Pistol Smith Forum banner

National Match

7068 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  dfariswheel
I see Pre-70 National Match Colts on sale here and there, and started to wonder about the differences between them and the other Pre-70 guns. I was able to track down only one picture of the gun:

Are they all configured like this? Which ones have the lightened slides? Any and all information is highly appreciated.
See less See more
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
The NM have a lightened slide and should shoot 185 gr. semi wad cutters. You should avoid full powered loads. I have one. Very nice pistol. Mine was manufactored in 1968.

The NM guns you are refering to as pictured Hilton are pre war NM guns which are the rarest of Colt firearms by some accounts. They are hand built Commercial guns produced from 1924 till 1941 or so. I can be more specific if asked. I have some very good references (and most recent) if you are interested further. They are not the Commercial NM guns /aka Gold Cups. Totally different animals and as THE first custom 1911s......a very cooooool, tool :roll:

I have a 1927 NM gun :grin:

PS they are not lightened in any way, but soft by the info you related the other day...

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Dane Burns on 2001-04-13 23:53 ]</font>
Ok, so those pre-70 commercial NM's would just be Gold Cups, making them pretty lame for build-up guns. I suppose respringing one of the lightened slide guns for full power loads would be pretty groovy...
The pre-'70 National Match isn't JUST a Gold Cup, it's THE Gold Cup. GC's have gotten a bad rap the last few years, but the early ones ( I got mine in '68) are fine shooters, beautifully made and finished. The box and literature that came with the piece calls it a 'Gold Cup National Match' but the gun has not GC markings at all...just National Match on the slide and an NM serial and barrel marking. Sight is the Elliason.
I had it in to the Colt shop early on for a tuneup and sight pin replacement, and have had no trouble with it since (30 years.) Despite lots of shooting, it's still in 95% finish and perfect in function. A 'keeper', for sure.
The slide is milled out inside, lightening it an ounce or so. Standard loads have always functioned the gun fine with no problems. If I were going to shoot a bunch of heavy factory loads in it I'd put in a heavier spring set and buffer it. Since I only shoot 200 gr. H&G wadcutters with Unique or Bullseye in the thing, I think it will last forever. Wouldn't trade it for any K/SA/BigNameSmith target piece.
Yep, first post here...comin' in late as usual

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: slabsides on 2001-05-23 11:29 ]</font>
See less See more
Dear Slabslides:I just aquire a NM as you describe the one you own,it has eliason sights (I think) the slide is lightened in the extractor area,can I shoot 230 factory ball in it without any pain?


Would you please anwer me directly to [email protected] ?

thanx in advance.

The "Pre-70" National Match, commonly referred to as the "Pre-Gold Cup" since the slide is marked national match only is a very, very nice gun.

The slide to frame and barrel fit is usually very good. they came with a test target, usually one ragged hole at 25 yards (IIRC). They had a special solid bushing and special recoil plug that mated together to give alleged better accuracy.
Perfectly finished, they are nice guns, but not very good for custom projects because-

1)Eliason sight cutout. This requires weld-up, or installation of Wilson adj. sight.

2)WIDE trigger. This for me is a doggy feature. maybe ok for a wad or hardball gun, but lousy for a custom carry piece, IMO.

3)Generally inflated prices on the commercial market.

The lightened slide along with the factory 14 pound recoil spring
relegated this gun to shooting softball loads. A simple spring swap, as you know would make it all the more versatile,
See less See more

I just bought one of these National Matches NIB - manufactured during 1960. It is a beautiful pistol and does shoot extraodinarily well. I've looked at the new trophy/gold cups and in light of the current product, I don't think the $1,200 I paid to be inflated.

To my limited view, its worth every penny and is a great example of its kind. I would however, never think of using it as a basis for a build-up project/carry gun. There are still a good number of commercial models in good shape better suited for that.

All the best,

Roger D.

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Roger D on 2001-05-23 21:53 ]</font>
See less See more
Looking for info on a pre gold cup National Match

I need to dig in and find info on a pre gold cup National Match in 45acp I have owned almost my entire life. How should I go about uncovering the details about this pistol? Best sites?
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.