Why Colt?


September 20, 2006, 06:50 PM
Colt 1911 owners,

As someone that has been considering buying a 1911 for many years now but always ends up buying something else instead, why are the Colts preferred by most 1911 owners on this forum? I mean, really why? Something besides, "because they're a Colt". I want to understand what makes them a better gun to own and why, over other models such a Springer, Kimber, Para, etc.

I have read XavierBreath's "Best 1911 for you", (http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2005/09/best-1911-for-you.html) it was very helpful but, I am looking for something more in depth as to the brand itself.

On a separate note, what's the difference in the three following models on Colts website? They all look the same to this uneducated eye, except for a lanyard loop.

Colt Series 70

Colt 1991 Series

Colt 1911 WWI Replica

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Black Majik
September 20, 2006, 07:27 PM
I own a NRM Colt, but its my least shot 1911. Its a good gun, but I other 1911s fit me better. To me, its a good gun, but I think you're paying more for the name

The Series 80 has a firing pin block that the Series 70 does not have.

The WWI replica is Series 70 that is a "replica" of how it "used to be". Mainly tear drop safety, non lowered ejection port and lanyard from what I can tell.

I'm sure 1911 Tuner will be in shortly. Also look for Don Hart in 1911 forums. He's a hardcore current production Colt fanatic also.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

September 20, 2006, 07:39 PM
Well, in brief,
The Series 70 on top is the "retro-car" of the Colt line. It's the gun Colt made prior to the Series 80 but with a solid bushing. It has a short trigger, arched mainspring housing and the frame cut is the 1911A1......you have the scallops behind the trigger and sights you can almost see.

The 1991 is the current Series 80 Colt with the firing pin block and the same sights as the Series 70, long trigger and flat MSH.

The WWI Replica is a 1911 without the scallops and different slide stop, hammer, trigger, safety, and MSH. You've got the lanyard loop so you don't drop the gun off your horse. ;) The sights are minscule but usable.

September 20, 2006, 07:57 PM
but I got my hands on a old Sporter II, and I can't quite put my finger on it, but there was definitely something different about it. I would rather have that Sporter II than any of the Armalite/Eagle,Bushmasters I've shot.

Colt used to have a touch for firearms. Now? Don't know.

September 20, 2006, 08:00 PM
Find one that you can paw over for a few minutes and see the fit and finish of a Colt. It has a certain style and persona. Just as each of the brands do. There is just something about a nice Colt. ;)

Bazooka Joe71
September 20, 2006, 08:04 PM
whats the msrp on a series 70?

Baba Louie
September 20, 2006, 08:14 PM
Resale value?
Fewest MIM parts?
Only 4 letters in the name? :rolleyes:
MSRP on a series 70? $919 blue, $950 Stainless

September 20, 2006, 08:15 PM
Resale value?
Fewest MIM parts?
Only 4 letters in the name?

Great taste - less filling...

Wes Janson
September 20, 2006, 08:21 PM
Let's be honest.

The answer is the name.

September 20, 2006, 08:27 PM
I have a Colt Commander XSE (NRM) and an early model Kimber Classic Custom. The Kimber is better fitted, better finished, and more accurate.

I love Colts, but they are going to one day price themselves out of business.

September 20, 2006, 08:39 PM
Old Colts
New Colts

September 20, 2006, 08:47 PM
I have a '99 Kimber Stainless Gold Match with about 15k rounds through it and I like the WWI Repro more. I love the sights, I like the brushed Carbonia finish and the trigger pull is better. Not only do I like it better for the way it handles, it's more accurate and easier to shoot accurately.

Maybe I just got lucky, but I'm tempted to buy another one for a back-up. The shop where I bought it had one on the shelf 2 weeks ago and I've been thinking about it ever since.

I'm still surprised.


P.S. - I have bad eyes and high-dollar glasses and the small sights work for me. Go figure.

September 20, 2006, 08:48 PM
Old Colts
New Colts

Colts being produced today, new models.

Adam Selene
September 20, 2006, 08:50 PM
Because you can.
The classic 1911 is a good gun

September 20, 2006, 09:25 PM
Sorry, but the best I have for you is that I prefer Colts for the intangibles. I've owned a few other brands, they worked okay but I ended up selling them...I just prefer Colts :cool: :scrutiny:

September 20, 2006, 11:50 PM
For me the fact that my Colt's all came from the factory and have ran like a Swiss Watch. No issue's what so ever I have read all of the horror stories and have bought nine Colts in the last two years without a single issue.

