The new Colt Competition Pistol is a true, out-of-the-box 1911 for the competitor.
COMPETITIVE SHOOTING HAS BECOME A LARGE AREA of growth in the firearms industry in recent years, with more and more shooters taking part in various competitions. Plenty of these shooters prefer the venerable 1911, or at least modern renditions of it, to some of the other competition pistols on the market.
Ever since Colt introduced its first Gold Cup pistol in the late 1950s, it has served competitive shooters admirably with features designed to glean the most performance from the 1911 platform. Unfortunately, the price accompanying some of these features, and those found on high-end, competition-style 1911s made by other manufacturers, can push away some buyers with less disposable income.
One of newest Colt 1911s, set to be introduced at the 2016 SHOT Show in Las Vegas, aims to offer a solution. Dubbed the Colt Competition Pistol, the new pistol takes the 1911 Government model to another level with accuracy—and other performance enhancing features, and does so at a price that doesn’t break the bank for those with a limited budget or those new to competitive shooting.
Bone Up On Legendary Colt Firearms
Available in .45 ACP or 9mm, depending on the shooter’s preference, the Colt Competition Pistol incorporates Colt’s renowned National Match Barrel and a 4.5- to 6-pound three-hole, aluminum single-action trigger. The pull is smooth and has a clean break, and the match barrel offers excellent accuracy. The 5-inch,1:16 LH twist barrel is made from stainless steel and
has a polished finish.
As with many of Colt’s new pistols for 2016, the Colt Competition Pistol utilizes the Colt Dual Spring Recoil System™ found on the M45A1 Colt developed for the Marine Corps. What this system does is reduce recoil for faster follow-up shots and extend recoil spring life, translating into longer effective use.
The reduction of recoil and muzzle flip is noticeable with the Colt Dual Spring Recoil System™, especially in the 9mm model, which after a bit of shooting seems to almost instinctively set back on target after each shot. Another unique element on the new Colt Competition Pistol is its sights.
The pistol features a Novak adjustable rear sight that Colt says is a patent-pending design, and up front is a Novak Blue Fiber Optic sight. Blue initially sounds like a strange choice, given all the pistols with red or orange sights, but the blue actually stands out quite well, offering a clear reference point.
To match the blue fiber optic sight, the Colt Competition Pistol also comes fitted with a set of stylish
blue checkered G10 grips. The grips are scalloped and offer secure purchase without becoming abrasive during extending shooting.
The pistol sports a carbon steel frame and slide with blued finishes. It also features an upswept beavertail grip safety and an undercut trigger guard to keep the pistol seated low in the hand for improved control. Redesigned wide rear slide serrations are also incorporated for the shooter’s competitive and defensive needs.
An easy-to-access, extended thumb safety rests on the left side of the frame, and the pistol also includes a Series 80 firing pin safety.
The new Colt Competition Pistol weighs 36 ounces empty. It has an overall length of 8.5 inches, an overall width of 1.25 inches and an overall height of 5.5 inches. These specifications are the same for both calibers.
What is not the same is magazine capacity. The .45 ACP model holds 8+1 rounds, while the 9mm version has a capacity of 9+1 rounds.
Each pistol comes with two magazines, a cable lock and an instruction manual. The Colt Competition Pistol in either model will be available for $899, a remarkable price given its features and performance capabilities. It is priced to be a truly more affordable option for newer or first-time competitive shooters as well as those who are more advanced.
After a day at Gunsite Academy in Arizona, the Colt Competition Pistol lives up to its billing.
COLT COMPETITION PISTOL™
Caliber .45 ACP or 9mm
Barrel 5-in., stainless steel,
National Match grade
Overall Length 8.5 in.
Overall Height 5.5 in.
Overall Width 1.25 in.
Slide Carbon Steel
Frame Carbon Steel
Weight 36 oz. (unloaded)
Trigger 3-hole aluminum, 4.5 to 6 pounds
Sights Novak Blue Fiber Optic front, Novak
Magazine Capacity 8+1 (.45 ACP), 9+1 (9mm)
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Got one in 9mm a couple of weeks ago. Put about 150 rounds through it the next day at an indoor range. Could not really see the blue front sight indoors in indirect artificial light. Am considering another color fiber optic. If that does not work, I’ll just replace it with a standard front sight, maybe with a gold dot insert. Probably will have to shoot it more but didn’t feel a real difference with the new spring setup. Shot a Commander sized DW 9mm the same session, better feeling trigger, less felt recoil and faster return to target than the Colt. Maybe the DW just sat better in my hands, need more target time to further assess the new Colt. Perhaps the Colt needs more breaking in. Nice gun either way but not a game changer.
In .45 ACP, an out-of-the-box trigger pull of 4.5-6 lb. is a real stretch for my tastes. I agree with “cidcw4” concerning the blue front sight and remarks over the new spring setup. As well. The jury is still out on the new Colt Competition Pistol. We need more time to evaluate the pistol’s MOA potential and overall construction and design upgrades. It has been suggested by some this new model is a “poor man’s” Gold Cup. For use as a field sidearm or open carry, may fill a niche Colt truly needs. Its availability in 9mm is a real plus for competition and less experienced competitors. The new model’s potential for increased military use sounds promising. There is no doubt the Marine Corps have put this pistol through its paces. A review from the Corp would be most insightful if not already available.
In .45 ACP, an out-of-the-box trigger pull of 4.5-6 lb. is a real stretch for my personal taste. I agree with “cidcw4” concerning the blue front sight and remarks over the new spring setup. The jury is still out on the new Colt Competition Pistol. We need more time to evaluate the pistol’s MOA potential, overall construction quality and design upgrades. It has been suggested by some this new model is a “poor man’s” Gold Cup. I disagree. For use as a field sidearm or open carry, may fill a niche Colt truly needs at the moment to boost sales. Its availability in 9mm is a real plus for competition plus its potential for replacing Beretta for our military use I believe has real potential. A review from the Marine Corps would be most insightful if not already available. No doubt this pistol has already been put through the paces by the USMC. Semper Fi!