Series 70 or 80?

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by SHAMUSPI, Mar 16, 2010.

  1. SHAMUSPI

    SHAMUSPI New Member

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    I don't have a clue! I have a Smith & Wesson stainless 1911, model #108282. In ordering parts, do I order for a 70 or 80 series? How can you tell the difference between a series?:confused:
     
  2. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    The S&W 1911 models use a Swartz (sic?) firing pin block. The term series 70 and series 80 are Colt specific but the term firing pin block or firing pin safety is more generic. There are 2 main types - those that operate by the trigger and those that operate by the grip safety. Basically theres a link that operates a plunger in the bottom of the slide. If you see a plunger towards the rear of the slide (near the disconnector notch) you have a firing pin block...
     

  3. SHAMUSPI

    SHAMUSPI New Member

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    Thanks, but when it comes to ordering parts, which series do I order for my Smith?
     
  4. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    The S&W 1911 models use a Swartz (sic?) firing pin block. The term series 70 and series 80 are Colt specific but the term firing pin block or firing pin safety is more generic. There are 2 main types - those that operate by the trigger and those that operate by the grip safety. Basically theres a link that operates a plunger in the bottom of the slide. If you see a plunger towards the rear of the slide (near the disconnector notch) you have a firing pin block...(SERIES 80)

    NO PLUNGER = SERIES 70
     
  5. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Again, series 70 and series 80 are terms applicable only to a Colt. S&W, Kimber, and the other manufacturers use their own terms. Most of the parts are the same. Firing pins are different though.

    Again, your S&W has an FPB so you could say it's a series 80 but that is not technically correct. Depending on what parts you're buying, I'd call and ask if they fit a S&W 1911. Or list them here, I've owned 2 of that particular model.

    Forgive me for trying to be accurate. It took me years to realize that all soft drinks in the South are "Cokes" and the correct answer to "What kind of Coke you want?" might be a Sprite...
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
  6. SHAMUSPI

    SHAMUSPI New Member

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    GOOD LORD, CANE! Hit me again and I'll cry.:rolleyes:

    Tell me; where is the section for those of us who are new to 1911's, and don't profess to be intelligent on the subject.:eek:
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2010
  7. Agent_H

    Agent_H New Member

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    Good question and a great answer.
     
  8. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    [​IMG]


    The Glock Forum

    [​IMG]

    AGAIN! [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. SHAMUSPI

    SHAMUSPI New Member

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    Glock?..........GLOCK!?!

    That's just plain low, Cane, low !:(
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  10. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    Low...Yes, but damn accurate...
     
  11. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

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    Poor guy was virtually kicked in the junk!

    Welcome to FTF!! :D
     
  12. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    I guess I need to work on my communication skills. I answered the question with 100% factual information twice - and Cane still had to come by and clarify it. Calling a Kimber, Para Ordnance, or S&W a "series 80" is a pet peeve of mine much like calling a magazine a clip. They have a FPB but ONLY a Colt can actually be a series 70 or 80. A Kimber without a FPB is actually called a series "I" or 1st generation...
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  13. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

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    Tone cannot be read on forums, but frequently people with much greater knowledge of platforms come off as snobs to those who are starting out. I'm jes' sayin'.

    It would be nice if all these 1911 manufacturers would have more things be universal. This is called this on this brand, but not on that brand.... :confused:

    I do the same thing when discussing martial arts,lol.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  14. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    It's not just the terms that differ, Colt operates their FPB off the trigger and S&W operates theirs off the grip safety - totally different linkages. I guess I'll just start answering things in "good ol'boy" lingo...
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  15. Gojubrian

    Gojubrian New Member

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    Countrybonics? Booniebonics?

    Just remember, some of us are more dense than others. Sometimes I request it to be explained like I'm 6yrs old. :D
     
  16. superc

    superc Member

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    Here, try this answer...

    The S&W gun is not a series 70, or a series 80. It is actually a post WWI, pre WWII design, 1930s vintage 1911A1 (which is the least often encountered variety of Colt) clone. In the 30s Colt used the Swartz safety, but not on the military variants. The military contract for the pistol dated back to 1911 with only a few design changes, largely based on feedback from the field approved in 1922 (and known thereafter as the 1911A1). The Swartz safety design was never in that improvement list, as it came out after 1922. During WWII no Colt pistols were made for civilian sale. The military demand for pistols was so large Colt had to drop almost everything else and even then couldn't keep up with demand. This is what led to sub-contracts with Remington, Ithca, Singer sewing machines, etc. for them to also make the gun too. [Many even smaller companies got contracts to make just one or two parts for the gun, by the thousands, such as magazines, slide stops, grips, etc.] Blueprints were drawn up at government expense and freely shared. After WWII Colt never went back to the pre-war design for the 1911A1. Nothing wrong with it, they just didn't. [With literally millions of vets and other survivors world-wide wanting a pistol just like the one they (or a buddy) had in the recent war why would they?] S&W (and others) picked the Swartz up as an 'abandoned' design feature.

    In the 1970s with literally millions of Colts, military variants, and clones flooding the market coupled with some really bad marketing and labor management decisions dragging them down Colt decided to boost 1911a1 sales by 'improving' the pistol. Hence the Mk. 70 variant. An accuracy improvement in the barrel and bushing assembly that was more theoretical than actual as quality control was suffering so some shooters saw no improvement. Then it was learned that the collet springs that were in the 70s bushing sometimes broke and what a pistol jam that could make. A cutting torch would then be needed to fix it. In the 80s after dropping the Mk. 70, and based on shooters (and their lawyers) discovering that if a loaded pistol is thrown on the floor it sometimes fires Colt came out with a new firing pin safety. This is the series 80 safety. No living human has ever disclosed why the Series 80 safety was deemed superior by Colt to their earlier Swartz safety. [It is suspected by some that Colt corporate leadership was then composed largely of people who knew nothing at all of what products the company had made 50 years earlier, and who were so disconnected from their own workforce the idea of asking the oldtimers on the factory floor or the archive section never even occurred to them. Similar 'why didn't they' questions also periodically pop up with respect to their Anaconda vs. New Service and the very brief return to the .380 market in the 90s with the Government and Mustang vs the 1946 proposed modernization of the 1908 380. Whatever...]


    However, this is all irrelevant for ordering many pistol parts for your .45 today. The S&W 1911 gun is a 1911A1 looks like as is the Sig, the Randall and 1000 other makes. The magazine of a generic 1911, a 1911A1 (pre-series 70), or a series 80, or a series 70 is the same in that they will all fit and interchange, so too are the mainspring, the recoil spring, grips and the pins. The distinction becomes important only when talking about certain specific parts. Which specific part are you thinking of switching out in your S&W?
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  17. Highpower

    Highpower New Member

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    What I would like to know is WHO is the OP ordering parts from that is asking if his S&W is a 70 or 80 series? :confused:
     
  18. SHAMUSPI

    SHAMUSPI New Member

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    Okay, everybody - DOG PILE!!!!

    :p

    As of yet, I have not ordered any parts, but in looking over those offered by Wilson, Brown, etc, they make no exception for ignorant punks like me and my Smith. Next time I ask a question I'll make sure I'm good and drunk - just to compete.:rolleyes:;)
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
  19. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    The question remains: what parts do you need?
     
  20. SHAMUSPI

    SHAMUSPI New Member

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    I am interested in those parts featured as "Bullet Proof," "Hardcore," etc. All of my guns are carry guns, and no matter the cost, I want to have the maximum reliability in them, regardless if they may be a "waste of money."