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After reading the comments on the "new" 1991A1's with the Videki triggers, I kind of want one. Besides that, is there a reason that I should buy a Colt instead of another brand to work on? Meaning, are Colts still worth owning because of the name?

[This message has been edited by breech (edited 12-13-2000).]
 

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Well, I've always thought "if you have a 1911, it should be a Colt and it should be a .45"
That said, now that I have three Colts, I would look at the others.
 
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I don't think you can go wrong with one.Their value will probably be better than anything but the custom makers(Baer,Wilson,Brown,etc.),and they tend to hold specs better than some.If you will make mods later on,a piece that is out of spec will aggrevate you or the smith performing the work.Translates to pissed off or $$.Just my opinion though.Recent manufacture by the major players has gotten much better than it was a few years ago.
 

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I am very happy with my Colts. People love to repeat the "Colts are crap" mantra, but I can't agree. I suppose if I'd been dumb enough to buy a gun that rattled or was improperly machined, or whatever else is claimed to be wrong, I'd be unhappy too. For your dollar, you will get a very basic gun, but the metallurgy is good, and they hold their value. I'm probably going to have a custom gun built next year, and I am still wrestling with whether to have it built up from parts, or built on a Colt. I've been assured that the parts gun will be a better gun, but I like to see that rampant colt on my .45's. I'm a history buff, and you can't deny the allure of a pistol that "been there". When I see a Colt, I think of Alvin York, Texas Rangers, etc. No G.I.'s huddled in the Ardennes or squatting in the jungle were clutching a Norinco or a Kimber. That's perhaps an overly-romantic view of what is arguably just a tool, but I suspect most Colt fans feel the same way.
 

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Before the flames start let me say I own 5 Colt 1911's.XE,A1,Gold Cup,MK1V,ect.They all are @ the bottom of the rung quality wise compared to Kimber,Springfield ect.Yes they can be brought up to the standards of the others .It will cost about an extra $500.00 to do so.I however am willing to do so because of the Colt mystique.My carry gun Colt Commander 38 Super series 80.
 

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Gee, nobody has mentioned this reason.


If it's not a Colt, it's just a copy.

I have a Combat Target, a LW Commander and a
.380 Mustang....

Mike
 

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One of the main things I like about Colts are their collectibility. They seem to hold their value better than other brands of production guns.
 

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I have two "pairs" where I can compare directly.

My Kimber Gold Match is more accurate, but less forgiving of not perfect ammo than my Gold Cup. I carry the Gold Cup occasionally, but the kimber is more for the range.

My 1991A1 Colt is reliable with any ammo, and my 1911 Springfield Armory chokes on some. The Colt is more accurate also. Both have very similar modifications.

IMHO the differences vary more from gun to gun than from manufacturer to manufacturer.
 

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In reference to the history, I attended a training seminar with a texas ranger, and he told me, that if it wasn't a Colt, all the other Rangers gave that person a hard time. He carried a Light weight commander. While I don't go that far I admit that my three colts are not for sale, but then neither is my Springfield loaded.
 

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Breech, I purchased my 1991A1 as a carry gun. It is totally reliable. It has a firing pin safety which others, except Para, do not have. It has digested all sorts of ammo without failure. I'm quite satisfied with it.
 

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The Colt is the only collector piece. Except WWI Contract 1911's and the rare Singer 1911. There's a bunch out there and I have a bunch (6) including the WWI Remington UMC the rest are Colt. I think you have to fire them and know them to appreciate this. As all the respondents do. Sure I've heard that Kimbers are great but in 1911 Colt bought the patent after testing with the man (John Browning). Sam Colt never knew what a 1911 was. But his legacy still lives through Colt not Kimber. Buy one and you'll never be sorry. Besides you will have a gun made by a company thats been doing it for 100 years. 737-200
 

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Originally posted by RickB:
I am very happy with my Colts. People love to repeat the "Colts are crap" mantra, but I can't agree. I suppose if I'd been dumb enough to buy a gun that rattled or was improperly machined, or whatever else is claimed to be wrong, I'd be unhappy too. For your dollar, you will get a very basic gun, but the metallurgy is good, and they hold their value....(snip)..... I'm a history buff, and you can't deny the allure of a pistol that "been there". When I see a Colt, I think of Alvin York, Texas Rangers, etc. No G.I.'s huddled in the Ardennes or squatting in the jungle were clutching a Norinco or a Kimber. That's perhaps an overly-romantic view of what is arguably just a tool, but I suspect most Colt fans feel the same way.
Rick,

I say you have about summed it up...Hit the nail on the head as it were. The title of this thread should, why else would some one want to own a Colt.

