This blog entry contains some unfavorable comments about Colt Manufacturing Company, as I perceived them to be in the early 1990’s. Frankly, back then they pissed me off with three of their pistols that I purchased. How do I feel about Colt pistols today? IMHO, they are much improved.
Eighty years following the creation of the 1911 pistol, Colt introduced the Series 80 1991A1 as its entry into the low-end government-model pistol market. As incentives, the 1991A1 came with enhancements such as larger sights, a lowered ejection port, beveled magazine well, and they returned to the long trigger and straight mainspring housing. Supposedly, according to the gun periodicals of the day, Colt made refinements to the feed-ramp and barrel-throat to provide for reliable use of hollowpoint ammunition.
I bought this pistol new in November of 1992. As far as feeding hollowpoints, this pistol was a failure; initially it would not even feed ball ammo reliably. I’m not talking about a rare and random mal-feed or jam; there was a problem with each magazine of ammo. Colt’s customer support gave the same answer to each of my inquiries, “Just keep shooting it, it just needs breaking-in.” Yeah, right. Out of frustration, two months later I bought the first of my Springfield Armory 1911 pistols (for $100 less than I paid for the Colt) which proved to be 100% reliable with ball ammo right out of the box, and, at least in my unsophisticated hand, seemed to be more accurate than the Colt.
I persevered with the Colt 1991A1. Swapping out the recoil spring to 18.5 lbs and settling on Bill Wilson’s seven-round magazines finally made the pistol reliable enough for me to burn through enough ammo to break in the pistol (afterwards, it still occasionally would mal-feed ball ammo when used with quality eight-round magazines). The only hollowpoint ammunition that I found to feed 100% of the time was Winchester’s Black Talon (with quality seven-round magazines).
This pistol rarely sees use anymore; I have not fired it in over five years. It is not one of my favorites. If I ever choose to own another Wilson Combat wonder-gun, I’ll ship this one off for them to use as a platform to build on.