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Hello all! This is my first post, so please bear with me if this is posted in the wrong place (moderators please move this topic if this is the case). Also I have not yet mastered the search function, so I apologize in advance if this has been covered in the past. I have a tendency to ramble, but I'll try and stay on topic... A little about me: I started building 1911/2011's about 4 years ago (the first few were built from 80% receivers, yuck!) and at this point I have built two dozen or so. At this point, I would like to think I am reasonably competent when it comes to building them; slide to frame fits are good, barrels are tight with good lockup, I can assess and fix most problems with relative ease etc. I have extremely limited access to a lathe/mill, so everything has to be done by hand for better or worse. I'm at a bit of a crossroads, metaphorically speaking, and I'm trying to make decisions about what to do with my life, and I am considering trying to make a go of it with this whole custom pistol thing. As much as I would like stick solely with 1911's, it doesn't strike me as the most viable business plan, at least not to start with. I have a fair bit of experience with other pistols, glocks and CZs mostly, but I've built an AR-15 or two as well, and I thought maybe there would be a niche for custom or semi-custom (or even just upgraded factory) pistols, both with the competition crowd but the tactical crowd as well. I see a lot of high-end glocks (salient, zev, taran tactical etc) and 1911/2011s (atlas, akai, cheely etc) but I don't see that much for sale in the middle ground between factory guns and 3-5k+ high end stuff, and I'm wondering if there would be interest in pistols/rifles that fall somewhere in the middle, i.e. flashier than factory, but still relatively affordable. In a nutshell, what I am asking is... what are your thoughts on the viability of starting a small business building custom/semi-custom pistols and rifles (from the ground up, as well as upgrading/customizing factory weapons), aiming for somewhere between factory guns and big dollar customs, for both the competition and tactical crowds and then selling them either through local dealers or my own storefront. To be clear, i'm not interested in opening a gun shop so much as I am in BUILDING things, be it 1911s, glocks, ar15s you name it. I have always been quite technically/mechanically minded, and not to be a braggart but i feel i am not half bad at this sort of thing. I am hoping that any custom builders or shop owners might chime in and give me some advice on how they got started in the industry. How did you get things rolling, how did you build a name for yourself, how did you promote your brand... I would just like to get some feedback from the community here on whether such a venture would be worth pursuing. Any and all input would be welcome. Postscript: I do know how to use a manual mill and lathe, and I know how to weld (TIG and MIG), and have done some some CNC programming as well, so I'm not a complete amateur when it comes to these things, but my experience is limited.