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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone. I'm a long time lurker but a new member. I've learned a lot from the site and hope that in the near future I'll be buying my first Colt 1911. That being said, I have a question about Colt's willingness to roll out a new model.

Is there any chance that customer feedback (i.e mine) might provide any benefit in convincing Colt to reintroduce a commercial 1911 similar to those made in the 1920s and 1930s? I have seen and read a lot about the recent WWI models and, while they are nice, they're not exactly what I'd like to have.

Would a polite letter to Colt be a waste of time? Granted, I don't expect one person's desire to own a certain model to convince Colt to introduce it. But, given the popularity of Colt's current reproductions I know they realize there is a market for these guns. What say you?

Thanks and glad to be a member.
 

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I have thought the same thing, and would go a step further for a reissue of the pre-WWII National Match, largely to get sights I could see. But I doubt they could do it. I believe that imitation army surplus is about the best they can build and doubt they have the people with the skill to match the work done in the 1930s.
 

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I own a commercial model made in 37. Lovely pistol with quality that I would expect of the period. That said, if Colt would put clean rollmarks on the current 70 series that would be a good start. Currenty they look like they were punched. Then if they would add a big spur hammer( I perfer first model) they would be supprised at customer responce. Simple things go a long way.
 

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The big litmus test for Colt would be if they could make a truly high-quality repro of a 1930's National Match. Frankly, I doubt it. Colt is making very good guns now (compared to 10-15 years ago), but the pre-war Colts were masterpieces. My plain-jane 1927 commercial has zero manufacturing flaws, with almost no tooling marks inside or out. The NM guns were true hand-fitted works of art, much like today's high-dollar custom guns but made at the factory level. I don't think Colt could do it with the dilapidated equipment they currently have, nor at a price that anyone would be willing to pay.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have looked at the new series 70 models and they are almost exactly what I want. What I'd like to see is the wider hammer spur (already mentioned above) and a flat, smooth mainspring housing. I know I could build a gun to match my specs but then it wouldn't be a stock Colt and, for some reason, that's half the appeal.
 

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I have to support this thread. If I could have any handgun I can imagine, a new Colt National Match with a commercial finish would be it. I would rather have that gun than a new Sig P210, or a S&W 952 or a Baer or Wilson. It has to be reliable and accurate, have a good clean trigger and period looking high fixed sights. I want it to shoot and to show off but most of all I want it to prove that Colt can build them. I want to stand at the range and shoot groups that make people look twice. I want to tell them, "No, it's just the way Colt built it, nothing fancy, they all look and shoot like that."
 

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I have wanted Colt to come out with a pre WWII or Pre Series 70 Commercial Model for a very long time now and believe DSK has as well.

I believe they would be a great addition to thier line up and think they would sell very well. I would buy exactly three - One for the safe, One kept stock for shooting and one to send off to Hierloom Precision!

The older commercial models have always been a favorite of mine and and reproduction would make one hell of a base gun for a custom project (guilt free of course)!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I can't help but think that Colt could produce such a pistol fairly easily given that they seem to be able to produce the WWI repros as a recurring item. How hard would it be to change a few things around and come out with the commercial version?

During my time here, I happened to read the sticky thread on the gentleman who took the factory tour and met Mark Roberts, the current Sales and Marketing Director at Colt. I actually drafted a letter addressed to Mark in the hopes that he might actually factor some prospective customer feedback into his product development. I haven't yet sent the letter....partly because I feel it will probably get lost in the shuffle and partly because I doubt it would do any good anyway.
 

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See posts 2 and 5. DSK and I do not think they could do it. Maybe they could send guns in the white to Turnbull for finishing in the '30s style but the insides would not be of the quality.

No point writing to Mark Roberts at Colt, he moved to USFA.
 

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Colt could do it they wanted to. They simply do not want to. If they can build and finish a Python (which they have done recently), they can build a pre-war National Match. Tooling has little to do with it. Its all handwork.

There is a reason why 90% of pistolsmiths won't touch a Python.
1)They cannot recreate the finish
2)They cannot make them work.

A 1911 is worlds simpler than making a Python work.
 

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I can't help but think that Colt could produce such a pistol fairly easily given that they seem to be able to produce the WWI repros as a recurring item. How hard would it be to change a few things around and come out with the commercial version?

