Colt 1911 Special Combat CO2 BB pistol: Part 1

by B.B. Pelletier


New Colt 1911 Special Combat BB pistol is an attractive CO2 gun.

I love my job! I love my job because I get to see, handle and test the latest airguns. Today, I’m starting to look at the Colt 1911 Special Combat BB pistol by Colt. Okay, we all know that Colt doesn’t really make this airgun, any more than Ruger, Remington and Winchester make the airguns with their names on them. But unlike most of the guns that carry those other manufacturers’ names, this 1911 was originally a Colt design. Designed by John Moses Browning, the M1911 pistol is one of the world’s most iconic handguns. It’s more than a full century old, yet more alive and vibrant today than ever.

This is one beautiful airgun! If it was a firearm, you would have to pay over a thousand dollars to get all the features this one has. Luckily, you’re an airgunner and can enjoy owning a BB pistol like this for one-tenth the price.

Let me start by covering all you get with this airgun. First of all, it’s double-action, so the gun fires with each pull of the trigger. That is important because, although the slide moves, the gun does not have blowback. So, the double-action trigger keeps you shooting as fast as you want. I’ll cover the trigger in a later report; but in both single- and double-action, it’s light and easy to pull.

The gun is all metal, so the weight feels about right. As far as I can tell, it feels just like a 1911 firearm when I hold it.

The sights are fully adjustable. The front post has a white dot and the rear notch is plain and square.

The backstrap ends in a wide beavertail extension that keeps the web of your firing hand safe from the slide of a firearm 1911. There is no grip safety (hurray!) but there is what is called a speed bump in the right place, so it looks like there’s a grip safety. No more worrying about how you grip the pistol — it’ll always work.

The safety, slide latch and magazine release button all function. The magazine is a drop-free design that holds both the CO2 cartridge and a stick BB magazine. The safety is for right-handed shooters, only, and the lever is of the flat wide design that’s currently so popular among those who carry the 1911. You can hook your thumb over the safety on the firearm, and the pistol will not flip up nearly as high in recoil.

The backstrap, or what would be the mainspring housing on the firearm, is of the flat 1911 design instead of the arched 1911A1 style. It’s crosshatched for additional purchase, though the metal surface on this air pistol is much smoother than it would be on a firearm. The front part of the grip frame is covered with square diamonds that run about 20 to the inch to give more grip there.

The grip panels carry the Colt logo in a plastic button, and they’re fully removable by the same two screws that all 1911 guns use. You would think the designers of this pistol did that so all Colt 1911 grips will fit, but alas, the screw bosses are set about one-eighth of an inch too far apart and firearm grips don’t fit! That’s like making an AR upper on proprietary pin centers so it will only fit your lower! The entire market for a 1911 is driven by aftermarket sources, ever since Colt lost their vision in the late 1970s and gave up the 1911 business they once dominated. Having a 1911 that doesn’t fit aftermarket grips makes no sense at all!

The slide has slanted grooves front and rear to facilitate gripping while racking the slide back. They aren’t needed on this gun, but they do give it a very tactical appearance.

There is a light rail/Picatinny rail under the slide and in front of the triggerguard for mounting a laser or tactical light. I’m guessing a lot of BB gun shooters are going to mount a laser.

The gun appears to be finished in stainless steel with black oxide sections, in a nice tuxedo pattern. And the backstrap, muzzle plug, barrel, trigger, slide release, magazine release button, safety and hammer are all chrome plated. That’s right, I said chrome — not nickel. It sounds horrible, but actually looks rather nice. It blends well with the faux stainless finish on the slide.

One criticism
The only thing Colt will take heat for is the presence of the CO2 screw head sticking out from the bottom of the magazine well. Why they couldn’t have just surrounded it with a brushed stainless magazine funnel is beyond me, because I know the air pistol fans are going to key on this one oversight.

This pistol is rated to shoot at 400 f.p.s., which makes it ideal for testing a Winchester Airgun Target Cube I just received. If there is one thing we need more of it is BB gun traps, so I look forward to the forthcoming test.


Such a striking BB pistol from Colt! This will be a pleasure to test.

33 Responses to “Colt 1911 Special Combat CO2 BB pistol: Part 1”

  • Desertdweller Says:

    That is a beautiful pistol, BB! All it needs is blowback action.

    I just ordered a pistol from Pyramyd Air a few hours ago. I’m getting a new Walthers PPK/S.

    I was shooting my PPK/S about three years ago in New Mexico when a little green O-ring seal went flying out the back. This was one of the pistols that didn’t have the roll pin in front of the trigger guard to prevent curious idiots like me from disassembling it. I think the problem was I over-oiled the thing (killed it with love).

