A thought I had about semi custom vs. custom. [Archive] - Glock Talk

PDA

View Full Version : A thought I had about semi custom vs. custom.


MADBMW
06-20-2010, 09:44
I am sure everyone has read the multiple threads on this forum and others about what constitutes a semi-custom vs. a full house custom 1911. I was thinking this over the other day while shooting my Springfield Custom Shop 1911.

Springfield Custom is usually relegated to the relm of semi-custom 1911's, as they do offer pre-established package builds. My question (or thought) is that I really think some of their guns could be considered full house custom builds. I say this because it is totally possible to select one of their custom shop models (the pro excluded) and have it fitted with any part you wish, including any finish you wish, grip treatment, dehorn package etc. The custom shop guns start out life as un-fitted slides, frames and barrels, and they are had fit by some very talented smiths. Being that you can specify the end result, does this put custom order Springfield Custom Shop guns in the full house custom relm, or am I off base on this? I am currently having MARS Armament build me a full house custom, and the experience seems no different than having Springfield Custom Shop build you a gun.

Let me know your thoughts.

GJ1981
06-20-2010, 10:00
I've asked myself this same question many times. I think it depends on your definition of a full-custom.

To me being able to pick exact parts is a key feature of a full-custom. The only thing I see said about the full-customs is they are built by one person.

I think SA is a hybrid depending on how the person thinks of a custom. When I was working on the details of my first CC there were only a few things they couldn't do, but otherwise it is being built exactly how I want.

I don't know if I worded this exactly how I wanted but hopefully it comes through well enough.

Quack
06-20-2010, 10:07
i would still put them in the semi category, along with Brown, Wilson, Nighthawk, etc.

You cannot get a naked slide and i don't think you can get the special (detail) work that is seen in custom guns like a gun from Chuck Roger's, from the Springfield Custom Shop.

MD357
06-20-2010, 10:11
I'm in the "don't care what you label it" camp.

bac1023
06-20-2010, 10:42
I'm in the "don't care what you label it" camp.

:rofl:

Shipwreck-The-Sequel
06-20-2010, 10:53
I look at my Full Rail Operator as a full custom, personally. It's also pretty rare. I don't see that many of them popping up on the forums... I've only seen 1 guy who had a matching pair of them. And, I've never seen one done in 9mm like I have.

Some people might call it semi custom - doesn't matter to me...

bac1023
06-20-2010, 11:40
Well, its a custom shop, whereas "shop" is the key word. They're extremely good, but, as a whole, semi custom 1911 builders. Sure they will build you what you want to a degree, and on that end they're almost like Infinity, but with less options.

Furthermore, when I ordered my Liebenberg a couple years ago, I spoke with Paul Liebenberg a few times directly for a combined hour or more to figure out what I wanted and the gun is everything he told me it would be.

Likewise, I just spent time over the last two months ordering my Morris and have spoken to Mark Morris three times already to finalize my order and even ask questions about 1911s in general.

When I ordered my Infinity, I spoke directly with Brandon Strayer more than once. Due to thier volume, Brandon doesn't build the guns totally himself, but he does put the finishing touches on them and did a great job with mine. Infinity has absolutely no packages. Everything is one-off through the Gunbuilder program (a very cool experience :cool:).

Also, with these guys, comes a great deal of individual flair that they do on their own. An example would be how Brandon blended the front sight of my Infinity. It looks incredible and I didn't even ask him to do it. Another example would be the mag release button on my Liebenberg. Its slightly angled to make the gun more ergonomic. Again, I didn't ask for that, its just what Paul does. I don't have the Morris yet, but just knowing that he sends it to the same hard chrome vender as Les Baer sends his pistols and the fact that the vender uses an upgraded finishing process just for the Morris guns, speaks volumes. Here we have a vender finishing a batch of high end semi custom Baers, who will stop and adjust procedures for a 1911 as nice as a Morris Custom. That just sounds awesome to me. :supergrin:

To top it off, work from top smiths like this is a sure thing. There is no rough edge, inconsistent finish, or lack of quality control to worry about. Everything is PERFECT or they don't ship.


You just don't get this with semi custom shops. The "personality" is missing and most of the time you don't even know who or how many people are building your gun. Semi custom also means semi production. They will have many options to choose from and a good deal of leeway, especially Springfield and Nighthawk, but at the end of the day they are not custom guns.

That being said, you don't have to spend four to five grand or more to get a world class 1911. These semi custom shops build great pistols, each with their own strengths and they ALL shoot very well indeed. :wavey:

In addition, full house custom guns are not for everyone. For a long while, I didn't think they were for me. However, now that I have a small collection of them, with my Morris looming in the next month or two, I'm very glad I decided to give them a try. To me they're the best handguns in the world, not just the best 1911s in the world.

Again, you can get a top notch 1911 without entering the custom world, but don't kid yourself into thinking they aren't worth the extra money. I thought that once and was proven wrong, very wrong. :faint:

MADBMW
06-20-2010, 11:47
Well, its a custom shop, whereas "shop" is the key word. They're extremely good, but, as a whole, semi custom 1911 builders. Sure they will build you what you want to a degree, and on that end they're almost like Infinity, but with less options.

Furthermore, when I ordered my Liebenberg a couple years ago, I spoke with Paul Liebenberg a few times directly for a combined hour or more to figure out what I wanted and the gun is everything he told me it would be.

Likewise, I just spent time over the last two months ordering my Morris and have spoken to Mark Morris three times already to finalize my order and even ask questions about 1911s in general.

