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Colt 1911 Government XSE vs 1991

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by MoreIsLess, Jul 27, 2012.

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  1. MoreIsLess

    MoreIsLess Member

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    I finally sold one of my guns and so I can finally afford to buy a Colt 1911. I want one with a blued finish rather than stainless. However I am having trouble finding the XSE in blued. So, I am considering getting the 1991 to get one with blued finish. Are they pretty much the same except the XSE has more bells and whistles. I assume whatever the XSE has that the 1991 doesn't can be added on.

    I don't plan to carry it. It will be for range use.
     
  2. Auto426

    Auto426 Member

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    The only difference between the 1991 and the XSE are the "bells and whistles", as you put it. However, many of the additional features of the XSE aren't simple bolt on parts. The slide has to be milled for the Novak style sights, and the frame tangs have to be radiused properly to fit the beavertail safety just to name a couple.

    If you want a blued XSE model, you are just going to have to be patient for a little while. Colt doesn't keep every model in their catalog in production at all times during the year. Blued XSE's will start showing up eventually once it's their turn for a production run.

    An alternative you might be interest in is the Talo edition Custom Carry Government model. It combines the styling of the 1991 series with features from the XSE models as well a couple of upgrades like a fiber optic front sight. These still can be found on dealer shelves:

    [​IMG]
     
  3. MoreIsLess

    MoreIsLess Member

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    So you can't change the sights on the 1991 to Novak sites, it sounds like, right.
     
  4. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    The 1991 uses a staked-in front sight and a Colt Cut rear, no real need to replace them. The beavertail on the XSE is poorly fit compared to a custom or semi-custom but to replace the 1991's GI safety with a beavertail means altering or replacing the spur hammer as well. Those things aside, the XSE also has an aluminum trigger shoe as opposed to a "plastic" one.

    In review, the differences are:
    Hammer
    Trigger
    Grip safety
    Sights
    Enhanced tolerances
    Forward cocking serrations
    High-cut front strap
    Rollmark/slide markings
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2012
  5. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    I just bought a 1991 Super .38 and the Trigger was aluminum.. I think they stopped using plastic a while ago. For the record I own both type Colts and am impressed with both.

    IMG_1501.gif
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
  6. mesinge2

    mesinge2 Member

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    I went with a two tone and its my favorite colt:

    My45ACPColt1911CombatElite5.gif
     
  7. Georgia45cal

    Georgia45cal Member

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    The 1991s have been using an aluminum trigger shoe for years now :)

    The Custom Carry Government Auto426 mentioned is my favorite model.

    The "poorly fitted beavertail" is just fine. You can custom fit a bar stock grip safety if you want, but you gain nothing but appearance in doing so. The investment cast Colt part works just as well.
     
  8. Georgia45cal

    Georgia45cal Member

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    Here's mine.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2012
  9. Georgia45cal

    Georgia45cal Member

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    Come to think of it, my response to your "poorly fit" beavertail comment might have been premature.

    Are you talking about Colts old downswept "duckbill" beavertail or the newer upswept beavertail?

    As was said before, the 1991s trigger shoe is aluminum.

    Colt upswept beavertail:

    O1980XSE.png

    Colt duckbill beavertail:

    rXSE_LW_COMMs.jpg
     
  10. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    That's the one! I've seen new(er) stock with both, same on trigger shoe. My 2011 bought XSE, before and after below. They could make the GS out of plastic for all I care but the gap...the gap man!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Georgia45cal

    Georgia45cal Member

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    Nice grips Skylerbone.

    The new ones with the investment cast upswept beavertail safety is fitted nicely, in my opinion.

    The old duckbill one I didn't care for. Looks ugly, but some people like them.

    Great thing about the 1911 is you can customize it however you like. A jumbo jet wing for a thumb safety, the little 1911A1 nub for a thumb safety, ambidextrous thumb safeties, duckbill grip safety, upswept beavertail grip safety, bazillion styles of grip panels, bobtail mainspring housing grip modification, and on and on and on.

    The regular 1991 wouldn't be a bad model to go with at all. Shoot it for while until you decide what you don't like and then customize it to your liking. Don't make the mistake of changing parts just because everyone else does. You might be happy with the 1991 just the way it is.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2012
  12. JROC

    JROC Member

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    Like Mesinge2 I also went with a Combat Elite which is nothing but a 2 tone XSE. His has the old style beavertail without the speed bump. Mine has the new style beavertail with the speed bump. I actually prefer my 1911's without a speedbump on the grip safety. It's an eyesore IMO.

    Still it's a good gun, and I've have nothing negative to say about it. It's a very quality gun. Really. It looks great, it shoot smooth, and accurate, it's parts are very well fitted without being too tight, but it's anything but a loose gun. It's seems to be very reliable, but I did get 2 FTF back to back, but I don't blame that on the gun, but a new magazine I had just bought for it. Not had any FTF before or after that, and it did it shooting PMC 230 gr FMJ rounds which it's fired plenty of with no problems feeding other than that one time. Again I feel that it was the magazines fault. Probably got over 1,000 rounds threw it. I would recommend it to anyone looking to spend in the $1,000 range for a new 1911.

    33ek8as.jpg

    ixgknl.jpg
     
  13. buck460XVR

    buck460XVR Member

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    ^^^+1. Many folks actually suggest using 1991s and their stainless sisters for bases for customization. I have a plain Jane Stainless 1991 I bought for that intention. But so far It has served me well just the way it is and I have dropped that idea for now. Only have about 5000 rounds thru it so far tho........
     
  14. mavracer

    mavracer Member

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    +2 I could live with a 1991 with just a beaver tail and a little trigger work. My problem was I had both avaliable at the time and the XSE was only like $100 more.
     
  15. Skylerbone

    Skylerbone Member

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    Completely forgot until I glanced through the pics that the XSE also includes the high-cut front strap for higher grip and better control. Easily visible in cyclopsshooter's photo. I will edit my original post.
     
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