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10 mm Colt 1911

1772 Views 18 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  JoeMc
OK all you Colt guys, sorry to barge in as I am usually over on the Kimber section because that's the brand of .45 I have. But, I am interested in a 10mm and since Kimber doesn't make one and Colt has in the past, well, here I am. I was thinking about picking up a stainless Delta Elite. I have seen some used ones and even found one still new in box for $800 or so. What are your experiences with this gun...good or bad...likes or dislikes...how about the 10mm cartridge...on its own merit and compared to .45 ACP...strengths and weaknesses of this gun/cartidge combo. Thanks!
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I shot one a while back and really loved it. A 10mm Delta Elite is definately on my "want" list but there are a few guns I will be buying first. I've heard mainly good things except the poor availability of 10mm ammo. The 10MM vs the .45 will most likely start a mini-flame-war that should go to the Ammo forum.

None the less, everyone I know who had a 10mm Delta Elite, have since sold them.
But they really wish they hadn't sold them. But they usually regret selling any gun.

A great site to chek out is; http://www.ehhs.cmich.edu/~bchamber/10mm.html
I have a couple of Delta Elites and really like them. I generally shoot a 170 grain truncuated in front of 6.7 grains of Unique. Using this load I find the Deltas to shoot a bit smoother and with less felt recoil (for me) than my .45s, which I generally shoot with around 5.8 grains of Unique.

On the Delta I bought new, I had trigger work done, put on an ambi safety (I'm a lefty), and dumped the plastic recoil guide rod for a steel rod. On my other Delta, which I got used at a good price from a friend, I only replaced the guide rod.

I don't really have problems finding 10mm ammo, even here in commie Calif. I usually buy an ammo can full at a gun show and then shoot reloads for as long as the brass lasts.

Hello Sundance....
How are things in Kimberland? I recently purchased a Delta Elite that was used by our local police department. This DE is the blued version made in 1989. It has become one of my favorite 1911s. No problem finding ammo, especially over the net. Lots of versatility with this as you can shoot factory loads with an energy range from 425ft.lbs. to 625ft.lbs. The only thing that I did was to replace the factory recoil set up with a Wilson FLGR and a Wolff 24lb. recoil spring and adjust the extractor. Love my Delta.
I have a polished blue DE. Very nice gun..easily the best normal sized 1911 I've had. The fit and finish on mine are really nice but the trigger was (and is) stiff. All I've done to mine is put in a plastic recoil buffer and buy some Mec-gar mags which in my opinon are better than the colt ones. I've found it to be very reliable. I shoot handloads all the time and I think the extremly few misfeeds I've had were due to the ammo. I orginally bought it for a Grizz Bear gun..yeah I know it sucks for that but I can't shoot revolvers well except single action..anyway I replaced it with a LAR grizzly for that and I like the lighter bullets (155 grain ) for use on less thick skined critters. I think of the 10mm as a upsized .357 magnum and not a .41 magnum. I think it's the ultimate round for the 1911.

Oh I bought some grips for it too.


[This message has been edited by shiroikuma (edited 11-18-2001).]
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The Delta Elite is a fine gun in its own right, and a handloaders dream. The 10mm can be loaded to just about cover the spectrum of semiautomatic handgun ammunition.
Have owned my DE for about 10 yrs now. Love this gun. It was great stock (accurate, reliable), and have had it customized. Awesome gun. Full power loads can beat them up if you don't spring them right and use shock buffs.

As Jeff Cooper (AFAIK) said, "the 10mm has more energy at 100 yards than the .45 has point blank". You can go from .40 short and wimpy level loads to between .357 mag and .41 mag level. 1x fired brass is hard to find.

If you don't find any DE's you like, find a Kimber .40 and have a 10mm barrel fitted to it, then you'll have a two-caliber gun. Just switch magazines, springs, and barrels and you're good to go. Dane Burns and others offer this package. I personally have a switch barrel 40/10mm SVI. Works great.

