PDA

View Full Version : Picked up the new Gold Cup National Match - a quick review


beetle
02-08-2012, 10:14 PM
Thanks to my friends over at Valkyrie Arms I was able to pick up the new 2012 Colt Gold Cup National Match. Here is some info and a quick review.

The National Match / Gold Cup National Match has a long history with Colt. Original "National Match" guns were built by the government for service marksmanship competitions. As shooting sports gained popularity with civilians, Colt introduced a National Match version of their pistols in the 30s and 40s.

Civilian gun manufacturing was paused during WW2, but in 1957 Colt began making the National Match pistols again.

In 1970 Colt added the words "Gold Cup" to the rollmark so the gun was known as the Series 70 Gold Cup National Match.

Similarly in the 80s and 90s Colt released the Series 80 Gold Cup National Match.

In 1997 Colt dropped the National Match terminology and released the "Gold Cup Trophy".

Before today I had in my collection a representative example from each of these generations (1960s National Match, 1970s Series 70 Gold Cup National Match, 1980s Series 80 Gold Cup National Match, and early 2000s Gold Cup Trophy).
http://www.employees.org/~beetle/guns/coltnm1.jpg

Well, last month I read that Colt is re-releasing the Gold Cup National Match at the SHOT show. Naturally since I have every generation the hunt was on to find one! Without further ado, I present the 2012 Gold Cup National Match (foreground)
http://www.employees.org/~beetle/guns/cgnm1.JPG

So what's my take on this new generation? Before I get into it, let's talk a bit about what makes up a Gold Cup National Match (GCNM)

To me, there are some distinctive features that GCNMs are known for. For example, for the longest time, every GCNM had Colt's famous royal blue finish. It also had a flat top serrated slide, Ellison sights, and the traditional tang hammer.

But beetle, are you saying that Colt should not modernize the gun? I'm fine with that. For example, in the pic of the 4 generations you can see that the Gold Cup Trophy has a modern beavertail safety as opposed to the traditional grip tang safety. That's cool, I like that. I'm on the fence about the skeletonized hammer, but I can learn to accept it. At least the Gold Cup Trophy sports a flat top slide and Ellison sights.

So what's not to like on the new 2012 Gold Cup National Match? Well, probably my biggest gripe is that it loses the flat top serrated slide in favor of a generic/boring round top slide. It also loses the Ellison sights for Bomar sights (which aesthetically look clunky compared to the Ellisons). And it loses the nice beavertail in the Gold Cup Trophy to go back to the grip tang safety.

In other words, it lost both the nice features of the old GCNMs (flat top slide, ellison sights) AND the Gold Cup Trophy (beavertail grip safety).

Here are the twins:
http://www.employees.org/~beetle/guns/cgnm2.JPG

Rear view -- compare the hammer and safeties. National Match left, Trophy Right.
http://www.employees.org/~beetle/guns/cgnm3.JPG

Top view. The flat top slide is sooooo much nicer. National Match left, Trophy Right.
http://www.employees.org/~beetle/guns/cgnm4.JPG

In terms of finish, believe it or not, the new 2012 GCNM has even less pre-polishing done than even the Gold Cup Trophy from a few years back. You can tell in the pictures that the finish is not as nice as the Gold Cup Trophy, which is far far away from the Royal Blue that Colt used to famous for.

However, fit on the new GCNM is very nice. Slide fit is tighter than I've ever seen on a Colt. This is the first Colt that I've handled that doesn't have the "colt rattle". Trigger break is clean and I'd estimate it at 5-6 lbs. (a guess).

In conclusion I'm a bit confused by this new GCNM, especially since they continue to sell the Gold Cup Trophy. To me it almost feels like the Gold Cup Trophy should be the Gold Cup National Match, and vice versa. I would have liked to see the traditional features of the Flat top slide, ellison sights, famous Gold Cup National Match roll mark, along with the updated beavertail.

Oh well, as a nice bonus my gun has the 100 year medallions in the grip. This one must have been made right as 2011 was ending.

Anyways, there is a new family member in my Gold Cup National Match collection. I'll need to update the family pic! ;)

jeffrice6
02-08-2012, 10:28 PM
Beautiful Colt collection!!!

somekevinguy
02-08-2012, 10:41 PM
A series 80 Gold Cup in Stainless was my first gun as soon as I turned 21.

SouperMan
02-08-2012, 10:44 PM
Great pics and information! Giving me ideas for my very first 1911!

