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1963 Colt National Match/Shoot it or trade it?

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Arthur
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1963 Colt National Match/Shoot it or trade it? Empty 1963 Colt National Match/Shoot it or trade it?

Post by jim fabanich 12/10/2020, 5:19 pm

I am the proud owner of a 1963 Colt NM in excellent condition. My concern is that I shoot PPC with this pistol using 185 and 200gr SWC ammo.
I am worried that the factory "lightened" slide could crack with long term use.
Should I just shoot it until failure? ( not abuse it!)
Or look to trade for something not quite so collectable??

jim fabanich

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Post by Slamfire 12/10/2020, 5:49 pm

I am of the opinion that such items ought to be sold to a collector who will pay top price for such a rare pistol.

Take a look at the bids for ongoing auctions for Colt NM Gold Cups.

https://www.gunbroker.com/All/search?Keywords=colt%201911%20national%20match

Get the money and go off and buy a nice, new, modern 1911.  You are better off buying a more modern 1911 made out of the latest alloy steels, and of the current machining technology. I don't know what Colt used back then, but given they had an effective monopoly at the time, they were probably using 1030 steel for the frame and 1050 for the slide. These were what were used in WW2 pistols and these low carbon, plain carbon steels are decidedly pre vacuum tube technology steels.  Even cheap, modern RIA 1911's are made of 4140 steels, which will have a much higher fatigue lifetime and will hold up better to over pressure incidents.

If someone knows what steels Colt used in mid 60's 1911's, I would be interested.

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Post by SingleActionAndrew 12/10/2020, 5:54 pm

"Keep 'em on the road" is another philosophy. The people who want it are dying off. Sure you could sell it to someone who will lock it in a safe. But gun was made To Shoot and you are Shooting it. It's a great conversation piece at a match. You can't pay for pride (Pardini aside Wink )
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Post by jim fabanich 12/10/2020, 9:46 pm

1963 Colt National Match/Shoot it or trade it? 20200310

jim fabanich

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Post by tovaert 12/10/2020, 10:23 pm

I inherited my '61 NM from my dad, who bought it from his uncle's estate when he passed away (same uncle who taught me to shoot as a kid). It will go to my oldest daughter some day. She's pretty good with it. I could never sell it.

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Post by GrumpyOldMan 12/11/2020, 11:01 pm

Current bid is the only number I care about on Gun[geeIwishIcouldgetaFORTUNEouttathis]Broker. You'll see that some of those values for post-war Colts are mere wishes and dreams.

My understanding is that excessive slide velocity with the original light recoil springs and the slide lightened for reliability with softball loads is the problem. So if you choose to shoot it, just don't use hardball and experiment with the heaviest spring that will let it run.

I'd love to see some informed/engineering type discussion of the cone-shaped recoil spring plug and matching angled rear face of the barrel bushing on the early Gold Cup I've had the privilege of shooting and cleaning. I can see a theoretical accuracy benefit reducing vertical dispersion, but wonder if it ever was proven or quantified or made it easier to get without the potential reliability challenge of really tight barrel/bushing fitting.

The only huge disadvantage I consider the early Gold Cups having is the little pin holding that neat Elliason rear sight in place. It's soft, likes to back out even when you succeed in sorta staking it in, and has been known to break when they don't back out. So I cut off a piece of drill rod and slopped some red Loc-Tite on both ends.

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Post by Arthur 12/12/2020, 7:02 am

What makes you happy? 
My Uncle Jim kept an unfired Winchester M70 for years, saving it for his son. He passed and all of his guns went to my Father due to lack of interest on the part of the son "Get the guns out of the house". I put a scope on it and sent dad off to the woods to hunt with it a couple times. Dad passed and now it lives in my safe. Every few years I shoot a couple groups with it. It's a beautiful gun and I'm proud to own it. 
However, I see the value and interest in what use to be Blue Chip guns (obvious exceptions) decreasing. The kids are decidedly anti gun, thanks to their education. At some point I might sell it and buy something nice for myself. I've never had any regret buying a target gun that I got to shoot a lot. 
The point? Life is short do what makes you happy. Run it into the ground or sell, just be sure to have fun. 

