Saturday, October 13, 2007

Colt Commander Lightweight .45 ACP

***Previously Posted on Chuck for...***

Based on the venerable 1911A1 the Commander is one of the smallest of that family with a 4.5 inch barrel. As with the entire family it is a recoil operated auto-loader and is single action. This is the Light Weight Model, little known and somewhat dismissed as weak in the frame due to its alloy composition. This prejudice prevented the pistol from gaining wide acceptance and over time has proved fallacious. Continuous firing of hot heavy loads will cause frame wear eventually, but failures due to such loads have had no press. This pistol has fired thousands of rounds of target loads, 230gr hardballs with 4.5 gr Bullseye and several hundred heavy load 200gr JHP (jacketed hollow point) with 7.2 gr Unique. A 30 yd shot just behind the heart killed a 150 lb field dressed mule deer. While it did not pass through it broke a large rib and shredded the lungs. I no longer hunt with this pistol because the lack of through and through made tracking very difficult.


The magazine shown is an eight shot magazine, in carry configuration - one in the chamber, full mag, cocked and locked you have 9 rounds, the 200gr JHP are very serious self-defense rounds. While the alloy frame cuts weight that many rounds are not light. This pistol can be easily aimed by a smaller woman but the recoil with those rounds is significant and compounded by the inertia of the slide.

The bluing on this pistol is quite worn from holster carry and use and while not nearly as pretty as new, its functions are unimpaired. It is accurate, quick to point, and with proper rounds never mis-feeds. I have never been able to use wad cutters with any reliability, but it happily feeds hardballs and hollow points.

Other than plinking or competitions involving this weapon type; this gun's duty is self-defense. This pistol meets and exceeds the demands of self-defense, especially in safety mechanisms. For those unfamiliar with this family of pistols these are the safeties: grip safety below hammer must be depressed by the hand, safety lock at left rear of slide-locks trigger, half cock hammer position, slide in any back position trigger lock. This pistol does not have a transfer bar and it is therefor unsafe with hammer down on a loaded chamber. The pistol's ease of use and intimidation factor are huge pluses, it looks exactly like what it is and each trigger pull fires a shot without the trigger drag of double action revolvers and there are nine of them. The rounds it fires are of some consideration, the heavy bullets will penetrate thick clothing and break large bones, but the lack of velocity reduces the chances of over penetration - shooting through a body and then through other things not desired or with a miss of shooting through several walls and so on. These are very realistic considerations for a self-defense weapon and of real importance in the horrid conditions involved in an actual use.

The disassembled picture is field stripped condition, all that is required for a complete cleaning and a basic inspection. Field stripping is easily accomplished in one minute with a little practice. The eight round magazine is Colt manufactured after market.

I've had a love affair with Colt autos for most of my life, for some reason, and this was the first pistol I purchased. I've put a lot of miles on this gun, but I still enjoy the heck out of shooting it. I have more powerful revolvers that are more accurate that are very nice shooters but this remains my favorite.

Right click pictures for full size.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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