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  #1  
Old 08-25-2011, 11:57 AM
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Default Series 70 and series 80 1911's.

I'm wanting to pick up a 1911 but am preferring a basic model. I'm not a huge fan of these customized 1911's. The only thing I'd end up changing is the grip panels and the rounded commander hammer. My friend just got an RIA and I loved the feel and how it shot and it looks rather good but it sounds like theres alot of people preferring the even older series 70's. Other than the firing pin block what else is different about the series 70 and 80 and if I prefer a domestic made product is Colt/Kimber and the 1k plus 1911's my only option?
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:52 PM
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Technically speaking, series 70 and 80 only means no firing pin 'drop safety' vs having a firing pin drop safety.


Most people will tell you though, (and they'll be right) that the older guns are put together better.

Well, almost right. Some colt's from the 1970s were pretty crappy right out of the box.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:54 PM
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Colt XSE - $1050...Extremely accurate, reliable, and a beautiful gun with ambi safety.

Colt is Colt and if you see them on a lot of boards, they have a great reputation and they are not a dime a dozen. If you can find those earlier models then get one...I look every so often for a cheap one. I saw some guy selling one for cheap on another forum but I want to be able to see and touch.

Best gun purchase I have made aside from my PSL.

Good luck.
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Old 08-25-2011, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZX-10R View Post
Colt XSE - $1050...Extremely accurate, reliable, and a beautiful gun with ambi safety.

Colt is Colt and if you see them on a lot of boards, they have a great reputation and they are not a dime a dozen. If you can find those earlier models then get one...I look every so often for a cheap one. I saw some guy selling one for cheap on another forum but I want to be able to see and touch.

Best gun purchase I have made aside from my PSL.

Good luck.
Yea I was leaning Hipower a day or two ago but I shot a 1911 again and figured I can get one cheaper and I liked the grip a bit better for single stack mags. In any case, my best friend said he had a colt in the late 80's, picked up the RIA and said he preferred the colt but loved the RIA too. I dont want alot of the extra "goodies". I'd prefer the original non skeletonized trigger/hammer and no front cocking/press check serrations.

And thank you this info helps, I'd love to keep the gun domestic on this purchase but I'm well aware SA makes a fabulous GI model as well.
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  #5  
Old 08-25-2011, 1:03 PM
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I'd get a Taurus 1911 before I considered an RIA.
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Old 08-25-2011, 1:04 PM
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I'd get a Taurus 1911 before I considered an RIA.
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Old 08-25-2011, 1:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZX-10R View Post
Colt XSE - $1050...Extremely accurate, reliable, and a beautiful gun with ambi safety.

Colt is Colt and if you see them on a lot of boards, they have a great reputation and they are not a dime a dozen. If you can find those earlier models then get one...I look every so often for a cheap one. I saw some guy selling one for cheap on another forum but I want to be able to see and touch.

Best gun purchase I have made aside from my PSL.

Good luck.
I was just at Turners in Pasadena. They have 5 colts, 2 100 years of service, an XSE, and a couple stainless.

I concur - for $1100 it's hard to beat the XSE and it has the Pony on it as well!
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Old 08-25-2011, 1:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturnovik View Post
Yea I was leaning Hipower a day or two ago but I shot a 1911 again and figured I can get one cheaper and I liked the grip a bit better for single stack mags. In any case, my best friend said he had a colt in the late 80's, picked up the RIA and said he preferred the colt but loved the RIA too. I dont want alot of the extra "goodies". I'd prefer the original non skeletonized trigger/hammer and no front cocking/press check serrations.

And thank you this info helps, I'd love to keep the gun domestic on this purchase but I'm well aware SA makes a fabulous GI model as well.
No problem...I was going to get the RIA as well but for $550 I was skeptical because for $400 more I get a Colt. My friend has a Colt as well, as does a neighbor who has a 70...He likes it but also has a Kimber that is much more expensive. If you get a 1911 you get USA...Heck RIA is Filipino made and I am Filipino and I did not get one but that is a matter of preference for USA made products and no indication of quality.

