Colt Delta Elite 10mm


January 2, 2003, 07:27 PM
In the market for a 10mm. I really like the Glock 29 for its size, but wonder if a full size gun would be easier to control.

What do people think about the Colt Delta Elite, it seems I can get a ("barely") used model for somewhere between $600-1200. What is its reputation?

BTW, a nice used guns sight:

Thanks all.

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January 2, 2003, 07:52 PM
The delta is a darn nice gun. They don't last long compared to other 1911 calibers if you don't stay on top of spring changes religously. 15-20K rounds is all you will get out of one before it needs medical attention from a good smith if you let the springs go. They can and have cracked frames if springs are neglected, though that was only on the early models. Colt beefed up the frame a bit and seems to have nipped that problem. If you keep good springs in it they will go a long time with nothing but cleanings. If you follow the trend here you MUST change the recoil spings at a maximum of 1000 rounds, this goes for any 1911 type though. Most 10mm ammo on the shelf anymore is just 40 S&W + just a little. Full capability of the 10mm is WAY beyond 40, but the ammo is harder to find. Recoil with full power ammo can be quite nasty, but not uncontrollable at all. I would not feel undergunned even on smaller whitetailed deer with a 10 and good bullets loaded to upper ends of the range. The 10mm is a serious high energy cartridge, and the platform is about as good as an autoloading pistol can get.

January 2, 2003, 08:18 PM
You wouldn't be disappointed in the Glock 29 or the 20. I shoot full power loads out of my 29 and it is a pleasure to shoot. The Glocks seem to absorb the recoil. The gun is easy to control and very accurate. Try one if you can. This is my only Glock as I bought it for the caliber. I'm very happy with it.

January 2, 2003, 08:19 PM

I had a stainless Delta and it is quite manageable. I ran a full length guide rod with 20lb spring in mine.

BTW, Dan Wesson is making a run of all-new stainless 10mm 1911s called the RazorBack.

Check out the Dan Wesson forum at for more info.

January 2, 2003, 10:59 PM
The Delta is a very nice gun. Very nice indeed. Someday, I'd like to have one.

But after shooting both, I settled on the Glock 20. It's simple, it's safe, it's reliable, it's accurate, it's easy to shoot well and it carries 16 rounds of ammo in the gun.

I guess that to sum it up, I'd just say that the Glock 20 is awesome!

January 3, 2003, 08:14 AM
15-20K rounds is all you will get out of one before it needs medical attention from a good smith if you let the springs go.

15,000 to 20,000 rounds of full power 10mm is a lot of shooting, probably more than most people will do in a life time. How long will the Delta Elite go with proper maintenance? I have a Delta Elite that I have shot a little. With full power loads, a 22 pound spring and a shock buffer, it is very similar to shooting a four inch barrel 357 with full power loads. At least that is the way it feels to me. Glocks are great, but the chambers tend to be on the large side and this leads to bulging of the case head. As a reloader, I don't like bulged case heads, so I will keep my Delta Elite. Other options for 10mm are the EAA Witness and Smith & Wesson series of 10mm guns. Both have fully supported chambers.

January 3, 2003, 08:55 AM
Thanks all for the feedback. I am leaning towards the Glock 29 at this time, but I will let you know what I finally purchase...

January 3, 2003, 10:17 AM
I enjoy my Delta Gold Cup quite a bit. I also had the standard model. Both work perfectly, no mals, and accurate.

Get some Colt magazines as magazines are not available everywhere.

January 3, 2003, 10:44 AM
Glocks are great, but the chambers tend to be on the large side and this leads to bulging of the case head. As a reloader, I don't like bulged case heads, so I will keep my Delta Elite. The cases do not bulge on mine nor any one else's that I know that have one. I have shot some pretty powerful 10mm loads from in it also. Such as Texas ammo and proload and my own loads. Never a hint of a bulge. Now the glocks in .40 cal are another story. My 29 has plenty of support.

January 3, 2003, 10:48 AM
Ever consider a Glock 20? I love mine. Heck, my wife loves mine.


January 3, 2003, 11:24 AM
The Glock 20 is the next 10mm handgun I plan to purchase. Used to have one but sold it to cover moving expenses last year..big mistake!

