Go Back   Pistolsmith > Pistol Forum > M1911 Pistols

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-30-2001, 06:27 AM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 207
Who makes slides and frames for Brown, Rock River Arms, Les Baer and Wilson? Any one better than the other? Why or why not? Not talking about the total pistol, just the quality of the slide and frame. No flamming please, just your opinion. Thanks, Sam :smile:
Remove Ads
Old 10-30-2001, 01:05 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Richardson, TX
Posts: 1,580
I know that Wilson, Kimber and CMC slides & frames are all made by a company called Jerico and are essentially identical. Ed Brown says they make their own, as do RRA. I think Baer makes their own frames & slides, too.

What is best is a tough call. As a practical matter I'd call it a toss-up, though I'm sure the pistolsmiths here have preferences.
Old 10-30-2001, 01:45 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Kalifornia
Posts: 169
See my post at your other question regarding frames.
Old 01-08-2002, 11:17 AM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 265
Here is a link to answer this question


just click on the jerico vs. jerico

This is 4 years old, but I would think nothing has changed
Old 01-13-2002, 12:47 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Granite Falls, Washington
Posts: 104
Fortyfive - interesting link.

Does anyone have any info on the Ithaca line mentioned there. I did not know they where making 1911's. Or where they a flash in the pan that I missed while out to sea.
Old 01-13-2002, 01:08 PM   #6
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Issaquah, WA
Posts: 3,830
The Ithica guns were a limited edition.

Let's set the story straight since the question has been batted back and forth on several threads.

Currently ie, 01/2002
Rock River and Les Baer are using frames and slides made in a machine shop by the same OEM jobber.

Wilson Combat is using Jericho..ie Kimber for their in house guns, frame and slide. The newest Wilson light rail gun is Caspian frame and slide.

Nowlin, CMC, Kimber again like Wilson Combat come from the same place.

Ed Brown is now using Caspian frame and slides. He has in the past used the same machine shop as his OEM as Les Baer and Rock River.

SVI is producing their own frame. I am unsure about STI but might assume (risky in this business) that they are also producing their own.

I must assume Colt makes their own frame and slide. As does Springfield.

Now before anyone replies, please either have your facts straight or be willing to make that statement under oath. A little less bs on this subject will go a long ways IMO.

I don't care who makes what. I only care about what I make/modify/build on/swear at and my quality. I haven't listed a gun or maker that I wouldn't be THRILLED to own and shoot myself.
Old 01-13-2002, 02:50 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 207
Dane, Who is the "OEM jobber" who makes the frames and slides for RRA and LB? Isn't it "Carl Lewis Machine" :???: Thanks, Sam

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Sam on 2002-01-13 15:54 ]</font>
Old 01-13-2002, 05:13 PM   #8
Posts: n/a
Karl Lewis is spelled with a K, is an outstanding maker of many firearm parts. He does OEM only.

I strongly suggest we go along with Dane on this one.

A little less BS would go a long way.

No gun maker does everything in house himself. Why would they want to? Or how could they afford to.

No gunmaker makes springs. Springmakers do them.

No gunmaker makes magazines, not even Colt. They may own the tool that produces the part, but the parts are stamped and assembled at a huge stamping facility far away.

The finest gunmakers/pistolsmiths we have are ALL having certain items sourced out, at least in part. But what's important here is the final name that is stamped on the gun. The ATF has ruled that the maker is the person who assembles the pieces into a gun.

And the maker is the one going to stand behind it.

Karl Lewis is not going to help you if you have trouble with your RRA so it shouldn't matter if he originally made the frame.

And the FBI is not going after Karl Lewis if the gun is used in a crime. They will look and see who's name is on the frame.

Can we please drop this subject? It just gets everyone upset.

Greg Powers
Old 01-13-2002, 05:35 PM   #9
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Issaquah, WA
Posts: 3,830
Please don't infer that Jericho...will help you on Kimber, CMC, Wilson or Nowlin problems, just as Karl Lewis isn't going to help you with LB, or RR. Caspian will not on their OEM contracts, like Casual for instance, or me if I decide to have them produce a frame and slide with BCP stamped on it.

Neither would I deny that relationship if I had it. I am proud of who I work with. But I also don't think it is anyone's business who they are in any case.