Good luck on your search.
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  #9  
Old 08-25-2011, 1:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Paradiddle View Post
I was just at Turners in Pasadena. They have 5 colts, 2 100 years of service, an XSE, and a couple stainless.

I concur - for $1100 it's hard to beat the XSE and it has the Pony on it as well!
Ha....I am calling Turners today to see if I can get another one.
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  #10  
Old 08-25-2011, 1:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ZX-10R View Post
No problem...I was going to get the RIA as well but for $550 I was skeptical because for $400 more I get a Colt. My friend has a Colt as well, as does a neighbor who has a 70...He likes it but also has a Kimber that is much more expensive. If you get a 1911 you get USA...Heck RIA is Filipino made and I am Filipino and I did not get one but that is a matter of preference for USA made products and no indication of quality.

Good luck on your search.
Yea, I frankly would just get a Springfield but at the same time I've always wanted a Colt or just frankly a company thats domestic that makes it. If the quality was questionable I'd go foreign but I'm told there's plenty of domestic companies that make a quality GI model.
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  #11  
Old 08-25-2011, 1:47 PM
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Although 1911's with no firing pin safety are often referred to as "Series 70" style, the actual defining feature of a Series 70 1911 is the collet bushing. All Colt 1911's made after WWII but prior to the Series 70 featured standard fitted barrel bushings and no firing pin safety. Since Commanders/Combat Commanders never featured a collet bushing there are actually no Series 70 versions of those pistols; only Series 80 Commanders or pre 80 Series Commanders.

Colt's first firing pin safety was the Swartz safety used on some models from 1937 till about 1941-42.
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Old 08-25-2011, 1:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redcliff View Post
Although 1911's with no firing pin safety are often referred to as "Series 70" style, the actual defining feature of a Series 70 1911 is the collet bushing. All Colt 1911's made after WWII but prior to the Series 70 featured standard fitted barrel bushings and no firing pin safety.

Colt's first firing pin safety was the Swartz safety used on some models from 1937 till about 1941-42.
The swartz safety as I recall were related to the grip safety? I think kimber uses them right? Or did....
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Old 08-25-2011, 1:59 PM
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From 10-8:

"Firing pin safeties typically fall into the Colt Series 80 pattern which are actuated by the trigger (Colt Series 80, Para Ordnance, Sig GSR) and the Swartz style safety which is actuated by the grip safety (Kimber, Smith & Wesson). Of all the firing pin safety mechanisms on the market, the original Colt Series 80 - in a Colt - is the most reliable of them all. The platforms utilizing the Swartz safety are a less than ideal choice across the board due to the inherent reliability problems of the design. The Swartz safety is extremely sensitive to the fit of the grip safety to the frame and the timing of the grip safety's trigger blocking arm. Tolerance issues can also lead to a Swartz safety that will time properly when the grip safety is depressed a certain way, and time differently when depressed a different way. This will typically be a product of loose fit of the grip safety to the frame tangs and/or loose fit of the thumb safety shaft through the grip safety. It is possible to have the grip safety timed such that the trigger will be able to release the sear well before the firing pin safety plunger has been moved far enough to clear the firing pin. Problems with improper timing of the Swartz safeties can lead to a situation where you get a "click" when you wanted a "bang." "
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  #14  
Old 08-25-2011, 2:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sturnovik View Post
I'm wanting to pick up a 1911 but am preferring a basic model. I'm not a huge fan of these customized 1911's. The only thing I'd end up changing is the grip panels and the rounded commander hammer. My friend just got an RIA and I loved the feel and how it shot and it looks rather good but it sounds like theres alot of people preferring the even older series 70's. Other than the firing pin block what else is different about the series 70 and 80 and if I prefer a domestic made product is Colt/Kimber and the 1k plus 1911's my only option?
There are a few shops in Nor Cal that can get you any colt you want, 70 series, colt rail gun, 38 super, you name it. You will like whatever one you get
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  #15  
Old 08-25-2011, 3:34 PM
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Thank you for the info. I just hope what model I get can take the hammer I want.
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Old 08-25-2011, 5:05 PM
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If you're buying new the series 70 "replica" is not on the roster so you'd have to do a SSE. It does seem like you are leaning towards PPT but just an FYI.

