There was a time when “.45 Auto” meant “Colt”.
Even years after more modern double action auto forty-fives were
on the market, .45 Auto still referred to the Colt 1911 design.
For decades, Colt was king of the 1911 style auto market. It is
a market that Colt should still own. Colt makes some very fine
auto pistols, but it seems that they just do not make enough.
“1911 .45 Auto” has now become a generic term, as many
different companies now produce and import 1911 copies, and
there are some very good ones on the market. Colt still makes
the 1911 in various forms. I would love to have one of their new
Lightweight Commander .45 Autos that have the ambidextrous
safety and Novak sights, but so far I can’t find one for sale.
Anyway, I was surprised to get word about a
month ago that Colt was producing two limited versions of their
.45 Auto for TALO, Inc. TALO has had produced some very
nice guns for their wholesalers in the past, such as the
excellent John Wayne Vaquero
that I reviewed a few months ago. These two new Colts are a
couple of the best that Colt has put out in many years. I was
particularly glad to see the Gold Cup National Match
return with its high polish finish and beautiful grips. It also
comes with its own wood presentation case. The Gold Cup has the
traditional seven-shot magazine, but the extra magazine supplied
is the eight-shot version. The Sterling comes supplied
with two of the eight-shot magazines. Both guns functioned
perfectly with any of the magazines, and are throated to feed
any type of .45 ACP ammunition. The Gold Cup has a lighter, or
“softball” spring, as it is commonly referred to, but also
comes with a full-power hardball spring, should the owner want
to shoot high performance ammunition. The Sterling has a
full-length guide rod spring system. The Gold Cup has the
standard Colt right-hand thumb safety. The Sterling has an
extended ambidextrous safety. The Gold Cup has a target
adjustable rear sight, somewhat like their old Elliason
sight, but made by Champion. The Sterling has a three-dot
combat type sight, adjustable for windage. While the Gold Cup
has a high polish deep blue finish, the Sterling has a matte
blue finish, and is engraved with sterling silver highlights.
The hammer and barrel bushing are nickel plated. This is
basically a Government Model .45 XSE, that has been dressed up a
bit into this special edition, which is limited to only 300
guns. The Gold Cup National Match is also limited to only 300
guns. Both pistols have special grips and serial numbers.
Both of these pistols shot very well, and were
very accurate. I fired the Sterling with high performance
ammunition, but limited the Gold Cup to a handloaded 200 grain
lead semi-wadcutter load. To hopefully stop the huge influx of
emails requesting my standard semi-wadcutter handload that
always occurs after I use it in a review, here is the recipe:
This load is not especially loaded to target grade specs, as I
use this for my general .45 ACP practice load. It is loaded in
mixed headstamp cases, with 5.7 grains of WW 231 powder and a Winchester
WLP large pistol primer, seated to show just a bit of the front
shoulder, and finished off with a taper crimp The pistols were
fired at a paper target at a distance of twenty-five yards, and
held in my Ransom Master Rest.
The Sterling exhibited great accuracy, but the Gold Cup was the
most accurate 1911 that I have ever tested. The Sterling grouped
best with Cor-Bon PowRBall,
and could hold these into five-shot groups of less than two
inches all day long. The handloads in the Gold Cup just cut
ragged holes in the target, with the five-eighths inch group
shown typical of its performance. The trigger pulls on the
Sterling and Gold Cup measured four pounds, five ounces on the
Sterling and five pounds, nine ounces on the Gold Cup. Weights
were 38.2 ounces for the Sterling and 39 ounces for the Cup.
There is not a lot more that I can say about
these two fine limited edition pistols. They are beautiful,
accurate, easy to shoot, and chambered for one of the best
pistol cartridges ever invented. They are also authentic Colts,
and are sure to appreciate in value. These pistols are built in
the Colt Custom Shop, and come with a certificate of
authenticity and packaged in a specially-labeled box. As noted
above, the Gold Cup has a special fitted wood presentation box
Suggested retail price on the Sterling and the
Gold Cup are $1399 and $1479 US, respectively, at the time of
this writing. This is less expensive than some of the plain 1911
pistols on the market, and these TALO exclusives are genuine
These guns are distributed through TALO
exclusive wholesalers. You can get more details at www.taloinc.com.
For the location of a TALO dealer near you,
click on the DEALER FINDER at www.lipseys.com.
Most dealers will not have these in stock, as
the numbers are limited. Have your dealer to call Lipsey’s
at 1-800-666-1333 or Davidson’s at 928-776-8055 to get
one for you.
|For a list of dealers where you can
buy this gun, go to:
||To buy this gun online, go to:
Both pistols come with Certificates of
...and special box logos.
The Gold Cup National Match comes with a gorgeous
Comparison of recoil systems: Sterling (top), Gold
Cup National Match (bottom).
Both pistols feature Colt's Series 80 firing pin
As befits premium Custom Shop pistols bearing the
Colt pedigree, these limited-edition .45s can SHOOT!
NOTE: All load data posted on this
web site are for educational purposes only. Neither the author nor
GunBlast.com assume any responsibility for the use or misuse of this data.
The data indicated were arrived at using specialized equipment under
conditions not necessarily comparable to those encountered by the
potential user of this data. Always use data from respected loading
manuals and begin working up loads at least 10% below the loads indicated
in the source manual.
Got something to say about this article? Want to agree (or
disagree) with it? Click the following link to go to the GUNBlast Feedback Page.