Photo of Colt XSE 1911 government pistol in blued finish with double diamond checkered rosewood grips

In the early 1990's, Colt made a marketing decision to "return to its roots" by offering a number of models that were replicas or near-replicas of the very first 1911 pistols. These include the 1991 series, the Series 70, the .38 Super, and other models.

By the year 2000, Colt understood that it had to have something in addition to the "nostalgia guns". The company had to offer a line of pistols that would appeal to the needs of modern competition shooters, and have the features that were standard on pistols from other makers of 1911 pistols. Thus was born the XSE 1911 series.

The XSE was offered out of the box with features such as front and rear slide serrations, an ambidextrous safety, three-hole skeletonized trigger with a longer trigger slot enabling greater travel adjustment, low-profile combat sights, and more. What's more, Colt knew their new XSE pistols would be held to a higher standard simply because of the Colt name, so they made sure that everything on this new line of 1911's met strict tolerances.

Since that time, the XSE 1911 line of pistols have been exceptionally popular with competition shooters as well as those desiring the quality and pedigree associated with the Colt name.

The model 01980XSE is finished in a rich blue, with double diamond rosewood grips. It's a beautiful gun, and a very effective competition pistol.


  • Front and rear slide serrations
  • Checkered, double diamond, rosewood grips
  • Extended ambidextrous thumb safeties
  • Fixed white dot combat sights
  • Elongated hammer slot
  • Combat hammer
  • New roll marking and enhanced tolerances
  • 8 + 1 round capacity
  • .45 caliber
  • Single action

Name: XSE Government Model
Frame material: Carbon stee
Frame finish: Blue
Barrel length: 5"
Overall length: 81⁄2”
Caliber: .45 ACP
Capacity: 8 + 1
Hammer: Combat
Trigger: Aluminum
Action: Single
Front sight: White dot
Rear sight: Low profile white dot combat
Grips: Double diamond
Grip safety: Beavertail
Thumb safety: Extended ambidextrous

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Colt XSE 1911 Reviews:

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5out of 5
By Duckracer, San Bernardino, CA
May 8, 2014

Primary use: Target Shooting

"Beautiful Gun. The best part about this gun is the accuracy. If you are a skilled shooter all you have to do is aim it correctly and squeeze the trigger. You WILL hit your mark! Recoil is about average.

WARNING!!! I made a HUGE mistake when I got this gun. I fired about 75 rd. with the gun without putting the takedown pin through the barrel loop. I took it to my gunsmith and he found that the lug and the loop were bent. My gunsmith fired mine and then his Springfield Armory 1911 and clearly there was a difference.

Follow this warning and you will always want to be in the same room with your .45 1911 XSE. Really. You will LOVE this gun."

Overall Rating: review stars, 4 out of 5 possible stars 4 out of 5
By BILL, louisville.ky
December 1, 2013

Primary use: Defense/Law Enforcement

"This gun is truly the most beautiful COMMANDER COLT HAS EVER MADE!
You can not please everyone but you have certainly pleased the majority of
your extend colt family.

Overall Rating: review stars, 4 out of 5 possible stars 4 out of 5
By neorbel, Kirksville, TX
May 22, 2013

Primary use: Defense/Law Enforcement

"These are my first impressions of the Colt Lightwieght Commander:

Fit and finish- Outstanding, tight, very close tolerances, slide to frame fit is very tight. Barrel to busing fit was excellent. Barrel to frame wiggle....non-existent. Lock up perfect. It doesn't get any better than this!!!

Trigger- Smooth and crisp release, no stacking or creep at all, excellent.

Function- It fed FMJ and Federal Hollowpoints. No FTF,FTE issues at all.

First and formost when you before you shoot any pistal disassemble the pistol clean and lube it properly. If not is will most likely not function properly and you can permanently damage the weapon. LUBE IT PROPERLY THE FIRST TIME.

This pistol will be my off duty pistol. I have over 15 years experience as an LEO and over 35 years of shooting the wonderful 1911.

I would reccomend this pistol to anyone without hesitation.

The sights were right on and indexed perfectly to the barrel. Of course the barrel is a match grade barrel. Accuracy was excellent to-say-the-least.

Shooting at the range was a pure delight with this 1911."

Overall Rating: review stars, 4 out of 5 possible stars 4 out of 5
By Jasconc442, Columbus, OH
September 5, 2012

Primary use: Target Shooting

"A very nice gun, the sights could be a tad better. it shoots great, feels great, i love it, and will prolly never part from it."

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By Akron1911, Akron, OH
July 24, 2012

Primary use: Defense/Law Enforcement

"This pistol suited perfectly for the shooting enthusiast or the personal defense user alike.
It's a COLT!"

Overall Rating: review stars, 5 out of 5 possible stars 5 out of 5
By John Smith, Macon, GA
April 28, 2012

Primary use: Defense/Law Enforcement

"Very good 1911 well built and very reliable for an everyday carry gun"

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