1911: colt 80 series vs 70 series vs SIG GSR

1911: colt 80 series vs 70 series vs SIG GSR

This is a discussion on 1911: colt 80 series vs 70 series vs SIG GSR within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; So I want a 1911. More just because I want one than anything else. I want something that's accurate, reliable, and has a good fit ...

Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: 1911: colt 80 series vs 70 series vs SIG GSR

  1. #1
    New Member Array hughduffel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Athens
    Posts
    3

    1911: colt 80 series vs 70 series vs SIG GSR

    So I want a 1911. More just because I want one than anything else. I want something that's accurate, reliable, and has a good fit and finish, doesn't have to be super tight. I know there's a lot of other brands out there (kimber) but I've narrowed it down to colt or sig as the one I want. Either a colt government model, or a full size GSR revolution. From what I've heard the only difference between the 70 and 80 series is a firing pin block, is that true? Let me know what you think of these two guns.


  2. #2
    Member Array wagglebee's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    243
    Quote Originally Posted by hughduffel View Post
    From what I've heard the only difference between the 70 and 80 series is a firing pin block, is that true?
    As far as I know that is the ONLY difference.

  3. #3
    OD*
    OD* is online now
    Moderator
    Array OD*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Coopersville
    Posts
    11,774
    Quote Originally Posted by hughduffel View Post
    From what I've heard the only difference between the 70 and 80 series is a firing pin block, is that true?
    From Dana Kamm

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Series 70 vs. Series 80


    There have been a lot of questions posted by new members and 1911 owners as to what the difference is between Series 70 and Series 80 Colts. This question is best answered by giving the following history:

    Colt is the original manufacturer of 1911 pattern pistols, having made versions for both the military as well as commercial market since regular production began in January 1912. The commercial versions were nearly identical to the military ones, differing only in markings and finish. Following World War Two military production ended, but the commercial guns remained in production with only minor changes such as deletion of the lanyard loop and a larger thumb safety shelf. These pistols are known to collectors as "pre-Series 70" guns, as they pre-dated the Series 70 guns introduced in 1971. It was during this year that Colt introduced the first major design change to the Government Model in nearly 50 years. In an attempt to improve the accuracy of production guns the barrel bushing was redesigned, along with the barrel. In this system the bushing utilized four spring-steel "fingers" that gripped the enlarged diameter of the muzzle end of the barrel as the gun returned to battery. By tightening the fit of barrel and bushing in this manner Colt was able to improve the accuracy of the average production gun, without going through the expense of hand fitting the older solid barrel bushing to the barrel and slide. Models using the new barrel/bushing setup were the Government Model and Gold Cup, which were designated the "Mark IV Series 70" or simply Series 70 pistols. It should be noted that the shorter 4 1/4" barreled Commander pistols retained the use of the older solid bushing design and thus were never designated Series 70 pistols, although one hears the term erroneously applied to Commanders from time to time.

    The new "collet" bushing (as it came to be known) worked quite well, however it was prone to breakage if the inside diameter of the slide was too small as it caused the fingers to buckle, then later break from the stress of being wedged between the barrel and slide. On pistols with oversized slides the bushing didn't grip well enough, and accuracy suffered. Because of this the collet bushing was eventually phased out sometime around 1988, with the older solid barrel bushing design being reinstated for use in production guns.

    The single biggest change to the 1911 design came about in 1983, when Colt introduced the "MK IV Series 80" pistols. These guns incorporated a new firing pin block safety system, where a series of internal levers and a plunger positively blocked the firing pin from moving until the trigger was pressed, thus eliminating the possibility of the gun discharging if dropped onto a hard surface or struck hard. In this instance however, ALL of Colt's 1911-pattern pistols incorporated the new design change so even the Commander and Officer's ACP pistols became known as Series 80 guns. With the previous paragraph in mind, it is important to know that from 1983 until 1988 the early Government Model and Gold Cup Series 80 pistols used the Series 70-type barrel and bushing as well, although they were known only as Series 80 guns.

    There was one other design change made to the Series 80 guns as well, and that was a re-designed half-cock notch. On all models the notch was changed to a flat shelf instead of a hook, and it is located where half-cock is engaged just as the hammer begins to be pulled back. This way the half-cock notch will still perform its job of arresting the hammer fall should your thumb slip while manually cocking the pistol, yet there is no longer a hook to possibly break and allow the hammer to fall anyway. With the notch now located near the at-rest position, you can pull the trigger on a Series 80 while at half-cock and the hammer WILL fall. However, since it was already near the at-rest position the hammer movement isn't sufficient to impact the firing pin with any amount of force.

