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  #1  
Old 01-24-2010, 11:35 AM
silvercorvette silvercorvette is offline
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Engraving question, how much does it cost and who is good




For the past few years I have been thinking about buying and old gun in poor condition looks wise but a good shooter. It does not matter if it is a revolver or 1911. I just want to take and ugly frog and rescue it and turn it into a handsome prince. I am going to start checking out gun shows for ugly guns worn and scratched but before I get into this I want to know what it will cost me to do a gun make over.
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Last edited by silvercorvette; 01-24-2010 at 12:02 PM.
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  #2  
Old 01-24-2010, 11:45 AM
Rampnt1 Rampnt1 is offline
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Just make sure the gun isn't pitted. Worn finishes are okay. BTW check out Nutmeg Sports, they have some great contacts for quality engraving.
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2010, 11:52 AM
Eric Eric is offline
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I recently went through this same thing, long story short I wanted an engraved 1911 after seeing a few of them. The wife fueled the fire somewhat when she had a pair of handcuffs engraved as a birthday present. The search was long for the right candidate but in the end it was worth it. As far as price that will vary with the work done and the engraver. Some of the super well known engravers like JR French have a multi year waiting list and their prices seem to be around $750.00 to $1000.00 per 25% coverage. While JR does great work there are a lot of lesser known engravers that do great work. My pistol was worked over by a local smith and then engraved by Robert Shade in Granbury Texas. In the end it is a labor of love and one that will allow you the oppurtunity to transform something into a work of art. I believe that the work I had done on my pistol was worth every penny spent but in the end I cant believe I spent the money on this pistol that I did. Thank God for the 12 month wait, it allowed me to spread the cost out over a period of time. Now I am looking for that donor S&W 640 for a little scratching along the same lines as the 1911. I've included a before and after picture of my fixed up 1911. On a side note I do routinely carry the 1911 and it has approximately 1700 rounds through it since the transformation.

Before


After a little work, time and money


Now keep in mind I am a fulltime Detective not a photographer thus my pictures dont do justice to the work done on this pistol.
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  #4  
Old 01-24-2010, 11:57 AM
silvercorvette silvercorvette is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric View Post
I recently went through this same thing, long story short I wanted an engraved 1911 after seeing a few of them. The wife fueled the fire somewhat when she had a pair of handcuffs engraved as a birthday present. The search was long for the right candidate but in the end it was worth it. As far as price that will vary with the work done and the engraver. Some of the super well known engravers like JR French have a multi year waiting list and their prices seem to be around $750.00 to $1000.00 per 25% coverage. While JR does great work there are a lot of lesser known engravers that do great work. My pistol was worked over by a local smith and then engraved by Robert Shade in Granbury Texas. In the end it is a labor of love and one that will allow you the oppurtunity to transform something into a work of art. I believe that the work I had done on my pistol was worth every penny spent but in the end I cant believe I spent the money on this pistol that I did. Thank God for the 12 month wait, it allowed me to spread the cost out over a period of time. Now I am looking for that donor S&W 640 for a little scratching along the same lines as the 1911. I've included a before and after picture of my fixed up 1911. On a side note I do routinely carry the 1911 and it has approximately 1700 rounds through it since the transformation.

Before


After a little work, time and money


Now keep in mind I am a fulltime Detective not a photographer thus my pictures dont do justice to the work done on this pistol.
WOW that is great and exactly what I had in mind. Not only have you rescued an ugly duckling you now have a gun anyone would be proud to own. What was the total cost including donor gun.
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  #5  
Old 01-24-2010, 12:06 PM
partsproduction partsproduction is offline
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Great looking 1911! There are a number of guns I've passed on that would be good candidates for such treatment.
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  #6  
Old 01-24-2010, 12:13 PM
OHIO1911 OHIO1911 is offline
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I had this little SIG 232 SL done by Gary Richards Engraving at www.grengraving.com



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  #7  
Old 01-24-2010, 12:33 PM
Eric Eric is offline
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In the interest of putting a price on what I had done or saying what I have in the pistol, I will say this. I bought this Series 70 and another in about 85% condition for $950.00. Then I pretty much purchased a Wilson Combat or Nighthawk in price for the work done on the pistol. I hate disclosing the prices that I paid for something in that I have done business with the smith before and had a history with the engraver, the prices they qouted me might have taken that into consideration. I know the engraver charges LEO a different price than civilians, he a retired LEO. In the end I will say when I added the pistol to my insurance I declared the value based on a 3rd party appraisal at 5k. When looking for an engraver you need to decide on a style that suits you and then talk with engravers, there are a lot out there and each has his own style. The majority of engravers I've spoken with over time are extremely forthcoming in sharing their knowledge with you. In regards to the condition of the pistol, this pistol was pitted and extremely worn. The roll marks on the side were extremely faint also. This is the second to the last pistol that Bill Adair did the roll marks on prior to his untimely passing, of course that added to the overall price. In the end it might be cheaper to purchase a new Series 70 and have the work done, but then you wont be saving a old warhorse. Heres a better picture of the pistol, not taken by me of course, with the grips that I carry it with. According to the engraver it is approximately 75% coverage on the engraving to give you an idea.

