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Help me spend my tax refund!

I'm looking at a couple of custom 1911's a local shop has. Both have Essex frames in stainless. First gun has a blued Colt slide with Novak sights and Colt trigger and internals, the other has an stainless Essex slide with Night Sights and is more tricked out with aftermarket internals, extended beavertail, skeletonized stainless trigger, etc. Condition on both is excellent, although the blue slide has a tiny bit of wear at the muzzel, prices are similiar (less than $500) and both seem to have about comparable triggers. Both are claimed to have been custom built and fitted by a little old man retired gunsmith collector who only shoot them once a year, etc.

I've owned two 1911's in the past, both bone stock, a Colt MK IV series 70 and a Springfield WWII Mil Spec. I'm looking for a good shooter for trips to the range, with the possibility(?) of competition in the future. Based on my description, which would be more appealing to those in the know?

I'm leaning toward the Essex, as I like the sights better and it has more features than the Colt slide model, and it looks better to my eyes (don't care for two-tone). I know Essex makes OK frames, but not sure about slides.

Or, should I spend a couple hundred more and get a Caspian?
 

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Hate two-toned guns. Go with the Essex. Besides, all the other tricks on that one will make is a very comfortable piece. :D
 

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Since you allude to having a bit more than $500 to spend I personally would go for a Springfield Loaded. I am not overly familiar with Essex but what I recall being told is it is of middling quality frames and no one I know uses the slides. A decade or so ago I looked at an Essex frame for a semi-race build up but went with a Norinco instead. Around here Essex based guns (the few I've seen) have fallen between Rock Island Arms and Springfield Mil-Specs in price. Of the two you mention, it is a horse apiece. I would probably go with the Colt slide but would just as likely change my mind if I saw them.
 

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uglydog said:
Since you allude to having a bit more than $500 to spend I personally would go for a Springfield Loaded. I am not overly familiar with Essex but what I recall being told is it is of middling quality frames and no one I know uses the slides. A decade or so ago I looked at an Essex frame for a semi-race build up but went with a Norinco instead. Around here Essex based guns (the few I've seen) have fallen between Rock Island Arms and Springfield Mil-Specs in price. Of the two you mention, it is a horse apiece. I would probably go with the Colt slide but would just as likely change my mind if I saw them.
I cant agree more. Go with the Springfield.

Nuff Said.
 

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Essex frames and slides are a gunsmith part at Brownell's. I've used them before with good luck. I like the parts sets from Chip McCormick, trigger, sear and hammer. Or some of the stuff from Cylinder and Slide shop. JMHO
 
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