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A Guide to Cleaning and Disassembling the Colt Delta Elite

In this article, you will learn about how to clean and disassemble the Colt Delta Elite. We will provide you with step-by-step instructions and a helpful video to guide you through the process. Additionally, you will gain some historical context about this firearm. Whether you are a gun enthusiast or a Colt Delta Elite owner, this guide will help you properly maintain and care for your firearm.

A Guide to Cleaning and Disassembling the Colt Delta Elite

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The Colt Delta Elite is a renowned semi-automatic firearm that has gained popularity among gun enthusiasts and collectors alike. Known for its powerful .10mm caliber and reliable performance, the Delta Elite has become a favorite among both civilian and law enforcement users. However, like any firearm, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential to ensure optimal performance and longevity. In this guide, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to disassemble and clean the Colt Delta Elite, as well as highlight some of its key features.

Background of the Colt Delta Elite

The Colt Delta Elite was first introduced in the 1980s, primarily as a response to the FBI’s request for a more powerful handgun cartridge. Chambered in the hard-hitting 10mm Auto, the Delta Elite was based on the iconic Colt M1911 design. The introduction of the Delta Elite marked Colt’s entrance into the world of higher caliber handguns, and it quickly garnered a reputation for its exceptional power and performance.

Colt Delta Elite

Features of the Colt Delta Elite

The Colt Delta Elite boasts a range of features that set it apart from other handguns on the market. Some of the key features include:

  • Caliber: The Delta Elite fires the potent 10mm Auto cartridge, which offers superior stopping power compared to traditional 9mm rounds.
  • Construction: The Delta Elite features a stainless steel frame and slide, making it resistant to corrosion and wear. This rugged construction ensures durability and reliability even in harsh environments.
  • Grip: The Delta Elite is equipped with Colt’s signature rubberized grips, providing a secure and comfortable hold during use.
  • Safety: The firearm features a thumb safety lever, grip safety, and firing pin safety, ensuring that the Delta Elite can only be fired when intentionally engaged.
  • Sights: The Delta Elite is equipped with a fixed front sight and a rear sight that can be adjusted for windage and elevation, allowing for precise aiming.

Necessary Tools and Equipment

Before you begin disassembling and cleaning your Colt Delta Elite, it is important to gather the necessary tools and equipment. Here is a list of items you will need:

  • Gun cleaning solvent: Choose a solvent specifically designed for firearms. This will help dissolve carbon buildup and other debris.
  • Gun oil: A high-quality gun oil is essential for lubrication, preventing rust, and ensuring smooth operation.
  • Cleaning patches: These small pieces of fabric are used to wipe down and clean the various components of your firearm.
  • Cleaning rod and brush: A cleaning rod with an attached brush will help remove stubborn buildup and debris from the barrel.
  • Toothbrush: A soft-bristled toothbrush will come in handy for cleaning hard-to-reach areas and small parts of the Delta Elite.
  • Microfiber cloth: This cloth is ideal for wiping down the exterior of the firearm, as it is lint-free and won’t scratch the surface.

A Guide to Cleaning and Disassembling the Colt Delta Elite

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Step-by-Step Disassembly Guide

Before disassembling your Delta Elite, it is crucial to ensure the firearm is unloaded. Remove the magazine and visually inspect the chamber to confirm there are no rounds present. Always prioritize safety when handling firearms.

Disassembling the Colt Delta Elite Frame

  1. Begin by pushing the slide back and locking it in place using the slide stop.
  2. Rotate the takedown lever clockwise until it is vertical.
  3. While keeping the takedown lever in the vertical position, release the slide stop and let the slide move forward.
  4. Pull the trigger to release the hammer.
  5. With the slide removed, retract the recoil spring and guide rod from the front of the frame.
  6. The frame is now fully disassembled and ready for cleaning.

Disassembling the Colt Delta Elite Slide

  1. With the frame disassembled, focus on the slide.
  2. Push the firing pin stop plate from the rear until it is flush with the opposite side of the slide.
  3. Remove the firing pin and spring from the slide.
  4. Using a punch or similar tool, press the extractor plunger inward and remove the extractor.
  5. Delicately remove the firing pin safety plate and plunger.
  6. Finally, remove the firing pin safety lever.

Cleaning the Colt Delta Elite Components

Now that you have disassembled the Colt Delta Elite, it’s time to thoroughly clean each component.

  1. Start by applying a small amount of gun cleaning solvent to a cleaning patch or brush.
  2. Gently scrub the barrel and chamber, ensuring you remove any residue or debris.
  3. Clean the slide and frame using the same solvent and a toothbrush to reach all the small nooks and crannies.
  4. Wipe down all components with a clean microfiber cloth to remove any remaining solvent or debris.
  5. Apply a thin layer of gun oil to all metal surfaces to prevent rust and ensure smooth operation.

A Guide to Cleaning and Disassembling the Colt Delta Elite

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Reassembling the Colt Delta Elite

Now that you have cleaned all the components of your Colt Delta Elite, it’s time to reassemble the firearm.

  1. Begin by reassembling the slide. Follow the disassembly steps in reverse order.
  2. Once the slide is reassembled, insert the recoil spring and guide rod into the front of the frame.
  3. Align the slide stop with the frame and gently push it through until it locks into place.
  4. Make sure the hammer is cocked back and aligned with the slide.
  5. Rotate the takedown lever counterclockwise until it is parallel to the frame. This will secure the slide in place.
  6. Perform a function check to ensure all components are properly reassembled and functioning correctly.


The Colt Delta Elite is a remarkable firearm with a rich history. Proper cleaning and maintenance are crucial to preserving its performance and longevity. By following this step-by-step guide, you will be well-equipped to disassemble, clean, and reassemble your Colt Delta Elite with confidence. Remember to always prioritize safety when handling firearms and consult the manufacturer’s manual for specific instructions. Happy shooting and stay safe!

A Guide to Cleaning and Disassembling the Colt Delta Elite

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