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Old October 31, 2010, 08:50 PM   #1
OldskuleM1911
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Colt Government Model .380

Anyone here real familiar with these?

I hear parts are kinda tuff to come by. A 1911 style platform that I know well and love dearly. Sure is a sweet shooter and much more accurate than I was led to believe. Not a picky eater and Very comfortable to carry and shoot. I need a few bits and pieces to make it run 100% for CCW, not much seems available beyond grips and springs. I hear that Cylinder and Slide works on em but I really dont wanna turn this into a 2K pistol. Any info is Appreciated.
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Old October 31, 2010, 10:36 PM   #2
michael t
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what parts do you think you will need . Their out their might require a little looking Extractors are hardest to fine Field strip and check barrel lock up lugs Some had soft slides . If slide beat up will only get worst. .
I have 2 Mustangs and have never had a serious problem . I did change recoil springs on mine . I still run the plastic triggers and plastic guide rod I tried a metal guide rod in 1 mustang and it became unreliable right then Went back to the plastic

I don't know if C&S still work on them
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Old November 1, 2010, 01:32 AM   #3
gyvel
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Check and see if yours is one of the real early ones with the solid sear or a later one with a stamped sear.
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Old November 1, 2010, 07:43 AM   #4
BlueTrain
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Remember that a decent gunsmith can probably fix most anything on any gun, at least if he's willing to work on it. So that part shouldn't be a problem provided you can find "a decent gunsmith." But having a part break on a pistol lowers your confidence in it a few notches.

I personally think the Colt Government .380s were exceptional pistols with absolutely nothing in their class. I don't understand why they were discontinued but I've done a few foolish and stupid things myself over the years. Perhaps they will reintroduce it someday. They were made in several variations and I owned a few, including a stainless slide, alloy frame version. I traded it off and that was one of the foolish and stupid things I've done. However, the one feature that stood out above all the others was that they were the softest shooting .380 pistols I've ever fired, bar none.
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Old November 1, 2010, 10:40 AM   #5
dogtown tom
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I own two of these Series '80 Government Models.

While not a clone of the 1911 design, they do bear enough resemblence to the real 1911 to make them an "I want" among most gun guys.

I give Colt an A+ in fit and finish, a C- in materials and design:barf:.

If Colt were to reintroduce these I would BEG them to change the design as it is TERRIBLE.
Flip the ejector while reassembling and your gun won't work.
Remove the grips and a little spring can pop out rendering the gun useless.
Try to reassemble like a 1911 and you'll likely snap off the ejector (try to find one of those at the usual places)

But they are Colt's........
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Old November 1, 2010, 03:16 PM   #6
HisSoldier
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The Sig P-238 is very close internally. They are pleasant to shoot. Mine isn't nearly as accurate as my PPK/s is. My experience with the gov't model is that it is more reliable than the shorter Mustang versions, and the Sig is closer to the Mustangs than the Gov't model.
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I have CNC produced 416 stainless triggers to replace the plastic triggers on Colt Mustangs, Mustang Plus II's, MK IV Government .380's and Sig P-238's. Video on installation in Sig;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh2v_-87DRM
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Old November 1, 2010, 03:58 PM   #7
OldskuleM1911
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Thanks for the input! The Sig is just a little small for me. the Govt 380 is perfect for my hands fit. My extractor is a little worn but every thing else seems OK no soft slide issues or barrel peening. My grip screw holes seem a little worn on the port side lower, it will shake out no matter what, after 50 rounds or so. I wish the Sig parts would fit, It would sure cure my extractor worries. The trigger looks sweet and I will consider one after I get its other little issues cleaned up. The sear spring Im not sure about early or late what should I look for? I know about the flipping ejector issue and have been careful with it. Is there an armorers manual for this? my Owners manual only covers field strip so as parts are so tuff to come by, Im a little hesitant to go further.
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Old November 1, 2010, 09:09 PM   #8
KyJim
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You might try the following:

Numrich Gun Parts at http://www.gunpartscorp.com/Default.aspx
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Old November 2, 2010, 11:03 AM   #9
OldskuleM1911
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Ive found its manufacture date 1983 after a call to Colt customer service and also a recall part for the sear spring thats on its way. I found a guy in Box Elder, SD that makes some parts for this pistol so I ordered an Exractor and an aluminum recoil plug to replace the cheesy stock plastic one, I will post how it is when I get it in. Also ordered the spring kit CM-455 from Brownells.
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Old November 2, 2010, 02:44 PM   #10
Drock
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Parts, including extractors are available at Jack First 605-343-9544. They have a web site but no online catalog. They're very helpful and knowledgeable. They've always had what I need for my Mustang.

Another good one is
http://www.coltparts.com/pt_380semiauto.html

Pick the part you want and email them for avaliability.

