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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey GLocktalk!

BUILD a custom Colt VS. Buy a custom Nighthawk

I need some help. I have been wanting to pull the trigger on a Colt Commander GI style (750$ used). I was planning on doing a custom build with parts that I want to add to it.

One major problem... I want a flat backstrap thing. ( sorry dont know the name,Mainspring housing), Better sights than the GI style, and I would prefer a reliability package of some sort from a reputable gunsmith.

Im comparing this to the fine 1911's at Nighthawk. It will take me longer to save for the Nighthawk. The Colt can be upgraded slowly therefore allowing me to be able to purchase the pistol sooner.

ALso, Newb question... Can the commander frame fit 8 round mags flush?
 

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I'm not sure what the first question is but to answer the second yes a commander sized frame will seat some 8 round magazines flush.

As to whether you should build up a Colt or save longer for a Nighthawk that depends upon your personality. Will you be content wIth the Colt or just dissatisfied that you didn't wait for the Nighthawk?

Certainly the modIfIed Colt is the more economical choice of the two. To me a built up Colt is more enjoyable than a Nighthawk. In the semi custom field I much prefer Wilson Combat. Have you looked at the Colt Wiley Clapp model? IT has everything you want right out of the box. It is still much less expensive than a Nighthawk.

Good luck whichever path you choose.
 

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It's a price versus time thing.
A custom build, from many of the more well known 1911 PistolSmiths could take up to three years. They are just THAT busy! With that being said, nearly any NightHawk can be had in about 10-12 months. I have a NightHawk T3, it is an amazing pistol. I also have a Chambers Custom Pistols, full built Commander in 38 Super. There is NO comparison. However, there is a big difference in cost.

How long do you want to wait? What are you wanting done to the Colt? A few years does give you a change to save up for the build.
 

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Hey GLocktalk!

BUILD a custom Colt VS. Buy a custom Nighthawk

I need some help. I have been wanting to pull the trigger on a Colt Commander GI style (750$ used). I was planning on doing a custom build with parts that I want to add to it.

One major problem... I want a flat backstrap thing. ( sorry dont know the name,Mainspring housing), Better sights than the GI style, and I would prefer a reliability package of some sort from a reputable gunsmith.

Im comparing this to the fine 1911's at Nighthawk. It will take me longer to save for the Nighthawk. The Colt can be upgraded slowly therefore allowing me to be able to purchase the pistol sooner.

ALso, Newb question... Can the commander frame fit 8 round mags flush?
Easy decision for me - I'd buy the Colt and build it. I have no interest in anybody else's gunsmithing. It's not a *^%$ rocket to the moon, it's a simple 100+ year-old gun design. A flat mainspring housing and new sights aren't 30 minutes of work at a beginner level (and that's being very careful with a stake-on front sight). As for reliability, I've owned a few Colts in .38 Super, .45 and 10mm, and had 0 malfunctions, ever.

If you need to wait 3 years for a "well known 1911 PistolSmith" to put some parts on your gun and file/bend the extractor a little, you've been reading too many gun magazines and learning too little about guns.

And yes, a Commander uses the same magazines as a Gov. model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Bren- Will replacing sights require the slide to be re-cut for different style sights? This model has GI type sights. Im looking for something like Henie Straight 8's
 

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Send the pistol to Novak's and they will cut the slide and install the sights for you with a one week turnaround in most cases.
 

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I'd have the Colt built just because I like the looks better and I usually can't stomach the goofy stuff most of the high-end 1911s have engraved on the slide. That being said, take a very close look at the Colt and make sure it's worth building. Colt uses high quality materials, but their craftmanship is often very low quality.

You're better off having the whole thing built all at once, if you try to piece it together over time you'll never have anything that works right. Most everything on a 1911 works together and has to be fit together.
 

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OP, I guess it's what you are wanting as the end result. And how much you are willing to spend. And it will depend greatly on who does the work on the Colt, to even begin to be in the same league with a Nighthawk anything. If you are wanting a Colt that has some modern upgrades, then seanmac45's suggestion of the Wiley Clapp Colt Commander may just be what you're looking for. And you will have the gun from day one of walking out of the gun store with it and they priced reasonably as well.
 

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I'd have the Colt built just because I like the looks better and I usually can't stomach the goofy stuff most of the high-end 1911s have engraved on the slide. That being said, take a very close look at the Colt and make sure it's worth building. Colt uses high quality materials, but their craftmanship is often very low quality.

You're better off having the whole thing built all at once, if you try to piece it together over time you'll never have anything that works right. Most everything on a 1911 works together and has to be fit together.
Unlike Colt, other highend 1911's can be ordered with a naked slide, so if roll marks are an issue, that can be resolved when the order is placed.
 

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Unlike Colt, other highend 1911's can be ordered with a naked slide, so if roll marks are an issue, that can be resolved when the order is placed.

Very true. I love the way a naked slide looks. I wish I had one...
 

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I did the custom, one piece at a time 1911 and have purchased a Nighthawk.
With the custom one, I got exactly what I wanted, from a reputable 'smith, and because I did it piece by piece, I had a better appreciation and understanding of what I bought.

