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  #1  
Old 06-21-2012, 06:14 PM
wilie wilie is offline
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Caspian vs. Fusion Build




I've just received a go to begin the process of building my own personalized 1911! I'm really excited and after shooting, handling and spending a lot of time researching/looking at your pics I've settled on one of these two companies to supply at least the frame and slide, fit them together but possibly use them for other smaller parts too.

Originally I thought I'd just buy something, but really want to make it my own and have the time/desire to make a truly one-of-a-kind handgun like no one else has.

Is the Fusion Kit of high quality?
What are your thoughts on either companies optional machining? (Hi Power Cuts, Sight Cuts, Slide Serrations, etc)
Who's got the better customer service/warranty?

I didn't want to post this in either forum for these guns because I'm looking for the least biased advice (I realize that's almost impossible, but want to try).

Basic build desires:
Stainless Steel
CCO style (Officer Frame, True Commander Slide - 4.25'')
10mm/40S&W (I plan to CCW the .40S&W and use the 10mm for the woods)
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I'm sure the 1911 was the Glock of it's time. Probably touted as being 100% reliable when it patently wasn't and it held a monstrous 8-9 rounds. The hardliners certainly said "If you can't get the job done in five shots, what's the use of carrying nine?"
~JetBlackGT
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  #2  
Old 06-21-2012, 06:22 PM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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I'm not a gunsmith, just a guy building his own since about 1998.

I've built with Caspian and Fusion parts.

Neither is perfect, but
I spent probably 5 times the hours
getting Fusion products to fit.

I believe Caspian parts to be superior to Fusion.
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  #3  
Old 06-21-2012, 07:44 PM
Perpetualenigma Perpetualenigma is offline
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I am currently building the project you are fixing to take on and I can assure you, you are better off going with Caspian, because like Nick said you will spend a lot more time hand fitting parts from fusion. I have run into the same issue on my previous builds.

The exception to your project and mine is that mine is going to be strictly 10mm.

Last edited by Perpetualenigma; 06-21-2012 at 07:53 PM.
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  #4  
Old 06-21-2012, 08:47 PM
samson7x samson7x is offline
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My first build was a Fusion kit and Im not really that impressed with them. Ill go with Caspian next time.
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  #5  
Old 06-22-2012, 12:01 AM
wilie wilie is offline
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I'm a little confused on what you mean by spending more time fitting everything together. I guess I'm looking forward to this part because that's what the point of it is - the entire process from start to finish minus the machining I have no business even attempting.
What is the difference between quality of parts and machining? Does Caspian put more attention into the detail of their finished product?
Something else I'm curiosu about for those who've done both is what the difference in investment between these 2 guns would be when all is said and done, assuming I use most of the same parts.
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I'm sure the 1911 was the Glock of it's time. Probably touted as being 100% reliable when it patently wasn't and it held a monstrous 8-9 rounds. The hardliners certainly said "If you can't get the job done in five shots, what's the use of carrying nine?"
~JetBlackGT
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  #6  
Old 06-22-2012, 01:05 AM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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Sorry for the long explanation, but you asked a good question.

Yes, Caspian spends more attention to detail, better quality control.
But I hasten to remind us that nobody's perfect and neither is Caspian.
I once had a Caspian frame with a poor ramp cut and no bowtie cut.
I had to send it out to have it corrected. Nobody is perfect.

In another thread I detailed a disappointment with a Fusion slide and rear sight.
This is probably a good illustration of spending time fitting.

I bought an extractor with the slide. The extractor tunnel had burrs in it.
That's a looong hole down there. It took some time to get the extractor installed.
One whole day spent just getting the extractor in the hole.

I had similar trouble with the bushing, but now it fits very well.

Then I went to install the sights.

The slide was ordered with a specific rear dovetail cut
for a sight that has a screw that goes into a threaded hole the slide.
The screw is used to adjust elevation, and holds the sight in place.
The sight was ordered at the same time. Both together, ordered to fit.

