Colt Delta Elite 10mm Range Test

I purchased a Colt Delta Elite 10mm “Government” size 1911 on Labor Day from BassPro/Cabela’s Used Gun internet listing. The Cabela’s in Texas shipped it to my local BassPro for pickup free of charge. The transfer fee was also free of charge, but I had to chip in $5.00 for the background check. The guy at Cabela’s said it was not actually a “used” gun, but new stock that their policies labeled used. I checked the S/N with Colt and verified it was manufactured in August (last month) this year.

I was not sure what sight picture it is set up with, so my 1st shots were low. It took me a couple of shots to adapt to the “combat” sight picture. I shot several magazines into the same target getting more comfortable with the sight setup. The test ammo was Federal 180 grain (not the 200 grain I wrote on the target) rated at 1030 FPS, or 424 ft-lbs muzzle energy. I also let one of the ROs fire a couple rounds – he was smiling, but not as much as me. I set up a new target at 7 yards and after loading a magazine the other RO wandered over. I knew what he wanted so I just put the gun and the magazine down on the table and stepped back  He took a couple of shots aiming at numbers on the target as he said he didn’t want to “mess” up my target. Then I reloaded the magazine full again and shot the 9 rounds (8+1) pictured below:


Not everything went completely smoothly. There were a couple of failure to feed issues and it did not lockback on any of the 3 magazines. There were no stovepipes, every spent case ejected clear, just not every replacement cartridge went smoothly into the chamber. Several reasons I think account for the FTFs, the 22-23 pound recoil springs are not broken in, and the relatively low power, for a 10mm, test ammo. In addition I did not polish the feed ramp when I disassembled and cleaned it prior to going to the range.

The empty magazine failure to lock the slide back is a bit peculiar. I had observed it hand cycling prior to going to the range, so was not surprised to pull the trigger on an empty chamber when I wasn’t counting rounds shot. The issue appears to be related to the breakdown/slide lock lever. There is about 1/32” wiggle room in and out from the frame. If it is pressed in mated to the frame, then the slide locks back. If it has wiggled out during firing, then the magazine follower misses it and the lever does not move up and engage the slide. I intend to swap levers with another 1911 to see if the issue follows the lever. If not, then there is possibly too much material machined off the inside rails of the slide or some other tolerance stack up Colt will have to figure out.

Closing comments: Colt 1911s truly do have an almost cult following. I had 3 offers to purchase it from me before I could whisk it away from the BassPro counter. :+1: Then both of the ROs were more than happy to take a couple of shots with it today – they encouraged me to bring it back so they can shoot it again! They have never honestly shown any interest in any other handgun I’ve brought there …

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Update on the empty magazine slide lockback issue. I swapped the levers between 2 1911s. The problem did not follow the lever. However, even though the Colt still exhibits the same amount of wiggle with the Springfield lever installed, it locks back even with the lever pushed off the frame. The Springfield is happy with either lever.

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Nice shooting, @Gary_H.

I experienced a slide lock issue with my Sig P226. Looking closely at the magazine, it appears the opening at the top was formed a little too narrowly. So the follower wouldn’t come all the way up and the block that catches the slide lock was just a touch too low.

I was just looking at my own Gov’t model Colt, and I see the mag follower has a little tab on the left side that serves the same function as the block on the Sig mag. If it doesn’t apply enough pressure to the slide lock lever, it would fail in a similar manner. I guess that means it could also be a weak mag spring.

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I called Colt customer service and explained what was going on. They are shipping a replacement slide lock lever and encouraged me to contact them again if I still have issues and they will have their gunsmiths evaluate and make it right :+1:

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Nice pieces of hardware brother @Gary_H :+1::+1:

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Thanks Johnny!

Some guys feel the need to buy a Corvette when they retire. I felt the need for a couple of 1911s :rofl: Thankfully my need was a little more economical.

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Nice gun. I hope Colt gets the issues straitened out. 10mm is a lot of fun, especially from a full sized all metal gun like yours. Good shooting too!

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Thank you both! I wish I could say that was a 3 second mag dump, but that would be a lie - maybe in my dreams :rofl:

I have to say with the long sight radius it almost shoots itself once you get the sight picture dialed in.

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Hey, slow is smooth, smooth is fast!

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I tried drawing it from an IWB holster today. This is how it felt:

:rofl::rofl::rofl:

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But the upside is it can double as a walking cane.

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I often carry a Commander or Gubment 1911 OWB, you can do it! :wink:

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I think I will have plenty of time to practice drawing before it has passed the 500 round reliability test. The biggest challenge for this one is availability and price of ammo :-1:

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@Gary_H You know, I don’t think I have even seen 10mm around in a while. One store down south is stocked up pretty good, but most other ones have very little, and no 10mm.

Almost as hard to find as .38 Superb, I reload Superb.

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I don’t think that I have ever heard of .38 Superb.

.38 Super maybe. What am I missing?

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You are missing the “b”. :grinning: .38Super is affectionately known as .38Superb among some folks.

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Ahhhh! That explains it. I never have had the opportunity to shoot one. Next time that I’m next to one, I’ll take the chance. Thanks for the explanation.

Stay safe out there.

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@Frank73 Don’t do it! One will probably follow you home… :grinning:

Joking, it really is a fun caliber to shoot. Not very practical if you don’t reload.

Kinda a 9mm Magnum.

" 9mm Luger & 38 Super Trajectory

Between 38 super vs 9mm, the .38 Super fires faster, flatter, and hits harder than 9mm, all thanks to its longer case, which could accommodate more powder, hence more power. Therefore, performance-wise, after a series of tests, we conclude that the .38 Super has flatter trajectory and more stopping power than the 9mm." 38 Super vs 9mm Luger (2021 UPDATE) Don't Miss Out

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@Fred_G I priced some out online. Not the cheapest girl to bring home! Very handsome looking 1911’s though.

Something to consider if ever I find one in the wild.

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@Frank73 But in 10 years you will have spent more on ammo than the gun costs. :grinning:

Well, works for me when justifying certain guns…

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