What to look for when buying a used Colt

Discussion in 'Beginner's Corner' started by 1955colt, Dec 5, 2018.

  1. 1955colt

    1955colt New Member

    21
    Dec 5, 2018
    My first post here and I am new to the 1911 world and had the chance to pickup a well used Colt 1911 and I know very little about them. I found a nasty looking Commander at a pawn shop and did a SN# lookup. It looks to be a 1955 model. SN# 354xx-LW. It has a three hole trigger which I think is not original. Lots of color gone on the alloy frame and some surface rust on the outside of the barrel. It seems to function OK, I want a shooter and not a safe queen. After 60 years who knows what has been changed or worn out.

    It is a little late to ask, but what should I have looked for when buying this used Colt? The price was $450 out the door.[​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  2. leadfarmer

    leadfarmer Active Member

    109
    Jun 13, 2018
    No professional here but it looks like you made out well for 450 bucks. If your having buyers remorse I'll be glad to take it off your hands. You dont get much Colt for that price.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
     
    simonp likes this.

  3. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    Well the price tag certainly passed muster . . . . . .

    And correct, that is not an original trigger. To know more, you will have to take it down and photograph the small parts and pieces . . . . . especially the barrel.
     
  4. dogman

    dogman Well-Known Member

    93
    Apr 8, 2017
    For that money I would have bought it, unless the frame was cracked. Mine was a 1978 and in about the same condition. Had the frame prepped by a pro and then coated with Ionbond, new sights from Novak, new trigger, springs, MSH, etc. carry it regularly. IMG_3323.JPG
     
    simonp, Mike Meints, FWoo45 and 4 others like this.
  5. 1955colt

    1955colt New Member

    21
    Dec 5, 2018
    Thanks for the info, I plan on looking for a short style metal trigger and have changed out the grips to some OEM "rampant pony" ones I picked up
     
  6. ORShooter

    ORShooter Just outsided the realm of Crazy!

    Nov 28, 2018
    Nice score! Please be sure to post some updated pics once you get done making all the changes you want to. :)
     
  7. Wheels No More

    Wheels No More Long gone

    May 12, 2015
    Did somebody say colt....
    giphy.gif
     
    Mike Meints, FWoo45, Stentor and 3 others like this.
  8. 1955colt

    1955colt New Member

    21
    Dec 5, 2018
    Here a few more photos of it.

    I am a newbie to the 1911 world so bear with me as I ask stupid questions. One issue I noticed is it will not eject a live round, is this normal? I have to hold the slide open and shake it around to get it to drop out.

    Its like the opening is just a little too small for a live round to clear the ejection port. Strange thing is I noticed if I put two live rounds in the mag it will eject the first one with no issue. But it will not eject the last one. I did get a chance to fire off a few rounds and it ejected all the rounds OK.

    I also noticed a dent in the primer after trying to eject the live round which is rather worrisome. It appears as though the ejector is hitting the primer in the corner.



    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    UBOATDOC, KS95B40 and SparkyAZ like this.
  9. Diablo

    Diablo When in doubt, empty the magazine!!!

    396
    Nov 28, 2018
    Nice pick up I think! And welcome to the forum!
     
    KS95B40 likes this.
  10. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014

    I have had that "problem" with a gun or two in the past. Most likely your ejector is a tad too long. Probably around 1/8" of an inch or so.

    If you are adventurous, file the extended part of the ejector a little bit. Use a medium or fine baastard file, and polish it when finished with some fine sandpaper or a sharpening stone.

    The area you want to take down is circled in the photo below. That is the simplest potential way to solve the problem.

    The other is to have a competent gunsmith widen and lower the entire ejection port. A much more costly solution, and would probably require my recommendation be completed anyway . . . . .

    upload_2018-12-5_13-33-58.png
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
    Mike Meints and UBOATDOC like this.
  11. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

    Apr 7, 2013
    Remove the magazine when doing the test.

    The 1911 extractor should hold the bullet in place. If the bullet falls out the Magwell anytime durning the cycling, then it need tuning. If it holds it and ejects. your good. then you can start looking at other issues.
     
    UBOATDOC likes this.
  12. SparkyAZ

    SparkyAZ It is a dry heat, right... Supporting Addict

    Sep 11, 2012
    Great pickup for the price, oh and thank God you got rid of those Hogue wraparounds and put some proper stocks on that pony... giddy up cowboy.
     
    william adams and ORShooter like this.
  13. dogman

    dogman Well-Known Member

    93
    Apr 8, 2017
    Similar problem with mine -- the look on the extractor was quite worn -- I replaced it with one from Wilson Combat -- problem solved. Also the screw in the mag release was all boogered up so that got replaced as well.
    There's lots of easy things you can do before you get the the harder parts that require fitting.
     
  14. 1955colt

    1955colt New Member

    21
    Dec 5, 2018
    I gave it a quick try and with the mag out the bullet is lodged at about a 45 degree angle in the ejection port. The nose of the bullet is to the right against the opening of the port and the rim of the cartridge is against the ejector. I can pull back the slide a tad and shake the round out.
     
  15. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014
    It's not an extractor problem. It's the length of the ejector. See my post above.

    Z
     
    UBOATDOC likes this.
  16. 1955colt

    1955colt New Member

    21
    Dec 5, 2018
    If I get brave I may try it, I am afraid I may goof it up!
     
  17. john_anch_ak

    john_anch_ak Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Mar 7, 2017
    Looks like you got some good answers from those who know!
    And welcome from Alaska!! TomAtHarolds7.jpg
     
  18. 1955colt

    1955colt New Member

    21
    Dec 5, 2018
    Thanks for the welcome. I am not in know on the Colt 1911's but I wanted one for sometime and spotted this one at the at what I thought was the right price. I was told by a few others that I should have just a bought new Commander for around $800, but this one looked so sad and I thought I would give it some TLC and good home.
     
    Ethanol Red, UBOATDOC and leadfarmer like this.
  19. Fred_G

    Fred_G Well-Known Member

    Dec 29, 2015
    I think, for $450, you got a deal! May need a little TLC, I think Zoid is right on what it needs. Get it running, shoot the heck out of it, and maybe later get some work done on it, or just buy more 1911's. They breed you know... :)

    Hard to go wrong with an older Prancing Pony for a first 1911.
     
  20. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . .

    Dec 4, 2014

    You did good rescuing that old girl . . . . . .
     
    UBOATDOC likes this.

You need 3 posts to add links to your posts! This is used to prevent spam.

Verification:
Draft saved Draft deleted