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  #1  
Old 08-12-2020, 03:12 PM
Al Booth Al Booth is offline
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Very unusual issue with new Colt Classic stainless 01911C-S

I recently purchased a new stainless Classic Series 70 for a build. It was NIB, serial number matching the end label, in the oily plastic bag with all the usual paperwork and lock.

It was sent to one of the most experienced shops there exists, who have been building guns for me since the 1980s. I got a call today. They were getting ready to do the final bead blast finish. When the 'smith got to the shop this morning, he noticed the frame had rusts spots. We all know stainless can rust, but he was alarmed, so he tried a touch of cold blue in an out-of-way place, and lo and behold, the blue took. Further investigation showed that the frame was in fact carbon steel, not stainless. The slide, barrel and other small parts were stainless. I know this was a kind of reverse issue with Kimber, where their blued guns had stainless parts. Never heard of this as an issue with Colts.

The end result is that the gun is going off to be completely black nitride finished. Don't get me wrong - I really like black nitride, and have another Colt from this shop that has that finish (oddly enough, over stainless - a deliberate choice). But I thought I would have a soft gray looking gun.

So the morale of the story is: be aware that not all stainless guns from Colt are actually stainless.
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2020, 03:27 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Colt uses stainless steel with a very high carbon content, and yes it rusts pretty easily. But if it's a straight carbon steel gun and not a stainless Colt must have goofed and had a rack of mis-labeled frames or slides. The stainless frames and slides will have an S marked on them somewhere underneath.

In any event, the Nitride finish will be far superior and will make it a better shooter or carry gun.
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2020, 03:36 PM
Al Booth Al Booth is offline
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Strange Colt

Many of the small parts were marked with an "S" in their usual places. Slide stop, slide, barrel, plunger tube and ejector are stainless. This shop certainly knows Colt, as they still serve as a consultant for Colt, as they have for years. Never saw one like this.

I know the nitride is a better, harder finish. I have one of their full house guns done a few years ago in nitride. Just found this a bit unusual.
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  #4  
Old 08-12-2020, 04:06 PM
fnfalman fnfalman is offline
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Damn Colt. Looks like they're going back to the 1980s/1990s again.
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  #5  
Old 08-12-2020, 05:25 PM
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Found this:
Attached Thumbnails
Colt QC Roadmap.jpg  
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #6  
Old 08-12-2020, 05:53 PM
mlin mlin is offline
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The Stainless Steel XSE I bought brand new a few years back, from out of state seller online, had light rust spots under wood grips. Last I check the spots is about the same as previous. Other than change the grips and oil it liberally, I have not done anything to it yet as area I am living is relatively dry.
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  #7  
Old 08-12-2020, 07:14 PM
Colt_Fan_Buoy Colt_Fan_Buoy is offline
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Why is it we all have this odd abusive relationship with Colt? We purchase these relatively highish priced firearms, we get one well made, then two purchases that kind of burn us, and we say to our selves we won’t let them burn us again, buuuuuut then we find another properly well built piece. Just a vicious cycle I’ve noticed on here and have experienced myself, feel free to call me a pessimistic or outright wrong.

Side note wasn’t alive/old enough to have to endure the pain of the 80s and 90s Colt fiascos, so I guess I kind of should quit my bitchin’.
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  #8  
Old 08-12-2020, 08:43 PM
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For me, the fact is Colt is the only company left who still makes true mil-spec traditional 1911s. If they had stopped making guns like the Series 70 and 1911 Classic I would've jumped ship by now or only bothered with old ones.

And by the way, for all their pain-in-the-ass tendencies they still make the most reliable 1911s under $1000. Complaints are rare and usually involve the crappy magazines that they and nearly every other low and mid-tier 1911 maker uses.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #9  
Old 08-12-2020, 09:28 PM
sim740 sim740 is offline
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well just my luck my first Colt(2 wks) could be dudd..is back at the shop & maybe goin back home..very disheartening,especially considering i had all intentions of purchasing an R1 & at last minute decided on the more expensive Colt.
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  #10  
Old 08-12-2020, 11:04 PM
Al Booth Al Booth is offline
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Truthfully, this is the first Colt from the factory that I ever had this degree of a problem/issue since I started buying them in 1980. Guess it was my turn in the barrel. All of mine were worked on, so I really can't comment on how they were out of the box.
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  #11  
Old 08-12-2020, 11:07 PM
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I pretty much have all the new Colts that I'd ever want, although a stainless O1911C would be a good cap to my collection. However if they can't even get the raw materials sorted out then that's a problem. I do know that Colt uses different types of stainless for the slide and frame, but I too have had issues with the frames rusting. Maybe when I get the time I'll have to take some cold blue to mine just to see what happens. Besides the rusting issues Colt's stainless parts have also been known to become magnetic, which shouldn't be happening either. A long time ago the firing pin in one of my stainless Colts suddenly became magnetic, and I had to use one of those demagnetizer thingies from the hardware store to fix it.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.

