Frame to Slide Fit
Chen Custom frame and slide fits are a new benchmark in terms of precision, refinement, and performance. While many custom pistols have been regarded for their smooth feel, Chen Custom pistols have taken the level of smoothness and refinement in a custom 1911 to a new level.
A Chen Custom has a solid, one piece feeling, where the entire pistol truly is working as one cohesive unit, rather than a conglomeration of parts. This is done by a proprietary method which requires innovative fixturing, custom tooling, precision measuring tools and techniques, and machining savvy. Defining features of the Chen frame and slide fit include:
The bearing surfaces of the pistols have extreme parallelism, to within .0001", or one ten thousandth of an inch. In comparison, a typical sheet of paper is .003" thick. The bearing surfaces are perfectly square and parallel to one another with an incredibly smooth surface finish which is accomplished by a proprietary honing method.
This high degree of precision means that there are no high spots bearing against one another, which is common in most custom 1911s fit by traditional methods. Because the bearing surfaces are so true, this fit yields the most durable fit possible, as the mating surfaces are running on dead true surfaces rather than high spots. My method is quite different than that used by nearly all other builders. Notably, lapping compound is NOT used to lap the frame and slide together, as it is simply not necessary due to the precision, parallelism, and fine surface finish of the prepared surfaces.
Performance - Reliability and Accuracy
The slide to frame fit is not just precise, it is engineered as a critical component in making the pistol as a whole perform at the highest levels. Unique cuts are made to both the frame and slide to enhance reliability. Firing debris have places to escape the bearing surfaces, and lubrication is held and free to circulate throughout the system. Cuts are also made so the pistol locks up tight in battery, but runs smoothly and freely throughout the firing sequence. Even expansion from the heat of sustained rapid fire is taken into account.
Pulling back the slide on a Chen Custom 1911 is an experience. You will feel a simply uncommon degree of smoothness. They are different to the point where custom 1911 aficionados have commented that they even sound different when manually working the slide. Is this level of refinement really necessary though? The answer is no, unless you are striving to build the very best in every way.
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