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Post 80 Colt Pistols

by Grard Henrotin

- Ebook's Content Colt Pistols - Series 80 General Features


- A comparison of the 1911 A1 and the Colt Series 80 pistols
- The internal mechanism
- The firing pin safety features
- New parts

Colt Commander and Officer - Series 80


- The Commander model
- The Officer model
- The bell shaped barrel
- The Officer model barrel bushing
- The way the recoil spring bushing is dismounted
- The gun stripping differs from that of the Government model
- The way the firing pin is dismounted
- The extractor of the Series 80
- Why the Colt Officer shoots very accurately
- The hammer half-cock notch with no retaining ledge

Colt "Gold Cup" & "Gold Cup Trophy"


- The "Gold Cup National Match" models of the Series 80
- A second recoil spring of weaker strength
- A magazine fitted with a spring shaped follower
- The "Gold Cup Trophy" pistols
- The trigger is fitted with an adjustable screw
- What can happen after fine tuning the trigger travel
- Upon a close inspection
- Tuning of the "Elliason" adjustable rear sight

Characteristics of the Colt "Gold Cup" model


- A special device to prevent hammer rebound
- The hammer of the "Gold Cup" is different
- The sear-hammer engagement in the "Gold Cup"
- A special sear nose
- The trigger's weight can be sufficient to free the hammer
- How the sear depressor works
- Parts shown from the rear of the gun

Combat & Delta Models


- Colt "Combat" model
- "Special Combat" model
- The "Carry Model"
- The "Combat Target" (1997)
- "Special Combat Government Competition" model

- The 10 mm auto cartridge


- The "Delta" model "Gold Cup" - stainless version

Double Eagle Models - Series 90


- Colt's first double action auto pistol
- The technical options
- "Double Eagle" characteristics
- The first version
- The "Combat Commander" version
- The "Officer" version (1991)
- The "Double Eagle's" slide on a "Government" frame
- Inadvertant fitting of a slide on the wrong pistol

Functioning of the "Double Eagle" model


- The trigger mechanism
- An exposed spring which does not inspire confidence
- The trigger is an example of simplicity
- Direct actuating of the hammer
- When the gun is used in single action mode
- Position of the trigger mechanism just before firing
- The moment when disconnection occurs

The "Double Eagle" safeties


- The double action acts as a safety
- The only safety is the firing pin safety
- The way the safety lever is actuated
- The removal of the firing pin safety
- A hammer dropping device
- A hazardous situations if ...
- Two levers implied
- The hammer is caught by the sear
- If the trigger is depressed during the dropping process
- The uncluttered inner space of the frame
- A Problem with dismounting the main spring housing

Colt Model 1991 A1 and MK IV


- In 1991, an updated version of the 1911 A1
- In 1992, a "Compact" version of the M1991 A1
- In 1993, a "Commander" version of the M1991 A1
- In 1994, an "Officer" version
- In 1998, a new series of improved (MK IV) pistols in .45 ACP
- The Government MK IV model (5" barrel)
- The "Combat Commander MK IV" model (4 1/4" barrel)
- The "Concealed Carry Officer MK IV" model
- The Colt "Defender" (3" barrel)

Characteristics of the Colt Model 2000


- The Colt 2000 was offered in two versions
- Optional kit with a shorter barrel
- A barrel bushing that allows for ez modifications
- Optional low light sights with a luminous Tritium 3-dot insert
- Field stripping
- A surprise when the slide is dismounted
- Upon a thorough inspection
- Two small areas of support for the slide
- The use of a polygonal key to dismount grip plates
- An ambidexter magazine retaining latch

Functioning of the Colt Model 2000


- A rotating barrel lock
- Barrel lug engages "cam block"
- Cam block's other important functions
- Upon firing ...
- No hammer, just a spring-loaded striker
- The Colt 2000 works in double action mode only
- How the trigger system works
- In an old alarm clock, such a part ...
- The trigger-striker operation
- The striker safety

Colt Pistols - Series 80 General Features


The Colt Government of the Series 80 was available in several calibers (.45 ACP, .40SW, .38 Super, ...), several finishes
(Blued, Stainless, Bright Stainless, Nickel), and various models (Standard, Commander, Officer, Combat, Special Combat,
Combat Elite, ...). It perpetuated the 1911 and 1911 A1 lineage while incorporating the improvements found in modern
handguns.

