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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I picked up my new Commander XSE yesterday. Took it apart and will be delivering the frame and new parts to the smith for fitting today. She's a purdy thing, but I can't say the grips are much more than cheap stained planks of non-descript wood. Of course, I have some G10s on order so it doesn't matter. The inside of the slide where the bushing fits is rather rough too. The bushing is not well machined. Very rough on the inside. The ambi safety is so rough that the frame is scarred underneath it already. I'm replacing that with a non-ambi version, and some buffing may be necessary on the right side to remove the scratches left from the burrs on the stock safety, which will now show. If she doesn't shoot well, I'll get a new barrel and bushing combo first thing. Plain to see these two aren't made for each other, just parts slapped into a product. Overall, lots of tool marks on many internal parts and areas that I wasn't expecting to see on a Colt. Reminds me of the old Rossi and Llama pistols.

I fell in love with Colt pistols back in the early 80s while working in a load shop with a gun store out front. During busy times I worked out front. I got to handle lots of pistols and the Colts were the best made pistols out there. The quality was so apparent that they had their own section of the gun case. A S&W was the most a poor sucker like me could hope to own. These new ones aren't the Colts of yesteryear, that's for sure.:(
 

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I got a real bad new S-70 a few years ago. Many of the same things you're talking about. I decided instead of sending it back to the same folks that made it that way, I'd work on it myself, enlist a machinist friend of mine, and a couple of great local smiths to make it right. It's now my most rugged pistol I own.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That may very well be in the future for this pistol.
 

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It certainly sounds dissapoining what you describe however, none of this will affest functioning.....shoot that Colt and perhaps it will look a little better to you. Mine have some of the tool marks etc. that you describe but are dead reliable and accurate as well....I don't even think about the tool marks inside the slide anymore.
 

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I am wondering why you just don't step up to a true custom, where you can get the level you are striving for?

If you do to your XSE what you say you will.......now you will have a 2000 dollar XSE.

Your post makes me wonder if you would ever be satisfied with a new Colt.

Have you ever thought putting your money in a hand built custom?
 

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I am wondering why you just don't step up to a true custom, where you can get the level you are striving for?

If you do to your XSE what you say you will.......now you will have a 2000 dollar XSE.

Your post makes me wonder if you would ever be satisfied with a new Colt.

Have you ever thought putting your money in a hand built custom?
I agree with Paul. IMHO your money would be better spent on a Custom pistol. Les Baer or Wilson Combat....:)
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
Got one (WC). What can I say, I like projects. And this will no way cost me $2K. I'll be in around $1100, all said and done (if it shoots, that is).

Pistol $875 incl transfer fee (GunsAmerica)
WC BT Safety $37.95
EB Arched MS Housing $39.95
WC Spring Kit $15.95
WC Tactical Thumb Safety $31.50
Gunsmith Install of Thumb Safety (needs honing) $44.95
WC G10 Grips $74.95
Shipping Fees $20

Total Cost $1140.25

Add $190 for a barrel and bushing if necessary, it's still the best deal going for a custom pistol.

And it will be a Colt (kinda).
 

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I can't help but wonder what it would have done if you had put it in a Ransom Rest or sand bagged it and checked it out after cleaning but before tearing it up.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
As if accuracy off a bag or rest was the definitive test of whether this pistol will suffice in a gunfight? Before you can shoot any weapon at an enemy, you first have to not shoot yourself carrying it. Then, you have to get it out of your holster (again, without shooting yourself), point it at the person you want to shoot, get as much of a sight picture as you have time to do, get the safety disengaged, depress the trigger in a uniform manner, and do all this while under extreme stress. It has to be just like you practiced a thousand times. Makes sense that you'd want a pistol to point effortlessly, just like the one you practice with. Then, and only then, you get to squeeze off a shot, probably on instinct alone, based on your feel for the pistol and the naturalness of the grip. Sorry, I don't see where sandbag accuracy comes to play here much at all. I'd make the same changes to a custom 1.5" pistol, although, odds are, I wouldn't have to.
 

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but I can't say the grips are much more than cheap stained planks of non-descript wood.
Any chance you would be willing to sell them?

RJM
 

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Point Is....

the frustration felt when you spend over 800 clams on an American Made firearm and find poor fit and finish. Lemme tell ya- I'm old enough to remember buying a Colt, a Browning High Power, and a Sig Sauer and all of them had been "de-horned", had smooth finishes and were finely made both inside and out! Now, I try to buy American whenever I can and in fact bought a Govt. Mod. XSE just last fall. Yeah- the gun shoots well and I'm proud to own American EXCEPT the edges are sharp enough to use as an emergency utility knife- definitely hard on the clothing. Internal surfaces, while adequate, do not match the attention to detail of similar firearms by the same manufacturer of just 20 years ago (I'm an older guy- 20 years is not long ago...;>)

So I feel the original poster's frustration. We are paying top dollar for a unit that is somewhat lacking comparitively. Cracks me up when posters admonish a person for expecting decent attention to fit and finish, chiding that someone expects "custom shop" fit and finish for the prices we are paying currently. It all adds creedence to the "disposible society" mentality. Expect Less for More??! Todays "custom shop" was yesterday's standard. Sad day we are living in...IMHO.

