Essex Arms Corp. of Island Pond Vermont was one of the first manufacturers of after market frames and slides, circa early 1970's. They mostly provided their products to third party manufacturers who produced and sold completed pistols under their trade names. I don't know for a fact that Essex produced and sold pistols under their own name. Years back Essex frames were commonly seen on home built/custom pistols of VERY VARYING quality. If you have a opportunity to buy a pistol with a Essex marked frame, be sure and test fire it and wring it out very well to make sure the workmanship and quality meet your standards.
Jim Clark built most of his custom pistols on Essex frames. I don`t know how much he had to work them to be usable, but obviously the steel was good as he had a lot of choices and he picked essex. axolotl
I have used Essex frames for about 10 years now to build 45's and 38 Supers (25+)for customers and I have never had a problem with any of their frames. In fact I have a personal frame that I have been using regularly for about the same length of time and am still very pleased with it. I recently started using the "enhanced" frames (listed in Brownells)and have been really pleased with the units. Every one of the enhanced frames has "speced" out exactly on the button with my National Match frame and the specification drawings I got while in the military. I have had zero complaints from my shooters. Just my two cents worth from an old 45 shooter/gunsmith. I like 'em.
I have 2 essex 45's that I have built. One is just an essex frame with a no-name slide and the other is an essex frame and essex slide. both shoot well. the essex frame to slide fit is perfect with no shake at all, the other slide fit a little tight, and had to be fitted a little. I shoot them all the time,with my wilson combat and have no problem.In some cases, you might have to polish the feed ramp a bit to feed some ammo
i found that on some frames the ejector pin holes were not drilled true, and were a pain in the a**, i shortened the legs on the ejectors and epoxeyed the ejectors in. other than that, just the normal time consuming fitting work.
estbank- The last two I got from brownalls and they had the ejector, safety spring guide and grip screw escusions already installed.I think they are very good frames.The only better frames I have used are the ones from Caspian and they are made by Ruger. Caspian has a real cool deal, you can order a frame with about any serial number you want, even your mother in laws birthday if you want.I built one for a guy who had his sons initials and mounth, day and year of his birthday for a serial number. It was for his sons high school graduation gift. Pretty cool dad don't you think. My dad told me when I graduated from high school that I could start paying rent.
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