The only place that I can find disagreement with is that I have held several Colts in my hand that *were* crap. Your argument that people shouldn't buy pistols that are crap is really over looking the point that if Colt means quality you shouldn't have to check behind them. If you could rely on the brand name Colt, you should be finished checking when you choose that label. They should hire QC inspectors at the factory to do that.

Truth is, those folks up there in Conn. decided they didn't have to produce quality in order to sell it. They got lazy, arrogant and unappreciative of the loyalty they had. If'n they had felt like you and I do about Colt we wouldn't be having this discussion now and Sliwa (sp?) might not own them.

Like a lot of American workers after WWII and before the 1990s, Colt employees were only looking for payday and quitting time, as they used to say. Now many of them are looking for a job.

Still, like you, I can still see those GIs in my mind, It was a better day in many respects.

PigPen
 

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Originally posted by shoepop:
Before the flames start let me say I own 5 Colt 1911's.XE,A1,Gold Cup,MK1V,ect.They all are @ the bottom of the rung quality wise compared to Kimber,Springfield ect.Yes they can be brought up to the standards of the others .It will cost about an extra $500.00 to do so.I however am willing to do so because of the Colt mystique.My carry gun Colt Commander 38 Super series 80.
Well, the Colt military guns are pure collectability (sure, they'll shoot too) so Kimber obviously doesn't compete there.
Otherwise though, Colt's quality has been up and down through the years. Depending on when it was made, it could be crap, or it could be a jewel of your collection.
I think the current administration at Colt's is building a gun as good in quality as the Kimbers. I'd say both are superior to Springfields (which, in my experience, half of need to be returned to teh factory, though they're great with getting it right the second time :)
For features, the XS series was the equal to, and superior to some of, the kimbers. The XSE is not as good (the beavertail and safety suck IMO) but, no worse (I also hate the beavertail on teh kimbers, and put ambi's on everything anyway :)

I have a Colt Defender (carry gun), a LW 70series .38 super commander (current project) and an all stainless steel .45 Commander (finished, trying to sell to pay for the .38 :)

"Why buy a Colt?"
"becuase Kimber doesn't have a cute animal on the side"
(AR's you get a panther, a snake, a horse, but .45's, NOTHING!!)
 

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I don't think it is lazyness or arrogance. It is the fact that Colt has changed ownership several times in the last 40 yrs. corporate types are the ones who could damage Colt not their employees. They have also been in bankruptcy because they don't have the large contracts of the glory years. Military contracts(Government) equals large cash income. It is the People that downgrade them which could hurt them now. I think most people still like Colt and I hope they can survive and get contracts. Its cold in Connecticut I want to help Colt pay the heating bill. As I love what they stand for and their products. Which are becoming ever decreasing. Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt 737-200
 

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Originally posted by 737-200 Heavy:
....[SNIP]...and get contracts. Its cold in Connecticut I want to help Colt pay the heating bill. As I love what they stand for and their products. Which are becoming ever decreasing. Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt Colt 737-200
Chuck Schumer and Sliwa will no doubt appreciate your contributions. I'm just not sure that they will reciprocate in giving you anything that you want but I hope so. I do wish you well.

PigPen
 

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I think the biggest reason why people gripe about Colt is because of what they USED to make vs. what they do now. A lot of it is market reality, of course. Imagine what it would cost today to build a 1911 the same way they did in the 1930's. All machined steel parts, hand polishing of every surface, and yet not a single smeared rollmark or rounded-off edge to be found. Probably something like $1400 per pistol. They can't do that in this day and age. To sell it for $600 or less you have to use some plastic and not worry about the external aesthetics as much. That being said, it still doesn't get them off the hook for selling guns that jammed all the time out of the box. Knowledgable gun enthusiasts might know what's wrong and either fix it or find a good gunsmith, but Joe Citizen buying a gun for the first time for defending his home certainly won't expect it and will be appalled when he dicovers it won't function, and neither will half the other Colts out there! So I don't care if Colt uses plastic parts these days, I just expect them to work. Fortunately I see recently made guns are actually starting to do just that again.


