Which Colt 1911?


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TXHORNS
April 1, 2010, 12:15 AM
Looking for a new-to-me Colt 5" to keep factory, no upgrades. The 2 that appeal to me most are an old Series 70 (not a reissue) or a WW1 repro.

Either one is gonna get shot and carried a lot. I already have 1911s with all the typical upgrades/features but I would like at least one to stay original. What would you choose and why? Any other suggestions (Colts only)?

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MattTheHat
April 1, 2010, 12:25 AM
I guess if it were me, I'd go the WW1 repro route. They sure are handsome.


-Matt

Jason_G
April 1, 2010, 12:34 AM
If for carry, then I would probably shy away from the Series 70s with the Accurizer barrel/bushing setup. I don't really have much experience with them, so I may be off base here (someone feel free to correct me if I am), but the collet bushing system does not look like the most robust setup I've ever seen.


Jason

dogtown tom
April 1, 2010, 01:18 AM
The Series 70 collet style bushing is easily replaced.

Oro
April 1, 2010, 01:22 AM
I don't really have much experience with them, so I may be off base here (someone feel free to correct me if I am)

There's an internet buzz they are problematic, but in fact they don't offer any less reliability than solid bushing designs if treated properly. The problem is they often aren't maintained correctly - the gun is SUPPOSED to have the slide racked 1/2" back, relieving the tension on the fingers, before being rotated. This is the manual-stated method. Many owners just hit it with a bushing wrench with the barrel locked-up and ignore proper procedure. Treated correctly, they last a lifetime (so far!) and offer good "out of the box" accuracy usually unmatched without a custom match bushing.

To the OP:

I'd get either. I have samples of both and they are my two favorite Colt designs. Next in order would be a 1980s 1st generation Combat Elite. Neither are cheap, a really nice '70 Series will set you back about $850 to $900 delivered, and the WWI will be about $950 to $1000 delivered.

Production of the WWI is apparently over as of 11/09. The last 500 or so are still working their way through the distribution chain so they will still be available retail for a little longer, then likely 2nd hand and traded around a little longer. But once they get into the hands of the "I want one" crowd and collectors, they will be very hard to come by. You have time to get one, don't let me scare you, but don't wait a year.

If you want a regular carry gun, don't under rate the current Government Model, the O1991 - nice sights, great quality, and about $750 OTD most places.

JTQ
April 1, 2010, 09:26 AM
Both of those pistols have the puny little GI sights which will be difficult to use for even the guy with perfect eye sight.

As mentioned by Oro, the 01991 would be a better carry gun.

I think the the Series 70 Repro would also be a better choice since it has taller sights than the two you mentioned (though no white dots like the 01991).

Both the 01991 and Series 70 Repro also would probably cost less than your two choices (excellent condition true Series 70) and have the cool dimple on the chamber lip to improve feeding of odd shaped bullets.

TXHORNS
April 1, 2010, 06:58 PM
Let me rephrase my question; what would be a cooler old-school 1911 to carry on my belt while hunting or out at the ranch between an old Series 70 or a WW1 repro?

The bushing doesn't scare me much, if I ever have problems I can replace that, but I am glad it was brought up because now I know how to keep them running, Thanks Oro! I know the sights aren't great and I have other 1911s with better sights but the GI sights have a certain "cool factor" to me and I think they are fine for this intended use.

This won't be a conceal carry gun, just something to keep the critters away if needs be when I'm in the woods. I like the 1991, I have a commander nrm, and I like the S70 reissue, probably will get one someday but as was mentioned the WW1's are drying up. Still mad at myself for not buying the one I saw at a show for $800 nib.

rellascout
April 1, 2010, 07:01 PM
Find a Colt WW1 Repo Carbonia Blue....

I own one along with a 70 series both are stock. The WWI Carbonia is a superior gun.

Full Metal Jacket
April 1, 2010, 07:20 PM
i would go with a springfield operator 1911 for the same money as a colt.

but if you must buy a colt, get an XSE series one. :)

TXHORNS
April 1, 2010, 07:30 PM
If I go the WW1 route, is the Carbonia Blue worth the extra $200-300? I have only seen the Black Oxide in person and it was pretty sweet.