I wouldn't buy another Nighthawk again, EVER. They were great when they were taking my money, but I didn't get what I repeatedly asked for, and the T3 failed out of the box. When I sent it back, they fixed the issue that failed (slide stop) but said I lied about the ambi safety, and that they don't warranty ambi safeties.
When I posted about this on another 1911 forum (that Nighthawk sponsors) I got several private messages from other Nighthawk owners who were treated the same way, but afraid to post about them. I also got banned from that forum.
Nighthawk's representative actually posted "if you aren't satisfied with the Nighthawk, sell it". And he also posted that "Nighthawk would have fixed the issue, but for your bad attitude". That's their idea of customer service, as opposed to resolving the issue.

If you have to go custom, go with Wilson or one of the other reputable companies.
 

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I did the custom, one piece at a time 1911 and have purchased a Nighthawk.
With the custom one, I got exactly what I wanted, from a reputable 'smith, and because I did it piece by piece, I had a better appreciation and understanding of what I bought.

I wouldn't buy another Nighthawk again, EVER. They were great when they were taking my money, but I didn't get what I repeatedly asked for, and the T3 failed out of the box. When I sent it back, they fixed the issue that failed (slide stop) but said I lied about the ambi safety, and that they don't warranty ambi safeties.
When I posted about this on another 1911 forum (that Nighthawk sponsors) I got several private messages from other Nighthawk owners who were treated the same way, but afraid to post about them. I also got banned from that forum.
Nighthawk's representative actually posted "if you aren't satisfied with the Nighthawk, sell it". And he also posted that "Nighthawk would have fixed the issue, but for your bad attitude". That's their idea of customer service, as opposed to resolving the issue.

If you have to go custom, go with Wilson or one of the other reputable companies.
Horrific story! :wow: I am glad that my 2 Nighthawk's have been 100%! Although, one, a Predator II, is #00751 built solely by Ron Phillips and the other is a new Falcon. I've been MORE than satisfied with mine, but sometimes you get a lemon I guess.
 

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Hey GLocktalk!

BUILD a custom Colt VS. Buy a custom Nighthawk

I need some help. I have been wanting to pull the trigger on a Colt Commander GI style (750$ used). I was planning on doing a custom build with parts that I want to add to it.

One major problem... I want a flat backstrap thing. ( sorry dont know the name,Mainspring housing), Better sights than the GI style, and I would prefer a reliability package of some sort from a reputable gunsmith.

Im comparing this to the fine 1911's at Nighthawk. It will take me longer to save for the Nighthawk. The Colt can be upgraded slowly therefore allowing me to be able to purchase the pistol sooner.

ALso, Newb question... Can the commander frame fit 8 round mags flush?
If you think you can build a 1911 as well as the folks at Nighthawk, go for it...
 

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Easy decision for me - I'd buy the Colt and build it. I have no interest in anybody else's gunsmithing. It's not a *^%$ rocket to the moon, it's a simple 100+ year-old gun design. A flat mainspring housing and new sights aren't 30 minutes of work at a beginner level (and that's being very careful with a stake-on front sight). As for reliability, I've owned a few Colts in .38 Super, .45 and 10mm, and had 0 malfunctions, ever.

If you need to wait 3 years for a "well known 1911 PistolSmith" to put some parts on your gun and file/bend the extractor a little, you've been reading too many gun magazines and learning too little about guns.

Are you taking any orders right now? Or are you completely backed up? Please let me know when you are accepting new builds so I can get a base gun to you. Thanks.
 

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Hey GLocktalk!

BUILD a custom Colt VS. Buy a custom Nighthawk
Colt. Why? Because if it ain't a Colt, it's a copy. JMB didn't work with Savage, Luger, Remington, Winchester, Nighhawk, Ruger, or whatever to develop the M1911. He worked with COLT and US Army Board of Ordnance.

I need some help. I have been wanting to pull the trigger on a Colt Commander GI style (750$ used). I was planning on doing a custom build with parts that I want to add to it.
What exactly is the model number? If it's a current Series 80 the price sounds a bit high for a used one.

One major problem... I want a flat backstrap thing. ( sorry dont know the name,Mainspring housing), Better sights than the GI style, and I would prefer a reliability package of some sort from a reputable gunsmith.
Mainspring housing is easy to swap out.

Better sight? The current Colt sights are not GI style sights, you need to post a photo. GI style sights are tiny. However, some don't care for the current Colt sights, and neither do I. It's workable for me but I prefer something with better sight picture and sight alignment like Novak's or 10-8. Some like Heinie, etc. Whatever floats your boat.

There are a couple of ways to do the sights. You can get a new front sight that stakes into place, and you can get a new rear sight that dovetails into place as well. Or you can get the front sight machined out to take a dovetailed front sight (definitely won't fly off like the staked front sight) and machine out the rear sight/rear slide so that the new rear sight would sit lower (lower profile for less catch on clothings, etc.).

Reliability package? Shoot the gun first and see if there's a problem before you start doing reliability packages.

Im comparing this to the fine 1911's at Nighthawk. It will take me longer to save for the Nighthawk. The Colt can be upgraded slowly therefore allowing me to be able to purchase the pistol sooner.
With all seriousness, it's hard to compare a customized Colt to a customized Knighthawk/Ed Brown/Wilson, etc. These latters already come with components that are much tighter in dimensions, and probably better steel too.

ALso, Newb question... Can the commander frame fit 8 round mags flush?
Yes. If you can find flush fit 8-rds mags, that is. Mec-Gar makes some.
 
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