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View Full Version : New to 1911s - Series 70, 80, etc???


Nate74
05-04-2010, 6:03 PM
I've been shooting the rental Springfield 1911 at the local range on and off for a year or so and decided I just couldn't live without my own. So as I sit here in my 10 day wait, I'm looking at all the goodies you can buy for these guns.

The only thing I'm actually going to buy in the short term is an 8 round magazine and a bore brush, but I see all sorts of other stuff which has me wondering. What is meant by series 70, 80, etc. What is my Springfield Mil-Spec 1911 considered?

Any informational sources available to get me up to speed a bit?

Thanks in advance.

Black Majik
05-04-2010, 6:12 PM
The series 70 nomenclature is designated for Colts, however it gets tossed around loosely to refer to 1911 style pistols without firing pin blocks (however disregarding collet barrel bushings).

Series 80 is a firing pin block activated by the trigger to push two levers in the frame to disengage the firing pin block in the slide.

Your Springfield Milspec, would loosely be referred as being "series 70."

wu_dot_com
05-04-2010, 6:13 PM
series 70 and series 80 is a colt thing. it have something to do with the addition of a automatic firing pin block that was added by colt during the 1980s. everything prior to 1980 or w/o a firing pin block is called series 70. all other such as 1991 are series 80.

people dont like the series 80 because the automatic firing pin block is disengage by the trigger pull. thus, the light trigger modification become extra complicated with series 80 pistols. many 1911 pistol smith wont even bother with moding series 80 pistol becuase of the extra complication.

springfield 1911 is consider to be a series 70 due to lack of automatic firing pin block. the drop test is satisfied by using an extra power firing pin return spring and ti firing pin. due to the increase spring force and reduce firing pin weight, Springfield's 1911 was able to pass the drop test.

last, if you ever consider upgrading your 1911 by parts swaping, make sure the parts you order is the right size. springfield uses smaller dimension parts

wu_dot_com
05-04-2010, 6:15 PM
The series 70 nomenclature is designated for Colts, however it gets tossed around loosely to refer to 1911 style pistols without firing pin blocks (however disregarding collet barrel bushings).

Series 80 is a firing pin block activated by the trigger to push two levers in the frame to dis-activate the firing pin block in the slide.

Your Springfield Milspec, would loosely be referred as being "series 70."

to add to that, the modern replica version of the series 70 have droped the collet bushing (or finger bushing as some might call it). instead, they revert back to the standard barrel bushing due to the improve manufacturing process at keeping tight tolerance.

your Springfield also uses the standard barrel bushings.

BunnySlayer
05-04-2010, 6:16 PM
Well congrats on becoming a member of 1911aholics anonymous. The primary differences between the series 70 and 80 was the installation of a firing pin block on the 80 in the 1980's. It was then and remains now a controversial subject. I've owned and liked both ( and disliked both) so to me it's a non-issue. Supposedly you can get a better trigger on the 70 due to the lack of this modification but again I've seen good and bad on both. I can't answer if your springer has one or not as it's been a long time since I owned one. They did not have this feature back then. Maybe their lawyers have changed this. Someone here will have more current info I'm sure. Good luck and happy shooting.

bn91205
05-04-2010, 7:10 PM
A series 80 can be converted over into a series 70 rather simply with the installation of a shim made by TJ's: http://www.tjscustomgunworks.com/Photos4/1911Shim.htm and removal of all the firing block parts.

Just an FYI for those who own 80's.

Brian

den888
05-04-2010, 7:23 PM
Arguably, the Series 80 is safer to carry "cocked and locked" (condition one carry of a 1911), which will not discharge if dropped.

Nate74
05-04-2010, 7:57 PM
Wow, great stuff guys. Thanks!

The only mods I can see ever wanting would be in the event I get the much talked about (on the web at least) hammer bite. A beaver tail and different hammer might be on the horizon. The Springfield at the range I was shooting was the Loaded model so it had the longer beavertail thing on it.

I'm VERY hopeful that with the Mil Spec, this wont' be an issue for me though.

So how would I go about verifying a given part will actually fit my new pistol?

Jason762
05-04-2010, 8:16 PM
So how would I go about verifying a given part will actually fit my new pistol?

Series 80 parts work with both series 70 and 80.

Series 70 only works with series 70.

1JimMarch
05-05-2010, 1:57 AM
Um, you can make a series 70 significantly safer just by installing a titanium firing pin.

1911 firing pins are rather long, and if made of steel a bit heavy. Under certain rare drop angles, the firing pin can slam forward with enough momentum to crank off a round.

Switch to a Ti firing pin and the reduced firing pin weight solves the problem without the funkier trigger feel you get on the series 80.

IF I was buying a 1911, it would be a 70 with a Ti firing pin, self-installed if the factory didn't offer it as a low-cost option. They generally drop right in.

1911s just don't fit my hands (literally) so they're not my thing. But I fully respect them.

BunnySlayer
05-05-2010, 1:27 PM
Wow, great stuff guys. Thanks!

The only mods I can see ever wanting would be in the event I get the much talked about (on the web at least) hammer bite. A beaver tail and different hammer might be on the horizon. The Springfield at the range I was shooting was the Loaded model so it had the longer beavertail thing on it.

I'm VERY hopeful that with the Mil Spec, this wont' be an issue for me though.

So how would I go about verifying a given part will actually fit my new pistol?

You say that now! Just wait. You will get the modification bug! Most of us seem to anyway. Every bell and whistle starts to look really good when your addicted.

Nate74
05-05-2010, 1:33 PM
You say that now! Just wait. You will get the modification bug! Most of us seem to anyway. Every bell and whistle starts to look really good when your addicted.

Just because my $750 AR has cost me close to $2k is no indication that it will happen again with my 1911...:rolleyes:

Black Majik
05-05-2010, 1:58 PM
Just because my $750 AR has cost me close to $2k is no indication that it will happen again with my 1911...:rolleyes:

At least ARs are "add on." Surefire, optics, etc etc... Add ons for a 1911 require a trip to the smith.

"Hmm.. I want a Surefire light on my 1911. Here is a dawson rail + $$$ to refinish. While I'm getting it refinished anyways, lets get 25 LPI checkering, blended magazine well, fitted beavertail, extended thumb safety, 25 LPI MSH checkering, new match barrel bushing, french border, 40 lpi flattened topstrap, dehorned, and ball cut slide. Oh yeah, mill the slide for new sights since it's getting refinished. Oh darn, got a new beavertail, my spur hammer wont work with it. Should I bob the hammer? Nah, lets replace it with a skeleton hammer, but if I do that I might as well swap out the disconnector, and sear too. Since those are done lets get a fitted trigger in there with trigger job. Since the whole gun is getting redone, I have a new barrel coming in. We might as well recrown and recess that barrel."

Did I miss anything??

ojisan
05-05-2010, 2:18 PM
Did I miss anything??

The hours of fun of going through the catalogs and websites figuring all this out so the gun is exactly what you want.
:D