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Front Strap Checkering

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by Hound_dogs_01, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. Ok Guys I want my front straps checkerd. Who does a good job at this and who has done it their selves? I want to do it myself but I'm not 100% sure I can. I have been debating buying the jig and files from Brownells But still un sure.

    Thanks Guys,

    Alex
     
  2. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

    9,991
    9
    Jan 7, 2002
    NE Ohio
    I'm going to do my own, but need to build me a workbench first.
    SACS does great machine checkering, and you'll still need a refinish too.
     


  3. youngAR

    youngAR

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    0
    Dec 4, 2010
    DFW, TX
    EGW and Springfield Custom Shop both do good checkering. There are ton of shops that do good front strap treatments including Harrison Custom and Rogers Precision.
     
  4. GJ1981

    GJ1981 Pitying Fools

    2,366
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    Feb 10, 2008
    I've never done it myself and don't plan to start, I have bad enough tendinitis as it is.

    Springfield does great checkering, the only thing they don't do is get as high on the front strap as some others. That may or may not bother you.

    You could go through Novak and get Pete Single's checkering, which is top quality too.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  5. rsxr22

    rsxr22

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    Feb 25, 2009
    Youngstown, OH
    If you are mechanically competent than go for it. Im sure youd get much more satisfaction by doing it yourself. As of right now, Im nowhere near confident enough to try something like that. If you are near ATL though there are a ton of amazing smith's locally.
     
  6. SouthpawShootr

    SouthpawShootr NRA Life Member

    2,693
    1
    Aug 17, 2001
    Chesapeake, Va
    I wouldn't even attempt it. OK, maybe I might IF I had the tools and detailed instructions and an already buggered up frame to practice on that I couldn't hurt too badly. I'm very good with my hands. This is not somewhere to go cheap (if you want cheap, use skateboard tape - it's inexpensive and doesn't look all that bad). I'd get somebody to do it who has examples where I can see the quality of the work. If somebody (including yourself) buggers it up, it so extraordinarily expensive to fix that you might as well not fix it. I believe a Gray Guns employee has a post on Sigforum that details what they did for somebody who brought them a bad checker job to fix, among other things.

    I have 3 Kimbers that have factory checkering. I find that I like it alot. Not sure that I'd pay any more than around $200 total to get it done though. Not really necessary for me.

    BTW, if I were to have Rogers work on mine, I'd go for his golfball frontstrap treatment.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2011
  7. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

    9,991
    9
    Jan 7, 2002
    NE Ohio
    no way would i try to do it freehand without a ton of practice.
    the checkering fixture that i'm looking at is $185 and checkering files are about $50, so if you were only looking to do 1 frame, it'll be less expensive to send it in. also it's a LOT of filing. fitting a grip safety by hand took a while, so i can only imagine how long it would take to hand checker a frame.
     
  8. MADBMW

    MADBMW

    308
    0
    Dec 10, 2006
    Central, CA.
    The Springfield Armory Custom Shop does both machine and hand cut checkering. Hand cut cost more, but the machine cut is very well done. You will also have to pay for a frame re-finish and they can do that as well. I had them machine checker one of my front straps, and re-finish the entire gun in flat black armory kote. I think it was around $125 for the checkering, and $140 for the full gun to be re-finished in armory kote. They also have a reasonable turn around time compared to a place like Novak. That being said, if you go with Novak, you get the Pete Single checkering which is widely conidered to be the best in the world.
     
  9. Robert McLeod

    Robert McLeod

    267
    1
    May 6, 2003
    Ks
    I have Pete Single do the frontstrap checkering for me. It is regarded as some of the best checkering in the world with good reason. I heard about him while taking Larry Vickers' Pistolsmithing class.
     
  10. MADBMW

    MADBMW

    308
    0
    Dec 10, 2006
    Central, CA.
    For sure, the guy is a wizard with metal work.
     
  11. I'm not sure I would want to learn to checker on my own guns.
    I'm not sure I would want to spend the money on all of the stuff needed to do this unless I was planning to do more than a few guns.
    I think I would just let someone with the experience and proper credentials do it and be happy with the outcome.
     

  12. I have 2 frames I want done. One Blued and a SS model. My dad wants his Blued one done, My buddy who is actually going in on the cost of the tools to do it wants his and his dads done. So it's economical to buy the jig and files....

    Our biggest issue is figuring out how to refinishing the blued models.....


    Alex
     
  13. Robert McLeod

    Robert McLeod

    267
    1
    May 6, 2003
    Ks
    I have done several by hand, that does not include the practicing that I did before that. If you are going to do them by hand I will offer some advice. Take your time, when you get tired, strained, etc. STOP! Don't ever let yourself be distracted while you are doing it.

    It only takes one small error and you have completely ruined a frame. Thankfully I never ruined one. I have completely stopped hand checkering frontstraps. When I can have Pete Single do it with zero risk, there is really no point in hand checkering them anymore.
     
  14. EdMac87

    EdMac87

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    Oct 15, 2010

    Easy, Doug Turnbull.
     
  15. Shipwreck-The-Sequel

    Shipwreck-The-Sequel Beretta 92 Nut!

    3,011
    136
    May 11, 2010
    Hockey City, Texas
    I have seen posts from guys who have done this to their own guns. Typically, they practice on some other pieces of metal and/or pipes. Then, they eventually do their gun. It never comes out right.

    Unless you already know how to do a lot of work on your own guns as it is, and this is the next natural progression - I wouldn't try it.
     
  16. Cerebrus

    Cerebrus Guest

    Wish I could find the pics from TOS.. it looked like that guy went after his Kimber with a butcher knife.. I tend to agree that the learning curve for doing this can be kind of steep, as I am not all that mechanically inclined, I would save the money and let a pro do it.. just my .02
     
  17. Greyhoundman

    Greyhoundman

    87
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    Nov 21, 2010
    Ofallon, Mo
    I have hand checkerd a few of my own 1911's and it has come out quite well. But it is very time consuming and tedious.
     
  18. Well i am about 85% sure im going to try this my self in the coming months..

    Whats the hardest part of the process to those of you that have done this them selves....?

    Alex
     
  19. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

    18,888
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    Jun 19, 2008
    NW Ark.
    What about Chuck Rogers' golfball? Feels really good.