Bought a Colt MK IV series 80 "Officers" model


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dondavis3
September 9, 2010, 02:27 PM
I just bought a used Colt MK IV series 80 "Officers" model in .45 ACP .

It's all nickel or stainless and for a 25 year old gun is in great shape.

It has wooden grips and someone added a ambi safety (which I need) to it.

http://i742.photobucket.com/albums/xx67/dondavis3/Guns/ColtMKIVOfficersmodel3.jpg

We took it completely apart in the store & wiped it down (it was already cleaned) and lubed the slide & rails.

I bought it for $510.

It only has one mag & no box or papers.

I can't wait to shoot it this weekend.

:cool:

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Nushif
September 9, 2010, 02:36 PM
Looks classic. Let us know how it shoots.

Greg528iT
September 9, 2010, 02:46 PM
I'll give you $515. ;)

Looks great.

Olympus
September 9, 2010, 02:56 PM
Are you sure it's nickel? In the picture, the slide and frame look awfully "satin-y".

dondavis3
September 9, 2010, 03:02 PM
Yes it nickle.

I think the camera flash just made it look satiny.

The mag is satiny, but in the picture they both look that way.

It's very shinny when you hold it in your hand.

:cool:

Olympus
September 9, 2010, 03:13 PM
Okay. Just wanted to check and make sure it hadn't been refinished. The only Mark IV nickels I've seen look like this: http://media.photobucket.com/image/colt%20officer%201911%20nickel/catman253/ColtOfficers750x.jpg

dondavis3
September 9, 2010, 03:24 PM
+1 Olympus

You may be right, it's not that shinny. :eek:

So what finishes did they come in other than Nickle & Blue? :confused:

:cool:

iblong
September 9, 2010, 04:18 PM
Not a bad price,I paid 650.00 for my stainless officer and put another 200.00 in it.
Love the pistol its my daily carry 9mo.of the year.dead reliable and accurate.
Congrats.

9mmepiphany
September 9, 2010, 06:35 PM
The nickeled OACP I've seen was more yellow, but the flash does make it hard to tell the true color.

The OACP was available in blued, nickeled and stainless steel...as I recall, the high polish nickel was a special issue

I think Olympus was wondering if it had been refinished because of the replacement grips, MSH, trigger and sights. Has a reverse plug for the recoil spring been added yet?

Olympus
September 9, 2010, 07:40 PM
I don't at all want to take away from the OP's gun, because it looks like a fine Colt!

I would need some more pictures, taken without a flash, preferably outside, before I could say for sure. But I'm leaning towards refinish on that gun. And like the mod stated, the other little modifications caught my eye too and would strongly suggestion other modifications where in play, i.e. refinishing.

Take a picture of a nickel gun with a flash and it's gonna look even shiner than it really is. At least that's my experience. You can easily see that the ambi safety lever is shinier than the rest of the pistol. My opinion is that it's a polished stainless ambi. Nickel is going to be probably more shiny than that even. Looking around the MSH and front strap, it almost has a pewter color.

The more I look at it, the more I just doubt it's nickel. Again, I want to stress that I'm not taking away from the gun or from the OP. I would just recommend a little more research and/or some better pictures before I started passing it off as nickel to other people. If the OP is happy with it, then that's all that really matters.

dondavis3
September 9, 2010, 07:40 PM
+1 9mmepiphany

I think it may be a stainless finish. It is in real good shape.

I didn't know that they are replacement grips.

What's a MSH.

I knew that it had after market trigger and sights. And man is the trigger smooth.

I don't know if it has a reverse plug for the recoil spring. How do I check that.

I do know it has dual springs (one small & one larger to fit over it) in the slide instead of just one spring like some of my other guns have.

:cool:

Olympus
September 9, 2010, 07:47 PM
Your gun would have had checkered grips originally with a round Colt Medallion in the middle. It would have probably been silver.

MSH = Main Spring Housing. It's basically what some people call the back strap of the gun and houses your main spring, like it says. It slides out the bottom of the frame.

I don't think it's an original stainless finish either. Stainless would be more polished than what yours appears to be too.

The double springs would be something I have never seen on a Series 80 either. Granted, I'm not the 1911 Guru, but I've seen my fair share.

The reverse plug you will see once you take the slide off. It it will be a collared tube that the muzzle end of your guide rod goes into. It will come out from the inside of the slide in a backward motion. It will look similar to this: http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct/?productnumber=883142&cm_mmc=Froogle-_-Gunsmithing%20-%20Gun%20Parts%201911%20(Not%20Grips%2C%20Magazines)-_-PriceCompListing-_-883142

dondavis3
September 9, 2010, 07:54 PM
@ Olympus

I agree with you, I believe it may be stainless not nickle .. the shop told me it was nickle. I don't really care - I like it's looks.