When I ordered my Infinity, I spoke directly with Brandon Strayer more than once. Due to thier volume, Brandon doesn't build the guns totally himself, but he does put the finishing touches on them and did a great job with mine. Infinity has absolutely no packages. Everything is one-off through the Gunbuilder program (a very cool experience :cool:).

Also, with these guys, comes a great deal of individual flair that they do on their own. An example would be how Brandon blended the front sight of my Infinity. It looks incredible and I didn't even ask him to do it. Another example would be the mag release button on my Liebenberg. Its slightly angled to make the gun more ergonomic. Again, I didn't ask for that, its just what Paul does. I don't have the Morris yet, but just knowing that he sends it to the same hard chrome vender as Les Baer sends his pistols and the fact that the vender uses an upgraded finishing process just for the Morris guns, speaks volumes. Here we have a vender finishing a batch of high end semi custom Baers, who will stop and adjust procedures for a 1911 as nice as a Morris Custom. That just sounds awesome to me. :supergrin:

To top it off, work from top smiths like this is a sure thing. There is no rough edge, inconsistent finish, or lack of quality control to worry about. Everything is PERFECT or they don't ship.


You just don't get this with semi custom shops. The "personality" is missing and most of the time you don't even know who or how many people are building your gun. Semi custom also means semi production. They will have many options to choose from and a good deal of leeway, especially Springfield and Nighthawk, but at the end of the day they are not custom guns.

That being said, you don't have to spend four to five grand or more to get a world class 1911. These semi custom shops build great pistols, each with their own strengths and they ALL shoot very well indeed. :wavey:

In addition, full house custom guns are not for everyone. For a long while, I didn't think they were for me. However, now that I have a small collection of them, with my Morris looming in the next month or two, I'm very glad I decided to give them a try. To me they're the best handguns in the world, not just the best 1911s in the world.

Again, you can get a top notch 1911 without entering the custom world, but don't kid yourself into thinking they aren't worth the extra money. I thought that once and was proven wrong, very wrong. :faint:

Very good points, I can't wait for my MARS Armament by Steve Morrison to arrive.

bac1023
06-20-2010, 12:39
Very good points, I can't wait for my MARS Armament by Steve Morrison to arrive.

Should be very nice :)

BubbaShoots
06-20-2010, 12:48
Well spoken, bac.:thumbsup:

Shipwreck-The-Sequel
06-20-2010, 13:07
Well, Springfield Custom certainly does more custom options than Ed Brown and some of the other semi-custom makers.

I think custom and semi custom will come quite often come down to who is defining things, to some extent. I look at my Custom Shop gun as more "custom" than my Ed Brown Special Forces - to me, the Ed Browns are more of an expensive, semi-production gun. But. realistically, so are the Springfield Professionals. I mean, you can find them already sitting on gunshop shelves already. But when you call up and order something specific - that's more "custom" to me.

Admittedly, I have no idea of the name of the smith who worked on my gun. But, I personally don't care.

Now, the new Volkmann guns could be considered "custom." It's a 1 guy shop (as his volume of orders goes up, he may have to recruit other worker sto keep up). Then again, some would argue that buy putting his various "packages" together - he is becoming more semi-custom" than custom. I personally don't judge it eitherw ay - I'm just repeating arguments I have read that go both ways on the issue.

Personally, I find it easier to start with a "package" and then tweak things 1 by 1, on what I want changed. I like this more than the gun builder on Infinity. I really need to try the new version, as Bac stated it changed. But, it was previously confusing, and it was hard to find photo examples of what each little option looked like. By choosing a "package" before your personal changes, you can get an idea of what the finished product might appear like.

Anyway - topics like these, and also the useless ones by guys who argue that expensive custom/semi custom 1911s are no better than their Taurus 1911 POS :rofl: can go on forever :tongueout:

bac1023
06-20-2010, 13:14
Well, Springfield Custom certainly does more custom options than Ed Brown and some of the other semi-custom makers.

I think custom and semi custom will come quite often come down to who is defining things, to some extent. I look at my Custom Shop gun as more "custom" than my Ed Brown Special Forces - to me, the Ed Browns are more of an expensive, semi-production gun. But. realistically, so are the Springfield Professionals. I mean, you can find them already sitting on gunshop shelves already. But when you call up and order something specific - that's more "custom" to me.

Admittedly, I have no idea of the name of the smith who worked on my gun. But, I personally don't care.

Now, the new Volkmann guns could be considered "custom." It's a 1 guy shop (as his volume of orders goes up, he may have to recruit other worker sto keep up). Then again, some would argue that buy putting his various "packages" together - he is becoming more semi-custom" than custom.

Personally, I find it easier to start with a "package" and then tweak things 1 by 1, on what I want changed. I like this more than the gun builder on Infinity. I really need to try the new version, as Bac stated it changed. But, it was previously confusing, and it was hard to find photo examples of what each little option looked like. By choosing a "package" before your personal changes, you can get an idea of what the finished product might appear like.

Anyway - topics like these, and also the useless ones by guys who argue that expensive custom/semi custom 1911s are no better than their Taurus 1911 POS :rofl: can go on forever :tongueout:


You have to try Infinity from a ground up custom build. I had a great experience with them.

As far as Luke Volkman is concerned, he does work on the guns himself, but its certainly semi custom from an options and quality standpoint. Luke is a great guy and builds an awesome 1911, but the guns are the equivilent to Brown or Wilson, not Liebenberg or Morris.

Chonny
06-20-2010, 15:29
There are so many parts and metal working techniques and finishes.

I love it.

When I get my Guncrafter I'll figure out what its got and if there's anything that really jumps out at me as something I don't like. Forecast is... unlikely.