns.com/store/index....roducts_id=211
    Funny you should mention that, I was going to suggest he just sell his rail gun and buy this (that's a smokin' deal!):

    https://www.m4carbine.net/showthread...-holster-grips
    Last edited by banzaijohn; 10-14-2019 at 08:46 PM.

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