Tightening up a Colt 1911A1 Series 80

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    1. #1
      Supporting Member kansas_plainsman's Avatar
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      Tightening up a Colt 1911A1 Series 80

      I've got an excellent condition series 80 Colt - bought it new around 12 years ago - it's a very stock GI style Colt with the standard spur hammer, no beaver tail, straight-back grip, parkerized.

      My question: it *does* have a little rattle about it - back then it seems ALL Colt 1911s had a little rattle; I didn't think anything about it at the time. Now I notice that all quality new 1911 pistols, including Colts, seem tighter and don't have any rattle to them. Is there anything I could/should do to tighten it up properly (without putting so much money in it that a new gun would make more sense)?

      A side issue: Most parkerized guns I see today are a lighter grey, but mine is very definitely black. Is there a proper maintenance method for the finish?

      Oh, and in case you wanted to see it (or even if you didn't) here it is:


      Colt Series 80 M1911A1 .45ACP parkerized
      Last edited by kansas_plainsman; 10-18-2007 at 08:33 PM.

    2. #2
      Senior Member Baldy's Avatar
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      If it passes all the safty checks and is hitting the target where you want I wouldn't fool with it. Colts are knowed to rattle a little and still work just fine. The only thing I replace is the return spring and mag springs. I get the kit from Wolff. Sure is a good looking one. Good luck with it.

    3. #3
      Senior Member tony pasley's Avatar
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      She looks like a great carry lady. She was made to work day to day.

    4. #4
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      Please leave it alone.A too tight 1911 is a pain in the rear.

    5. #5
      Senior Member Mike Barham's Avatar
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      What do you use the gun for? A target gun can be tight, while a defense gun should be looser (to promote reliability). Unless you need to make it more accurate, I'd live with a little rattle. It's part of the charm of a 1911.

      The 1911 mantra is: sights you can see, a trigger you can use, and a dehorning job. (And if you are a wussy girly man like me, maybe a beavertail grip safety.)
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    6. #6
      Supporting Member kansas_plainsman's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by Mike Barham View Post
      What do you use the gun for? A target gun can be tight, while a defense gun should be looser (to promote reliability). Unless you need to make it more accurate, I'd live with a little rattle. It's part of the charm of a 1911.
      I can live with it - it's pretty accurate as it is.

      The 1911 mantra is: sights you can see, a trigger you can use, and a dehorning job. (And if you are a wussy girly man like me, maybe a beavertail grip safety.)
      This from a guy who's job encourages cammo, extra mags and an English/Arabic dictonary.....

      ...Mike, you can wear hot pink flip-flops on patrol and the words "wussy girly man" wouldn't come to mind...
      Last edited by kansas_plainsman; 10-18-2007 at 08:31 PM.

    7. #7
      Senior Member tony pasley's Avatar
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      That would be a picture to see!!!!!!!!!!!!

    8. #8
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      You can do a hand fit job to a slide but as stated before if this is a defense gun I wouldn't fool with it.

      I had one of those Clark DVDs that showed how to hand fit everything on a 1911 but I wouldn't advise anything like that unless you get it done by someone that really knows what they are doing. Most times a good heavy recoil spring and maybe a better barrel bushing can do wonders for a 1911. You said it was shooting pretty good though so save your money for ammo..lol

    9. #9
      Junior Member Mystro's Avatar
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      Nice lookin' pistola ya got there Kansas.
      If she still hits the ten ring... I'd say, leave her alone!
      You might try some of Brian Enos' Slide Glide. It's pretty thick and works very well. A lot of shooters believe it helps the cycling of the action, or at least they think it does.

    10. #10
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      I'm not a gun smith, but I have heard that the frame to slide fit has little to do with accuracy. I have been told it has more to do with the barrel to slide fit and a little rattle between the slide and frame is no big deal.

    11. #11
      Member Old Padawan's Avatar
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      Ok, here is what you do.
      Go to Home Depot.
      Get a large bench vice.
      Go home and mount it on a good sturdy table/workbench (oil and clean it as well).
      Open the jaws about an inch or so.
      put the handle at a 45 degree angle so you can close it with your left hand.
      stik the index finger of your right hand in the jaws and tighten it.
      This is how much it will hurt your .45 if you try to tighten the slide. If you want a tight target gun, take it to the gunsmith, dont try this at home.
      "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it." -Mark Twain

    12. #12
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      I'm just curious. What's that doodad on the slide lock?

    13. #13
      Supporting Member kansas_plainsman's Avatar
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      It's the activation switch for the internal lasermax laser.

    14. #14
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      Quote Originally Posted by kansas_plainsman View Post
      It's the activation switch for the internal lasermax laser.

      Bitchin'! James Freakin' Bond!

      How about posting a Range Report on the laser doodad, with muchos pictures?

    15. #15
      Supporting Member kansas_plainsman's Avatar
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      Talking

      Quote Originally Posted by milquetoast View Post
      Bitchin'! James Freakin' Bond!

      How about posting a Range Report on the laser doodad, with muchos pictures?
      Perhaps some pictures when I get a chance - until then here's how to make a simulator - using a red crayon, make a little red dot on a piece of paper - cut out the dot and stick it on the target - now shoot at the red dot.

      Of course, the actual laser works somewhat better...

    16. #16
      Junior Member Mystro's Avatar
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    17. #17
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      Quote Originally Posted by kansas_plainsman View Post
      Perhaps some pictures when I get a chance - until then here's how to make a simulator - using a red crayon, make a little red dot on a piece of paper - cut out the dot and stick it on the target - now shoot at the red dot.

      Of course, the actual laser works somewhat better...
      Cool idea. I am going to have Mitch Rosen build me a combination spare magazine/crayon carrier. If some scrote tries to kill me, I will draw a red dot on the sucker, step back, and let 'im have it!

    18. #18
      Supporting Member kansas_plainsman's Avatar
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      Cool idea. I am going to have Mitch Rosen build me a combination spare magazine/crayon carrier. If some scrote tries to kill me, I will draw a red dot on the sucker, step back, and let 'im have it!
      Drats! I *knew* I should have patented the idea.

      Beware the man with one gun... and one crayon.

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