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Vintage Colt National Match

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Vintage Colt National Match Empty Vintage Colt National Match

Post by Amanda4461 Fri Sep 22, 2023 9:07 pm

I have read about the old Colt National Match, the fitting that was supposedly done, and the parts that were different than the parts on a present day Gold Cup National Match. After many moons looking at them on Gunbroker, and being overbid, I bid on one and now own it. This jewel cost about the same as my 2023 build Gold Cup NM.
The similarities are easy. They are shaped the same. The slide top is serrated, the hammer looks the same, the trigger looks the same. They use the same magazines. The grips are similar. The fronstraps are grooved, the mainspring housings are flat versions with checkering. The safety and slide release are identically shaped. The barrel and bushing appear identical. The front sight is identical, the rear sights are very similar, yet mounted differently. They both use a similar recoil spring and guide rod.
The differences may sound minor, but involve time, skill and effort, which Colt before and after CZ had run out of. Time+Skill+Effort=Money and something called Pride. 
In 1968, when this pistol was built, Colt had the recipe to make the magic. After comparing the old with the new, I believe Colt no longer has the recipe for Colt pride. Maybe a watered down diet version, but nowhere near the magic elixir that was once their source of pride.
For example, the 1968 National Match has much better metal polish and the blue is much improved. The barrel shows tool marks from fitting the feet. The barrel is blued around the lugs, and the feed ramp is smoothly contoured and polished. The fire control system in its entirety is tool steel, whereas the 2023 is MIM. The 1968 version has a smooth 3.5lb pull, the 2023 is 5.5lbs of grit. The slide from 1968 is lightened, the lugs are engaged and the barrel hood fits precisely. By contrast, the 2023 barrel has minimal lug contact, no bluing and a strange feed ramp made of three depressions in the barrel mouth, said to improve feeding of JHP bullets. Funny thing, the 1968 version fed XTP, Nosler JHP and Winchester Silver Tips with its normal old fashioned feed ramp just fine. The bushing is fitted enough to need a wrench as it reaches the muzzle on the 1968 model, while the 2023 model is hand tight and no wrench is needed.The recoil spring guide is a machined part consisting of an outer tube holding a threaded spring-loaded plunger. The spring cap is a milled part made to fit into a semi-circular milled recess in the bushing, and captures the last spring coil’s pigtail with a recessed area,keeping cap and spring connected as one piece. The 2023 model has a plain bushing, plain spring guide and sheet metal spring cap.
The difference in the quality of manufacture is evident even without breaking the two guns down to their component parts. 
Another way to tell is to shoot them for a comparison of their accuracy.
The 1968 National Match is completely stock.
The 2023 Gold Cup NM has a 3lb KC roll trigger, and a Briley hard-fit spherical bushing. Prior to these changes it grouped a couple in the white, and the remainder in the outer rings of the black at 25 yards.
Colt can say what they want, but they don’t make them like they used to. The guy who purchased the 1968 pistol didn’t need to remove and replace the entire fire control system and hard-fit a new bushing to his gun immediately after he paid for it, just to be able to get 5 rounds in the black from 25 lousy yards.
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Amanda4461
Amanda4461

Posts : 127
Join date : 2011-10-01
Age : 63
Location : Asheboro, NC

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Vintage Colt National Match Empty Re: Vintage Colt National Match

Post by JRV Fri Sep 22, 2023 9:15 pm

That was definitely a “Tuesday” or “Wednesday” gun—I have a couple older Colt’s that must’ve been made in a Friday afternoon, because they don’t shoot!

That NM is clearly up for the task. Will it be making an appearance at the state championships?

JRV

Posts : 160
Join date : 2022-04-03

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Vintage Colt National Match Empty Re: Vintage Colt National Match

Post by Amanda4461 Sat Sep 23, 2023 8:09 am

It will🤡
Amanda4461
Amanda4461

Posts : 127
Join date : 2011-10-01
Age : 63
Location : Asheboro, NC

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