This is a recently purchased, unmodified Colt Government model with a number of added frills such as ambi safety, series 90/enhanced beavertail, one piece, full length guide rod. The Trigger pull registers 5 lb 12 oz.
The pistol comes with two Colt magazines with Shooting Star followers. Like most recent 1911s, the extractor was dropped into the tunnel with no tension. I ran a magazine or two manually with no apparent problems with feed or ejection. Since the extractor would not retain a loaded cartridge, I tensioned it before initial shooting. Fit and finish are very fine and the only deficit I can find is a bit of wiggle in the right safety lever in the up position. I generally don't notice this since I do not use the ambi feature anyway.
The initial range session revealed a "problem" that I later learned is pretty much universal. The Novak sight shoots loose until positioned and loc-tited in place. Once this was done, point of aim and impact coincide closely at 25 yards both for windage and elevation and does not shift. I do not love allen wrenches but had to buy a new set for this operation.
Function with various ball loads and my 200 grain swc target load have been 100 percent over several hundred rounds. On the first day out, I also shot Remington Golden Saber 185, Speer 200 grain gold dot, corbon 230 gr PowrBall. I had a failure to feed the last round with the Speer load and one of the P/Balls flew fully loaded out of the port and hit me between the eyes.
While I am no expert with the 1911 platform, I am able to shoot sub 1" to 1.5" bench groups at 25 yards with some regularity when using a Springfield Armory that has been accurized by Alex Hamilton/ Ten Ring precision. - And the same with accurate revolvers. I find the XSE about like other Colt's in my safe with groups ranging from 2.5" with the Lead swcs to a bit over 5" with several types of ball. I invested in a couple of boxes of federal Gold Medal 230 Ball and registered a 3.3" 25 yard group and this while shooting over the chronograph:
The heavy trigger pull makes sustained precision fire unlikely. I do not make called head shots from the NRA stance at 25 yards. It does not seem to detract from the utility of the pistol for its primary purpose.
It is, of course, easy to dump controlled pairs into the nine and ten ring from 30 feet.
I suspect that it may be easier to find more accurate box stock 1911s among the various manufacturers but the Colts continue to suit me very well. They do not exhibit the functional problems I have seen and experienced with the other major suspects.
5/29 06. I have left the trigger at 5.5 pounds and continued fairly regular practic with it.
I don't shoot match quality groups with 1911s- even the ones with lighter trigger pulls but this one suits my needs.
In my version of reality, the one inside the patern of black squares are all good hits while the one on the outside is crummy.
It remaines fully functional with all my colt/wilson magazines. the heavier triggers has improved my shooting with a couple of other colts that have pulls in the range of 3.5-4 pounds. The very close correspondence of sights to point of impact inside of 25 yards makes this a useful field pistol