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  #1  
Old 03-15-2020, 07:52 PM
msrtex msrtex is offline
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Difficulty shooting Commander size 1911 pistols

There are those that have argued through the years that the 1911 design is a little more finicky in any slide length other than the designed 5”. I am one of those individuals that have experienced this first hand. I shoot my full size 1911s with zero issues. I have owned a Colt, a Wilson, and a Kimber in Commander length and have had had every kind of issue related to the argument.

So, my question is; do 9mm 1911 Commander size pistols inherit the same concern?
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  #2  
Old 03-15-2020, 09:08 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Unfortunately you're asking for a general answer, not a specific one related to any particular brand. One thing to remember is that the Colt Commander was originally designed for and offered in 9mm, as it was Colt's entry in the US military's first tests to adopt a 9mm pistol soon after the end of WW2. The .45ACP round in a Commander-sized pistol was actually more of an afterthought, and the reduced slide travel coupled with the faster slide velocity proved problematic with .45 Commanders. That's why they adopted a stronger recoil spring, which slowed the slide velocity some.

In my experience a well-made 4.25" Commander in .45ACP is nearly as reliable as a 5" Government, but once you go 4.0" and shorter you invite problems. In 9mm however there is more leeway and it seems the short 9mm 1911s are pretty reliable as long as you're using good mags.
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Old 03-15-2020, 09:27 PM
INV136 INV136 is offline
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Since the 1980's up to the 90's I have owned two Colt Combat Commaders and with the exception that they, like the Colt Government model and Colt Delta Elite that I owned, had the regular issues with them feeding hollow point ammo reliably, were just as accurate and reliable as my Government models. I also had a Kimber Pro Carry stainless .45 (Commander length barrel) that was a lot more reliable and accurate than any Colt that I ever owned (thanks to the chmaber polishing, match grade barrel, and match grade trigger that Kimber puts in their 1911's.

I have since evolved and got rid of all of my .45 ACP 1911 pistols and gotten two 10mm 1911 pistols from Dan Wesson and one 10mm 1911 from Night Hawk Custom. I actually prefer a Commander length barrel and have found with a high quality manufacturer, they are just as accurate and reliable as one with a 5" barrel. They just have the added tactical advantage of being a lot more manuverable.
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Old 03-15-2020, 10:28 PM
7.62Kolectr 7.62Kolectr is offline
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I own more Commanders now than full-size guns. All of them run just fine?
Never really heard of problems specific to Commanders?
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  #5  
Old 03-15-2020, 10:29 PM
ronbwolf ronbwolf is online now
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My first 1911, was a LW Commander in .45 acp, which I pirchased in 1970. Wish I still had it. I then purchased a Combat Commander in .45 acp, and a Jim Hoag Commander length custom in .45 acp. I bought a 5" 1911 series 70, in .45 acp. I shot all of the commanders better tham I shot the 5". I later bought a Kimber Warrior, Ruger commander in .45acp, and 9mm. I shot a number of Wilson's, Springfields, Les Baers, and Kimbers while working for a range. My current inventory includes a Kimber 10mm, and my edc is a DW 9mm. I am waiting for my Fusion Arms Commander length 10mm. I just find the commander length easier to carry, and easier to shoot. Then again, I have shot Glock 17, 17L, 19, 29, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 30, 34, 35, 37, and currently own a custom 19, which I shoot better than all the rest ( and I have an "E" ticket on the G22, not patting myself on the back, just a comparison). Some people shoot shorter barrel lengths better than "standard."

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Old 03-15-2020, 11:00 PM
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AZ Husker AZ Husker is offline
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Kimber has never made a Commander sized gun. They stuck with 4" bull barrels.
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  #7  
Old 03-16-2020, 12:52 AM
msrtex msrtex is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Husker View Post
Kimber has never made a Commander sized gun. They stuck with 4" bull barrels.
Correct, sorry. Listing all the 1911s I have owned shorter than the standard 5".

