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Educate me on the Colt Series 70 1911. Should i buy one?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by dodging230grainers, Apr 11, 2008.

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  1. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Member

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    While researching what to buy for a good first pistol, I have recently become fascinated with the Colt Series 70. From what I understand it is a well made, classic, basic 1911. Should I decide on it, I'll try pick one up (obviously used) at a gun show.

    Pics/comments/things I need to know about buying/owning one would be much appreciated!

    For a used one in decent condition, how much would the price range be?
    Perhaps $400-700 i'm guessing?

    With a factory model, does the series 70 tend to hammer bite? Is the grip safety well done or does that dig into your hand?

    thanks
     
  2. CWL

    CWL Member

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    If someone is selling original series 70 1911s for $400, I'd take out a second mortgage to buy every one of them.

    I don't think that you will be able to find original series 70 guns for even $700 unless you are very lucky -or about to be cheated.

    The Series 70 is a great pistol design, BUT be careful because this does not mean that every one was made to the same high standards. The latter ones were full of sloppy worksmanship. One basic thing to watch out for on a bad series 70 is how the lugs are cut (or not cut) in the top of the slide. Correct ones have clean cuts put in at right angles while sloppy ones will have any manner of incorrect or rounded cuts in them. This affects how your barrel fits and the accuracy- a smith may be able to recut this, but it'll cost you...

    Hammer bite is wholly dependent on how your hand is shaped and how you grip the gun. If you have meaty hands and use a high grip, you have a chance to get bitten as your flesh may pass over the standard grip safety.
     
  3. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    $400 is on the low end...
    No problem there....
    Keep in mind that many of these Colts have had their innards changed out for various reasons....However, a Colt with matching #'s will retain much of its value....
     
  4. cdrt

    cdrt Member

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    The only real difference between a pre-Series 70 Colt and a Series 70 1911 is that the Series 70 utilized a collet bushing. A good thing or a bad thing depending on your viewpoint. I've heard that they will break which totallly disables the pistol and causes a real problem to fix.

    All my Series 70s have had the collet bushing changed out, except for my Series 70 Gold Cup. So far, no problems and it's had lots of rounds through it.

    If you want a basic .45 along the same lines as a Series 70 but without the collet bushing, I can recommend the Mil-spec Springfield Armory 1911A1. I bought one and had it worked on to make a CMP legal hardball gun. It was a good shooter before the work and is even better now.
     
  5. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Member

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    Yeah, I guess $700 is probably a little much for me to spend. What about the 80 Series? How do those compare in accuracy, reliability, parts, etc?

    Are they any cheaper than the 70s?

    What about the Colt 1991?
     
  6. cdrt

    cdrt Member

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    The 1991A1 is a Series 80 type pistol. On Gunbroker, there are some 1991A1s going for around $500 to $600. A regular Series 80 would probably run a little more.

    It's my understanding they're a fine pistol. I have seen some Bullseye shooters with the Series 80, so I guess they can take a "trigger job" like the Series 70.

    For your price range, I have a feeling you're still looking at a SA 1911A1 mil-spec unless you get lucky on finding a Colt somewhere. I picked up a NIB box SA a couple years ago for $500.
     
  7. WinchesterAA

    WinchesterAA Member

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    I looooove my series 70.

    [​IMG][/img]

    Accurate, a little finnicky due to out of spec parts my buddy put in before he gave it to me, and the trigger is so sweet...
     
  8. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Member

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    The SA Mil-Spec is a definite possibility, although if a Colt is only going to run me $100-$200 more, I'll get the Colt. Anything more than that, and I'll have to stick with the Mil-Spec.

    Are there any clear advantages that the Colt has, or it simply the name you're paying for, much like a Rolex is to a watch? The Colt's are obviously the most cosmetically superior, but what about actually reliability/durability/shootability?

    I could probably try pick up a 1991A1 or a Series 80.
     
  9. JCMAG

    JCMAG Member

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    If I'm not mistaken, I think Colt still makes their series 70. I've seen them new at places like Gander Mnt. for around 800 - 840$.

    For used -- well, they retain their values like champs.

    Not a thing wrong with Springfield...
     
  10. chbrow10

    chbrow10 Member

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    not sure how you feel about clones, but the rock island armory 1911s are really good series 70 clones. i have one and have no complaints.
     
  11. TexasShooter59

    TexasShooter59 Member

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    Walk around the gun shows and see what people are selling. Sometimes you will run across someone who is selling off some of their collection.

    Colt reintroduced the Series 70 a few years ago after not making them for a while.

    The only Series 70 I have, I found at a local gun show, and it was in excellent condition. It can bite my hand, but if I concentrate on my grip and keep it firm, no problems; plus I shoot better.
     
  12. LoadedDrum

    LoadedDrum Member

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    Colts use less MIM parts than the Springfields.
     
  13. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    "Should I buy one?"

    Yes, you should. :)
     
  14. jon_in_wv

    jon_in_wv Member

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    I bought a "used" Colt Combat Commander at the local gun shop. When I loaded it the hammer followed the slide when it dropped and the pistol fired a nice .45" hole through my bed. I'm really lucky it didn't go full auto and even more lucky no one was hurt. I'm not a big fan of a used 1911 for a newer shooter. If you like the 1911, get a new one or look at something else. If you like 45s the XD compact and new M&P compacts are really appealing.
     
  15. dodging230grainers

    dodging230grainers Member

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    Jon,

    was your Commander a Series 80? The 80 has a firing pin block that is only unblocked when the trigger is pulled, making your accidental discharge seem improbable. just curious.
     
  16. jazurell

    jazurell Member

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    Fusion and Dan Wesson make only 70 series 1911s...wouldn't go wrong with either.
     
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