During my time here, I happened to read the sticky thread on the gentleman who took the factory tour and met Mark Roberts, the current Sales and Marketing Director at Colt. I actually drafted a letter addressed to Mark in the hopes that he might actually factor some prospective customer feedback into his product development. I haven't yet sent the letter....partly because I feel it will probably get lost in the shuffle and partly because I doubt it would do any good anyway.
Adress it to William keys CEO.
 

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My brother showed me a pic of a (I believe) a WWI model that a guy had sent back to Colt and had high polished with the royal blue finish. It was beautiful. They can do it, but I doubt in a regular production capacity. The high polish is what would raise the price of them through the roof.
Speaking of USFA, I saw one of their 1911 models at a gun show last year and it was so nice it made my Colt WWI look like a Springfield GI. The finish was high polished and that reflected in the price, $1400.00.:eek:
http://usfirearms.com/cat/1911.asp
 

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I assume Colt uses CNC machine tools. CNC machine tools are very much better at making high quality parts than the manual and "semi automatic" machine tools of the 20's, 30's and 40's. The surface finish (tool mark roughness) is assigned by the engineers. All they have to do is say that the finish in this or that area will comply with whatever they put in the drawings, anything less would be shunted off to run of the mill standard quality guns. It wouldn't even add much to the costs other than extra management of quality. As for hand work, fitting, etc., they could do that to 1930 levels and add what, $300? Again, anything that didn't meet specs could go to regular models. I believe it's only a matter of the will to do it, and perhaps the assessment of the marketplace's willingness to pay for the renaissance. Top model commercial quality equaling prewar Colts, $1700. No MIM, no cast, and better materials like 4140, and new alloys too that exceed original specified properties by huge percentages. American industry produces extremely high quality and ultra high precision components in industries where cost is not the main criterion. Colt could do this, but they no doubt don't believe the market is there to justify the effort. I for one would pay it.
 

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I don't think that Colt uses CNC machines. I have never been through their factory, but others that have, have posted what they saw on the internet. I don't remember them saying anything about seeing CNC machines. Colt is know for making their guns the "old fashion" way.
 

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It has been reported on http://forum.m1911.org/ that Colt is still machining from forged or extruded blanks using the old processes, not CNC machines. The plant tour thread is worth reading. IMHO, the problem with producing the Commercial NM would be the finish. The process of finishing is not the problem, the problem is polishing. The appereance of a blued gun is 99% determined by the polish job on the metal. Matte blue, Royal Blue, bead blast blue, 1% salt bath, 99% polishing. Polishing is labor intensive and time consuming. When people would work 10 hour days for $1.72 an hour it would work. I don't know what a master polisher would make these days, but $35.00 an hour doesn't sound out of line, and remember that his wage is only half of his cost to the company. How many hours at $70.00 an hour to polish a 1911 for the Royal Blue finish?
 

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The pre-war guns were not mirror bright like the Python Royal Blue or the overbuffed USFA knockoffs. What they were was dead flat and level and smooth. Picture of a fixed sight NM at
http://www.coolgunsite.com/nm_comm/colt_n14.jpg

And the insides were finished about as well as the outside. My FLG had one to work on* and in spite of decades of use and neglect, it was still an obviously well made gun.

*He was fitting a new barrel. We think a prior owner had shot it with corrosive surplus ammo and let the bore rust. We know the next owner had tried to DIY a fitted barrel and ruined it.
 

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If Colt doesn't use CNC's that is astonishing to me, that's like trying to do a job with handcuffs on. That would explain a lot, because to change the feedrate and thereby decrease toolmarks (Which means less polishing for higher quality finishes) with a CNC takes a few seconds. With a cam operated automatic machine it's a much more difficult change to make. Hand polishing a 32 finish is a third as much work as hand polishing a 64 finish. Maybe even less.

I just lost a great deal of respect for Colt. :(
 

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releasing that troughed "Agent" pistol should give you some insight as to whether or not Colt's finger is on the "pulse" of its buyers wants. :barf:
 

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The Colt factory tour is also posted on this forum:

http://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=177275

I story I heard alleges that Colt did indeed invest in CNC machines back in the 1990's, then had to sell them off (along with almost everything else but the furniture) during their bankruptcy proceedings. Be advised however that this isn't verified information.
 
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