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Stain Nickel Colt .380.

The little Colt Mk IV Series 80 Government Model .380 Auto, which was introduced last year, can now be had with a satin nickel finish as well as the standard blue. As its name implies, the gun is virtually a scaled-down version of the .45 1911 pistol.

The advantages of plated finish are greater protection against the elements and corrosion. With the Satin Nickel finish applied to the Government .380, all of the surfaces have been bead blasted before the plating process. This reduces the light reflection of the nickel, while the slightly roughened surfaces provide the plating with a better base, which makes this modern surface far more durable than earlier nickel finishes.

The Satin nickel certainly adds to the good looks of this little pistol. The one I received for evaluation had a smooth, even silver appearance that was enhanced by the fact that the edges and flat sides had been kept sharp.

Not all parts had been plated, for the matte rear sight, barrel bushing, recoil spring plug, slide stop, trigger, magazine catch, magazine, and safety were blued. All of these components, together with the black plastic grips with silver medallions, contrasts nicely with the plated parts.

The only thing I did not like was evidence of uneven grinding to the top of the slide, and the fact that the front sight had been plated, which made it rather difficult to pick up in bright light conditions.

The finish, of course, has no effect on how the pistol functions. When compared against the standard blued model, the trigger pull is about the same--around 11 pounds but crisp.

On the range the test pistol proved reliable with both Federal 95-grain FMJ and 90-grain JHP factory ammunition. For fast point shooting at combat ranges of seven and ten yards the trigger pull did not prove to be detrimental once one gets used to it. At 15 yards from a two-handed standing position the pistol shot to point of aim and I was able to shoot a 3-inch group, which is quite acceptable for this type of pistol.

Apparently, this little pocket pistol of Colt's has enjoyed good sales since its introduction. The fact that it is now also available in a satin nickel finish should enhance its popularity among those who are looking for a compact well made .380 single action auto with a rust resistant finish. Its retail cost will be around $335.
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Title Annotation:pistol evaluation
Author:Arnold, Dave
Publication:Guns & Ammo
Date:Dec 1, 1984
Previous Article:Shoot a handgun.
Next Article:The combat .45.

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