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colt officer how reliable,accurate are they

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by jeepguy, Mar 6, 2010.

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  1. jeepguy

    jeepguy Member

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    looking for a good carry gun & saw 2 colt officer models today, one was lt.wt stainless with some mods night sights, new spring & some others. the other was a lt.wt. blued gold beed front sight, some kind of special handgrips & the box for it.it felt good in my hand. are they worth it for the money? also can they take 7rd mags. i belive they both had 6rd mags. i would be thankful for any information.
     
  2. dmazur

    dmazur Member

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    I have (1) Officer's Model and (2) Commanders.

    I had feed problems with the Officer's and no feed problems with the newer of the two Commanders. The other one was made in the 70's and needed its ramp polished before it would feed hollow points...the factory ramp was visibly rough with machining marks.

    The Officer's was fussy about magazine springs. Feed problems went away when I switched to Wolff extra-power springs.

    This isn't much personal experience and I readily admit it. I have read of others' problems with Officer's Models which basically say

    1. They can be made reliable by an experienced gunsmith
    2. They are fussier about ammo than longer slide versions
    3. The recoil springs should be changed after 2000 rds or so, sooner than with longer slide versions.
    4. If it has a factory recoil spring plug with the "lug", the lug can shear off and disable the gun. There are aftermarket "reverse plug" designs available, usually with a full-length guide rod, which solve this potential problem.

    I didn't wait for the recoil spring plug to fail and replaced mine.

    Re: will the Officer's accept standard magazines? Yes. The magaine release is in the same location relative to the feed lips. Officer's magazines won't fit standard frame Commanders or Govt's.
     
  3. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    dmazur hit all the high points

    i used to carry a Officer's ACP as an off-duty gun...it was a LW blued model...and mine fed anything after i had it tuned. i bought it knowing that it would never be as reliable as a Commander, i just thought it was cute and i liked the shorter butt frame.

    1. the Officer wasn't designed with the 3.5" barrel, that was a call by the marketing department so that it could be .75" shorter than the Commander...just as the Commander is .75" shorter than the Government Model. when ever you go below a barrel length of 4.25", you're going to start running into timing problems.
    2. you can offset this somewhat by constantly changing the recoil spring and the magazine springs...or just not shoot it much
    3. the lug of the recoil spring plug was just a poor (cheaper) choice in trying to retain the recoil spring. the reverse plug is the only way to go before it shears off

    if you like the shorter butt frame of the Officer's ACP, but you want a reliable 1911, i would recommend a model that combines that frame with the longer slide/barrel of the Commander...like the Nighthawk T3
    or
    go down in size to the 1911 "short action" of the Springfield Armory EMP...which is dimensioned around the 9mm cartridge
     
  4. mec

    mec Member

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    That was the case when the things came out a couple of decades ago. Do you know if Colt is still selling them with the break away spring plug arrangment or have they fixed the problem?
     
  5. dmazur

    dmazur Member

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    I don't know what Colt is doing now...sorry.

    This is the replacement guide rod/recoil spring plug/single recoil spring that I installed. I haven't tried others, but this one definitely works.

    https://www.wilsoncombat.com/a_guide_rods_officers.asp

    I didn't have access to a milling machine, so I modified the slide with a file. It took quite a while, what with the repeated measurements and trial fits.
     
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    i don't know either, but Colt doesn't have a history of being that responsive...plus it's not like it doesn't work...at least for a while

    i got the replacement spring/plug from Ed Brown...it had the one-piece rod
     
  7. mec

    mec Member

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    Thanks. I do think it would be nice if Colt had addressed the problem and maybe they have. A lot of gunowners, probably the great majority of them, do not read internet boards or gun magazines and would be in the dark about such a problem until the plug and spring ejected from the front of the pistol.
    A similar thing was in place with the roll pin that retained the rear sight of the Gold Cup. Back in the late 60s, Skeeter Skelton noted that the pin inevitably broke and most shooters replaced it with a solid pin. This remained the case for at least the next 20 years until colt eventually moved the Gold Cup to a custom house exclusive and began using a dovetail attachment.
     
  8. BossHogg

    BossHogg Member

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    I really like the commander slide on an officers frame . A real nice CCW if you can find one.
     
  9. jeepguy

    jeepguy Member

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    well after reading these post & more from google search i decided at the last minute to go with a kimber pro carry stainless slide, aluminum frame,& night sights. i picked it up today and went shooting. it is a verry good shooter even more accurate than my s&w 5". thanks for the replys, the problems that were talked about here & & on other forums scared me away. even though i know kimber can me hit or miss it seems if you get a good one its great if you get a bad one its a lemon. i got lucky.
     
  10. BossHogg

    BossHogg Member

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    Nice buy, been looking hard at that gun just can't seem to pull the trigger and get it.
     
  11. mec

    mec Member

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    This is the STI Guardian- Officers frame with 3.9" supported barrel.
    [​IMG]
    I shot one of these in .45 a couple of years ago. It was a bit tight from the box but after working the slide and lubricating, I managed about 300 rounds of mixed factory and handloads through it without malfunction. 25 yard bench groups were pretty good,ranging from under two to no more than four inches with the modal expectation settling between three to three and a half. . and it was very comfortable and accurate shooter offhand.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2010
  12. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    Colt stopped the officer model years back. I heard their a new one coming Ihave 2 their ok I prefer my Defender for carry
     
  13. mec

    mec Member

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    If I'd been thinking, I would have realize I knew that.
     
  14. jmorris

    jmorris Member

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    I went with the Ed brown guide rod and single spring set up in my compact also. Wilson also sells a special floor plate for 8 round mags for the compact pistols. Mine has always been reliable and quite accurate as well.

    [​IMG]
     
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