Best 
Arthur

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Post by lyman1903 12/12/2020, 1:56 pm

GrumpyOldMan wrote:Current bid is the only number I care about on Gun[geeIwishIcouldgetaFORTUNEouttathis]Broker. You'll see that some of those values for post-war Colts are mere wishes and dreams.

My understanding is that excessive slide velocity with the original light recoil springs and the slide lightened for reliability with softball loads is the problem. So if you choose to shoot it, just don't use hardball and experiment with the heaviest spring that will let it run.

I'd love to see some informed/engineering type discussion of the cone-shaped recoil spring plug and matching angled rear face of the barrel bushing on the early Gold Cup I've had the privilege of shooting and cleaning. I can see a theoretical accuracy benefit reducing vertical dispersion, but wonder if it ever was proven or quantified or made it easier to get without the potential reliability challenge of really tight barrel/bushing fitting.

The only huge disadvantage I consider the early Gold Cups having is the little pin holding that neat Elliason rear sight in place. It's soft, likes to back out even when you succeed in sorta staking it in, and has been known to break when they don't back out. So I cut off a piece of drill rod and slopped some red Loc-Tite on both ends.


don't pay much attention to current gunbroker auctions unless they have a bid on them, 

lots of dreaming , 


advanced search, completed items, and look at menu on the left, you can narrow the search a bit with that menu, or scroll thru what is there, 

only look at what actually SOLD,,  as in had bids, 

discount the lowball, and high ball and look at the avg of the ones in the middle,
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Post by troystaten 12/12/2020, 4:09 pm

In my opinion those older Colt NM's and Gold Cups are about the prettiest 1911's ever and it would be fun to shoot but if you are serious about PPC shooting and are planning on shooting many thousands of rounds through it I would suggest having a newer pistol set up for it.

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Post by Slamfire 12/12/2020, 7:01 pm

Arthur wrote:What makes you happy? 
My Uncle Jim kept an unfired Winchester M70 for years, saving it for his son. He passed and all of his guns went to my Father due to lack of interest on the part of the son "Get the guns out of the house".

There is is a amazing number of estate collectables on the market. They are there because the next generation is only interested in the number of cases of Jack Daniels, and cartons of cigarettes that the item is worth.  Cash is King! Guns are something hard to convert to cash, given all the transfer laws out there.

Just because you value something does not mean the next, or the one after that, cares one flip about the thing. I am going to say, the only people who really appreciate a "collectable" are the ones who are willing to pay money for the things.

Until such time as you do kick the bucket, use the firearm you value, or sell it off and buy something you will use.

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Post by jim fabanich 12/12/2020, 11:19 pm

Ok, made my decision, I am going to keep her and continue enjoying to shoot her.. Mind you only 185 and 200 gr lead, softball loads.. Perfect for open class..

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Post by tyro 12/14/2020, 6:58 pm

i picked up a used 1911 for service pistol.throws cases all over was going to have modified found out it was a pre war 1942 national match colt with a schwartz firing pin saftey.i left it alone and just shoot it runs great.tyro

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Post by rich.tullo 12/14/2020, 8:56 pm

jim fabanich wrote:Ok, made my decision,  I am going to keep her and continue enjoying to shoot her.. Mind you only 185 and 200 gr lead, softball loads.. Perfect for open class..
IMHO, A rare gun in that kind of condition should be preserved, a full house restoration by Turnbull or Branden Bunker will cost about $3000 just for the work. You my friend have a pistol equivalent of a garaged and un driven 1966 corvette stingray.  Would you take that car to compete in sports car racing? Probably not. 

I have no idea of what it worth but if you have the original box and papers a serious collector will pay big bucks if they need it for their collection. 


Based on what I am seeing on Gun Joker, It looks like it will go for 1500 to 2000. Having said that , M52 were going for 800 last year and now you cannot find one under 1100. You never know when the market for these things blow upward but All these classic guns do lift all they need to get the ball rolling is a positive article in one of the magazines and bam, there are no more left.
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