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 Colt Combat Elite

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Badge Posted - October 09 2015 : 4:00:07 PM
Questions for you experienced 1911 owners. I recently traded into the aforementioned Series 80, .45 acp weapon. My Ruger 1911 STILL isn't right so back it's going. Ugh. I took this Colt to the range and had no issues. Functioned like a Swiss watch as it should. Was this a limited run or just your basic Government model with a fancy name? Uncle Mike, Jim,...... enlighten me.
23   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Jim Higginbotham Posted - November 16 2016 : 10:45:20 AM
It was a fairly limited run but still a really nice gun.

I have one, blue slide/stainless frame with the Gold Cup serrations up the front.

It actually came from a group, including Evan and Mas and John Farnam, who talked to a Colt V.P. at the 1977 Second Chance Match. He asked the group what they would like and the answer was pretty much what this gun turned out to be.

The first version was not - it was a Gold Cup with an Electroless nickel frame and maybe a wide grip safety - he showed it to me at the 1978 match (I think)and was a little let down that I did not care for the adjustable sights - which I told him would fall off - and his actually did during the match.

A bit later they came out with a Series 70 Combat Elite (which was all blue) that had the right features and when they carried the model over to the Series 80 they made it two toned.

I found a similar one for a friend who had a son who was a SEAL and he carried it for the remainder of his career (among other handguns).

The newest version has Novak sights I think but mine is just a good tall version of the regular rear sight.

Jim H.

Badge Posted - November 06 2016 : 6:00:18 PM
Ten Driver,
I realize this is late but the only Hollow Point I had issues with were Second Generation Hydroshoks. Otherwise all other types with rounded ojives ran through it just fine. I used all 230 grain and they were Golden Sabres, Federal standard and HST's, as well as Gold Dot's and Ranger Talons. No issues with any in the Ruger CMD.
Ten Driver Posted - November 23 2015 : 11:13:24 PM
Badge, I dug into the safe to take a look at the Combat Elite, and it appears there may have been a little bit of factory polishing--nothing extensive though.

Mike
Badge Posted - November 21 2015 : 2:41:23 PM
Ten Driver,
You may be correct ref. the extra TLC. I'd ask Uncle Mike or Jim H to be sure though. The only JHP mine will choke on is the second generation Federal Hydroshoks. Otherwise, it eats anything. Excellent weapon overall.
Ten Driver Posted - November 21 2015 : 11:51:47 AM
Hello,

Sorry to chime in late on this one . . .

My Combat Elite is from 1991, and it's actually a replacement for one that was sent back to the factory because it could not be disassembled! Colt replaced the gun after they scrapped the old one--some kind of out-of-spec milling that resulted in the slide getting stuck on the frame. Even the factory warranty station couldn't free it....with a mallet! Yes, this was during some rough days at Colt . . . Badge, it sounds like we're in good company with each other!

Anyhow, mine is Series 80 with matte stainless frame and polished blue slide. The slide has basic sights (no dovetail on the front--just pinned) with 2 dots because the white dot on the front sight departed in the first 50 rounds. The slide has the special Combat Elite markings.

The frame has a Commander-style hammer and the standard grip safety without beaver tail. The trigger is a standard blade and the grips are wrap-around rubber with the Colt logo medallion on each side.

I don't recall exactly, but mine may have some special throating and polishing--just a light touch by the factory here. If memory serves, this was one of the features that made the Combat Elite special--a little extra attention compared to the regular Government Model, to ensure reliable feeding of JHPs. I remember Mas writing something to that effect at the time in the gun press--that only the Combat Elites could be trusted to run JHPs direct from the factory. Mine always has, including the dreaded 200 grain Speer JHP.

The trigger pull is nothing special. I'm guessing it was upwards of 6 pounds before I had it worked on, and it was gritty before the work. Now it's more reasonable.

I don't recall ever seeing the Combat Elite in the factory catalogs of the period, which makes me suspect they were some kind of limited run, but I don't have any idea how many were made each year. Since Colt pretty much abandoned the commercial market by the mid-90s, I would guess that production spanned between the late 80s to early 90s.

Interestingly, in Sapp's "Standard Catalog of Colt Firearms" (which seems a little weak, to be honest) he mentions the Combat Elite came with an adjustable rear sight. Perhaps later/other versions did, but my sights are fixed. He also lumps the Combat Elite in with the Enhanced pistols, but my gun predates the Enhanced changes to the 1911 (flat top, undercut, etc.) which I think came around circa 1992 or so?

Hope this helps!

Mike
Badge Posted - November 09 2015 : 10:57:51 PM
Malcolm,
For what it's worth, the Ruger CMD I have now is a wonderful weapon. It carries well and shoots better. They also make a lightweight version in addition to the full size Government model.
Malcolm Posted - November 09 2015 : 1:41:27 PM
Badge, Thanks for the report!
Badge Posted - November 08 2015 : 1:53:05 PM
ExFed,
They did not. I was surprised as I had to go through an FFL and redo all of the paperwork. The weapon was junk, sadly. They redeemed themselves with the second one.
exfed2002 Posted - November 08 2015 : 07:38:22 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Badge

My new 1911 CMD is here. Ruger shipped it second day air. That was nice. I will shoot it tomorrow.



