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Velocat

Advice for a 1911 Noob - Safari Arms Frame/Springfield Slide

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I'm a noob to shooting in general but especially when it comes to 1911's. I have this Safari Arms / Springfield Armory on loan to me with the chance to buy it for $600. The owner recently passed away and his nephew is selling it. I have not had a chance to shoot it yet. I am considering it for a range gun, not to compete with.

I have researched Safari Arms / Olympic Arms but I have some questions:

1) Why the SA frame and Springfield armory slide?

2) Is this gun worth $600, assuming it functions well when I shoot it, or should I put that money toward a future purchase, such as a Springfield Armory Range Officer or other similar 1911?

I was not planning on buying a 1911 but since this opportunity came up I thought why not? The nephew has a couple of other 45's but they are not full sized.

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I have no experience with Safari Arms, but I sure don't like the look of that projection thing out the front strap.

Sounds like it's a gun somebody put together themselves. Quality (and price) would depend on the ability of that person, and how much use and what kind of care it's had since.

I think I'd pass on it personally, but maybe you would like the front strap thing more than I think I would. An STI Spartan wouldn't cost much more new, and a Trojan is a little over $1000.

ETA: Just looked at the pictures. It looks like a novice fitted the grip safety, with that big gap. I'd also want to change the sights and thumb safety, but that's just me. I really think STI would be more "bang for your buck".

Edited by six-gun shooter

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I am 98% certain that in in addition to selling built guns they also sold the frames so people could build up custom guns which might explain the Springfield slide. In the good old days when single stack .45 open division guns ruled ( actually, there was really only one division...) guns on their frames weren't uncommon. Some of the more avant garde shooters used them and they made for a sexy looking gun. I've handled them and frankly didn't care for the finger groove or the overly hooked trigger guard, but it is all about personal preference. Also, they didn't fit in all holsters due to the trigger guard hook.

I did a quick search on the brand and saw that they made some of those in beryllium alloy. I use beryllium in my business, and while safe in it's solid form - corrosion, dust from machining/sanding, vapors from welding...they are toxic and special handling is required. Not really sure I would want to run a beryllium gun. But that was back when men were men!

Anyway, my recommendation would be to handle the gun and decide if you are comfortable with the features of that frame or not. If it doesn't feel right to you then I would pass.

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Its a parts gun. No special value. Frame and slide should be a good base for building a shooter, but that needs some knowhow to be done right.

The beavertail is a big red flag. Its not right at all, and you have to question if the barrel and trigger are done as badly. Can't tell from the pics if the frame tangs were just overground. If so, you are looking at welding up the frame to properly fit a beavertail. It's possible that it was fit for a Brown beavertail, instead of the one that's on it.

As is, it would be worth about $250 to me if there are no other problem areas. I can weld the frame without paying a smith. Properly repaired it could be worth $400, possibly $500. I think $600 is overpriced.

Edited by wide45

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Six-gun, Bamboo, Wide, Thanks for the feedback. I would feel better if was all Safari Arms or all Springfield A for sure. My first thought on seeing it was "Frankengun" LOL! Something tells me it might be a "monster" when it comes to feeding issues, etc. This is definitely the bastard stepchild of all the guns the previous owner had. The other 45's he owned were Kimber or Wilson Combat.

The only way to know for sure is to go shoot it to see if it fits me etc. but at $600 I am leaning toward Six-guns suggestion of putting the money toward a future purchase of an STI or similar quality 45. I'm an engineer and mechanic but I'm certainly no welder or gunsmith.

Edited by Velocat

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The slide at the left rear has been ground away past the frame, I dont think the thumb safety will fit into the slide properly and that grip safety is terrible. I shot a match with one of thos frames years ago and that front strap forced my fingers apart and my hand was numb after 50 rds. Thats not even close to a 600.00 dollar gun. Too many good serviceable guns for sale to buy that one at any price.-----------Larry

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Yeah, I would stay away, unless the price is right. I would look at a sti spartan.

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I believe the frame was made by Caspian for Safari Arms. The front strap protrusion can be ground down but not all the way unless the back side is welded in.

The tangs would need some help also for a better fit for the grip safety. It looks like the slide is too far forward on the left and looks good on the right as Larry stated, very strange.

$200.00 could be too high for this, a complete tear down is needed to answer that.

Rich

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