Last edited by dsk; 08-12-2020 at 11:14 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-13-2020, 01:59 AM
Col. Colt Col. Colt is offline
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Not remotely defending a polished carbon frame sold as stainless - even as an accident, but stainless steel DOES RUST.

Given time and moisture - or neglected in the safe for a few years - well, I try to inspect and wipe down all of my guns at least once a year, minimum.
In some cases, you might also buy a "NIB" gun that sat in a warehouse for a couple of years before the distributor sent it out to a dealer, also. I always take a new gun out of the package, strip off any oil, inspect and then coat it with a preservative that I trust. If it does have a problem, it should go back within 90 days of purchase to avoid argument. CC
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  #13  
Old 08-13-2020, 11:09 AM
19ontheslide 19ontheslide is offline
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My father was a gunsmith for most of his life and he once told me the story of a lady who purchased a new Ruger Vaquero in polished stainless, took it shooting, and the next day she noticed fairly impressive rust on the grip frame. Nothing on the cylinder, cylinder frame, hammer, trigger, or barrel; just on the front and backstrap of the grip frame. She brought it back to the shop and Dad tested a small area inside the grip frame with cold blue; took it like a champ. Ruger just let a carbon steel grip frame get mixed in with the stainless ones. Those things can happen for sure.

As for Colt's quality control (or lack thereof), they were so spotty in the 90s that I had pretty much sworn off buying new ones, until I started working at a retailer that was a Colt dealer. This allowed me to inspect each new Colt we got in before it hit the sales floor. When Colt finally came out with the Competition Series without the firing pin safety I knew I had to make good on my threat to buy one if they ever started making them. I waited until one came into the store that checked all the boxes I needed it to fitment wise, and I jumped on it. And it's sitting in a holster on my hip as I write this. It might be the most out-of-the-box accurate 1911 I've ever owned, and I own a Dan Wesson. Good Colts are still being made, you just have to sift through a few to make sure you're getting a good one before plunking down your money.
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Old 08-13-2020, 12:34 PM
USMM guy USMM guy is offline
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I have not bought a new Colt in several years.

But the last one that I did buy. A Blue 80 series Government model in 38 Super. I bought new about three or four years ago. It is one of the nicer hand guns that I own.

Funny that they are so hit or miss on quality control. You would think that they would come up with a plan and stick to it.
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  #15  
Old 08-13-2020, 12:53 PM
fnfalman fnfalman is offline
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Originally Posted by USMM guy View Post
But the last one that I did buy. A Blue 80 series Government model in 38 Super. I bought new about three or four years ago. It is one of the nicer hand guns that I own.

Funny that they are so hit or miss on quality control. You would think that they would come up with a plan and stick to it.
Colt has a plan. It's the execution of said plan that is lacking.
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  #16  
Old 08-13-2020, 12:53 PM
drail drail is online now
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Try to find some good help to hire these days. I just bought a new house and you would not believe some of the mistakes the builders made. The builder told me even more incredible stories about some of the kids he hired and fired. Before I retired I ran some work crews and I couldn't hardly find anyone who was reliable enough to show up for work on time or were not so hung over they could not work. I kept getting crews filled with new inexperienced guys who would get canned and replaced by more new guys. Over and over....... I am glad to be done with it.

