Click pictures for a larger version.
Colt CCO has an excellent set of windage-adjustable
Beavertail grip safety.
Slide lock (top), manual safety (center), magazine
TALO is a wholesale buying group made up of
several firearms distributors who join together to make special
purchases and to have special edition firearms built for
distribution by the group. Now honchoed by Bob Coyle, TALO is in
its fiftieth year, and as in the past, TALO continues to
introduce special versions of some of the best firearms
currently being manufactured.
The pistol shown here is a collaboration of
the minds at TALO, Colt Firearms, and Wiley Clapp. Mr. Clapp
draws upon his experience as a US Marine in Vietnam, a career in
law enforcement, and his many years of writing for leading gun
magazines and also in writing books on the subject of fighting
with handguns. He is currently Field Editor for The American
Rifleman magazine, and contributor to other magazines as well,
if I am not mistaken. Anyway, Mr. Clapp is influential enough in
the industry that this Colt which bears his name is built with
the features that many knowledgeable firearms users consider
essential in a fighting pistol.
The Colt Wiley Clapp CCO is built upon,
thankfully, a lightweight aluminum frame. Commonly referred to
as an "Officers" frame, the butt of the frame is
shortened to aid in the easy concealment of the weapon. Also
thankfully, the slide is of the Commander length, housing a four
and one-quarter inch barrel, to take advantage of the power of
the 45 ACP cartridge. For a fighting pistol which is to be
carried concealed, there is no need to neuter the pistol by
shortening the barrel. The butt of the pistol is the part that
is hard to conceal, and the shortened butt with standard
Commander-length slide allows a pistol that is very effective,
yet still easy to carry concealed.
The Colt Wiley Clapp CCO uses the pre-Series
80 fire control parts, meaning it has no firing pin safety, and
none is needed. The 1911 design, upon which the CCO is based, is
one of the most mechanically safe pistol designs ever developed.
Before the weapon will fire, a cartridge has to be chambered,
the grip safety deactivated, the manual thumb safety switched
off, and the trigger pressed. The weapon is designed to be
carried with a cartridge chambered and the hammer cocked. As the
weapon is brought to bear, the strong hand grasps the pistol,
depressing the grip safety, the thumb sweeps to "off"
the manual safety, and, if necessary, the trigger is pressed.
The main safety lies between the shooter's ears. The CCO has a
superb trigger pull, releasing crisply with three and
one-quarter pounds of resistance on the sample pistol shown
The grip panels, front strap, and mainspring
are finely-checkered for a positive grip without being abrasive
to the hand. The thumb safety is of the low-profile design, and
is left-side-only, for use by right-handed shooters. Us
southpaws will need to fit an ambidextrous safety, which is not
difficult to do at all. The grip safety is of the upswept
beavertail design, and is very comfortable in use, and also
guides the hand into proper position as the weapon is drawn from
the holster. The sights are of excellent configuration, and the
wide notch on the Novak rear matches wonderfully with the brass
bead on the front post for a quick sight acquisition. On many
pistols, the rear sight notch is too narrow, but it is just
right on this CCO.
The gray laminate wood grips are rounded on
all edges, resulting in a very comfortable grip that abrades
neither the hand nor clothing. The long trigger is a comfortable
reach, and is, thankfully, made of aluminum. The barrel is
well-throated and polished for reliable feeding of most any
style of bullet, and this pistol proved to be a reliable weapon.
The pistol ships with two seven-round magazines which do not
protrude beyond the butt of the weapon. The guide rod is of the
original short style. There is no extended guide rod, and none
is needed. The butt of the frame is slightly rounded, as is the
mainspring housing, for a comfortable grip while firing the
pistol. I have large hands, but can still get a full grip on the
weapon. The standard magazine release is easy to reach, and
pressing it ejects the magazine reliably. The overall appearance
of the CCO is very good; well-finished in a matte black with
satin-polished sides on slide. Good-looking pistol.
specifications for the Colt Wiley Clapp CCO are listed in the
chart below. The weights are listed in ounces, and linear
measurements in inches. The grip and frame widths were measured
at their widest points. The maximum width is measured across the
grips. The height includes the sights. The trigger pull is
listed as pounds of resistance. The weight includes the empty
seven-round magazine. Length is measured from the muzzle to the
tip of the beavertail grip safety.
|Maximum Grip Width
|Firing Pin Safety
|Magazine Disconnect Safety
|MSRP as of April 2015
tested for velocity with my chronograph set at ten feet from the
muzzle, and an air temperature of fifty-seven degrees Fahrenheit
and a relative humidity of fifty-nine percent. Velocity readings were taken at an elevation of
approximately 541 feet above sea level. Velocities are listed in
the chart below, and are listed in feet-per-second (fps). FMJ is
a full metal jacket bullet. JHP is a jacketed hollowpoint. DPX
and TAC-XP are Barnes homogenous copper hollowpoint bullets. PB
is Pow’RBall. LWSC is a cast lead
semi-wadcutter bullet. UHD is Remington Ultimate Home Defense
hollowpoint ammunition. HCL is a hard-cast lead bullet. LR is a
Low-Recoil load from Buffalo Bore. Lehigh
Penetrator is a homogenous copper bullet. Velocities are
listed in feet-per-second (fps). Bullet weights are listed in
|Sig Sauer JHP
|Buffalo Bore HCL
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Buffalo Bore FMJ
|Buffalo Bore JHP
|Buffalo Bore LR TAC-XP
|Buffalo Bore FMJ
|WCC 1911 Ball FMJ
Every type of ammunition listed in the
velocity chart above fed from the magazines into the chamber
reliably. From the lightweight 160 TAC-XP to the heavy cast-lead
255 flatpoint, everything fed smoothly. Every cartridge fed,
fired, and ejected perfectly. There were no failures nor
malfunctions of any kind. This proves that a 1911, built
correctly, can be as reliable as a machine can be, and also
indicates the reason that the 1911 design is still the choice of
many professionals who depend upon a sidearm to keep them alive
every day. Accuracy was also very good with most every type of
ammo tested. Some of the high performance stuff can vary widely
in velocity from shot to shot, and that affects target accuracy,
but does not hinder its usefulness in a fight at all.
Reliability is paramount, and accuracy secondary, but this Wiley
Clapp CCO proved to be plenty accurate at twenty-five yards, to
the point of turning in match-grade performance with some
ammunition. Five-shot group sizes, fired from a Ransom
Master Series machine rest, measured from just under two
inches up to three and one-half inches, and again, depended upon
the quality and consistency of the ammunition.
The Colt Wiley Clapp CCO is a dandy pistol.
It carries and conceals easily, yet has enough heft and size to
feel like a real pistol is the hands, and brings to the fight
the reliability, accuracy, and power of the 45 ACP in the 1911
design, in a package that has, in the words of Mr. Clapp,
"Everything you need, and nothing you don't."
Check out the extensive line of Colt firearms
and accessories online at www.colt.com.
For the location of a Colt dealer near you,
click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
To order the Wiley Clapp Colt CCO pistol
online, click on the Gun Genie at www.galleryofguns.com.
For a look at other TALO limited-edition
firearms, go to www.taloinc.com.
order quality 45 ACP ammunition, go to www.buffalobore.com,
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Click pictures for a larger version.
Colt CCO comes with hard case, instructions, lock,
and two seven-round steel magazines.
Lehigh Defense Xtreme Penetrator 45 ACP ammunition.
Combat accuracy: groups fired offhand at seven yards.
Target from Trigger
Happy Target Co.
Colt CCO rides very comfortably in a Ted
Blocker inside leather holster.