I love stainless but NM are blue. My stainless XSE is out in the elements, the NM is in case and back and forth from the range or it will do duty as a house gun on occasion because I don't want a shiny gun to reflect at night.
Lonnie, the differance is in the sights and the top of the slide. The current production "flat tops" are all blue steel guns with the Elliason target sights. The round top slide Stainless Gold Cup has the BoMar type sight. The BoMar style is more rugged for day to day use. The Elliason should have a stronger crosspin and a piece of ShokBuff wedged under it to prevent damage with full loads, daily carry. Both may be a little sharp edged for daily carry, and need the edges of the sight blades rounded and then cold blued, or you can buy a replacement from Champion sights already rounded.
I like the "Flat Top" looks, but I prefer the BoMar style durability, as I carry my guns. Either one will work - just start with one, and end up with both! CC
That is interesting. I know Gold Cup Trophys came out in 1997, but didn't realize they made the SS with a flat top for only one year. I am still trying to figure out the last year they grooved the front of the grip. I know in 1988 they still did. Here are blued and SS GCNMs from that year.
I recently bought a 1996 GCNM (last year for the National Match) enhanced and the grooves were gone.
By the way, I have changed the grips on all the Gold Cups.
Here are a few closeups of the Colt Gold Cup models:
COLT GOLD CUP TROPHY 05870CS
Below are pictures of the Colt Gold Cup Trophy in stainless steel. It differs from the blue model in that it has a round slide and a Bomar sight. Also main spring housing is checkered on the stainless model.
05070X Colt SS Gold Cup Trophy
While the SS version looks fine the CS blue version is killer. I'm not sure how they call it blue as it looks black to me. The flat top makes it ideal for shooting with no reflections.
So many options. So many beautiful colts. Can you buy one of each at some time? How long are you going to keep it? I'm old school too, but I went with stainless. Why? Because us boys still have our dad's guns from the 1950's. They weren't abused. Hardly overused. But they weren't oiled every month either. Life happens. I can find rust on all but one and rust never sleeps. When I leave my 1911(s) to my kids/grandkids(hopefully) they may be well worn but not so rusty.
That being sad. I must confess to having a few blued revolvers that weren't offered in stainless And yes stainless will show scratches...... I suggest an in depth long term study.... Buy both and give us a report every 3 years on the condition of the finish and which one you like better.