Colt introduced the Delta Elite in 1987 to take advantage of the hype and publicity surrounding the 10mm Auto cartridge in the Bren Ten pistol. When the Bren Ten became such an ignominious failure, it left Colt in an excellent position as one of the first companies to actually have a viable offering in the caliber. However, the gun never sold particularly well despite its cult following, and it was removed form production in 1996 because of poor sales. It was reintroduced by Coly in 2009 with a few incremental improvements, and remains available today.
Mechanically, the Delta Elite is basically identical to the standard Series 80 1911. It has a polymer guide rod and recoil buffer, along with a set of dual nested recoil springs to handle the more powerful cartridge. It was a reasonable reliably and durable pistol in stock form with stock ammunition, but suffered from reputation problems because of owners who enthusiastically tried to load and shoot the most powerful ammunition they could find, in pursuit of maximum power.