Looked at a Colt Combat Elite today; questions


January 27, 2005, 04:48 PM
Checked out a Colt Combat Elite today. Nice pistol, and I was very tempted by it.

Then during my examination of it, I noticed that the previous owner had disabled the grip safety.
I know JMB had never intended for it to be there anyway, but I'm not sure if I should be concerned about it.
How easy is it to replace it? The grip safety still had a spring under it, and it was not welded down. I'm not sure how it was disabled. Would I have to buy a whole new beavertail assembly to fix it?

The gun shop owner was not aware of the issue until I told him. I asked about lowering the price because of needing to "fix" the modification. He said, "No" as the price was pretty decent already.

The trigger pull was 2 3/4 lbs, according to the scale the gun shop owner had. The prior owner must have used it as a bullseye gun. How easy is it to make the pull a little heavier?

I probably would not use this gun as a CCW (certainly not in its current condition), but want to have the option if the mood strikes me.

I'm really torn about this. I want a new 1911. The one I have now is an Old 1911 (mfg 1913) and I don't want to put too many miles on it. They are not easy to come by in MA. Another shop has a nice Series 70, but it's a lot more money than the Combat Elite. The Combat has an ambi safety on it, which is a bonus b/c I'm a Lefty. The Combat has nicer sights also. Both of them are in excellent condition.

So should I take the Combat for less money, and fix the grip safety and increase the trigger pull
should I spend more for the Series 70, and install an ambi safety and possibly better sights?

Your input is much appreciated. :)

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January 27, 2005, 04:58 PM
It's pretty common in competition guns to disable the grip safety. I have a highly modified Delta Elite that I use in IPSC and the grip safety is "pinned".

How it works is you drill an aligning hole going up from the mainspring housing into the grip safety, and you place a small pin pointing up from the MS housing into the GS. When you slide the MSH up into place, and hold the grip safety down, the pin locks everything still. Mine uses a piece of old drill bit as the pin, since that's a nice tough piece of steel. If I remove the MSH and take that pin out, the grip safety returns to normal function.

You might see if that gun is pinned, the method I described is pretty common
and is generally reversible with no damage.

Of course there are other more drastic methods that do damage, so some investigating is in order.

As for trigger pull that's usually an easy fix also, by replacing the leaf spring with a heavier duty model. I use a Davis spring in my Delta, since I am running a competition only trigger and I want it pretty light. Some claim they can control this through bending the leafs in or out, but I don't like to fiddle with the spring steels natural position. Prolly just paranoid on my part.

I'd be more worried about a positive sear engagement than trigger pull weight.

January 27, 2005, 05:19 PM
Thanks for the reply.

The thing about the grip safety is that it still moves in and out. It's not "pinned" down. That makes me think that they may have cut off something inside. I have never looked at how a grip safety works, so I'm not sure what they could do inside to disable it.

I figured the trigger would be a pretty easy fix. It's a great trigger break, but a little too light for my taste.

January 27, 2005, 08:19 PM
2 3/4 pounds is dangerously light for a 1911 trigger. A properly done trigger job will break at 4 to 4 1/2 pounds, but will feel lighter to the finger. You can increase the trigger pull weight by installing a stock sear spring and a 21 pound mainspring. As for the non-functional grip safety, the previous owner may have filed the tang that contacts the trigger bow when the safety is at rest. A new grip safety will be needed.

January 28, 2005, 12:00 PM

Any other input anyone?

Which should I shoose?

January 28, 2005, 01:38 PM
The previous owner may have ground off the tip of the grip safety that blocks the trigger bow when the grip is not depressed. Chances are you will need to replace the grip safety if you want it to work.

I am amazed a gun shop would sell the gun without all the safeties working.

Why don't you ask the gunshop, if they do gunsmithing, what it would cost to "make" the grip safety work and restore the trigger pull to what you want.
That will give you a better cost comparison to the series 70 model you saw.

I may be mixing my names up. Is the Combat Elite the model with Bo-mars and a fitted beavertail or the mil-spec version with chrome/stainless receiver and blued slide? Big difference in price.

January 28, 2005, 03:31 PM
It's the two-tone one.
Here's a link to one with pics:

It's not the one I'm looking at (which is $850 BTW).
The shop does not do smith work, so I'd have to do it myself (not a big deal to me as far as effort)

The Series 70 does not yet have a price, but the owner told me the last one he sold was $1100.

I know I can easily fix the Combat Elite and still be less money than the other, but Series 70's are generally more desirable.

Missouri Mule
January 28, 2005, 09:56 PM
Since you asked for opinions, here is mine. $850 is way too much for such a gun that has obviously been tinkered(?) with. If I were you I'd walk away, no I would run. Or, I'd offer him $650 since it is defective as is and strut out.Also $1100 for a S70 repop is about $250-300 way too high, but i don't know how guns sell where your are.

It is your money but unless you know how to do the work the elite needs your gonna braek the bank by the time you have it done.

No way would I do either. There surely are more shops within driving distance. Shop around..... He probably gave whoever traded it in $500 or less for it.

Good luck and keep us posted.... :uhoh:

January 28, 2005, 10:55 PM
The NIB price for my Blue Delta Elite back in 1996 was $567! :D

I agree with Missouri Mule, $850 is somewhat steep under the circumstances! :scrutiny:


January 29, 2005, 12:43 PM
$850 is more than I paid for my Combat Elite NIB here in CT. It dosen't sound like either pistol is a particularly good deal. Granted, I've taken a fleecing a few times because I just had to have a particular gun right then and there, but I'd say wait and keep shopping around.

January 30, 2005, 09:27 AM
Thanks for the input.
I guess I'll pass on the Elite.
I'll keep looking for more Series 70's.

You have to keep in mind that these are MA prices, however. :cuss:

January 30, 2005, 01:04 PM
That's true, anytime you live in one of the communist-socialist states, you will pay through the nose for the priveledge of exercising a right granted to you by the Federal government. Still, I think, even in the People's Communist State of Massoftwo????s, that $850 is too high for a broken 1911-A1.

Fitting a new grip safety is pretty easy and will cost you no more than $50 for a really nice grip safety (Ed Brown and you will probably have to slightly modify the receiver), even less for a stock Colt replacement part. If you can get the gun for $650 I think you will have done well.

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