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Caspian stainless

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I got bored with my Para P16-10mm so I decided to start another project. I ordered this frame and slide with every custom option that I wanted and left nothing unaddressed. Even the serial number is custom and has great meaning to me. It consists of my initials, my branch of service, and my Air Force Specialty Code. I am building this gun to commemorate my career which will be coming to a close soon. Enjoy!




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OMG, Its beautiful! what did that set run ya? it looks awesome.

Thanks. With my military discount it came in right at about $800. That's with the hand fitting, integral plunger tube, 25LPI front strap, sight cuts, beavertail radius, custom S/N, AF logo, beveled slide, and tungsten carbide treated frame and slide rails. Caspian offers a significant discount for active duty folks, not just the token 5-10% that many places do. They essentially sell to us at wholesale. I could have afforded full price but it would have taken me just enough longer to save for it that I probably would have gotten discouraged and never went for it. This price really was the sweet spot for me.


Another $1000ish in parts and barrel fitting and it will be done.

Edited by ctrout
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  • 7 months later...

Well, my Kart barrel that was backordered from Brownells for months finally showed up the other day. I ordered the parts required for the barrel fitting this morning and when they arrive, everything will be headed off to Bob Hunter for barrel fitting and having the chamber cut from 40S&W to 10mm (couldn't get a Kart barrel in 10mm). Sorry for revisiting this old thread every few months but this is unfortunately going to be a pretty slow build because I am on an extremely limited budget. I do want to document it along the way though for folks who may have interest in similar future projects.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I decided to go with a local smith (T.L. Moyers) rather than increasing my costs by shipping it off. He's pretty busy with the manufacturing side of his business but he made time for me and did the fitting and chambering in about 10 days. I picked the gun up yesterday. Nice tight bank vault lock-up and the chamber is now cut to 10mm depth. I placed a $350 order with Midway last night so I might be able to get this thing up and running sooner than I thought. I am still in need of a set of sights, grips, and MSH but I have an old set of Pachmayr Signatures and an old MSH lying around to at least get to the point where it is shootable. When I get the final bit of cash saved, I'll be bobbing the frame and getting a 25LPI checkered MSH and a set of VZ Operator IIs in the zebra color. I got the slide cut for Novak Lo-Mounts but I want adjustables and haven't decided on just what I want yet.

Edited by ctrout
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Parts showed up yesterday so I spent last night fitting everything and it went Soooooo well. I only fit the parts as needed to get the weapon functioning. Cosmetic fit will be adjusted once I have everything on hand. 15 minutes on a single cut mill file and the trigger fits like a glove. I got one of the Cylinder & Slide drop-in trigger kits (3.5 pound) and it truly was drop-in. Perfect trigger pull with no work required whatsoever. The mag release took only a few strokes with a ceramic stone to have it operating smoothly.


The EGW flat bottom FPS took the longest time to fit because there was quite a lot of extra metal at the upper corners that was keeping the piece from seating completely into the slide, thus keeping the firing pin from operating freely. The FPS took probably 30 minutes to fit. I went slow at first, five or so strokes on the file, maintaining the proper radius on the corners, then install. Once I saw how much metal had to come off, I sped up the process with more file strokes and fewer trial fits until I got close, then I went back to fewer strokes and more trial fitting until I got it right.


Next came the thumb safety. Fitting for the sear engagement was similar to what I did for the FPS. I went very slow until I got a feel for how fast the metal was coming off. It took a bit of time but it doesn't allow the sear to move even a little bit. The other side of the safety, that engages the round cutout of the hammer, only took about 20 strokes with a jeweler's file to fit. Finally, fitting the groove that accomodates the width of the frame probably took the most time using a jeweler's file again.


I ran out of money before I had all the parts so I cannibalized from 2 other 1911s to get this one functioning. I borrowed the MSH from my Norinco. It already had a 25# mainspring installed because it's a 45 Super so the spring rate was appropriate to controlling the unlock timing and slide velocity of my 10mm handloads. I had to borrow the grip safety from my Kimber Compact Stainless and it functioned correctly with no alteration although it is a horrible cosmetic fit to the frame.


Since this gun will be a bobtail, I have not ordered the MSH or the Zebra VZ Operators II yet. I also do not have any sights yet. I'm about $400 from completion right now, $100 for the grips, screws, and o-rings, $100 for sights, and about $200 for the bobtail cutting jig, MSH, grip safety, and a couple other small parts.


Upon first test firing it, it would not cycle and was single shot only. I found a problem with the barrel link. The slide stop hole had either been elongated while cutting the lugs or it had been manufactured incorrectly. Either way, I changed the link and took it out for another test run and it fed my 180gr XTP handloads at 1150fps and the Winchester 175gr Silvertips with only one failure to go completely into battery. I believe that this issue was due to the close tolerance of the hard fit barrel and will go away quickly with some break-in.


I would post up some pics but I think that since there will be significant cosmetic changes before it's done, I will just wait until it is completely finished.

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Ok, I guess I could show what it looks like now. Remember, in its final form it will have a beavertail that is actually fit to the frame, Novak type sights, bobbed frame, and VZ Operator 2s in grey/black.



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