I do also like the fact that a "gunsmith" builds a Colt not a parts assembler.


I own a NRM Colt, but its my least shot 1911. Its a good gun, but I other 1911s fit me better. To me, its a good gun, but I think you're paying more for the name

The Series 80 has a firing pin block that the Series 70 does not have.

The WWI replica is Series 70 that is a "replica" of how it "used to be". Mainly tear drop safety, non lowered ejection port and lanyard from what I can tell.

I'm sure 1911 Tuner will be in shortly. Also look for Don Hart in 1911 forums. He's a hardcore current production Colt fanatic also.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

One last very important thing the WW1 re-issue has one of the nicest finishes on a production gun I have ever seen........That is the reason I bought one.

They are great guns if you buy one you will not be disapointed...........Of course you will want another and another...................

Dr. Dickie
September 21, 2006, 08:47 AM
For me at least, others make good guns, but for the money the Colt is the best.
Springfield makes a great 1911A1 and it is cheap, I have one (although I gutted it and rebuilt it into a combat style gun), but it is not as well made as the Colt.
Kimber and the other custom makers make great guns every bit as well as a Colt, but they cost more.
Yeah, I guess the name counts for something, but that is above and beyond the quality, fit, and finish of the pistol. If it's crap, I do not care one bit who's name is on it.
Now, every manufacture producing product makes lemons, and every manufacture had problems at some time. I was seriously burned by a S&W (645 auto I think it was) that I bought (while looking for a Colt 1911) back in the early 80s. Left a real bad taste in my mouth for S&W. Makes me very hesitant to buy another. So I understand that someone who had a bad Colt might bare a grudge.
Most of the problems I have ever seen anyone have with a 1911 could be traced to bad magazines (they bought cheap ones), bad ammo, or a screwed up extractor (which is simple as hell to correct). Notice I said most, there are always exceptions. Some guns are just more tolorant that other (for the same manufacture).
Colt makes a fine product. If what they make is every bit as good as someone elses (in the same price range)--thought I think theirs is a bit better-- then why not get the origninal.
Most (read that all) of the rifles I have are Milsurp, nothing wrong with heritage.
Just my $0.02 (bought all I have to spare).

September 21, 2006, 09:01 AM
Thanks for your all's answers.

When I read "NRM" which gun is that referring to? It looks like the Series 70 and the 1991 series 80 both have the same rollmark, or both?

Lastly, which one is the gun to have?

September 21, 2006, 10:09 AM
The NRM refers to the 1991A1 model, They switched the ugly billboard 1991A1to the older style slide marking's.

If you get to handle the Series 70 and a NRM side by side you will see that they have different roll mark's.

If you need more info go to the 1911 forum and check out the colt thread stickies.


September 21, 2006, 10:29 AM
Some "reasons" might be if you want a FP safety, the series 80 style would be a better choice than the Kimber or S&W...IMO anyway!

Colt is the only 1911 in that price range that offers a "polished" blued finish.

They do have less MIM parts, if that matters to you.

I can't think of any "functional" reasons other than those. The "other" reasons occupy thousands of threads comparing Springfield to Colt. ;)

September 21, 2006, 10:32 AM
No other 1911 has a pony! Seriously, it is both the name, but moreover what the name has come to mean...reliable and sustained accuracy. The fact that it brought down lots of enemies and brought home safely lots of soldiers doesn't hurt. Those "good ol' days memories" out weight all other considerations. Our vets come home and toss about their bigger-than-life stories, which like fish grow after the fact. So, these stories hold tight, deep down inside of our very deepest held values as beliefs. WWI, WWII and Korean War vets will tell you the 1911 was great! Vietnam vets were more likely to say they stink, because (according to the pro writers) they had been rebuilt too many times, and/or imporperly rebuilt.

For me, I have owned Kimbers and Colts. I have 1 Kimber remaining, the Warrior, which is a series 70 equivalent in terms of not having a firing pin block.