Brian (Silvercrow)
 

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the frustration felt when you spend over 800 clams on an American Made firearm and find poor fit and finish. Lemme tell ya- I'm old enough to remember buying a Colt, a Browning High Power, and a Sig Sauer and all of them had been "de-horned", had smooth finishes and were finely made both inside and out! Now, I try to buy American whenever I can and in fact bought a Govt. Mod. XSE just last fall. Yeah- the gun shoots well and I'm proud to own American EXCEPT the edges are sharp enough to use as an emergency utility knife- definitely hard on the clothing. Internal surfaces, while adequate, do not match the attention to detail of similar firearms by the same manufacturer of just 20 years ago (I'm an older guy- 20 years is not long ago...;>)

So I feel the original poster's frustration. We are paying top dollar for a unit that is somewhat lacking comparitively. Cracks me up when posters admonish a person for expecting decent attention to fit and finish, chiding that someone expects "custom shop" fit and finish for the prices we are paying currently. It all adds creedence to the "disposible society" mentality. Expect Less for More??! Todays "custom shop" was yesterday's standard. Sad day we are living in...IMHO.

Brian (Silvercrow)
Agreed, nuff said!
 

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crazy

well if you want that level of fit and finish you need to go to a custom gun maker and have a pistol made from the ground up, buying a stock colt and swapping out all the parts , whats the point. Buy custom to begin with, crazy, just crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I reckon I'm crazy. Got rid of the series 80 BS too. Maybe that makes me certifiable loonie.:dope:
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Question on your new XSE: Does the grip frame have checkering or lines on the front strap?

-- Sam
Nope. I've heard of them coming with a checkered front strap, but mine is bare.
 

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We are paying top dollar for a unit that is somewhat lacking comparitively.
Help me understand......"somewhat lacking comparitively". Compared to what? If the comparison is with another equally priced production model from another competitor.....I must say, in my experience, Colt is competing quite well.:)

Nope. I've heard of them coming with a checkered front strap, but mine is bare.
You have heard of XSE's coming with a checkered front strap? Wow...I have never heard of or seen that one.....:)
 

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The guys who just blithely say, "if you want a good one, pay the $2K entry fee to the custom market" have always been with us. They're with us on the knife boards, too. And on the trap range with their $20K shotguns.

There's a lot of money out there. For some reason, high end gun owners seem to like to rub everyone else's face in the fact that they have some of it.

Hey, "cheap" guns today cost $300-500 (not 1911s; all guns). Decent production guns are usually in the $500-800 range. It's just what things cost now. If you've got $2-5K to drop on a gun, more power to you. I could bemoan that I don't get "custom shop" quality in my $800 gun, but the fact of the matter is it's a fully functional firearm, and that's the going price. Personally, I don't like the fact that manufacturers QA standards have dropped so dramatically. And I remember a few years ago on this board, someone complaining about their $3.5K Wilson that they couldn't make run right...

Thanks for the info on the checkering. I must've misread something somewhere. With all the emphasis put on such important things as the pattern and location of slide serrations these days I get lost in the details.

-- Sam
 

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Congrats on the new Pony... sorry to hear about the issues you experienced.

Even though my LW XSE Commander is currently my favorite 1911 and usual CCW, it didn't start out that way for me.

I got mine from a dealer off of Gunbroker. It cost me $825. (including shipping and transfer fees). Upon initial inspection, I found a large scrape mark on the plunger tube from the thumb safety rubbing against it. The thumb safety also had THREE (instead of two), distinct stops... one when on, when when off (fire) and one in between. It also had a very very heavy trigger. Rather than complain to the dealer who I purchased it from, I dealt directly with Colt.

Long story short... it was fixed to my satisfaction, shipping charges were refunded, and it only took them 40 days.

My XSE is now my favorite CCW piece, it out shoots other 1911s in my collection (including longslides). I wish XSE Commanders came with front strap checkering... I use a Pierce Finger groove insert instead. I also replaced the mainspring housing with an Ed Brown SS Arched and grooved part. The duckbill GS had to go, a SS Wilson Combat beavertail is now installed and it was truly a DROP-IN part :rock: . First time I have NOT had to alter the engagement tang on a Wilson "drop-in" grip safety.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Sounds like we're on the same page partner. I just removed the series 80 parts and replaced the extractor. The trigger is really light and smooth now. It's great to have a project work out so well. Can't wait to see how it shoots.
 
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