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Colt 1911 XSE Commander- Round Count Updated from Time to Time

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by cyclopsshooter, Oct 16, 2011.

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  1. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    That needs to be on a laminated business card!

    Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, I'm blind in one eye and 4F- I lost out on the military discipline and knowledge but I'm saved the grade-A a$$-whoopin from the D.I. :p

    My uncle though, was a Navy Mustang. Started out a Seaman, retired a Lieutenant. He was a sub diver and in charge of the armory on an old diesel out of Subic Bay. After 21 years he was passed over a third time for being too much of a no-bull hard-ass. Damn good man though! But I know where you're coming from Sargent, and I respect it.
     
  2. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    What a Disaster!

    Well, kinda... Thought I'd do a nasty torture test- Took the dirty pistol in the shower with me yesterday, loaded with gold dots... Soaked it, then later poured loose soil in the action... Let it sit overnight and ran it today. The seven Gold Dots went off without a hitch, then tried another mag of what I thought was some old L.E. Federal +P 230gr HPs. (Found out when I got to work that I had actually loaded a mix of Gold dots and Hydrashocks. The Gold Dots ran fine but the Hydrashocks nosed into the ramp and jammed. I then loaded a mag with the +P Federals I wanted to run in the first place. The first six went fine but the seventh caused a bolt over base failure (even with the new +5% springs) I cleaned the pistol then ran 7 more +Ps with a really firm grip and had no problems. The moral of the story is, if you are going to run +P ammo in a Lightweight 1911, you better have a damn firm grip. It's snappy with +P 230gr!

    In 24hours, rust developed on the recoil spring coils that were "inside" the plug. And wood grips are probably not the best for moisture :rolleyes:

    I'm playing around with the pistol now, trying to figure out how I want it set up for the long haul. Last night I ordered some Black rubber Colt grip panels that you'd find on a 1991A1. And I added a black flat Springfield ILS Mainspring Housing. (I want the whole grip to be as black as possible to blend it to my man purse.. will add photos of that carry setup when the grips arrive.


    LIGHTWEIGHT COMMANDER (First 200 not shot by me)
    Round count: 644
    Pistol failures: 0
    Mag related failures: 1
    Shooter related failures: 4*

    *Federal Hydrashocks did not like my REALLY dirty Lightweight. :(
     
  3. dcarch

    dcarch Member

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    I'm too poor to do torture tests...
     
  4. chieftain

    chieftain Member

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    The Gunny here is tapping his foot, and mumbling to himself.

    "D*&% it" I warned them about not cleaning their weapons.

    Good luck.

    Fred
     
  5. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    yeah, not the best thing to do to a gun... but... at least it is clean now :)
     
  6. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    A formal introduction.

    Gunny called this thread a diary and I think that is spot on. This thread has slightly evolved from my original goal of just tracking the Combat... Now there is the Lightweight and I have even mentioned my old Combat Elite... (Which is now part of Colt's XSE line.) A real family we have here! Oh, and the Rail Gun is an XSE too... So, I think at some point I'm going to ask a Mod to allow me to slightly edit the title and OP and gear this toward my experience with the Colt XSE line that I have access to.. I imagine it might make the thread be a bit more helpful to curious readers and future buyers.
    The Combat Elite was purchased a couple of years ago, second, third-hand? Who knows what the real round count is... What I do know, is that the older Combat Elites started out life looking much more like a standard Government Model. From what I have read, they were popular with folk that didn't want to pop for the price of a Gold Cup, so they bought these with the intention of pimping them out over time. Mine seems to have been done all at once- The detail work, inside and out, is all of the same theme and craftsmanship. This doesn't jive with the piecemeal builds I see and hear of with older Elites. (Probably why I held on to this one when it came through the shop ;) )
    This pistol was always on the back-burner with me, I'd shoot it, but until about six months ago I was a die-hard 5" G.I. guy. As of late, my interest in the Elite has grown, undoubtedly due to my positive experience with the XSE line. I do however want to make a few modifications to it. First off I ordered double diamond, checkered rosewood grips with Colt medallions last night :D Id also like to swap out the existing hybrid up-swept/duckbill grip safety for an up-swept Wilson Combat with memory bump.. and to ad a nice fiber-optic front sight. I won't be mentioning the Elite much, can't do a round count.. but I thought it'd be fun to talk a little and post some photos of what's coming up for her.. After all, she's part of the family :p

    IMG_1537.gif

    IMG_1539.gif

    The crazy uncle top left of the photos is a 70 Series Government. I bought that in 1997 at a shop a few towns over for $365. It was my second handgun purchase and my one and only 1911 for most of college and my 20s. It in fact was the first 1911 that I disassembled into its 50+ parts. It also served as a template for the G.I. builds I started doing in grad school. It's worn, but it's honest wear and it carries it well.
     
