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Colt Combat Government let down

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by AndyJ, Jul 15, 2014.

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  1. AndyJ

    AndyJ Member

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    I don't have alot of shooters and am not part of the safe queen crowd. I recently acquired one of my grail guns -- a 70 Series Colt Combat Government in deep blue.

    It looked to be fired but in 95% plus condition. Good lockup, no unseemly rattling, tight bushing.

    Took it to the range and almost threw it down in disgust. Groups were a good 2 feet left of target even though sights seemed properly aligned. Could do no better than a GARBAGE CAN LID group size at 25 feet. Holy cats!

    Tried different ammo
    Tried different mags
    SIL tried it

    Same same results -- abominable suckage.

    Soooooooo.. thinking maybe we were just having a bad 1911 day, I drug out the Combat Commander and the Government Gunsite. Same mags and ammo and the results were a fist sized ragged hole at 25'.

    I fully believe 1911 tuning requires sorcery and the the throwin' down of chicken bones. Read --pretty much beyond me.

    Suggestions as to a fix or?
     
  2. WC145

    WC145 Member

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    Well, when you by used sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't. That being said, almost all the guns I've bought were used and every now and again I'd get something that didn't live up to my expectations. The gun was probably great at one time and somebody messed with it. I'd find a good 'smith that is familiar with 1911s and have them give it a going over and see what they find. Or you could send it to Colt and ask them to check it out.
     
  3. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Check the barrel lugs and link for wear/peening, etc
     
  4. jfrey

    jfrey Member

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    I would send a PM to Brent over on 1911 forum and ask his advise. Past that, I would contact Claudio Salassa at Briley in Houston and see what he has to say about it and what he may be able to do to fix the problem.

    Did you clean the pistol before you shot it? I would suspect it may have something to do with lead or copper fowling in the barrel, otherwise it may be a barrel lockup problem.
     
  5. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I'm primarily a 1911 shooter. I like the gun a lot, but it is one of the few firearms that I generally won't consider when buying used. Practically no gun gets tinkered with more than the 1911. There are far too many folks that think they are gunsmiths and try to "fix" their perfectly functioning 1911's to make them "better". I know my limitations, I'm not a gunsmith, so I know I can't fix the mess these folks have created, so I avoid them.

    Is this an original Series 70? Was the collet bushing still in the gun? Had it been replaced by "bubba" before you bought it?
     
  6. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Member

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    I've taken a 8" 50' groups to <2" by doing 2 inexpensive things:

    the nose bushing ($20) can be ordered to custom OD and ID
    get it slightly over/under and than hand fit it

    barrel links go to lock-up when in battery -- 3 common sizes/ $5 each
    --if the lockup is already tight this may not be needed

    this assumes an already very good slide to frame fit.
     
  7. mackg

    mackg Member

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    I would try a different top assembly (bbl and slide); then one of my bushings; then a barrel, just a few rounds, if it looked safe.
     
  8. jjones45

    jjones45 Member

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    Try a different barrel first and then go from there. This might be the reason it was for sale
     
  9. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    Any chance the barrel is leaded?
     
  10. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    Have one of those. Nothing 'Combat' about it. Anyway, give it a really good bath first. Then check the fit of the barrel to the slide, the bushing(mines a collet that has never given me any grief), sights and trigger. I'd bet on the fit of the barrel and/or bushing though.
     
  11. Fishbed77

    Fishbed77 Member

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    I'm not sure how much help Brent could offer you for a used pistol. There's no telling who's boogered with it in the past.

    But Colts (at least new ones) do have a lifetime warranty, so it may be worth a try.
     
  12. Sauer Grapes

    Sauer Grapes Member

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    There's no way that gun is locking up the same each time it's fired.
     
  13. 918v

    918v Member

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    It's prolly cracked.
     
  14. AndyJ

    AndyJ Member

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    Further examination.

    The gun is clean.
    No barrel leading.
    Nothing 'cracked' (???)
    Interestingly, no collet bushing. The bushing is marked 'Brown'

    How to proceed from here?
     
  15. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    While it could be anything, my guess is the barrel bushing is not properly fit to the gun. If you don't know what you are doing, nothing wrong with that, I'm not a gunsmith either, take it to a gunsmith that knows 1911's.
     