MrExel17
02-08-2012, 10:59 PM
Niice collection, great info thanks for sharing!

sfbay
02-09-2012, 8:08 AM
Awesome thread !

wsmc27
02-09-2012, 8:13 AM
OP, great review and very very nice collection! Thank you.

My dad gave me a new Series 70 Mk IV GCNM in the early 80's and have always loved it.

:thumbsup:

djslik
02-09-2012, 8:17 AM
Dammit....I've been calling them up looking for a Colt Stainless Gold Cup and all they told me was that I have to call every 2 weeks. I'm jealous and would like to know how long you had to wait to find your beautiful pistol.

Buddhabelly
02-09-2012, 8:17 AM
Great collection. Nice write up

Soup for you !

beetle
02-09-2012, 8:30 AM
Thanks everyone for the kind words.

Dammit....I've been calling them up looking for a Colt Stainless Gold Cup and all they told me was that I have to call every 2 weeks. I'm jealous and would like to know how long you had to wait to find your beautiful pistol.

Colt guns are always on allocation from the factory. Basically, there is not a "stock" of them sitting at a distributor for fast shipment. To put this into perspective consider the following:

This year Ruger has the million gun challenge. That is, if they sell a million guns they will donate a million dollars to the NRA. It's a doable goal as last year they sold over 900K guns.

Last year Colt sold a little over 50,000 guns, which is up 30% from the year before.

Really highlights why there is so little supply of Colt guns. To make matters worse, I think they only have a few production lines, so they make everything in batches. For example, before this lastest batch of blue Gold Cup National Matches, the last time they made a blue Gold Cup Trophy was in 2009.

The point I'm making is that it's not a good strategy to "order" one through a dealer. It's not the dealer's fault, as they will put in the order but it will be a VERY long time before Colt ships it to them (if at all).

Your best bet is to find one in stock NOW and have it transferred through SSE.

Fortunately stainless gold cup trophy's are a little more plentiful than the blued versions. There are a whole bunch on gunbroker now. Contact the sellers and find one that will ship to California. You can have your stainless Gold Cup Trophy in a matter of weeks ;)

Good luck!

P.S. I think I was in the store when you came in asking about this -- I kinda rolled my eyes when the clerk told you to call every 2 weeks. lol.

sendithit
02-09-2012, 8:35 AM
Very nice.....and thanks for sharing. How does it shoot compared to the rest of the "family"?

ocabj
02-09-2012, 8:36 AM
Oh man. I am jealous. I saw it at SHOT Show and need to allocate money and time into getting one because I want a gun for EIC Pistol.

RealBarber
02-09-2012, 9:41 AM
easily the best thread ive seen on this forum

congrats on the collection

Ubermcoupe
02-09-2012, 9:48 AM
Ahh Beetle, you get all the good stuff.

Congrats once again! (I’m still waiting for that invitation for a tour of your collection :p )

beretta929mm
02-09-2012, 10:09 AM
Only the Colt is a 1911, others are all imitations. Beautiful beautiful gun.:79:

silentfurymm
02-09-2012, 10:21 AM
Great thread and excellent collection. My .02 is that Colt realized new Gold Cup Trophys were no longer eligible for CMP National Match Service pistol competitions. All of the lost features that frustrate you where nesscerary to make the gun legal per CMP rules. It had to be embarrassing to Colt for the CMP rule book to reference early model Gold Cups as the standard, but exclude new models.

Examples of what standards 1911-A1 model guns must meet to participate.
-Spur hammer
-A1 grip safety, beavertail is not allowed. Until recently guns modified to use a beavertail where disqualified from use, but that has been changed.
-No full length guide rod
-Front site must be dovetailed into a slide. Not 100% on this, but I think the rule also excludes the ribs along the top of the slide because it wouldnt match the A1 profile.

Basically that is why Colt is selling the National Match and Trophy side by side.

beerman
02-09-2012, 11:53 AM
I actually like the dovetailed sights feature. Older GCNM sights are notorious for loostening up. I have that problem with my series 80...both front and back.

Thomas1190
02-09-2012, 12:11 PM
Very nice beetle. I love your 1911 collection! :D

Malmon
02-09-2012, 1:11 PM
Wow, those guns are beautiful.

beetle
02-09-2012, 2:50 PM
Great thread and excellent collection. My .02 is that Colt realized new Gold Cup Trophys were no longer eligible for CMP National Match Service pistol competitions. All of the lost features that frustrate you where nesscerary to make the gun legal per CMP rules. It had to be embarrassing to Colt for the CMP rule book to reference early model Gold Cups as the standard, but exclude new models.

