The Colt 1911 Rail gun review: pics inside and out; target pics

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Thread: The Colt 1911 Rail gun review: pics inside and out; target pics

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    The Colt 1911 Rail gun review: pics inside and out; target pics

    Well this was supposed to be a Kimber Desert Warrior. When I went to buy the Warrior, I just couldn't make myself buy another gun - I'm stickin' to my guns of trading or selling, not adding. So, I stop at the house, pick out a couple of trades and head to Benton's Shooters, in little ol Benton Tennessee.

    I say I'm interested in a top of the line 1911, who makes the best one? Without hesitation, he said (not in any order) Kimber, Colt, and Springfield Armory. Well he had a SA TRP and I dearly love the looks of these guns. We work out a trade and I head home.

    The first order of business is to be sure it's cleaned and lubed properly - that's where the trouble began. And guys I mean no offense, but I'm gonna tell it like it is. This is a $1400 gun. This was my second TRP and I had pretty bad luck with the first.

    So first, I discover the Allen wrench supplied with the gun wouldn't fit the FLGR - that's because the FLGR is a Torx head, not an Allen head. So I get my Torx driver and remove the guide rod - pretty bad way to implement a FLGR if you ask me, as a matter of fact, it's a pretty bad way if you don't ask me.

    Next I discover the tool marks on the slide - on the bottom edges of the slide, the center of the slide where the disconnector and hammer ride, and beside that center point. The next thing I check is for the chamfer at the bottom of the breach face - it was barely there if at all.

    I had noticed a scraping sensation when I racked the slide and I was looking for the cause of that as well. I discovered what it was: The spring scraping on the guide rod. Upon examination, I could feel the roughness and diameter irregularities in the guide rod. It was subtle; you could feel it more than see it.

    Well, that was just unacceptable. I lubed it as I reassembled it and put it back in the box. Early Saturday morning, I call Benton's and without hesitation they said bring it in, and they'd give me full credit toward another gun. So off to Benton's again.

    After a Lotti Burger (Lotti's is the moma/papa restaurant in Benton) which must have taken most of the cow based on the size of the thing, I arrive at Benton's Shooters. I pretty much knew what I was after. I had already checked out all the Kimbers and they weren't ones I was interested in or I already had one like them. But, I had been wanting a Colt for a while, and I had also looked at a two-tone rail gun by Colt:



    The pic really doesn't do it justice. I'm usually not drawn to two-tones at all and if I'd had my druthers, I would have taken an all black version. But this one was eye catching. The stainless steel (SS) slide is brushed and gives a really sharp contrast to the really black frame. So I selected the Colt TT rail gun; they did the paper work and I headed home really pleased with the outcome and especially that Benton's not only gave me full credit for the TRP, but did it very willingly. Just outstanding customer service!

    The gun comes with very bright white (not night sights) three dot sights and they are quite visible. Here's a couple of pics, one in bright room light and the other in much less light. That wasn't easy to get those sights lined up and the focus on the front sight!





    The slide is stainless steel with front serrations, which I prefer, the frame is carbon steel finished in a very dark matte black finish. It doesn't have front strap checkering and I really prefer that on a SD gun. The main spring housing (MSH) is plastic and Colt has been using plastic I know for about 20 years now. And it comes with ambi-thumb safeties.

    The trigger breaks right at 5.25 lbs, a bit heavy for my liking, but not bad. One strange thing happened when I shot it. I had three shots that failed to break. I thought I was having a grip safety block as I am one of those that tends to have that with a high grip. I'm in good company though Todd Jarrett says none of his grip safeties work. Anyway, I discovered the problem was a short trigger stroke! I have never experienced that before on a 1911! I haven't checked the trigger reset yet, but I will. It makes me think the trigger over-travel isn't set right.

    It comes with two standard, welded base, black, 8 round magazines with metal followers which I prefer. The grips are deep, dark, glossy black and look like some kind of synthetic material:



    But a look at the back side reveals the grips are wood - notice the splintering around the holes:



    So I do the 32 miles back home (probably in record time); broke the gun down and cleaned and lubed it. Off to Shooter's Depot to run 200 rounds through it. Simply put - it shoots!

