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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)



One of those guns I wish I had picked up when younger is the Colt light weight Commander. Gent's who have them how do you like them? I remember Skeeter did a article in "Shooting Times" back in the 80's? where he endurence tested one and the frame iirc cracked at 5,000 rounds. Wish I could find that article.

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What has been yor experience with the light weight Commander as a range gun and a CCW weapon?

Like to know- if I ever find a good one I will jump.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)

Aw man he was great- best all around gun scribe ever imo. I wish I had tried to call him write him and go visit him if he responded back in the 70's when I was a young GI in New Mexico.

"Dark Canyon" is a great place to read some Skeeter. Our old friend.
 

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A Series 80 Lightweight Commander in .45 is one of my favorite guns. I sent the frame out to Ron Mahovsky at Metalife for his electroless nickel industrial plating and sent the slide to Novak's for installation of their LoMount 3 dot sights. The stocks are ebony. Slide stop & safety are Wilson's and the grip safety is a Kings.

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That's a close twin of my Lightweight Commander. Thirty years ago I sent it to Novak's for their sights plus electroless nickel finish. Once I was able to carry a self-loading pistol after transitioning from revolvers this was my favorite off-duty carry piece. It's superbly accurate and reliable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks Guys very nice looking Colt's!


About 29.5 oz. For the light weight Commander VS 39 oz. for the government model ?. Can you tell the difference with long periods of carry? Noticable increase in recoil? Round count and any undue signs of wear on your guns? Faster on 'presentation' ?


Seems to me the LW Commander would be a perfect carry gun, and it would be pretty hard and take boat loads of ammo to wear one out.


Wish I had thought it out better when they were more available. The never ending story. lol
 

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I too went with and recommend the Wiley Clapp LW Commander. Love the front strap checkering. I did add a Wilson light weight hammer and Wilson safety. The original safety is too small for my taste on a carry/duty gun.
 

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I have a LW Commander in 9mm. It's probably my favorite 1911 to shoot right now and the only one that I've ever carried. Mine is completely stock except for the grips but I might change the sights someday too.

A friend of mine has the S&W version with a scandium frame in .45 ACP. That one I don't like at all. I'll have to pass on the LW .45's and 10mm's but a LW .38 Super might be interesting. What I'd really like from Colt is a LW Commander in .30 Luger and a LW Government Model in 9mm.
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I really like my Commanders, although they're the regular version, not the Lightweight. My question is the same as Ugly Hombre's... does the aluminum frame make that much of a difference in weight / recoil?
 

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Yes...the lighter weight does make a difference...but maybe not as much as one might think. The holster and belt combination (or shoulder holster) can mitigate the weight difference depending on design and how well the weight is distributed.

Recoil...again maybe not as much of a difference as one might believe. Your shooting style...stance and ammunition loading can make it feel worse or mitigate the difference. For mine...when I first started carrying it I tried Winchester 185 grain Silvertips...one range session was enough for those little hand grenades in brass casings. The recoil was ridiculous. 230 grain JHP or hardball from anyone else was far more controllable.

When you get down to it...my Commander recoils on a par with a mini 9mm pistol like my Kimber Micro 9. What the Commander can't do is be as physically small as the micro pistols.
 
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I only shoot hardball and the Winchester SXT 230 gr. HP self defense loads in mine. It recoils like a .45. But I don't find it objectionable. I like the lighter weight and am not worried about wearing it out.

I am not a fan of any polymer framed guns for a lot of different reasons and not just the frames. Nor am I a fan of the micro sized 9mms and .40's. I think a Lightweight Commander is an ideal carry gun unless you need really deep concealment.

That said, a couple of years ago I bought a gun that is a very able replacement in that role. It is the CZ75 PCR. It is a 9mm but advancements in ammunition make me confident of the efficacy of most SD loads available. It is about the same weight as my Colt as it has an alloy frame and about the same overall size, and it is DA/SA with a decocking lever. If you live in a free state you can get 14 or even 15 shot magazines, here in CA we are limited to 10 but with a 10+1 capacity I don't feel undergunned. I also have found it very easy to shoot with a good trigger as most CZ's have and excellent accuracy. I also like the decocking feature as it can be carried with the hammer down and double action for the first shot.
CZ has a very clever design so decocking actually drops the hammer to the half cock position and away from the firing pin and that also lessens the amount of travel necessary for that first critical shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks guys.

"I am not a fan of any polymer framed guns for a lot of different reasons and not just the frames. Nor am I a fan of the micro sized 9mms and .40's. I think a Lightweight Commander is an ideal carry gun unless you need really deep concealment." WR.

I got knocked down by a RX drug about a year ago and crippled getting over it was horse chit, I could not tear a paper towel of lift anything. much better now but still have some residual effect- that and getting older etc made me start thinking about lighter weight guns.

I am thinking Walter is right about the Light Weight Commander- if I ever get my mitts on one I will do a Skeeter type test on it, shoot it stand alone as much as I can for a year- see how it holds up. If I find one available perfer the .45, though the 9mm recoil seems like it would be much lighter.
 

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There's also the Defender model to look at...even smaller and lighter than a Commander.
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Yes, might go for one of those if one pops up as well. Not likely to hapen here in the late, great, golden state.

May have to wait until I find a new hut or rude hovel- in a free state. lol

I have read some good reviews on the Defender..
 

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While possibly hard to find due to the shortage of ammunition, there are some very good defensive rounds made specifically for short barreled guns.
 
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One of those guns I wish I had picked up when younger is the Colt light weight Commander. Gent's who have them how do you like them? I remember Skeeter did a article in "Shooting Times" back in the 80's? where he endurence tested one and the frame iirc cracked at 5,000 rounds.
My thinking is that if it's going to be a concealed carry gun, you aren't going to make a range gun out of it. You'd shoot it enough to become familiar and competent with it, and then you'd carry it. Period. I don't see the lightweight Commander as a pistol you're gonna run thousands and thousands of round through as some sort of "endurance test". People who buy them (and similar guns) aren't gun writers.
So the pistol failed after 5,000 rounds? So? I'd be surprised if the average conceal carry guy fires 5K rounds through one in its lifetime.

...if I ever find a good one I will jump.
A .45 Commander remains something of a grail gun for me. I have one lightweight 1911-style pistol, a Colt New Agent. If I ever get the Commander, it'll be a steel frame Series 70. I really don't see the lightweight as making enough of a weight difference that'd make it easier to carry.
 

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While the above link does NOT include the Skelton article sought by the original poster, it might be of interest to Skelton affectionados. The article in question is 16,000 Round Torture Test! and deals with a test conducted in 1971-72. It was published by Shooting Times NLT 1980. I personally feel it is one of Skelton's lesser works, in that it is typical hack gunwriter material rather than being enhanced by his personal experieces, but that's just me.

I once innocently asked an Irishman if he was from Northern Ireland or Eire and was vehemently told there was only ONE Ireland! laff Given that I acquired my first Commander when there was only one Commander, I feel the same way about "LW" Commanders. This weapon was manufactured in 1952, acquired used, and over the years has developed hairline vertical frame cracks in front of the slide rails. The description sounds worse than the fact, and the worst that would happen in a failure would be the dust cover portion of the frame would fall off.

I added sights which, unlike the factory sights, are visible to the human eye, and a grip safety which better protects my hand. The long trigger and flat mainspring housing are a matter of preference. I carried this pistol for decades with plain checkered walnut grips, but have recently been getting in touch with my inner pimp.
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I still use this weapon, but more often carry one of my two extra Commanders which I got when they were still to be gotten. My regret is that during that timeframe I didn't acquire a Commander in Super .38
 
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