Redesigned Colt Delta Elite – Who Wants One?

Colt Delta Elite

Colt’s Manufacturing Company announced the introduction of an updated Delta Elite pistol. The 10mm powerhouse received a number of upgrades that may excite some shooters. These include:

  • Novak sights – Colt is now using Novak three-dot sights.
  • extended thumb safety – This should make manipulation of the manual safety easier for some shooters.
  • upswept beavertail grip safety
  • new composite stocks with the iconic Delta medallions

The Delta Elite was popular with 10mm shooters when it was introduced. However, popularity waned until it was discontinued. However, at the 2009 SHOT Show, the company rolled the gun back out with little fanfare.

I had a chance to take a look at the gun at that show, and it was not the best work I had seen from the company. For example, the front sight had the paint smeared all over the post.

At that time, I was told by a Colt representative that the Delta Elite was merely a limited run, and it sounded as if the company was just trying to move some old stock. From what I’ve seen, however, shooters have been able to pick them up ever since.

The new guns are not a huge change from the old. However, I do find it interesting to see that the company – so recently facing financial catastrophe – is investing time and money into improving its commercial line. Here’s to hoping they continue, and that it proves profitable for them.

For what it is worth, the Delta Elite retains the same suggested retail price: $1,099. Now – will Colt introduce a matching carbine in 10mm?



Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is http://www.gunsholstersandgear.com/.


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  • LG

    Same old stuff. This is NOT a redesign. A ramped design is appropriate for a 10mm Auto. Dan Wesson does it. Colt won’t. “Legendary” Colt quality is no longer there and hasn’t been for quite a while.

  • 40mmCattleDog

    I only have one thing to say: Glock 40 MOS.

    • Austin

      As well as STI’s 1911, RIA’s double stack 10 mm, the Sig 220 and the various EAA Witness models.

      • The Raven

        I own a Big Rock…kicks like a mule but I dropped a 185lbs tusker, one shot, at 70 yards…

        When I walk the back 40, it’s always strapped to my leg.

  • Rnasser Rnasser

    Wow! Novak sights, extended thumb safety,beavertail GS,composite (instead of rubber)stocks with the Delta logo.
    Massive changes like this deserve a more catching title like “complete and radical redesign” 🙂

  • TM12

    This is what pisses me off about Colt. They slap on an extended thumb safety, a beavertail grip safety and three dot sights. Now it’s “re-designed” with “legendary” quality. Except that (almost) every other manufactuer has included those features as standard for the better part of a decade. Colt spent almost 15 years thinking they were too good to have to innovate, or grow with the market. Now they’re making a half-hearted attempt to play catch-up.

    • Mark

      LMAO I thought the same thing. Wow! the beaver tail and thumb safety was changed? Ooooh grips are different, innovation!

      Poor Colt. Their marketing department is working twice as hard as their engineers.

      • abecido

        Why would Colt need engineers when their entire product line was designed at least 50 years ago?

    • Rob

      TFB called it a redesign not colt. Colt said that the gun “receives modern touches.”

    • Anonymoose

      These are upgrades that should have been present on the last re-release of the Delta Elite back when they still had the XSE line, instead of just releasing a stock 1991-series in 10mm. I still like the grippy Pachmayrs of that one over composite panels used on most of their stuff, though.

    • JSIII

      The Delta Elite is still the 10MM benchmark of non custom 1911’s.

  • Ambassador Vader

    LOL back to bankruptcy. Call it “redesigned-bankruptcy”.

  • No. This looks like a 20 year old Springfield Loaded Model.
    Novak sights on defensive guns are a fail. Novak sights on target guns are a fail.

  • Red McCloud

    Sooooo they just added on all the ‘modernizations’ other companies have and called it a ‘redesign’? This looks awful. I like the GI-style Delta Elite about ten times more then this generic piece of poop.

    • Rob

      TFB called it a redesign not colt. Colt said that the gun “receives modern touches.”

  • Steve

    The answer is nobody. Nobody wants one.

    • Tom

      Now be fair Steve I think the answer is that lots of people will want one, its just that not many people are going to pay north of a grand for one.

      • Steve

        Well, yes. In addition to the fact that calling this is “redesign” is as laughable as the BATFE calling shouldering an arm brace “redesigning”. Even if people were willing to pay the price, this pistol has none of the features modern shooters want. Catching up to the ’90s isn’t exactly ground breaking.

  • Drake

    Colt your piss off your fan base want Python style revolver. They do not want 1911 been retrofit with Novak sights and extended thumb safety upswept beavertail grip safety. They can get that from ever one else make 1911 handguns. Colt people want buy your firearms want Python style revolver. Yes I know Python revolver was complex made firearm that required lot hand fitting so why not make new Python not complex that is affordable??? You did with Colt Anaconda 44 mag witch look like bigger version Colt Python but used upsized King Cobra action than Python action that was complex was more durable.

    • abecido

      A Python without hand fitting, hand polishing, and Royal Blue isn’t a Python.

      • Drake

        Adecido find right people do all hand polishing put on Royal Blue finish hand fitting brand new Python . Would cost Colt more than be worth make those Royal Blue Python. I recall one reason they stop make them in first place last Colt Pythons where being only made in Colt custom shop cost reflect fact. Not only that there price round 3 to 4 grand. Yes Colt Pythons where sell back than but skill labor cost on Colt Royal Blue Python one major reason killed off. Other reason most people did hand fitting polishing Royal Blue Python are no longer at Colt.

