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I been looking at Colt's new production Defender 9mm three inch barrel 1911. I'm thinking about replacing my Kimber Super-Carry three inch 45 ACP 1911 with the Defender 9mm for carrying.
Just looking for feedback from owners of this firearm pro and con. I played with a few of this Defenders in stores and some of the thumb safeties weren't smooth off and on, but the trigger seems to be real nice.
 

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I have a .45 Defender...outstanding pistol. I haven't tried a 9mm version but I've no doubt it's as fine a pistol. It's difficult to say you should or shouldn't make the change...every pistol is individual and each could have its own quirks. Something like a thumb safety not being smooth could easily correct itself after a few shooting sessions...at least it should.

I have to say I'm a .45 guy...the 9mm has its place depending on intended use and can surely do the job for self-defense. Kimber has a good name depending on whom you ask...so does Colt. I have a Kimber Solo Carry in 9mm and think highly of it but it has some quirks as well.
 
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There’s some options. I like the slim profile grips .. if you can find an example to test the feel for yourself.
Full stainless, Blued , or well.. now Colt make a bunch of color choices if that’s your cup of egg nog.

I like Novak style sights, but night sights are the practical choice. There’s been a Talo Night defender out for some time. Has front Night sight I think, but maybe that’s only in 45acp.
I think the 9mm defender with the gray colored lower looks cool, but not sure how tough that colored finish is. I’d like to hear from somebody who’s put it to the test.
 

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I have a newer production (2014 or so) Defender in .45 Auto. It's a gun that I have great confidence in, it just feels better to me than a plastic pistol.
 

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I have 2017 versions of both 9mm and .45. Both are fantastic guns, they carry easily, high degree of reliability and good shooters. Both have front night sights and plain black rear.
 

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I picked up a 2017 Army Green Defender in .45acp, put 250 rounds through it without a hiccup - very reliable. However, it is not much fun to shoot. The recoil from 45acp in the lightened frame & 3" barrel make for an abusive relationship. lol Even so, It's my EDC and I have no worries that it would not be able to do what it is designed to do if I do my part. As posted above, it feels very solid (not plastic) and gets on target quickly with the 3 dot sights. I haven't tried the 9mm version but imagine the recoil would less and you could have faster follow up shots.
 

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I picked up a 2017 Army Green Defender in .45acp, put 250 rounds through it without a hiccup - very reliable. However, it is not much fun to shoot. The recoil from 45acp in the lightened frame & 3" barrel make for an abusive relationship. lol Even so, It's my EDC and I have no worries that it would not be able to do what it is designed to do if I do my part. As posted above, it feels very solid (not plastic) and gets on target quickly with the 3 dot sights. I haven't tried the 9mm version but imagine the recoil would less and you could have faster follow up shots.
Since you practice with it you compensate for the recoil. Under stress you operate from muscle memory and won't even remember the recoil and it won't be a problem. Back when in the academy we had to do a handgun/shotgun stress course where we drove up to the line, jumped out running to different barricades and shooting (or not shooting) various targets which would rise or rotate to face us...we were timed and if you ran out of ammunition you were KIA. As I drove up the instructor suddenly started yelling in my ear I was in danger and I had to respond. First barricade was a mailbox and I had to shoot or not shoot depending on the scenario. Then I ran to a car...picked up a shotgun and engaged several hostile fall-down targets then ran to more of the same. We fired full power 00 buck from the shotguns...I distinctly remember the blast but have no memory of the recoil.

I was one of the fastest in the class to complete the course...not because I ran fast but because I didn't miss. Some of the students fired round after round before neutralizing the threat...and there was a couple of KIAs that had to do it again and it was reported back to their home agency.

Train properly and the recoil won't be an issue when you're under stress.
 
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Since you practice with it you compensate for the recoil. Under stress you operate from muscle memory and won't even remember the recoil and it won't be a problem. Back when in the academy we had to do a handgun/shotgun stress course where we drove up to the line, jumped out running to different barricades and shooting (or not shooting) various targets which would rise or rotate to face us...we were timed and if you ran out of ammunition you were KIA. As I drove up the instructor suddenly started yelling in my ear I was in danger and I had to respond. First barricade was a mailbox and I had to shoot or not shoot depending on the scenario. Then I ran to a car...picked up a shotgun and engaged several hostile fall-down targets then ran to more of the same. We fired full power 00 buck from the shotguns...I distinctly remember the blast but have no memory of the recoil. I was one of the fastest in the class to complete the course...not because I ran fast but because I didn't miss. Some of the students fired round after round before neutralizing the threat...and there was a couple of KIAs that had to do it again and it was reported back to their home agency. Train properly and the recoil won't be an issue when you're under stress.
I'm seriously considering taking the 5 day 3 gun course over at Gunsite to learn more skills and have the chance to use them safely. https://www.gunsite.com/classes/defensive-3-gun-class/ I bet a lot of fun would be had as well. Sorry for the off topic post.
 

