Colt Gunsite Pistol


November 29, 2007, 06:27 PM
I recently traded for a like-new blued Colt Gunsite Pistol. I managed to sneak in a short range session yesterday, about 150 rounds. I was thoroughly amazed! While I didn't bring it along for a side-by-side comparison, I honestly believe the CGP is more accurate, at least for me, than my Colt Special Combat Government Model.

I was planning on swapping out the front sight for a Hienie Trijicon which I already have on hand, but I am very reluctant to touch the sights, since they are spot-on for windage and elevation. Other than that, I've ordered a long trigger to try, but am not committed to it. I may play around with some VZ Gatorback or 320 grips, but that's about all I plan on changing.

I know some folks on some boards think the CGP is overpriced, and some have criticized the fit and finish. While not a high-dollar custom made gun, the fit and finish are very good, and the proof is in the performance (at least to me, that's my priority). I don't know what the current going price is for these, I know what my local dealer had one for a few years back ($1200). I traded an individual for it, and suffice to say, I had substantially less than that invested in the trade items.

Anyhow, I thought some folks might like to see and hear about a relatively uncommon gun.

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November 29, 2007, 07:05 PM
Beautiful and I wouldn't touch it other than MAYBE a long solid trigger because of the de'reguer flat main spring housing.

November 29, 2007, 09:52 PM
I have a few friends with the Gunsite and they are all very pleased with the pistol.

The Lone Haranguer
November 29, 2007, 10:01 PM
Is - or was - that a production Colt pistol?

November 29, 2007, 10:25 PM
It IS (or WAS, not certain) a Colt manufactured and distributed model, Model 01980CGP. I have heard they were discontinued, but I have also heard production has resumed, so I cannot say for certain. It is made by Colt to the specifications provided by Gunsite.

This model is truly a shooter's firearm. Much time and effort have been spent in developing every detail of this fine, innovative firearm. The joint effort, led by Colt's LtGen William M. Keys USMC (Ret) and Gunsite's Owen Buz Mills and Col. Bob Young USMC(Ret), brings to market another contribution to Colt's legacy of producing 1911 series handguns.

Series 70 firing system
Smith & Alexander metal grip safety with palm swell
Serrated flat mainspring housing
Dehorned all around
Thin rosewood grips
Gold Cup serrations on front strap
Heinie front and Novak rear sights
Short aluminum trigger with 4 – 4 lb pull
Wilson extended safety lock
$100 coupon towards training at Gunsite
Two 8-round Wilson magazines w/metal base plate
(only with O1070CGP and O1080CGP)
McCormick hammer and sear
Available Models:
- O1070CGP
- O1980CGP
- O9840CGP

November 29, 2007, 11:30 PM
I am still waiting to find a decent deal on a used Colt Gunsite Pistol.......

I may finally break down..........

November 29, 2007, 11:39 PM
Isn't it just an XSE with cosmetic changes?

December 1, 2007, 05:13 PM
Here's another picture of my CGP, after I installed the Cylinder & Slide long match rounded trigger. The CGP's older brother is along for company.

December 1, 2007, 08:21 PM
Big diff between XSE and GunSite...GS is a Series 70 firing system, more attention to fitting and to detail!! :) Oh yeah!!! :D


December 3, 2007, 03:38 PM
I purchased a CGP this summer after attending one of their classes. I, of course, took it out and immediately shot it. 75 rounds later the rear sight (Novak) fell off. I wasn't too worried because it had a set screw. I decided to try some front sight shooting. 25 rounds later the front sight (Trijicon) fell off.... no set screw on that one.

Gunsite paid to have the gun shipped back and refunded my money, no questions asked. They offered to repair it or send me a new one, but I was so disappointed that I declined. Their customer service was awesome.

A couple of months later I was at the Gunsite Alumni Shoot and overheard someone else relating a similar story. Apparantly some of the pistol slides were over-milled at the factory. That was a large amount of money to spend on a gun that slipped through quality control.

This was the single most disappointing firearm experience of my life. The worst part is, I still want another one.

December 3, 2007, 03:43 PM
The first run (or so) of the Colt Gunsite pistols had the front sights milled incorrectly, resulting in a small but noticeable "gap" between the bottom of the sight and the top of the slide. Seems like there was a miscommunication or something and the slides were cut for the standard Novak front sight, instead of the appropriate Heinie front sight.

