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  #1  
Old 02-28-2012, 10:45 PM
Don357 Don357 is offline
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Essex frames




I am new this forum and not a 1911 owner...yet. I am however considering making a trade for a 1911 which appears to be an A1(scalloped trigger area) Essex frame with a lanyard ring, and with a German made slide. I haven't seen the gun in person yet, but was told by the owner that it has been re-parkerized and is a good shooter. What's the deal with Essex frames? I've read both good and bad. Any info?
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  #2  
Old 02-29-2012, 11:04 AM
bikefreakjon bikefreakjon is offline
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I have heard that Essex frames are good. Don't know about the German slide though.

Sounds like a project gun.

Welcome



jon
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  #3  
Old 02-29-2012, 12:48 PM
wc145 wc145 is offline
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If you're looking for a starter 1911 buy new and know what you're working with rather than buying someone else's frankengun. A RIA GI is still around $400 and is a well built, good quality gun with an excellent warranty and customer support.
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  #4  
Old 03-01-2012, 09:49 AM
Kevin H. Kevin H. is offline
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The essex I have is great! but it also has a colt slide, and HS barrel. If you look at it check the slide to frame fit, should be tight but not rough to pull back, also hold it by the grip and shake it, if it rattles(out side reason) then the fit isn't so good, another thing to do is push down on the barrel hood if it moves down freely it might be lose fit, should be nice and tight. But then again I'm by
NO means an expert and just going by experiences and what I've been told. What are you trading?

If you have cash like some one said RIA's are great value. but the best value now is this turkish gun
http://centerfiresystems.com/TURK-1911.aspx
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Last edited by Kevin H.; 03-01-2012 at 10:02 AM.
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  #5  
Old 03-01-2012, 11:47 AM
sousana sousana is offline
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Essex frames are great. I have a bunch a generic 1911's with Essex frames and I maintain 5 spare Essex frames in my spare parts kit.
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2012, 12:00 PM
hi-powered hi-powered is offline
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Last year I purchased a parts gun, it had a recent mfg'ed essex frame and a 1960's colt slide. All has been good so far.
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  #7  
Old 03-01-2012, 07:19 PM
Don357 Don357 is offline
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If I had cash to spend, CDNN has Parkerized Taurus 1911A1's for $349 and stainless for $389. But, I don't have cash, which is why I was interested in a trade. MAN, I want a 1911, but don't want to trade my Ruger for junk.
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  #8  
Old 03-01-2012, 09:38 PM
Kevin H. Kevin H. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don357 View Post
If I had cash to spend, CDNN has Parkerized Taurus 1911A1's for $349 and stainless for $389. But, I don't have cash, which is why I was interested in a trade. MAN, I want a 1911, but don't want to trade my Ruger for junk.
Ruger what? If its a p98, p89, LC9, LCP or some thing of that nature id say definitely go for it, even if it had some problems it all can be worked out. If a SR9, LCR.. yes but the 1911 would have to be nice and functioning. If a high end revolver maybe not...

To give you an idea of value(IMHO) the Essex gun I bought for my dad was marked $499 at Cabelas but I got them down to $450(granted it had a very early Colt slide, HS barrel, and a real glossy blue) some might say that is to much but I feel its well worth it shoots excellent and accurate and puts a smile on my dads face every time he shoots it!

As you see all of us that posted have great things to say about Essex, I'd say figure out exactly what the slide is and put up a little cash to meet the guy at a range and put a few mags through it! I don't think you can go wrong that way.
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Last edited by Kevin H.; 03-01-2012 at 09:41 PM.
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  #9  
Old 03-01-2012, 11:14 PM
iShoot iShoot is offline
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I put my last essex frame to good use a few weeks back. They have not sold them for years.

Last edited by iShoot; 10-10-2012 at 07:37 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2012, 04:25 PM
Brian48 Brian48 is offline
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My very first 1911 was built on an Essex frame. It was quite exellent. I wish I never sold that gun away.
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  #11  
Old 03-02-2012, 07:36 PM
TEA TEA is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wc145 View Post
If you're looking for a starter 1911 buy new and know what you're working with rather than buying someone else's frankengun. A RIA GI is still around $400 and is a well built, good quality gun with an excellent warranty and customer support.
+1 on this advice. I too am looking to get my first 1911 (see thread - http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=354488) and have gotten some good advice from this forum and others that I've been more of a regular on for a longer time. As a result, I have decided that I don't know enough yet to get a USGI 1911, especially off the InterWebz, and have narrowed my choices down to a new Colt Series 70 or a Springfield Mil-Spec.

Good luck to you.
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  #12  
Old 03-03-2012, 01:09 PM
sousana sousana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don357 View Post
If I had cash to spend, CDNN has Parkerized Taurus 1911A1's for $349 and stainless for $389. But, I don't have cash, which is why I was interested in a trade. MAN, I want a 1911, but don't want to trade my Ruger for junk.
look at centerfiresystems Rock Islands, I think they start around 360 or so
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  #13  
Old 03-04-2012, 09:12 AM
Magnumite Magnumite is offline
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I've used 4 Essex frames. First one was okay. The second had a casting fold in the dust cover, was new but sold as is, was fine dimensionally. The last two frames, bought new, dimesionally are grossly out of spec, the exterior grip area dimensions are grossly misconfigured. Several calls to them finally yielded a refusal to warranty them since they are casting for another maker now. I will not that maker's 1911.