Model 1911 A1

When comparing the 1911 A1 model and its counterpart of the Series 80, one can find :
- A new relief cut, under the rear of the trigger guard (yellow circle), to reduce perceived recoil and increase
controllability, which helps get a quicker target acquisition.
- A new beavertail grip safety (red circle) to afford a more comfortable grip, and eliminate "hammer bite".
- A new combat style hammer (orange circle), with an elongated hole through the spur, to provide a faster fall of the
hammer, which increases accuracy.
- Also note, that the grip rear strap (surrounded in green color) was reverted to the straight design of the 1911 model.

Model Government of the Series 80


About to the internal mechanism, if one does not speak of the use of polymer-based material for the trigger, the
mainspring housing, and the wraparound grips, there is a new significant firing pin safety feature. It functions in such a
way that the firing pin remains locked, during the rearward move of the trigger. To house the new safety device,
modifications were made to the slide (red arrow), and the frame (green circle).

Four new parts were also created:


- A safety lever (orange color), which shares its axis pin with the sear.
- A second lever (blue color), which bears against the safety plunger, and uses the axis pin with the hammer.

- A safety plunger with a tiny coil return spring.

Other modifications were made to:


- The firing pin stop, which received a cut at a right angle (blue circle), to allow the rotation of the second lever (blue).
- The head of the firing pin, which was grooved to accommodate the safety plunger (green circle).
- The extractor, which received a circular cut (red circle), in order to clear a path for the plunger.

The two photos above show the two safety levers inside the gun. The first lever (red arrow), shares
the same axis pin with the sear. It bears against the lower arm (yellow arrow) of the second safety
lever (blue arrow). It is easy to understand how the firing pin safety works by looking at the
interrelation of the parts. When positioned in the lower position, which is the regular one - safety ON
-, the head of the safety plunger is nested in the firing pin's safety groove and prevents the firing pin
from moving. When the trigger is depressed, the first safety lever acts on the second, which in turn
pushes up the safety plunger, to move its head out of the firing pin's safety groove.

Colt Commander and Officer - Series 80


- The Commander model
The Commander model (created in 1949) of the series 80 was available in two calibers (.45 ACP and .38 Super), and
two variations (Combat and Lightweight). The frame of the Combat model was made of steel, while those of the
Lightweight model was made of aluminum alloy and was available in .45 ACP only.

Colt Commander - Series 80

- The Officer model


The Colt Officer, offered from 1985 on, was a compact version of the Government model. Not only the barrel was
reduced to 3 1/2 inches (versus 5" for the Government and 4 1/4" for the Commander model), but the handle was
also shortened, because the magazine was of 6 cartridges, versus 8 in the standard model.

Colt Officer - Series 80

The main technical feature, except the global shorter size, is the bell shape of the barrel's mouth.

The bushing was adapted to the new barrel's mouth profile, by reducing its length, and by suppressing the inner
shoulder. The dismounting manner of the recoil spring bushing was also unusual. A locking lug was added (red
circle), intended to engage in a specific cut, under the front end of the slide (yellow circle).

Also of note, is the double recoil spring. The Officer model was produced in .45 ACP only. All the current finishes,
along with the lightweight aluminum alloy frame, were available. The gun is well balanced, and the wraparound
polymer grip helps get a very good grip. The front and rear high-profile sights, with blank dots, allow for rapid and
easy target acquisition. The dismounting is slightly different from the Government model. The recoil spring
bushing is slotted on its front face. A screwdriver, or similar tool, is needed to undo it.

Reversely to what is usually done, the barrel bushing (orange) must be withdrawn first from the slide. To do that,
the bushing of the recoil spring must be pushed inside the slide, until the barrel bushing can be freely rotated
counterclockwise until its small lug (red circle) is disengaged from its locking recess in the slide. When the barrel
bushing is removed, the recoil spring bushing is pushed with a screwdriver, until its underlug is disengaged from
the slide locking slot. A half turn is then necessary to align the bushing lug with the opening behind the barrel. The
bushing is then pushed from the slide, under the pressure of the double recoil spring. The remaining of the
dismounting is similar to the Government model of the series 80.
Also of note is the way the firing pin is dismounted. It requires more complicated handlings than those in the 1911
A1 models. The easiest way is to push the firing pin toward the front, with the tip of a punch, after the safety
plunger itself has been pushed, and disengaged from the firing pin safety retaining groove.

Allow then the safety plunger to come back just behind the firing pin. The firing pin will stay in its tunnel, and the
firing pin stop can be dismounted from the slide.

The extractor of the Series 80 was cut to allow for the movement of the safety plunger. A small ridge (yellow circle)
prevents the plunger from leaving its housing. To release the plunger, the extractor must be withdrawn slightly
rearwards, until the retaining ridge has quitted the plunger's central groove. The plunger is then pushed out of its
housing by the pressure of its spring.

