while i am no expert on any 1911 iirc colt throated the barrel , polished the feed ramp , opened up the ejection port , stuck larger sights and possibly a beavertail grip safety on it and called it " enhanced " I believe the undercut on the trigger guard , gold cup slanted serrations on for and aft of slide , and extended safety(s) constituted the XSE line .
The Enhanced Colt pistols were introduced in 1992, and replaced all the "Model O" pistols in Colt's lineup except for the M1991A1. Features included Gold Cup-style slides with a top rib and forward-angled serrations, a deeply undercut frontstrap, a flat paddle-style grip safety, Commander-type hammer, beveled mag well, and pebbled rubber wraparound grips. The Government Model, Commander, Gold Cup, and Officers ACP all received these changes. Like I said only the M1991A1 survived in the original classic configuration. That model was of course later upgraded with a nicer finish and new rollmarks around 2001.
I never liked the looks of the Enhanced models, and apparently neither did a lot of other people as the Enhanced guns were all replaced by the XS model around 1998 or so. The XS models retained some of the Enhanced's features, but it lost the top rib and gained a big wedge rear sight, semi-beavertail grip safety, nicer slide rollmarks, an ambi thumb safety, and wood grips. A year later the XSE replaced the XS, with a standard rear sight and the paddle grip safety returning (the XS parts were outsourced and Colt had trouble with deliveries). New XSE pistols made recently have a new Novak-style rear sight.
The Enhanced models was to Colt what "New" Coke was to Coke Classic. That old adage of "if it ain't broke...." was never more clearly demonstrated. Although I like most of the features of the Enhanced series, I REALLY hated the undercut on the triggerguard. All it did was make the gun feel more "square" in that area and hurt your finger more after extensive fire. Here's my "Enhanced" Gold Cup.
I figured i missed the ball a bit , but not as far as appairently i did . Thanks for the correction guys . In my own defense i jumped straight from pre 70 and series 70 guns right to the xse and missed the whole enhanced 1911 fad lol . I was entranced with springers for the most part ( 1911 wise ) during the time frame but most of my resources went to duty guns and kids .
Actually, the top rib is not the same as a Gold Cup. A Gold Cup has serrated lines engraved into the flat top. the Enhanced is just flat. plane and ugly and screaming for a smith to do some work on it.
I have 4 enhanced colts, and I have found that the front of slide serrations do not exist on the ones without the adj. sights, Only does my gold gup has the grooved slide top and adj. sights, but thankfully no slide grippers on the front,,, Both officers are enhanced, and one govt with flat topped slider without the front grippers, I am not a fan of the front of slide grippers, Personally I would jump on the lwt commander, If you dont, Please PM me with a # !!!! Here is a pic of my carry enhanced officers
I don't think front cocking serrations were part of the enhanced package of changes. They showed up on the XS pistols, and then were retained on the XSE. The early XSE pistols looked almost identical to the enhanced line, other than the round-top slide and the forward serrations. The latest XSE pistols, with their ambi safeties and dovetail sights front and rear, are just a real beavertail short of matching the XS pistols for features.