So far my Essex stats are 50% dimensionally defective and 75% overall defective.

I'd go with a Springfield Mil Spec, RIA or similar manufactured pistol.
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  #14  
Old 03-05-2012, 11:33 PM
Don357 Don357 is offline
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OK, I did it! I hope I didn't make a mistake, I don't think I did, yet. I traded my .357mag Ruger Blackhawk for a 1911A1 with an Essex frame. It looks identical to the pic in 'Ishoot's' post, all the way down to the teeny-tiny front sight, which I am thinking about having removed and a dovetail cut in the slide. The slide on mine only has a serial number and what appears to be 2 Waffen "eagles" on the left side just in front of the cocking serations. I don't know for sure though, I cant find my magnifying glass and the marks are small, very small! I will post pics as soon as I take some.
Thanks for the encouragement on making this trade. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE else, tried to steer me away from the Essex frame. But everything seems to be tight on this one and it will even feed 'Winchester White Box' 230gr PD hollowpoints. I want to change the rubber grips to wooden and maybe a beavertail grip safety, and definitly the sights, but other than that, functionally it seems OK.
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  #15  
Old 03-06-2012, 08:40 AM
Kevin H. Kevin H. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don357 View Post
OK, I did it! I hope I didn't make a mistake, I don't think I did, yet. I traded my .357mag Ruger Blackhawk for a 1911A1 with an Essex frame. It looks identical to the pic in 'Ishoot's' post, all the way down to the teeny-tiny front sight, which I am thinking about having removed and a dovetail cut in the slide. The slide on mine only has a serial number and what appears to be 2 Waffen "eagles" on the left side just in front of the cocking serations. I don't know for sure though, I cant find my magnifying glass and the marks are small, very small! I will post pics as soon as I take some.
Thanks for the encouragement on making this trade. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE else, tried to steer me away from the Essex frame. But everything seems to be tight on this one and it will even feed 'Winchester White Box' 230gr PD hollowpoints. I want to change the rubber grips to wooden and maybe a beavertail grip safety, and definitly the sights, but other than that, functionally it seems OK.

Thats awsome! glad to see it shoots good to. Post pics asap!

As far as the slide I'm no historian or gun guru by any means, but I can't imagine germany producing the 1911 during the Nazi regime. Being they were some of the main reasons for the 2 world wars. that being said they did capture these guns during WWII and in turned used them(this is here-say). so maybe the slide was off a USGI gun, then captured and stamped german? Maybe i'm making up history?

You say it has number on the side, would it happen to be 7790314?
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  #16  
Old 03-06-2012, 08:43 AM
iShoot iShoot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don357 View Post
OK, I did it! looks identical to the pic in 'Ishoot's' post, all the way down to the teeny-tiny front sight, which I am thinking about having removed and a dovetail cut in the slide.


Shoot it like it is for a few 1000 rounds before making any changes. The small sights are there for a reason as with the 1911 you point the gun, not aim the shghts.
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  #17  
Old 05-07-2012, 08:29 AM
Raymond759 Raymond759 is offline
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Still waiting for the photos!
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  #18  
Old 05-07-2012, 12:00 PM
greencobra greencobra is offline
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This has no relevance now and I don't have intentions of raining on anyones parade, it sounds like you have a super gun. Back in the day, when I started shooting, early 70's, the seasoned 1911 shooters told me that an Essex frame was the least desirable frame to have on a 1911. They said they were "soft". I think back and I don't even know what they meant but that has stuck with me all these years. I remember hearing how a lot of these frames were cracking with heavy use. Oddly, when I started shooting NRA bullseye .22, the gun I had and still own, was a Kart .22 6" upper matted to an Essex frame by a Massachusetts pistol smith, Tom Roche, of Hopedale, MA. I'm going to try and include a photo. Strange how he left the trigger and hammer on this stock GI and polished them to a mirror finish and left the frame parkarized. The upper is fitted to this frame, it will not drop onto another random frame.
Attached Thumbnails
Kart01.jpg  

Last edited by greencobra; 05-07-2012 at 12:01 PM. Reason: spelling
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  #19  
Old 05-07-2012, 03:09 PM
jimdvan jimdvan is offline
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I picked up an Essex on Friday built with a Remington Rand parts kit. Its an old one, serial number 1049. Its a little off in a couple of areas that required some fitting and tweeking, like the feed ramp being cut too far forward. I adjusted the feed ramp on the barrel forward and it works fine. I've used other Essex frames over the past 10-15 years and they were all "drop-in" fits.

I called Essex just now and they will research the serial number for $35. Iver Johnson bought them out and is moving the operation to Florida. They will offer stripped frames again but probably not this year.
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