Last edited by drail; 08-13-2020 at 12:57 PM.
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  #17  
Old 08-13-2020, 12:55 PM
fnfalman fnfalman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsk View Post
I pretty much have all the new Colts that I'd ever want, although a stainless O1911C would be a good cap to my collection. However if they can't even get the raw materials sorted out then that's a problem. I do know that Colt uses different types of stainless for the slide and frame, but I too have had issues with the frames rusting. Maybe when I get the time I'll have to take some cold blue to mine just to see what happens. Besides the rusting issues Colt's stainless parts have also been known to become magnetic, which shouldn't be happening either. A long time ago the firing pin in one of my stainless Colts suddenly became magnetic, and I had to use one of those demagnetizer thingies from the hardware store to fix it.
I should count myself lucky with my 1911 Classic in SS. If it hadn't rusted when I was living in Corpus Christi then it probably was real SS materials.
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Old 08-13-2020, 12:57 PM
Colt_Fan_Buoy Colt_Fan_Buoy is offline
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I’ve bought a few 1911s from different manufacturers, Colt, Springfield Armory, Sig, and I know it’s in a class of their own and not fair worth mentioning, Wilson Combat.

Whit all that said, what has me slightly concerned is out of all the manufacturers, I have turned down Colt the most on potential purchases after inspecting said firearm. Springfield Armory and Sig are both in the same price range, and fair competitors to Colt price wise. So yes I have some fine Colts, I love Colts, by far my favorite manufacturer, but with the whole sifting through the muck for the proverbial gold is what the problem is. I don’t know if that makes sense or if I’m rambling non-sequiturs at this point.

EDIT: Maybe it’s the love I have for Colt that holds them to a higher standard compared to others?

Last edited by Colt_Fan_Buoy; 08-13-2020 at 01:03 PM.
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  #19  
Old 08-13-2020, 01:14 PM
Al Booth Al Booth is offline
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I am well aware that "stainless" can rust. I was the armorer for a mid-size South Florida PD in the late 1980s that issued 4" M64 S&Ws. If there was an environment for rust, that was it. Saw plenty of spots here and there, usually under grips. I have owned at least a half-dozen SS Colt Govt. NRM series 70 guns over the years since they came out. Never, and I mean never, did I see this. A clear screw up at the factory. Heck, if I knew I was going to nitride the gun, I would have paid less and bought a blued Classic.
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  #20  
Old 08-13-2020, 01:18 PM
Sandhills Write Sandhills Write is offline
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I have a Wilson stainless Commander that the polished side of the slide rusted on, a little oil and polishing compound on a felt pad and it was gone. It is my carry gun, so I check it all the time now, but the rust has never returned. Stainless can rust, even from the high end makers.
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  #21  
Old 08-13-2020, 01:23 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Booth View Post
Heck, if I knew I was going to nitride the gun, I would have paid less and bought a blued Classic.
Why not hard chrome it instead? Accurate Plating & Weaponry does a great job and their brushed chrome looks almost exactly like brushed stainless.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #22  
Old 08-13-2020, 02:15 PM
Colt_Fan_Buoy Colt_Fan_Buoy is offline
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So now that we have established stainless steel can rust, I would like to piggyback off of that and say Colt can also do quality control as well.

Let’s play a game and see which one should be more often and the other less often...
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  #23  
Old 08-14-2020, 08:30 AM
Jolly Rogers Jolly Rogers is offline
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There is an interim step in manufacturing Stainless Steel objects. It is called passivating. A mild acid wash removes carbon steel molecules at the surface. The CS particles are normal in SS and when left exposed during and after machining they can rust. Passivating removes exposed CS bits to prevent rust spots for the most part. Another issue is cross contamination with CS bits when bead or abrasive blasting SS components. Used blasting media is a no no. Media used for CS bits should never hit a SS surface. Steel wool is another no no as is used sand paper...
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  #24  
Old 08-14-2020, 08:43 AM
Al Booth Al Booth is offline
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I would agree with all the comments about stainless and rust. But in my particular case, IT WAS NOT STAINLESS AT ALL. It was carbon steel. Jolly Rogers, the shop that discovered this is up in your neck of the woods. Only about 40-50 years of experience building 1911s, and one of the only true consultants to Colt.
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  #25  
Old 08-14-2020, 11:29 AM
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If they're consultants for Colt then maybe they ought to inform Colt that a batch of mis-labeled carbon frames likely got used to make stainless steel guns. That way they'll be aware of it if they suddenly get a bunch of CS calls from customers complaining that their guns are rusting.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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