Examples of what standards 1911-A1 model guns must meet to participate.
-Spur hammer
-A1 grip safety, beavertail is not allowed. Until recently guns modified to use a beavertail where disqualified from use, but that has been changed.
-No full length guide rod
-Front site must be dovetailed into a slide. Not 100% on this, but I think the rule also excludes the ribs along the top of the slide because it wouldnt match the A1 profile.

Basically that is why Colt is selling the National Match and Trophy side by side.

Very interesting information and clarifies a few things for me! Makes sense about the beavertail safety and other parts. But all of my previous National Matches (going back to the 60s) all have flat top serrated slides, so that must be allowed in the rulebook.

I learned something today, thanks for sharing!

silentfurymm
02-09-2012, 5:29 PM
Very interesting information and clarifies a few things for me! Makes sense about the beavertail safety and other parts. But all of my previous National Matches (going back to the 60s) all have flat top serrated slides, so that must be allowed in the rulebook.

I learned something today, thanks for sharing!

Glad to help! The only reason I know is because I recently got involved with a local shooting team who shoots CMP service matches. I was interested in having my own .45 and started researching what it would take. Basically your options are to buy a cheap 1911-1 (auto ordnance, etc.) and spend $800 in accurizing it, or buy a Springfield Armory Custom Hardball or Les Baer Hardball for about $1700.

Decided maybe I should attend some matches before I dropped that kind of money, because chances are once I move away from school (and CA) I will go back to shooting steel. A hardball gun would not be good for steel matches, can you say hammer bite! So instead I will just shoot the teams service pistols.

In any case this new Gold Cup's price makes it very attractive for somebody looking to shoot CMP or Bullseye.

ZX-10R
02-09-2012, 5:47 PM
WOW those are beautiful...It it is not a Colt...Etc. Pictures like that make me realize even more how cheap SAs look.

djslik
02-09-2012, 8:12 PM
P.S. I think I was in the store when you came in asking about this -- I kinda rolled my eyes when the clerk told you to call every 2 weeks. lol.

Haha I had my 5 month old in his stroller that day.

Does gun broker sell any new guns because I always thought it was used guns on their site? I got so impatient waiting I broke down and got me another SIG P220ST.

But there are 2 pistols that I'm hunting for right now:
Colt 1911 Stainless Gold Cup
Springfield 1911 Stainless Trophy Match

Once again I am in love with your collection and the pictures look great. I guess guns aren't the only thing you shoot. Did you use an off camera flash or a home made light box for the shots?

beetle
02-09-2012, 8:22 PM
Haha I had my 5 month old in his stroller that day.

Does gun broker sell any new guns because I always thought it was used guns on their site. I got so impatient waiting I broke down and got me another SIG P220ST.

But there are 2 pistols that I'm hunting for right now.

Colt 1911 Stainless Gold Cup
Springfield 1911 Stainless Trophy Match

Once again I am in love with your collection and the pictures look great. I guess guns aren't the only thing you shoot. Did you use an off camera flash or a home made light box for the shots?

Yes Gunbroker sells new guns (as well as used). The descriptions will say if they are new or not. A lot of dealers sell their new inventory on Gunbroker.

There are a lot of new Stainless Gold Cups on Gunbroker right now in fact (the Trophy model).

I shot a Springfield Trophy Match once -- I don't like their front strap checkering -- much too course. Tore my hand up.

Thanks for the nice comments on the pictures. I enjoy dabbling in photography as well. My wife says my gun collecting and photography are the same hobby as they both involve "shooting" and endless acquisition of pricey gear ;)

good luck in your search!

beetle
02-09-2012, 8:25 PM
This guy has three stainless gold cup trophies available:
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=272459171

and here's a Springfield Trophy Match
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=273202693

Valkyrie will happily accept shipments from out of state, but you'll need to pay them a transfer fee, single shot fee, DROS, etc....

Blackhawk556
02-09-2012, 9:07 PM
Are these the type of guns you keep in the safe for years and never shoot?? :)

S dot
02-09-2012, 9:28 PM
The one with the ivory grips is out of this world man. Nice Collection.

monstertodd
02-09-2012, 9:33 PM
Wow, I approve this thread sir!

Omil
02-09-2012, 9:43 PM
Very nice collection, OP's.