The ambi safety is very shiny compared to the gun.

:cool:

gwnorth
September 9, 2010, 08:02 PM
Nice pick!

I good place for mags is www.topgunsupply.com. For SD loads, I have Wilson Combat and Chip McCormick mags, and the ACT mags are identical to current factory mags (ACT is or at least was an OEM mag supplier to Colt).

Olympus
September 9, 2010, 08:04 PM
As long as you're happy with it, that's all that matters.

I'd steer clear of the shop you bought it in for future purchases. Any shop that tries to pass something like that off as original nickel wouldn't get another dime from me. Either they're really green and didn't know the difference or they're a little on the shady side. And usually old Colts like that which have been refinished will tend to lose a little of their resale value.

My suggestion, if you run across something that you suspect could have been refinished, snap a pictures with your phone or bring a camera back. Post the picture on a forum and get some opinions from guys who have a good eye. I'm not going to lie, I've done that before with some different Colt Pythons I was considering buying. If a refinish doesn't bother you, that's just fine. But just know that a refinishing will generally decrease the resale, especially on older Colts.

dondavis3
September 9, 2010, 10:24 PM
@ Olympus

The shop is a great shop.

Excellent reputation and I've bought several guns from them as have my friends.

If I were going to blame anyone, it would be me .. we talked about several guns and several finishes and I just must have remembered our discussions wrong.

My wife says it doesn't surprise her :eek:

:cool:

9mmepiphany
September 9, 2010, 10:35 PM
It has been a while since I sold my last OACP and it has been even longer since it has had it's stock springs installed, but I do seem to remember that it had "nested" recoil rpings...one inside the other and coiled in opposite directions.

The recoil spring plugs are inserted from the inside of the slide. The factory one is retained by a small tab on the body, the aftermarket ones use a full collar. Part of the slide needs to be relieved (removed) to fit the after-market plug...and you'll usually see the collar just in front of the dust cover

macadore
September 9, 2010, 10:37 PM
I have a Series 70 that had a satin nickel finish that looked like the one in the picture. It was soft as butter and rubbed off after a short time. I had it trouble finding someone to refinish it because they did not want to try to remove the nickel or to finish over it.

dondavis3
September 9, 2010, 10:42 PM
+1 9mmepiphany

Thanks for your help.

:cool:

Mad Magyar
September 9, 2010, 10:47 PM
I do know it has dual springs (one small & one larger to fit over it) in the slide instead of just one spring like some of my other guns have.


Yes, forget trying to locate original recoil springs, even from Colt. I searched forever for my Officer's model, located one of the springs; but not the other.
Finally purchased the single-spring Wolff replacement and it works just fine.
Of course, there are some on this forum that reason a shorter barrel will not function as good as others; but it depends on how well you maintain your pistol.

bannockburn
September 10, 2010, 06:23 AM
dondavis

The finish on your gun reminds me of the electroless nickel that Colt used to use on their guns. But with the advent of stainless steel, which they built Officers Model's with, the nickel finish was dropped from the line-up. It might also be a hard chrome finish applied by any number of shops; since there is evidence of some customization on your gun (MMC fixed sights, ambi safety, Videcki style trigger). Or it may be simply stainless steel. In any event, you've got a nice one there. Enjoy.

dondavis3
September 10, 2010, 08:17 AM
bannockburn

I agree it's a great gun - I can't wait to shoot it.

I don't really care exactly what finish it has.

I'm just curious and would like to know.

I can always ask the gun shop (and pay attention this time :eek: to the answer)

It has some finish other than a blued finish (I like Blued too)

And that's what I wanted in this gun.

You know with all those mods it still doesn't look like it's been shot much.

:cool:

Olympus
September 10, 2010, 09:02 AM
The shop is a great shop.

Excellent reputation and I've bought several guns from them as have my friends.


Okay. That may very well be.

I'm just going off of what you said...the shop told me it was nickle.

gb6491
September 10, 2010, 02:15 PM
The finish on your gun reminds me of the electroless nickel that Colt used to use on their guns. ...It might also be a hard chrome finish applied by any number of shops
Good call bannockburn! Notice that the front sight is the same color as the rest of the gun; that makes me believe that the finish is aftermarket.

dondavis3,
Is the inside of the trigger guard a different color or just a trick of lighting in your photo.
Also, congrats on your new acquisition; they are fine little guns and yours looks very well maintained.
Regards,
Greg

dondavis3
September 10, 2010, 05:01 PM
Well here are the details of the gun.

I went back to my shop and the gunsmith and I looked up all the details in the Gun Bible.

My new Colt Officers Model 1911 in .45 Cal.was made in 1985.

The finish is a Satin Nickel finish

It has Millett Series 100 Custom Combat Low-Profile Sights installed.

