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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
New 70 Frame and Slide

Hello again to all. Been some time since I was able to post, been over in the Gulf having fun, internet time was at a premium.

I picked up one of the NRM series 70's from Colt, now for my question. The gun seems to be a bit loser in the frame to slide fit than I expected. I read so many post's about the great fit of the new Colt's and did not expect the gun to rattle, much like one of my old WWII 1911's, from the many armories of my early years. The gun was not available at a local dealer so I picked one off Gunbroker and had it sent in. The gap is a bit difficult to mesure but looks to be nearly a 64th (normal??), when I push the slide back and forth on the frame. It also moves up and down about the same amount. In fact if I push up on the front of the slide and look carfully I can see the recoil group between the frame and slide. I know that the frame to slide fit is not nearly as critical as a well fit barrel and that seems to be very good. But it is an expensive pistol, for a sailor, and if they can do it better why not do it.
Don't get me wrong the gun is very well finished, has been 100% reliable and does have that pony on the side. Am I just being to picky, did I get a lemon, or is this about normal for one of the new Colt's?

Thank you for any input.
 

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How's it shoot?

You'd be well-advised to do a search under the forum name of "Col. Colt" to look at some of his excellent posts around this subject of "tightness" and what's the Colt viewpoint on it. (Teaser: He thinks Colt is doing it by the book, which he and I agree is right.) This being said, sometimes a lemon falls from the Colt Mfg. production tree. (That's another search topic, however.) Please see my initial comment above to help determine if the gun is too loose from a PRACTICAL standpoint, not a gun store counter "pull-on-this, yank-on-that" perspective.

"The tighter, the better" is sometimes true in life, but not necessarily for the 1911 pistol.
 

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Gunner...Welcome back and thanks for your service! I've also got a new S-70 and it's loose as a goose too. I'm not buying the "it's designed that way for dependability" story. There is one, and only one reason for the poor specs...NO FITTING REQUIRED. A line of trained monkeys can assemble them.
 

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Woah, fellas.....

I think too many of us have been spoiled by 1911s with hand-lapped slides and frames with ZERO play. The original design specs for the 1911 called for .001"-.002" of clearance in the frame rails, according to Jerry Kuhnhausen. This is enough play to easily be felt when examining free play on a dry weapon. If the clearance of your new Series 70 (by the way, they're not "new rollmark" guns, merely reproduction or 2nd generation) is much beyond that then I'd say it should be returned to Colt under warranty. Otherwise the play would be considered acceptable.

While a nice, snug slide/frame fit feels good it does little (if anything) for accuracy, and merely means your pistol may be a little less tolerant of dirt and fouling. My older Series 80 exceeds the design spec for slide/frame clearance by a considerable margin, yet 75,000+ rounds later it has been my most reliable 1911.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Boy that was fast, thanks for the feedback.

The gun shoots great and I am sure you are right about being spoiled by the newer generation of 1911 makers. I will try and messure the distance from rail to slide tomorrow when I get off the ship in the am. Like I said I am sure I am being over critical of Colt and they are doing it right.
 

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Like ma used to say, just because you see all the boys doing it doesn't mean it's right for you to do it as well. Brand-X manufacturers make their slides and frames snug because customers typically expect it. The reason they expect it is because they've been indoctrinated by years of gun rag articles telling them a tight gun is the way to go. There is also the deeply-imbedded, reptilian instinct inside us that says a gun that is tight is also one of quality. While I don't want rattling doors and windows in my house or car, with a firearm it's another matter as the application is completely different. Yes a tightly-fitted gun can be reliable, but usually only if all other tolerances are correct. If the barrel locking/unlocking isn't timed like a Swiss watch, if the mags aren't right, and if the wrong type of propellant is used (causing added fouling) a tight gun can start acting tempermental in a hurry.
 

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I agree with Dana on this one. What good is a "nice" and tight Kimber if you can't get thru a whole mag without some type of failure?:hrm: My NRM like many others out there have reported is extremely accurate and reliable, and there is slight play in the slide. Barrel to slide fit is domne right. Have used Kimber and Springfield with their tight slide to fram fit and couldn't get thru a whole mag without some sort of stoppage.
 

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Go take a look through the Kimber forum sometime. Aside from issues with cheap magazines and sloppy extractors, the biggest complaint seems to be FTRTB issues. Hmm, I wonder why? But, people just have to have those nice tight slides.....
 

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I thought the return to battery issues were related to some part of the Schwartz safety catching the slide? I once checked out a Les Baer, I couldn't even rack the slide. That is just totally ridiculous.
 

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lets see,
1: looks great

2: 100 % reliable

3: shoots great

4: has the pony on the side

and your complaint is??????:biglaugh:
 

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I just read thru the current threads going over at the Kimber section. At least I know I wasn't the only one that experienced them problems with my brothers two Kimbers. Needless to say, he did replace both Kimbers with Glocks. HMMMM, I wonder if he talked to Anne at Kimber?:biglaugh:
 

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as long as this issue has come up....

The whole thing about the original 1911 was that the guns were reliable, acurate, and hard hitting. This is what caused everyone to love them so much from the beginning. Then people started trying to improve it, you know, more of the fixing something that isn't broke until it is mentality. That seems to be where the problems began. Now 80% of gun owners believe that the 1911 is not a reliable firearm unless some wondersmith has been paid $3000.00 to make the thing run. I don't have problems with mine and I have owned over 30 of them. Loose is cool, and allows it to run dirty if all else is correct.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Got out the caliper and feeler gauge.

As near as I can tell from Mr. Kuhnhausen's books there should be something like .004-.006 clearance between the frame and slide, that sounds great. Now my quandry, my gun will fit a .011 feeler and measured out at .010 (must have made a .001 error).

That is nearly double the max. I don't mind that the gun is not bank vault tight. I would rather have it be reliable than anything else. But should this gun have left the factory? I am on the fence about sending it to Colt for inspection.

As alway's your opinions are valued.

Thanks,
Ross
 

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Don't listen to us. If you're not happy with it you're not happy. Send it back to Colt. I'm sure they'll take care of it for you.
 

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My new S70 has a nice little rattle and looseness to it. I was intially concerned since it was my first Colt after a number of Brand K. Funny thing though, the gun is more reliable and accurate than any of those K's. I don't worry about mags, extractor tunings (new Wilson extractors in every K) or break in periods with my first S70 and my more recent SS S70. Based on all of the positive attributes off your Colt, I'd say you have a pretty good pistol.

However, as DSK says. if your concerned, Colt will make it right.

Good luck with your new Colt.

WG
 

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I decided not to send my new SS-70 back in for repairs and did everything here (why send it back to the same folks that made it this way). The only error that's beyond my ability is the poor slide-frame fit. I've got .012 gap, you can literally see daylight from the other side if you hold the slide up. If this is Colt standard, it's my last one.
 

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AZ,

No offense but you've been endlessly trashing Colt ever since you bought that gun. Anybody can make a bad one, but since you never allowed Colt to fix their mistakes I think to berate them at every opportunity is a bit unfair. My two stainless Series 70's are near-perfect, with only minor flaws I'd expect from any production-line firearm. Had one of them been a dud you can bet Colt would've had it back on their doorstep within a couple of days. Had they been unwilling to fix it then I'd start bitching. But to say all their guns are bad just because of one example that missed QC (assuming a loose slide is even grounds for rejection) is a bit harsh.

Now, about that $1100 "Custom Shop" Kimber I just bought with a few flaws of its own.....
 
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