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"Colt 1911 series 80 vs. series 70?"

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by HHank, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. HHank

    HHank Member

    I purchased a Colt government model 1991 series 80 about a year and a half ago and I love it. However, since I bought it I have heard so much good info' about the series "70" that I am wondering what the difference is? I know they are somewhat more expensive but why? Did I make a mistake? Thanks.

  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    The difference is in the collet barrel bushing yours may have.
    They break. If yours has one, replace it with a solid bushing.

    The other difference is, yours has a firing pin drop safety, and no hammer intercept, or safety notch on the hammer. Some feel this makes getting a fine trigger job done very difficult. If your trigger satisfies you, it is fine.

    Yours probably has a plastic mainspring housing instead of metal.
    It probably has a MIM sear & disconnecter, and possibly extractor.
    They can be easily replaced with machined steel parts if plastic & MIM parts bothers you.
    Otherwise, they will probably still be working long after you are!

    Yours has better sights, and is already throated to feed JHP ammo, which the 70's were not.

    All this is neither here nor there.
    If you love your gun, you didn't miss out on anything by not getting the Series 70.


    PCRCCW Well-Known Member

    RC covered it well.

    The series 80 guns can be made into very nice guns.
    Most of the "better smiths" can do a very good job with the trigger, costs a little more but highly worth it and when you replace the parts (if) be sure that they will fit the 80...depending on the maker of the parts, they can differ from the 70 series.

    All in all.....I like the series 80 colts. Most of the "hard core old timers" prefer the 70 series...but they both can be made into what you want your 1911 to be.

    Shoot well.................
  4. bannockburn

    bannockburn Well-Known Member


    I've had 1911s that were from the thirties, the sixties, the seventies, and the eighties. All have had their various good points and bad; not that there was a great deal of difference function wise between any of them. The earlier ones, Pre-Series 70, probably had the best finish and the best out of the box trigger pulls. But they could have benefited from the updated features, like better sights, ambi safeties, etc. that later models have. I heard stories about the Series 70 collet bushing breaking, but never expeienced it myself, nor did I know of anyone who had it happen to their guns either. The firing pin lock on the Series 80 is not that troublesome as far as the trigger pull goes; to me it feels like there's a little hitch or bump in the take up, and then it's business as usual. All in all, if what you've got works, is reliable, and accurate, then I would say, make the most of the one you've got.
  5. weisse52

    weisse52 Well-Known Member

    A Colt is always the right answer!

    Your 80 series is every bit as good as a 70 series. I have been shooting Colts for 30+ years and I will admit I own 70 series. But that is because that is what I grew up with. As was noted a good gunsmith can give you an excellent trigger. As good as most 70's. The added firing pin safety is not a bad idea I guess. I have never broken a collet, or seen a broken one, but they say it happens.
    I had a 1991A1 and traded it, something that I admit was a mistake. Enjoy your Colt.

    Just make sure at some time in the future to add that 70 series to your collection. And do not make the mistake I did of getting rid of that Colt.
    That is why they make Springfields and Kimbers, so you can buy and sell without remorse!:evil:

    I own SA's as well.
  6. Frandy

    Frandy Well-Known Member

    Welcome to the club and best of success with your Colt. I'm quite happy with my very accurate Series 80 that has a surprisingly good trigger.

  7. HHank

    HHank Member

    Thanks much to all for the insightful info'. I now have a much better understanding about the "inward" workings as well as renewed respect for my Colt. (love the picture) It is my first Colt, and after listening to you guy's I guarantee that it won't be my last!
  8. GunDog44

    GunDog44 Well-Known Member

    Both are great pistols, I own both. I like the collet barrel bushing, mine has been in service since 1979 and shoots great.
  9. MAKster

    MAKster Well-Known Member

    I believe the current Colt Series 70 pistols do not have the collet barrel bushing. The only difference now is the firing pin safety.
  10. esq_stu

    esq_stu Well-Known Member

    It's not a rumor.

    The collett bushing broke on my series 70 gov't while shooting at the range. One collett finger broke off inside the slide and jammed the slide closed - wouldn't budge. Had to use a mallet to move the slide back and shake out the piece so I could strip the gun. Replaced it with a solid bushing.

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