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  #8  
Old 01-24-2010, 12:37 PM
silvercorvette silvercorvette is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric View Post
In the end it might be cheaper to purchase a new Series 70 and have the work done, but then you wont be saving a old warhorse.
One of the reasons I want to do this is it will be a rescue mission that will ultimately give me a work of art
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  #9  
Old 01-24-2010, 01:35 PM
40dcoe 40dcoe is offline
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I'd check with a local jewelry store.

Joe
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  #10  
Old 01-24-2010, 02:30 PM
Eric Eric is offline
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Originally Posted by 40dcoe View Post
I'd check with a local jewelry store.

Joe
During the time I was looking for the right candidate, about 2 years, I spoke with quite a few engravers both jewelers and firearm engravers. The general thought of all of them was that for this type of engraving it is better to use a person knowledgeable in firearm engravers. I am currently having the sister to this pistol worked over by the smith into a reliable everyday carry pistol, I am considering having a MSH engraved with my name and badge # just to be different. I have spoken with a local jeweler concerning doing this and it is probably the route I will take. Just a little something to consider as this vacuum sucks the money out of your wallet....
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  #11  
Old 01-24-2010, 07:59 PM
Rinspeed Rinspeed is offline
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I've seen a couple 1911s done by Adams & Adams that looked very nice.
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  #12  
Old 01-24-2010, 08:40 PM
silvercorvette silvercorvette is offline
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Originally Posted by Rinspeed View Post
I've seen a couple 1911s done by Adams & Adams that looked very nice.
I tried to find their web site but it isn't working

ADAMS & ADAMS ENGRAVERS
Services devoted to all firearms enthusiasts. ... FINE QUALITY RESTORATION UPGRADING & ENGRAVING P.O. Box 66 Vershire, Vermont 05079
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  #13  
Old 01-24-2010, 11:29 PM
Ted Yost Ted Yost is offline
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JR French does excellent work, including the pair on the cover of the new Brownell's 1911 catalog. You should know however, that usually your chosen engraver is only going to engrave your gun. In most cases, and unless instructed in advance, this will not include restoring the finish of your gun. Pitted metal, dents and scratches, imperfect lines, and any other blemishes should be dealt with satisfactorily before the engraver even sees the gun. Discuss your final finish plans with your engraver, and seek his input on working with a team that includes preparation, engraving, finish prep, and final finish.

Best of luck with the project!
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  #14  
Old 01-24-2010, 11:41 PM
silvercorvette silvercorvette is offline
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Originally Posted by Ted Yost View Post

Best of luck with the project!
Thanks, the cold and dampness had me sidelined with the usual cold weather aches and pains till it warms up. I am going to start hitting the gun show in with the hope of finding a nice 1911 donor gun as my first choice and a revolver as a alternate choice.
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  #15  
Old 01-25-2010, 05:00 PM
Shad Roe Shad Roe is offline
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Good luck,silvercorvette! That is a noble aspiration to save an old warhorse;and,sounds like it would take a princely sum to do properly.

I love engraved 1911s. Good thing my tastes are not very refined. I'd be happy as a little clam with the Colt Presentation Grade 1911(IIRC it even has real ivory stocks). Yep,very happy.
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  #16  
Old 02-20-2010, 02:00 PM
jcjacobvt jcjacobvt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silvercorvette View Post
I tried to find their web site but it isn't working

ADAMS & ADAMS ENGRAVERS
Services devoted to all firearms enthusiasts. ... FINE QUALITY RESTORATION UPGRADING & ENGRAVING P.O. Box 66 Vershire, Vermont 05079
New Website for Adams & Adams Engraving

http://www.adamsandadamsengraving.com
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  #17  
Old 02-21-2010, 03:01 AM
RMPSTRAT RMPSTRAT is offline
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Bruce Shaw from Pebble Beach used to do some unbelievable work but mainly concentrating on knives now
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  #18  
Old 02-21-2010, 10:16 AM
crabbybum crabbybum is offline
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Originally Posted by 40dcoe View Post
I'd check with a local jewelry store.