The dovetail cut had a burr and a corner slightly dented on the side.
The sight wouldn't slide in.
So I carefully dressed up the dovetail cut to install the sight.
To my dismay, I then discovered that the drilled and tapped hole
in the sight was drilled off center. The scew won't go in.
But since I had already filed on the slide, it would be on my dime
to send it back to correct the hole.
Instead, I started the careful job of opening up the hole in the sight to match the slide.
That is a very detailed job because the special screw has notches
that click into a detent pin, that's how you get the clicks when you adjust the sights.
After two nights of carefully opening up the hole, I had to stop.
If I went too far, the detent wouldn't hold zero on the sight.
I decided to wait until I had time to measure everything and rethink the fix.
I set both the slide and the sight aside. I haven't touched them in 2 years.

But I still needed to finish the gun. So I bought a Caspian slide.
I ordered a Novak cut and a sight at the same time.
The sight fits the Caspian slide, extractor fit nicely, bushing fit,
everything went together smoothly, and it's an excellent shooter.

All that time on the Fusion slide, and I still haven't decided what to do with it.
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  #7  
Old 06-22-2012, 01:26 AM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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Thanks for reading the long post above.

I should also add that the owner of Fusion,
Bob Serva, is often on the Fusion subforum.
Scroll down the Index page and find it.

In addition to simple guys like me,
you might want to have a dialogue with Bob.
It would only be fair to hear both sides.
He was in the 1911 industry for decades
before starting his own brand.
He should have some insight for you.

And then make a call to Gary or Seth at Caspian. Or anyone there.
Even the women in the front office know 1911 pistols.
Great bunch of people.
Talk to them about your home build and what they can do for you.
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  #8  
Old 06-22-2012, 01:43 AM
Perpetualenigma Perpetualenigma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick A View Post
Yes, Caspian spends more attention to detail, better quality control.
But I hasten to remind us that nobody's perfect and neither is Caspian.
I once had a Caspian frame with a poor ramp cut and no bowtie cut.
I had to send it out to have it corrected. Nobody is perfect.

In another thread I detailed a disappointment with a Fusion slide and rear sight.
This is probably a good illustration of spending time fitting.

I bought an extractor with the slide. The extractor tunnel had burrs in it.
That's a looong hole down there. It took some time to get the extractor installed.
One whole day spent just getting the extractor in the hole.

I had similar trouble with the bushing, but now it fits very well.

Then I went to install the sights.

The slide was ordered with a specific rear dovetail cut
for a sight that has a screw that goes into a threaded hole the slide.
The screw is used to adjust elevation, and holds the sight in place.
The sight was ordered at the same time. Both together, ordered to fit.

The dovetail cut had a burr and a corner slightly dented on the side.
The sight wouldn't slide in.
So I carefully dressed up the dovetail cut to install the sight.
To my dismay, I then discovered that the drilled and tapped hole
in the sight was drilled off center. The scew won't go in.
But since I had already filed on the slide, it would be on my dime
to send it back to correct the hole.
Instead, I started the careful job of opening up the hole in the sight to match the slide.
That is a very detailed job because the special screw has notches
that click into a detent pin, that's how you get the clicks when you adjust the sights.
After two nights of carefully opening up the hole, I had to stop.
If I went too far, the detent wouldn't hold zero on the sight.
I decided to wait until I had time to measure everything and rethink the fix.
I set both the slide and the sight aside. I haven't touched them in 2 years.

But I still needed to finish the gun. So I bought a Caspian slide.
I ordered a Novak cut and a sight at the same time.
The sight fits the Caspian slide, extractor fit nicely, bushing fit,
everything went together smoothly, and it's an excellent shooter.

All that time on the Fusion slide, and I still haven't decided what to do with it.
Wow Nick that sounds like a true horror story don't mean to hi Jack your thread Willie but Nick have you ever given thought to filling the hole by welding it and then retapping it in the correct location?
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  #9  
Old 06-22-2012, 04:43 AM
kc87flhtc kc87flhtc is offline
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Willie,
I've put together a coupld of Fusion kits, not something I'm going to do again unless I get paid a LOT more money than usual. I use Caspian for my builds and have had nothing but EXCELLENT service from Gary at Caspian. Take from it what you will, but my money would be with Caspian.
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  #10  
Old 06-22-2012, 10:09 AM
sum4all sum4all is offline
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Just chiming in. I have built 4 Caspians/Foster and all have not been hard. Yeah, there's some filing here and there, but all 1911 builds are not perfect (that's why you see in the 1911 parts you buy "may require some minor fitting"). I built mine as I got spare change for the parts, so the frame was bought separately from the slide. They all turned out tight and nice. Given that, my co-worker bought one of the Fusion sets (frame, slide and barrel) and trigger group. He sourced out all of the small parts. I helped him with putting it together. The build turned out great and he had no regrets.