By any chance, did they preserve the original serial number?
Badge Posted - November 07 2015 : 10:58:02 PM
Malcolm,
According to Ruger, they fired 62 rounds without a hitch and I fired 87 rounds without a Hiccup. I'm thrilled. The replacement weapon is everything I have come to expect from Ruger and their customer service is second to none. I'm very pleased sir.
Malcolm Posted - November 05 2015 : 2:50:03 PM
Badge, please post the new results, I've been looking hard at a CMD 1911 as well. Anxiously awaiting your "new" field report. Thanks!
Badge Posted - November 05 2015 : 11:12:21 AM
My new 1911 CMD is here. Ruger shipped it second day air. That was nice. I will shoot it tomorrow.
Badge Posted - October 30 2015 : 12:47:01 PM
Just got an e-mail from Ruger. They are replacing my Commander and Destroying the old one. I'm hoping for a vast improvement.
Jim Higginbotham Posted - October 27 2015 : 12:10:28 PM
quote:
Originally posted by Badge

Jim,
Mine is an odd one. Figures. Guns are like their owners I reckon. Mine doesn't have the Novak sights or forward serrations but does have the stainless frame. I do love the weapon as it works. It's a Colt.



That sounds like mine - the laters ones are have all the "goo-gaws" - personally I like the older version just fine.

Jim
Badge Posted - October 26 2015 : 09:22:18 AM
Jim,
Mine is an odd one. Figures. Guns are like their owners I reckon. Mine doesn't have the Novak sights or forward serrations but does have the stainless frame. I do love the weapon as it works. It's a Colt.
Whirlibird Posted - October 26 2015 : 08:25:11 AM
I am jealous.
The Combat Elite guns were some of the best Colt ever produced for carry/real life.

Moderately "upgraded" from the rack grade 1911, they had the basic carry work done from the factory.
Some came with the 'collet bushing', some the solid, depending on vintage.

An excellent find.
Jim Higginbotham Posted - October 25 2015 : 12:22:16 PM
I have a fairly early Combat Elite which is probably like the one you have - just nice taller stock sights with a stainless frame?

There was actually a Series 70 Combat Elite with very few made just before the series 80s came out - they were all blue guns as far as I know.

The Combat Elite was actually the baby of Lew Sharpe when he was V.P. of Colt - Lew is a real shooter (which is fairly rare for Colt executives in modern times). He canvased several folks, including Evan, Ken Hackathorn, Chuck Taylor, Mas Ayoob, and few other small timers at the Second Chance matches and a few other places known to be frequented by cops.

I like my Combat elite enough to carry - it has always worked for me.

A bit of trivia I found another one and let a friend of mine buy it - he then gave it to his son who was on Seal Team Six (and was on *the* raid but I have no idea if the gun was on the raid - I've seen it since and the guy carries it daily).

As someone stated above - they now have different features on the model (like Novaks and forward serrations) - I don't really dig forward serrations (if you do that is fine) and I cannot abide FLGRs so that would have to go but my gun came with the standard JMB design.

The earlier ones did not have a "beavertail" grip safety - some folks like those but, while I like them fine, I am not bothered by the original grip safety as long as the hammer isn't so long it bites.

Jim H.
Badge Posted - October 24 2015 : 11:14:57 PM
I loved the weapon prior to firing it. It wouldn't return to complete battery 29 times out of 100. Three failures to feed and one failure to eject as I remember. It went back and the ENTIRE slide was replaced along with three or four other parts. It just went back again as it wasn't feeding Federal ball ammo properly, ie nose diving the projectile into the feed ramp. Ball ammo. I sent it back along with several magazines of my own that work just fine withColt's, Springfields, and a Rock Island. We'll see.
LfiGrad Posted - October 21 2015 : 8:43:55 PM
Hi Badge, I remember another thread where you mentioned you were sending back the Ruger 1911. I have been doing some research on it, and was thinking it might be my next gun, can you tell me exactly what the problem with it was? Thanks.
Badge Posted - October 12 2015 : 11:40:47 PM
Mike,
It's wonderful. It's a Colt. Shot it again with no issues or hiccups. The Ruger is going back for another shot at fixing it. If it comes back less than flawless it's history. Sad but I insist on perfect for carry weapons.
Uncle Mike Posted - October 11 2015 : 08:51:53 AM
Hi Mark, that's a nice pistol. I have an early Colt's Defender that doesn't have a Novak sight; it has a blade sight. I'm guessing yours may be early. I think the first ones had adjustable sights like a Gold Cup. Congratulations and good luck, regards, Mike
Badge Posted - October 10 2015 : 11:01:27 PM
GW,
This one differs from some I've seen as it does not have Novak sights and is basically a Plain Jane, 1911 although it is two toned. Other than that, it's a Colt and it runs.
gw Posted - October 09 2015 : 5:19:44 PM
The name has been around since the 80's , but the actual gun has came in slightly different configurations over the years.

The current rendition has been around for about 8 years.

They are an upgraded series 80, they come nicely setup, but I'd still loose the FLGR and probably the nylon MSH.

The latest Colts are made on new CNC machines, and are well made Colt 1911s.

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