December 3, 2007, 03:45 PM
Makes me glad I did not buy the one I looked at.

All companies have QC issues I guess.


December 3, 2007, 05:07 PM
I would have pinned the front sight and locktited the rear grub screw and had me a GREAT Colt !

December 3, 2007, 05:13 PM

For me, either a pistol is right, or a pistol is wrong. Got one back at Colt right now. Sure, they'll fix it right. But still bugs me that my brand new pistol had to be returned.


December 3, 2007, 05:58 PM
This was a new CGP that had recently arrived from the factory, not one of the early models.

Doc, I agree entirely. All companies have issues, some more than others. But I was not willing to pay that much for a defective gun. I bought that pistol with the idea in mind that it would last forever and be an awesome gun OUT OF THE BOX.

As an LEO I can buy new Glocks for 1/3 the price. I had just completed the Gunsite course using my issued Glock 22 without any problems. I used the money from the CGP to purchase a Glock 34. Guess what? No problems with the Glock.

Gordon, you would have pinned the front sight and locktited the rear sight? This gun was supposed to be perfect out of the box. If Colt missed the overmilled slide, what else did they miss? The overall point is I shouldn't have to do any work to a $1300 gun and parts definately should not fall off while shooting. Would you trust your life to a gun that literally fell apart while shooting it? That was an easy question for me. I returned it.

December 3, 2007, 06:36 PM

If I'm not mistaken (and I don't believe I am), Colt didn't offer night sights on the CGP. Unless of course it was a special custom order. Kinda makes me wonder as to the originality of the Trijicon sight you had on yours, specifically whether the dealer put it on, or someone else did.

That said, I do agree with you, for that much dinero I expect a little quality control. I personally don't place too high an emphasis on aesthetics (I ain't that pretty either), but reliable functioning is another matter entirely.

December 3, 2007, 06:43 PM
"Would you trust your life to a gun that literally fell apart while shooting it? "

Entirely your call, Congrats on the course with your duty Glock- the way it should be.
Me, however, thats been shooting the 1911 for 40 years, After I had sights pinned and adjusted and lock tighted, adjusted the extractor and shot at least a 1000 rounds with no MALFs, would definitely trust MY life with it.Those are good pistols, but any storebought high performance gun is gonna need tweaking IMHO.
The S&W 1911PD Gunsite pistol I CCW (and use for a back up to my Glock 17 Duty gun when working as a reservist) had the front sight blow off in the middle of the LAPD qualifacation course. I still passed, but dropped the last 10 shots or so enough to not be a 'super star';) It went back to S&W and the Gold Bead Novak went bye bye for Tritium sights, which I subsequently HAVE pinned. Just anecdotal data to show how I operate, but to each his own brother.:)

December 3, 2007, 11:14 PM
You are right, Deercop, the gun does not come with the night sights from the factory. The sights were installed by the Gunsite gunsmith and were new at the time. Part of the reason I was sure the gun was defective was because the front and rear sight were different brands. I felt it was highly unlikely that both the Novak and Trijicon sights were defective from the factory. Besides, I wasn't the only that had the sights fall off of my CGP.

It was just aggravating to me because I had bought the pistol with the idea that it would last forever. I had the opportunity to shoot two of them during the course and REALLY liked them. However, one of the ambi-safeties broke on one of the rental guns during a course of fire. The rental gun showed heavy wear and was obviously a well used gun. I asked about the gun at the Gunsmithy and was told it had over 100K rounds through it as of 2006. It was from their 1st order of CGP's (with the current configuration) which, if I remember correctly, they have been using for 7 years now.

I was impressed. All guns are going to break, but that one had over 100K rounds through it! That was my selling point. A gun that I could keep for my whole life and pass on to my children. I love Glocks, but I just don't see them holding up forever. So I bought the CGP with the thinking that it would be perfect (reliable and accurate as a combat gun) out of the box and that it would last forever. The staff gave me 3 mags of ammo to shoot and check the sights with before taking it home. I was thrilled.... right up until the sights fell off.

I can only imagine the conversation that was had with Colt after Gunsite got the pistol back. They run a tight ship and think highly of their equipment. I wouldn't be surprised if they checked all of the pistols from that batch for similar problems.

