Colt Explain like I'm 5 - Colt 1911's

Discussion in 'General 1911 talk' started by Slapshot, May 5, 2020.

  1. Slapshot

    Slapshot Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    I know this is a question that people have written book upon book about but could someone explain the desirability and the reason for the desirability of certain Colt 1911's? As I dive deeper into 1911's I find myself drawn to Colt 1911's and I'd like to learn as much as I can about them. Let's stick with 5" .45 caliber guns. I see some for less than $1000.00, quite a few in the $1500.00 range, and some 2K+. Why? What makes one more desirable than another?
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  2. joerockhead

    joerockhead "BOURBON" It's not just for Breakfast anymore ! Supporting Addict

    Oct 12, 2011
    Because I said so.... That's why .... :cool:
    bvbarry50, R.R.1911, Kip and 9 others like this.

  3. Capthobo

    Capthobo NRA Endowment member Supporting Addict

    Nov 9, 2016
    Supply, demand, appearance, options, collectibility.
  4. Al414

    Al414 Member

    Oct 6, 2019
    Are you referring to the “limited number runs” like talos and Lew hortons ? I always wondered the same thing. From what I read there does seem to be some build quality discrepancies. The rhyme and reason for pricing eludes me. I have a lew horton comp commander. Colt made 350 of them I think. I might be off on that number. I bought it around $1000. Re sale market seems that’s what I’d get for it but all of a sudden about a year ago one went on g broker for over $3000 on bids. It might have been a low serial number but it still seemed wild to me that it sold at that price.
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  5. Steve in Allentown

    Steve in Allentown Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2013
    What Capthobo said plus they do a good job keeping all the holes in the right places and other dimensions very close to original design specs. They also use high quality steel and aluminum.
  6. Al414

    Al414 Member

    Oct 6, 2019
    Steve. They also have used polymer for MSH lol
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  7. Slapshot

    Slapshot Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    I get the basics but what I'm wondering is why is an XSE is less desirable that a Gold Cup? Why most builders prefer to start with a Mark IV Series 70. Not really looking for generalities I understand those. There are guns I watch on GB where the bidding just explodes at the end and other guns go cheap or get no bids.
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  8. Steve in Allentown

    Steve in Allentown Well-Known Member

    Jan 19, 2013
    And then there's that. Perhaps it's at least high quality polymer :)
  9. Dub

    Dub born in the wrong century

    Mar 19, 2017
    You raise a great question.

    Interested in hearing the responses, too.

    Colts certainly have a mystique and a historical significance that I highly respect. The technical part of it remains a big unknown to me as well.
    simonp, FWoo45 and Slapshot like this.
  10. Denver1911

    Denver1911 Well-Known Member

    Jan 31, 2014
    Because it’s a Cult. Some people put a magical value on the name.
  11. Slapshot

    Slapshot Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    With the exception of Carbon Steel or Stainless Steel are the frames all the same or do different model use different frames?
  12. Slapshot

    Slapshot Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    Well that explains everything thanks for the enlightenment.
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  13. zChambers

    zChambers ........... Supporting Addict

    Jan 21, 2015
    I tend to agree with a lot of the comments above. Some models are more desirable than others due to material differences, build quality at the time, and roll mark appearance. There are different times in the company's history where machines/ tools were used probably longer than they should have been, and the overall fit and finish suffered. Times when quality control was higher or lower. Times when they introduced new parts that were arguably unnecessary, etc.

    I think a the great majority of the desirability of the Colt brand in general, has to do with history, nostalgia, and appearance.
  14. nikerret

    nikerret Well-Known Member

    Mar 2, 2019
    Good thread. As a new guy, I have stayed away from Colts as I don’t understand the pricing-value structure. I’ve got a pretty good handle on stuff from SACS, Ed Brown, Wilson Combat, etc. Even in the classifieds, here, from Sponsors, the pricing doesn’t make sense, to me, yet.

    I do understand certain specific details can trump condition on collector’s items, in general, but haven’t figured out the Colt nuances.
  15. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    Well, they've been making them for nearly 110 years and they range from . . . . . . .


    1917 Colt Commercial - 007.JPG

    Colt MK-IV Series 70 (nickel) - 001.JPG

    Twins Colt .38 Super-001.JPG

    Sistema Colt (1927) - 001.JPG

    Colt 9mm Combat Commander - 07.JPG


    Not to mention those that have been "upgraded" by custom smiths, which also range from . . . . . .

    1982 Colt Contemporary - 01.JPG

    Last edited: May 6, 2020
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  16. soverystout

    soverystout Active Member

    Dec 26, 2019
    Being completely transparent, I don't have any desire to own a Colt. They just don't appeal to me. Nothing against them and I have never owned one. That is what is so great about this incredible invention we know as the 1911. It has withstood the test of time to not only continue in its original form but has been improved and crafted in so many different forms. It allows lower income folks, high income folks, and everyone in between to enjoy the legacy. Gotta love that!
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  17. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    Kinda like asking, why women range from . . . . . . .




    elle macpherson 10.jpg

    Last edited: May 5, 2020
  18. Slapshot

    Slapshot Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    Thanks @zChambers that's more of what I'm getting after but I'd really like more specific info. Which roll mark is the most desirable? What specific era was the quality poor? I just picked up a 63' GCNM from the forum and was pleasantly surprised by the slide to frame fit. The bluing still pretty impressive 50+ years later. The little bit that I know is that the pre war National Match seems to be the Holy Grail but then what Pre 70 series?
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  19. Slapshot

    Slapshot Well-Known Member

    Sep 6, 2017
    Desirability is pretty self explanatory with above samples @ZoidMeister :D.
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  20. Mike A

    Mike A The lion has awoken, God Help you! Supporting Addict

    Mar 19, 2017
    My Colts range from 1917 to 2011 & I have not found one yet, that I would
    not buy again. Colt 45 Automatic Pistol is the 1911 and JMB designed it, & Colt
    sent it with us to War for the USA.

    I can not say why all my 1911s are Colts, it just seemed like the right thing,
    just like my first Revolver, a Colt Trooper MKIII.
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