dsk, not sure why it is unfortunate but I was looking for the general answer. It was specifically related to reduced slide travel coupled with the faster slide velocity proving to be problematic with .45 Commanders. I think your comment about the Commanders being designed around the 9mm answers my question. Thanks.
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  #8  
Old 03-16-2020, 01:38 AM
dakota1911 dakota1911 is online now
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In my experience the "Commander" size 1911s with the 4.25 inch barrel are the same as a "Gov" size with the 5 inch barrel. If one has issues then one needs to look at what is causing it. Need to count the number of Commander size pistols I have right now. Currently carry a Colt/Talo Clapp Commander in 45 made in 2013 most the time. Nice pistol.
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  #9  
Old 03-16-2020, 06:00 AM
glider glider is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Husker View Post
Kimber has never made a Commander sized gun. They stuck with 4" bull barrels.
You're going to have a hard time convincing me that 1/4 inch of barrel length makes any difference at all. Kimber usually functions better than most in commander and officer size 1911s.
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  #10  
Old 03-16-2020, 06:22 AM
Plantar5 Plantar5 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msrtex View Post
There are those that have argued through the years that the 1911 design is a little more finicky in any slide length other than the designed 5”. I am one of those individuals that have experienced this first hand. I shoot my full size 1911s with zero issues. I have owned a Colt, a Wilson, and a Kimber in Commander length and have had had every kind of issue related to the argument.

So, my question is; do 9mm 1911 Commander size pistols inherit the same concern?
The last 2 1911s I’ve purchased are Guncrafter commander size pistols, 45 and 9mm respectively.

To answer your question, No issues at all with the 9mm.
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  #11  
Old 03-16-2020, 07:05 AM
JB6464 JB6464 is offline
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To me the Commander's are more balanced in the hand and are just as accurate as the Govt 1911's at 25 yards .
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  #12  
Old 03-16-2020, 07:55 AM
flphotog flphotog is offline
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I currently own and regularly carry two "commander" size 1911's, a 4.25" Para Expert and a 4" Springfield LW Champion. I have had zero issues with either of them and shoot them at least as well as any of the 1911 government's that I have.
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  #13  
Old 03-16-2020, 09:28 AM
guns90 guns90 is offline
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Every 1911 I've ever owned has been for self/home defense. Because I am only 5'4", a government or long slide, has never even been considered for purchase. The longest barrel I have at present on a 1911 is a 4" bull barrel. All of the problems I have had have been with 'new' models/designs, DW ECP and Springfield EMP/EMP4 most recently, but they were corrected once sent back to the factory. I'm not convinced that the difference in slide/barrel length is as much a factor as the change in retooling/calibration for new models is.

It really seems that every new model has some kind of issue, no matter how minor. Just look at all the LE/Mil acquisitions (Beretta M9 and Sig Sauer P320). I know, they're not 1911's, but they help me make my point. Neither of them were 'rushed' into production. But both had issues that weren't discovered until they were used by a larger sample size.

I've owned several commander or officer sized 1911's from Colt, S&W, and Springfield. All were purchased after years of being offered to the public, and they have all performed as expected. But all of these were .45's. The only 9mm 1911 I currently have is a Springfield EMP4 CCC, again, a new model, and it's currently back at Springfield for warranty work.

Hands down the most reliable 1911 I have ever owned is my Kimber Ultra CDP II in .45 with a 3" barrel. Over 15K rounds, doing all scheduled maintenance/replacing worn parts, without one single issue.
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  #14  
Old 03-16-2020, 10:51 AM
hardluk1 hardluk1 is offline
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No issues with commanders or the smaller 3.24" version ether .. I carry a 45acp lw commander occasionally and my wife edc is a Kimber ultra 9mm and both have 100% reliable for several thousand rounds each .

Perhaps many 1911 problems are more owner related issues than handgun size and or cartridge choice ?

guns90 Your quick to mention LE/MIl acquisitions with the M9 and P320 but must have over looked the Colt M45A1 selected by marsoc and later dumped for glock 19 !!
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  #15  
Old 03-16-2020, 11:06 AM
SCfromNY SCfromNY is offline
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My Dan Wesson Commander Bobtail is probably one of the best shooting 1911's I have. Reliable, accurate, and easy to shoot. Not many will agree but my Sig 5" Stainless target is the only one I rate better.

I have just ordered a Kimber Pro (4") 1911 Aegis and expect great things from it except for Kimber's long wait. As another poster said that 1/4' is not a big deal.
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  #16  
Old 03-16-2020, 11:38 AM
guns90 guns90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hardluk1 View Post
Perhaps many 1911 problems are more owner related issues than handgun size and or cartridge choice ?
There is more truth to that than most people will admit to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hardluk1 View Post
guns90 Your quick to mention LE/MIl acquisitions with the M9 and P320 but must have over looked the Colt M45A1 selected by marsoc and later dumped for glock 19 !!
I didn't so much overlook it as I was attempting to say that through much larger application/distribution, issues were found that had not been seen by the manufacturers' smaller scaled R&D. Both cases, the models were tested and approved through LE/Mil units, but not until they were accepted into service and more widely used that the issues were found. To be honest, I didn't follow the M45A1's service trek, but to my understanding, it was shelved more for logistical reasons. G19's were already in production.