  16. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Andy J

    Sounds like somewhere down the line a previous owner possibly tried to improve accuracy by adding a new barrel bushing (possibly Ed Brown manufacture), and things didn't work out quite right. At any rate I would contact a gunsmith who has experience working on 1911s and see what they have to say about your gun.
     
  17. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    From Andy J.:

    and...

    When considering buying used guns we have to examine them first closely. This requires some knowledge before hand. Knowledge and experience are learned at a price.

    This Ed Brown bushing should have told you that the gun was "adjusted" some by a previous owner. You can usually tell this if the gun does not have it's original parts and if the wear visible on those parts is uneven.

    In this case you were looking for your grail gun and found an example that has been used and worked on by someone. This means you have made a decision to try it out, see how it shoots and rebuild it if needs be. This is what it means when you see a Colt that has non Colt parts in it. Or that shows signs of rough wear or hard use.

    So now you have some decisions to make.

    tipoc
     
  18. Combat Engineer

    Combat Engineer Member

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    "I recently acquired one of my grail guns -- a 70 Series Colt Combat Government in deep blue.

    It looked to be fired but in 95% plus condition. Good lockup, no unseemly rattling, tight bushing.

    Took it to the range and almost threw it down in disgust. Groups were a good 2 feet left of target even though sights seemed properly aligned. Could do no better than a GARBAGE CAN LID group size at 25 feet. Holy cats!" [AndyJ]

    It happens. I feel your pain.

    Recently decided to optimize my 1954 1911 Colt by putting a new-old-stock Colt National Match barrel in it and also added a new (cheapo Rock Island Armory) muzzle bushing. Had to grind away part of the barrel to make it fit. Result, one-inch groups. Thinking the previous owner tried to do something similar to your gun, but failed. But there is good news... its a 1911, and most flawed 1911s can be saved. Suggestions: 1. Call Colt. 2. If they can't help (unlikely), find an experienced 1911 gunsmith, should be one nearby, you live in Texas, pretty much the official 1911 pistol State. He will find the problem in 10 minutes, or less.

    Let us know how it works out, this snafu deserves a happy ending.

    Best to you.
     
  19. shootist2121

    shootist2121 Member

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    Sorry so many of you seem to have issues with this model. I bought one when they first came out..Mine with all factory parts will shoot 2 inch groups at 25 yards from a rest.. I retired it as soon as I heard thAt they only produce a few hundred before jumping to the series 80.. Purchased a Springfield Mil-Spec shortly there after and thou dis of rounds later still perking along.

    Just my two cents

    Be Safe
     
  20. Drail

    Drail Member

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    I just love the term "nose bushing". "muzzle bushing" is also pretty good. I would simply install a quality barrel (oversize and fitted) and bushing.
     
  21. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    shootist, only one fella has said he had an issue with the model. This may be because the gun was bought used and a previous owner had "worked" on it some.

    tipoc
     
  22. AndyJ

    AndyJ Member

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    Going to resurrect this thread. Finally had time to study on the problem a bit.

    I have a Colt Gunsite for many years that is a stone cold shooter. I took each one apart more than once and compared the fit of parts Gunsite vs. Combat Government. The only difference I could tell was this:

    In battery, If I push down on the rear of the barrel of the Combat Government -- the barrel hood in the ejection port, there is a tiny bit of movement. The Gunsite barrel is rock solid at the same location.

    Does this indicate a worn barrel link?

    I have been debating selling this pistol over the past weeks with full disclosure that it shoots like ass but I just can't do it.

    Any help appreciated.
     
  23. skt239

    skt239 Member

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    I didn't notice you mentioning it or anyone asking so I will... Have you tried a different shooter or firing off a rest?
     
  24. AndyJ

    AndyJ Member

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    Yes to both and different mags and 4 different kinds of commercial ammo. It was a helter skelter mess
     
  25. Ken41

    Ken41 Member

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    Andy,

    If it was mine, I would order the Brownells Wilson Link Kit #965-142-000an. It has 5 different length links. It sounds like the link that you have is too short, which does not tightly lock the barrel lugs to the frame lugs. You could also swap the link with the other 1911 you have too see if it makes any difference, also see if the link pin is sloppy.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
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