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I don't post much on here but this is a topic I would like a bit of input on. I'll start by mentioning that I am a 1911 guy through and through.. Single stack, singe stage, grip and thumb safeties... I just love them. There is a nice and long story as to how this colt has fallen into my hands. As the title says, it is an older colt series 70 1911.. After referencing the serial numbers it turns out to be from late 1971... At least as far as I can tell. At the moment it has a bit of custom work and I'm having my pistol smith finish out the custom build. It currently has been hand checkered on front of grip.. Custom polished slide rails and trigger and a kart barrel..is there anyone out there with vast amounts of knowledge on this model colt.. Things to look for.. Things to avoid..hopefully I can get the build done in the next few months.. Any input on things I should know would be much appreciated.

Ps.. Only a qualified pistol smith is touching this 1911.. No home tinkering so no worries on that.
 

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1: you should post more
2: the series 70 IMO is a fine handgun, and I would play leap frog with a unicorn to have one, or any other qaulity 1911 for that matter

Im not an expert by any fashion, I just appreciate a fine crafted firearms, and 1911's are as fine as they come IMO. I think your series 70 colt will be a great custom build that will serve you well for many years.... or until you adopt me and give it to me for my birthday :)
 
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There is a sticky on the 1911, but I believe it is more or a function check thing. OD* is the guru around these parts regarding that fine pistol. If you are a 1911 guy then you know that the 70 series is different than the current 80 series in that there is no firing pin block, if I remember the lecture I read. Beyond that, OD* is the man. He WILL be in here eventually :king:, after all there is a 1911 in the thread title.

Not saying others do not know as well, many do, but I have seen some of the most knowledgeable folks on here learn from the Master. I try and do the same.

Are all the features you mentioned all that was customized?
 
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I have owned a Mark IV Series 70 Gold Cup National Match since
1979. It's still my favorite handgun.
Enjoy, you have a fine piece there.. ;-)
 

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...the series 70 IMO is a fine handgun, and I would play leap frog with a unicorn to have one...
The image is compelling, but you should be aware:

unicorn leap frog.jpg
 
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The 70 series Lacks the firing pin safety system that 80 series and others have. There are a few more differences but I think that one is the most significant, I am sure someone else will better explain.... Or maybe you already knew this.

Either way when I see the name Colt I need some pictures !
 

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IMO the series 70 Colts are some of the best 1911s out there. They may not have all the bells and whistles of some of the newer models by Colt and other makes, but in quality of craftsmanship they are hard to beat.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I had read about the series 70 lacking the firing pin safety. I don't see that being a big deal as it won't be my carry gun. I'm glad I was able to pick it up and excited to get it finished. I'm getting Levi to work up a full list of what is done to the pistol and ill post it when I can. Here are some pictures as it sits now.. Still have some things to be finished and cleaned up. Thanks for your input guys! I'm here to learn! ImageUploadedByTapatalk1370566167.544728.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1370566187.655597.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1370566201.819084.jpg
 

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That is a beautiful gun OP. Some will say you can get a much better trigger pull on Series '70's, I have found a good Smith can do wonders on 80's as well, but don't have to deal with all the linkage in parts and stacking tolerances.

I have run into an issue with 80 Series parts once and it would have cost me my life in a gunfight, the 80 Series plunger had a burr that jammed it in the depressed position allowing the firing pin retaining plate to drop out, under the hammer making the gun useless as anything other than a club. It took awhile, but I have confidence in the gun now. It is something I will always check on 80's Series guns though.

The issue of not having a firing pin block is moot as you can either add a heavier firing pin spring or a lighter/ Titanium firing pin or both and accomplish the same thing of making the pistol drop safe.

Congrats and post completed pics when the work is done.
 

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It looks to be well on it's way to having the right stuff right now. Great sights, Ed Brown safeties and slide stop, top grade barrel, and checkering... If the trigger job is up to snuff (I'm sure it is from the looks of how the beavertail was installed) you are generally there. It looks like some of the sharper edges and corners were tamed on it. If I was going to re finish it (speaking for myself) I would have it de horned a bit more, but it would be a low priority.