  7. chieftain

    chieftain Member

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    Good looking herd of Colts, you got there Pard.

    Looking good.

    Fred
     
  8. para38super

    para38super Member

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    Nice trio you have there. My favorite is the old series 70.
     
  9. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I have one of the earlier generation Combat Elite's. While they looked more "standard" than your's currently looks, I don't think they were for the Gold Cup buyer who was looking for something to upgrade. Mine came with fixed 3-dot sights, rubber wraparound grips, lowered and flared ejection port, and an abbreviated grip safety as found on the current blued (model #04691) Commander. I believe they were made for the "new" game of "combat action shooting" whereas the Gold Cup, with the adjustable rear sight has always been geared towards slow fire target shooting.

    As the current, and only owner of my Combat Elite from the late '80's, my only "upgrade" has been to remove the rubber wraparound grips and replace them with Hogue ebony double diamond grip panels. I personally am a big fan of the standard Colt teardrop thumb safety, and the Colt grip safety used on this pistol.
     
  10. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    JTQ, would love for you to post a photo.

    Well, I fitted the 5" barrel to the Lightweight last night.. Wasn't as much trouble as I thought, shot it today, worked great- Only to come to find that it would be best to buy a threaded barrel rather than thread this one.. sigh*

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?p=8050760#post8050760

    Makes sense though.. don't know why I didn't see it before.. A 1911 .45 barrel is too skinny to thread.

    LIGHTWEIGHT COMMANDER (First 200 not shot by me)
    Round count: 671
    Pistol failures: 0
    Mag related failures: 1
    Shooter related failures: 4*

    If I have to order a barrel I think I will get it for the Combat Elite rather than the Commanders...
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  11. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    Went shooting today with a friend and my cousin. My bud was trying out his first 1911, a new Rock Island, my cousin was shooting his only 1911 at the moment which is a nasty, ugly, parts gun I built for him as a joke/birthday present last year. My bud's Rock Island shot all 50 rounds without a hiccup. My cousin ran half a box through "Old Ugly" without issue... but I had 3 Feed Jams!

    I was using Magtec ball in a proven Colt 7 round mag. All three times it was on the last round of the mag but this time it was feed jamming, NOT a bolt over base.. The first jam was kinda strange in that the round was cattywampus with the rim wedged in the slide nook near the ejector. (I will try to duplicate this and post a photo later) The other two were honest feed jams right at the moment the round transitions vertically to align with the chamber. I do not believe it is an extractor issue. This may have something to do with the torture testing earlier (may have missed some fouling, only swabbed the bore at last cleaning, no brush used.) I'm thinking about polishing the breech-face, chamber, and barrel ramp. I didn't need to do this with the Combat but the Combat and Rail Gun are more finely milled and finished than this older Lightweight.. who knows, still got some tinkering and thinking to do.. One of you guys might pipe in with a good thought too :) I'm going to call this a pistol failure- This is a defensive firearm and I want it to eat everything.

    LIGHTWEIGHT COMMANDER (First 200 not shot by me)
    Round count: 725
    Pistol failures: 3**
    Mag related failures: 1
    Shooter related failures: 4*

    **Feed issue, cause not resolved.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  12. chieftain

    chieftain Member

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    When was the last time that magazine spring was replaced vs how many rounds through that magazine/spring?

    Good luck.

    Fred

    PS Clean and keep your guns clean, reduces one more variable when trouble shooting.

    F
     
  13. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    Countless rounds outa that mag. I have had it since new three to five years. It has been my primary carry mag. I suppose the spring could be getting a little tired and the problem was amplified by being in a lightweight model... but the slide was still too stiff to just push the round in... I cleared the jams slowly to glean any info about their nature. I had to pull the slide back slightly before making forward motion to continue chambering. I still feel very strongly about the need to polish the chamber, barrel ramp, and breech face. And to do a thorough detail clean after. Then to start a new testing battery.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
  14. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    New Shoes

    Have the new grips for the Lightweight and the Elite. I carried the Lightweight on Saturday at an Ikea Super Outlet in a large city a few hours away. It was my first time carrying the Lightweight on a trip. I only used it with the belt clip on my waistband snug up against my suspenders. It was awesome! Hardly knew it was there but was comforted by it being there :)
    IMG_1541.gif

    Took the lightweight apart last night and did a detail clean, then polished the breech-face, extractor claw, barrel ramp, and chamber... then cleaned it again. Left it pretty dry aside from of light amount of RIG on the rails and locking lugs.