I would just get the series 80 1911 and be done with it. Like you said, you don't want to customize it and from what I've read it seems that the firing pin block is a potential problem only when you get trigger work done.
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Old 08-25-2011, 5:26 PM
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Why cant it be a PPT? I'm well aware I could do an SSE and dont mind it though too. I'm preferring it to be stock and yea I dont mind that firing pin block honestly, it can only help and I doubt it would have a terrible trigger that wouldn't smooth out after couple hundred rounds.
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Old 08-25-2011, 5:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturnovik View Post
Why cant it be a PPT? I'm well aware I could do an SSE and dont mind it though too. I'm preferring it to be stock and yea I dont mind that firing pin block honestly, it can only help and I doubt it would have a terrible trigger that wouldn't smooth out after couple hundred rounds.
My post was kind of convoluted sorry. It is perfectly fine to PPT an off roster pistol.

You could get the 100th anniversary Colt 1911 right now. Just get the 80's and be done with it.

If you ever change your mind about customizing it perhaps you can have the gunsmith remove the firing pin block. I'm not an expert on the 1911 so maybe some research might help if you think that might be a possiblity.
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Old 08-25-2011, 5:44 PM
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Originally Posted by RRichie09 View Post
My post was kind of convoluted sorry. It is perfectly fine to PPT an off roster pistol.

You could get the 100th anniversary Colt 1911 right now. Just get the 80's and be done with it.

If you ever change your mind about customizing it perhaps you can have the gunsmith remove the firing pin block. I'm not an expert on the 1911 so maybe some research might help if you think that might be a possiblity.
Oh its cool. Yea I mean I like the idea of having it and I read its just more money and time or the trigger to be better, I doubt its a huge difference without it. But thank you for the info. Now I just have to find that hammer I need!
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Old 08-25-2011, 5:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Sturnovik View Post
Oh its cool. Yea I mean I like the idea of having it and I read its just more money and time or the trigger to be better, I doubt its a huge difference without it. But thank you for the info. Now I just have to find that hammer I need!
Awesome. BTW I like your taste in guns. I just a P226 and the 1911 is definately the next pistol I will get. Its was the first one I wanted but the P226 German came out and I couldn't pass it up.
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Old 08-25-2011, 5:58 PM
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Originally Posted by RRichie09 View Post
Awesome. BTW I like your taste in guns. I just a P226 and the 1911 is definately the next pistol I will get. Its was the first one I wanted but the P226 German came out and I couldn't pass it up.
Thanks! I just got a Beretta 96 to the collection, the top 3 brands Sig/Glock/Beretta, I had to have one of each . Are you liking the p226 German model? Mines a 1989 model.


Does anyone know where to find a good quality commander style hammer? I cant stand the huge skeleton ones. Should this one work?
http://www.midwayusa.com/viewproduct...tnumber=137959

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Old 08-25-2011, 6:02 PM
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Thanks! I just got a Beretta 96 to the collection, the top 3 brands Sig/Glock/Beretta, I had to have one of each . Are you liking the p226 German model? Mines a 1989 model.
I've only got 200 rnds through it but its an amazing pistol. Accurate/Percise to my standards. I'll have to shoot it next to an Exeter P226 to see if the slide really makes a difference to the balance of the pistol. I actually prefer the rail as it is my HD gun and I want to mount a light int he near future.

My last final is tomorrow so I'll be putting her through her paces.

A beretta too? haha. 1911 -> 92FS -> CZ or glock? That's my short list at the moment.

You need an AR btw
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Old 08-25-2011, 6:35 PM
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If you get one through ppt then you will pay a premium for it. There are shops where you can get a new one for cheaper and Colt's current production guns are extremely well made.
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Old 08-25-2011, 6:36 PM
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Originally Posted by RRichie09 View Post
I've only got 200 rnds through it but its an amazing pistol. Accurate/Percise to my standards. I'll have to shoot it next to an Exeter P226 to see if the slide really makes a difference to the balance of the pistol. I actually prefer the rail as it is my HD gun and I want to mount a light int he near future.

