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  #1  
Old 02-13-2020, 09:56 AM
Guy in SC Guy in SC is offline
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Colt Defender

Greetings everyone,

I have been researching the Colt Defender 45 ACP in stainless. I have wanted a Colt for a long time and this particular model has piqued my interest.
Some have suggested the Kimber Ultra Carry II. Though it is an awesome weapon, the allure of the Colt is too strong.
It will be my regular carry not handled with kid gloves. My plan is to practice, practice, practice.
Having said all of that, my questions are:
1. Is the Colt up to the task, right out of the box or does it need fine tuning with a gunsmith?
2. Should I consider the Kimber over the Colt?

Thank you in advance.
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2020, 10:01 AM
specs specs is offline
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I can only comment on my Colt Defender. Mine has performed perfectly from the day I got it. No FtF or FtE. Being so small and lite it does tend to recoil a bit, nothing major.
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2020, 10:02 AM
azguy1911 azguy1911 is offline
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I've owned both but in 9mm, I'm not sure of a 45 ACP in a 3" barrel and how pleasant it'll be to shoot.

I think you'll find the fit and finish of the Kimber better and maybe even the CS if you run into an issue. Millions of people have owned defenders (including myself) but Colt wouldn't be my first choice with anything unless it was an older commander or full-size 1911 for a build or nostalgia
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  #4  
Old 02-13-2020, 10:20 AM
fnfalman fnfalman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy in SC View Post
Greetings everyone,

I have been researching the Colt Defender 45 ACP in stainless. I have wanted a Colt for a long time and this particular model has piqued my interest.
Some have suggested the Kimber Ultra Carry II. Though it is an awesome weapon, the allure of the Colt is too strong.
It will be my regular carry not handled with kid gloves. My plan is to practice, practice, practice.
Having said all of that, my questions are:
1. Is the Colt up to the task, right out of the box or does it need fine tuning with a gunsmith?
2. Should I consider the Kimber over the Colt?

Thank you in advance.
I have the Defender in both 9mm and .45 Auto. The 9mm needed throat and ramp job to feed JHP while the .45 had no issues.

However warned that Colt is notorious for using extractors that are not properly tensioned. If you see brass bouncing off your forehead, thatís what it is. Half of my modern Colt .45s have that issue.
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2020, 12:07 PM
vortec vortec is online now
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I have both the Kimber Ultra Carry and the Colt Defender in 45 ACP. The Kimber is more accurate than the Defender. The Defender was giving me some reliability problems a while ago and the only gunsmith I could find to work on it was Fusion. They performed their reliability package on it and the gun works fine. I think it was probably an out of spec extractor.

I practice with 230 grain ball, but because the velocity loss in short barreled guns is rather extreme, I choose to run 185 or 200 grain +P ammo for carry. Both guns are very fast to come on target due to the short barrels (less moment of inertia). The recoil is nothing to fret about. I shoot 1-2 boxes per year out of each and keep them well oiled for duty.
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  #6  
Old 02-13-2020, 01:52 PM
hub1home hub1home is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy in SC View Post
Greetings everyone,

I have been researching the Colt Defender 45 ACP in stainless. I have wanted a Colt for a long time and this particular model has piqued my interest.
Some have suggested the Kimber Ultra Carry II. Though it is an awesome weapon, the allure of the Colt is too strong.
It will be my regular carry not handled with kid gloves. My plan is to practice, practice, practice.
Having said all of that, my questions are:
1. Is the Colt up to the task, right out of the box or does it need fine tuning with a gunsmith?
2. Should I consider the Kimber over the Colt?

Thank you in advance.

I have a Colt Night Defender and the Kimber Ultra Carry which does not have the Schwartz safety which means that it does NOT have a II after the name. Both are ,45 ACP.

I like either one for carry. I have about 800 rounds through the Colt with nary a problem. I have about 2,000 rounds through the Kimber. Early on for the Kimber had 2 or three jams through it and then it was fine.

In my opinion, I think you would do well with either one. However, I too, favor the Colt but the reason is because I strongly favor Colt.
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  #7  
Old 02-13-2020, 02:48 PM
SpringerXD SpringerXD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fnfalman View Post
However warned that Colt is notorious for using extractors that are not properly tensioned. If you see brass bouncing off your forehead, thatís what it is. Half of my modern Colt .45s have that issue.
I forgot about that. Yeah, my Defender did exactly what everyone was complaining about: whacking me in the forehead with brass!