    I never did find the seal, so I visited every auto parts store and hydraulics shop in Deming, NM looking for an O-ring that would work. I thought seriously of sending the gun to Umarex for repair, but the guns are priced so reasonably I figured that by the time I paid for the repair and the shipping, I might as well just buy another one.

    If I’m real careful, I may be able to take the new gun apart and see how to put the old one back together. i searched the Internet for an exploded drawing, but all I could find were videos on how to field-strip the gun (which I already know) and exploded drawings of powder-burning PPK/S’s. It doesn’t help that powder-burning, bullet-shooting models, BB-shooting CO2 models, and Airsoft models are all PPK/S’s and all are built by Umarex.

    If I can get an exploded drawing and the right O-ring, I think I can have my original PPK/S shooting again for a few cents. From earlier postings in this forum, apparently my PPK/S shoots more accuractly than most, so I would like to get the old gun in action again.

    Les

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Les,

      It doesn’t have to be that hard. Give the repair center at Umarex USA a call and they will treat you right, I’ll bet!

      http://www.umarexusa.com/pages/CustomerService.aspx

      B.B.

      • Desertdweller Says:

        BB,

        Thanks for the link. I just called Umarex. They sent me an e-mail with the exploded view I was looking for.
        I spoke with Eric Coward, who was very helpful. I called him back and ordered a replacement valve assembly, part no.103. Should be here in a few days.

        No more dealing with tiny o-ring seals.

        Les

    • john Says:

      I have one of those ppk/s pistol too. I like it but I had a slight issue with mine. I ordered the silver slide model thinking it looked cool. When I got the gun the silver was a champagne color. It was a bit hard to use the sights so the rear of the front sight blade got a little visit from Mr. Black Marker. I think if I order another one I’ll get the all black unit.

      • Desertdweller Says:

        A champagne PPK/s sounds very cool.

        Don’t worry about painting your sight blade, I do that all the time. It can really make a difference (I painted the blade sight on my Bronco white to show up against black targets). I doubt if it would affect the value of the gun.

        Well, it looks like by this time next week I’ll have two PPK/S’s. Much better trigger than the 15XT. And easier to load. The 15XT is half the price of the PPK, but is also half the gun.

        Les

        • john Says:

          Yeah. I have both guns. I tried to get rid of the 15xt at a yard sale. I still have the thing.

          That black and champagne is ok but wasn’t quite as sharp as a nice silver one I think. But no matter it’s still a fun gun to shoot. The first time the auto lock back happened at the end of the empty clip threw me a bit. I was looking for a release. turns out yuo simply have to remove the empty mag and rack it back. I never saw that before. Nice feature that stops wasted empty shots.

      • J-F Says:

        That’s weird mine has a nice polished silver/chrome/mirror shine.

        J-F

        • john Says:

          Yeah. I am not quite sure what happened but when I opened the box, that’s what I got, champagne and black. It was a surprise. It wasn’t even a shiny chrome, looked like an a powder coat or something. Whatever it is, it isn’t chrome.

  • Andrew Says:

    I don’t want to judge this gun prematurely however a friend of mine owned the airsoft version which proved to be very unreliable and poorly built. The gun is made in china in many configurations and it seems like getting a good one is about a 50/50 chance. I hope the .177 bb shooting version is simpler and will be less prone to manufacturing errors. I love 1911 pistols so I want this to turn out to be a very nice pistol but I am not optimistic.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Andrew,

      This gun is made in Taiwan, where many good airsoft guns are made. I don’t know about its reliability yet, and the way I test things, I may not be the best person to determine that. But I will tell you everything that I do see as we go.

      B.B.

  • Chris S. Says:

    Is this an Umarex product?

  • DerekB Says:

    Shame about the trigger.

  • Lee Says:

    B.B.,

    I know you don’t commonly compare one gun to another, but it would interesting to see how this gun stacks up against the new Winchester Model 11. The two are very close in price, but seem to have quite a few different features.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Lee,

      I have the new Winchester pistol scheduled for a test, as soon as I can get one. I won’t compare one gun to another, but since I always test the same things, it should be easy to compare.

      B.B.

  • no new jersey Mike Says:

    I just ordered the Colt 1911 pkg. and I was told the guns were due in after July,30
    If it looks half as good as the picture I’ll be happy.I started a new sub collection of
    all 1911 air guns”I have seven so far.I like the Winchester because it has a little bump
    of felt recoil.
    I wish they would make a single action air gun like the old Crosman”s of the sixties
    but with better metal and detail.

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      NNJ Mike,

      I does look just that good!

      I wish they would make a nice SAA, too, and I asked them to about 10 years ago. I have asked many times since. I even told them how to get a CO2 cartridge into the grip by using the 1860 Army grip frame, which is longer.

