Need Colt 1911 Help

Need Colt 1911 Help

This is a discussion on Need Colt 1911 Help within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; OK, so it was just last month that I bought my first 1911. I really didn't know what I was missing. Anyways, a friend who ...

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Thread: Need Colt 1911 Help

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array BigEFan's Avatar
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    Need Colt 1911 Help

    OK, so it was just last month that I bought my first 1911. I really didn't know what I was missing. Anyways, a friend who is an LEO has a safe queen that he wants to sell to make room for a new safe queen. I took a lot of time when buying my first weapon to learn about SA's nomenclature and the different models. I have to act a little quicker on this one so I am looking for some help deciphering what kind of gun I am really getting.

    Colt: Yeah I know Colt
    Mark IV: What is the Mark IV line?
    Series 80: What is the difference between the different Series
    Govt Model: I assume that means its a 5 inch or is there something else the "Govt Model" means

    Its in the 45acp caliber and the guy wants $500 for it. IS that a good price, a fair price or a bit on the high side?
    Lex et Libertas — Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis!

    "Not only do the people who put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us deserve better, we all deserve better than to have our own security undermined by those who undermine law enforcement." -Thomas Sowell


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    I'm by no means a Colt expert, so someone else would be better at answering your questions. I can give you a small comparison though. I bought a new Govt Mod. Colt mk IV/series 70 nickeled .45 nearly 30 years ago and paid around $500. I do note that yours is series 80. I recently saw the same gun as I have for sale/used in a gun store with a $1000 price tag on it.
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    $500.00 is a good/fair price for a safe queen Colt .45 any series.
    The exact dollar worth depends on the condition.
    $500.00 is about the average price for a used scratched dinged one.
    Like New In Box (of course) worth more.

    The Series 80 pistols have the added firing pin block safety.

    As the trigger is pulled two additional parts inside the frame cam a lever up to unblock the firing pin in the slide.
    It is a DROP safety. Supposed to prevent the FP from moving forward if you drop your pistol off the side of a building from 20 stories up and it lands on the hammer on concrete.
    In my opinion useless but, does not adversely affect the functioning of the pistol.
    It makes assembly & disassembly a bit more of a PITA.
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    VIP Member Array BigEFan's Avatar
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    So I have gathered that the Series 80 has a firing pin block that Series 70 does not. I have also gathered that the GOvt Model is indeed a 5 inch. Are there any other distinguishing characteristics of the Govt Model.

    And the last item I still haven't figured out is the "Mark IV" classification. Is there anything unique about the Mark IV as opposed to a non Mark IV or some other classification?
    Lex et Libertas — Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus, et Fidelis!

    "Not only do the people who put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us deserve better, we all deserve better than to have our own security undermined by those who undermine law enforcement." -Thomas Sowell

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    Distinguished Member Array Black Knight's Avatar
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    The MK IV is a designation of modifications similar to the military's A, A1, A2 type. What the modification for this particular model is I'm not sure. The series 80 is no longer made. Colt went back to the series 70 basic design. Alot of folks preferred the trigger on the series 70 over the series 80. It seems that some folks felt the "new" safety had an adverse effect on the trigger pull.

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    Senior Member Array rabywk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Knight View Post
    The MK IV is a designation of modifications similar to the military's A, A1, A2 type. What the modification for this particular model is I'm not sure. The series 80 is no longer made. Colt went back to the series 70 basic design. Alot of folks preferred the trigger on the series 70 over the series 80. It seems that some folks felt the "new" safety had an adverse effect on the trigger pull.
    The trigger on a 70 is much cleaner and crisp then the 80 series.
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  7. #7
    OD*
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    The series 80 is no longer made.
    Yes they are.

    Colt went back to the series 70 basic design.
    Only on select Custom Shop models.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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    OD*
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    So I have gathered that the Series 80 has a firing pin block that Series 70 does not.
    That is correct.


    I have also gathered that the GOvt Model is indeed a 5 inch.
    Correct.

    Are there any other distinguishing characteristics of the Govt Model.
    Some measurements are different, frame rails are shorter, barrel bushing are shorter (pistols other than the Government Models, I should have said), nothing visual really.

    MKIV Series 70


    MKIV Series 80


    Pre MK IV
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

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    VIP Member Array packinnova's Avatar
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    I've seen 80 series going for much more, but they were in unbelievable condition. If it really was a safe queen it's probably a good deal. Yes, I've heard the stuff about the safety block on the 80 series, but have no personal experience. Both of mine are 70's (and they are absolutely wonderful). Side note: I find it slightly amusing that my old 30yr old colts tend to perform better than many of the newer model 1911's out there. The only time I EVER had any problem with the colts was when I used a particular indoor range's CHEAP range ammo. Other than that they eat whatever I put in em and keep on chuggin!
    "My God David, We're a Civilized society."

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  10. #10
    OD*
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    The trigger on a 70 is much cleaner and crisp then the 80 series.
    Not necessarily, these are the trigger pulls on my stock 80s,

    1984 - Govt. - 4.75lbs.
    1985 – Officers – 5.5lbs.
    1987 - Govt. - 5.5lbs.
    1988 - Govt. Ultimate Finish - 4.0lbs.
    1988 – Gov’t MK IV – 5.0lbs.
    1994 – 01991LCM – 4.0lbs.
    2000 -M1991A1 - 4.75lbs.

    What are the trigger pulls on your Series 80(s)?
    "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, don’t give them a tomorrow."

  11. #11
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    Just for the record you should know that it is possible to revert a Series 80 to a Series 70 by removing the two frame parts...adding the spacer into the frame (available at Brownell's for 6 bucks) and then just removing the firing pin block parts from the slide.
    Then you have a Series 70 - the only difference being one part added into the frame and one unseen and unused extra hole in the slide. The Series 80 firing pin and extractor can stay the same. All other Series 80 parts can remain in use on the reverted pistol.
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  12. #12
    OD*
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    Just for the record you should know that it is possible to revert a Series 80 to a Series 70 by removing the two frame parts...adding the spacer into the frame (available at Brownell's for 6 bucks)


    http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/sto...spx?p=13121&s=
    "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, don’t give them a tomorrow."

  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array Black Knight's Avatar
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    OD:
    Thanks for the correction. The info I had must have been wrong. It has been a while since I have seen a series 80 in a local area gunshop.

  14. #14
    OD*
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    You're welcome Sir.

    The only Series '70 type actions they're currently producing are the WWI Model 1911 Reproduction and the Series 70 Reproduction.
    "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, don’t give them a tomorrow."

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    Folks, there's a valuable lesson to be learned in this thread.

    Don't try to stump OD and QKShooter on a Colt question!


    When you’re wounded and left on Afghanistan’s plains,
    And the women come out to cut up what remains,
    Just roll to your rifle and blow out your brains,
    And go to your God like a soldier.

    Rudyard Kipling


    Terry

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