On the flip side, it was also impressively accurate as everyone seems to say.
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  #8  
Old 02-13-2020, 03:00 PM
DubfromGa DubfromGa is offline
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If I were buying a Defender now, I'd would be their Combat Elite model. All stainless and nice grips.

If you decide to get the aluminum framed model....consider one of their factory cerakoted versions, they'll come looking good and won't have the ridiculous fingergroove rubber grips on it. Fingergrooves on a 1911 are about the dumbest thing I've seen on a gun.


I got mine nib for a great price. Ran it several times to ensure it was okay and then had it cerakoted and put some good looking grips on it.
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  #9  
Old 02-13-2020, 04:24 PM
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Johnny handgun Johnny handgun is offline
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I purchased one when they first game out. It has never once had any issues. It has been my main carry gun ever since. I can’t for the life of me remember the 1st year of production. If it was ‘98 or??? It was the first 3” 1911 style pistol to come out rockin’ and rollin’. Every one else had to copy it to figure out how to get their version to work.

Mine is in 45acp and it is softer recoiling that full size pistols. Probably because of the dual recoil spring set up. Nothing could get me to give this pistol up. Been with me too long and treated me too well. I didn’t mind the Houge finger groves, they have their advantages when shooting but I changed mine out for Crimson Trace laser grips.

I have 2 friends that also bought them and they love theirs. I would love to have the 9mm version but it just hasn’t been in the cards yet.
Buy one, you will love it and it’s a potent little package but never hard on you to shoot it.

Let us all know how much you love it!
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  #10  
Old 02-13-2020, 04:29 PM
Piexcel Piexcel is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fnfalman View Post
However warned that Colt is notorious for using extractors that are not properly tensioned. If you see brass bouncing off your forehead, thatís what it is.
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpringerXD View Post
...my Defender did exactly what everyone was complaining about: whacking me in the forehead with brass!
I experienced the same with my Defender 45 ACP. I never went to the trouble of adjusting the extractor, but the gun shot great during the time I owned it.
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  #11  
Old 02-13-2020, 07:00 PM
Steam Boat Steam Boat is offline
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Colt Defender

This is what happened to my Stainless Colt Defender......

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Last edited by Steam Boat; 02-13-2020 at 07:03 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-13-2020, 07:46 PM
Rhino79 Rhino79 is offline
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Colt Defennnnnder

I've had a Colt Combat Elite Defender in 9mm since June 2019. Excellent fit finish and function. 2300 rounds 124gr FMJ and JHP reloads. Would benefit from a Wilson or Logman modified slide stop to aid reassembly. Got rid of oem slim grips and replaced w/ Hogue double diamond checkered w/ Challis Grip Bushings, and o rings. Required lots of practice for me to shoot accurately. Long trigger may be a problem for some. In sum: a good pistol for EDC.
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  #13  
Old 02-14-2020, 07:44 AM
army_eod army_eod is offline
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I can't speak for a Defender. But I do own the Kimber Ultra in 45 ACP (3 inch bbl) and it is 100% reliable, accurate and easy to shoot. I love it. A great carry weapon.
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  #14  
Old 02-14-2020, 01:44 PM
dakota1911 dakota1911 is offline
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I have two Defenders. A 2002 in 45 and a 2010 in 9mm (bottom). I have replaced the rubber wrap around grips with wood stocks. Both have been trouble free with several types of ammo. I even tried some semi wadcutter ammo in the 45 after I bought it and they worked O.K.



I have had a number of small 1911 variants over the years Below are what I have these days with a couple Detonics on top. The SS Detonics was the first little 1911 I bought back in 1984.



I would say the Defenders are about the best little 1911s I have owned. I carried my 2002 for a couple years but went to a Commander as I live in a more rural environment and a Commander sight radius is a nice compromise between a 5 inch and a 3 inch. I have not carried the 9mm Defender. My SIG 365 is a smaller and more logical pistol if I want to carry a little 9mm pistol.
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  #15  
Old 02-14-2020, 09:31 PM
Col. Colt Col. Colt is offline
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The Kimber is just a copy of the original (as all Kimbers are!) - the Colt Defender! The Defender was the first truly reliable 3" 1911 factory gun, using the Seecamp recoil system - which Colt actually paid for - and others copy without paying....