      B.B.

      • J-F Says:

        A SAA would be great! I’d buy one (or two).
        Even a catapult gun like the Daisy 179, I’d buy a new one if I could, and looking at the parts and how easy it is to take apart and assemble they could sell them as kits to assemble yourself. I’m sure it would sell.
        It would be easy to customize or mod.

        J-F

  • David Enoch Says:

    BB, that’s nice enough to deserve some wooden or rubber grip panels.
    It looks like it would be good for combat draw and point practices.
    Too bad it’s not ambidextrous.

    David Enoch

  • J-F Says:

    My favorite 1911 is the Tanfoglio Witness 1911: http://www.pyramydair.com/s/m/Tanfoglio_Witness_1911_CO2_BB_Pistol_Brown_Grips/2534
    but this one is so pretty, the lack of blowback and weird looking trigger for a 1911 is keeping me from getting one.
    If the accuracy is good I might have to still get one.

    I was only able to read comments late yesterday so I didn’t post as I figured it would be missed so I’ll congratulate Duskwight here, we’ll be waiting for your eveluations of your own rifle, it must be exciting for you, your OWN rifle, I mean you have your rifles and then you have YOUR rifle, it’s just a whole other level you are at. Congrats to you.

    J-F

    • john Says:

      I have one of those tanfoglio witness bb guns too. I really enjoy that one. I find the bb magazine a bit hard on the finger nails though when trying to load it. Any Jedi tricks to make that part a bit less painful?

      • J-F Says:

        There’s a youtube vid of guy drilling a small hole at the bottom of the spring “rail” in the mag. That way you don’t have to keep it at the bottom while you’re feeding BB’s one by one.

        J-F

  • john Says:

    awsome looking gun. I might just buy one for the looks. I doubt I’ll shoot it though since I have another favorite 1911 bb gun. That tanfoglio witness 1911 by cybergun(the all metal one) is one of the finest all metal blow back bb guns I have ever fired. I saw that one and I was ordering it as soon as I saw it. John Browning would have been proud of that bb gun.

  • Matt61 Says:

    Slick-looking, no doubt about it. But just to be a pain, I’ll say that the recoil of my SW1911 was the hardest part to master, and perhaps alone among my firearms required some adaptation from airguns. So if the goal is to practice for a 1911 firearm, I don’t know if this gun will do it. Also, bbs won’t give you the accuracy of pellets. But for fun and action shooting, it would be good.

    FrankB, well I figure that you would have found a technical solution to the Whiscombe if anyone could.

    Duskwight, congratulations. I remember the first time I cycled the bolt on my Savage 10FP rifle, it felt glorious, and it was a working product. Would you gun be ruined from a dry fire like the Whiscombe?

    Matt61

    • duskwight Says:

      Matt,

      Hope no – for now. For tests I have deliberately installed very weak springs (from Izh-60 ~40kg of force each) and screwed in channel restrictor to prevent dry hit. When I’ll assemble and test it for real, I think to install 2x70kg gas springs – and then it would really be no dry-fire rifle.

      duskwight

  • se mn airgunner Says:

    It amazes me that semi automatic CO2 pistols even come anymore without blowback. Obviously these guns are not meant for sub atomic groups. They are meant for fun and simulation training in my mind. So I won’t even consider semi automatic cO2 pistols anymore without blowback. Just my own personal opinion. Without blowback there is not enough challenge to the gun and does not provide useful simulation training.

  • Victor Says:

    B.B.,

    Is there, or will there be, a pellet version of this gun? Something with very good accuracy. Or does one just have to buy some other 1911 air-pistol? I like the price!

    Regarding blow-back, or not. That doesn’t concern me as having a good replica that actually shoots a projectile accurately is more valuable to me. As any competitive marksman knows, dry-firing helps to solve many fundamental issues that are masked by live-firing. So long as the gun feels close enough to the “real-thing”, firing without recoil has enormous value. The proof will be in the pudding, when you take your 1911 firearm out to the range.

    Victor

    • B.B. Pelletier Says:

      Victor,

      You probably won’t see a pellet version of this gun. This gun is made by an airsoft maker who has discovered that their guns can easily be converted to BB guns. But not to pellet guns.

      The best bet for a decent 1911 is still the Umarex 1911. After that it is the Beeman P1.

      B.B.

      • Victor Says:

        B.B.,
        I must say that I really like the looks of this one. But I’m a practical man, so I’d favor function over form any day.
        Victor

  • JH Says:

    Hi BB,

    Did you ever do part 4 on the 2250 XE ?

    I can’t seem to find it.

    Thanks.

    JH

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