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When the ‘new’ Series 70 GM was reintroduced in the early ‘aughts, was the (then) curved housing metal or plastic like the 1991 Series 80’s?
 

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The SS one I bought in 2013 has a steel MSH (I did replace the stocks on mine).



In recent years the 2015 and 2017 GCNMs I bought have steel MSHs. The 2018 GCT Lite I bought has the Nylon composite MSH.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. I’ve been looking to add a 70 Series, & a 2002 version is much more affordable than a ‘70’s vintage in comparable condition. Like you, I’d only need to replace the stocks.
 

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Just be advised OP...the correct terminology for these “plastic” Colt MSH’s and triggers is Non-Metallic. Very important distinction. Some folks around here get mighty bent out of shape over the idea that the greatest manufacturer of firearms in the world would stoop so low as to use polymer parts in their premium offerings.😏
 

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The "non-metallic" mainspring housings don't bother me at all. They do the job they're designed to do and do it well. If it saves Colt some money and shaves a slight bit of weight of the pistol that's fine with me. It's also easily changeable for anyone who prefers something different. The aftermarket companies and boutique 1911 makers love the polymer MSH as it gives them the opportunity to sell their own brand and make some money to those who don't like what Colt uses.
 

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desron6 said:
When the ‘new’ Series 70 GM was reintroduced in the early ‘aughts, was the (then) curved housing metal or plastic like the 1991 Series 80’s?

From the very beginning..prior to 2000 I think, all of them were arched nylon main spring housings in both blue (which came first in production) and the later stainless guns.

I like the Colt serrated, nylon, flat main springs in some of my 1911s. I detested the cheaper checkered Kimber/after market versions. The main reason? The retainer pin hole on the Kimber versions would crack and break. Eventually all of them break it seems. In 30+ years of use on various versions of the 1911 I have never seen a Colt version break. That said if I had just one 5" Colt it would have a steel main spring housing. If I had just one LWT Commander it would have a serrated Colt nylon main spring housing.
 

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I have also heard them called Nylon composite and remember reading they were sort of self lubricating. Never had any problems with one. The oldest ones I have are in a couple of 1988 GCNM MkIV Series 80 pistols. They are still fine. I have not replaced them.



Yet I did have the plastic one break on my 2005 Kimber Grand Raptor. I replaced that with a Wilson SS checkered one which looked close to the original but did take some fitting to get it to work.
 

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I bought a Kimber when they first came out. After a while of shooting I noticed that the plastic mainspring housing wasn't quite flush. A little later it was even less flush. I removed it and the hole for the MSH pin was slightly egg shaped. The plastic at that time simply wasn't up to the job. Contacted Kimber and they sent another MSH which I installed and traded the pistol.
 

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Thanks Dakota! 1988 seems to be good date for the Colt nylon mainspring housing introduction. Curious if anyone knows better. I remember thinking they were the chit when used in a daily carry gun that you wanted to drop some weight on.
 

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I have 1980 and 1982 Commanders that have steel MSHs. I was thinking maybe after the 1983 introduction of the Series 80 mechanical firing pin safety. I do have a 1985 Officers ACP model with a steel MSH but although I bought it lightly shot with box and papers I did not buy it new.

One interesting thing when the one cracked on my 2005 Kimber I weighed it and it was just about 6 grams (without anything in it of course). I also weighed a new Colt one I had and it was 8 grams and an arched Colt non metallic one was just about 9 grams. The SS Wilson flat MSH I was putting in the Kimber was 48 grams by the way.
 

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I remember when the first Colt "Combat Elite" came out. Around '83 I think may be '85...long time ago now :). Anyway it was the first Colt synthetic mainspring housings I had seen. Hated them at the time. Thought Colt just cheaped out on us. But learned to love the Colt version later. I have a couple of the new Ruger LWT Commanders. All of them come with a nicely checkered steel main spring housing. I pulled them all and plugged in flat, serrated, Colt nylon mains simply to drop weight :) I have an early Colt Commander (from the '50s') that has a aluminum mainspring housing. Wish I had more of those!

 

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I did not care for the Nylon mainspring housings on Colts when they first came out, but they have proven themselves over the decades. They are probably even superior to the steel housings due to the fact that they are lighter, will not rust or show finish wear, but I still switch them out for Colt steel MSHs on most of the Colt 1911s that I own just because tradition.

The plastic faced triggers are the same way, functionally they may be superior but they just seem out of place on a nice Colt.
 

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tgoose1 said:
metallic MS housings are inexpensive and easily installed, weight addition--c'mon man.
I see advantages both to more weight or less weight depending on your priorities.

I detested the first Colt nylon main spring housings. A few years later I was carrying a 5" 1911 24/7 in a IWB holster. 5", 45, is 39oz empty. More yet with 8 in the mag one in the tube. 185gr bullets or 230gr bullets? It all adds up. Add cuffs, 2 spare mags....a folder, a flash light, may be a can of pepper spray and things get annoying. Less weight, less annoying. I began to really appreciate a Colt nylon mainspring housing.

Aluminum frames were nice if you liked a Commander sized gun. Drop the weight to 27oz for just the gun by doing that. But a 4 1/4" barrel and the resulting sight radius isn't a bonus to me. I'd rather have a specifically built lwt 5" gun.

Full length guide rods and steel main spring housings (w/attached mag well) are easy places to drop or add weight on a 5" gun. I like having options.
 

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Never had a Colt nylon housing break, but have had almost all of my Kimbers crack. I now replace all my Kimbers with Wilsons.
 

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Colt uses a much better grade of polymer to manufacture their main spring housings than Kimber does.

Kimber's polymer seems too hard and brittle for the application.
 
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