      • A modern revolver with a vent rib barrel produced by Colt and named after a serpent would sell quite well. It doesn’t need to be a Python.

  • TechnoTriticale

    Who is the target customer, and what are the conjectured uses?

    For hunting, that customer might prefer an optic-ready rear sight base.

    Others might want a rail to accessorize.

    Yes, these would be actual re-designs, which is not what I see here. Heck, are they even offering the option of a threaded barrel?

  • AlmightySatan

    RIP Colt. They passed away long ago. I miss them.

  • Hoplopfheil

    Wake me up when they bring back the Colt Double Eagle.

    If it works this time, that is.

    • Red McCloud

      The Series 80s didn’t work, the Series 90s worked flawlessly.

      Colt pls

      • LG

        No. The series 80 and “90” are both flawed. The last decent Colt 1911 was the Series 70.

        • Red McCloud

          I said literally nothing about 1911s. I’m talking about the Double Eagle, which had lots of problems with the first series (Series 80) that all got fixed with the next iteration (Series 90).

  • abecido

    I don’t want one. I want a Glock 40, Smith 1006, and I wouldn’t turn down a Megastar if I could find one in 10mm with a three-digit price.
    I never thought the 10mm 1911 was a good idea.

    • LG

      The Dan Wesson Silverback or Bruin are outstanding weapons. The S&W 1006 is an indestructible tank that “takes a licking and keeps on ticking”. The Glock is if one has nothing else.

  • Schnee

    I think they should take the updates a little farther.

    Make the frame out of polymer so it doesn’t develop stress fractures with hot 10mm stuff. Widen the magwell and make it double stack while you’re at it. Maybe simplify out the links and get rid of the bushing. Make the barrel out of good metal from, oh, I don’t know, a German speaking place so you know it’s good. Also, a lot of people aren’t into external safeties these days, so maybe ditch that and make the trigger kind of mushy. Then you’d have the perfect truck gun/backpacking/bump in the night/hunting backup pistol. Also it should be jam-proofed and not picky about ammo at all. Man I wish they’d make that!!!

  • miamic70

    I guess my 10mm Delta Elite Gold Cup National Match was “redesigned” in the early 90’s when I installed beaver tail :/

  • Sulaco

    Have and shot a lot an older (60’s?) blued model for over 25 years. Still tight and shoots well, it remains my mountain camping gun. Can’t see forking over that much for something shiny but not better built…

  • Swarf

    I like the AA symbol, though.

    • JSmath

      Thaumaturgic triangle is a bit tougher to remember.

      • Swarf

        I’m bad at smath.

  • Lance

    Like any Colt too expensive for my collection.

  • Bob

    Want? Yes. Want badly enough to fork over $1,099? No. I got me a Government Model and an A1, and that’s plenty. Plus, I don’t think I’ve even seen a 10mm round in the flesh, so .45ACP is definitely easier to come by.

  • I’d rather take one of the original 1911A1’s CMP was selling a while back.

  • Gregory

    Dan Wesson is a superior weapon and worth the extra expense over the Crap, oops I meant Colt. When you compare the workmanship between the Colt and Dan Wesson, you will see just how superior the Dan Wesson is. It is built like a Swiss watch. With such precise fitting parts, the Dan Wesson will last longer.

    • LG

      Plus, the Dan Wesson has a ramped barrel.

  • tazman66gt

    Colt calls it an update, TFB calls it a redesign. I guess TFB is trying to give something for the Colt haters to chew up. Nice of them to sensationalize things.

  • Spencerhut

    Had a customer buy one of the Delta Elites and a Dan Wesson 10mm at the same time. Cost was almost identical, he thought the Colt was us playing a joke on him. He shoots the Dan Wesson and loves it. The Colt is rotting in a safe.

  • Drunk Possum

    That’s price is…. actually not too bad.

  • Volk

    If they wanted to modernize the pistol how about, oh I don’t know, an actually supported chamber and other fixes to prevent frame cracking and other forms of wear?

  • Ceiling Cat

    Where the hell is the supported chamber? They give a us a new plastic grip and expect us to use something that cant even fulfill it’s purpose?
    No way.

  • Richard

    At least they put most of the stuff that I would want on the colt delta now.

  • sean

    There is so many other better companies making 1911 10mm. People just need to let Colt die already.

  • Madcap_Magician

    I’D BUY THAT FOR A DOLLAR.

    But probably wouldn’t pay a whole lot more than that.

    Colt 1911s aren’t really worth what they’re charging anymore unless you’ve got a lot of money and want to use a Pony gun as a base gun for a custom build just to have the right rollmarking.

  • Lew Siffer

    So how is the new Bren Ten coming along? When it is available, I am selling my wife’s Jeep to buy one…

  • Mazryonh

    This “redesign” doesn’t seem to be doing much to win over new customers, especially since new customers interested in 10mm Auto are currently hard to come by. Putting out a “classic” version of the Delta Elite and a “21st century” version with an accessory rail and an optics-ready slide might go further in that regard, assuming both have ramped barrels.