Making A Colt Officers Reliable - What Needs To Be Done? - Pistolsmith
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Old 02-15-2009, 10:44 AM   #1
 
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Making A Colt Officers Reliable - What Needs To Be Done?

Well I just got a new Officers and have been reading as many posts as I can regarding this handgun. What I'm finding is there are issues that could cause me problems.

What would be the MUST UPDATES and any other enhancements to make this gun reliable?
 
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Old 02-15-2009, 03:07 PM   #2
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Re: Making A Colt Officers Reliable - What Needs To Be Done?

Nothing....Unless the gun is unreliable.

To find out, clean and lube the gun, then shoot at least 200 rounds through it. Then clean and lube again (including the magazine) and shoot 100 rounds of the ammo you want to use in it. If you have any problems, suspect the ammo first.
Try different brand/types of ammo.

Most Colt's will have zero reliability problems out of the box, and most reliability "fixes" are fixes for problems the gun doesn't have.
Most fixes are just because the owner wants to customize the gun and make it "his".
Among the most abused alterations to autos is the "polish job" on the feed ramp and "better" springs. The only reason to polish the ramp is if the gun is unreliable because of a rough or mis-matched ramp.
When we say "polish", people HEAR "like a mirror". We mean SMOOTH not bright and shiny.
Too many people just replace springs for no reason other than everybody says the spring the factory spent many thousands developing is not up to the job. Different weight springs often CAUSE problems where none exist.

If the gun is unreliable, here's some possible fixes":

Gun not shot enough to break in.
Gun dirty/dry of lube. (Lubes can evaporate and dry out in a matter of a few weeks).
Different magazine.
Different brand-type of ammo.
Have the extractor adjusted.
Have the ramps "polished". Again, this is often over done and the barrel and frame can be ruined. Polish ONLY enough to insure no machine marks. "Like a mirror" does nothing.
 
Old 02-15-2009, 09:35 PM   #3
 
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Re: Making A Colt Officers Reliable - What Needs To Be Done?

+1 on the above comments.

My LW Colt Officers ACP has about 1,500 rounds through it with no malfunctions. It is stock except for me removing the sharp edges.

While most of the ammo was 230 FMJ, it did digest several hundred rounds of JHP. Just make sure that you change the recoil spring frequently - I change mine every 500 rounds. I have a supply of the Colt Factory double springs which have served me well - IMO recoil is softer than with the single springs.
Test all ammo used for defense/carry thoroughly - at least 200-300 rounds wih NO malfunctions.

If you plan on shooting it alot, you may want to consider putting in a stronger recoil spring plug. A cheaper alternative would be the Colt Factory plug in SS which I understand is stronger than the carbon steel plug.

Of course, if you want a better trigger or different sights send it to a qualified smith and get a reliability tune as well. I also have custom Colts and they are satisfying to own and shoot.

HTH,
John
 
 
Old 11-08-2009, 04:28 PM   #4
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Re: Making A Colt Officers Reliable - What Needs To Be Done?

[quote="dfariswheel"]Nothing....Unless the gun is unreliable.

quote]
+1
 
Old 12-30-2009, 07:08 PM   #5
 
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Re: Making A Colt Officers Reliable - What Needs To Be Done?

Might be coming in late here. Usually do since I don't visit forums much.
What I used to do to the Officers ACP:
1. Reverse recoil spring plug. The factory "nub" breaks. Requires slide modification. Flat file will do it.
2. Full length recoil spring guide suitable for one piece spring and the reverse plug.
3. Wolff recoil spring. One piece. For the full length recoil spring guide. I used a 20#, I think.
4. Polish feed ramp on barrel and frame.
5. Change recoil springs like socks. The dynamics of the short 1911's are hard on springs.
6. Use REALLY GOOD magazines. I used factory Colt.
That should get it. With these mods I never had a malfunction.
Brownell's used to sell all this stuff.
Hope this helps.
 
Old 04-07-2010, 08:44 PM   #6
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Evolution Gun Works (EGW) has a neat recoil spring setup for the Officers that uses a flat wire spring with about triple the service life of any other system. It may not be necessary, but it seems prudent. I have never seen one break off the "nub" on the factory recoil spring plug, but there are apparently enough reports to get people to upgrade them. I put in a King's Bushing and Recoil System "back in the day" and it worked great, but the EGW setup is probably a better answer today.

Otherwise, the gun is quite reliable.

Standard 1911 reliability checks apply - extractor tension and tip radius, Series 80 firing pin lock timing check, (don't mess with the feedramp unless you know what you are doing), good magazines (Colt or Wilson), never use a shock buff on a short 1911 - the usual. My Stainless Officer's is one of my favorite guns. I shoot it rapidly more accurately than a 5" gun!

I'd strip, clean and lube it, get some good magazines and go shoot it. Do your research and change as you feel the need. CC
 
Old 06-06-2011, 03:09 PM   #7
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I test with long nose swc's, then a few mags full of a different load, if I use such. with the gun held upside down, pulling the trigger with my little finger. If it passes that test, it's plenty reliable enough to carry! You'd be shocked at the number of autos that wont past a limp wrist firing test! If you get injured, an "ideal" grip on the gun can be impossible for you, so don't carry one that requires such a grip in order to be reliable! Glocks are noted failures of this test.

200-300 rds is not necessary, if you have already fired the gun and mag a few hundred rds of swc's. why waste the money? At 50c or more per shot, 200 pointless "test rds" is $100+. I'd much rather spend it on other things, thanks.
 
Old 06-08-2011, 11:17 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speeddeumon View Post
I test with long nose swc's, then a few mags full of a different load, if I use such. with the gun held upside down, pulling the trigger with my little finger. If it passes that test, it's plenty reliable enough to carry! You'd be shocked at the number of autos that wont past a limp wrist firing test! If you get injured, an "ideal" grip on the gun can be impossible for you, so don't carry one that requires such a grip in order to be reliable! Glocks are noted failures of this test.

200-300 rds is not necessary, if you have already fired the gun and mag a few hundred rds of swc's. why waste the money? At 50c or more per shot, 200 pointless "test rds" is $100+. I'd much rather spend it on other things, thanks.
Dumbest thing I've ever heard.
 
Old 06-08-2011, 12:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarge405 View Post
Dumbest thing I've ever heard.
Sarge that CAN'T BE the dumbest thing Speedbump ever said, however. BTW, did you notice that we have two of our imposters on this same thread ? 4thHorseman is also in the mix. ONLY Swamp is missing from this Trifecta.........

Last edited by one eye joe; 06-08-2011 at 12:11 PM.
 
Old 06-08-2011, 04:50 PM   #10
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Nope, I couldn't get past the post read. I felt dumber just looking at it.
 
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