[This message has been edited by dsk (edited 12-19-2000).]
 

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Originally posted by dsk:
ImagiI think the biggest reason why people gripe about Colt is because of what they USED to make vs. what they do now. A lot of it is market reality, of course. ne what it would cost today to build a 1911 the same way they did in the 1930's. All machined steel parts, hand polishing of every surface, and yet not a single smeared rollmark or rounded-off edge to be found. Probably something like $1400 per pistol. They can't do that in this day and age. To sell it for $600 or less you have to use some plastic and not worry about the external aesthetics as much. That being said, it still doesn't get them off the hook for selling guns that jammed all the time out of the box. Knowledgable gun enthusiasts might know what's wrong and either fix it or find a good gunsmith, but Joe Citizen buying a gun for the first time for defending his home certainly won't expect it and will be appalled when he dicovers it won't function, and neither will half the other Colts out there! So I don't care if Colt uses plastic parts these days, I just expect them to work. Fortunately I see recently made guns are actually starting to do just that again.

I don't think that Les Baer, Wilson, Ed Brown, Rock River and to a lesser degree Springfield Armory and Kimber would entirely agree that a $1400.00 price tag is cost prohibitive. Furthermore, Colt could have had (and probably still could have) the edge in being "THE" one to have....The "brand Name" with the "Alligator" on the pocket.....King of The mountain. Every one else would have had an up hill battle against the one to beat.

I'm afraid there is no explanation that fits better than that Colt employees (and their unions) took the Conn. Co down the road to oblivian.

Rethink what you just said and see if you really mean it.

PigPen
 

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I think it would be impossible to build an early colt 1911 or even WWII 1911. Too many differences in finish, production line, machinery. Read the books pals and get back to me. It was the start of the automobile era when #1 came off line. We now have billions of dollars in a space station. Computers can do much. Materials are also far ahead of 1912. 1910 prototypes are worth hundreds of thousands. I guess you must have knowledge to love Colts. Kimber is from the computer-space station era. Where is the comparison. I think your a goober to compare the two. A&P
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If I farted in the woods and I was deaf and no one else was there. Would it stink
 

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Although labor costs are certainly an issue, I think you have to consider market share as well. 30 years ago, Colt had a pretty solid grip on a growing market, with a competetive product. In todays market, Glock owns the majority of the LE space, and the 1911's are pretty much the guns of a specialized few, even though they have many fine qualities.

In a small and shrinking market with lots of players and diversity, I don't see any single company getting rich, and lots will not survive no matter how good the products. I personally think Colt has a good product in this line at a reasonable price, but they will have to expect shrinking sales, no matter how they play the game, leading to higher prices. I think Kimber and SA are trying to compete with Glock, and they cannot win that battle. I think the small shops can probably keep operating as they have in the "boutique" area of small, high dollar sales.

I like having a "real" Colt, even if it's only a blued 1991A1. Colt stayed alive for years selling 1991's, SA Army's, and AR-15's to folks who wanted a piece of history. I think they can continue in that vein quite awhile.
 

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It may be true that the Colt employees are partially resonsible for the shoddy workmanship of recent Colts, but you have to remember the fault in any company goes right to the top. If you're a CEO it's your job to make sure your company turns out a quality product. If you're a work supervisor your job is to make sure your employees are doing their job as well. Have any of you ever seen a "lunch box special" dating from the 1940's or earlier? Those are guns made up from rejected parts that employees cobbled together and made complete pistols out of, then smuggled out of the factory. Look at one if you ever get the chance. You'll see parts that were rejected because of some simple manufacturing error yet often remained functional, but were rejected anyway because they didn't meet QC criteria. I swear, the two that I saw still showed better workmanship than a new Colt! Nowadays they will let parts like that pass QC and the buyer ends up with a gun with mislocated pin holes, overcut feed ramps, and misaligned frame rails! I don't blame the employees for that. It's the upper management that considers such a product acceptable because they'd rather not lose a few bucks making a new part from scratch.
 
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