    IMG_1551.gif

    Here is a photo of one of the jams I had yesterday.. never seen anything like it.
    IMG_1553.gif
     
  15. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    Ran three mags yesterday, No problems. Helped a buddy with a 1911 detail strip on his new RIA and the hammer hooks were cut unevenly!

    LIGHTWEIGHT COMMANDER (First 200 not shot by me)
    Round count: 749
    Pistol failures: 3**
    Mag related failures: 1
    Shooter related failures: 4*
     
  16. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    2 mags downrange-

    LIGHTWEIGHT COMMANDER (First 200 not shot by me)
    Round count: 765
    Pistol failures: 3**
    Mag related failures: 1
    Shooter related failures: 4*
     
  17. Pilot

    Pilot Member

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    Interesting read. I am glad you seem to have it running reliably again.

    You guys, and your torture tests. I could never do that to a firearm, especially a nice Colt 1911 like that. I couldn't even do it to one of my Makarovs.

    Anyway, I am not criticizing. I am a firm believe in doing what you want with your possesions, and it was an interesting read. While the shower, and dirt part did make me cringe a little, it is a testament to these pistols that it worked at all.

    I am curious as to Tuner's perspective on the jams.
     
  18. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    Torturing a Colt (or any higher end piece) like this is unusual for me too- Never would have considered it with the Combat (bought new) but the Lightweight was a pretty good deal and already had some goob scratches... The lightweight is going to be an all purpose pistol and I want to make sure it can take being rode hard and put away wet. That cattywampus feed jam is still throwing me for a loop.. it only did it once.. I wonder if it was caused by some kind of retarded limp wrist...
     
  19. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    Shot a very quick 50 (discharged the instant the front sight returned to paper) in a very dry pistol. Not one drop of lube in it. Ran perfect. Yup, missing my belt clip and the Pearce finger groves on the front strap.. Customer bought a 1911 and really liked my setup but was out of stock.. this is what being a nice guy gets you :p Hopefully my back orders will come in soon.

    100_0834.gif

    LIGHTWEIGHT COMMANDER (First 200 not shot by me)
    Round count: 815
    Pistol failures: 3**
    Mag related failures: 1
    Shooter related failures: 4*
     
  20. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    Used in a ladies night training session 8 rounds.

    LIGHTWEIGHT COMMANDER (First 200 not shot by me)
    Round count: 823
    Pistol failures: 3**
    Mag related failures: 1
    Shooter related failures: 4*
     
  21. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    Slung 50 rounds at a hillside with the Wilson 10 rounders-

    LIGHTWEIGHT COMMANDER (First 200 not shot by me)
    Round count: 873
    Pistol failures: 3**
    Mag related failures: 1
    Shooter related failures: 4*
     
  22. Bmac1949

    Bmac1949 Member

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    To the OP. Nice thread! I've only read through your diary once and am not an experienced 1911 mechanic but can see the wealth of information that you have procided. My Combat Commander is completly torn down for cleaning and inspection for wear as I'm in the neighborhood of 5K rounds and the trigger had stuck in the cocked position before I tore it down. I still haven't found the cause for this because I haven't found any broken parts or parts with excessive wear. But anyway I'll be looking over your posts and probably doing a little upgrading on my Combat Commander. Great thread
     
  23. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    Glad you like it Bmac! Hoping lots of folks find this useful the more it goes on. I don't fully understand your question, "the trigger is stuck in a cocked position" Do you mean the hammer?

    Went to a family reunion this last weekend and did a bit of shooting and Quad riding.. and inadvertently coating one of my ARs and the lightweight as I tried to claw out of a hidden mud pit (dry on top, foot and a half of soft clay under... pulled my boots right off!)

    Anyway, shot 50 rounds of ball, then tested three gold dots for function after the mud mishap- no problems

    LIGHTWEIGHT COMMANDER (First 200 not shot by me)
    Round count: 826
    Pistol failures: 3**
    Mag related failures: 1
    Shooter related failures: 4*

    Here is a group of us on out way to pop caps-
    IMG_1580.gif

    My little cousin with her favorite, a cut and parked Winchester 06
    IMG_1568.gif

    Another cousin on an Ak
    IMG_1570.gif

    And him on the AR
    IMG_1578.gif
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
  24. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Eye protection... ;)

    Looks like fun!
     
  25. cyclopsshooter

    cyclopsshooter Member

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    "Eye protection" No kidding! I couldn't believe that I forgot to take any down with me.. ESPECIALLY after seeing an FAL slam fire an out of battery .308 a week ago.. then watch the doc pull fragments out of my buddies eye tissue.. (lost my right eye to a bungee cord of all things) I took a chance though, all the weapons I took were very proven and all used with factory ammo.. 90% of which was 22lr Still not the brightest thing to do..
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2012
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