FMJ: No doubt the Operators are cool. I have a LW Champion Operator and love it. Maybe a TRP someday too but it would have to compete with my STI Lawman which is tough to do for a production gun. But those aren't really the oldschool look I am going for with this purchase.

Full Metal Jacket
April 1, 2010, 07:37 PM
^^^me too! i love my champion operator. you have excellent taste sir :)

Oro
April 1, 2010, 07:55 PM
what would be a cooler old-school 1911 to carry on my belt while hunting or out at the ranch between an old Series 70 or a WW1 repro?

On that note and that note alone, a WWI. Because 8200 or so total were made. In a few years as most of them disappear into safes, not many will be seen. However, a stock, high-condition Series '70 is also highly regarded among Colt fans.

If I go the WW1 route, is the Carbonia Blue worth the extra $200-300? I have only seen the Black Oxide in person and it was pretty sweet.

I wouldn't pay a penny more for the Carbonia over the O1918. They are very similar in appearance, and in fact some are so close it takes a moment to tell them apart. Neither had a high polish or smoothed roll-markings. Also, from the samples I've seen, the O1918 benefits from the fact it was built more recently; since 2000 or so Colt's average production quality has improved each year. The O1911's were made 2003-2006, the O1918's 2006/7 to end 2009. Also, the price difference you see is because the Carbonia models are out of production, whereas O1918's are still available new as the stock is sold down. Eventually, the price will be the same. Actually, fewer (slightly) O1918's were built than O1911's, but that won't affect the price over time (4,000 vs. approx. 4,200).

The WWI's have the narrow barrel throat common of that era. Series '70 guns had a throated barrel as a standard production. However, most people who have shot a fair amount of HP's and reloads through the WWI's report no problems (I have not done a lot of shooting with mine yet to comment).

Between the two, a WWI is going to be a little better built, the original '70 more beautifully finished. Both will run well. I do not see how you can go wrong either way. Another point to keep in mind, if keeping it original matters to you, the '70 has an arched MSH and short trigger. The WWI a flat MSH and long trigger. Some people have a strong preference for one over the other. I can shoot a long trigger more easily than a short one; it just fits better for proper finger-pad placement to me and fits more naturally. If you have shot enough 1911 style guns to know which "fits" you, and keeping it 100% original matters, that might settle the issue right there. The sights on the '70 are slightly easier to shoot accurately than the WWI.

Below is my "woods" or beater Colt. I have a WWI and a mint '70 I don't take out much. But this one is for fun and it's actually a bit of a hybrid between the two. It is a later SRM (small roll mark) '70 I have kitted with a WWI hammer, trigger, and flat/looped MSH. It's also equipped with a Wilson/Dwyer group-gripper guide rod. That combined with the original accurizer bushing make it a really accurate gun, and it shoots on par with my much higher dollar customs. It will be getting a carbonia blue small grip safety next week - a take-off from a modified O1911 (not mine).

http://i225.photobucket.com/albums/dd275/kamerer/1911s/ivory%20boy/IMGP5362PEF-1.jpg

Still mad at myself for not buying the one I saw at a show for $800 nib.

Yes, that was a great deal. I managed to get mine for $810 total delivered, had been shot 20 times. Good enough for me. I saw a very slightly used Carbonia for sale for I think $900 in Dallas recently. If you are near Dallas (FTF only), pm me and I can see if I can find the ad.

DRYHUMOR
April 1, 2010, 07:57 PM
I like this one...

http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=108847&d=1257874665

but I also like both the S70 and WW1 repro.

TXHORNS
April 1, 2010, 09:10 PM
FMJ: Thanks! Not too many 1911's I don't like, except for......nah I wont go there...

Oro: Thanks for all the info. I think this may be one of those times where 1 gun simply will not do. I prefer a flat msh with long trigger but its not really a huge deal to me, I actually like to mix it up sometimes.

Dryhumor: Nice Combat Target, dont see many of those around.

Soooo.....when in doubt get both right? Does anyone know a good divorce attorney?

DRYHUMOR
April 1, 2010, 09:14 PM
Actually, I was going to recommend getting both. But I hate to be freewheeling with someone else's pocketbook..... oh wait.... no I don't. :evil:

Oro
April 1, 2010, 09:42 PM
Does anyone know a good divorce attorney?

I know an outstanding one, but she's in NYC, not TX. ;)

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