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Colt Series 70/80/90


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Old 01-13-2010, 05:05 AM   #11
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As usual, Cane doesn't disappoint. Is there any significant advantage in feel/pull to the series 70 over the 80? I suppose a more relevant question is, do they even make series 70 any more?
No, if the trigger is set correctly. My Government Series 80 has a trigger that needs no work. The best I've shot.

The Series 70 made a comeback in 2002 in the new "retro" line named the MK IV/Series 70 Government Model.

Colt merely used the Series 70 designation with the new guns as a means of identifying all pistols not using the firing pin safety system.

IMHO, the FP safety should not be a reason to buy/not buy a particular Colt model. You should buy the Colt based on your style preference.

Simply put, the series 80 guns have the moderen bling desired in todays 1911. If you're old school you are going to want the series 70.

They both shoot excellent!
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:02 PM   #12
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As usual, Cane has been on the spot with great info. I have 1911s with and without the FP block and I see no real difference in the triggers. Many folks get obsessed with "old school" and hate anything that changes JMB's design but TBH - get the 1911 that works best for you...
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:10 PM   #13
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If you go with the Series 70, don't let the collet bushing issue concern you. I replaced mine with a solid bushing, and probably didn't need to. Unless you are going to put thousands of rounds through the pistol, the collet bushing should do just fine (Cane, correct me if I'm wrong).

Plus, if you go with the 70, I'll GIVE you my collet bushing so you'll always have a backup.
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:30 PM   #14
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As usual, Cane doesn't disappoint. Is there any significant advantage in feel/pull to the series 70 over the 80? I suppose a more relevant question is, do they even make series 70 any more?
The reason for the series 80 "improvements" was the rash of lawsuits and laws in states such as CA where manufacturers were being held liable for poor handling of firearms by consumers, namely that if dropped by on the muzzle the inertia of the firing pin could overcome the spring with sufficient energy left over to fire a chambered round sending the bullet through the floor.

While Colt put in the trigger activated pin block, some other companies such as Kimber chose a similar system activated by the grip safety which seems to make much better sense to me, who's going to notice a rough spot in the travel of that big button. Still others used lightweight firing pins and/or beefier pin springs to pass the muzzle drop test. This last solution however had the possibility of inducing a failure to fire when a gun tuned for soft primers was used with ammo loaded with hard primers.

In my personal experience, I have an M-1991A1, series 80 Pistol. I removed the firing pin plunger and linkages while I was polishing the sear and hammer. I got that thing down to an extremely crisp, glass like break at just under five pounds. When I reinstalled the series 80 parts suddenly the short take-up became creep with a step that broke half a pound heavier. One of these days I'm going to polish all of the series 80 parts and see if I can improve the trigger with them installed but haven't put in the effort because it doesn't bother me much. Although I can feel the linkages when dry firing and at the target range, when I'm at the combat course I don't even notice the two stage trigger. If I ever have to use my pistol in a real life situation I probably wouldn't notice if the sear and hammer were stippled.

In sum, a series 70 is better for competitive shooting (carried unloaded in a box and shot a lot) while the series 80 is a better duty pistol (carried loaded and shot infrequently) and decreases your liability somewhat. Just make sure you never drop a series 80 with the FP block removed or you will likely be found criminally negligent if a discharged round ends up where it does damage.

Last edited by Wenonah; 12-01-2010 at 12:35 AM. Reason: Added info
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Old 11-30-2010, 11:53 PM   #15
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Hey Wenonah, how about stopping by the introductions section and tell us a little about yourself?
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Old 12-01-2010, 12:30 AM   #16
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Sticky...it's good stuff
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Old 12-01-2010, 03:58 PM   #17
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So, even the new production series 70's have the collet style bushing?
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Old 12-04-2010, 07:17 PM   #18
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So, even the new production series 70's have the collet style bushing?

The collet bushing was discontinued sometime in the eighties due to breakage issues which then jam the gun but you can still find a few still in circulation that have them. Not a problem unless you are using the gun for defense, in which case you can replace it with a solid drop in bushing which while somewhat less accurate will be fine unless you are competing. If you are competing you are probably going to have a smith go over the gun and hand fitting a solid bushing is a standard part of accurizing a 1911.

An oversize bushing can be fitted yourself if you are willing to take it slow and only file the bushing, not the slide or barrel. Replacing a buggered up bushing is a lot cheaper than replacing and fitting a barrel and slide. Either way you can find a bushing, drop in or oversize, from $15 to $25 from Brownells or Midway.
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Old 12-15-2010, 01:56 PM   #19
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Canbrake,

Thank you for the fine post! I certainly enjoyed the information. I knew about the Firing Pin Block in the 80s and the Bushing but did not know of the other informative information!

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Old 12-18-2010, 10:40 PM   #20
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And all those cool visual aids...
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