I guess what you can take from my experience and others is that, how patient are you at getting all of your parts. My co-worker just wanted to get things done right away so he paid more than I did at the beginning (I think doing what my co-worker did may reduce some fitting issues, but then again, I would be willing to do the extra effort (but didn't have to with the Caspian/Foster) to save money). But in the end, we both had great "one of a kind" guns that we are proud to have put together.

But in my opinion, Caspian has built the reputation of being consistent and that's why a lot of competitive and casual shooters go with Caspian for their custom builds.

Good luck
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  #11  
Old 06-22-2012, 11:06 AM
wilie wilie is offline
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This is going to be a project that I make purchases as I get the spare change. I plan on buying the slide, barrel, frame all together and then everything else will be purchased a little more slowly - giving me time to do things right and take my time.
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I'm sure the 1911 was the Glock of it's time. Probably touted as being 100% reliable when it patently wasn't and it held a monstrous 8-9 rounds. The hardliners certainly said "If you can't get the job done in five shots, what's the use of carrying nine?"
~JetBlackGT
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  #12  
Old 06-22-2012, 11:32 AM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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Perpetualenigma, I have two thoughts. One is to fill with weld and redrill like you said. The other is to machine for a press fit plug and drill/tap it to keep excess heat off the slide. I'm in no hurry, especially since I'm a little peeved at the whole slide. And other Fusion purchases included an ejector that had a leg that wasn't straight, and trigger bow too fat. All fixable, I'm just not in the mood to fix everything I buy. When I cool off, I'll probably do the plug thing. Or maybe just touch it with the TIG and redrill/tap, it isn't hard to do.

Just to be fair, I also had parts from STI and McCormick that gave me trouble. Most Wilson and Ed Brown parts have been great! S&W 1911 parts are good average parts that work well. I've had dozens of parts from no-name sources were bad but some were excellent. So it would be totally unfair to tell you that any mfr including Fusion make all bad parts, they aren't. I've purchased and installed Fusion firing pins, FP stop, internal parts kit, bushings and screws that worked great and saved me a few bucks. Not all Fusion is bad, and many owners are perfectly happy. We gotta be fair and look at the bright side.

But for frame and slide, I go Caspian. Kart EZ Fit barrels are easy to fit for a first build. For a first build, maybe it's a good idea to order frame & slide prefit from Caspian and pay them to install plunger tube and grip bushings, and cut the slide for your sights (be sure to be specific about how you want the frame ramp to be cut, call and talk to them about it). Don't forget that Caspian uses 9mm firing pin. Then fit a Kart EZ Fit barrel & bushing. I know it's pricey, but Cylinder & Slide ignition kit with hammer, sear, disconnector so you know they work together safely. The rest of the parts are up to you, that's where you get experience selecting & fitting grip safety and trigger and other small parts. With the frame/ slide/ barrel/ hammer/ disconnector/ sear in good order, you can handle the rest as a first-timer.

Also, another avenue is to buy a good used 1911, frame & slide and plunger tube are already in good order. Remove all the existing parts as spares or sell them, and select & install the rest as outlined.
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  #13  
Old 06-22-2012, 01:05 PM
wilie wilie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick A View Post
Perpetualenigma, Also, another avenue is to buy a good used 1911, frame & slide and plunger tube are already in good order. Remove all the existing parts as spares or sell them, and select & install the rest as outlined.
I might be interested in this route but have a couple questions I'd need answered first.
1) Any companies you'd recommend who make a good CCO to start with?
2) Is it possible to convert a 45 to 10mm?
The reason I want to build my own is for personal satisfaction/accomplishment as well as making it exactly as I want it.
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I'm sure the 1911 was the Glock of it's time. Probably touted as being 100% reliable when it patently wasn't and it held a monstrous 8-9 rounds. The hardliners certainly said "If you can't get the job done in five shots, what's the use of carrying nine?"
~JetBlackGT
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  #14  
Old 06-22-2012, 01:30 PM
deadguy deadguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilie View Post
1) Any companies you'd recommend who make a good CCO to start with?
this one works and works very well. Fusion made it. I carry it daily. And yes, it's 10mm