    Regarding the "clone" guns (1911-pattern pistols made by manufacturers other than Colt), only Para Ordnance (SIG, Auto Ordnance, Taurus have since adopted it also) adopted Colt's Series 80 firing pin block system as well. Kimber's Series II pistols and the new S&W 1911s have a FP safety also, but it is a different system than Colt's and is disabled by depressing the grip safety. No manufacturers aside from Colt ever adopted the Series 70 barrel/bushing arrangement, so technically there are no "Series 70" clone guns. What this means is that design-wise most of them share commonality with the pre-Series 70 guns, using neither the firing pin block NOR the collet bushing. Because of this it is important to remember that only Colt Series 80 models, and a couple of "clone" 1911 makers use a firing pin block. Older Colts and most other clone guns lack a firing pin safety and can possibly discharge if there is a round in the chamber and the gun is dropped on a hard surface, or if struck a blow hard enough to allow the firing pin to jump forward and impact the primer of the loaded round. By the way, Colt has just recently reintroduced new custom pistols lacking the S80 firing pin safety (called the Gunsite models) as well as a reintroduced original-style Series 70 to appeal to purists. Interestingly, the latter uses a solid barrel bushing and Series 80 hammer, so it is somewhat different mechanically than the original Series 70 models.

    Regarding the controversy involving getting a decent trigger pull on a Series 80 gun, it is only of importance if the gunsmith attempts to create a super-light pull (under four pounds) for target or competition use. In defense/carry guns where a four-pound or heavier pull is necessary, the added friction of the Series 80 parts adds little or nothing to the pull weight or feel. A good gunsmith can do an excellent trigger job on a Series 80 and still leave all the safety parts in place, although he will probably charge a little more than if the gun were a Series 70 since there are more parts to work with. But any gunsmith who tells you that you can't get a good trigger on a Series 80 without removing the safety parts is likely either lazy or incompetent.


    1991 vs. 1911

    For those wondering what the difference is between these pistols, the fact is there really is none. Back in 1991 Colt decided to market an economy version of their basic Series 80 Government Model. The polished blue was changed to an all-matte parkerized (later matte blue) finish, checkered rubber grip panels were used, and the serial number sequence was a resumption of the ones originally given to US military M1911A1 pistols. The resulting pistol was cleverly named "M1991A1", after the year of introduction. Mechanically however they are the same as any other Colt Series 80, 1911-type pistol. Around 2001 or so Colt upgraded these pistols with polished slide and frame flats, nicer-looking slide rollmarks, stainless barrels, and wood grips (blued models only). The newer ones are commonly called "New Rollmark (NRM)" pistols by Colt enthusiasts, to differentiate them from the "Old Rollmark (ORM)" 1991 pistols. The earlier guns are easily identified by having "COLT M1991A1" in large block letters across the left face of the slide. The NRM Colts will have three smaller lines of text saying "COLT'S-GOVERNMENT MODEL-.45 AUTOMATIC CALIBER", along with Colt's rampant horse logo.
    __________________
    D. Kamm
    __________________
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, donít give them a tomorrow."

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array cdwolf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    MS
    Posts
    2,261
    That answered a lot of questions OD Thanks!
    You are just a hard drive of knowledge!
    GUN CONTROL= I WANT TO BE THE ONE IN CONTROL OF THE GUN

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

  5. #5
    OD*
    OD* is online now
    Moderator
    Array OD*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Coopersville
    Posts
    11,774
    You're welcome Sir.

    Dana did do and excellent job with the explanations.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, donít give them a tomorrow."

  6. #6
    New Member Array hughduffel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Athens
    Posts
    3
    thanks for the info, so I suppose if I'm going to get a colt there's no reason not to get a newer series 80 over a series 70.

  7. #7
    OD*
    OD* is online now
    Moderator
    Array OD*'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Coopersville
    Posts
    11,774
    Quote Originally Posted by hughduffel View Post
    thanks for the info, so I suppose if I'm going to get a colt there's no reason not to get a newer series 80 over a series 70.
    You're welcome. No real reason not to get a Series 80, they have 4 additional parts which makes reassembling from a detail strip take a little more time.





    Some will claim the additional parts cause the pistols to have bad triggers, I don't find it to be true, I have have both 70s & 80s and trigger pulls run from 4lbs. to 5.5lbs on the Series 80s.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow. End the cycle of hatred, donít give them a tomorrow."

Sponsored Links

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Similar Threads

  1. 90 series Colt Defender vs SA Micro Compact 1911
    By resqr9142 in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 34
    Last Post: March 24th, 2010, 11:52 PM
  2. FS Colt El Series .38 Super 1911 :[AZ]
    By threefeathers in forum Member Buy, Sell & Trade
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: August 27th, 2009, 09:20 PM
  3. Colt Series 80 1911 Gov't Model - $400
    By chuckE in forum General Firearm Discussion
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: November 9th, 2008, 12:30 AM
  4. Colt 1911,series 70, bulit or sell?
    By pointman912 in forum Defensive Carry Guns
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: October 10th, 2006, 10:55 PM

Search tags for this page

1911 series 80 exploded view

,
colt 1911 exploded view
,

colt 1911 vs sig 1911

,
colt 70 series vs 80 series
,
colt 80 series
,
colt series 70 vs series 80
,

colt vs sig 1911

,
series 70 vs series 80
,
series 80 1911
,

sig 1911 series 70 or 80

,

sig 1911 vs colt

,
sig vs colt 1911
Click on a term to search for related topics.