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I just recently posted a question about whether I should purchase an ORM 1991 that my local dealer had. I decided to do this, but then found out that he could order in a NRM 1991 that would cost me only dollars more, so I had him order me one.

I picked up the gun on Friday and all I can say is damn! This is an incredible looking and feeling gun. It is now my second Colt (I have a Government Model XSE also). One of my problems is that the gun is too nice! I wanted to get more of a mil-spec type 1911 to just kick around with. Well, I guess my S&W will be the abused one, for now I just can't bring myself to do that to my new Colt.

I just got done cleaning it for the first time. This is my first 1911 that did not come equipped with a FLGR. Everything in the cleaning process/reassembly appeared to go fine. (No tool marks on this gun, by the way). However, after reassembling it and going through my functional tests, I noticed that the slide is not flush to the frame at the rear of the pistol. The slide extends past the back of the frame slightly, between maybe1/16 of an inch. I did not notice this upon my initial inspection.

Did I reassemble it wrong? Is this normal? Is it a concern? Of the 4 different 1911s I own/have owned, I have never had this happen. I want to shoot this thing bad, but not before I am sure I won't hurt it or myself in the process. Any information is, as always, greatly appreciated.
 

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I'm quite certain you put it back together right. There's really only one way to reassemble these things (remember they had to accomodate raw recruits). The issue with the flush slide/frame fit at the rear seems to be common with some new Colts. Apparently it has to do with the fitting of the barrel feet at the factory. If it bugs you Colt can fix it under warranty.
 

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No, it doesn't bug me. I was just wondering if it is safe or if there are going to be operational/performance issues. I figured it would be better to nip it in the butt now if this is a problem. If it is not going to present any problems, I will keep it as is because it is the way the pistol came.
 

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I had the same problem, I bought mine and I'm scared of scratching it. My solution was to buy a Springfield G.I. milspec and let it do all the dirty work so my Colt can keep on gleeming :D .

The slide sitting forward... all you need to do to make sure it is 'safe' is to take a micrometer and measure the lower barrel lug feet. I just measured two of mine for you for comparison: NRM Gov't model .125, and Kimber Custom .128

Ultimately you want the feet to be at least .112 thick( I think that's the magic number) if they are too thin the feet could break over time. I sent a Springfield back once that had the feet cut somewhere around .090, and the slide parked well ahead of the frame.
 

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Uh, I think the correct term is "nip it in the bud". :hrm:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
dsk: I always thought it was butt, but I will take your advice on that and watch the but nipping.

JeffC: Thanks for the info. However, my problem was that the slide was sitting back, past the edge of the frame, hanging over the back of the slide a little. Does your analysis hold up for that situation as well and is it just as harmless in that situation?
 

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tvolk01... Of the numerous Colts I've purchased over the last couple of years I had two with that problem... my blued Gold Cup Trophy and WWII re-issue. It bugged me for sure. A 1911 shouldn't look like that... it's sloppy workmanship/fitting. And should you ever decide to sell that Colt, the next buyer might see that and balk. I was told that it is caused by the barrel feet not being cut properly. To test the theory, I tried barrels from several of my other Colts in these guns and, lo and behold, the problem was cured. Another solution is to grind away at the rear of the slide to match the frame and then refinish (urgh!!!) I would choose the new barrel solution myself. Anyway... if this bugs you at all, don't hesitate, just bite the bullet, contact Colt and ask them to arrange a pick up on their tab to have the fit corrected under warranty. Colt is still screwing up big time in this fitting problem and unless their feet are held to the fire to make it right, they may have little incentive to stop sending out 1911's with bad fitting. I love Colts, but this kind of sloppiness is unforgivable from a great brand like Colt! Don't stand for it. Make them fix it and pay for the shipping as well. If they don't agree to do that, make a bigger stink. Colt took care of mine and made me happy... hopefully they will do the same for you. You'll probably feel a whole lot better about the gun once it looks right. After I noticed the problem, it's about all I noticed about those guns until I got them fixed. Good luck. Let us know how you are cared for.
 

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In Sept. I also bought a Colt 1911, SS. Commander that had a slide overhang of about 1/32" past the frame. This indeed also annoyed me, and I contacted Colt by phone and proceeded to return the gun for repair as instructed. They paid all freight charges, repaired the gun, and returned it in about 15 days. I was completely satisfied with the transaction and repair job. Colt's service is excellent in my opinion, now all they need to do is improve their quality contol and final inspection methods.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the advice. The overhang is so slight and sending a gun back is such a pain in the a** that I was thinking about just keeping it and shooting it. However, the last two posts got me kind of fired up and I now think that I will call and try to arrange something. I guess I don't feel that frustrated or slighted by Colt though. When I did a search using "slide overhang" I read a post about some guy who bought four Colts at once and all had similar issues that he had to deal with. Now that would suck. I still look back at the choice I had between the 1991 and the Kimber TLE my dealer was suggesting and don't regret my choice in the least.

