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Hey Everyone,


I'm very interested in getting a Special Combat Government, but I'm having a hard time justifying it over the 1911 "Level 2" or the Combat Elite that's sitting at the local gun shop. Aside from the Series 70/80 and the difference in the finish, is the SCG worth the extra $700?


Any help would be appreciated. I'm taking the Pistol 250 course at Gunsite this summer and I want to pick up a pistol for the course.




Edited by Bucharest Jack , S.A.S.S. #60581
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I would go with the 1911 myself.

Just saying !

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I'd go with either a .45 or 9mm 1911, basic/stock. Have a competent local G'smith clean the trigger a bit for you and run it as it is.

Get a half dozen or more quality mags for this class.


Case of ball ammo - and Bob's yer uncle.



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Bucharest Jack,

You have to ask yourself one question - "What do I really want"?

Do you want a gun that rocks and rolls from the very start or do you want a good gun that may or may not need upgrades or mods at a later date for competitions?


I say this because back in the 80's and 90's I used to shoot tactical and target shooting competitions with 1911s.

My first gun was a Colt Combat Government series 70. It needed no mods, no 'smithing, no doodads of any sort. I did very well with that gun.

Later I had other basic 1911s and in the 90's I had a basic 1991A1. I had sold the Combat Government when times were very hard and I regret that decision to this day. The other 1911s that I owned all needed work to be and stay competitive and operational as put I lot of rounds down range with them. Parts wear and springs weaken. AND I was one to jump on every whiz-bang doodad wagon that rolled by so I could have the latest mod or feature that all the other guys had.

I never did that with the Combat Government because I didn't need to. When it did need tuning I contacted Colt and it was handled...real quick.

Why? Because it was one of their premium guns at the time and they wanted to make sure that anyone with one of their premium guns got better service.


I know nothing about how Colt does business today or how well their guns run nor do I own any 1911s any longer. I am just relating my experience that I had 20-30 years ago.


These days I am a pretty basic guy when it comes to guns. I want what works and doesn't need any fussing. If this is a gun for the occasional match or tactical course, go basic and possibly have some work done to make it how you want it. If you plan to use it a lot and do not want to fuss with modifying it or tinkering with it spend the money now and smile when others are spending money later on their guns. Like I said, I really do not know any longer how the newer Colt guns are made or how reliable they are but these are just my 2 cents.


I hope you get what you want and enjoy it. :)

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i recently did my own comparison between a stock Colt 1911, a Kimber and Sig 1911 and a Wilson 1911 commander using cheap and also Wilson pinnacle ammo. all firearms were equally reliable but the colt was far less accurate than the Kimber or Sig or Wilson. The Kimber and Wilson were equal and the Sig was fairly close in accuracy. I sold the Colt and Sig Sauer 1911. I refuse to sell the Kimber ultra covert II and bought a Wilson. I have a Kimber covert II in 4 inch barrel that i never shot that i may part with only because the only reason i have it isa because i WW2 Colt that i bought had safety issues so i took it back and got store credit for the Kimber. I imagine the souped up colts are better though.

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I bought a standard Gov't model 1911 Colt last year and I love it! I paid $699.00 . I'd use that if I was going to gunsite in a heartbeat!

Edited by Rye Miles #13621
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I used to shoot IPSC, steel challenge, etc., competitively many moons ago


Think on this You have airfare, lodgings, food then the cost of the class which isn't cheap

( says a multiple gunsite alumni) You're looking at well over 2 grand.


why go with a gun that may or may not work? And you're going to find firing a 1911 as fast as you

can is a far cry from that 1 rd per second gun range rule.


There are many guns which give you more for your buck than a Colt

SA-TRP for one, les baer UTC, or again buy a used ed Brown for under $2K and

you'll never look back. Don't muck up the experience with the wrong gun.

Heck unless you're wedded to the 1911 bring a glock it'll work everytime


I've seen too many folks at training classes have their experience ruined from both a technical as well

as an emotional stand point. edited in ...because of firearms failures


Also you will dry fire more than you shoot

Bring surgical tape for your thumb for sure and other spots that will rub raw from thumbing the hammer

and dry firing a whole bunch.as well as other weapon manipulations.


Once you get thru the course you'll be considered "family" and quit a family it is



Edited by Dutch Nichols, SASS #6461
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Gunsight was founded by Jeff Cooper who said all that is needed on a combat gun is Good SIghts, Good Trigger and Reliability. I will add a wide beavertail grip safety and a good action tune-up. Cooper also said a major caliber (.45 ACP) but at my age I much prefer the 9mm.


You really need two guns to go to Gunsight. The spare is necessary in case your primary breaks. Gunsight has a gunsmith on site but you will miss out on training while your gun is down. Your spare gun will keep you on the firing line. You are paying big bucks for this training so your money is best spent on the firing line not cooling your heels while your gun is being fixed.


A higher retail price does not mean it is a more reliable gun. I have two Springfield Armory 1911's. They are base mil-spec models. One of them I have got a little crazy on and added some bells and whistles that are not really needed on a combat gun but help in shooter comfort. The only one I set up just as I described. I added Novak carry sights, good trigger, action job and beavertail grip safety. I also added a extended thumb safety but have since decided I prefer the original thumb safety..

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Two grand for a 1911?? That's insane. I have a custom IPSC GM and a highly modified Gold Cup, didn't pay that much for them plus the nickel GM I traded for the Gold Cup,. If I were to buy one today I'd get a Kimber or a Wilson. You can spend half that and get a helluva good pistol.

JMHO, worth what you paid for it, ;)


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20 years ago I bought a Colt Combat Commander 45. Never had a malfunction and it shoots way more accurate than I can. Its a bare bones Colt with black matt finish and all I added was a custom safety lever. Its my every day carry gun and I couldn't be happier with it. Paid about $400 for it if I remember correctly

Edited by Tascosa, SASS# 24838
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I think you gentlemen make some really solid points. I'm planning on taking my Combat Elite as my backup pistol; I've got about 3,500 rounds through it and I trust it to run like it should. After reading some of the comments, I'm making an effort to evaluate my choices dispassionately, but it's a difficult thing for me since I love this platform so much.


As a boy, I grew up reading Col. Cooper and attending this course is something I've wanted to do for 25 years. I really appreciate the input.

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Why not contact the folks putting on the school and ask them what they recommend?

A friend of ours does a good bit of kitchen table gunsmithing and he likes

rock river cheapo 1911s with a bit of cleanup and checking.

I tried one and was pleased with reliable performance.

It needs better sights but don't most of the 1911s?

Also its a bit heavy as it doesn't have expensive lightweight alloys.

But that weight helps with recoil, right?

I found some used grips at a local shop.

I wonder how it would do at that school?


It could make an interesting article....cheapo 1911 vs Gunsite school.




Edited by Chili Ron
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