All these generally needed was some tightening of the slide to frame which has probably been done, and to verify that the locking lugs in the slide where it engages the top of the barrel are sharp and square which they sometimes are not. But again, I am sure that has been checked before all the work was done.

Other than a Titanium firing pin as suggested above, which it may well have already you're set ! Now for some good leather...
 

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There is a sticky on the 1911, but I believe it is more or a function check thing. OD* is the guru around these parts regarding that fine pistol. If you are a 1911 guy then you know that the 70 series is different than the current 80 series in that there is no firing pin block, if I remember the lecture I read. Beyond that, OD* is the man. He WILL be in here eventually :king:, after all there is a 1911 in the thread title.

Not saying others do not know as well, many do, but I have seen some of the most knowledgeable folks on here learn from the Master. I try and do the same.

Are all the features you mentioned all that was customized?
Thanks for all the kinds words Jon.

Not much I can add, with all the parts changing it's not technically a "Series 70" any longer.
 

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It looks like you have the the start of a nice gun there. If it hasn't been done, your pistol probably needs a throating job and maybe polishing the feed ramp a little, to be reliable with hollowpoints and semi-wad cutters.

I see you have an aftermarket beavertail grip safety, and I can't really tell by the pictures, but it sorta looks like a drop in without rounding off the frame. I that is the case, I would opt for a different one that is a little more upswept and have a gun smith fit it to the frame which would require a beavertail .250 radius jig. It's a small thing but does make a difference.

Of course re-blueing would make the gun look great.

I don't put much value on tightening the slide, as a matter of fact I don't mind a slightly loose slide as long as the barrel to slide fit is solid and tight on lock up.

My personal preference would be to go back to a short trigger and an arched mainspring housing like most of the original series 70' were. IMHO that part they had right back then.

IMHO, you don't need a titanium firing pin, that original firing pins were plenty good enough.

Have your gun smith check for proper extractor tension, as that is one area that is sometimes not exactly right, and can affect reliability.

Make sure the thumb safety has a nice click to it, in both directions. It should not be mushy. And a good safety installation is sometimes hard to get out of a gun smith and they will sometimes quit on it before it's exactly right. IMHO it takes a little talent don't let the smith get away with giving you a less then perfect crisp snap to the safety in both directions.
 

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"Local" smiths scare me.

Nice gat, OP. Shoot the snot out of it
 

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It looks like you have the the start of a nice gun there. If it hasn't been done, your pistol probably needs a throating job and maybe polishing the feed ramp a little, to be reliable with hollowpoints and semi-wad cutters.
Shouldn't need to be done to a Kart barrel.
 

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Great pistol, I'm a 1911 fan also and I own one also made in the late 1970's. I can't afford to pay a professional pistol smith so I've learned to do some custom work on my own.

The only significant difference between the Mk IV Series 70 and the WWII era 1911A1 is the split collet barrel bushing. If you're having a match grade Kart barrel fitted I assume you'll also get a new solid fitted bushing to go along with the new barrel.

Regarding the feed ramp, polish is optional, anything from P600 grit on up will function just fine, the scratch pattern should be vertical, not horizontal. However the geometry of the feed ramp and barrel throat is critical, hopefilly your 'smith is well aware of this. The feed ramp and barrel throat geometry (and polishing if he does this) will be taken care of after the barrel and bushing are fitted.

You're going to have a fantastic piece! Enjoy!
 

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The Pre 80's Colt 1911's are IMO the primere pistols that are sought by pistol smiths as well as collectors......I luv'em.
^^^THIS!^^^
 

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That will work.
Checkered front strap. Lowered/relieved ejection port. Aftermarket tool steel hammer. Decent sights.
The beavertail is a "drop in" as VS a beavertail which requires a modification to the frame which would be blended in to the frame nicer but, it's not anything I would lose any sleep over.
Congrats.
 

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Excellent guns

The Colt Series 70 guns are real classics of their type. I have 3 that are either Series 70 or pre-70 (1960s vintage). They have always performed well for me, and with care they will last virtually forever. I have done modifications to the blued Gold Cup below to make it more shootable, but the electroless nickel Gold Cup shown is untouched and unfired.



 
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