My last final is tomorrow so I'll be putting her through her paces.

A beretta too? haha. 1911 -> 92FS -> CZ or glock? That's my short list at the moment.

You need an AR btw
Eh cant afford one. I have a keltec .223 and it was a mistake and I have a Saiga but its not the same as an AR.

I figure your right about the premium, I may have to seriously shop even more.
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Old 08-25-2011, 9:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redcliff View Post
Although 1911's with no firing pin safety are often referred to as "Series 70" style, the actual defining feature of a Series 70 1911 is the collet bushing. All Colt 1911's made after WWII but prior to the Series 70 featured standard fitted barrel bushings and no firing pin safety. Since Commanders/Combat Commanders never featured a collet bushing there are actually no Series 70 versions of those pistols; only Series 80 Commanders or pre 80 Series Commanders.

Colt's first firing pin safety was the Swartz safety used on some models from 1937 till about 1941-42.
Did not some early series 80's have the collet bushing? I remember a combat elite .45 that I had, that came that way. I also remember some bushing failures too.
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Old 08-26-2011, 12:09 AM
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I'd get a Taurus 1911 before I considered an RIA.
i'd rather have an ria than a taurus. as a matter of fact, i sold a taurus to get a ria. now my neighbor has an older taurus pt92 from the 80s and that is a great pistol, but i haven't liked their newer handguns and seen a lot more hit and misses with the current batch.

i've since sold that ria and now have a springfield mil spec. awesome shooter and the trigger is right up there with the kimbers i've shot.
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Old 08-26-2011, 7:41 AM
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Did not some early series 80's have the collet bushing? I remember a combat elite .45 that I had, that came that way. I also remember some bushing failures too.
Yes, you're exactly right, some early Series 80's had the collet bushings along with the new firing pin safety which was the Series 80 trademark.

The collet bushing gave very good accuracy without hand-fitting. Unfortunately the somewhat fragile nature of the collet bushing, as you experienced, was the reason they were discontinued. If everything was in spec with good barrel/slide alignment and the bushing was kept on the barrel during disassembly they held up well, but it seems constantly removing them and flexing the bushing fingers would fatigue them over time leading to cracked fingers. Many Series 70's pistols were retrofitted to standard bushings.

Replacement collet bushings are generally only available as used items at auction sites and gun shows and are fairly rare, so if you have one I recommend not removing the bushing from the barrel during disassembly/cleaning.
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Old 08-26-2011, 11:20 AM
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credits to dsk over @ the 1911 forum.
Here is his FAQ on series 70 vs 80, extra info never hurts

Series 70 vs. Series 80

"There have been a lot of questions posted by new members and 1911 owners as to what the difference is between Series 70 and Series 80 Colts. This question is best answered by first giving the following history:

Colt is the original manufacturer of 1911 pattern pistols, having made versions for both the military as well as commercial market since regular production began in January 1912. The commercial versions were nearly identical to the military ones, differing only in markings and finish. Following World War Two military production ended, but the commercial guns remained in production with only minor changes such as deletion of the lanyard loop and a larger thumb safety shelf. These pistols are known to collectors as "pre-Series 70" guns, as they pre-dated the Series 70 guns introduced in 1970. It was during this year that Colt introduced the first major design change to the Government Model in nearly 50 years. In an attempt to improve the accuracy of production guns the barrel bushing was redesigned, along with the barrel. In this system the bushing utilized four spring-steel "fingers" that gripped the enlarged diameter of the muzzle end of the barrel as the gun returned to battery. By tightening the fit of barrel and bushing in this manner Colt was able to improve the accuracy of the average production gun, without going through the expense of hand fitting the older solid barrel bushing to the barrel and slide. Models using the new barrel/bushing setup were the Government Model and Gold Cup, which were designated the "Mark IV Series 70" or simply Series 70 pistols. It should be noted that the shorter 4 1/4" barreled Commander pistols retained the use of the older solid bushing design and thus were never designated Series 70 pistols, although one hears the term erroneously applied to Commanders from time to time. The new "collet" bushing (as it came to be known) generally worked quite well, however it was occasionally prone to breakage (see post #3 below) so it was eventually phased out around 1988 as Colt reverted back to using the solid bushing in all of their pistols.