Last edited by guns90; 03-16-2020 at 11:51 AM.
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  #17  
Old 03-16-2020, 12:50 PM
msrtex msrtex is offline
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My intent was not to bring up the age-old argument about sub 5” 1911s. It is well known that some people (yes, I am owning up to it, it is my fault, I am one of those people) have issues with sub 5” 1911s specifically related to reduced slide travel coupled with the faster slide velocity proving to be problematic with .45 Commanders. Just because you have no issue does not mean it doesn’t exist. I realize millions of sub 5” 1911s run fine in .45, that wasn’t the question.

Thank you all, I think I have the answer.
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  #18  
Old 03-16-2020, 03:14 PM
teeuu teeuu is offline
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Got my first 1911 in 1973. Shot 'em, read about 'em, & been around other 1911 shooters for many years. This is the first I've ever heard of this.
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  #19  
Old 03-16-2020, 05:14 PM
Bullet Bob Bullet Bob is offline
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My fist 1911 was a used Combat Commander in the very early 70's, still own two, a Colt and a Wilson.

In almost 50 years, I've never had a problem with them. Shorter than that, I haven't had much success. Even with a Kimber. :-)
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  #20  
Old 03-18-2020, 10:03 AM
hardluk1 hardluk1 is offline
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msrtex Not sure where your finding all this info stating slides shorter than 5" are "finicky " at least with models made in the last Since you know you have problems with sub 5" 1911 so why bother us ? Perhaps you have a medical issue or an age or strength or basic shooting skills issue !! Perhaps you should shoot a 9mm or lite loaded 38super 1911 or even spend more time with a good 22lr .

By now you should understand a shorter than 5" 1911 is really not an issue with the majority of 1911 shooters and maybe far more your own personal issue for you to deal with . Good luck
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  #21  
Old 03-18-2020, 01:04 PM
coyotebuster coyotebuster is offline
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I have a Combat Commander in .38 Super, a lightweight Commander in .38 Super, and a couple Wilson's with 4" bull barrels. All of them run just fine. One of the Wilson's, and the Colt Lightweight have 9MM barrels fit to them, and they run just fine with 9MM as well.
My EDC for the past seven or eight years has been a Colt Defender in .45 ACP that has never missed a beat, and I have a 9MM Defender that is also perfectly reliable. I've never owned a 3.5 inch Officer's model.
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  #22  
Old 03-18-2020, 05:42 PM
shooter1911 shooter1911 is offline
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I have owned Full size, Commander, and 4" Compact 45s, and they have all been reliable. Three inch models have not worked for me personally. I think the 4" compacts got a bad reputation in the beginning when they made them with standard springs and short guide rods just like full size and Commanders. Today, weather the compacts are from Wilson, Springfield Armory, or other quality manufactures, most come with dual captive or similar recoil springs that are very reliable. The Range Officer Compact 45 I carry daily is just as reliable as my full size Colt Series 70. That's been my experience.
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  #23  
Old 03-18-2020, 05:59 PM
shooter1201 shooter1201 is offline
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My Ruger SR1911 Lightweight Commander-type, as well as my stainless Kimber Pro Carry, both in 9mm, have been 100% reliable with everything I've fired through them.
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:02 PM
Oldbrass33 Oldbrass33 is offline
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First 1912 full size, steel frame, 5”, second 1911 as a Sig C3 alloy frame, short grip frame, accurate, easy to shoot, great EDC pistol, 3rd and 5th both commander size one steel, one alloy, both 9mm, both great shooters. 4th was a name brand 3 1/2” Officer’s Model. Nice gun, difficult to control, terribly finickity about what it will feed( steep ramp, fast slide cycle) so I think there’s a limit, but my three commander sized all shoot and feed without a hitch. Just my personal experience.[/LEFT]
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  #25  
Old 03-18-2020, 06:53 PM
Craig Doherrty Craig Doherrty is offline
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I have two Colt Commanders from the 70s both in 45, one a blued steel the other a Lightweight. Both shoot well and really don't notice that much difference at the range for my 5" guns. I do find the LW the easiest of my 1911's to carry in Summer Special.

I did have a 4" Kimber CDP II that I got rid of -- it shot fine but I didn't like the way the coating on the frame was wearing and found the takedown annoying with the whole capture the spring procedure.

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