Got a Colt Gold NM


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lykoris
February 26, 2010, 04:51 PM
and then noticed the front sight was loose

http://img297.imageshack.us/img297/2653/frontsite.jpg (http://img297.imageshack.us/i/frontsite.jpg/)

apparently this is quite common on a lot of Colts....it's only when you have a problem and do the research that you find it's a problem everybody knows is common except you :p

As it's dated from 1984 I believe it has the broad tenet and it needs to be restaked. Is this something relatively straight forward to do for a regular gunsmith?

and the rear sight pin that holds the ellison sight in place is out to one side. From my research I need to get a 'rolling pin' as it appears to hold up better than the stock one. Who stocks these rolling pins?

http://img704.imageshack.us/img704/5656/rearsight.jpg (http://img704.imageshack.us/i/rearsight.jpg/)

My first 1911 and hoping to get it in gear before I take it out to the range. I really wanted to take it out until I saw these two issues when I got it home to clean it up.

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skipsan
February 26, 2010, 05:05 PM
The front sight appears from the pic to be dovetailed, and not staked. Maybe I'm missing something. I thought staked sights were factory standard for GCs of that period (Series 80), and if that's true, than the dovetailed sight is aftermarket. Pinning the dovetailed sight I believe is the only recourse, or finding one that's a tighter fit in the existing dovetailed.

Re: the Eliason sight pin. Pin walking or breaking is a common problem.
My understanding of the history is that the original GCs used a "roll pin" which is a cylinder formed by rolling a rectangle of steel into a cylinder. The pin is slightly over the 0.060 " hole size, and is a press fit less resistant to walking.
Unfortunately, the roll pins weren't strong enough because they were hollow or maybe because of the material they were fabbed from, but they were replaced in production by solid pins which were stronger because they were not hollow, but they were not a heavy press fit and thus prone to wandering out of their proper place.

The Colt fix, is to put a slight "bow" in the solid pin so that the pin becomes a spring and establishes a press fit in the hole. Easy to do yourself, but don't overdo the bow.

I have two GCs, both suffering from pin walking. I've tried all of the published fixes and nothing works. I just push it back in after every 20 rounds.

ACE Hardware carries 0.060 in solid pins, and 0.062 roll pins (dimension approx) if you want to try something. Colt will send you free pins if you request them. My experience re the rear sight, is that you're gonna have to live with it.

lykoris
February 26, 2010, 05:54 PM
Thanks a lot for the response skipsan. I don't know what the original sight should look like and just took it as being the original.

I don't suppose you have a photo of what a 'staked' sight is like? Would it be like the fixed sight of a colt combat commander?

as for the pin on the elliason sight, can I just use a punch to knock it back in so it won't be sticking out on the left hand side like above?

Thanks again for the input, I've been trying to find solutions over various forums these past few hours.

skipsan
February 26, 2010, 06:13 PM
Yeah--a staked front sight will look the front sight on an older CC in that the sight sits atop the slide, with no obvious attach mechanism. The Gold Cup sight will be a lot taller than that of the CC, and will be more angular and not rounded. The tenon is a post that is part of the front sight and simply sticks through a hole in the slide. The staking process deforms the tenon on the inside of the slide so that it is tightly retained to the slide. Its not uncommon for the staked sight to come loose and the "fix" if you want it done right is to have the slide milled for a dovetailed sight. It appears from the pic that's what you have. To properly attach the dovetailed sight to the slide, a smith would drill a hole through the slight and THROUGH the slide as well, and then drive a roll pin into the hole. Don't let a smith install a blind pin into a hole which does not penetrate all the way through the slide. You could temporarily "fix" the front sight with a little Loctitie in the dovetail, until you determine the final fix. Just keep an eye on it.

RE: the rear sight. The pins are so loose on my GCs that I can push them back in place with a finger nail. Its not going to take much, so if the pin on your pistol isn't that loose, I suggest finding something non-metallic (wood dowel, nylon dowel,etc and tap the pin back in using a hammer and the dowel to drive the pin home. A metal pin punch will certainly work, but if you slip with the punch, you'll put a ding or scratch in the sight/slide.