I currently own a S&W 1076 and I cannot say enough good things about this firearm. Paid around $570 for one that was brand new in the box, a high price, but it was worth it to me. It's sweet shooting and far more accurate than I will ever be.

I compared the 1076 to a mint condition Colt DE stainless - I purchased the 1076 instead. The 1076 cost less and fit my hand better. I highly recommend you give a call and see if they have any 1076's left. Otherwise, go to a gun store and check out the Glock 20.

If you have a friend who owns any of the above, beg him to let you test fire it.

Then, pick the one that's most comfortable to you. They're all good guns.

January 3, 2003, 08:48 PM
Hot 10mm loads.

The hot 10mm factory loads ain't that hard to find.

Hot 10mm's available from Proload, Georgia Arms, Corbon and, the traditional standby, Winchester's 175gn STHP (@ 1200+fps).

Then there's the 4 hot 10mm loads that Texas Ammo sells: 135gn Nosler HP (@ 1450fps), 165gn Sierra HP(@ 1350fps), and 2 "heavy & fast" 200gn loads using Hornady bullets (@ 1250fps/694ft-lbs).

My Range Report on T.A.'s "heavy & fast" loads:

HTH. :)


Sean Smith
January 3, 2003, 09:01 PM
Deltas are great guns. A fresh Wolff 20 lb variable spring and a CP Tuff Buff will do wonders for the gun's shootability and longevity.

January 4, 2003, 12:45 AM
I have a G29 and I find it to very controllable!!! I have not tried the full power, lift 'em 12 feet up off the ground and knock 'em 50 feet backwards through a plate glass window onto the sidewalk rounds yet, but I intend to!!! ;)

January 9, 2003, 12:36 AM
I don't shoot as frequently as I once did, but I've owned a Colt Delta Elite since the early 90's and haven't experienced a single malfunction with any of the magazines (Colt and Mecgar) nor any of the factory ammo (PMC, Winchester) that I've been able to afford. Accuracy has also never been a problem with this gun, although I can't give group sizes. In short, my bright stainless DE has just been a wonderful gun that I've never regretted buying. (As I recall, I gave $580 for it NIB in 1992.) Wish everyone the same luck!

January 9, 2003, 02:40 AM
I second Beren's idea... Give the Smith pistols a look. I have a 1066 (slide decocker instead of the1076's frame decocker) and a 1006. (5"bbl. The 1066 & 76 are 4 1/4) I put Houge Rubber grips on them and they fit in my hand better than any pistol I've ever held.


P.S. I paid less than $500 each out the door.... Both were fired very little by the looks of them....

January 9, 2003, 11:10 AM
The Delta Elite and it's kin are the finest handguns ever made. :D

January 20, 2006, 08:46 PM
The Colt Delta Elite is the top quality of 10mm semi-auto pistols. I have customized mine with the following:

Installed the Safety Fast Shooting (SFS) Kit from Cylinder & Slide made for Colt 1911 guns. This kit combines the performance of both single and double action pistol mechanisms without any of the disadvantages. Carrying the pistol safely with a cartridge in the chamber is the basic principle of the S.F.S. Kit. The hammer is permanently in the double action mode although the weapon always fires in the single action position (quicker and more accurate from the first shot).

Installed a Nowlin three leaf custom sear spring set.

Installed increased power firing pin spring.

Installed SFS supplied main spring.

Installed SFS supplied safety plunger spring

Installed SFS supplied ambidextrous safety.

Installed an Ed Brown 2 piece guide rod assembly. Heat treated stainless steel.

Installed Ed Brown match grade stainless steel Match Grade 5 barrel.

Installed Ed Brown Slide Recoil Buffer to absorb slide energy and prevent frame damage.

Installed Ed Brown Beavertail grip safety.

I have shot hi-power 10mm handloads at 1304 FPS with 756 ft. lbs of energy using Hornady 200 grain XTP bullets. The Delta ELite handles them perfectly.

It is a very accurate pistol in a very powerful caliber. With this gun no one would have need for the old 1911 .45 ACP.

January 20, 2006, 09:51 PM
The Delta Elite and it's kin are the finest handguns ever made. :D

+1. I have two Deltas, a Double Eagle and a DW Pointman in 10MM. Love 'em. :D

January 20, 2006, 10:05 PM
I like mine. Bought it new years ago and it keeps on ticken' One of only a few I will never part with.