When the safety plunger has been removed, the extractor can be withdrawn from its tunnel in the slide.

Colt Officer (steel - black blue finish) - Note the beveled magazine well.
Thanks to its bell-shaped barrel, the Colt Officer shoots very accurately, because the barrel returns consistently
into battery in the same position. The hammer's breast is provided with a half-cock notch, which cannot be
considered a safety notch, as it is the case in the 1911 A1. The half-cock notch is totally flat. It does not possess a
deep narrow recess to trap the sear. Its purpose is only to re-engage the sear, in case that the hammer would not
be caught by the sear in the full-cock position during the slide cycling.

Colt "Gold Cup" & "Gold Cup Trophy"


- Colt "Gold Cup"
The "Gold Cup National Match" models of the Series 80 benefited from meticulous craftsmanship. Only quality parts were
selected. Among the typical features were the matte finish stainless steel, adjustable Elliason rear sight, and combat-style
wraparound grip.

The "Gold Cup National Match" in caliber .45 ACP was offered with a weaker second recoil spring (colored in green), and a
seven-round magazine to improve the feeding of semi-wadcutter cartridges. For higher pressure ammo, the standard
stiffer recoil spring was needed. An height-round magazine was also supplied, and that magazine was fitted with a
specially shaped follower acting itself as a spring.

Left: 8 round magazine - Right: 7 round magazine

8 round spring shaped follower

7 round standard follower

"Shooting Star" special follower

- Gold Cup Trophy


The "Gold Cup Trophy" pistols are the last representatives of the "National Match" class. They were available in two
finishes: Stainless Steel and blued Carbon Steel. They were delivered with two magazines (one for height rounds and one
for seven rounds). The aluminum made trigger was skeletonized and had an adjustable trigger stop.

Colt document - 1997 catalogue

The trigger was fitted with an adjustable screw, which can limit the trigger's backward travel. Fine tuning allows to set the
rearward travel of the trigger so that it is just sufficient to disengage the sear from the hammer cocking notch.

If you look at the (unfired) cartridge case above, you can see that it was struck two times, but not hard enough to set off
the primer. This happened after fine tuning the trigger's rearward travel. Upon close inspection, it was discovered that the
rearward travel of the trigger was sufficient to rotate the sear out of engagement with the hammer's cock notch but
insufficient to push up the safety plunger far enough to completely release the firing pin. As a result, when the firing pin
was struck by the hammer, there was enough force to move the firing pin ahead - even though it rubbed firmly against the
safety plunger, but the firing had not enough kinetic energy to ensure the explosion the primer.
Also of note, the new angled slide serrations, and there is a new profile of the ejection port, to improve the ejection of the
shells.

The "Gold Cup Trophy" pistol was fitted with a "Partridge" type front sight and an "Elliason" adjustable rear sight.

One clockwise click of the windage screw (left side) moves the rear sight to the right, to obtain a right shift of 0.5 " of the
impact, on a target placed at 45 m. One clockwise click of the elevation screw (top) lowers the sight notch and cause the
impact to be shifted 0.4" down.

Characteristics of the Colt "Gold Cup"


Besides the classical safeties, the "Gold Cup" pistols were also fitted with a very sensitive sear
mechanism, and with a special device, to prevent that an unexpected hammer following, when the slide
gets back into battery, ends in involuntary explosion. The hammer of the "Gold Cup" series is quite
different from the standard Government model, in that it has a first notch built like a narrow extension. In
the "Gold Cup" model of the 70's vintage, the first notch also acted as a safety notch (red color below),
with a retaining ledge to catch the sear. In the "Gold Cup" pistols of the Series 80, the retaining ledge was
eliminated (blue color below), and consequently the first notch cannot be considered as a safety notch. Its
only purpose is to block the hammer, in case it is not caught by the sear during the slide recoil.

Government model

Gold Cup Series 70

Gold Cup Series 80

As intended for highly accurate shooting (which requires a precise sear-hammer engagement), the "Gold
Cup" models were fitted with a specific sear, whose nose differs considerably from the one installed in the
current Government model.

To limit, as far as possible, the wear of the sear's nose, the breast of the hammer was made narrower. The
sear's nose was also modified, in order that one portion remains in contact with the hammer's breast, while
the other, which is intended to engage the full-cock notch, was prevented from being in contact with the
hammer.

The red area is the only area that rubs against the hammer's breast

Only the external sear's nose is engaged in the full-cock notch.


