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Review of new Colt XS Govt Model

1221 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  1/4Horse Cav
Well, after nearly two years of not seeing any new Colts around here, I finally came across one at a store in a neighboring town and decided to take a chance on it as a Father's Day present to myself.
It's one of the new models, with fewer features than the previous XS models but $100 more in price. :p
Frankly, for $800 I would have expected at least some high-profile fixed sights, but what can ya do?
Anyway, I took it to the range today and bought a couple hundred rounds of Wolf 45 (which wasn't my first choice but it was all they had) and a hundred rounds of Hydrashok and Golden Saber JHPs.
First observation: I will never buy Wolf 45 again. Although I had no jams, I could tell that the loadings of the rounds were NOT consistent...some recoiled more than others. Frankly it worried me and I don't like worrying about the ammo I am shooting.
Second, the gun didn't jam once, which was nice but also expected: I have yet to find a major-brand factory 1911 that has had any sort of significant reliability problems.
What DID surprise me was the accuracy. It wasn't on a par with my Kimber Gold Match, but it was certainly as good as any other 1911 of its price range. The trigger breaks very cleanly and isn't too heavy and the beavertail is well-designed to keep the gun comfortably pointed in my hand.
Besides the sights being less than what I would expect on an $800 gun, I had only one other complaint---the safety is hard to put on and seemed to get stiffer as I shot the gun.
Taking it off was easy and I got a nice positive snap when taking it off, but putting it on was a bit of a pain. Hopefully it will loosen up as I shoot it more. Or perhaps I will replace it with a Wilson safety when I have the sights replaced with Novaks.
Other than replacing the sights (and maybe the safety if it doesn't loosen up a bit) and possibly replacing the plastic MHS with a metal one (not strictly necessary but I may as well have it done while the gun is at the smith) I can't think of anything else that needs to be done.
All in all a very nice gun, though overpriced by about $100 IMHO.

A man with a watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches isn't so sure
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The XSE's that I've seen did have high profile fixed sights; pretty much like they've been using for the last fifteen years, or so. They didn't go back to G.I., did they?
RickB, the original XS guns had Novak-style rear sights. When they went cheaper on the gun and more expensive on the price they went back to the standard rear sights they've been using for 15 years on Series 80 guns.

A man with a watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches isn't so sure
I just picked up an XS, too. Only mine is a LW Commander. It's accuracy surprised me as well. I didn't expect it to shoot as well as it did. The idea of putting a match bbl and bushing left me quick.

Mine does have Novak type sights, but they are not as nice as Novak's. I may still change them. The beavertail is going. I don't like the way the factory tail feels. A trigger job is in order and the mag release is just a tad shallow. I find it hard to drop the mag without changing my grip more than I like. Other than that, I think she's a keeper!
Johnny, what didn't you like about the beavertail?
The trigger on mine is surprisingly crisp...don't think it needs any work at all.

A man with a watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches isn't so sure
I've been reading the interesting posts on this forum for quite some time now and have finally a reason to join in. Just got myself a brand new XSE and took it to the range yesterday. Good/Bad news. With Fed AE, I shot a one & 1/2" 5-shot group at 25 yds. Not bad for my weak old eyes! No FTF's!(which I had several with the Kimber CDP that I traded for the Colt). But, after shooting 6-5rd mags, I decided to fill the Shooting Star, Colt and 47D mags with 8 rounds. First 2 ok, then with the Wilson, the slide didn,t lock back after last round. Also, it was hitting 9" high and 3" to the right. After cleaning it, none of the 3 mags that I put 8 rds in would lock back the slide. I had 2 more mags at home and both locked it. This morning the 47D did also but not the Colt or SS. Colt says send the gun in and they would adjust the sights and check the slide lock, but 3 weeks turnaround.
I normally use Hoppe's oil, but used RemOil before and after shooting yesterday. Is it too thin? It took me a long time to get around to a 1911 and I love the look and feel of this Colt. What do yall think?

[This message has been edited by 1/4Horse Cav (edited 06-15-2001).]

[This message has been edited by 1/4Horse Cav (edited 06-15-2001).]
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RikWriter, The center of my beavertail is raised. It's not like a raised pad, towards the bottom. It's more like the whole length of the grip portion is raised in the center. So much so, that is digs into my hand.
1/4 Cav,,,

Ammo can make a real difference in where your shots will group. But I dont think you have much of a problem. Colt is doing a very good job on its turnaround time too, they will tell you 3 weeks and it usually runs about 10 days. Send it to Colt and let the factory shop square it away.
Here's a pic of the lovely lady...
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I also bought a new Government XSE and couldn't live with the sights, or the FLGR.
Sent it to Novak's and replaced the FLGR with a plug and a standard length Group Gripper guide rod.
$70.00 to mill the slide and $70.00 for the sights.

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Nice job on the sights...what was the turnaround time?
I think I could replace the FLGR myself if I was of a mind, but it isn't hurting anything so I will leave it the way it is.

A man with a watch knows what time it is; a man with two watches isn't so sure
I got Novak's put on a HiPower (from Novak) and it took 3 weeks IIRC.
While the guide rod might not be needed, I don't really see a need to change it out.

The safeties are usually best done on Colt's, but when they do one badly, they generally do it pretty badly :)
They only let around 1 of 6 through with "bad" safeties and as you mention, it's not a major hindrance, just a nuisance.
Turn around time was two weeks from the day I mailed it UPS, untill I recived it back.
These are XSE's, not XS's. Big Difference.
The original sights aren't as pretty as say Novak's or Heine's, but the white dots are much easier for me to see. Plus I am somewhat of a purist and am quite satisfied with the way it came out of the box. I can live with 3 weeks, but 10 days would be nice. I had a few larger groups with WW White and S&B, but am thrilled with it's accuracy and the fact that it's every bit as well made as a Kimber.
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