January 20, 2006, 10:13 PM
If you want a 10MM that is built like a tank then get the 1006 S&W. :D

I'd love to have a Delta. Even went as far as almost selling my 1006 to fund it. Decided better of it. One day I will have a day.

January 20, 2006, 10:40 PM
Good Lord, talk about a thread coming back from the dead!!!!!!

But, since we're here, the Delta is the one on the right, well over 20,000 rounds through and still rocking along just fine. Bought new in mid 80's, nothing left from Colt except the frame and slide and I mean nothing else, not even the grip bushings. Most is Ed Brown, some McCormick.

July 1, 2009, 11:22 PM
Well, this thread came back once. I might as well bump it again.

I have a Glock 20 and a Stainless Delta Elite Gold Cup. Which one I would recommend would depend on what you're going to do with it. I got the Glock first, along with a 6" Storm Lake barrel, a Lone Wolf 3.5lb connector, a Mako scope mount, and a few other things with Pig hunting in mind. It quickly became my favorite all around utility gun. I carry it for a sidearm while hunting now, instead of my .45 Colt revolver. The Delta I got because I could; worked a swap with a friend who had it and found another identical with a serial number he wanted. :D
The Glock excels as a utility gun, easily able to switch barrels and the scope mount, mags are easily found and relatively cheap to say nothing of the 15+1 rounds available. It also isn't fussy about ammo, except that to shoot lead bullets you have to get an aftermarket barrel. But the Delta's trigger is way better, and it'll shoot lead with its original barrel if you use mild loads. It is fussier with ammo; it doesn't like the American Eagle load, for example.
If I could only have one, I'd probably stick with the 20 for all-around usefulness. A friend has a 29, but it's harder to find accessories for so unless you're planning on using it as a carry gun I'd stick with the 20. But I'm really glad I don't have to choose!

July 1, 2009, 11:30 PM
For God's sakes.......this thread is 6 years old.....

October 31, 2009, 04:47 AM
when I purchased my 1911 Gold Cup... seller also had a Delta Elite
only had enough cash to buy one... picked the Gold Cup.

been wanting a delta elite ever since. what advantage does the Delta Elite have over the Gold Cup 1911? if any...

October 31, 2009, 12:50 PM
10mm Auto has to ability to carry on through denim, car doors, windshields and still have meaning.

Apparently 10mm Auto threads have real staying power too.

October 31, 2009, 01:48 PM
i miss shooting 10mm. i had a Delta Elite and absolutely loved it, can't remember why i sold it.

if i was going to buy another 10, tho, i would go with a EAA Witness Compact is SS. check 'em out. ez cal swaps and all, too.

October 31, 2009, 02:11 PM
EAA made a very good 1911 in 10mm from what I understand, Dan Wesson makes a few, the Pointman-7 and the Razorback-10 are the more popular models, the S&W 10xx series were built like tanks and will last you for quite a bit, Springfield made the Omega but they're hard to find parts for and from what I understand they're prone to small parts breaking easily. If you want an oddball 10mm you may want to look into what was known as the MEGAstar, those things were behemoths. As far as my two cents goes I just finished up shooting some Federal 10mm out of my RZ-10 and boy does that gun make me look good at the range.

October 31, 2009, 02:29 PM
my Gold Cup 1911 shoots beyond sweet... very accurate and controllable. affordable .45 ammo, etc

it's easy to go thru 500+ rounds in a hurry with any auto pistol.
so ammo availability/costs is a main consideration. .45 brass and cast bullets are available and cheap.

I've never seen 10mm ammo cheap or easily available. at least not recently where common ammo was hard to find.

so there's got to be some pretty compelling reasons to go a 10mm platform. right or wrong, I'm convinced a Delta Elite Gold Cup is probably the finest 10mm available without going to something like a Wilson.

October 31, 2009, 11:02 PM
Never tried a Detal Elite but have shot a Kimber 10mm. Very nice gun but it has lots of recoil compared to my G20. I don't know what it is but the Glock soaks up the recoil much better than the all steel 1911. I shoot a 180g. Montana Gold HP at 1250fps and it is very accurate out of the factory barrel. The funny thing is my best groups are with the faactory barrel.