As a consequence of the sear-hammer engagement on a reduced area, the potential risk of a premature
release of the hammer is increased. In some cases, the trigger weight alone can be sufficient to exert a
thrust that can release the hammer. In the Colt Government, the trigger assembly can slide backward
freely, by inertia, should the muzzle of the gun be raised. In such a case, the strike of the trigger bar
against the disconnector might be sufficient to rotate the sear out of engagement with the hammer. To
remedy that problem, ultra-light hollow triggers, made of alloy, were proposed.
Another problem, due to the short engagement of the sear in the full-cock notch, was the possibility of a
rebound of the hammer during the firing cycle. To fix this potential issue, a new device was created, which
had to be installed on the sear itself. This device holds in a single small spring-loaded part (green color
below) known as the depressor.

As shown in the drawings above, one leg of the sear has a hole drilled to accommodate a tiny coil spring,
whose function is to actuate the depressor. The depressor is mounted on the sear leg fitted with the coil
spring.

In the standard Government model, when the trigger is depressed, the trigger bar pushes on the foot of the
disconnector, which at its turn is supposed to push the sear. In the "Gold Cup" configuration, there is an
intermediary piece (the depressor) between the disconnector and the sear.

Progressively, as the trigger is depressed, the disconnector pushes the depressor against its coil spring,
until the classical arrangement of the parts is obtained. That is, when the trigger bar, the disconnector, and
the sear are linked. Going further in the pulling on of the trigger, would induce the rotation of the sear, and
the release of the hammer.

Upon firing, the disconnector is pushed down by the recoiling slide, and the link with the depressor is
broken. The depressor is then instantly pushed by its small return coil spring. This causes that the other
shoulder of the depressor (the one which is not bearing on the coil spring) strikes the sear's leg, and as a
result the nose of the sear is pushed against the breast of the hammer.

Above is the sear mechanism shown from the rear of the gun : The sear (red arrow), the depressor (yellow
arrow), the disconnector (blue arrow), and the rear face of the trigger bar (green arrow). The yellow arrow
shows the shoulder of the depressor, which strikes the sear as explained above.

Combat & Delta Models


- Combat Models
Starting with the series 70, Colt produced a "Combat" version of the Government model, which was intended
for shooting of competition. The sample shown below is known is the "Special Combat" model. It was made
of hard chrome and chambered for the .45 ACP. Offered from 1992 to 1993, it was fitted with an improved grip
safety, "Bomar" sights, a lightened trigger, an extended safety lever (with longer thumb area), a flared funnel
magazine well, and a magazine with reinforced base.

Special Combat Model (Colt catalog 1992)


A variant of that model (Carry Model) was offered in blue finish, with "Bar-dot" sights, to improve the target
acquisition when visibility is poor. As is often the case with Colt, when a new "formula" is created, it is
applied to other models. As a result, one can find a "Combat Elite" version in caliber .45 ACP and .38 Super,
fitted with "Elliason" sights, and in a blue or stainless finish. In the Colt catalog of 1997, there are two
"Combat Target" models ( shown below) in a blue or stainless finish, and in caliber .45 ACP. The trigger is of
lightened type, but it does not include an adjustable trigger stop. The front sights are of the "Partridge" type,
with blank dots, and the handle is fitted with a polymer wraparound grip.

Combat Target Model (Colt catalog 1997)


In the same catalog, a "Special Combat Government Competition" model (chrome finished) with a "Clark"
front sight, and a "Bomar" rear sight is offered.
Also of note is a new model introduced as "Special Tactical" model in a blue finish, and fitted with "Novak"
sights and an adjustable trigger stop.

- Delta Models
The 10 mm auto cartridge, also known under the name: 10 mm Bren Ten (from the pistol created by the
Dornaus and Dixon to support that new ammo), was available in 1983.

Bren Ten pistol (image credit: Belgian Revue AMI 1987)


In 1986, the firm Dornaus and Dixon went bankrupt, and the 10 mm auto cartridge found itself without a pistol,
that could use it. In 1987, Colt decided to adapt its Government model to that powerful cartridge. This pistol
was christened "Delta Elite".

The year of its availability on the market, the "Delta Elite" was offered in black blued finish. The hammer's
thumb area was round, like that of the "Commander", and it benefited of sights with blank dots. The trigger
was not adjustable, and the wraparound grip sported a red triangle logo to identify that model. In 1989, the
same model was also offered with a stainless finish, and in 1993 with a glossy "Ultimate" finish. The models
shown here were offered in 1992, and, therefore, have all the improvements of the time. From 1989 to 1993,
the "Delta" model was also offered in "Gold Cup" stainless version. A blue finish was available in 1991 only.