Next? Officer's ACP.
 

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tvolk01 said:

JeffC: Thanks for the info. However, my problem was that the slide was sitting back, past the edge of the frame, hanging over the back of the slide a little. Does your analysis hold up for that situation as well and is it just as harmless in that situation?
Maybe, still measure the feet. The lugs probably aren't cut enough, meaning they are thicker than they need be. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but you never know....

....if it were mine I'd want to make sure the timing was correct.
 

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I'd shoot it first and see how accurate it is, maybe you have a 1 incher at 25. Then I'd keep it. :)

But, it would be interesting to know what the effect, if any, Colt says it has on function or accuracy. Or is it just cosmetic?

My Colt of 4-5 years ago has the opposite situation. The frame extends beyond the slide a bit. But it's too reliable and accurate, with a match bushing, to "mess" with it.
 

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I vasillated back and forth for awhile about whether to send mine back for proper fitting of slide to frame at the rear. I didn't really want to give my guns up. Then I realized that I really wanted my Colts to be good Colts, not flawed samples... especially since the company would correct them under warranty. SO finally I just figured what the heck, send them off and before I knew it, they were back to me and just as they should have been at the start. I'm really glad I did that.

Obviously, each of us is willing to accept differing levels of flaws... of course function is paramount, but corrrecting a slide overhang issue seems like a grey area beyond just cosmetics to me. (Although cosmetics on a brand new Colt is also important to me.)

We're talking about poor fitting here, not a finish blem. In any event, to each his own, but I still feel that the more people accept such fitting flaws, the less motivated Colt will be to see that the fitting is proper in the first place! I'd send it back for sure.

BTW, tvolk, I still think you made the right choice in buying a Colt! ;) And there is always room for another Colt in your stable.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Well, I just got off of the phone with Colt and they asked that I send it back in order to get the error corrected. I did not get a chance to talk to the customer service rep about whether the situation is dangerous or would cause harm or further damage to the pistol. They indicated that a repairman would contact me once it got there prior to any work being done, so I decided to hold my questions until then.

I will post an update. I was also considering having them install a short trigger, and possibly some other minor changes (extended thumb safety, beavertail like on my XSE). I know this takes it out of the total 'mil-spec' purpose that I originally posted I was going for, but it is hard to resist the one stop shopping potential now that I will be sending it in and probably having to get some refinsihing done with whatever fix they do.
 

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tvolk... if you don't NEED the extended thumb safety or beavertail, you might want to consider keeping the gun as is and enjoying it for awhile before making those changes. If Colt replaces the barrel or refits the barrel feet, no refinishing will be necessary. To me that would be the quickest, easiest, and least costly fix for the silde to frame overhang. To machine the rear of the slide and then refinish would definitely be more time consuming and more costly for Colt. My best guess is that Colt would replace the barrel with one which has properly cut barrel feet, or re-cut the feet on your barrel, if possible.

Regarding the stock thumb safety, I've found that it works very well and is less likely to be accidentally moved off of safe position than the extended versions are. I've also found that I have no need for a beavertail safety as far as hammer bite goes. You may or may not have a similar experience. Of course if you just prefer the look of extended safety lever and beavertail grip safety, that's another matter.

For a time I did try a beavertail grip safety on one of my series 70 re-issues and have since gone back to the stock look because I felt the gun just didn't look right with a beavertail on it. Again, just a personal preference thing. Funny... when I first started buying Colts I was all into doing all the changes and mods, then, the more Colts I owned, the more I found I preferred them looking fairly stock... except perhaps for a change of grips, arched MSH, short solid trigger, trigger job, that sort of thing. Again, to each his own. Just my own .02 worth.
 

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Tvolk01,

I think that the slide-frame fit being off isn't that uncommon for 1911's in general. Here's my experience lately with the same thing:
http://www.1911forum.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=61753

It's back at Colt since it's a matched pair but in all fairness, I've gone to the local gun shops to check out what other Colts look like as well as other manufacturers and the not so perfect match up at the rear slide/frame is quite common on production guns. I think we hold Colt to higher standards that other manufacturers either based on it's history of being the orginal or the little more we pay for them. I agree that I'd like to see it be perfect but for a production gun I can't complain since they are putting out some of the best milspec available right now. It's only cosmetic and shouldn't effect the mechanic of the gun. It's nice that Colt will take care of this though.....
 
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