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Colt's Officers ACP

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by velocette, May 27, 2011.

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  1. velocette

    velocette Member

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    A freind dropped off his girlfriend's Colt Officers Model ACP, Series 80 pistol for me to clean and inspect. It had been in storage for many years, had some rust on it and was very dry.
    The pistol had been fired very little, my guess is less than 50 rds from new.
    So I stripped the pistol down, cleaned up all the rust with 0000 steel wool & WD40, cleaned deburred & lubricated all the moving parts, changed the stock recoil spring plug to a Clark Custom plug, polished the feed ramp, chamber & chamber mouth. Internal finish of the pistol was rough with many burrs & sharp edges. Trigger pull was about 9 lbs and gritty with much creep
    Then took it to my range & was surprised with the malfunctions. I was shooting reloads, 5 gr of Universal behind a 230 gr RNL. Many failures to extract, Ejection was weak, Tried some 230 gr Hollow point factory ammo, ejection still weak but a little better. I used the original Colt magazine and two other mags (Cobramags from Tripp research that are known good mags) Overall, not impressed with the little Colt.
    I say this because I have a Kimber Compact Stainless II which is virtually identical to the Colt Officers ACP. My Kimber has been utterly reliable from round #1, now for over 6 years and thousands of rounds. The Kimbers trigger is (and was) 4.5 lbs & clean from the factory, no creep and smooth.
    I expected much better from a Colt. It is a pretty pistol, all polished blue and nice grips, but the internal workins were not very nice at all, nor was its function. Oh yes, the little Colt did shoot right to point of aim very nicely but stopping once or twice with every mag to clear jams is not nice, nor is it's trigger.
    I'm gonna take it back to the range with a box of 230 gr, Win White box to give it some more "break in" which it shouldn't need. Then hopefully it will be reliable enough to give back to its owner.

    Roger

    Roger
     
  2. Winkman822

    Winkman822 Member

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    If this is an early iteration of the Series 80 system, the poor trigger is not a huge surprise. This is correctable with good trigger job by a qualified gunsmith. As for the ejection, my guess is that the extractor and ejector could use a little tuning.

    Honestly, I'd take a Colt over a Kimber any day.
     
  3. Drail

    Drail Member

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    :what:Ummm...."hopefully" and "reliable" should never be used in the same sentence. The gun sounds like it definitely needs some adjustments to the extractor and ejector. 3 in. 1911s require special attention as they run the slides MUCH faster than a 4 or 5 in. gun. There is very little room for loose tolerances or incorrect springs. They can be tuned to run perfectly all day but it usually takes some work unless you get lucky. I always find it humorous when people encounter a Colt that does not run perfectly and then seem surprised. When you buy a Colt you are mostly paying for the little horse stamped on it. Colts are almost as overrated as Harleys. I have been able to get some of them running well but others have defied all attempts. I have seen a number of them which will feed fire and eject with 100% reliability but will throw most of the empties in your face. Chopping a 5 in 1911 down to 3 in. begs the question - why are we doing this? I would much rather lug a 5 in. gun that functions with monotonous regularity all day than to be always wondering if a chopped 3 in. is going to function when I really need it.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
  4. gb6491

    gb6491 Member

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    In addition to the extractor (don't forget to check the extractor tunnel), the Clark plug limits travel some and may not give optimal performance in all guns. You can remove some material from the collar on the plug and the recoil spring guide rod base/flange to gain a little travel back. Also check that you are not getting any spring stacking using the Clark plug. It might be easier to just run the stock set up and see how that goes.
    Regards,
    Greg
     
  5. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    With my Officer's model, no problems at all. I think you might consider the one-spring Wolff recoil. To be honest, were you just slightly writing all this to toot the Kimber? :scrutiny:
    dw4zyo.jpg
     
  6. velocette

    velocette Member

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    Gentlemen;
    With respect;
    I was not writing this posting about a Kimber. I was writing it about a Colt.
    When one pays the price one must pay for a Colt firearm, one expects a pistol that will work. Read that again, one expects a pistol that will work.
    This Colt pistol did NOT WORK! The Kimber did. End of story Got it, the Colt did not work.
    The Colt's trigger was horrible, reliability was poor, accuracy was good. The Kimber's reliability was excellent, trigger was good and accuracy was good. That's the truth.
    Read that again, That's the truth.
    Yes, I am doing all the work mentioned in the above posts to make the little Colt reliable. Yes I will return the pistol to it's owner with a trigger better than original and far more reliable than original.
    But I should not have to do the work to make the pistol reliable. It should be reliable right out of the box, like my Kimber was and is.
    Don't be Colt fanboys and ignore reality.

    Roger
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2011
  7. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    This a lot more than clean and inspect.

    The 2 officers I own have worked perfect from box May be you should have left alone .
    My Defender and New Agent also work from box .

    Did you even try it before you worked on it all I see might have needed is extractor adjusted.

    I ask again did you clean it and shoot it first. Or just dive in with all the work. .
     
  8. velocette

    velocette Member

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    Mike;
    Yes it was cleaned, lubricated & then test fired, that is where I got preliminary knowledge of its poor performance. The Clark recoil spring plug was to correct a common problem with Officers ACPs of the stock plug breaking & sending the plug & recoil spring downrange.
    Reliability is improving as the work proceeds.
    The trigger is still rough & gritty
    By the way, I own 3 other Colt pistols that Are nicely made and function properly.
     
  9. Usmc-1

    Usmc-1 Member.

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    I can attest to the trigger on my series 80 govt , changed that out years ago, however ,I would still take that Colt to any firefight as long as I live , 10,000 rounds + , never have I had any problems ! I believe Kimber makes excellent equipment , but I dont believe anyone can beat the original , "lil horsey "is still number 1!!!!
     
  10. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    You said that it was almost new, less 50 rds...No need for the change. I've heard that this problem developes, but not at that stage. I believe you just like being a parts-changer....Yours isn't what you expected, so? You keep throwing in this Kimber, hmmmmm. Was your point that you have a "lemon"? How about a pic of your abused Colt?
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  11. bobnailer

    bobnailer Member

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    I have a Kimber Ultra Raptor II, basically an Officer's/Compact .45acp.
    I have had nothing but problems with this $1,300 pistol.
    I use to own a Colt Officer's 1991a1, never ever had a problem with it other than it rusted easily (parkerized steel) due to excessive sweating in the hot Florida sun.

    My Kimber had premature lock-back issues and now with the thumb safety off and no pressure on the grip safety, pull trigger, hammer drops.

    I don't get it, $1,300 for a Kimber and both my Springer and Para Ord ($400 and $600 respectively) never had problems like the Kimber.

    I wish I'd never sold my Colt Officer 1991a1, its way more reliable than my Kimber Ultra Raptor.

    Bob

    PS. once again, the Kimber will be in the shop, again, soon.
     
  12. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    This one is GTG (good to go) I assure you! You should have left the stock springs in or went with a Wlolfe single spring . The only non Stock spring system that is completely reliable is the Heine system which my baby has in her. Officers are 3.5", Defenders are 3" and have a lot of non 1911 tweaks to try to get them to run. I stop at 3.5" 1911s, and drop down to an AMT .45 Backup (also tweaked) for the ultimate in small .45 semis.
    practicalstuff042.gif
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2011
  13. ulflyer

    ulflyer Member

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    Several years ago a lady came to me with her Colt Officers field stripped and couldn't get it back togather. It was fairly old, showed lots of wear, but shot like a champ with factory and my light reloads. It was so homely and in need of TLC but she wouldn't part with it at any price. LOL
     
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