http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/140...761280x986.jpg
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  #15  
Old 06-22-2012, 02:49 PM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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The majority of major manufacturers make good guns.
Go to the Index page and scroll down to the individual mfr forums.
Read a few threads to see how people report their satisfaction.


Caliber conversion:
If you get a 1911 with ramped barrel, you can convert to any caliber.
If not ramped barrel, you need to be concerned about the feed ramp.
Caliber is mostly in the slide, including breechface and extractor location.
It's the feed ramp and slide that make the caliber.
Did you know that 40S&W uses the same ramp and slide as 10mm?
Just swap barrel and magazine between 40 and 10.
They even use the same ejector.
You can even have a 40 barrel reamed to a 10.
That way you don't have to worry about fitting the barrel.
Maybe look for a good 40 and build it into your dream 10mm.
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  #16  
Old 06-22-2012, 02:54 PM
wilie wilie is offline
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Nick - I do know that 10/40 are interchangable which is the reason I picked that combo to start from. My caliber conversion had more to do with whether or not I could rechamber a .45 to shoot either of the .40 rounds.

Deadguy - Your gun is amazing! I'm still considering the Fusion build after visiting their link off the main page.
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I'm sure the 1911 was the Glock of it's time. Probably touted as being 100% reliable when it patently wasn't and it held a monstrous 8-9 rounds. The hardliners certainly said "If you can't get the job done in five shots, what's the use of carrying nine?"
~JetBlackGT
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  #17  
Old 06-22-2012, 03:02 PM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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Well, 'rechamber' is the wrong word. No you can't rechamber 45 to 10.

If you buy a 45 but want a 10mm,
you'll throw the whole slide away.

It's the Slide that makes the caliber.

Even then, the frame ramp may (or may not)
feed the 10mm cartridge well.
Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes not.
I once put a 9mm slide on a 45acp frame.
Only round nose bullets reloaded really long will feed.

So you cannot use a 45 slide for 10mm.
And the 45 frame may not work in 10mm.

Best to buy the caliber you want.
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  #18  
Old 06-22-2012, 03:03 PM
deadguy deadguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wilie View Post
Nick - I do know that 10/40 are interchangable which is the reason I picked that combo to start from. My caliber conversion had more to do with whether or not I could rechamber a .45 to shoot either of the .40 rounds.

Deadguy - Your gun is amazing! I'm still considering the Fusion build after visiting their link off the main page.
You will find that very few companies will make a CCO in 10mm. Another option is to contact Lou at Business End Customs www.businessendcustoms.com

I chose Fusion because they were willing to do it and they did a fantastic job on mine. If someone else would have done the build they may have gotten my money.

By the way...you won't find many fans of Fusion or Bob Serva in this section.
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  #19  
Old 06-22-2012, 04:04 PM
Perpetualenigma Perpetualenigma is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick A View Post
.
Also, another avenue is to buy a good used 1911, frame & slide and plunger tube are already in good order. Remove all the existing parts as spares or sell them, and select & install the rest as outlined.
This is a good idea I personally got my plunger tube integraded into the frame so it is actually cut as part of the frame and not a stabbed in part. I also let Caspian install my ejector since I didn't want to mess with the roll pin that holds it in place.
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  #20  
Old 06-22-2012, 04:33 PM
La Grenouille La Grenouille is online now
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You could also use parts from multiple guns if you have the change - i.e. use a Caspian frame and a slide from a DW CBOB in 10mm. Just a thought.
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  #21  
Old 06-23-2012, 01:27 AM
wilie wilie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadguy View Post
By the way...you won't find many fans of Fusion or Bob Serva in this section.
Not knowing a whole lot of history on the company or the man other than he was head of Dan Wesson and DW makes some pretty gorgeous/functional pistols, I'm not sure why people would feel this way. I know it's technically not what this thread is about but in a round-about-way I feel like it would provide more clarity to the situation if I had some sort of background to understand what appears to be a general dislike towards the company.
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I'm sure the 1911 was the Glock of it's time. Probably touted as being 100% reliable when it patently wasn't and it held a monstrous 8-9 rounds. The hardliners certainly said "If you can't get the job done in five shots, what's the use of carrying nine?"
~JetBlackGT
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  #22  
Old 06-23-2012, 05:59 AM
deadguy deadguy is offline
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Wilie I'll leave that to those with the sour taste.