Dave
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Old November 2, 2010, 03:45 PM   #11
OldskuleM1911
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Thanks

sometimes I think it would be easier to go with something a little more current
but what fun would that be? This forum is an awesome resource!
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Old November 3, 2010, 09:18 AM   #12
dajowi
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Good luck finding parts for the Colt. I had a Colt .380 that had a broken extractor. I looked for over a year. A dozen calls to Colt, dozens of calls and emails to gunsmiths and parts dealers, (including Jack First), GunParts Corp. and others all over the U.S. No one had an extractor and other parts that I didn't need couldn't be found. Colt finally came through with an extractor even though it didn't match the finish of the rest of the gun. I really loved this pistol since it was a Government model with a Mustang slide. It was the perfect CCW. After my experience with Colt and the fact that parts for the pistol were unavailable I sold the gun. I'm currently considering the Sig P238, I only wish that it came with a Government .380 size frame.
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Old November 3, 2010, 01:17 PM   #13
OldskuleM1911
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"Sig P238, I only wish that it came with a Government .380 size frame"

Amen to that, the P238 is just too small for my hands.
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Old November 3, 2010, 10:37 PM   #14
HisSoldier
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Quote:
"Sig P238, I only wish that it came with a Government .380 size frame"

Amen to that, the P238 is just too small for my hands.
Yes, and long term reliability is better with even a little more slide length.
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I have CNC produced 416 stainless triggers to replace the plastic triggers on Colt Mustangs, Mustang Plus II's, MK IV Government .380's and Sig P-238's. Video on installation in Sig;http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jh2v_-87DRM
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Old November 4, 2010, 12:23 AM   #15
NWCP
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I own a couple of Mustangs and a couple of Government .380s. All four of the little Colts are fun to shoot and none have yet to break on me. Knock on wood.
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Old November 5, 2010, 03:33 PM   #16
OldskuleM1911
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Got the parts today from Jack First Inc. in Rapid City SD. The extractor looks much nicer than the stock one, I believe they build them in house. Ive Installed them and the spring kit from Brownells, I'm takin it to the range tomorrow.
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Old November 6, 2010, 12:38 AM   #17
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Quote:
I have 2 Mustangs and have never had a serious problem . I did change recoil springs on mine . I still run the plastic triggers and plastic guide rod I tried a metal guide rod in 1 mustang and it became unreliable right then Went back to the plastic
There are two Pocketlites and a Mustang +II currently in my family. There used to be another Mustang +II. It suffered severe galling and... a cracked slide after less than 50 rounds with a metal guide rod.

The other Mustang +II also has a cracked slide (another metal guide rod), but is still being used until failure.

Some people get away with the metal guide rods; some people don't.

I've been trying to buy my dad's Pocketlite for more than 10 years (they're VERY rare in this area, and I don't want a blued pistol for CCW use in the middle of the desert). I even made a deal with him, last year, for the pistol and 90% of his ammo. It was a smokin' deal, at 50% (local) market value. And, of course, he reneged on the deal when I showed up with the cash.

So, one of you, sell me your Pocketlite! (Alloy frame, stainless slide, standard {short} grip - for those that don't know)
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Old November 6, 2010, 09:20 AM   #18
10Ringmagic
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"Cocked and Locked" in the pocket just ain't right.

I sold my Pocketlite many years ago. It was a POS in my opinion.
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Old November 6, 2010, 02:35 PM   #19
RGPM1A
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I had a Colt Mustang Pocketlite I bought for $200 years ago in virtually new condition. Really nice gun. Absolutely perfect for pocket carry. However no matter what I did could not get it to function reliably - even with ball ammo. Mostly FTF and stove pipes. Tried different ammo brands, magazines, different springs, guides you name it. Even sent in to Colt for a tune up. Nothing worked. Because I couldn't depend on it I sold it recently. The bright side was I got $700 for it. It was replaced with an S&W Model 36 with a 3" barrel.
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Old November 6, 2010, 07:39 PM   #20
OldskuleM1911
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Dang!

Sorry to hear about your bad experiences. Took the govt 380 to the range today with new extractor and wolf springs and it runs like a top no FTF no FTE and is the smoothest shootin 380 (locked breech I guess) and passably accurate even with the crappy tiny sights. 50 rounds of Winchester silvertip, 20 Hydro shok, 100 rounds of Win FMJ and some old junk 380 misc I had layin around. Im a happy camper with this
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Old November 7, 2010, 04:33 AM   #21
NWCP
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Now all you need is a set of stag grips for it. They dress up the Government .380 nicely.
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Old November 7, 2010, 07:18 AM   #22
OldskuleM1911
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Yeah, I really dont like the junky rubber ones on it now. Im thinking about ordering a set from Craig Speigal in the colt double diamond style in cocobolo wood. It sure will look nice next to my commander! i think one of the reasons this thing shoots so well is early manufacture, 1983. It seems to be well made with no sign of the faults these seem to have had. the springs and extractor are just normal wear items and the weak screw hole in the frame is from some POs oops.

Unless of course you just happen to have a set of stag grips layin around

Last edited by OldskuleM1911; November 7, 2010 at 07:36 AM.
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Old January 3, 2011, 06:18 PM   #23
D.L.Quealey
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Colt Mustang / Gov't .380 parts

For those of you in need of a metal trigger, Guide rod, sear or extractor.

Contact Lee at jqar69@aol.com. Great customer service and VERY reasonable prices....

I just picked up one of each for spares. I believe these are the same people OldskuleM1911 picked his up at. Great folks.....

Darrell.
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Old January 3, 2011, 06:50 PM   #24
bob kk
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Bought my son in-law a Gov model a few years ago. He carried it as a back up and off duty carry. Shot it some when it was new. At 25 yds I was hitting the swinging target. One of the Birch wood Casey center fire swingers. Should have bought me one.
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Old January 8, 2011, 10:51 AM   #25
Peter M. Eick
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Great guns. I have one and I have just bought a complete top end for mine to help with the parts issue.

Have fun but don't push it too hard.
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