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I got mine earlier this year and it has been great. Can't compare it to the Kimber because I don't have one but for me it works every time and is small enough to carry IWB. No failures to report, the trigger gets better each time I use it at the range and it is very accurate for the short barrel.
 

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There are a number of gunsmiths and well known experts [Bill Wilson, Bruce Gray, Larry Vickers, and others] who are not fans of the .45 ACP caliber Officer/Defender sized 1911 pistols for 100% functionality.

That said, I was the fortunate owner of a .45 ACP Colt Officer Model pistol that was 100% with SWC or ball ammo, but didn't care for JHP ammo. While I didn't expect guaranteed expansion, my employer demanded JHP ammo.

The 9mm Defender is a good choice for the smaller 1911 platform.
 

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I recently got rid of mine! Not a fan of it at all. It was sent back to Colt twice for feeding issues and ejecting shells right in your face. Problem never solved. Pretty inaccurate as well. My replacement is a Springfield EMP 4". A gun designed specifically around a 9mm, not a 45 trying to shoot a 9. My EMP is simply amazing!! I don't miss the 3 inch barrel either.*

Probably not what you want to hear, just trying to help. I would run far away. I know others who have had issues as well. I wouldn't do it. Mine was a 2014 version or there abouts, not sure of any changes since then.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I recently got rid of mine! Not a fan of it at all. It was sent back to Colt twice for feeding issues and ejecting shells right in your face. Problem never solved. Pretty inaccurate as well. My replacement is a Springfield EMP 4". A gun designed specifically around a 9mm, not a 45 trying to shoot a 9. My EMP is simply amazing!! I don't miss the 3 inch barrel either.*

Probably not what you want to hear, just trying to help. I would run far away. I know others who have had issues as well. I wouldn't do it. Mine was a 2014 version or there abouts, not sure of any changes since then.
Yes,I want to hear the good and bad, so I can make an intelligent decision.
 

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In my opinion, which is worth what you paid for it, there is no reason to carry a 9x19 pistol built on a platform originally designed for the .45ACP cartridge. The bulk is unnecessarily large for the smaller cartridge. If you like a single action pistol, consider one of the micro Kimbers designed around the 9x19 cartridge. If you think you might like a double-action-only design, consider one of the many Kahrs chambered in 9x19. When I step up in power and don't need the concealment ease of a "mouse gun," such as a Kahr P380, Ruger LCP, Kel-Tec P3AT, etc., I carry a Kel-Tec P11. It holds 10+1 of 9x19, is a about the size and weight of a Smith J-frame (but thinner), and holds twice the number of rounds. If you want a Colt in 9x19, the Pocket Nine seems more logical to me, although it is bigger and heavier than competing designs.

Your criteria, your money, your choice. I have told you mine.
 

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I bought one in 9mm in 2010. It is under one in 45ACP I bought in 2002. I carried the 45 for a few years but live in a more rural environment so went with a Commander size mainly due to the longer sight radius. My hand fits the "duckbill" grip safety of the 2002 and both have gone bang all the time and don't hit me in the head with empty brass. Both these came with Houge rubber wrap around grips and I replaced those with wood stocks. If somebody told me I had to put a couple hundred rounds through the 45 I would probably put the rubber grips back on.




I was hoping my wife would like the 9mm but she did not. She had a S&W 469 she bought back in the 80s. It is still in nice shape. About the time I bought the Defender in 9mm she was thinking of new options but she deciced on a small revolver. Of course that is what most of her lady friends have gone to carrying. Below is the 9mm Defender and her old S&W 469 and the Kahr P9 which is what I carry when I carry a 9mm. Below are a couple pictures of the three 9mm pistols.



 

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Have had two Colt Defenders in 9mm. Both perfect out of the box and since. Love the pistol. Had a Kimber - sold it. Colt just handled better and felt better to shoot. Dead on aim for me with the Colt. Never had a problem with any of my Colts....can't say that for most other brands I've purchased.
 

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My .45 Custom Defender.
It was beat up bad when I got it, I have the Frame Re-Anodized Black, Polish and trigger work Done.
Replaced the Trigger and the plastic back strap with Metal ones.
Looks a lot better than Stock in my eyes.

 
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I also have both .45 and 9mm Defenders. I normally carry the .45, have around 800 rds through both and not one hiccup. The 9mm is a "little" more pleasing when at the range, obviously. Because they're 3" I carry +P in both to pretty much insure good expansion.
I don't shoot at lot of the +P at the range because of the beating your gun takes but the recoil isn't bad at all. Practice with it get use to the recoil.

I believe Colt got it right this time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I found a store that has a Colt Defender 9mm in stock about a hour and half away. So I am hoping to drive over there tomorrow to take a look at it.
I am guessing Colt Defenders 9mm runs ok 115 grain FMJ everyday ammo????
 

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Although I shoot 115 and 124 fmj in the 9mm, during my research before buying the 9 I found out with 3"ers the 9mm works best with 124gr and up. I broke mine in on 400rds of 115gr with no problems. If I do carry the 9 I load it with HST 147.
You're correct about the thumb safety not being very smooth at first, it will loosen up a little but not much.
 
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