I will keep this Kimber (probably), but would sell it in a heart-beat to get another new Colt. I explained in a post months back, I bought my first Kimber because the sales person either lied to me, or was so uninformed that he convinced me Colt sold only to military and police. So, I bought a Kimber. Now, when I learned that Colt still did sell to civilians, I sold all but 1 Kimber. Recall, I that bought 5 Custom Shop Kimbers last summer of 2005, close. All 5 were defective. That was the end. Kimber, IMHO, is not sufficiently committed to customers. They have lost my business. I like Kimber for looks and feel, but that taste in my mouth will be there for years, decades and probably for life. Given how many firearms I buy, they took a massive hit (20ish pistols per year)? Big-time hit. Do they care? No. They have others.

Colt, IMHO, is the finest, if for no other reason than it was the original 1911, plus due to its history, and other simply personal reasons. These are the same unfounded reasons that most people prefer the pistol that they prefer.

Personal choice,


September 21, 2006, 02:36 PM
Thanks for all of the responses. Now, with this knowledge, I can start persuing what I want. I appreciate it. :)

Doc, what you wrote is part of the reason I love Hi Powers. I can relate.

One last question, is one of these better with hollow points? I was told that on the Springfield Mil Spec's and GI's that FMJ is all you want to shoot becuase of them being magazine fed. Anything to this with the Colts?

Baba Louie
September 21, 2006, 05:08 PM
Original Colt 1911's were set up for hardball 230 gr. ammo and they feed well in just about everything made. JHP is another story. Older war babes from WWI/WWII didn't really feed the newfangled HP that well. My made in Brazil SA "US" GI have no problems in this regard feeding everything well (so far anyway). My Dad's old WWII era 1911... stick to ball ammo.

September 21, 2006, 09:43 PM
My Colt WWI Repro shoots everything reliably. And accurately. It must be the gun because I know I'm only halfway good.


September 23, 2006, 01:00 AM
I learned about .45 autos in the Marine Corps in the 60s.
When I got out of the Marines and decided I needed a pistol,
the .45 auto was what I knew best, and the number one
maker of .45 autos was Colt. So that's what I bought.

I paid $137.50 for a Series 70 Government Model .45 in 1972.
I still have it. I don't carry it much anymore, but I just like
knowing it's still there if I need it.


.38 Special
September 23, 2006, 01:10 AM
I bought a Colt in .38 Super a few years back. I knew the $1,000 asking price was robbery, but I wanted the name.

It was an unimpressive gun, at least for the price. I did not find the finish to be better than average; certainly not nearly as nice as an old Smith revolver. The fit was on the poor side, IMO. Not horrible, but not as tight as, well, Kimber, for instance. Accuracy was, dare I say it, average.

It was, in short, a perfectly functional, decent looking (never mind the laser-engraved dot-matrix serial number) piece that did what a gun is supposed to do. Just like a $400 Springfield.

But I knew all that going in, and I paid to have a 1911 that said Colt. Didn't regret it. As John Barsness once wrote, I bought it "for various irrational but otherwise valid reasons". But I never tried to talk myself into believing that is was anything but an "irrational" decision.

I just hope the guy that stole it accidentally shot himself with it.

Snake Eyes
September 23, 2006, 01:27 AM
Why a Colt? Is it just the name?

Yes. No.

Allow me to wax esoteric...

If you set out to build the quintessential Anerican muscle car, would you start with a 1982 Buick?

If you truly wanted to impress an oenophile, would you start with ripple?

If you wanted the true feeling of the history of your country in your hand, would you buy a Norm Chomsky book?

Is it the name? Yes. No.

If you were a young man, a craftsman, with a lust for fine firearms, would you choose to work for Taurus?

Or might you seek out a (maybe lower paying) job with a company, who's name at least, invoked the history of the art which you choose to perform.

In other words, for $15 bucks an hour, would you rather polish a Colt or a Glock?

God created all men (and women). Sam Colt made them equal.

Is it a name?



Is the flag just a rag with colors on it?

I will hold my hand over my heart for no other.

I won't carry any gun but a Colt.

Is it just a name?

September 23, 2006, 10:26 PM
I want the Colt because of the bragging rights. When I pull them out in the range, the old timers will say "oohh" and "aahh" and probably "hey that's quite a nice colt, you got in there."

The name is what gives it the mystique. Although the design is copied and heck even improved by a thousand gunsmiths (wilson, ed brown, etc.).

