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Rivers
01-16-2012, 1:50 PM
A few years ago, I bought this from a friend who had it cased in his desk drawer for more than a decade, never shot by him. He bought it from a LEO in FL who had apparently only shot maybe two mags through it. (I got the old factory ammo with only 15 rounds or so missing from the 50 box.) Not being a 1911 guy, this Colt has been a safe queen, looks pristine and never fired since the last century.

Can anyone tell me about this model? It's a Colt Lightweight Officers Mark IV Series 80, complete with factory case and paperwork. What is good/bad about this model? Reliability, shooting characteristics, concealed carry, best ammo? Just looking to learn about it before I decide to either set it free or ride it myself.

BTW, the pics were quick snapshots I did for insurance coverage.
130778

130776

130779

130777

bigbob76
01-16-2012, 5:26 PM
Over the years many shooters and custom builders used the Lightweight Officer frame and swapped out the slide for a Commander slide for added reliability. The general consensus seems to be that a real short 1911 has an awful lot that has to happen real fast in a very short distance. With a 1911 a little extra length of slide isn't hard to conceal. Colt made a Talo Concealed Carry Officer (CCO) that is available for a little over 1K. They are no longer made though. It is the Lightweight Officer frame with a Commander slide.

ojisan
01-16-2012, 5:38 PM
Plus: nice lightweight .45ACP
Minus: Nice lightweight .45ACP recoils a bunch.
Plus: Series 80 had a firing pin safety that's likely a good idea for a carry gun.
Minus: Series 80 FPS is hated by Colt purists as the trigger pull is not so nice as a Series 70
Plus: Short slide lengh is great for carry and concealment.
Minus: Short slide length can feed jam much easier as mentioned above.
Plus: aluminum frame for light weight
Minus: some brands of hollowpoint bullets will dig into the soft feed ramp area of the aluminum frame and eventually damage the frame.
Plus: this particular gun has a beavertail grip safety
Minus: It's not an original Colt part, looks like a drop in, a proper beavertail is fitted much tighter to the frame.

doc540
01-16-2012, 7:30 PM
That's a fine little piece.

I wouldn't worry about any "alleged" problems unless the actually manifest themselves.

The trigger might be plastic and need swapping if you find that necessary, but I'd keep it, carry it, and practice with it.

If you don't want it, it'll bring good money on the market.

Congrats!

Vampyredark
01-16-2012, 8:04 PM
Thats a cool looking gun. I would not mind one of those, but in 9mm. Someday, I will have the opportunity to have a gun with a background story.... It seems I am the only one in this calguns community that does not have a cool story with one of his guns; all mine bought brand new.

Rivers
01-16-2012, 9:54 PM
Thanks for the info so far. I'm really torn between this Colt being desired by someone who appreciates this particular flavor and me, never having been bitten by the 1911 bug, simply not being attached to it. In a way, it's like it doesn't belong with me if I don't appreciate what it offers. Does that make sense? Should I shoot it to know if I should keep it or would that seriously depreciate it?

Mickey D
01-17-2012, 6:43 PM
Plus: nice lightweight .45ACP
Minus: Nice lightweight .45ACP recoils a bunch.
Plus: Series 80 had a firing pin safety that's likely a good idea for a carry gun.
Minus: Series 80 FPS is hated by Colt purists as the trigger pull is not so nice as a Series 70
Not noticeable to most shooter, especially novices.Plus: Short slide lengh is great for carry and concealment.
Minus: Short slide length can feed jam much easier as mentioned above.
Plus: aluminum frame for light weight
Minus: some brands of hollowpoint bullets will dig into the soft feed ramp area of the aluminum frame and eventually damage the frame.
Alloy frame guns require a magazine with a skirted follower. A regular follower, not the bullet, can gouge the alloy feed ramp.
Plus: this particular gun has a beavertail grip safety
Minus: It's not an original Colt part, looks like a drop in, a proper beavertail is fitted much tighter to the frame.


Good points made.

den888
01-17-2012, 7:25 PM
I have heard stories that the recoil spring plug lug can shear off, and the spring and plug go downrange, leaving the pistol useless.

Some folks replace the recoil spring plug with an aftermarket unit.