You might want to try a little blue Loctite on the pin. Some have reported success using that or even red Loctite. Just didn't work for me. You can also try "bowing" the existing pin by giving it a little whack in the middle as it is supported on either end. You shouldn't put more than a few thou of bow in--I think the ones that Colt gave me had five thou of bow. Bow = the height of the middle of the pin above each end. As I noted, the bowed pins didn't work for me.

You're learning the lore of owning an older Gold Cup. Great pistols, but need a little tinkering now and then.

mec
February 26, 2010, 10:07 PM
Colt stayed with roll pins on the rear sight right up until the mid 90s when the gold cups became custom shop deals and they were using dovetail mounts. Im not sure what they are doing now. In the early 1970's, Skeeter Skelton made quite a bit of noise about the roll pins breaking and leaving the rear sight flopping loose. When I got my series 80 gold cup about 1995, I was sure that they had fixed the problem since it had been known for 20 or more years. Not so, the roll pin broke in half while I was shooting it. The usual fix is to make a tight fitting solid pin out of an allen wrench that starts out a bit bigger than the hole.

Gunfighter123
February 26, 2010, 10:20 PM
For the rear pin on my GC , I replaced it with a cut off drill bit ---- has not broke or loosened in over 10,000 rds. !!!! For a cheap "quick" fix for your front sight, carefully useing a small hammer , peen the front sight base , then loc-tight it.

MrIzhevsk
February 27, 2010, 12:33 AM
Hey I know this isn't related to the OP's question but I have a question of my own about the pictured gun.

Whats the purpose of the slats on the top of the slide? Is it to help with aiming directly down the sights?

lykoris
February 27, 2010, 09:31 AM
Thanks for all the input, especially you skipsan - it's very helpful.

I thought I would post up some photos, although size reduced for uploading I'm happy with my first 1911s.

Colt combat commander from 1980
Colt Gold Cup NM from 1984

http://img220.imageshack.us/img220/2367/19321785.jpg (http://img220.imageshack.us/i/19321785.jpg/)

http://img341.imageshack.us/img341/2779/83960721.jpg (http://img341.imageshack.us/i/83960721.jpg/)


Slight blemish on the trigger, I'm going to have to go through my products drawer to see if I can find something to spruce it up.
http://img24.imageshack.us/img24/8002/98823384.jpg (http://img24.imageshack.us/i/98823384.jpg/)

(http://img521.imageshack.us/i/36591373.jpg/)


This broke my heart when I saw it but given the limited stock of colt 1911s I couldn't pass up on the combat commander. I can see myself collecting quite a few 1911s. I really love the feel of them.
http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/8613/21809100.jpg (http://img191.imageshack.us/i/21809100.jpg/)

lykoris
February 27, 2010, 09:36 AM
These are close ups of the CC front and rear sight which would then be a dovetail rear sight and a staked tenet front sight ? ?

front sight
http://img683.imageshack.us/img683/809/cccfrontsight.jpg (http://img683.imageshack.us/i/cccfrontsight.jpg/)

rear sight
http://img237.imageshack.us/img237/5486/cccrearsight.jpg (http://img237.imageshack.us/i/cccrearsight.jpg/)

http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/9675/cccrearsight2.jpg (http://img202.imageshack.us/i/cccrearsight2.jpg/)


From my understanding I will have to carefully watch both when I shoot the CC as they will be prone to movement, especially the front site...my research indicated that the staking of sights by Colt isn't all that great and a lot have had problems over a considerable number of years.

lykoris
February 27, 2010, 09:41 AM
This is a photo of my S&W model 41 and has the same 'railing' if you will on the top of the barrel, I believe but am not certain it is to mount a handgun scope on it - although I could be wrong. Maybe it's also to assist in the installation of the fixed sights to make sure they are perfectly in line.

http://img695.imageshack.us/img695/6193/swm41.jpg (http://img695.imageshack.us/i/swm41.jpg/)

skipsan
February 27, 2010, 10:04 AM
You're correct on the Combat Commander. G.I. (small dovetail used on the original 1911s) dovetail rear sight, and staked tenon front sight.
The front sight might become loose, but there's little or no danger of it falling off or flying off. I have a satin nickle CC just like yours, although mine wasn't in very good shape when I got it. Looks better now, but its no longer original like yours.

