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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I sent a Lightweight Government model to colt for warranty work on the first of June. The frame was cracked through the disconnector hole forward to the ejector pin hole after maybe 200 rounds of Winchester factory ammo. After nearly 4 months I was informed that Colt's no longer makes that model and that they're substituting a steel frame.

Now, the question.... why did they discontinue that model after a very short run? Was it because of a problem with the frames or lack of sales in the face of the Commander lightweight models? I'm interested since I have a second lightweight govt. model that I've put about 500 rounds through with no problem, and I got it used. I'm not aware of any prolems with the Aluminum Commander frames, but now I'm wondering????
 

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Everything can break but I haven't heard of a particular problem with that model. It's my favorite Colt auto of the last 10 years. I had Brent put an amby thumb safety, a trigger with no holes, and a gold bead on the front sight. What a wonderful gun to carry in an El Paso Saddeley hip holster. I am seeing Brent Friday I will ask what the return issues were with that model.
 

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I would think with any sales driven product if sales dropped too low to justify further production, then a business decision is made to discontinue it. It could also be a production issue...the vendor could have been dropped due to some problem such as costs, availability of raw materials, quality control of the product, tooling wear, etc.

Colt could decide to reintroduce the model at some later date but that's not a certainty by any means. Colt isn't obligated to publicly state why they make decisions on product lines.
 

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If I recall the time frame, in the early 1970s, Colonel Jeff Cooper himself remarked that the Lightweight Commander [alloy] frame in .45 ACP was for 'carry(ing) a lot and shooting (it) sparingly'. He remarked how his and many .45 ACP alloy frames he had seen developed fractures from the slide stop window, up through the left frame rail or alternatively, from the slide stop hole upwards through the rail. He went on to say that this usually occurred before the first 1,000 rounds.

Colt made a limited run of those XSE Gov't. lightweight framed pistols and then stopped. They make a great carry pistol, but the steel frame wins for sheer durability. If you want a lightweight pistol, see if they'll trade you a new .45 ACP LWT. Commander. Just remember that they have a lifespan.

I have a Super .38 Lightweight Commander and love it, but I won't shoot "hot-rodded" ammo or handloads through it, because of this issue. A 9x19mm LWT. Commander is more likely to be forgiving in the round counts.
 

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Colt's been making alloy framed pistols since 1949 so I think that the alloy frame isn't the issue in itself, but maybe some do crack. My brothers Defender which I acquired used, was cracked at the cut for the Series 80 parts forward.
Both of my Series 70 pistols had cracked at the dust cover, but both were kind of thin in that area. I still have the .45.

I have a LWT GM too, and imo it is redundant. I bought it because it was different, but if I had it to do over I would have bought a LWT Commander in .45, as I have the .38 Super.
 

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Sorry about your cracked frame. I think it was just a matter of Colt dropping the XSE line and not a problem with the alloy frame of the LW. I find it surprising they kept no spare frames but I also find it not to be a surprise.
 

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Sorry about your cracked frame. I think it was just a matter of Colt dropping the XSE line and not a problem with the alloy frame of the LW. I find it surprising they kept no spare frames but I also find it not to be a surprise.

Maybe Colt did keep some spare frames and they've been used up for warranty claims. Colt is always known for trying to use up every spare part leftover...even years later when found during inventory counts.
 

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SW:

I am still scratching my head over the black oxide carbon replacement .38 Super barrel I just received in my repair gun. It headspaces on the case mouth, too. It has to be a left over from the old roll mark guns of the 90s.

The parts inventory at Colt certainly holds many mysteries. If I was a betting man I would bet some were planned and some are accidents or luck.
 

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LW Commander Ivory(2).jpg

Purchased NIB, replaced the panels with Ivory. Everyday carry, shot quite a bit with no failures or issues of any kind. Rides light at 3'oclock in a custom holster. Absolutely love this Colt. I really haven't hard much concerning cracked frames over the years but no 2 production LW Commanders come off the line the same. Chaulk it up to a defect in the frame that wasn't visible? Just guessing here. Wonder what the weight difference was from the original to the repaired version, if you even know. Still as solid pistol, I trust my life with mine.

J.
 

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I have two LW Commanders, both .45ACP, both open at the top where the slide stop raises where they had cracks in the early models. The one has had hundreds of shots through it, the other just a few due to a miserable trigger and what I believe is a faulty aftermarket barrel, (bought it used). The only improvement I can suggest to Colt on these LW models would be to use a ramped barrel for better case head support and to prevent bullet nose digging on the alloy ramp.
 

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I remember a LW Gov sitting in a LGS for about a year before someone bought it. It was only a hundred or so under the MSRP of the time. I thought about it a couple times, esp. when Colt stopped making most of the XSE line in 2015. Instead I ended up buying an XSE LW Commander in 9mm. Colt introduced these and then also dropped them in 2015. It is at the bottom with my 2006 XSE LW Commander in 45 on top and my 2009 XSE LW Commander in 38 Super in the middle.

 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well, I now have a steel-framed Colt "lightweight government model", 4 1/2 months after Colt received it for the frame replacement warranty work. Just shot it and with my Bar-Sto barrel installed and fitted; put my last three Win. PDX rounds into 2" at 50 yds. I like the accuracy, and I'll try to live with the weight. Colt replaced the frame with one for their "Combat" series.

They honored the warranty OK, but it cost me $35 for the FFL transfer fee (since it was a new frame, with a new serial # it had to go through the FFL) and at least 3 weeks for ATFE to do whatever they do with Colt so it could be shipped....never heard of this.
 

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Well, I now have a steel-framed Colt "lightweight government model", 4 1/2 months after Colt received it for the frame replacement warranty work. Just shot it and with my Bar-Sto barrel installed and fitted; put my last three Win. PDX rounds into 2" at 50 yds. I like the accuracy, and I'll try to live with the weight. Colt replaced the frame with one for their "Combat" series.

They honored the warranty OK, but it cost me $35 for the FFL transfer fee (since it was a new frame, with a new serial # it had to go through the FFL) and at least 3 weeks for ATFE to do whatever they do with Colt so it could be shipped....never heard of this.
This would annoy me. Not the time frame as much as Colt only recently discontinued this model, you'd think they'd have a few frames left over for warranty work. For all intents and purposes they should have just sent you a new pistol because you no longer have a LWT GM.
 

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Maybe Colt did save some aluminum frames for warranty reasons and have already used them up...maybe the warranty claims were higher than expected? I have a Lightweight Government Model but haven't gotten around to shooting it...maybe I should just leave it NIB...it could end up the sole survivor of the series one day. :confused:

I do agree Colt should at least give the owner the option of a new pistol and let him decide. Their warranty gives them the ability to fix it as they can and the disclaimer that changes in the line and parts do not obligate Colt to upgrade past production. Pretty much every consumer product has such disclaimers.
 

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This would annoy me. Not the time frame as much as Colt only recently discontinued this model, you'd think they'd have a few frames left over for warranty work. For all intents and purposes they should have just sent you a new pistol because you no longer have a LWT GM.

That is not the way modern corporations build products any more. Everything is committed for salable production and produced using J-I-T sourcing. To do so otherwise, is to tie up capital for an indeterminate length of time and will end up costing Colt money in warehousing, inventory management, and other expenses. Colt operates on a thin margin and can't afford much overhead.
 
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