The single biggest change to the 1911 design came about in 1983, when Colt introduced the "MK IV Series 80" pistols. These guns incorporated a new firing pin block safety system, where a series of internal levers and a plunger positively blocked the firing pin from moving until the trigger was pressed, thus eliminating the possibility of the gun discharging if dropped onto a hard surface or struck hard. In this instance however, ALL of Colt's 1911-pattern pistols incorporated the new design change so even the Commander and Officer's ACP pistols became known as Series 80 guns. With the previous paragraph in mind, it is important to know that from 1983 until 1988 the early Government Model and Gold Cup Series 80 pistols used the Series 70-type barrel and bushing as well, although they were known only as Series 80 guns.

There was one other design change made to the Series 80 guns as well, and that was a re-designed half-cock notch. On all models the notch was changed to a flat shelf instead of a hook, and it is located where half-cock is engaged just as the hammer begins to be pulled back. This way the half-cock notch will still perform its job of arresting the hammer fall should your thumb slip while manually cocking the pistol, yet there is no longer a hook to possibly break and allow the hammer to fall anyway. With the notch now located near the at-rest position, you can pull the trigger on a Series 80 while at half-cock and the hammer WILL fall. However, since it was already near the at-rest position the hammer movement isn't sufficient to impact the firing pin with any amount of force.

Regarding the "clone" guns (1911-pattern pistols made by manufacturers other than Colt), so far Para-Ordnance, SIG, Auto Ordnance, and Taurus have adopted Colt's Series 80 or a similar firing pin block system as well. Kimber's Series II pistols and the new S&W 1911s have a FP safety also, but it is a different system than Colt's and is disabled by depressing the grip safety. No manufacturers aside from Colt ever adopted the Series 70 barrel/bushing arrangement, so technically there are no "Series 70" clone guns. What this means is that design-wise most of them share commonality with the pre-Series 70 guns, using neither the firing pin block NOR the collet bushing. Because of this it is important to remember that only Colt Series 80 models, and a couple of "clone" 1911 makers use a firing pin block. Older Colts and most other clone guns lack a firing pin safety and can possibly discharge if there is a round in the chamber and the gun is dropped on a hard surface, or if struck a blow hard enough to allow the firing pin to jump forward and impact the primer of the loaded round. By the way, for the past few years Colt has been producing new pistols out of their Custom Shop that lack the S80 firing pin safety. These are the Gunsite and CCO models, WW1 and WW2 GI replicas, and a reintroduced original-style Series 70 in both blued and stainless steel that should appeal to 1911 purists. Interestingly, all of these use a solid barrel bushing, so mechanically they are more similar to the original pre-Series 70 models despite being advertised by Colt as having a "Series 70 firing system".

Regarding the controversy involving getting a decent trigger pull on a Series 80 gun, it is only of importance if the gunsmith attempts to create a super-light pull (under four pounds) for target or competition use. In defense/carry guns where a four-pound or heavier pull is necessary, the added friction of the Series 80 parts adds little or nothing to the pull weight or feel. A good gunsmith can do an excellent trigger job on a Series 80 and still leave all the safety parts in place, although he will probably charge a little more than if the gun were a Series 70 since there are more parts to work with. But any gunsmith who tells you that you can't get a good trigger on a Series 80 without removing the safety parts is likely either lazy or incompetent."
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  #29  
Old 08-26-2011, 6:06 PM
RealBarber RealBarber is offline
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go for a Colt O1991, great basic GI style gun, i kept both of mine stock but its a great platform to build on too

a blue XSE is next on my list
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