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Ashcrash, pick up a pack of these idiot scratch protectors. Kind of like a thin guitar pick with a hole that fits over the mag release button, the other end sits under the slide stop during installation. Just pull it out when you are done. I have no connection to them and I'm sure there are several similar brands that work the same way.
Where was this two months ago when I scratched my cerakote...
 

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Just picked up a Colt Classic (38 super) from Gallery Of Guns for 725.00 + tax. I would think you can get one in 45 acp from around the same price. Buying from them is easy.
 

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All those knockoffs guns guys are suggesting are cheap because they have no "horsey" on the slide, besides coming from some foreign country most likely. That said, my new Colt Series 70 repro shoots great, feels correct, and also looks correct, why? because it's a Colt!

45
 

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Have about $600 in this Auto Ordnance parkerized model. Purchased used but in very good condition & not fired much. Added USGI grips, USGI stamped trigger, replaced magazine with USGI magazine, USGI not cast curved mainspring housing w/ lanyard loop. Series 80 instead of 70, but you can’t always get what you want.

Now I have a GI 1911A1 clone that I’m not afraid to shoot a bunch. Complete with tiny sights that old guys like me that actually used them can’t see very well any more.
 

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I have a RIA Tactical that I've owner for years. It's every bit as accurate as my Sig Sauer p-220. You can find those used for about $450.
 
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