Colt Series 70 vs. 80

I've seen locked up, non-functioning Series 80 pistols because of broken firing pin safety lifters.

Are they required?  Are you a spastic constantly dropping the pistol from 20 feet on to the muzzle?

Series 80 lockworks are an added complication.  Many say it doesn't make a difference, and I suppose it doesn't.  Series 80-90 pistols WITH the firing pin safety are cheaper than 70-Series and original Government Models from the same manufacturer without the add-ons.

After ~nine (I sometimes lose the actual count) 1911 guns, I'm down to four which are all "Series 70" type with no firing pin safeties.  When I detail strip these guns, I'm extra thankful I don't need to deal with those extra parts which do add complication to the assembly.

I'll say if the specific 1911 you end up really wanting only comes with a "Series 80" (different from Swartz-type safety, btw), then come back here and ask about that specific 1911.

What I'm saying is I prefer "Series 70" type.

Forgot to add...

One thing to keep in mind is that just about every popular/well known 1911-gunsmith goes through periods were they stop taking new orders until they catch up on their backlog of work.  So I'd recommend going with whoever  has an opening on the books and will crank out a quality gun for you in less than 3-to-5yrs.

If none of the gunsmiths mention can fit you in, then try giving JoJo's Gun Works a call.  They don't have the name recognition or collectable value but they do nice work.  Check out their website and also take a look at Consig's JoJo custom 1911 from the "Lets Talk Custom Guns" thread.

Medic17 posted:

Now off to find a gunsmith.

Any Suggestions?

Not as well known but Dave Laubert at Defensive Creations in Alliance, OH does great work without the long(er) lead times of more well known smiths.

You can google him but Pat Rogers and Steve Fisher both vouched for his work and that was good enough for me.

The melonited Springfield 1911 on the right is the one he customized for me, great comms and reasonable turnaround time.



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 I have had little issue with a Colt series 80...a few smith I asked didn't seem to car, including the original armorer to that unit on Ft Bragg, Ken Elmore, Ed Vandenberg and the armorers at a US Gov facility that used to issue straight Colt SS series 80 Gov models to the SRT.

Ed Vandenberg did a lot of 1911 work for me, when I was shooting them more. I haven't had any real problems with him, though I think DETWD had/knows of an issue with a gun he worked on. I ran guns he worked on in multiple classes, including a Hackathorn/10-8 1911 operator class and two Vickers 1911 classes.

Dave Sams is very well known in the BullsEye community, he is a former AMU gunsmith. He does carry guns also, just talking with him, he is pretty meticulous and takes time..and you pay for it.


"Good landing, good fight, and good luck" James M. Gavin 09Jul43

 "they say if it works, it's a good tactic...I say anything can work once" 

If you're not going to work and maintain the gun at an advanced sorta level, I'd skip the series 80.  And it takes a good smith to make the trigger as good.   I've got 2.  It's ok.  But that's only because I wanted something specific to build on for commanders.  Series 70 is good. 


I've had guns by many of the top smiths mentioned above.  +1 for all of them.  For a serious working gun MARS is fantastic.  But Steve's wait list is usually long.  I spoke with Jim Garthwaite recently(maybe 3 months ago?) and he was some time out as well.  But great work.  Don Williams(The Action Works) is top notch, and his turnaround usually isn't too bad. 

You might check out a couple of up and comers such as David Panciotti at Evolution Armory or Brandan Bunker at Bunker Arms. They are both two of the top younger gun smiths in my mind, and are probably the two guys likely to have reps like some of the names above.  I've got an Evolution Colt Commander (Yep, Series 80), that is truly amazing and one of my favorites.  He was a 'smith for Colt before branching out on his own.  His work is functional and good looking.  And he does a big ball endmill cut under the trigger guard combined with an EGW grip safety that makes it about the oddly most comfortable 1911 I've shot.  It's subtle but big difference. Here's the CMDR by David. The grips are Ahrends I got off horsetrading some of my junk for some of DBs junk.





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