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Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by titsonritz, Apr 5, 2011.
Over and out
The current crop of Colts is very, very good. The last several years they have tightened QC and implemented more CNC processes. The newest Colts I have owned are a 2007 04691, the combat commander. It is outstanding in quality, accuracy, and reliability, right out of the box. I had several mods planned for it, and didn't make a single one. I also have a 2009 WWI repro - the O1918. It is even better. The current "Series 70" model is similarly good from the ones I've looked at and from the numerous owner reviews I've read at the 1911Forum.com.
So quality and reliability are no issue in my book. The question then is authenticity. The best way to describe them is not as a "Series 70 repro" but rather as a "Series 70 re-stamping." The strong virtue, and in fact identifying feature of the Series '70 was the accurizer/collet bushing. The current repro lacks this, nor does it have the same high quality walnut gold medallion stocks that visibly marked the model, or the e-nickel trigger of the original first 1/2 of the run. As a lover of the different Colts over the years, I am sorely disappointed with their ignorant and crassly commercial labeling of the "Series 70 Reproduction." That does not make it a bad gun - just not exactly an authentic 70 repro, and it cheapens the name and The best way to think of the repros is that they are simply the same as current 80-type Colt Government Models but without the firing pin safety system (which was in fact not at all unique to the Series '70 - all 1911s were that way since the beginning!). So from a purist perspective, the labeling/marketing is pure nonsense. The gun is great, though, just don't expect it to be what they it is labeled. Also I think they are now putting a 100 year roll mark on the right side for 2011.
So if you want a good looking gun to buy retail, grab one. If price is a big issue, get a series 80 - it's really no different except the invisible f.p. safety and the roll marks on the slide. Conversely, if you really hanker for the real thing, really pretty, high-condition original Series '70s are about the same price if you shop around. Here's one of mine:
Here's some good reading;
Last time I compared, there was about a $50 premium for the 70 repro vs. the 80 retail. A good place to look for "best" prices is Bud's Gun Shop. They can show their retail/shipped price. With transfer fees and our abusive tax situation in WA, it doesn't make sense to buy from them, but it's a good guide as to what to expect if you shop around hard.
Also, if you go after a new one, bear in mind Colt appears to produce gun models in runs. The dealers will get stacks of Commanders for example, then a month or three before any GMs come. Or all "enhanced" (XSE) models at once, later the base 70 and 80 type. So if there aren't any around now, you just have to wait and then they will appear all over the place. Strange in this day and age, but that's what happens at that company called "Colt."
Yes, the WWI repros are now a bit pricey vs. when they were available retail. Out of production now, and the price has spiked. But if you can find one of those used cheaply now (hard to do) and you don't want all the "tacti-cool" features, it is a very satisfying gun. I wish I had bought two - one to keep boxed/on my mantle, another to shoot and wear out. If I find a non-boxed one with some miles on it at some point fairly price, I am definitely buying a second one.