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Thread: 70 vs 80 Series

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    70 vs 80 Series

    Can any one tell me what the difference between 70 and a 80 Series model . I'm sorry ,I'm new to Colt pistols . I looking to buy my 1st one . Thanks

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    The main difference was the series 80 has a firing pin disconnect/block safety system built into the firing system so the weapon will not fire unless the trigger is pulled (cannot shoot yourself if you drop a loaded series 80). The series 70 did not have a firing pin disconnect/block safety system.
    Colt Revolvers: Elegant Weapons For A More Civilized Age

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    The Series 70 also started out with a Collet Bushing, which was later eliminated
    Here's one from 1951

    Last edited by flusher; 02-03-2010 at 05:59 PM.

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    There is an argument "out there" that because of the extra parts involved in the Series 80 models the trigger feels heavier/mushier than a Series 70 trigger. I own both and have found that each works just fine for me.
    Stay safe,
    Randy

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    The Series 80 FP safety does not have to interfere with trigger pull (although some do). I've not done it with a Colt, but I've worked over the FP safety on a Para P-13, and with a bit of judicious polishing and making sure the levers fully engage, you can't tell that it's in there.

    That said, I don't care for the FP safety on the principle that more parts mean a higher likelihood that something will go wrong, and that's not desirable on a defensive gun. You can get similar drop protection with a titanium firing pin and a heavy FP spring. If you really want a FP safety, the Colt and Para trigger based system has one advantage over the Kimber and S&W Schwartz safety - the trigger system will stop a full auto runaway, and the Schwartz system won't (unless you drop the gun ).

    Buck

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    Oro
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    The Series 70 also started out with a Collet Bushing, which was later eliminated Here's one from 1951
    The "Series '70" always had a collet bushing and that is what started the designation in 1970. That gun pictured is not a "Series '70" It's a pre-70 Government Model. The Series '70 started in 1970 as an incremental design improvement to the traditional Government model. It incorporated a slightly "belled" barrel at the muzzle end and and expanding, fingered bushing to help get improved accuracy without custom fitting match barrels to each gun.

    In 1983, the gun got the firing pin-block safety and the designation was changed to "MkIV, Series 80." The collet/finger bushing remained in use until about 1989. The firing pin block safety is a really good safety system that is fairly invisible to the user and fool-proof. It doesn't affect how well the trigger can be tuned or reliability. It is common that people misunderstand the development of Colt nomenclature and refer to all non fp safety guns as "Series '70" guns - which is incorrect. however, it has been commonly done in error for a while now and even Colt appears to have given up on it as the newer "Series '70" reproduction doesn't have the MkIV/70 barrel/bushing system, it just lacks the 80 Series firing pin safety.

    I have a few "Series '70" guns and love them. I have some Series 80 guns and really, really like them, too. I will but a gun regardless of the "series" as it's more about the quality of the individual gun than any particular safety or feature, whether it's a '70, 80, or a pre-70 style like flusher's lovely gun pictured above.

    My prettiest '70:
    TimH and Hurryin' Hoosier like this.

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    Years ago when I bought my first gun, a 9mm Commander new in the box for $115 I had a scary thing happen. I was carrying it in a Bianchi(sp?) shoulder holster. I was hearing what I thought was a strange noise coming from under my car and as I bent down to look under the car (while seated) the gun slid out of the top of the holster and as if in slow motion I saw it pointed directly at my face at the same time it landed on the hammer which was down on the firing pin with a round in the chamber. At the time I was only concerned about banging up the finish but when I get home I took the round out of the chamber and noticed a firing pin indentation in the primer. It was not as deep as when normally fired but it was enough to scare me and be VERY thankful to be alive. This could not have happened with a 80 series gun.
    I own both a 80 and 70 series and I am not sure if they can be compared. Even say Pythons have different trigger pulls and feel different with the same actions. I too have heard the 80 series is not as clean but mine are. I do like the idea that more simple is better as there is less to break or get jammed up.
    Last edited by skeeeter; 02-06-2010 at 05:02 PM. Reason: add

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    drop safe

    it was my under standing 80 ser.safety was for a muzzle drop. a hammer fall as described should have been alright assuming a round in the barrel was cocked and locked on safe needing the grip-safety engaged,and the thumb-safety off to fire.if your carrying loaded barrel hammer down like i see a lot of people doing, because they say cocked and locked creeps them out are circumventing mr.browning's genius,and putting themselves and other people in danger.there is no half-cocked on the weapon like the old 30-30 win.rifle,and you were lucky under the loaded hammer down condition scenario and should have gotten on a plane to vegas at that point.but all this was explained to me years ago by a very old german fellow who worked in the same army parkerizing and repair shop in mannheim,g.d.r.we sat there assembling .45s all day long,when we weren't disassembling them.later much of that was re-enforced by a police instructor in a ccw course who inspected my MKIV 70 ser. and gave me the litany i just relayed although i wasn't hammer down and loaded.sorry i do go on!hope i'm not necro-ing the thead

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oro View Post
    The "Series '70" always had a collet bushing and that is what started the designation in 1970.
    I have the Mark IV-Series 70 pistol just about #2000 or so (in serial number) from yours! And like your's appears to be, mine is in nearly "like new" condition also! Mine was made in 1976 I believe.

    I am not a student of the 1911 pistols, but I was always under the impression that the Series 70 guns were considered better than the Series 80's, because the factory paid more attention to detail, tolerances, etc.

    nowinca

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    Browning did not have a safety lock on his original design, and the safety lock was called for by the military. This was at a time when the horse was still used, and the safety lock would allow a trooper that found himself on a "fractious" horse with a cocked pistol to apply the safety lock until he could calm the horse and safely lower the hammer. The pistol was not to be carried by military personnel "cocked and locked" unless it's use was imminent.

    From a 1910 Ordnance Department comment on the pistol while still under development:

    "It looks as if the Cavalry were afraid of the automatic. It seems strange to me that anyone can prefer the old gas-leaking lead-splitting Colt revolver to the present perfected automatic.

    In my opinion the real fear of the automatic in the hands of the troopers comes from the uncertainty of the weapon when he has fired less than the magazine full and wants to cease firing.

    In the case of the revolver the hammer is down on an empty cartridge case and safe, while with the automatic it is at full cock and the weapon cannot be safely inserted in the holster unless the hammer is let down by the thumb while grasping the handle and pressing the rib....

    I don't suppose it is possible to make an absolutely safe pistol although the combination of trigger and rib would seem to me to go a long way toward it."

    The safety lock was added to some of the 1910 pistols, was standard on the Model 1911 Special Army pistols, and adopted on the Model 1911 pistol.
    Abwehr, dsk and Nitrose like this.


 
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