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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Wish this was about a Colt but sadly it aint.



Commanders have from day one been a working man's gun. Typically the farther north of the border you went the more likely it would be a .45. Down south it was a 38 Super. Been known since their introduction anything but hard ball ate up the frame's feed ramp so the guns had a limited life time or you simply didn't shoot them much.

60 some years later Ruger copied what custom smiths have been doing for a few decades and added a ramped barrel or a frame insert depending on caliber. Add to the fact we now have 9mm mags that help a 1911 run the short 9mm cartridge and I do believe we now/finally have a real winner in a LWT Commander size gun. Buy it in 9mm or 45, or punch out a 9mm to 38 Super which is a 20 minute job all in and you have ramped barreled 9mm or 38 Super or a Ti insert in the 45. I've built dozens of custom LWT Commanders over the years but would never own one much as I would have liked to. Guns were simply too fragile. Forget 9mm altogether and unless you were shooting ball ammo unreliable. And too expensive once a good 1911 smith got done with them for my taste.

Now we have a LWT Commander that has no reliability issues. Can be had for a more than reasonable price and you can shoot modern HPs out of any of them until you're worn out, not the gun.

For $600 and spare change you can pick up a Ruger LWT Commander on GB....likely even less else where. This is a better copy of a original Commander than Colt makes now. For once a real fighting hand gun right out of the box. I tinker with mine some but even then the bones are there and they are solid. It doesn't take much to make them something I'd bet my life on. And if pressed, I'd tell you there isn't anything on these guns that actually needs changing.

Now have one in 9mm, one in 38 Super/9x23 and the last in .45. Best deal I have seen in a quality handgun in a long, long time. This from a guy who likes to shoot 5K$ 1911s built only on Colt's 1911. I've never owned a Ruger handgun. And I totally missed the Ruger LWT until recently. Just thought I'd pass on a opinion. Just wish it said "COLT" on the slide. But it don't.

.45 version here:

 

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I've been considering picking one of these up for a carry gun. Thanks for confirming my thoughts on the LW Commander by Ruger.
 
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We are in such a crazy, topsy-turvy world that we have S&W, Sig, Taurus, Ruger, Rock Island, Auto-Ordnance, Baer and too many others to list making "Colt" 1911s. And not box-stock versions, but with combat sights, beavertails, better triggers and safeties, checkering or stippling, ramped barrels, undercut trigger guards - you name it. Ruger in particular, is not confined to any particular tradition, except for innovation and making a lot of durable gun for the buck. Rarely are their own designs truly beautiful, but the 1911 was designed for them and they seized the market opportunity that was handed to them. Not to forget the reports of those who who have had problems send their guns back to Ruger, only to receive them with "N/C" on the invoice, and a spare mag for their trouble.
 

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I always had the full size Colt 1911 in .45 acp. But a few months ago I got a new Colt Combat Commander in 9mm and love it. Nothing fancy on it with the "bells & whistles" everyone likes. I point shoot so I don't even need sights, I have never gotten the "hammer bite" so the regular grip safety is fine, out of the box the Trigger is great, I don't like lights or green dots on a pistol so I don't need the rail.......just a standard, good shooting pistol. The Combat Commander is perfect and today the price is excellent. Love the Colt I bought!
 

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I mentioned this in another thread, Colt needs to get with the program and start making their alloy frame guns with a ramped barrel. John Browning designed the High Power with a ramped barrel, so it's not exactly a new innovation, and something Colt should have done long ago.
 

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The problem is that Colt still thinks that they 'are' the program, and have never even entertained the idea that they've been eclipsed.

Other makers listened, and made appropriate changes for the end user - 'that' is 'Business 101'...

I'm as nostalgic anyone, but I favor 'value', and the way 'added value' is included makes a strong selling point but will the factory only listen?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Ya, unless we are talking spitting distance I actually find sights useful if I want to hit anything under stress :)

Here are my Ruger versions of the LWT Commander. One each in 45, 38 Super and 9mm. Score today? Colt -0-, Ruger -3- with all three home runs out of the park.

9 rounds of 45
11 rounds of 38 Super +P
11 rounds of 9mm +P

45 and 38 are defensive guns for me. The 9mm version my practice and game gun.

 

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I'd own a Ruger SR1911 Commander. A friend has TWO and he shoots the "stuffins" outta them both! I would trust one after a "shake down". Good Shootin!
 

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Understand and appreciate the sentiments of the thread (wish this was a Colt) but like it or not, Colt doesn’t need to make these changes. They are Colt and continue to survive on that Legendary status. In a world of what must be saturation of the 1911 market, Colt plods ever onward.

Of the changes they ‘should’ make, I don’t have enough knowledge to speak to the ramped barrel. I suspect it matters more for calibers under .45 but don’t know. Beyond that, the Wiley Clapp series was a fairly meaningful and laudable effort by Colt to move from tradition (especially the CCO version). So we know they can. Just hard to understand why they so often won’t. But, then again, when you hold Legend status, you can sometimes avoid the rules that apply to the mere mortals...I just worry that status can’t and won’t last indefinitely.
 

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The Commander 1911 was originally designed for 9mm in 1950 as a response to the military request for such a firearm. I have always preferred Commanders in 9mm for this reason (I don't carry a 1911 for defense so these are just for collector interests).
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Zenas said:
The Commander 1911 was originally designed for 9mm in 1950 as a response to the military request for such a firearm. I have always preferred Commanders in 9mm for this reason (I don't carry a 1911 for defense so these are just for collector interests).
With the US Military limited by the Geneva Convention to only hard ball ammo, the aluminum frame and resulting softer feed ramp would have been fine for a service weapon. Fully ramped barrels or the frame insert have given the lwt Commander a new lease on life. To me the steel Commanders always seemed like an answer to a question no one asked.
 

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To me the steel Commanders always seemed like an answer to a question no one asked.
My way of thinking as well. There's little or no advantage to a slightly shorter barrel and slide when keeping the steel frame. The weight difference is minimal between the Combat Commander and Government Model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Not much into fantasy. And haven't shot a Ruger 5" gun. But was thinking a CCO by Ruger and resulting Officer's Model both with a frame inserts in .45 would go a long way to dominating a specific part for the 1911 market. That and a production LWT Commander in 38 Super. Then they could do the same with LWT 5" gun production.

Ramped barrels are a good fit for the 9mm guns as the round is too short for the gun design. But I think the frame insert is a better answer for the 45. Would be good either way for the 38 super. Ruger has these guns squared away I think.
 

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Another excellent post. A few years back I spent a lot of money customizing a Colt Lightweight Commander. I wish I had waited for the Ruger version.
 
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