Jason762
01-17-2012, 7:44 PM
Plus: aluminum frame for light weight
Minus: some brands of hollowpoint bullets will dig into the soft feed ramp area of the aluminum frame and eventually damage the frame.

Personal experience or quoting what you heard? Also, what specific brands?

Alloy frame guns require a magazine with a skirted follower. A regular follower, not the bullet, can gouge the alloy feed ramp.

What is a "skirted follower" and who makes those? Do the Wilson Combat 47D mags have the skirted follower?

Are there issues with the alloy frame? For example, (treated equally) will the alloy frame with 10k rounds be in the same condition as a steel frame with 10k rounds?

Rivers
01-18-2012, 9:45 AM
Plus: this particular gun has a beavertail grip safety
Minus: It's not an original Colt part, looks like a drop in, a proper beavertail is fitted much tighter to the frame.

Thanks for the detailed feedback. It has helped me understand much more about this pistol.

The only correction is that this Colt is as-shipped from the factory. Nothing has been modified. Looking up more info on the safety shows that Colt's safeties seem to lack in the "proper" beavertail fitting yet work reliably. Aftermarket safeties typically appear "better fitted" to the frame than the OEM Colt item. The Colt grip safety also seems to have a slightly different shape that offers a better grip than many aftermarket versions. But then, this is what I read on the Internet so "it must be true".

sholling
01-18-2012, 10:18 AM
What is a "skirted follower" and who makes those? Do the Wilson Combat 47D mags have the skirted follower?
It's also known as a "anti-tilt" follower, some use a skirted follower design to prevent the follower from tilting when feeding the last round and gouging the feed ramp but it's not the only way to prevent tilting. The Wilson 47D is one of those that use a skirted follower. CMI sold one for a while as well and there are others. I had CMC custom build me some officers sized mags with anti-tilt followers and they worked pretty well.

Are there issues with the alloy frame? For example, (treated equally) will the alloy frame with 10k rounds be in the same condition as a steel frame with 10k rounds?
There were rumors of cracking issues with early lightweight officers frames but I've never seen one first hand. Technology/metallurgy has improved a lot since the early 70s and I'd expect a modern alloy frame to last a long time. That said I'd still consider it a "carry-often/shoot-seldom" and would keep it unmodified and treasure it.

Jason762
01-18-2012, 11:03 AM
There were rumors of cracking issues with early lightweight officers frames but I've never seen one first hand. Technology/metallurgy has improved a lot since the early 70s and I'd expect a modern alloy frame to last a long time. That said I'd still consider it a "carry-often/shoot-seldom" and would keep it unmodified and treasure it.

Thanks for the response! I've been thinking about a Fusion Firearms alloy commander frame and building a gun around that.

http://www.fusionfirearms.com/servlet/the-495/Frame-1911-Commander%2CAl-ALLOY/Detail

ojisan
01-18-2012, 11:17 AM
Personal experience or quoting what you heard? Also, what specific brands?
Back in the day, the Speer "Flying Ashtray" JHP was well known for nosedive feeding jams and digging into feedramps.
Baer or Heinie (I can't remember which one) now makes a aluminum frame with a steel insert in it to avoid this problem.


Are there issues with the alloy frame? For example, (treated equally) will the alloy frame with 10k rounds be in the same condition as a steel frame with 10k rounds? Note I did not bring this up as I have no proof or experience with it.

Bold


As regards the beavertail, I must be mistaken on my comments.
I'm surprised Colt would have sold that as OEM.

Mickey D
01-18-2012, 2:08 PM
Personal experience or quoting what you heard? Also, what specific brands?



What is a "skirted follower" and who makes those? Do the Wilson Combat 47D mags have the skirted follower?

Are there issues with the alloy frame? For example, (treated equally) will the alloy frame with 10k rounds be in the same condition as a steel frame with 10k rounds?


As stated above, it's the same as anti tilt follower.
Personaly, I like Check Mate Industry mags. Never had a problem in any of my Colts or RIA 1911s. These (http://www.checkmatemagazines.com/cart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idcategory=11&idproduct=24) are the mags that work for me. CMI follower with Hybrid feed lips.


The blue mag has the skirted (anti-tilt) follower. Used in my Colt New Agent (alloy frame).

http://i172.photobucket.com/albums/w22/MickeyD1/Antitiltfollower.jpg