Gordon, I have a good amount of firearms experience, but not 40 years worth. On the professional side I am limited to Glocks and the M9, but grew up shooting the 1911 and have always wanted a "nice" one. "Nice" for me is the CGP. In my opinion, there is no other production 1911 on the market that has been so thoroughly tested and refined as a combat pistol. Accurate and reliable. I am not interested in fancy and I wasn't looking for a safe queen. I wanted a true combat gun. I had put the CGP on a pedastal above all other pistols. When the sights fell from the gun, the gun followed; right off the pedastal. I was left standing there saying, "well now what am I supposed to do?" If it can't get through a 100 round shooting run, it doesn't meet the criteria for a generations gun.

I was just unlucky in that I got the gun that didn't meet the standard and slipped through. Would I recommend a CGP to someone else? Absolutely. Despite my complaining, I recognize that I got a bum pisol. It was the exception, not the rule.

I would still like to get one. But it will be a while before I can bring myself to spend the $1300.

December 4, 2007, 09:34 AM
While I understand your frustration, I would be hard pressed to blame Colt for the defective front sight in particular, if a gunsmith had changed it out. The gunsmith could have messed something up, or at the least, should have noticed the sight's base didn't correctly fit.

I am also interested in your comment about the ambi safety. The CGP didn't come with those either. I would be surprised if Gunsite's gunsmiths added one absent a specific request from a customer, as a single sided safety was one of the design parameters of the CGP as spec'd by Gunsite.

Anyhow, stuff does in fact happen, especially with production stuff. I have seen completely stock Glocks flub up (and not the shooters fault), and a large percentage of our issue Berettas regularly flub up.

December 4, 2007, 09:39 AM
Oh, somewhat relevant "war story". My partner drew his personally owned Glock on-duty a few weeks back, and as he aimed, he noticed something was missing - his front Trijicon. He found the securing screw inside the slide, but the top part of the sight was MIA. I [I]know[I] the sight was installed correctly, as I'm the one who installed it.

December 4, 2007, 10:15 AM
Deercop, I recently had that happen on a glock with an ameriglo night sight. We were trying them out on our duty glocks to see if we liked them better than the trijicons. I didn't get through one magazine and the post snapped off. It was a new sight and I had installed it. We never did find the sight.

The ambi-safety was installed on the CGP when the gun was purchased for use by left-handed students. I asked about it and they said the ambi-safeties are the weakest part of the gun. It was never designed to have that type of a safety.

January 28, 2009, 01:56 PM
I was fortunate in my 1st 1911 being a Colt Gunsite Pistol. Having been raised in the South with rifles, shotguns, and pistols in my hands from pre-puberty, I did thorough research before picking anything other than my dad's S&W K-38 Combat Masterpiece for a house gun ["the old man's always right, &c., &c.]. Finding the CGP the most slicked-up inside/boring outside 1911 on the market at the time less than $2000, I lucked out w/ one off just a hair under $1000 NIB. Out of the box it shot better'n I could hold at my 25-yd. range. As long as I did my job at trigger control it was in the X. When I got to shoot it at the NYPD's City Island gunfighter school under the tutelage of their senior instructor, in about 7 magazines of hard drills he had me hitting 6 of 7 on steel at 80 yards. So, as seductive as the 1911 is to a tinkerer, there would be no monkeying with anything to do with accuracy. What I did do was get Wilson magazines, stone out the trigger track, jeweler's-polish the trigger bow and top & bottom of the shoe, hone out the mainspring tunnel and polish the outer curves of the spring, install slightly lighter Wolff main & recoil springs, put on a Wilson Shok-Buff, swap in the Mueschke ambi safety [the smallest ambi, retained by a cut in its replacement extended through-slide pin instead of by a long ear which would need relief under the right-hand grip which is too thin for relief anyway, & the only gunsmith-required change] to complete the 1911's design as a lefty's pistol [hey, you righties have to shift grip to hit the mag drop button], and a Smith & Alexander arched mainspring housing w/ slimline mag well. None of that made it hit any better, but made one of the slickest-innards production pistols just a little slicker. If I had the time to compete in any of the practical games, I'd have no leeway to blame my equipment....

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