I can't comment on the Caspian products since I've never owned nor seen a Caspian product in person, and I can't comment on other Fusion products out there for the same reason. I can, however, tell you that the pistol I have is fit very well, functions well and is what i asked for.
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  #23  
Old 06-23-2012, 08:07 AM
sum4all sum4all is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadguy View Post
By the way...you won't find many fans of Fusion or Bob Serva in this section.
I think part of the reason for this is the idea that Fusion is in all of the auction sites including ebay. From my personal experience, I shyed away from Fusion because of that. I thought they were mass producing and cheapening their name. This is until I met a fellow 1911 builder and he told me otherwise. Bob Serva and his brother, according to him, started the company. Bob, obviously being the main person, kept a low profile. His brother on the other hand, wanted to put the name out there. So his brother flooded the market with Fusion products. He told me that they were good products, but not a lot of people know it because once they see it on ebay, they, like me, thought it was a cheap, knockoff product.

As I previously posted, I've built Caspians and have helped a co-worker build a Fusion. Both of us have also dealt with customer service of both companies. Neither of us have any complaints about either of the companies. I'm actually impressed that Bob himself would reply to emails and calls from my co-worker, a newbie in the game.

Regarding the different chambers, that's really fun. If you're looking at a 10mm and with Nick A saying that a 40 has the same ejector as a 10mm, you actually can have 3 chambered rounds in that one frame without changing the actual frame configuration. All you would have to do is change the barrel and magazine. You can have a 10mm, 40 S&W, and a 9mm on that same frame with the same slide. The only thing I would advice you to do is ramp the frame. This would eliminate any feeding problems should you decide to go from one chamber to another. (You can actually even go to a .45 round, but you'd have to switch the ejector).
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  #24  
Old 06-23-2012, 12:31 PM
wilie wilie is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sum4all View Post
Regarding the different chambers, that's really fun. If you're looking at a 10mm and with Nick A saying that a 40 has the same ejector as a 10mm, you actually can have 3 chambered rounds in that one frame without changing the actual frame configuration. All you would have to do is change the barrel and magazine. You can have a 10mm, 40 S&W, and a 9mm on that same frame with the same slide. The only thing I would advice you to do is ramp the frame.
I keow I could have 3 calibers in one gun by simply changing out the barrel but I thought they were 10mm, 40S&W and .357 Sig. I thought 9mm has a different ejector than the 10mm and 40S&W...? I plan on getting a ramped frame/barrel to help with feeding. I don't know that much about Fusion except from what I've read on the website and heard on different threads, but Bob sounds like a standup guy who's willing to work with first timers and help walk them through the process when they get stuck. I've also seen some Caspian builds and know they make high quality products too but the kit Fusion offers is much cheaper and a lot of the things included cost extra with Caspian or just aren't available at all.
Thanks for the insight into Fusion and some of the reasons people aren't too sure about their products. The difference in price between the two makes me lean a lot harder towards Fusion but when it comes down to it I'd be willing to spend a little extra for higher quality and no headache.
__________________
I'm sure the 1911 was the Glock of it's time. Probably touted as being 100% reliable when it patently wasn't and it held a monstrous 8-9 rounds. The hardliners certainly said "If you can't get the job done in five shots, what's the use of carrying nine?"
~JetBlackGT
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  #25  
Old 06-23-2012, 01:34 PM
Alland Alland is offline
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9mm and 40 ejectors are the same. With a correctly fit extractor a 9mm barrel will function in a slide with a 40 breech face. IIRC Kimber uses 40 slides for their 9mm 1911's.
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