If you do a more extensive search here you will find a LOT of happy Defender owners. Every gun company makes an occasional lemon (like car companies) but there is seldom any problem with a Defender.

Regarding the extractor tension issue - any 1911 user should know how to check and set extractor tension, it is a basic skill if you are to be a 1911 "pistolero" - and it's quite easy to do. There are numerous videos on YouTube and you can do a search here. The extractor, though long lived, is a wearable part and, if abused, you can mess up a properly set one yourself!

The 1911 is a weapon for an intelliegent, thinking, involved user - lesser beings really should use plastic. But there is not a better trigger in the world, or a more proven or better self defense handgun. Slim, light, easy to conceal - (and in .45) powerful.

There are a couple of Handling Instructions about the 1911 that not everyone may have heard. Read and heed if you care about your weapon:

1.) NEVER (that is an absolute) lock the slide open, drop a round in the chamber and then close the slide!! This constitutes ABUSE of the Weapon! Why?

This forces the extractor to bend and overextend out over the cartridge rim, and can change extractor tension, particularly if done more than once. The 1911 was deliberately designed by John M. Browning as a Controlled Feed firearm - just like a 98 Mauser and many other serious weapons.

As the cartridge feeds up out of the magazine the rim slides up under the extractor, controlling it no matter if the gun is right side up, upside down, etc. - as a weapon should function from any angle.

2.) Do NOT slam the slide forward on an empty chamber from slide lock. Ease if forward unless you have inserted a loaded magazine. Because unless you are holding the trigger back as you release the slide (a scary idea unless you fully understand what you are doing) keeping the sear and hammer engaged, the hammer can "bounce", dulling the sear edge and ruining your trigger job.

3.) Also, do not "ease the hammer down" with your thumb - if you like your trigger job the way it is! This, again, drags the sear and hammer hooks against each other, possibly dulling them and, again, over time, ruining your nice trigger pull. Clear the weapon, check the chamber - and pull the trigger - that will not harm a 1911.

The Defender is a gun designed to do what it's name implies. It is not foolishly overtight (my shop had to send back a lot of Kimber Ultra Carry guns early on for "too tight") and the Defender is properly clearanced so that it runs very well. CC

PS - For ammo, I recommend Remington Golden Saber or CorBon PowerBall ammo on any aluminum framed gun, as they feed just like hardball and don't have a chance to dig into the ramp. Not really a big problem, but proper ammo choice eliminates the possibility of a hangup or ramp wear. CC
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  #16  
Old 02-15-2020, 06:03 AM
VF-1 VF-1 is offline
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Iíve owned several Kimber Ultras, (and despite all of the internet lore) all ran great. Over the years they have been traded away for future 1911 acqusitions. Regarding the Colt Defender, my LW 45 ACP is pretty soft shooting. I suspect the dual recoil spring plays a major factor in the soft shooting of this light weight blaster. Mine has ate everything sheís feed (SWC, HP, RNFP, etc.) right out of the box. These are great pistols, and (like all Colts) should be coveted. Enjoy yours, as it will serve you well for a lifetime!

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  #17  
Old 02-15-2020, 11:40 PM
Col. Colt Col. Colt is offline
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Regarding the Kimber Ultras, the shop I was working in was run by an American Pistolsmith Guild Master 1911 'smith, and we sold all major brands of 1911. Glad you had a good experience with yours, but......

So, after the fifth (or was it the seventh) Kimber Ultra returned by a customer for malfuntions, we stopped carrying them. "You want a 3" 1911? Let me show you a Defender....." The usual problem was Kimber "overtightness" - and their standard response to the customer was "keep shooting it, it will wear in". Most folks didn't feel it was their job (on their dime) to "break in" a new Carry Pistol and spend $1-200 in ammo doing that! Too tight is worse than too loose - usually. CC
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Last edited by Col. Colt; 02-15-2020 at 11:42 PM.
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  #18  
Old 02-28-2020, 02:55 PM
Iggy Iggy is offline
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  #19  
Old 02-28-2020, 11:45 PM
Miles42 Miles42 is offline
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I'm thinking the Colt Defender Elite will be my next buy if i can locate one
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Old 02-29-2020, 07:48 AM
army_eod army_eod is offline
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About Kimber Ultra. We have two and they run like raped apes.