The "Delta Gold Cup" version had the typical quality features of this variation, such as "Colt Accro" sights
and hand fitting. As to the 10 mm cartridge, it was originally intended to be an intermediate round with better
stopping power than the 9 mm Parabellum, and better penetration than the .45 ACP round. The first company
to produce it was the Swedish firm, Norma. The round, of 200 grains, had a truncated shape, which was
similar to the original pre-1916 German 9 mm Para. The power of the new cartridge resulted in a 30% heavier
recoil than the .45 ACP.

Double Eagle Models - Series 90


In 1990, Colt produced the "Double Eagle" model, its first double action auto pistol. Other foreign firms,
like CZ, Beretta, and Glock had already produced well accepted double action auto pistols. If the "Double
Eagle" model was a big event inside the firm, it offered little if any improvement over its competitors. Many
of its technical features were old-fashioned. For example, the trigger mechanism was located outside the
frame, like in the Walther P38 (1938).

The gun is easily recognizable because of its "aggressive" angular trigger guard. The grip frame is notably
broader than the Government model, which makes it more difficult to grasp, by shooters with small hands.

Double Eagle Standard


The frame and slide were made of stainless steel, and it was offered in .45 ACP and 10 mm Auto. The
sights were of the high profile blank dots style, and the 10 mm version was fitted with "Colt Accro"
adjustable rear sights. The grip plates were made of a synthetic material called "Xenoy".

Double Eagle Combat Commander


Initially, the pistol was produced without hammer release lever (red circle), on the left side of the frame.
And it was first offered in .45 ACP only (8 shot mag.). From 1991 on, it was also offered in 9 mm Para,
and .38 Super (for one year only), and 10 mm Auto (canceled in 1993). By 1992, a .40 S&W version was also
added. In 1991, the "Combat Commander" version appeared. It was equipped with a 4 1/4" barrel, and its
weigh was approximately 36 oz versus 39 for the standard model. The same model was available in 10 mm
Auto by 1992.

Double Eagle Officer


In 1991, Colt offered a 3 1/2" barreled "Officer" version in .45 ACP caliber, stainless steel, and weighing
about 35 oz. There was also a lightweight version (available until 1993), whose weight was only 25 oz.
The full range of "Double Eagle" models was no longer listed in the Colt catalog of 1997. Note, that the
slide of the "Double Eagle" pistol can be installed on a "Government" frame, and vice versa, but each
will work only on its own frame. This, because of a difference in the way each pistol deals with
disconnection.

The "Double Eagle" slide does not have the required disconnector's head
housing hole (red arrow), and the Government model slide does not have the ground
area (surrounded in blue), which is mandatory to accommodate the trigger bar's
disconnecting extension. The inadvertent fitting of a slide on the wrong pistol
would cause the gun (in both configurations) to be permanently in a
trigger-disconnected status.

Functioning of the "Double Eagle"


The purpose of this chapter is to focus on the double action trigger mechanism of the "Double Eagle" model. A schematic of
this mechanism is shown below.

It is somewhat surprising to see, that the functioning of the whole mechanism relies on a wire spring (blue), which works as a
return spring for the trigger, and which also keeps the trigger bar up in a hammer connected position (yellow arrow). Little effort
is required to detach this spring. If detached, or broken, or hindered in its movement, the trigger mechanism remains
disconnected, and the gun becomes useless.
Besides this rather troubling point, the functioning of the trigger is an example of simplicity. As shown below, the rear tip of the
trigger bar (transparent in the drawing) is profiled to engage in the hook at the back face of the hammer (red circle). As a result
of this mechanical arrangement, there is no need of an intermediary part, to actuate the hammer in double action mode.

When the trigger is depressed, the hammer is progressively rotated rearwards, against the mainspring, until the trigger bar is
disengaged from the hammer notch (red circle). At this instant, the trigger bar is nearing the end of its move toward the front,
and it pushes the sear (orange color), out of engagement with the hammer (orange arrow). The hammer can then fall on the
firing pin.

When the gun is fired in single action mode, the hammer is manually pulled toward the rear, until being engaged by the sear
(yellow circle below). During the rotation of the hammer, its hook-like profile at the rear pushes the trigger bar toward the front
(orange arrows), so that the rear tip of the trigger bar is close to the sear. This greatly reduces the rotation of the trigger before
its contacting with the sear. The shorter is this rotation, the better the shooting precision.

Position of the parts just before firing

Release of the hammer

As soon as an explosion occurs, through its recoil, the slide pushes down the trigger arm (red arrows below), and disconnects
it from the sear . As can be seen above, the sear has two curved hollow areas. One of which (orange circle) is there to
accommodate the trigger bar's rear tip, upon disconnection.