As for the flat serrations on top of the slide, I don't think the original purpose was mounting an optic. Something about improving the ergonomics of the sight picture for target/competition shooting. Mounting an optic to the top of a recoiling slide wouldn't work too well because of the recoil. All of the optics I've seen for 1911s were frame mounted with the optic itself cantalevered over the top of the slide centerline.

I haven't tried the pin fabricated from drill rod stock, or an allen wrench as suggested above. If they are slightly oversize by half a thou or so, that might be enough of a press fit to keep the darn thing from drifting out.

gunnie
February 27, 2010, 11:33 AM
experienced one of your complaints with the eliason on a used series 70 'cup i used to own. found a ~hardened~ pin of same diameter. it wasn't easy to flatten out one end of it with a hammer, but eventually got a slightly oval end on it, and drove it in starting from unaltered end. no problems since, but one needs to remember which side it drove from if removal becomes needed later. would mess up the whole mod to remove it from the other (wrong) side.

while the front blade never gave me any problems, i haven't had a "staked" unit go the distance. in a pre-emptive move, i sent the slide to:

http://www.tenring.com/

they dovetailed the front and fitted a roll pin top-to-bottom through blade to further secure it. they also black molly coated the slide, another reason i sent it out. it came electroless nickle plated from previous owner. this was WAY too bright and reflective for my eyes in bright sun, causing a great weeping and squinting of the eyes.

i think the later complaint is the driving force behind the serrations on slide's top crown. knock down reflections that interfere with sight visibility.

fast turn around and top notch work from ten ring and alex hamilton, owner. he was very generous with his time and info on the phone whence talking possible options for my needs.

recommend them WITHOUT HESITATION for your problem.

gunnie

lykoris
February 27, 2010, 02:02 PM
I would happily do that gunnie but as I live in Europe it's not an option. Unfortunately!

I gently tapped out the dovetail sight and am at a bit of a loss regarding the 'holes' and which were part of the original staked tenon sight. I'm guessing no roll pin was installed on the dovetail sight given the rather large hole going through the barrel already

http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/4263/sight1v.jpg (http://img412.imageshack.us/i/sight1v.jpg/)

http://img697.imageshack.us/img697/56/sight2.jpg (http://img697.imageshack.us/i/sight2.jpg/)

Given my lack of confidence in local gunsmiths I'm wondering if this is not something I could do myself.

wrap the barrel in leather and put in a vice, gently file and use acetone to clean it up, then file down a new front sight and use red loctite to fix in place.

or perhaps I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself and the better question to ask is, given the holes and set-up what are the options available to a gunsmith?

I gently tapped the pin in on the rear sight. I'll have to order proper brass punches as I can see myself having to repeat the exercise in the near future.

gunnie
February 27, 2010, 03:22 PM
if the dovetail fits fairly tightly, perhaps you can just clean thoroughly, and silver solder it in (correct, centered) place? has to be a 'smith in your area who can do this correctly if you feel hesitant? will need a refinish afterward...

gunnie

skipsan
February 27, 2010, 07:09 PM
lykoris,

For what its worth (probably not much) the front sight on my Series 70 GC is signficantly different than yours. Mine is a simple post which sits on top of the slide, with the tenon protruding through the slide. In that sense its just like the front sight on your Combat Commander except that its taller. Yours is a post sitting atop a rectangular platform, which in turn fits into a milled slot on the slide and has a tenon which protrudes through the slide. The slot cut into the slide is not a "dovetail", at least by my definition, in that it has straight not angled sides. I've never seen one like yours, but there's a lot of things I haven't seen.

Your front sight should be much easier to restake than a conventional staked front sight, in that the platform its sitting on will ensure that its on straight. It would also be easy to pin in place by drilling a roll-pin hole through the platform and through the slide.

Good luck!

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