Should I Buy Colt Series 70


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LouisianaGunslinger
January 22, 2012, 02:58 PM
A guy is offering to sell me his Colt Series 70 1911 for $1,100. It is in good condition, the only finish wear I can see is on the top and bottom back corners of the trigger, which is normal for a 1911 that's been shot even a few times. He is the original owner, and he bought in in 1976.

I know the 70 Series is considered to be one of the more desirable 1911's, and I like it a lot. But what kind of quality were the Colt 1911's back in 1976? I know for a while there Colt had basically no quality control. What kind of reliability could I expect out of this? I know they don't like HP's out of the box, but I can fix that. I remember reading that back before the 90's, people who bought 1911's basically began a new project and brought the gun to a gunsmith, as an out of box Series 70 usually wasn't reliable enough to stake one's life on. Is this true?

Should I buy this? I'd be buying it with the intent to shoot and maybe carry, so reliability is of paramount importance.

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wow6599
January 22, 2012, 03:18 PM
Not sure about QC at Colt in '76 (year I was born!), but $1100 seems a little to high for me. Just my opinion, but I think $850 +/- seems more in line. YMMV

918v
January 22, 2012, 03:26 PM
You are paying a premium for a collector gun with pretty lousy sights, trigger, etc. I'd put the money toward a used semi-custom Springer.

marcclarke
January 22, 2012, 03:29 PM
I have a Model 70 Colt 1911 so maybe I can help. The manufacturing quality is very high. The trigger on the Model 70 can be tuned to the proverbial glass-smooth break. Functioning and reliability are both superb. The Model 70 was the apex of Colt's manufacturing quality.

Then came the Model 80 with its firing pin block and trigger mechanism that could not be tuned to give as good a break as the older Model 70 (which did not have a firing pin block).

Parts are readily available for the Model 70 and every pistol-smith with gray hair knows how to make them sing.


The asking price seems extremely high to me.

skipsan
January 22, 2012, 04:59 PM
$1100 would be OK for a pristine example--no wear showing--with good condition box and paperwork. $8-$900 for a 95% example without box.

rcmodel
January 22, 2012, 05:26 PM
I saw a LNIB Series 70 Government at a gun show last weekend.
They wanted $1,800 for it, and wouldn't take a penny less.

It was gone before I left the show.

rc

Archie
January 22, 2012, 06:25 PM
I've got a Series 70 I bought in - 1975 - I think. I think it's great.

Some of the pistols from that time had problems feeding anything but hardball. Most would work with most bullet types, but would object to certain types. Having it 'ramped and throated' was a pretty easy fix. Some pistols had problems with the collet type barrel bushing - fixed by replacing with a solid type bushing and some fitting.

$1100 seems a bit stiff. I'd offer less and dicker with him. All in all, that's a good pistol in general.

I'd like to get a pre-Series 70 pistol, but those are all collector price guns now. I wish I could have purchased ten or twenty in 1963 when they were new and just $82.50 retail.

243winxb
January 22, 2012, 07:18 PM
If the Serial number starts with 70NXXXXX & its a Gold Cup its worth every penny. Very accurate right out of the box. Quality went down hill after the N70 was moved to the back of the serial number. Like this xxxxxN70

Wildbillz
January 23, 2012, 08:16 AM
I have a Goverment Mod series 70 that I bought in 1977. Quality is good as far as I can tell on it.

I would never pay that much for a stock used Series 70. I recently got a case of the got to have its and bought a 1970 mfg Combat Commander. It looks to be in verygood condtion, no box or paperwork. I paid just under $800 for it.

WB

Pilot
January 23, 2012, 08:31 AM
You can buy a new Colt S70 Repro for less, and probably get a better pistol that is also brand new.

sarge83
January 23, 2012, 09:27 AM
$800 is what 70 series are going for in my neck of the woods. I have a 70 series LWC .45. It's my favorite 1911.

Auto426
January 23, 2012, 10:38 AM
I wouldn't ! Colt QC in those years left a lot to be desired with their financial problems.

Colt's troubles didn't start until 1985, when their UAW union workers went on strike. They declared bankruptcy in 1992.

As far as the whole "you bought a Colt and sent it straight to a smith" thing. That's largely BS. If you wanted a Bullseye or competition gun you would, but other than that those old box stock Colt's would feed and shoot ball ammo just fine. A company doesn't survive by selling products that don't work. The Series 70's were generally pretty accurate as well, due to the collet bushing that Colt later dropped.

$1100 is a little high unless it has the original box and paper work. I'd say $800 to $900 for a good condition model missing the box and papers.

ApacheCoTodd
January 23, 2012, 12:11 PM
Without more particulars - I'd say $1,100 is a reasonable starting point for some aggressive and non insulting haggling. Not knowing anything but exactly what you've already stated, I'd be shooting for the 8 range number as stated above.

I think everyone should have at least one series 70 to shoot.

PabloJ
January 23, 2012, 01:58 PM
A guy is offering to sell me his Colt Series 70 1911 for $1,100. It is in good condition, the only finish wear I can see is on the top and bottom back corners of the trigger, which is normal for a 1911 that's been shot even a few times. He is the original owner, and he bought in in 1976.

I know the 70 Series is considered to be one of the more desirable 1911's, and I like it a lot. But what kind of quality were the Colt 1911's back in 1976? I know for a while there Colt had basically no quality control. What kind of reliability could I expect out of this? I know they don't like HP's out of the box, but I can fix that. I remember reading that back before the 90's, people who bought 1911's basically began a new project and brought the gun to a gunsmith, as an out of box Series 70 usually wasn't reliable enough to stake one's life on. Is this true?

Should I buy this? I'd be buying it with the intent to shoot and maybe carry, so reliability is of paramount importance.
No.

skt239
January 23, 2012, 02:02 PM
A company doesn't survive by selling products that don't work

Ideally they wouldn't but Kimber and Taurus seem to be doing just fine.

wojownik
January 23, 2012, 02:05 PM
Good gun but at too high of an asking price. He should consider coming down a few hundred, depending on true condition, and whether the box and papers are there.

dprice3844444
January 23, 2012, 02:11 PM
get a colt rail gun,

cyclopsshooter
January 23, 2012, 02:14 PM
The only problems I have faced with 70 series Colts are feed ramps "polished" with a grinding wheel. Is the one you speak of a Government model or a Gold Cup?

And +1 on the Rail Gun or any other Colt XSE- Colt is putting out some very good stuff right now.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=620192

LouisianaGunslinger
January 26, 2012, 02:00 PM
1100 doesn't seem much overpriced for me. For one, it's a private deal. No tax. The only other gun I was considering was ordering Colt 1991 series which would be about 850, and plus tax and shipping would be about 965. So the extra $135 isn't too big a deal to me. It's not really price that's the issue, it's reliability of the Colt 1991 vs this series 70

brnmuenchow
January 26, 2012, 02:09 PM
I know for a while there Colt had basically no quality control
Quite a few Colt collectors I have talked to in past years that have owned them during this "Quality Control" period seem to be in the '80's that they say are the less desirable period's. I however can't speak from experience, I do not own one made in the '80's most of mine are before 1978 or even in the last few years, and all are high quality gun's.

claiborne
January 26, 2012, 03:00 PM
I think I would use the $1100 to buy a new production series 70, blue or stainless. I have a new production blue series 70, great pistol.

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