The drawing above shows the position of the parts just at the beginning of the slide recoil. The red arrow shows how the trigger
bar is pushed downward, when its vertical extension is no longer in its housing area (delimited in red line) in the slide. At this
instant, the disconnection occurs.

The "Double Eagle" safeties


The "Double Eagle" pistol has few safeties. It does not have the classical grip safety, which is typical of the Colt
Government. And, even if the double action mode can be considered by itself as a safety, this gun being able to be
fired in single action mode, the availability of a classical sear-hammer locking safety would be not superfluous.
The only safety installed in this gun is the firing pin safety, whose action is identical in its principle to the one
explained in the chapter one of this publication. The only difference lies in the way the safety lever is actuated. In
the Government model, there are two safety levers. The first lever (orange color below) is pushed by the trigger
bar, which at its turn acts on the second lever. In the "Double Eagle", there is only one safety lever, which is
directly actuated by the trigger bar.

Government model and "Double Eagle"


It is of note, that the removal of the firing pin safety device, in either model, does not prevent the gun from being
fired. The removal of the firing pin safety is often required by precision shooters, who do not want to deal with the
issue (explained in chapter three), that can occur when tuning the trigger, or who simply do not want to see the
sensitivity of the trigger dulled, due to a supplementary safety device. If the removal of the firing pin safety device
can not be considered hazardous in the case of the Government model, which has two other classical safeties
(grip and sear-hammer safeties), the same conclusion does not apply to the "Double Eagle", because this gun is
devoid of any other safety device. And this removal of the firing pin safety would become particularly hazardous,
due to another of its characteristics, which is the hammer release device. On the left side of the gun, one can see a
lever, which could be mistaken for a traditional safety lever, but which actually is the trigger lever of a device
intended to drop the hammer.

When the hammer is released through this device, it is stopped by the sear, and its face can touch the firing pin.
Consequently, if the firing pin safety was removed, the dropping of the hammer could result in a sufficient push
on the firing pin with the result of an accidental discharge if a cartridge is chambered.
Two parts are used in this mechanism. The first is a lever, which is located forward of the left plate of the grip.
This lever actuates the second part (of a triangular shape), which is hidden under the grip plate. The inner face of
the second part is provided with a stud, which is profiled in such a manner, that it acts on the sear and catches the
hammer (yellow circle below) in the first stage of its dropping move.

- The first drawing above shows the position of the parts when the hammer is engaged by the sear in the full-cock
notch.
- In the second drawing, the triangular part has been rotated upwards, until the stud (red color) on its inner face
has pushed on the sear, and disengaged it from the hammer (red arrow). The falling hammer was then caught, at
its first notch (yellow circle), by the stud of the triangular part. The second phase of the hammer dropping is done
with the release of the lever, as shown below (red arrow).

By letting the lever come back upwards, the triangular part is lowered (orange arrow above) under the push of its
return spring, and the stud, which was retaining the hammer, is progressively disengaged (blue arrow) from the
hammer, until the latter is released. The hammer then rotates, until being caught by the sear, as shown on the
second drawing above. It is clear, that if the trigger was depressed during the dropping of the hammer, the latter
would not be caught by the sear, and it could strike the firing pin. If the firing pin safety device was not installed,
and a cartridge was chambered, an explosion could occur.

Position of the parts upon firing


Another assembly of interest is the mainspring housing (also made of Xenoy). It is slid into the rear of the handle,
and retained by through two cross pins, located at each end. One of those pins is also the axis pin of the
triangular part discussed above.

When the main spring housing is slid down for dismounting (after removing the two retaining pins), its shoulders
(orange circles above), can be engaged by the return spring of the sear. The main spring housing is then locked,
and can no longer move downwards. If this occurs, one has to find a way to disengage the sear spring, and this
from the inside the grip. When the mainspring housing is finally removed from the frame, one can dismount the
mainspring by pushing on its top guide (yellow arrow above), and by pulling it out.

Colt Model 1991 A1 and MK IV


- Colt Model 1991 A1
In 1991, Colt put the M1991 A1 on the market. It was an updated version of the 1911 A1, with a parkerized
finish and fitted with traditional fixed sights. The grip safety, without a hump, was typical of the model
1911, and the grip plates were made of a black synthetic material. The .45 ACP was the only caliber
available, and the capacity of the magazine was seven shots. To confirm the continuity with its
predecessors, the serialization of the 1991 A1 resumed the last serial number available of the model 1911
A1.