I suspect most in the gun business feel more strongly than I about revealing those relationships.

But then I never claimed, jobbed out, machine checkering, as "hand done" or that I build my own frames, slides, barrels or parts in my own shop. This forum and the Internet in general should be an eye opener for those that do claim such things, but don't in actuality.

Most folks get a case of the ass when they find out they are being lied to.

While honesty in this business is sometimes hard to come by, there aren't many who are intentionally defrauding the customer that I know of.

Things like "forged" or good customer service are often subjective. Takes only a few minutes to get a bunch of opinions and then you need to make your own judgements.

The sellers reputaion is all I care about. I buy and use Ed Brown, Caspian, Heinie, BarSto, Storm Lake, Wilson, Nowlin, CMC, Kimber guns and parts all the time among just a few. If I have a problem I call them up and get the problem squared away.

It aint the name on the stuff Dude, it is who sells it to you. Do you trust them and their reputation? My first question is the reputation earned or bought. The guys listed above got their's the hard way. They earned it.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2002-01-13 20:13 ]</font>
Old 01-13-2002, 06:36 PM   #10
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Ed Brown Products, Inc.
Posts: 33
<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Ed Brown on 2002-02-16 18:56 ]</font>
Old 01-13-2002, 08:26 PM   #11
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 76
Ed has a very good point. None of the major parts makers are making a crappy product. If Ed Brown sells me a gun and is willing to stand behind it (which he is), that's good enough for me. He's got a lot more knowledge about guns, metallurgy, etc. than I do, and he's not going to pick junk to put his name on. As long as the guy who actually puts the gun together and puts his name on it is going to stand behind it, who cares what vendor made the frame, slide, etc?
Old 01-13-2002, 08:48 PM   #12
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Issaquah, WA
Posts: 3,830
Let's set the story straight since the question has been batted back and forth on several threads.
Please note that the opinions here are mine and do not represent any information told to me by any OEM or any other pistolsmith. My comments are made only from my personal observations which I believe to be correct.

My suggestion is that if you are curious about a partcular manufacturer or OEM is call them and ask if you find it important.

I find it a mute point. Kimber sells a gun @ $600. Wilson uses the same basic frame and slide and sells @ $2000. I use the same frame and slide and sell the gun for $4000.

We all consider our products a good value for the dollar. The difference is the quality of the parts that go with the frame and slide, the fit and finish and finally the level of service after you have spent the original money.
Old 01-14-2002, 08:40 PM   #13
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Issaquah, WA
Posts: 3,830
This from a forum member today. Since LB does not contribute to this forum I thought it worth publishing the question and the comments.

From a LB owner asking LB a question:

Dear Les Baer,
Are your slides and frames made in house or do you purchase from another
fabricating facility. I have purchased 2 of your pistols under the understanding that
you make your own. But a recent trip to a web-site pistolsmith.com gave
me information contrary to that, by a pistolsmith named Dane Burns of
Burns Custom Pistols. He in addition stated that works on Les Baer and others to make
them better.

Sincerely yours,

Concerned Customer of Owner of Concept V and Monolith

LB's answer:
Dear Sir,

Thanks for the inquiry. Yes, we make all of our frames and slides in house
contrary to what you read on pistolsmith.com. D. Burns has been critizing
Les and Les Baer Custom for quite some time.
Having (2) of our custom pistols I'm sure you can understand the conflict of interest.
If you have any further questions or concerns you may contact our office, Les
would more than happy to take your call, we stand behind our products and
Les Baer Custom 100%.

I can only report my personal experience with Les Baer. I will also stand by my original comments as to who makes the frames for LB. I have built well over a dozen guns on LB frames and slides. One stainless frame cracked at the dust cover after very little use. I personally spoke with Les Baer about the problem. He didn't know me from Adam, but I did explain that I used his frames and slides to build on. He flatly refused to replace my frame. Luckily I bought it through Brownells' and they did replace it....I choose to use CMC frames at that point and have not built on a LB frame since. Nor will I because of the unacceptable customer service and the quality of the product. A number of custom smiths have similar feelings about building on LB.

