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Safari Arms 1911 (Frankengun!)

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by FullCaliberII, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. FullCaliberII

    FullCaliberII Pierce County, WA Active Member

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    I found an interesting 1911 for sale yesterday... looking for some answers from the 1911 pros out there. I have a couple 1911's but am still learning the ins/outs of these guns.
    The gun is frankengun. The slide is a Colt and the frame is Safari Arms (marked Olympia, WA). Appears to be in good condition overall, nothing fancy. Arched MSH, woodgrips, dovetail sights, 5" barrel (barrel not marked). I've done some research online, know about Safari Arms being purchased by Olympic Arms, etc. Online reviews are spotty towards any 1911 made by Safari/Olympic arms. There is love and hate for these.

    The question: how good is a Safari Arms frame? Is a 1911 like an AR15, where "upper and lower" cant easily be matched?
    My concern is someone just slapped a frame they found to a Colt slide they found, said some magic words, and now we have franken1911.
     
  2. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    I remember when Safari was a top tier 1911,but not sure now.I have heard the same mixed reviews about them
    But the better 1911s are ,should be "mil spec" and the parts should interchange. Take a slide off one,trigger off another and whalla! you have your frankengunn.

    I have a sort of franken AR,I built with quality parts,but,when buying, I really have to ask myself if I trust that the seller has put the gun together correctly.
    And I understand that if I sell my AR it won't hold the same value as a factory built gun.

    I would look at this as a parts kit and price it accordingly
     
  3. Blues

    Blues Washington State Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have had a safari arms 1911 for 8 years. It was post Olympia buying the "name". It functions as well as any of the colt or other 1911's I have and is the most accurate of the 1911's I own. I need a bushing wrench to dissassemble for cleaning as it is a real tight barrel bushing. However, it is all safari arms not a mix. They were mil spec with standard up grades when I bought it. If the slide and barrel/link etc. was done right is should be a good to go gun.

    I had some work done on mine (replaced springs, tune action) and the smith said everything was in spec, standard parts worked fine.

    As noted by mjbskwim - I would require a shooting test prior to buying. Get the seller to go to the range with you and put a couple of boxes of rounds down range.
     
  4. FullCaliberII

    FullCaliberII Pierce County, WA Active Member

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    Thanks for the info guys. It's at a dealer without a range, so test firing it isn't feasible. It's only $500 so it might worth it, just for a solid shooter. Hmmm...
     
  5. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    I used to buy colt lightweight commanders, where the mainspring housing pin had broken off the rear corners of the frame. Swapped the parts into a safari frame and all was good, some minor fitting may be required, nothing major. BUY IT!!!
     
  6. WBrianS

    WBrianS Collierville, TN New Member

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    I found this thread while trying to find information on a 1911 almost exactly as FullCaliberII above was asking about. It was so close that I PMed him and asked for any more details he had. He'd passed up the pistol, and advised me to do the same. I did not and thought I'd report on the story for anyone interested. I don't know if it was the same gun or not, but it was very similar.
    I got the gun off Gunbroker for $850. The auction didn't list the gunsmith, but did list the various things that had been done- Series 70 brushed nickel slide with front cocking serrations that matched the stock Colt ones, Bo-Mar adjustable rear sight dovetailed in, Front sight with gold bead dovetailed in, slide fitted to frame, S&A magwell, stainless Safari Arms frame, original wood grips.
    The thing that interested me was that the frame's serial number was 1824, which put it at the early stages of Safari being purchased by Olympic Arms. I figured that if the pistol was put together correctly then it could be a nice find.
    Well, I received it yesterday and found that the pistol was as nice, or nicer, than a few Colt 1991A1's I've had and tighter than any of the Kimbers I've owned. All the frame parts are well mated together, and the pistol functions flawlessly. I had considered getting my gunsmith to change the trigger guard so that I could find a holster for it more easily- but found that the hook made a nice hanger for my left-hand index finger. That, plus the really pleasant surprise that the pistol (even with the hooked trigger guard) fits perfectly in my '80's Bianchi #111 "Cyclone" crossdraw holster.
    I'm thinking of getting the entire pistol hard chromed, as I'm not too big on the mirror-finish of the flats on the frame.
    At any rate-
    pix420009226.jpg
     
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  7. lpillc

    lpillc United States New Member

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    Hello, if one day you decide to sell it or trade it, please let me know e-mail at lpillc@yahoo.com thank you.
     
  8. PinkhamR

    PinkhamR Altus, Oklahoma MSgt, USAF (Retired)-FFL Lifetime Supporter

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    I have used Safari Lowers for a number of years and think they are great. I especially like the finger rest of the front of the frame, I have one 'Frankengun' chambered in .460 Rowland and one in .451 Detonics Mag using these frames. I have never had an issue with them. Not real sure about the newer ones though ....... JMO
     
  9. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Sherwood Forest Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Safari arms is now part of the KAHR family of firearms, including thompson, CZ-america, and others..

    They handle warrantee and service still very well..

    just my .o2c
     
  10. FullCaliberII

    FullCaliberII Pierce County, WA Active Member

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    Since when? Last info I had, they were bought my Olympic Arms and their name/frames were branded over to Olympic.