M1991 A1 Model (Colt catalog of 1992)

In 1992, a "Compact" version of the M1991 A1 was also offered. The barrel was reduced to 3 1/2 "
versus 5", and the grip was made shorter to accommodate a six-shot magazine. The picture
below shows a "Compact" M1991 A1 of the 1997 Colt catalog. Built from carbon steel, with a
blued finish, it was fitted with blank dots sights, and a rounded hammer of the "Commander" type.
The grip safety was extended. By 1993, Colt also offered a "Commander" version of the M1991
A1 with a 4 1/4" barrel, which was followed in 1994 by an "Officer" version.

M1991 A1"Compact" Model (Colt catalog 1997)

By 1996, the M1991 A1 Government was also offered in stainless steel, along with a
"Commander" and "Compact" version.

M1991 A1 Stainless (Colt catalog 1997)

- Colt MK IV
In the 1998 catalog, Colt offered a new series of improved pistols in caliber .45 ACP. They were all
fitted with a "Combat" type hammer, a lightweight trigger, a dovetailed white dot front sight, and an
"anti-snag" rear sight. These guns were also fitted with an extended thumb safety, Hogue grips, an
upswept grip safety, and firing pin safety device. The Government model (5" barrel) was available in
stainless finish. The "Combat Commander" model (4 1/4" barrel) was offered in two frames. One of
stainless steel and the other made of carbon steel.

MK IV "Combat Commander" Stainless (Colt catalog 1998)

The "Concealed Carry Officer" model, with a 4 1/4" barrel, had a shorter grip because of its
seven-shot magazine instead of the usual eight-shot one. The receiver was made of
blued aluminum alloy. The weight of the gun was 26 oz.

MK IV "Concealed Carry Officer" (Colt catalog 1998)


There was also a newcomer: The Colt "Defender", with a 3" barrel. It was simply a shorter version of the
"Carry Officer" model. Its weight was 22 1/2 oz only, and the overall length was 6 3/4".

Colt "Defender" (Colt catalog 1998)

Characteristics of the Colt Model 2000


For anyone with a rather good knowledge of the Colt pistols, it is difficult to place the "All American Model 2000"
somewhere in this family.

The model "All American 2000" was created in 1991, on the basis of patents owned by Reed Knight of the Knight's
Armament Company of Vero Beach (Florida). This pistol had a very short commercial career, for it was already
dropped from the Colt catalog in 1993. Only a few thousands of pistols were produced, and its demise was officially
explained as being the result of production difficulties. Mostly built with synthetic materials, it was offered in
double action only.
The model 2000 was shooting the 9mm Para cartridge, and the breech locking was based on a rotary barrel. Two
versions were produced. At its introduction, it was available with a polymer receiver and carbon steel slide (total
weight: 29 oz). By 1992, it was also offered with an aluminum alloy receiver (total weight: 33 oz).
An optional kit was available, which contained a shorter barrel (3 3/4" versus 4 1/2"), and bushing, along with a
shorter recoil spring. It allowed to transform the standard version in a compact version at low cost. The type of
bushing used, which actually is the gun muzzle, also allowed to easily make modifications such as mouth brakes
or silencers.

Optional 3 1/4" barrel and matched bushing and recoil spring

Optional low light sights with luminous Tritium 3-dot insert

The field stripping of the gun is quite simple.


- Remove the magazine
- Draw the slide rearward until it is held opened by applying the hold-open latch (red arrow below).

- Drift out the dismounting key (yellow arrow above) from the right side, by pushing on its head, until it is wholly
disengaged from the receiver as shown below. Note, that the dismounting key remains attached by its end to the
barrel driving block.

- The last step is to let the slide assembly and return spring go forward when the hold-open latch lever is lowered.
What is surprising, when the slide is dismounted, is the extremely light weight of the receiver. Curious about how
the different assemblies (the all polymer frame and the all-steel slide) could work together, the author made a close
inspection of the receiver, and discovered short metallic inserts, embedded at the rear of the frame, to guide the
slide. Actually, there are two areas which support the slide on each side of the receiver (shown in red in the
drawing below). The longer one is a portion of the barrel camming block, located at the middle of the receiver. The
other is a small insert, which is embedded at the rear of the receiver.

A special polygonal key was needed to dismount the grip plates of the gun. This was unusual, with regard to the
longstanding precept of allowing the full stripping of a gun, with simple and easy to find tools.

The retaining latch of the magazine, which is made of steel, can be installed to operate, from either side of the
receiver. There is a small peg, made in blank plastic, in the middle of this latch, which keeps the latch assembly in
the receiver, and also supports the inner return spring. The head of the peg is visible, and protrudes slightly,
through the front band of the grip.

