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Hi all. I just got a Colt Delta Elite and I have a couple of simple questions about it, since its my first 1911.

- Will standard 1911 .45 custom parts like slide releases and safetys be compatible with my DE if I want swap in nicer ones?

- If my slide does not have one of those hammer drop safeties in it (it looks like it was removed), can I just put another in it if I so chose?

- Can anybody reccommend some good sights or a reccommended spring wieght I should replace my current ones with?

Thanks. I'm welcome to any advice in general about the DE or 1911. Up until now, I've only owned polymer hicap pistols, and this is quite a change. But a good one!


BBJ
 

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Hi BBJ....
Congratulations on your first 1911. What I would suggest is that you order a Brownells catalog as a good source of parts and as a reference tool. They can be reached at www.brownells.com or by calling 641-623-4000.

According to Brownells, they list a slide stop that has a different stock number than for a .45. Also, when you talk about "hammer drop safeties" I assume that you are talking about the Series 80 firing pin system. If so, yes it can be replaced.

As far as the recoil spring weight, I just picked up a blue Delta Elite that was made in 1989 and after asking my own questions on the forum, I have decided to go with a full length guide rod (one piece) from Wilson with a 24lb. Wolff recoil spring with Wilson Shok-Buffs. Everything else will remain stock.

Is your Delta stainless or blue? Vertical serrations or slanted serrations on the slide? Round top slide or flat?

Hope this helps.

Regards,
Sam



[This message has been edited by SamColtFan (edited 10-15-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
SamColtFan,

Hi. Thanks for the spring info, and thanks for asking the good questions.

My Delta is as follows:

I have a stainless slide. The serrations are vertical. The slide has a round top.

What exactly does that mean, by the way? Are some slides newer or part of enhanced pistols that feature different types of slides?

I'm learning as I go. All info is appreciated!
 

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First off, congrats. I love my pre-enhanced SS DE. It has over 10k through it, and I've had some excellent mods done to it for carry/IPSC limited class use.

AFAIK, with a few exceptions, all these parts are DE specific: barrel, barrel bushing, firing pin, slide, magazines, ejector, extractor. Everything else is interchangeable within the 1911 family. Many of the most commonly changed parts on 1911's are pretty much univeral, specifically: Sears, hammers, beavertails, safeties, slide stop, trigger, leaf spring, etc. Some of these require fitting or machining by a qualified gunsmith. Basically, look at every custom 1911 you can, and find out your preferences. Then talk to your trusted gunsmith for their opinion on what is possible and preferable. Many people have ruined good guns by making ill-thought out mods. I suggest you look at Wilson and Les Baer guns, and also Dane Burns Custom to see what a well-done 1911 looks like, and all the possibilities.

If you are referring to the series 80 parts (firing pin block), yes, they are widely available and can be installed with little effort, if you know what you are doing. AFAIK, all the series 80 parts are the same for different pistols. I've tried this with my DE and also some gov't models and had 100% reliability.

For springs, I suggest a Wolf or ISMI progressive 24# recoil spring for full power loads and an 18# spring for light loads. I suggest a 19# mainspring.

As to sights, there are MANY. For adjutables, BoMar's are the gold standard. Go for the low-mount style. BoMars require machining, though. For tritium sights, I suggest (in order of preference) Heinie, Novak, and Wilson. Each maker offers several options. I like the bar-dot style, but have used others. Many of these require machining.

I have over 5 and less than 12 1911's and IMO, for most purposes the only mods you REALLY need are a good trigger (hammer/sear/trigger/leaf spring/disconnector/polish series 80 parts), a narrow/extended thumb safety (Brown or Wilson), a beavertail (Wilson/Baer) and sights (your pick). Everything else, wait to consider. I have a very loosely fitted completely stock Gold Cup that will do 1.5" at 25 yards, no problem.

I started with Sig's, Beretta's, S&W, and Glocks. I now have one Glock (required for work) and many 1911's, nothing else. There is nothing like a customized 1911.

Welcome to the family!

SF
 

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Originally posted by BBJ:
SamColtFan,

Hi. Thanks for the spring info, and thanks for asking the good questions.

My Delta is as follows:

I have a stainless slide. The serrations are vertical. The slide has a round top.

What exactly does that mean, by the way? Are some slides newer or part of enhanced pistols that feature different types of slides?

I'm learning as I go. All info is appreciated!
Hey BBJ...
The reason I asked was to see what vintage Delta Elite you have. Colt introduced the DEs in 1987 and these early guns had vertical slide serrations, with the exception of the Delta Gold Cups. In 1992 Colt introduced the "Enhanced" Colt line which included a Gold Cup type flat top frame with slanted slide serrations. All 1992 Colt 45 ACP catalogued production guns had the slanted slide serrations and a flat top slide except, the Colt 1991A1.

Enjoy your Colt.
Regards,
Sam



[This message has been edited by SamColtFan (edited 10-16-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sam & SF:

Thanks for the good input, guys! Most appreciated.

It sounds like I have an older DE. I'm still quite happy with it so far!

A question: is it very involved to change the beavertail, thumb safety, or the hammer? I would like to change each of these without visiting a gunsmith. I saw disassembly instructions on m1911.org on it didn't seem like to should require any special skills or tools to break the gun down to a point where I could swap those parts.

Finally, I am looking for a stainless slide stop. Any Colt 1911 slide stop will fit, right? Shouldn't cost much for one, should it? Anybody have one they want to sell?

Thanks.
 

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I have an early, round top/vertical seration DE. The slide was being battered around the disconnector slot, and Colt said "send it back". The replacement slide has the angled, enhanced-style serrations, but with a round top, a la XS. It must now be a rare factory variation, right?
The barrel bushing should be the same as a .45 bushing - even if Colt has a different part number, an aftermarket .45 bushing worked fine on my gun. I believe the Delta ejector is the same as that used in 9mm and Super Government Models. The same might be true for the slide stop. I'm using a 24# recoil and a 25# mainspring. The gun runs great with this combo; I think the heavier mainspring keeps the gun locked-up a little longer with heavy loads, and it didn't adversely affect the trigger pull.
 
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