    This is my standard drill, 4 shots each at 3, 5, 7, 10, & 15 yds. I had run out of targets I normally do my std. drill with so I sub'd this target and put 3" orange dots on it to represent the X ring. The 3" dots are a bit more generous as the orange in my normal targets are 2" x 3" ovals.

    In this first target, the main group is right at 1.5" not counting that one outlier that's Gman's fault - I'm not sure how it's his fault, but it is. The white dots were so present and dominant that I used them for aiming instead of the sight profile as I usually and prefer to use, but I did pretty well with the dots. Notice in the pic, not only the tight group, but the group is pretty well centered which confirms the sights are right on.



    Here's another, I didn't do quite as well on it. On this one, I thought the gun was shooting low at 15 yds, so I was aiming high and that accounts for the two high shots - I kind of over compensated.



    I like the gun! I'm warming up to the TT.

    Sooo, what's inside this thing? I'm afraid some of you are going to be shocked. Let's take a look.

    I'm close to the 12 image limit, so more pics follow in the next post.
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    Let's start with the slide, since that's the first thing that comes off. Here's what I found. Notice on the bottom of both slide rails, the center of the slide where the hammer and disconnector ride, and right beside the center of the slide. These are not serious issues, and IMO, would not affect reliability. You just wouldn't expect that to be there.



    Also (not shown in a pic) the front of the slide had the sand blasted look on a short portion of the rail - that shouldn't have been there. It wasn't on the other brand.

    In fact, here is a pic of another brand of 1911 - completely stock. The black (or darker) slide is the other brand. Notice the complete absence of tool marks - anywhere!:



    Ok, so let's go a bit further: Here's a pic of a beautifully finished disconnector. I have seen total disasters in disconnector fabrication in S&W and SA 1911s, but this one is nice!





    Notice what appears to be casting marks:



    Here's the sear, again notice the casting marks:



    Here's the beavertail, again notice the casting mark inside the piece and a larger one at the top of the piece:



    Here are some small parts - all are nicely machined and finished.



    And finally a beautifully machined and finished SS barrel:



    I like this gun!

    Just a word about the rail. The Colt cross slots are the same as Kimber cross slots - too big for most rail accessories. If you have a SureFire X200 - X400, an adaptor should have come with the light for the Colt and Kimber size cross slots. The problem is few if any rail mount lights and lasers come with adaptors, so be aware you might get some forward/rearward motion with recoil.

    Out of the 200 rounds I shot through it, I had zero problems of any kind - well other than me short stroking the trigger three times. That's really weird, how can one short stroke a 1911 trigger?

    One other thing that bothers me a bit, when you rack the slide, the recoil spring is noticeably weaker than the 1911s I'm used to. That's a small thing, which can easily be replaced, but still it's curious that Colt would put such a weak spring in it.

    The gun sells for $999 and probably $100 or so more for the all black model with the Cerakote.
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    That is kinda weird that you would short stroke the trigger reset on a 1911.

    But, it can happen you know, they say that 1 in 5 men experience this problem so you're not alone
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

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    Quote Originally Posted by zacii View Post
    That is kinda weird that you would short stroke the trigger reset on a 1911.

    But, it can happen you know, they say that 1 in 5 men experience this problem so you're not alone
    It's a gift! Hmmm, are we still talking about guns?
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    Tangle, on the current standard Colt's, there are four MIM parts;

    MIM
    sear
    disconnector
    magazine catch
    magazine catch lock


    CAST
    Thumb safety
    grip safety

    FORGED
    slide
    receiver
    barrel
    slide stop

    MACHINED from bar stock
    hammer
    all pins
    bbl link
    bbl bushing
    trigger finger piece
    ejector
    firing pin
    firing pin stop
    extractor
    plunger tube

