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I'm new to Colt 1911's, as well as 1911's in general. I have my first, a Wiley Clapp Gov't, coming in the mail this week. I read as much as I possibly could before I decided to purchase one. I was extremely close to placing an order for an Ed Brown and I found that when reading about premium 1911's -- Brown, Baer, Wilson -- that slide to frame fit was one of the primary things that set them apart from assembly line guns. I was just curious what you all think about the fit of new Colt models? How much wiggle does there tend to be? Do you think it even matters as much as a lot of people make it out to matter?

Thanks.
 

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While slide to frame fit is important, I personally think that a hand fit slide to frame fit is overrated and not really necessary. But people do pay for that.

Current Colts do seem to have a good slide to frame fit as well as some enhanced tolerances over the Government Specified ones, which was what most Colt's were made to. With that said barrel fit is also important, especially at the breech as well as the muzzle: as in barrel to barrel bushing to slide fit.
 

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Brown, Baer, Wilson are fine, fine firearms. But they're NOT Colt's. I'm here on the Colt Forum for a reason - I LOVE my Colt's. I've owned each one of your mentioned brands and will come back to Colt's every time. I offer up a Colt Special Combat against each of the aforementioned brands and will stand by the fit, finish and function as the standard to which all these others should be judged.

 

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I could not agree more with Ken & Tony. My recent production Combat Elite has outstanding fit and finish. So do the two anniversary models I bought in 2011.
 

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I do not own a Colt semi auto that doesn't have superb slide to frame fit, these include N1908, M1903, M1908, GM MK IV Series 70, GM MK IV Series 80, LW Commander, Gold Cup Trophy and perhaps have forgotten a few but you get my point. Mine date as far back as 105years ago (N1908 made in 1909) to 2013 (Gold Cup Trophy). I'd say that they've earned the respect of their manufacturing process.

As an aside, or perhaps even an example, I own a '92 Norinco Model of the 1911A1 that's not as tight as the Colts but it is a tack driver. The barrel to bushing fit, supurb. Maybe I got a diamond in the rough but she's survived a licking and keeps on ticking. Beware the internet chatter of this/that/and oh by the way's until you own, shoot and appreciate the Colts.
 

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I believe you will be very happy with the purchase of the Colt Wiley Clapp Gov't. I just picked up a Colt XSE Rail Gun and couldn't be more pleased. The fit and finish is great. I agree with what everyone else has said.
 

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Brown, Baer, Wilson are fine, fine firearms. But they're NOT Colt's. I'm here on the Colt Forum for a reason - I LOVE my Colt's. I've owned each one of your mentioned brands and will come back to Colt's every time. I offer up a Colt Special Combat against each of the aforementioned brands and will stand by the fit, finish and function as the standard to which all these others should be judged.

Beautiful Colt!!
Was that a special order? I don’t see a two tone Special Combat on the website.
I want one!!:D
 

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On the other question. It looks like Colt is still making bicolor SGCs, but maybe that is just in 38 Super. I bought my SCG in 2006 and again the fit and finish are fantastic, but it was a Colt Custom Shop pistol, plus it cost me $1.4K new in 2006. Mine is a .45 ACP in all hard chrome. I put Ironwood grips from Esmeralda on mine. The pistol deserves it.


 

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Slide to frame fit is almost meaningless as an accuracy predictor. It was seized on because it was something that was easy to demonstrate how it was "better" than a standard Colt by comparing the two in front of a tyro. I have read lab results that showed very little improvement of a tightly fitted over standard frame - slide fit.
 

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And I missed the big deal on slide to frame fit. What I was saying the overall fit and finish of the pistol. Slide to frame fit is not that important unless you are mounting optics on the frame of a 1911 type pistol, then it is more important.
 

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All of these guns will shoot much better than we can hold them. I think that a good trigger is the most important thing to have for accurate shots. The news Colts seem great to me.
 

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I've bought three new Colts recently, one blued and two stainless Series 70s. The two STS pistols have a pretty snug slide/frame fit, while the blued was was loose enough that it surprised me on a new-production pistol. All three are just as capable of tight groups as each other, although it's easier to do with the blued one as the trigger is better. Slide to frame fit is meaningless unless you're trying to squeeze the last sub-MOA of accuracy out of a tuned bullseye match gun. However some folks equate it to quality simply because it's something they can see and feel.
 

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I LOVE my Colts(70 NMGC, SCG, CE, WC) and also own Wilsons, Springfield Custom and Springfield Pro(FBI MODEL) and have handled Browns, Baers, etc. Slide to frame fit is outstanding on all of them except the 70 NMGC...it does rattle. However, it is extremely accurate and trigger is fantastic.

The best trigger of all mine is the Wilson...3.5lbs and like a crisp snap of glass. The best finish is by far the Springfield Pro and Custom. The seamless finish between grip safety to frame, magwell, bushing is perfect...takes a lot of man hours to do that kind of work and that's what you're paying for.

Once you get over $1.5k...it's mostly cosmetic in my opinion.
 

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Reknirt, does it matter? It's for each to decide. I personally prefer a more precise slide/frame fit, but realize most Colt fans prefer guns that are more relaxed, shall we say, in this area because Colts are manufactured that way, so it must be desirable, right? Anyway, I've owned a bunch of the various Colt models since the '70s and only had one that didn't rattle. My Special Combat Government displayed the same casual barrel/slide/frame fit as the average production Colts I've owned. Worked fine, but was not put together with the same precise component fit of my Baers, Dan Wessons, STIs, etc. That being said, the other day I had the opportunity to look over one of the TALO .38 Supers in a LGS. It displayed the closest, fit of barrel/slide/frame of any Colt I can recall handling. If all,or even most, Colts were fitted like that particular one, I'd be buying more Colts. I don't need another .38 Super, but I was sorely tempted by that one. I told the manager he should send it back, and complain because it did not rattle like the typical Colt ;-)
 

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I own three Colts:
- Special Combat Government, slide to frame fit is loose enough to make it rattle. It puts rounds one on top of the other in the black. A tack driver.
- Wile Clapp Commander, slide to frame fit is a little tighter but not what many would consider "tight". It is very accurate, especially when shooting with one hand.
- Blued Series 70 reissue, slide to frame fit is tight. Can not make it rattle. It is "combat accurate". Hits center mass every shot, but groups are much more spread out.
Past:
-Stainless Steel O1091, slide to frame was very tight. No perceptible play. It was a jam-o-matic and would not run consistently. SOLD
 

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While I've already stated my experience in a previous post on this thread the real "tell" on accuracy occurs with the barrel ,barrel bushing, recoil spring guide and the right recoil spring working in harmony and fit. If your barrel is sloppy within the fit of the barrel bushing, accuracy will suffer. I suspect that the reason that my Norinco is as accurate as it is, even with a rattling slide to frame fit, it's due to the above being well fit. While certainly no expert on gunsmithing and part interaction, I've read enough to respect the opinions of those that DO know how these parts need to be within close specs :) . An example would be the Series 70 GM MK IV with it's then revolutionary collet bushing that "gripped" the barrel.This was Colt's attempt to improve the fit of the bushing to the barrel without individual hand fitting/adjusting, as I understand it.
 
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