Delta Elite
April 30, 2011, 10:28 AM
I'm not here to bring the thread back from the dead. Just to thank MSMITH, "They don't last long compared to other 1911 calibers if you don't stay on top of spring changes religously. 15-20K rounds is all you will get out of one before it needs medical attention from a good smith if you let the springs go".
I bought a few weapons from an estate sale. One was the Colt Dleta Elite Government Model. I noticed a few of the spent jackets slightly bulging (primer end) and some of the primer caps had fallen out after bagging them.
I took it to Hatfields Gunsmithing and he confirmed that the springs (also had the outer springs used on the 1911 10mm) needed replaced. I will give an update once he is done giving it the "medical attention" it needs.
DRGREG, how is that Glock 29 working out for you. Hatfields is the one who created the Hatfield Tactical Racker (American Rifleman's Feb. issue) if interrested.

April 30, 2011, 12:57 PM
It would be interesting to hear how all the early posters are doing with their Deltas. I bought mine in the mid 80's and sold it after 15 yrs for twice what I paid.
I never cared for it personally mostly because it was unpleasant to shoot to its true potential and quick follow up shots just weren't as good as I wanted.
I also found that in stock configuration it didn't measure up to some of the enhanced 1911's that I had bought and didn't wish to spend the extra to bring the Delta up to the others.
The cost of the Colt mags back then were prohibitive and aftermarkets I tried were junk.
I tried the 10 again with a G20 and still found its recoil to be unmanageable under rapid fire so I traded it for a G21.

April 30, 2011, 01:49 PM
I would love a delta elite, one of the nicest useful guns on the planet

April 30, 2011, 02:51 PM
I bought a pair of Clark Combat Customized Delta's in the mid 90's, the started me on my love affair with 10mm, the only things that require changing are springs and barrel bushings. I am the proud owner of 14 dfferent 10MM handguns, at present my favorite is trhe KimberCustom Eclipse, I haver put over a 1000 rounds thru it with out a FTF, value wise the Witness Match 10mm is a great one Never had a FTF or any sort of a jam

August 18, 2011, 07:50 PM
hey all new to the forum, glad to be around other 10mm folks, I currently own 5, the Delta Elite being my favorite, carry an EAA compact also a great little gun after replacing recoil spring to handle defensive loads from Double Tap Ammo, anyway glad to be here!

August 18, 2011, 10:24 PM
I love my 10's. A Delta Elite, Stainless Delta Elite Gold Cup and a Glock 20.

August 20, 2011, 07:24 PM
A big old BUMP-SKI for this thread ... 'cause seeing Deltas never gets old ....

Old School DE (late '80s)

New School DE (2009)

Tibbets Classic Custom DE.


August 20, 2011, 11:57 PM
For God's sakes.......this thread is 6 years old.....

More like 8, now...

August 21, 2011, 09:54 PM
For daily carry go G29 for weight. For pure pleasure and range time go Delta.

November 17, 2011, 02:58 PM
I am looking at getting one of the new delta elite models. Anyone know if there is any difference between the old and new model? I have read some pretty conflicting things on other forums some saying it has a week frame others saying it is strong enough. How is this gun for hand loads?

November 17, 2011, 09:57 PM
Might as well keep the thread going. I have the witness full size and compact both in steel. Also have the g20 with wolf barrel, steel rod, and heavy spring, trijicon nite sites. A Kimber custom eclipse in 10mm has been on backorder for 4 months. I am sure it will be the most accurate of the bunch although the eaa's are very accurate. The g20 is hard to beat for firepower and simplicity.

November 19, 2011, 02:03 AM
I have a Fusion 10mm long slide and a Glock 20 SF with a stainless guide rod and 20# recoil spring. Fantastic guns chambered in the perfect round :) I'd really like to have a Colt Delta Elite too!

November 19, 2011, 07:43 PM
So, this is one of my misguided NIB purchases from years ago. I'm no longer the least bit concerned with NIB as several boxes for other firearms were destroyed in a flood a couple years back. That said, reading the above enjoyment that folk seem to have with shooting these, I'm wondering if I should hang onto and shoot this or move it on down the road? I've certainly decided to shoot the 9X23 but hadn't really thought about this one as keeper. What say you about a Gold Cup 10 - altogether silly or no?

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