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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just purchased my first 1911, a mint condition, unfired, blued Delta Elite. What do I need to do to the pistol to help it live a long life? I was informed to use a Shok Buff if not two of them and a 24lb. recoil spring along with a full length recoil spring guide rod.

Any insight?

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Guys,

A Delta is no different than any other firearm as far as preventive maintenance. Regular lube jobs and spring changes are the way to go. Shok buffs and extra power recoil springs ONLY IF YOUR GUN FUNCTIONS RELIABLY with these accessories. They will definitely extend the life of your frame if your gun runs well with them. Some do, some don't.

Like any other gun, hot loads will lower life expectancy as well. If you shoot +P loads all day, you'll be replacing slide stops, barrels, links and springs a lot sooner. You'll probably need a slide to frame re-fit sooner as well.

TLC, just as you would baby any other 1911, and you'll be just fine.

Enjoy your Deltas.
 

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You will like the Delta Elite. The 10mm is a blast to shoot. I didnt keep the stock recoil spring set up very long, the plastic guide rod began to abrade and leave little pieces of black plastic inside so I changed the system out. I use a standard guide rod, because I dont like the FLGR, and a Wolff 24 pound spring. If you plan on shooting a lot of hot loads use the buff, but otherwise I dont with the 24 pound spring. It takes just a few minutes to install/remove the buff so I keep them on hand depending on what I will be shooting.

Welcome to the 10mm Club, you will not be disappointed.
 

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I've been using the Cominolli Frame Saver guide rod, which has buffs on both sides of the head. Might be overkill, but if you like the buff concept, it gives you the ultimate effect. I'm also on the Wolff 24# spring bandwagon. The gun is still surprisingly flexible; you'll only have to change springs if you go below .40 Short & Weak power levels. I've also gone to a 25# mainspring, and will be getting around to an EGW firing pin stop; both intended to slow unlocking of the slide with max loads.
 

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Just use an adequate spring load (22-24lb) when shooting full charge 10MM - like Silvertips, etc. "Fed Lite" 10MM can use the standard 18.5lb springs - they pretty much duplicate .45 ballistics.

I always use a Shok-Buff when practicing - and I've never had a problem in any full sized 5" 1911 from using one. But DO NOT carry the gun for defensive use with one installed. If I have to use the gun in gravest extreme - I really don't care if I batter it a bit!

These storys of Delta breakage/battering are a little overblown. I have never seen a Delta that was seriously damaged by just by use. I am sure that the gun can be abused, due to worn out springs and lack of lubrication, etc. But I would wager you that if the shooter is paying attention and has half a brain - this isn't a problem.

Warmly, Col. Colt

"Beware of Counterfeits and Patent Infringements"
 

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Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) my hand won't take full power 10mm loads anymore. I relaced the stock plastic recoil system with a full length guide rod and shock buff. Also use 18.5 lb spring. Load 200 gr bullet at 1000 or 180 at 1100. This arrangement is same as +p .45 with an extra round.

I noticed that when I was shooting 200 gr bullets at 1200 - 1250 fps with a 22-24 lb spring that the bullets were getting deformed going into the chamber, the barrel and slide locking lugs were getting rounded, the lower lugs of the barrel were peening on the slide stop, and the frame was getting pounded pretty good by the spring guide. Also pounded my wrist to the point that I can't shoot them anymore (I must be a wimp).

What I am getting at is that no matter what you do, your gun is going to get pounded if you shoot full power 10mm. If you use heavier springs to get less pounding on the way back, you will get more pounding on the way forward. It will never last as long as if you shoot loads more comparable to the .45 (but will probably last tens of thousands of rounds though).



[This message has been edited by James P (edited 05-21-2001).]
 

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My suggestion: 24lb Wolff recoil spring, full-length steel guide rod and a shock buffer for practice (but not carry) if you shoot lots of heavy loads. Should hold up just fine. Works like a champ in mine.

A 24lb spring is darn heavy (alot heavier than the one in a Glock 20) and with a proper recoil setup the Delta Elite's forged steel frame should hold up pretty much forever with proper maintenance.

BTW, best bet for magazines IMHO are stock Colt 10mm 8-rounders with Wolff +10% magazine springs... now my DE practically makes a happy "slurping" noise when it chambers a round.


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the pointers, gents...it is much appreciated!!

I am a bit of a power junkie and have been spoiled by my Glocks with shooting full power loads in a stock/mostly stock pistol (185gr. 45 Super to the tune of 1240+fps in a G30). I wanted to make sure I do what needs to be done to the DE before my "habit" beat the gun to death. Thanks to you guys, I have that knowledge.


BTW, practice ammo will probably be Georgia Arms 180gr. FMJ advertised at 1100fps and Blazer 200gr. TMJ which from what I understand runs about 1050fps.

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[This message has been edited by turbonatr (edited 05-21-2001).]
 

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turbonatr, one more point - their is more than one type of "full power" 10MM. The lighter 135/150 grain bullets at 1300-1450 fps are "full power", too, and seem to actually have much better terminal performance than the heavier bullet loads. I have never understood the fascination with hot, heavy bullet loads in a defensive pistol for general carry, though I know a number of reloaders that aren't happy unless they are at or above "maximum load" data - scary!

If you do want to run hot, heavy loads in any 1911, check the barrel/slide lug engagement - or better yet go to a fitted, lug locked barrel, use heavy recoil AND mainsprings, and maybe even replace the slide stop with one with a "squared" (instead of the standard tapered) bottom edge. By the way - 1911 Trivia, the original 1911 slide stops were squared on the bottom - changed to make slide retraction easier. All of this will make the gun live much better with hotter than designed vs. normal ammo.

If, however, my environment was the Alaskan woods, I would go for the 200 grain/ 1200 fps CorBon "Penetrator" blunt FMJ round, for maximum penetration. But for defense in urban areas, the 10MM 135gr at 1400 or so is probably the answer - and doesn't beat you or the gun up with heavy recoil.

Remember that foot pounds of energy isn't the whole answer - only energy expended inside the target (not beyond it) counts! Those heavy weight bullets will surely penetrate - and that isn't always a good thing!

Another Delta Fan, Col. Colt

"Beware of Counterfeits and Patent Infringements"

[This message has been edited by Col. Colt (edited 05-22-2001).]

[This message has been edited by Col. Colt (edited 05-22-2001).]
 

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That's a squared firing pin stop; right, Col.?
 

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Col Colt,

"Full Power" means full power, as in pressure. A 135 gr bullet loaded at 38,000 psi is going to batter the gun just like a 200 gr loaded to 38,000 psi. Also the loads I used were not above "maxmium" as published by Speer, Hornady, or Alliant.

The stories of Stock Deltas being beat to death with "Full Power" (as Norma intended) 10mm loads are not fiction. I can tell you from personal experience with tens of thousands of rounds that those heavy springs beat the gun up as bad a the recoil would hurt it in the other direction. The guns just don't hold up for 50,000 rounds as they would if the loads weren't at full pressure.

The ammo that turbonatr mentioed two posts back is NOT full power ammo. I would guess that on top of his gun get beat needlessly by a 24lb spring, it may not cycle reliably.
 

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And yes, it was a squared firing pin stop. I shouldn't post when I'm tired - but it seems the only time I get is after a long day!

Perhaps my experience is atypical because my primary Delta has a fitted, lug locked BarSto barrel and I do stay on top of the springs. A loose fit older factory Delta might not fare as well with the warmer ammo.

Warmly, Col. Colt

"Beware of Counterfeits and Patent Infringements"
 
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