    It appears the grip safety is too, I haven't even had mine down yet. I did replace the ambi-safety, I don't who the vendor is, but I hate the "unfinished" rear edges. As far as the recoil spring, they've been using the 15-16# springs for years now.
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    Good honest review. I'd just "stone" the disconnector run. The bevel at the base of the breech face is perfect.
    Typically the bottom faces of the slide rails do not actually contact the frame which is why there are usually always some machine chatter marks there.
    The slide usually runs on the frame rail and the condition of the bottom faces of the slide are usually irrelevant unless the slide has been custom tightened, lowered, and fit to the frame.
    The mainspring housing I would (of course) swap out. The grips look like Macassar Ebony. Pretty nice actually.
    None of my Colt triggers have overtravel screws. I think they are more of a P.I.T.A. than they are worth unless it's adjusted correctly and then set with Loc-Tite so that it will never again move.
    The Grip Safety always cast. and not a problem.
    The cast internals...well, you already know how I feel about those no matter what "brand" of 1911 they are found in but, the vast majority of shooters keep them and never have a problem.

    I have switched mine out on all of my 1911s but, I am somewhat abnormally OCD when it comes to that.

    Looks like you have yourself a real nice accurate firearm there.

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    OD*
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKShooter View Post
    None of my Colt triggers have overtravel screws. I think they are more of a P.I.T.A. than they are worth unless it's adjusted correctly and then set with Loc-Tite so that it will never again move.
    And the over travel screws "can" screw-up the Series 80 firing pin block by not allowing enough rearward travel to lift the plunger lever all the way up.


    Teddy Jacobson
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    Posts: 248 I see problems with the series 80 parts all the time. It usually starts when some one installs an adjustable trigger with an over travel stop adjustment. They use the same plunger lever # 1 that came with the gun. It does not elevate high enough and when you pull the trigger the firing pin crashes into the plunger in the slide. Very common problem that most people do not understand.

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    OD*
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    In fact, here is a pic of another brand of 1911 - completely stock. The black (or darker) slide is the other brand. Notice the complete absence of tool marks - anywhere!:
    Yeah, you can do that with cast.
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    Great review Tangle! Those 1.5 inch groups are pretty much online with what I get. My recoil spring does not feel light as you described, but then again, I haven't been using any other brands to compare it with.

    And hey, I'll man up and accept the responsibility for that flier in your group. It looks conspicuously familiar....:)
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    Yeah, you can do that with cast.
    I'm pretty sure the other slide is machined. Hmmm, I'll have to look into that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangle View Post
    I'm pretty sure the other slide is machined. Hmmm, I'll have to look into that.
    I was kiddin' ya.
    Although, my CRG doesn't have as pronounced tool markings, it does have some, even my Baers have some very light ones.
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    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    Great review Tangle! Those 1.5 inch groups are pretty much online with what I get....
    Thanks Gman - keepin' up with you is gettin' harder!

    Quote Originally Posted by glockman10mm View Post
    ...And hey, I'll man up and accept the responsibility for that flier in your group. It looks conspicuously familiar....:)
    LOL! Well I need some kind of excuse - I wouldn't want people thinking I miss occasionally .
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    Good report Tangle!

    Two more things on my "want" list: A New Colt Rail Gun & a Lotti Burger.....!

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    Quote Originally Posted by grouse View Post
    Good report Tangle!

    Two more things on my "want" list: A New Colt Rail Gun & a Lotti Burger.....!
    LOL! There ya go! You're right on with that Lotti burger, man that thing is a meal on bread! I know it was over an inch thick when they put it on the grill - small plate size in diameter!
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    Quote Originally Posted by OD* View Post
    I was kiddin' ya.
    Although, my CRG doesn't have as pronounced tool markings, it does have some, even my Baers have some very light ones.
    Ah man, you got me!

    Actually the other slide is a Kimber. To tell the truth, I don't know if it's machined, forged, or cast???? For some reason that escapes me at the moment, I've always thought it was machined, but now I don't know why I think that.

    Man, I can't quit thinkin' about that Lotti burger I wish grouse hadn't brought that up.
    I'm too young to be this old!
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