The Delta Elite is one of my favorite Colts. Beware of the early stainless models,they were prone to gauling. I like the deep polished blue models. The 10mm's were series 80 guns so they have the plunger for the firing pin. It's a little harder to get a decent trigger pull. You have to give up some reset to get the plunger up but if you polish all the parts it will feel fine.
Very accurate guns and a dream to reload. I buy Starline Brass and Montana Gold heads and make whatever I feel like shooting.
JoeMc...2 things...1) What is gauling? and 2) Thanks for the reminder on the Series 80 safety...I may take SF's advise and look at a Kimber .40 to convert to 10mm...it would probably be cheaper than upgrading the Colt...
Gauling occurs when you rub simular stainless steels together,like in the rails of the guns. the metal from one side transfers to the other, like welding. Colt recommended certain greases to avoid this. They have seemed limit the problem by using different stainless on the slides than the frames,or use a carbon slide on the stainless frame(Colt Combat Elites). Some chrome plate the frame to prevent the gauling. According to gary at Caspian they don't have the problem much anymore. As a point If you take a stainless nut and bolt and try to run them together with an impact wrench, chances are they will weld themselves together before you can tighten them. This is why the gauling was more apparent with the 10mm and full loads. I've avoided Stainless guns since.

[This message has been edited by JoeMc (edited 11-18-2001).]
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I have thousands and thousands of rounds through a custom stainless Detla Gold Cup.

Put some Wilson Ultima Lube (the grease-like one is best) on the slide rails and you'll forget the term galling ever existed.

Having said that I do prefer the look of Carbon!

Thanks for the website referral Shinglekill.


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I currently have three Colt 10MMs, and they are my favorite 1911s. Keep good springs in them, use shock buffs for practice (only) and you will have no problems. They are the ultimate 1911, as regards power and versatility.

Colt actually solved the gauling problem before they intoduced their first stainless 1911, by heat treating the slide and frame to different Rockwell hardness numbers. The only thing I have ever seen wrong with a Colt Stainless frame/slide combo was excess wear due to poor care and lack of proper lube. Steel guns must be lubed for long wear, period.

Any good Delta is a real prize - shoot one and see!

Warmly, Col. Colt

"Beware of Counterfeits & Patent Infringements"
Col. Colt.....
What do you think? Is it time for Colt to bring back the Delta Elites? As previously stated, the Delta is one fun, versatile pistol. Do you think that Kimber will make a trip down the 10mm road?
Another vote for the Delta Elite as an outstanding pistol. The only thing I disliked about mine was the recoil setup; the plastic plug has been known to break on rare occasions. IMHO it is a good idea to go with fresh Wolff recoil & mag springs and a steel guide rod... something I'd suggest for any 1911 that isn't new anyway.

If you want to learn more about the 10mm cartridge in general & where to get ammo go here:

The Pit: http://www.geocities.com/mr_motorhead/index.html

[This message has been edited by CastleBravo (edited 11-22-2001).]
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Looks like the posts to this question have all been positive for the 10mm Colt DE. I had one for several years and wasn't really impressed with it. Maybe too many years as a .45ACP Colt 1911 man - I dunno!

HOwever, the 10mm is a very "all round" cartridge when you consider reloading it.

I traded away my Delta some time ago and don't really miss it (have 3 - .45ACP's to keep me busy!)Anyway,I never thought I would say this about a S&W semiauto, but I ended up acquiring a S&W Model 1066 in 10mm. Has nite-sites on it - and for me shoots circles around my old D.E.

Just my .02. Regards, NAA

Colt 1911: Best damn "Government" in the World!
My Delta shoots pretty well concidering the barrel isn't fit all that well. The other day a friend offered me a .40 Ed Brown barrel and 5 mags. I fit it to the Delta. I'm taking it to the range today. I loaded up some 180gr. 7.0 Blue Dot(had some laying around).
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I've seen some Kimber .40's fitted with 10mm barrels, and as you all know Dan Wesson now offers a 10mm 1911.

The Springfield Custom Shop will do it, as will Ed Brown and Les Baer.

Still, I'm with you all- I'd rather see Colt bring it back. An XSE 10mm would do nicely.

I don't see it happening though- I think we'll see the .38 Super back before we see a 10mm. But I've got to believe if they made a batch a year they would sell in no time. Sounds like we'd all buy one!


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I'd sure be there waving money at them, especially for something heavy framed that could eat lots and lots of the original Bren10 loads.
I went to the range with the 40 barrelled Delta today. One ragged hole at 15 yards offhand. I getting pretty good at this stuff. No FTF or FTE. The only problem was the ED Brown Mags. They have the old style follower and they keep jumping past the slide stop. I spread them as far as I could without binding the travel in the tube but when they are all the way up the front of the follower sits above the tube causing it to move out of the way. Did anyone ever change the angle on the followers. My Colt 10mm mags with the round followers worked excellent.
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