Joe
Wouldn't the shop need a FFL? Particularly if the receiver the entire gun.
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  #19  
Old 03-10-2010, 11:19 PM
dutch1911 dutch1911 is offline
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Does he have a website handy...
Mr. Robert Shade...???
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  #20  
Old 03-11-2010, 08:32 AM
Eric Eric is offline
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Originally Posted by dutch1911 View Post
Does he have a website handy...
Mr. Robert Shade...???
Bob does not have a website at this time, he's more a Old School kind of guy.
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Pray for our Soldiers as you pass that Church...
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  #21  
Old 03-11-2010, 09:04 AM
Hunter Customs Hunter Customs is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric View Post
I recently went through this same thing, long story short I wanted an engraved 1911 after seeing a few of them. The wife fueled the fire somewhat when she had a pair of handcuffs engraved as a birthday present. The search was long for the right candidate but in the end it was worth it. As far as price that will vary with the work done and the engraver. Some of the super well known engravers like JR French have a multi year waiting list and their prices seem to be around $750.00 to $1000.00 per 25% coverage. While JR does great work there are a lot of lesser known engravers that do great work. My pistol was worked over by a local smith and then engraved by Robert Shade in Granbury Texas. In the end it is a labor of love and one that will allow you the oppurtunity to transform something into a work of art. I believe that the work I had done on my pistol was worth every penny spent but in the end I cant believe I spent the money on this pistol that I did. Thank God for the 12 month wait, it allowed me to spread the cost out over a period of time. Now I am looking for that donor S&W 640 for a little scratching along the same lines as the 1911. I've included a before and after picture of my fixed up 1911. On a side note I do routinely carry the 1911 and it has approximately 1700 rounds through it since the transformation.

Before


After a little work, time and money


Now keep in mind I am a fulltime Detective not a photographer thus my pictures dont do justice to the work done on this pistol.
Eric,
There's no need to apologize for your pictures.
Anyone looking at the pictures of this gun should have no trouble in seeing that it's one very fine example of a custom 1911A1 pistol.
I really like the gun, nice lines, very tasteful art work in the engraving and a very nice eye pleasing finish.
It sure nice to look at guns that don't look like a hunk of clay
Regards
Bob Hunter
www.huntercustoms.com
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  #22  
Old 03-23-2013, 06:02 PM
smokey1757 smokey1757 is offline
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I am wanting to get some engraving done. the pictures that I looked at here pretty much sold me. They all look great and like a breath of fresh air.
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  #23  
Old 03-23-2013, 06:47 PM
cptkent cptkent is offline
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Engraving

I love engraved pistols...but never could afford it, so I got into it myself.
$8000 and 2 years later, I believe I'm worthy of doing other peoples guns besides my own.
I'm not expensive and there is no waiting list.
My best work is a 1911 I engraved for my Son who just came back from Afghanistan...there are 2 pictures of him on the gun along with insignias and meaningful phrases.
I don't have room to paste alot of pictures, but I will be glad to send you pictures by email of engraving that I've done on my own guns in the last 2 years.Click image for larger version

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  #24  
Old 03-23-2013, 06:57 PM
cptkent cptkent is offline
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Just wanted to say to Eric, that is a beautiful 1911!!
I had my first center fire gun at 9 and I'm 64. I must confess, I never really heard the passion in saving the old guns before I read this. Sounds like a worthy thing to do, but I gotta tell you on retirement pay, I'm not sure I could play that game...I saw a very nice Kimber at a local gun shop yesterday for under $700. I would have bought it right then, but pay day is not for 4 more days. If it is still there, that will be my 6th 1911 and the wife is starting not to understand my passion. The 2 gun safes full of guns may have something to do with that.LOL
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  #25  
Old 03-23-2013, 10:39 PM
Eric Eric is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cptkent View Post
I love engraved pistols...but never could afford it, so I got into it myself.
$8000 and 2 years later, I believe I'm worthy of doing other peoples guns besides my own.
I'm not expensive and there is no waiting list.
My best work is a 1911 I engraved for my Son who just came back from Afghanistan...there are 2 pictures of him on the gun along with insignias and meaningful phrases.
I don't have room to paste alot of pictures, but I will be glad to send you pictures by email of engraving that I've done on my own guns in the last 2 years.Attachment 96595

Attachment 96596

Attachment 96597

Attachment 96598

Attachment 96599
Nice work there and I am sure your son will cherish that pistol for a long time though it is missing that saying "If you ain't Cav you ain't *&^%". I to am the proud father of a Cav Trooper and have even been made an honorary Cav Trooper. Tell your son thanks for his service and to be careful out there. One of the main reason it took 2+ years to get the pistol was money, my public servant paycheck doesn't go that far so I understand your situation. Hopefully that Kimber will wait on you and wives never understand. You can always use my line its for the grandkids not me.
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Pray for our Soldiers as you pass that Church...
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