September 24, 2006, 01:34 PM
For me it is a combination of brand loyalty and made in USA. I bought my first one back when Colt was the choice. It was so well made and shoots so well that I made my next two 1911's Colt also. I'm sure Kimber and the other U.S. manufactered 1911s are excellent, but Colt had me first and has given me no reason to look elsewhere.

September 24, 2006, 02:50 PM
A Colt will always command a higher value for resale or buying.

Colt is the original american 1911. Historic value can't be had in other american made 1911's.

Ala Dan
September 24, 2006, 05:50 PM
Greeting's All-

Marshall my friend, many years ago (very early 70's) I owned many
of the so called 70 series Colt's; including 2x Gold Cup National Match guns,
and several Government models, + one or two Commanders. Back then, it
was the standard that all other's were judged by; not too mention the best
1911 available at that time. In todays market, there are many players who
produce quality firearms; ranging from the basic, NO frills G.I. models up to
$3500 custom jobs.

Kimber for example, is kind'a the middle of the road player here. They are
manufacturing 1911's available straight from their factory, much like us old
farts use to buy a Colt and then spend hundreds of $$$$ customizing too
our liking. Nowdays, I don't own any Colt 1911's; but I do have other's,
including one Kimber and one Les Baer +1 Smith & Wesson~!:cool: :D

September 24, 2006, 06:44 PM
I own several 1911s, I always wanted a Colt, but I settled on Springfields for my first two 1911s. There is nothing wrong with Springers. They shoot well, and are durable. I still own those two.

Then, one day, I bought the custom Colt Gold Cup National Match (http://xavierthoughts.blogspot.com/2006/02/custom-gold-cup-national-match.html) below. I took it to the range and I shot it. It shot better than any gun I had ever held. It felt better than any gun I had ever held. I was having a great day drilling bulleyes with my Colt. There was a tactical Tommy a couple of lanes over shooting the latest 1911 fashion gun. He was obviously watching my targets. As I was loading magazines, he sauntered over and asked "What kind of Kimber is that?" The look on his face when I said it was a Colt is one reason I like Colts.


Since that day I have purchased quite a few Colt 1911s. Along with the two Springfelds that I still own, I own a couple of SW1911s. They were a great deal I could not pass up. I figured I could trade them down the line for a Colt, perhaps. I enjoy modifying 1911s. I have all the small parts for my next 1911 ready. Quality Nowlin and Ed Brown stuff. I thought about modifying one of the SW1911s, but I just cannot bring myself to do it. A modified SW1911 is a messed up SW1911 in the marketplace. A modified Colt 1911 retains it's value as long as the mods are done right.

I love it when a dealer tells me Colt isn't selling to the public anymore, or that they are going out of business. Colt is the last American firearms company that has stayed true to their heritage. S&W no longer makes quality blued and walnut revolvers. Colt still makes blued 1911s with no FPS and wood grips. They even make a 1911 reissue like the WW1 pistols. You can buy one of these Colts new and feel the tradition and heritage. It's much like a Harley Davidson. It's an intangilbe that may not be felt by some folks, but felt strongly by others. Is it the prancing pony? Perhaps. Is it because it's a Colt? You're darned tootin'!

September 24, 2006, 08:49 PM
Gentlemen, thank you so very much.

I have Colt revolvers and am familiar with their heritage and quality but have never jumped into the 1911 world. I figure that when I do, I want to do so with a quality gun and a gun of the utmost reliability from the factory. I've never been much into changing any of my guns from factory specs other than grips/stocks and sights. I know, probably boring but there is something about a quality stock firearm that I really love.

I have a good friend/shooting buddy that has a Colt Gold Cup Trophy, he swears by that gun and it's been a very reliable pistol for him. I will either be buying a standard series 70 or 80 blued, or a Gold Cup in stainless.

BTW, is there a difference between a National Match and a Trophy?

Thanks again! :)

September 24, 2006, 09:10 PM
The Gold Cup National Match was an enhanced pistol with a sight rib and Eliason rear sight. It also has a unique wide trigger and a sear depressor spring/lever to prevent sear bounce.

The Gold Cup Trophy is a slick slide with a Bomar rear sight and normal sized trigger and normal sear.

September 25, 2006, 07:54 AM
Thanks X.

Marshall :)

September 25, 2006, 09:01 PM
and a sear depressor spring/lever to prevent sear bounce
I always wondered what that thing was for.

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