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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm looking to get a used Colt NM Gold Cup. I have a MKIV Series 80 NMGC, Bright polish Stainless. It was born in 97 and has a SOLID Barrel Bushing. So I thought I'd get a Blued Series 70. I'm tempted by one on Gun Broker made in 82, but it has a Collet Bushing.
A) Do all 70 series have collet bushings?
B) I read earlier 70 series had "thinner finger" bushings.
c) When did they go to the "thicker finger" collet bushings.
D) Since I've read trigger weight is not necessarily better in the 70 series. So should I just get a series 80 in blue.?

Please weigh in.
 

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Colt used the collet barrel bushing from 1970 up until 1989. I believe Colt restarted the Series 70 firing system without the collet bushing sometime in the mid 20-teens. A check of Colt's website shows that some specific models have the Series 80 firing system and some are strictly Series 70. The "thinner" vs "thicker" collet bushing is interesting because I personally have never heard of a difference in them so I had to pull out a couple of Series 70 pistols that I have, and take a look. Although not a good representation of 19 years of production, one is from 1975 and the other from 1983. I can't tell a difference between them with the fingers being .342" wide on each. I was told ages ago to not remove the collet bushing from the barrel during cleaning and I've always followed that advise whether it's lore or fact. Suffice to say that the thickness of the fingers appear to be the same on both. Your trigger weight question has been debated since Colt's implementation of the Series 80 firing system. My personal experiance is that yes there is a slight difference but nothing that would prevent me from purchasing a Series 80 pistol, in fact I own several. My 2 newest pistols are Colt Competition Models which are both early versions (2017) with the Series 80 firing system and have excellent out of the box triggers. Here is a pic of my 2 Series 70 barrels with collet bushings. Not a great pic, but it's -19 outside so this is as best as I can get at the moment.

04C37A6B-2659-44A1-B477-0C09E79CFABA_1_201_a.jpeg
 

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Colt used the collet or "finger" bushing in 1970 until at least 1988 and I think 1989 (I have two GCNMs made in 1988 (one in SS and one in blue) and both have collet bushings. Not sure if the thickness of the fingers changed over time or not. Quality of trigger pull on these guys varies "gun to gun" generally.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
The "thinner" vs "thicker" collet bushing is interesting because I personally have never heard of a difference in them so I had to pull out a couple of Series 70 pistols that I have, and take a look. Although not a good representation of 19 years of production, one is from 1975 and the other from 1983. I can't tell a difference between them with the fingers being .342" wide on each.

Wow thanks for the in depth response. I believe I saw a U-Tube Video where it was stated the "thickness" of the metal fingers, not width. was thinner in early years. The author was upgrading and changed his 70 series barrel and bushing to the solid type. I guess a different barrel is required in order to switch to a solid bushing.

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The collet bushing was a way for Colt to produce the most accurate firearm for the lowest price. There are no current production firearms with the collet bushing. If a company was going to charge $5000 for a Government Model would they reduce cost by not including a collet bushing? The Government Model uses a link system to control barrel lock/unlock function. This action causes the rear of the barrel to swing in a arc with the barrel being straight with the bushing when the breech is open. As the breech closes the barrel returns to a slight angle to the bushing. Accuracy is achieved when the barrel returns to exactly the same spot in relation to the gun sights. This exact fitting is what you pay for when you purchase a high dollar Government/Commander. The collet bushing is a way to achieve this without expensive fitting. To some extent, we are also talking about modern manufacturing techniques. With today's modern machinery it is possible to product parts to less than a thousands of a inch. Dimensions that would have been impossible 50 years ago.
 

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I have a 1990 made (according to Colt's website) BSTS Gold Cup NM, that has a collet bushing.
Hmmm, that's interesting, I have a 1990 Colt Gold Cup National Match Stainless (not bright) with the solid barrel bushing. My serial is SN28XXX. Colt's always been rumored/ known not to waste parts so maybe this is the case on yours. I agree though nothing wrong with the Collet style bushing my 1978 Gold Cup N.M. is still running strong with its original one.
 

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Hmmm, that's interesting, I have a 1990 Colt Gold Cup National Match Stainless (not bright) with the solid barrel bushing. My serial is SN28XXX. Colt's always been rumored/ known not to waste parts so maybe this is the case on yours. I agree though nothing wrong with the Collet style bushing my 1978 Gold Cup N.M. is still running strong with its original one.
Mine is SN286XX 😀. Guess they didn't waste any parts.

I'm pretty sure they didn't waste any parts from Hi-Point either on the thimb safety. Mine is atrocious.
 

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Back in the day I remember many folk thought the collet barrel bushing was better than what was in the GCNM before that. Below the barrel bushing and special recoil spring plug from my 66 GCNM on the left. In the middle the collet bushing on the barrel of my 78 GCNM. On the right the barrel and bushing from my 2012 GCNM "roundtop". Of course in 78 and 2012 used a regular recoil spring plug was used.

 

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when the collet bushings came out Colt would only provide them on an exchange basis for 'broken' ones with.the
general run of the public and gunsmiths.It seemed that so called gunsmiths were putting them into pistols and charging for accurate enhancing jobs..As a parts distributor and "warranty" repair station we had no problem obtaining these parts.
 

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Sounds like 1990 was the end (transition year) for the collet bushing. I have a couple with them now (had many) and never had a problem, found an nos bushing just recently and put it in stock just in case I ever need a backup.

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for the input. You laid my fears to rest and I won the bid for this 70 series made in1982. Owner says original collet bushing. Box was eaten by a rodent, nibbled on the paperwork, but the gun is mint save for tiny scratch by beaver tail.
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