Colt Ace Conversion Questions

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Post by wallyccspd on 3/22/2020, 10:28 am

Good Morning All:

A friend of mine came into a Colt ACE conversion in the brown cardboard box, I suspect it was made in the 60's, not sure.  He bought it used from an Estate.  The fellow that owned it appears to have used it as it had some dirt and light metal wear.  He has a few questions that I do not know the answer.

He asked me because I have a good running 22 conversion that the prior owner installed on an Auto-Ordinance frame, mine runs fine, has a crappy plastic trigger, but that can be addressed later.  Otherwise my unit runs well.

  Here goes:

1. He and I both tried gingerly fitting it in all sorts of 1911 frames (Gold Cup, Springfield Armory, a GI, my Auto-Ordinance as above, even tried on a Commander) and the slide will not mount on the rails.  In some cases it goes on maybe an inch and binds up and we did not want to force it.  I suspect that the dimensions under the slide are slightly undersized to the 3-4 guns he has?  Is there a procedure on how to "marry" the conversion unto a frame?  I assume you do not want to go stoning or spreading the frame as that will jack up the fit for the current 45 slide and make it loose.

2. What weight spring does he use in the conversion?    There is a spring but he wants to get 1-2 Wolfes for spares in is kit.

Is there any other easily breakable parts that ought to be located and bought for a rainy day?  Are firing pins a problem?  Extractors?

3. The conversion as he received it did NOT come with a guide rod.  I gave him an old GI one from my parts stash to install.  Is this good enough, or is there a special guide rod with a specially cut guide rod length or more importantly a special end plate (the thing that goes to the rear on the conversion/then installed on the frame wrong nomenclature I know, sorry) that fits in the dust cover and under the barrel?  Any clearance/binding issues to consider here?

4. Any general ammo considerations?  I assume that this is for Standard Velocity 22LR only?  22 Short and Long are no go?  Is high velocity cheapo ammo OK?

Anything else I should warn him on?

Appreciate the insight.

Regards,

Wally

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Post by troystaten on 3/22/2020, 11:01 am

You might ask this question on the Colt forum, https://www.coltforum.com/forums/colt-semiauto-pistols/  There are some people who are well versed with these on that venue.  From what I remember reading these units are not the most accurate but maybe I am wrong.

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Post by Kp321 on 3/22/2020, 12:46 pm

I have had a Colt 22 conversion since the 70’s. It mounts fine on my Gold Cup, purchased at the same time. Are you trying the slide alone or with the barrel/ejector installed?  
Since the floating chamber gives the slide a good kick, the spring is surprisingly stout for a 22, probably 10-12# but not sure. The GI guide rod and plug will work fine. They are well made units, never had to replace a part on mine but the ejector is easily lost. Be sure you use the slide stop that came with the unit to make sure the slide will lock back on empty. 
They are not particularly accurate nor reliable. They run best on premium high velocity ammo such as Mini-Mags. Do not use any plain lead bullets, they will gum up the floating chamber quickly. Even plated bullets like Mini-Mags will require thorough cleaning in a few hundred rounds. I have seen good reports on the painted bullets but have not tried them myself. 
To be honest, I don’t use mine much any more, the Nelson conversion is much more accurate and reliable.

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Post by wallyccspd on 3/22/2020, 2:22 pm

Good info KP321 and Troy S.

I never thought of Colt Forum.  I am a member there but haven't been there in a while.  Ill try that.

KP321: I do not remember if I just ran the slide on and off without the barrel or Guide rod.  I thought I did, but I gave him his unit back after I had it on the bench for a few weeks.  I will call him and tell him to try that.

This is not my conversion unit (although I own one that runs good).  it belongs to a friend.  He is more interested in plinking and reliability.  I will let him know about the ammo.   I have some old Winchester White Box that I suspect was T22 from who-knows-when.  That runs good in all my guns.  I also use CCI 0032 SV and the Eley/CMP ammo.

And yes I agree about the Nelsons.  Luckily I have two that run wonderfully.  Larry and Kevin are good guys.  Good stuff here.

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Post by cdrt on 3/22/2020, 9:48 pm

As Kp321 said, do not use plain lead bullets.  They will gum up the floating chamber. Any kind of plated will work since most is high velocity.
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Post by Outthere on 3/23/2020, 5:40 am

Make sure you have that #2 slide stop.
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Post by Fotomaniac on 3/23/2020, 8:36 am

As outthere posted, the no2 slide stop is important especially if you want the slide to lock back after the last round. (EGW makes this part if you cannot source an original at a fair price)  Keep the floating chamber clean.  SV Ammo is recommended by the manufacturer, however there is a flaw...this will gum up after about 30-50 rounds pretty much every time. So, use jacketed, or copper Ammo if you want to chute it for any length of time. Also, I found with mine that using a bit of light synthetic grease where the floating chamber meets the barrel will keep it functioning longer, and cut down on cleaning. To address the issue of getting it on the slide...the older ones are not made to fit the Series 80 frames with the extra safety features...this might prevent it from sliding onto the frame. Otherwise, it should go on easily unless it has been tampered with.  Some have had them fitted to a specific frame, and therefore might not fit onto another.  The factory spring was 14# I believe.   YMMV


Last edited by Fotomaniac on 3/23/2020, 8:39 am; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Additional info)

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Post by STEVE SAMELAK on 3/23/2020, 8:41 am

Something that might alleviate the problem would be to measure the rails & grooves of the slide & frame.
Knowing that it doesn't fit is one thing, but it helps to know why it doesn't fit.
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Post by Outthere on 3/23/2020, 9:45 am

Fotomaniac wrote:As outthere posted, the no2 slide stop is important especially if you want the slide to lock back after the last round. (EGW makes this part if you cannot source an original at a fair price)  Keep the floating chamber clean.  SV Ammo is recommended by the manufacturer, however there is a flaw...this will gum up after about 30-50 rounds pretty much every time. So, use jacketed, or copper Ammo if you want to chute it for any length of time. Also, I found with mine that using a bit of light synthetic grease where the floating chamber meets the barrel will keep it functioning longer, and cut down on cleaning. To address the issue of getting it on the slide...the older ones are not made to fit the Series 80 frames with the extra safety features...this might prevent it from sliding onto the frame. Otherwise, it should go on easily unless it has been tampered with.  Some have had them fitted to a specific frame, and therefore might not fit onto another.  The factory spring was 14# I believe.   YMMV
Excellent idea about the grease.

Colt made a special kit just for the 80 series guns.

It may be easier to clean it up and sell it,(a collector's item now). Then buy a new(er) Marvel or Nelson.

Just a thought.
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