Even if the operation is a bit difficult, and particularly if one has large hands, it is possible, with the tip of a small
screwdriver, to push the peg out of its recess (The peg is pushed from the hole of the front band of the grip). The
latch assembly can then be removed and reinstalled in the grip on the other side.

When reinstalled, the peg must be pushed back into place, from within the grip, through one of its side apertures.
Of course, this operation requires first that the grip plates be dismounted. Be careful when pushing the peg back
into place, as it can go too far inside the latch. If so you will have many difficulties in removing it later because of
the inner spring pressure.

Colt Model 2000 mechanical features


The breech locking of the Colt Model 2000 is based on a rotary barrel. To be able to perform its rotation, the barrel
carries five locking studs on its periphery. When the gun is unlocked, these stars are aligned with grooves, cut in
the slide (double blue arrows below), and the slide can travel backward to perform its recoil cycle. When the gun is
locked, the same studs are in abutment against the walls which separate the grooves in the slide (orange arrow
below). The barrel's rotation is induced by a specific stud, located on the underside of the chamber, which engages
a diagonal path in the "cam block" (red arrows below).

The "cam block" has several other important functions. It carries the side rails to guide the slide, and it also houses
the gun dismounting key. Its under face provides a guiding area for the trigger assembly (see right drawing below).
In this narrow space is also housed an upward moving pin (blue arrow below), whose function is to actuate the
striker safety.

With so many important roles to play, the "cam block" is of the prime importance in the gun, and deserves much
attention. Upon firing, the slide, which is locked to the barrel, recoils about 6 millimeters before that the barrel
rotation unlocks the slide and allows it to perform its recoil.

Left : barrel locked

Right : barrel unlocked

Notice, that the barrel's rearward move (about 6mm), positions the chamber against the feeding ramp, in order to be
ready to receive a new cartridge. When coming back from its rearward travel, the slide strips a cartridge from the
magazine and pushes it into the chamber. At the same time, the barrel is pushed forward and is rotated reversely,
until full locking of the breech.

- In the Colt Model 2000, the explosion of the cartridge is performed by a spring-loaded striker.

On the right side of the striker, there is an extension (green arrows below), which is visible on the underside of the
slide. This side extension is engaged by the trigger bar, which can then push the striker against its spring. Note,
that there is a second spring, along the side of the striker (blue arrows below), which bears against the lateral
extension, and acts as a return spring, to always maintain the striker tip slightly back.

A major feature of the Colt 2000 is that it functions in double action mode only. This means that when the gun has a
cartridge chambered, the gun is fired by just pulling the trigger. By the trigger pull, the striker is pushed rearwards
against its spring, until being released, and strike the cartridge primer. Notice, that the striker is not cocked via the
slide recoil, nor held by a sear. Consequently, the weight of the trigger pull does not change from shot to shot. In
the case of the Colt 2000, this can become a real chore, because of the trigger's travel of about 14mm, and the
weight is about 11 pounds.

- How functions the trigger mechanism.

Several parts of the trigger system have been colorized to help the understanding:
- The striker safety is in red
- The trigger bar is in yellow
- The flat spring of the sear and trigger bar is in blue.

The multi-function flat spring was designed with several arms (shown below). To find such type of flat spring in a
firearm is not very usual.

The fragile lower branch (in red color) is the only means to lift the rear extremity of the trigger bar (orange arrow
below), into contact with the lateral extension (orange circle below) of the striker.

As can be seen in the drawings above, the middle arm of the flat spring guides the trigger bar (blue arrows above),
and prevents it from missing the lower arm of the same flat spring, whose function is to lift the trigger bar (green
arrows) into contact with the striker's side extension.

- The cycle of the trigger is shown below.

When the trigger is depressed, the trigger bar pushes the striker, until the deep central cut of the bar
meets (red arrow above) the cross axis pin of the flat spring. The trigger bar is then progressively
redirected downwards (red arrow below) until the rear extremity of the trigger bar is disengaged from
the striker's side extension. The striker is then released (green arrow below).

- The striker safety.


The striker safety (red color below) can move up and down. In its down position (maintained under its spring
pressure), the safety is applied, and the striker's face is blocked as shown in the first drawing below.

For the striker to be able to hit the cartridge primer, the safety, whose "foot" is visible on the underside of the slide
(red circle above), must be lifted. This lifting is performed via the small pin, which is located in one corner of the
"cam block" (yellow circle below).

When the trigger is depressed, the wheel-like axle of the trigger bar meets the safety pin and pushes it up (orange
circle below) against the foot of the safety.