We will keep them. But I like the little Colt.
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  #21  
Old 03-01-2020, 02:54 AM
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Johnny handgun Johnny handgun is offline
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Owned a Defender since they first came out. Love the g, accurate and reliable. It is my daily companion 95% of the time.
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Old 03-01-2020, 03:54 AM
wcalcutt wcalcutt is offline
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I picked this up last week. Took it to the range yesterday and was throughly impressed with this little gun. I was a little worried since it was used. Ran about 200 rounds without any hiccups both hard ball and JHP. Accuracy was 3" groups at 25', that's good shooting for me. I recommend the Defender (45ACP ofcourse.) Good luck on your choice.
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  #23  
Old 03-01-2020, 08:52 AM
PEF PEF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy in SC View Post
Greetings everyone,

I have been researching the Colt Defender 45 ACP in stainless. I have wanted a Colt for a long time and this particular model has piqued my interest.
Some have suggested the Kimber Ultra Carry II. Though it is an awesome weapon, the allure of the Colt is too strong.
It will be my regular carry not handled with kid gloves. My plan is to practice, practice, practice.
Having said all of that, my questions are:
1. Is the Colt up to the task, right out of the box or does it need fine tuning with a gunsmith?
2. Should I consider the Kimber over the Colt?

Thank you in advance.
I have a Colt Lightweight Defender in .45, Colt Combat Elite Defenders in .45 and 9mm, and a Sig Ultra .45.

I had a heck of a time with brass to face with the lightweight defender. I tried different extractors, modified the ejector, all to no avail. I finally went back to stock on the ejector and am using an Ed Brown Extractor. Slow motion video revealed that as the gun recoiled and the slide moved backwards, the top of the slide would hit the extracting brass and send it to my head. The gun performs better now, but I really need a death grip when shooting it to ensure I don't have a BTF. Technically the problem is me, not the gun, but the Defender .45 lightweight is the only gun that sends brass to my face.

If you can afford it, I recommend the Defender combat Elite. It's all steel. I have a brief range report here: https://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=983652 This is my main carry gun.

It's heavier than the Defender lightweight, which some might consider a drawback. And unless you have some calloused hands the 25 LPI checkering can cause discomfort during extended shooting sessions.

If you are open to a 9mm Defender, the Combat Elite Defender shoots like a dream.
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  #24  
Old 03-01-2020, 02:12 PM
dakota1911 dakota1911 is offline
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One interesting thing, and an old post on this forum when Brent still worked at Colt is that the springs in the 9mm are the same as the 45. That came up years ago when the 9mm Defender first came out. Thought it was worth a mention as in my 2010 in 9mm. Note the ejector. Would like documentation that is not right but bought Defender springs from the Colt website back when they sold parts there and then Brownells. Have a few spares.



And in my 9mm the forward spring is flat on both ends. This is good. In the early days of the Defender the front spring was flat on one end (back) and not on the other (front) and one had to put it in the right way or it would cause problems.
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  #25  
Old 03-03-2020, 07:53 PM
Phizzard Phizzard is offline
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I picked up a 100th anniversary defender last week in 9mm. Traded a cpl guns for it.
I think it was fairly even trade wise, maybe dipping a little in his favor but i love 1911s and wanted a nine. It is essentiaLLY NIB.
Ive run 200 rnds thru it. One ftf - chalked it up to cheap ammo. Reasonably accurate at 10 yds. However, accuracy much worse at 15 yards. Yes shorter barrell, harder to control, etc... but i have other short guns that i shoot reasonably well. I am going to have to practice some before i carry it. It is a lovely little pistol and i like it. I think you will be pleased. I dont think the recoil is bad at all in a 9mm. It will be more in .45 obviously. I had a lightweight commander that recoil was significant - not uncomfortable, def slower on regaining site on follow up shot.
Ill try to post a pic or two. I bought some wood grips and fake pearl grips also for it. Itís obviously the middle. And yes, i do like the fake pearl cheapo grips.
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