It has a Videcki Custom Trigger installed - it's a 3 hole trigger w/ over travel screw .

We can't tell what brand Ambidextrous safety is installed .. the safety's finish is either chrome or shiny Nickel.

I took it to the range and put a quick 100 rounds through it.

http://i742.photobucket.com/albums/xx67/dondavis3/Guns/ColtOfficer45cal.jpg


The gun shoots better than I do.

I'm a lefty so other than a couple of fliers - I'm consistently stabbing at the trigger making me shoot just a tad low and right.

For my age - that's good enough

Man I like this gun.

bannockburn
September 10, 2010, 08:14 PM
dondavis3

Love seeing that big ragged hole in your target. Good shooting. I have an Officers Model of about the same vintage as yours; at the time all I could find were blued models.

I can make out some letters on the right side of your ambi safety (from your photo), but can't see it clear enough to decipher it. It looks like a company's name and then an address below it.

Olympus
September 10, 2010, 08:44 PM
The Colt manual I found for Series 80 and 90 doesn't list satin nickel as an available finish on a Series 80 Officer Frame. Pages 5 and 6 are what you'll want to read.

http://pdf.textfiles.com/manuals/FIREARMS/colt_mkiv_series_80_&_90_pistols.pdf

dondavis3
September 10, 2010, 09:11 PM
Olympus

Don't know what to tell you my friend - we looked it up in two different gun books in the shop and it was listed there with prices.

MICHAEL T
September 10, 2010, 09:13 PM
My new Colt Officers Model 1911 in .45 Cal.was made in 1985.

The finish is a Satin Nickel finish

My blue book says the satin nickle was discontinued in 1985 good find
My officers have been good pistols But I went to a defender for lighter weight Officer weights close to my steel frame Commanders .

You did fine with your buy. Enjoy it

dondavis3
September 10, 2010, 09:52 PM
+1 MICHAEL T

Many thanks :)

:cool:

mjb
September 10, 2010, 11:41 PM
I have one with stag grips. One of my favorite guns. congradulations! :)

P30shtr
September 11, 2010, 12:04 AM
"I'll give you $515. "

OK $520:)
Very nice, enjoy

bannockburn
September 11, 2010, 06:23 AM
Satin nickel was used for many years on the Combat Commander. Colt was kind of late getting into the stainless steel market, so I think they offered the electroless nickel finish (sometimes called Coltguard), as sort of an interim measure before they could tool up for stainless steel production. Also with their matte finishes, they could minimize having to do so much polishing of the metal surface prior to bluing or plating. The mid '80's were a time of ongoing labor problems at Colt, and so a number of cost cutting measures were implemented to keep production moving along.

dondavis3
September 15, 2010, 05:09 PM
+1 bannockburn

The Ambidextrous safety was made by Armand D. Swenson, (Fallbrock, CA, US).

He makes custom 1911's and barrels and ambidextrous safeties.

Sorry it took so long to get back to you, I've been researching it.

:cool:

9mmepiphany
September 15, 2010, 05:43 PM
The Ambidextrous safety was made by Armand D. Swenson, (Fallbrock, CA, US).

He makes custom 1911's and barrels and ambidextrous safeties.

Actually he doesn't...he is no longer with us. His nephew John Jardine is a 1911 pistolsmith in the Bay Area...he designed the Valtro 1911

dondavis3
September 15, 2010, 06:42 PM
+1 9mmepiphany

I didn't know he had passed away.

There is still a lot about his guns and work on the Internet.

Thanks for the update.

:cool:

9mmepiphany
September 16, 2010, 12:01 AM
I don't want to drift this too far from the original question about the OP's OACP, but what sets the old masters of the 1911 apart was that there wasn't a market of usable parts for them to fit into their guns...they had to make them by welding and filing.

That thumb safety you have there has some real history behind it...at least it's design, I'm sure that one was manufactured like other parts are currently

dondavis3
September 16, 2010, 08:30 AM
+1 9mmepiphany

You know - I hadn't thought of that.

I'm sure your correct.

:cool:

legumeofterror
September 16, 2010, 12:20 PM
I have a stainless Officers ACP Enhanced my father gave me that has been completely unreliable and not particularly accurate. Good to see you had better luck.

dondavis3
September 16, 2010, 04:25 PM
legumeofterror sorry to hear that.

I'd suggest a visit to a reliable gunsmith - I bet he can fix it - if you want it fixed at all.

:cool:

legumeofterror
September 16, 2010, 07:48 PM
I am of the opinion that an $800 handgun should work from the factory. Considering I don't particularly like 1911s, I don't think I want to invest the money and time it would take just to get it function. Other handgun designs I have work just fine, so this one spends most of its time in the box.

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