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  1. #1
    melloyello's Avatar
    melloyello is offline Junior Member
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    1911 built on Essex frame worth it?

    Owner doesn't know all the particulars of the build and neither do I. It does have an Essex frame and upon removing the slide and looking at the internals everything seems to be in great shape. Everything is nice and tight and by the looks of it she hasn't been fired too much. It has Hogue grips, 2 magazines, and a Blackhawk holster w/ it. He wants $250 and it almost seems too good to be true. So, I guess my question is, since it is an Essex frame and it's not the same as buying a Colt, Taurus, etc how much would this gun really be worth?

  2. #2
    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is online now Administrator
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    The gun is not going to have any real "value" other than what one is willing to pay for it.

    You can't look up a mutt build in a blue book and get a real world value for it.

    An Essex frame from Brownells ran between $150-$180. I would shoot it before buying it. If it functions well I'd make a lower offer as the particulars aren't known. It could be full of crap parts or really good parts. Best advice would be to have it looked at by a gunsmith and looked over, especially the surfaces that make contact with the barrel.

    I'd pay about $180-$200 if the gun/parts were OK but I'd probably just ditch the slide and have a dedicated frame for my .22 kit.

    It's all up to you. If you want to have some fun and outfit the gun the way you want it with different parts it would make a great project and be a good learning experience.

  3. #3
    melloyello's Avatar
    melloyello is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the reply. I was really thinking about making this a project gun so what you are saying goes right along w/ that. I was planning on purchasing it this afternoon but it's the first time he has sold a handgun and he wants to go through a FFL to do it. I don't mind that b/c I can also get them to look over the gun while it is there.
    Again, thanks for the reply.

  4. #4
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    I have two 1911s built on Essex frames. One of them has had thousands of rounds through it, and the other is a special-made "shortie" that doesn't get fired a lot.
    I see nothing wrong with Essex frames in general, except there was at least one run of them with a relief cut in the frame near the slide-release hole. Why was this done? Dunno. I have never owned one of these particular Essex frames, but I have seen this model of frame crack at the relief cut.
    I suggest that you look to make sure that the pistol you're buying does not have this relief cut.

  5. #5
    melloyello's Avatar
    melloyello is offline Junior Member
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    I looked it over really good on the frame and the slide in that area and did not see anything irregular. Thanks for the tip. I may look at it one more time b/4 the purchase tomorrow.

  6. #6
    Jason248 is offline Junior Member
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    id buy it in a heartbeat, sounds like a decent deal at that price

  7. #7
    melloyello's Avatar
    melloyello is offline Junior Member
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    Well, I bought it yesterday. Plan to do some shooting tomorrow at the range. I will have to get some pics up soon.

  8. #8
    GURU1911 is offline Member
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    Essex 1911a1

    Offer the gentlemen $250.00 cash---if he accepts, say thank you, shake his hand, turn around, & calmly leave the scene of the exchange of ownership. Now do the following:
    1. Take pistol home. Detail strip & clean every part with breakfree clp, cotton swabs, pipe cleaners, & bore patches.
    2. Visually exam everything under a strong light & a head mounted magnification device.
    3. Replace every spring with a new complete set of wolff 1911 springs
    4. Install a new shock pad on the recoil spring guide rod
    5. Reassemble while lubing parts with break-free clp
    6. Lube frame & slide rails, disconnector rail & notch, barrel & bushing, close slide gently forward, lube barrel hood & barrel locking lugs. Point slide toward the floor & work slide back & forth to distribute the lube.
    7. Insert an empty magazine into frame. Pull back on slide to check for positive lockup on slide stop. Remove magazine, grasp slide with hand, press down on slide stop & gently allow slide to move forward.
    8. Perform routine check of thumb & grip safety. If everything works normally, load the magazine with cheap ball ammo & shoot the snot out of your new pistol !!!

  9. #9
    melloyello's Avatar
    melloyello is offline Junior Member
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    Had to put an extractor in it since the old one was shaped like a C instead of a L. It would fail to eject about 35% of the time. I went ahead and replaced the firing pin and spring and the firing pin stop while I was in there. Also replaced the grip bolts from slotted to hex head. Had to do some filing and what not to get it all setup but she works great now. Chugging through brass and stell cased ammo.

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