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. 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 …