Larry Vickers and Terry Peters among others have written in public (try a search on the 1911 forum) that LB is not their first choice as the basis for a custom gun. I am not alone.

I want to use the very best parts for any custom gun I build so that the customer has a gun he can pass on to his children or shoot 10s of thousands of rounds through.

I have repeated my choices a number of times. There is no conflict of interest. I sell only a couple dozen guns a year, Les Baer or Wilson hundreds or thousands.

They clearly aren't my competitors. I gain nothing by critizing LB other than LB's ill will. But I won't sell my customers a poorly produced product backed by poor customer service either. (try a search under LB on this forum and the 1911 forum for the customer service stories)

"He in addition stated that works on Les Baer and others to make
them better."
I do in fact take LB, Brown and Wilson guns and make them better. I charge a large sum of money to do so. So far no one has complained that their gun wasn't improved from that work.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2002-01-14 21:45 ]</font>
Old 01-15-2002, 08:34 AM   #14
Senior Member
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: City of Champions--Artesia, NM
Posts: 270
Somebody named Stacey emailed me that same quote/post Dane just posted. I really don't know why. Not do I know this Stacey person.

Does anybody else know who "Stacey" is??
Old 01-15-2002, 09:37 AM   #15
Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2001
Posts: 120
Controversy! Whooo Hoooo! (Too early in the morning for popcorn. Damn).

Speaking of OEM issues.... I wanted to save some cash so I purchased the Rite-Aid "knock off" brand nicotine gum. I nervously chewed all 108 pieces and had to return for (hopefully) one last package of the stuff. I happened to think about my need for more gum while doing some shopping at Wal-Mart. I just picked up a package of the plain-jane Wal-Mart brand while I was there and didn't bother going across town to Rite-Aid.

Know what? Same EXACT stuff. Made by "such and such" labs for "so and so". Here's the catch... If I had a problem with the gum I bought at Rite-Aid, they'd have taken care of it. Same situation with the gum from Wal-Mart. Even though it is the EXACT same product.

Old 01-15-2002, 10:41 AM   #16
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 720

Did either Rite-Aid or Walmart have any gum to control my 1911 cravings?

Better yet, Carryguns.com could start selling some BCP gum that makes you want more 1911's! I could pass it out to unsuspecting anti's. :grin:
Old 01-15-2002, 10:52 AM   #17
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Issaquah, WA
Posts: 3,830
Somebody named Stacey emailed me that same quote/post Dane just posted. I really don't know why. Not do I know this Stacey person.
I will have to assume that LB and the original customer who asked the question haven't realized that spamming is illegal.

I just figured that who ever bothered to send me the 4 copies I got wanted to promote pistolsmith.com and offer their comments on my wonderful personality :grin:
Old 01-15-2002, 03:16 PM   #18
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Ohio
Posts: 285
Here are a few more frame and/or pistol makers. Any comments?

Olympic (Safari) Arms

High Standard

Dan Wesson

Israeli Arms

Essex Arms

Auto Ordnance (Kahr)


Griffon Arms (Sprinco)

Para Ordnance

Enterprise Arms


<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Matt VDW on 2002-01-15 16:17 ]</font>
Old 01-15-2002, 03:28 PM   #19
Senior Member
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 720
I believe Valtro is the only one forging their frames and slides in 4340 steel.

  Pistolsmith > Pistol Forum > M1911 Pistols

Search tags for this page
1911 frames and slides
ho makes sig 1911 frames

jericho 1911 frames

les baer frames imported

who makes 1911 frames


who makes les baer frames

who makes les baer frames and slides

who makes sig 1911 frames

who makes the best 1911 frame

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Who makes the Dan Wesson frames/slides?? Jeffro Dan Wesson Revolvers 32 03-18-2006 12:33 PM
Frames & Slides Rock M1911 Pistols 2 01-14-2002 09:17 PM
Frames & Slides Don Puffer Pistolsmiths 6 10-30-2001 03:01 PM
Wilson Frames/Slides Shay Workshop 3 09-02-2001 08:40 PM
Frames and slides SuperDave Pistolsmiths 2 08-04-2001 09:23 AM

Top Gun Sites Top Sites List

Powered by vBulletin 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.6.1
Copyright © 1999-2012 Pistolsmith. All rights reserved.