Colt XSE Rail Gun

Yesterday was day 1 at Gunsite; and we had some pretty neat toys to play with.  Obviously, one of the biggest sponsors of this trip is Colt firearms, and the pistol that they brought for us to shoot is the Colt XSE Rail Gun.  The Rail Gun is so named because it has an integral accessory rail attached to the gun, which you can see pretty clearly.

As usual, click all images to see them in their full glory, which since I was shooting in 9 megapixel mode on accident for part of the day is pretty significant.  From the factory, the Colt Rail Gun is available in one of two finishes, either the stainless finish pictured above or the black finish shown here.  The standard sights are Novak sights, however as you can see in the picture both the XS Standard Dot and the XS Big Dot will fit these guns.

Now, the gun doesn’t come with the Gunsite logo.  However, that 1911 platform is fantastic for personalization, so if you’re a Gunsite alum and would like to get your 1911 customized, I’m sure that there are plenty of competent shops out there that can take care of that for you.  The Colt Rail Gun comes from the factory with what you’d expect from a serious defensive pistol – high rise beavertail, forward cocking serrations, essentially all the goodies that are now de rigueur on a serious combat 1911.

A couple of things I really like about the Colt Rail Gun – it has a rail!  While I’m not personally a huge fan of weapon mounted lights on handguns (long-guns are another story) I think that to be competitive in today’s tactical/defensive pistol market, you have to to have a rail.  It does not have a full length guide rod.  FLGRs are a part that the pistol does not need to function reliably that also serves to make the pistol impossible to field strip without additional tools.  I used to like them, now I don’t so much.  Finally, it’s not checkered on the front strap.  I hate checkered guns.  I really do.  I probably only fired 100-200 rounds today, but in a major match or a high round count class, a heavily checkered gun becomes manifestly unpleasant extremely quickly.  I like that the Colt Rail Gun isn’t a checkerboard nightmare of metal on the front.

I actually really like this gun.  I’m hoping that Colt gives us the option to buy these at the end of the class, because honestly while I need another 1911 like I need a hole in my head, this gun is pretty cool.  I think it would be a neat gun to have, and if you’re looking for a 1911 pattern pistol and absolutely need a rail for a light or other accessories, you should definitely check this one out.


  1. So it has both the Lesser Manglers and the Greater Mangler (which will make it a beyotch to find holsters for.) All it needs is The Jammer for the trifecta of 1911 Fail. 😉

    Is the rail 1913-spec or a “Universal” (read: “Glock”) rail?

  2. I probably only fired 100-200 rounds today, but in a major match or a high round count class, a heavily checkered gun becomes manifestly unpleasant extremely quickly.

    Don’t be such a big girl’s blouse.

    1. I might like checkering more if someone could actually present me with evidence that it performs a function beyond tearing up my hand. Also, the rail is a 1913 I believe.

      Seriously though, all checkering does is make sure that if I got a bad grip on the gun coming out of the holster that I’m stuck with that bad grip.

      1. It keeps my gun from squirming around in my sweaty little hands between shots. Especially in August when my hands are really sweaty and covered in sunscreen. That Black-T is slipperier than a bar of soap when it’s wet and oily.

        Unlike finger grooves, if you want to reposition your fingers, just loosen your grip and slide them around; the checkering only grabs when you clamp down.

      2. The best checkering I’ve seen was very bold, but nearly “grenade” checkering. Think 10 – 15 LPI, with the top points blunted.

        But I prefer stippling.

  3. I’m not going to lie, when I first read Colt Rail Gun I got excited thinking I was finally going to be able to live out my Quake fantasies.

  4. I also vote for front strap checkering, ok, possibly not actual checkering per se, but something better than a smooth and slippery front is good IMO.

  5. What happened to the shooters thumb in the first picture?

    I’ll weigh in on checkering. My 1911 isn’t checkered but the Pachmayer grips that I have wrapped around it are. The rubber grips without shredding my fingers.

  6. I’m a fan of serrations on the frontstrap and mainspring housing like on my Colt Gunsite pistols for concealed carry. My checkered pistol is for matches when I have gloves on.

  7. As much as I want to love Colt, I just can’t see the need for them to play “Me too!!!” in this game today.

    That said, hope its reliable.

  8. Personally., I’d prefer it with three minor changes (four on the Commander versions, since neither of the XSE Commanders get the S&A beavertails from the factory):

    1. Slight undercut under the triggerguard. Colt did it for my old Commander, and I like it. It would increase the advantage of the raised beavertail, even if only slightly.

    2. I’m no fan of ambi safeties on 1911s, unless you’re left handed. They just seem to break more often than ambi safeties on guns that were conceived with ambi safeties in mind. (But that may be 20 year old memories, and they’ve perfected them by now. . . I just don;t feel real comfortable with them.)

    3. I’ve always been a tad nervous about the idea of carrying a 1911 with a pierced trigger. Just looks to easy to get something wedged in there just in time for real need, and either prevent the trigger from moving back (bad) or snag and move it back when not planning on it (worse). I simply cannot see the point in doing it, other than pure esthetics, on a gun that is intended for defensive use. And pure esthetics loses out to a reliability concern — even if that reliability concern is overblown paranoia. (You simply can’t reduce enough weight to make a difference on a trigger that’s heavy enough for serious use, especially when you know its going to be used under stress anyway. Other than weight reduction and CDI factor, I have yet to hear a reason to have a pierced 1911 trigger.)

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