While there are quite a few outstanding look-alikes out there, sometimes we feel the yearning to shoot a “real” Colt M-1911. We gleefully did just that when Home Defense Journal was given the opportunity to evaluate a new yet classic offering from Colt’s Manufacturing Company—the Colt Competition Pistol in 9mm Luger.
HDJ received the test pistol as any local buyer is likely to get it. By that, I mean it was spanking new but has had perhaps three or four rounds through it courtesy of the obligatory police ballistics testing. It still had the factory sticker bearing information on its production series wrapped around the trigger guard.
Our full sized, all-steel, matte-blued test pistol came with two stainless-steel 9-shot magazines with flat bases. It also came with three replacement fiber-optic inserts in various colors (blue, green, orange). Also supplied by the factory is a cable-type gun lock with the company logo as well as the Owner’s Manual.
It must be mentioned that we found the blue plastic gun case that housed the pistol to be both attractive and durable-looking.
As a full-time broadcast journalist when I’m not fiddling around with guns, I am well aware of the importance of objective reportage. However, I must confess to some level of bias since I adore everything 1911 and covet anything made by Colt!
The Colt Competition Pistol served only to reinforce my biases with its blemish-free matte bluing and exquisite metal workmanship! The fit and finish exhibited by this gun takes us back to the days of yore when all Colt pistols were flawlessly made, or so they say. I only mention this because I have seen Colt 1911’s made in the 1990’s that were just a little less flawless.
One feature worth special mention is the set of original Novak sights that come standard with the pistol. The interchangeable fiber-optic front sight gives you four color options depending on what catches your eyes the quickest. The rear sight, which looks deceptively non-adjustable… is actually fully adjustable for both windage and elevation!
Another noteworthy detail is that this pistol is of the “MK IV Series 80” generation. That means that it is fitted with a firing pin block (plunger) that supposedly prevents accidental discharge in the event the gun is dropped. This newer safety feature (debuted in 1983), which is unique to Series 80’s, is not appreciated by all 1911 aficionados. Personally, I am ambivalent towards it.
At the Range
Our date with the Colt last August 24 at the ISAFP Firing Range in Camp Aguinaldo, was made possible courtesy of E.J. Año, proprietor of Topspot Guns & Ammo. Topspot is now the exclusive local distributor of Colt products, we were told. E.J., who was a research analyst for Thompson Reuters before going into the gun business, also happens to be the son of the incumbent AFP chief-of-staff Gen. Eduardo Año.
I let loose my first 9-shot salvo from the 7-meter line just to get a good feel of the gun. I had absolutely no trouble printing a nice tight group on the standard cardboard silhouette target from this distance, although the tendency to shoot low to the left was immediately apparent. Now, sometimes hitting at 8 o’clock indicates that the right-handed shooter ought to practice more on his/her trigger control. Other times it simply means you ought to adjust those darn sights to the proper zero!
However, since the gun was scheduled to be sold right after our testing, we decided not to monkey around with the sights and just shoot it as it came out of the box. In no time at all, we were hitting exactly where we wanted… thanks to our time-honed windage and elevation ESP! Moving back to the 10-meter line… and then to the 15-meter line offered no surprises. The gun cycled every single time, and hit where it was supposed to so long as I was doing my job.
Recoil was a non-issue partly because the gun came with Colt’s new dual recoil spring set-up, and partly because the 9mm does not have much kick to it in the first place. What’s more, we fired 200 rounds (probably 124 gr. NATO spec ammo) without the slightest hint of a malfunction. Now, that is confidence building!
To sum things up, the Colt Competition Pistol was the sweetest shooting 1911 I have shot in a long time! While supposedly meant for competition, its suitability in the home/personal defense role is a no-brainer.