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Colt 1911 MkIV Series 80 - Western Arms

I had already tested the Colt 1911 Mk4 Series 70, but was loaned the very similar series 80, by Elite Airsoft.

A Colt .45 - pure and simple.

This is a replica of the latest edition of the 1911, as conceived by the 1911 originators.

The only difference, in the real-steel Colt form, between this and the Series 70 is the addition of a firing pin safety to prevent accidently discharges if dropped. In airsoft form, the series 70 is SCW1 and the 80 SCW2.

In the Box

The SCW guns come in smart Grey boxes, with "SCW" in white on the top and a sticker on one end to indicate the contents. Businesslike, but a bit more finished than the normal uncoloured cardboard.

Business as usual inside - Note special bushing wrench at lower left.

Inside, however, it's WA business as usual, with the gun, a bag of paper work, including the manual and a target, a small bag of 6mm BBs, a couple of Allen keys and the gun. Unusual to the pukka 1911s (rather than the Infinities and the like) is a barrel bushing wrench - more on that later.

First Impressions

First impressions are very favourable.

This is one of the most attractive airsoft pistols I have ever seen, despite being very plain. The quality shines out of it, from the bright chamber cover to the excellent wood effect grips to the flawless finish of the heavyweight material.

Excellent replica - Note how good the 'wood' grips are.

The gun has a nice balance in the hand and being a single stacker (in real steel form, at least) is pleasantly slim, which I like, but that will vary from person to person.

Chamber is only silver part on gun.

There are few markings, but the ones present are quite shallow and thin, a bit like a KSC. They are, however, sharply engraved and seem a little better than those on the Series 70.

Metal parts include the side polished hammer, trigger, grip safety, mainspring cover, sights, slide lock and barrel bushing, as well as the outer barrel.

Closer Look

The 1911 is made mainly of Heavyweight ABS and has a cold feel to the touch. Overall finish is flawless, with no seams and no pitting on the metal parts.

At 860g, the gun is not a real heavyweight, but it feels very solid and well balanced in the hand. Being much slimmer than a double stack Infinity or Para-Ordnance, the difference in weight certainly doesn't lend an air of fragility to the 1911.

Marking are few and far between.

The simple, button magazine releases the magazine smoothly to reveal a plain (like the rest of the gun) black magazine.

Being an SCW2 gun, this gun has the new WA double stacking magazine, with plastic jaws (replacable) and a 22 round capacity. I did have a bit of trouble early on with the gun fairly to feed properly on 134a, but this soon went away and the gun fed 100% of the time afterwards.

The same on the right.

The outer barrel is metal, although quite thin and features the slight swelling at the end, typical of the 1911 design. It's quite different to the cone-shaped barrel of the Infinities and the, otherwise similar, Vreaker and different, too, to the original 1911 style which is a straight tube.

Tiny magazine release. Single thumb safety.

There aren't a lot of markings on the gun and the ones that are present are a little shallower than the WA norm.

On the left of the slide the markings read "COLT MKIV"/"SERIES 80" over two lines. A Colt rampant logo is aligned next to the text.

On the right of the slide the text reads "GOVERNMENT MODEL". The chamber cover is engraved with " COLT .45 AUTO". On the frame, just above the grip, in small font, is the text "COLT'S PT. F.A. MFG. CO. HARTFORD, CONN. U.S.A.".

Trigger features grooves for a firm purchase when firing.

On the grips are small gold medallions bearing the word "Colt" and the rampant horse logo. It's worth repeating just how good these plastic grips look, although I'm sure some real wood grips would improve the tactile aspects and look even better - Reports suggest real steel grips are a straight swap.

There are grooved serrations on the rear of the slide which make it very easy to rack, helped by the very smooth action of the slide itself.

The grip safety is quite discrete compared to the wild Beaver tails on some of the 1911s derivatives and the trigger is minimalism personified, being JUST enough to work. The trigger feel is very good, too.

Double stacker magazine new for SCW2 guns.

There is a single (left mounted for right handed operation) thumb operated hammer safety, which works with the hammer cocked, much like any other 1911 derived gun, or any other single action automatic, in fact.

The sights are extremely simple, with no adjustment or dots or serrations, with just a square notched blade and the back and a single, quite broad, blade at the front.

Side polished hammer and grooved, curved mainspring cover.

The 'transfer hammer' mechanism (first seen on the Beretta 1934) works well, letting you decock the single action 1911, simply by pulling the trigger and letting the hammer down gently. However, I could not work this single handed, having to use one hand to pull the trigger, whilst engaging the grip safety and the other to lower the hammer.

Much was made of the SCW guns being WA's first guns where you can adjust the Hop-Up without stripping the gun down and it is true. Like KSCs, you simply open the slide and adjust the hop over the barrel. In this case, there's a allen bolt which needs adjusting with an Allen key. I didn't fiddle, but I've read other reports which suggest it's still quite tricky to get the Hop-Up set just as you want.

Shooting Impressions

Gassing the magazine was easy, as was loading the 22 or so BBs (in the double stack) and the gun gives off a very satisfying crack and a sharp, snappy recoil when fired.

I was quite impressed by the accuracy of the very simple sights in this and other SCW system 1911s, although, oddly, this particular example was good, rather than exceptional.

Click on image for bigger version in separate window.

Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, the grouping was 2.25 inches (53 CMs) in diameter compared to just .70 inch (17 CMs) with the basically identical Series 70. However, as you'll see from the target, where these shots are marked with circles, there are two groups, suggesting the aim moved during shooting.

Power, too, in the SCW 1911s is impressive. Over 10 shots, the 1911 Series 80 averaged 237 fps (using 134a gas) indoors (at 21C), which will equate to around 300fps with Abbey Ultra or similar powered gasses.

Shot      FPS
1 246.8
2 247.2
3 247.4
4 234.4
5 234.0
6 234.7
7 234.7
8 230.8
9 230.4
10 227.4

Trigger pull was 780g (28 Oz), which is a medium weight pull for a GBB.

Take Down

Take down is a faithful replication of the real steel process.
After removing the magazine, move to the front of the slide and depress the chequered button, under the barrel. With this depressed, use the bushing spanner to open the bushing with a quarter turn anti-clockwise.

Take down is simple and pure 1911.

Slide the slide back until it locks and unscrew the outer barrel. Then remove the slide lock (push it through the frame from the side opposite where it locks the slide) and let the slide and inner barrel slide off the frame. Once off, the inner barrel/chamber can be removed from the slide.


I'm not a big 1911 enthusiast, but this gun is a fine example of airsoft pistols at their current best.

Visually, it's excellent, it feels solid in the hand and shoots with exceptional accuracy despite its simple sights, at least at CQB/Practical Shooting ranges.

Everything you would expect of a 1911 with the SCW2 features.

If you're looking for a 1911 or just a good, solid, no-nonsense gas blowback pistol, little offers the combination of visual replication and shooting performance of the WA 1911s. You even get a decent magazine capacity.

The only negatives are the price and the, supposedly, fiddly, hop-up which makes accuracy at longer ranges harder to achieve than some other makes.

Weight : 860g

Realism : *****
Quality : *****
Power : ****
Accuracy : *****

Real Steel link at World Guns

Buy this gun from Elite Airsoft

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