1911 Size reliability

Is a properly tuned Commander(4.25") style as reliable as a Government (5")


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    23
  • Poll closed .

Babboonbobo

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I only buy commander size or smaller anymore. I only have one full size left and that was my very first 1911 purchase (Kimber) and I’ll never get rid of it.
My most reliable 1911 is my carry firearm, a Wilson CQB compact in 45 acp (pictured below) Although all of my commanders are extremely reliable, I honestly can’t remember the last time any of them had a malfunction!? I’m spoiled I guess:)414BDA43-32CA-4D94-996B-4769523B6729.jpeg
 
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HooDoo Man

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I only buy commander size or smaller anymore. I only have one full size left and that was my very first 1911 purchase (Kimber) and I’ll never get rid of it.
My most reliable 1911 is my carry firearm, a Wilson CQB compact in 45 acp. Although all of my commanders are extremely reliable, I honestly can’t remember the last time any of them had a malfunction!? I’m spoiled I guess:)
I've been looking at a CQB Comact for a long time. Stop making me think.
 

CECannonJr

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A 1911 is a 1911, regardless of barrel length. The shorter barrels lose just a little FPS at the muzzle, but that 230 grain booolet is still going to do a lot of serious damage. That's with factory ammo. Reloads can be tuned to get that velocity back.
 

Rooster

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Well the magic words are properly tuned .

I voted no. I admit to having bad logic here . The only 1911s that I’ve owned that never had failures were commander length or less. I have never had a failure in a full size 45 1911... ever! Maybe I’m lucky.

All but one commander I have ever had has ejected empties into my forehead . Master smiths have been able to get it down to one or two out of a hundred in the noggin. So my thinking here is there are a lot of great gunsmiths that claim to be able to work out the problems I’ve had. John Harrison got one of them that was a disaster to run right with only Tripp mags ... and a lot of other magic . Point is , not every smith is John Harrison . So the words ‘properly tuned’ mean different things to different smiths . And the window for properly tuned is smaller n a commander than a 5” gun. One guy in particular thought 2/50 brass casings to the face was ‘pretty good for a commander’. That isnt properly tuned to me but it was to him... and guys, this was a big name gunsmith who I respect enough to not drag into internet warfare . My 5” guns just run with no fuss .

I have had one Commander that was as reliable as a 5” gun. It was a Volkmann and it cost a kidney . I ended up selling that and keeping the 5” Volkmann Signature .. it cost a testicle... I needed the other kidney...
 

switchback

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Bingo ^^^^^. I've also had good luck with my OACP, never owned one shorter than 3.5" so no comment. But commanders? If set up properly will run very well, IMHO
 

Mike A1

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Just a short tale.

My first small 1911 was from the first year run of the Colt 1911 Officers model with 3" bbl.
Two models were made the LW & std weight models, I got the STD.
Two trips back to Colt & 1 to a friend & really top notch Military 1911 Mechanic.

No joy my first small Colt 1911 was a POS. No one could get it to run right.

As Paul Harvey would say, now for the rest of the story.
I traded the Officers 1911 in for a new Colt 1911 45acp Commander.
It jammed & FTF & FTE right out of the box. I was sick!

Since I had full size 1911s already I also had many 7rd mags with me so I tried one.

From that day on I can not remember having any reason to not trust my
Colt Commander at all. I put in a John Harrison long trigger, a aluminum
Flat mainspring housing, etc. I have always preferred the feel & handling
of the 1911 over the A1 version.

I would have another Commander or a full size 1911, I just do not think I need a 3" bbl 1911.
 

HRColey

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My EDC is a Colt Lightweight Commander or a Colt Officers Model with a lightweight frame. Both are in .45ACP. Neither has ever choked on me. I use 185grain Winchester Silver Tips in my Colts. I have never understood why people carry Gov’t. Models which are longer and heavier. Nobody ever goes to the shoe store and buys the longest, heaviest pair of shoes they can find. Why carry a steel frame Gov’t. Model?
 

AZ Husker

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I've learned the hard way that I want nothing shorter than a 4.25" bushing barrel. There is just too much happening simultaneously for a shorty to handle consistently. Plus barrel length has little to do with concealability, so why lose velocity and longer sight plane? As to weight I'm over 200#, a few ounces makes no difference in a true gun belt and quality holster.
 

Zipper046

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Yes...any 1911 when "properly set up" will be reliable....HOWEVER....the 5" full size and 4.25" Commanders (and CCO's) appear to have more reliability.

The shorter you make the slide, the more emphasis on the springs and their ratios in order to accommodate for the faster cycling time of the lesser mass slides (or so I've read and been told, LOL).

Colt & Dan Wesson seem to have the traditional Officers size dialed in (3.5" barrel)....but I've personally had issues with the smaller 3" barreled Kimbers and such.

For me....I won't go smaller than a CCO (Commander slide & Officer frame).....longer slides, sight radius, barrels...for me...are fine for concealing and they give a bit more velocity and sight radius for longer shots....
 

Big Biscuit

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Maybe y'all should call me Mr. Lucky.

I've owned a bunch of short barrelled 1911s and have never had a problem that I couldn't sort out in a few minutes.
Maybe a spring or a magazine change. Maybe adjusting the extractor a little.

I don't hand load so it's been factory 230gr hardball and 185gr Silvertips for carry.

B&W Defender (2).jpg
 

switchback

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While I've not owned a 3" colt, been told they run well. I've owned at least 4 different officer models, most ran well enough. But well enough isn't good enough on a carry pistol. Also I'm too big for the officer sized frame and hate installing the magwell to defeat that issue.

So, for me, the commander is perfect. Especially with a round-butt. Slide length isn't the difficult part to conceal.
 

joepistol

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I own a Colt Combat Commander & a DW CBOB.. both these 1911's are as reliable as any Govt sized 1911 I've owned.
Wanting to see if what 'd heard about Officer sized models was true ( they were problematic) so, I bought a previously owned but unfired RIA CS Standard.
The CS model is their compact sized 1911 (Officer model copy) w/ 3.5" barrel. It uses a FL guide rod & a tapered bull barrel, no barrel bushing.

Though mine came with tiny GI style sights, I was impressed with several things..1) it was surprisingly accurate, & @) it was 100% reliable, being fed 230 gr hardball. Reading the manual, it states it is made for 230gr. rds only. I had to try my handloads, & problems arose. Slide wouldn't always completely when fed SWC's..would close with gentle thumb pressure to back of the slide. Took pistol to my gunsmith & he checked it over, discovered the chamber was a little tight @ the front. Used a chamber reamer, (maybe 1 full turn) and it now feeds everything without problem. I thought of informing RIA of my issue, but manual did state it was made for 230gr Hardball, & it ran perfectly with that ammo. From my experiment.. 3.5" 1911's can be as reliable as any other 1911..my experience.
 

HooDoo Man

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Thanks for the report. I was wondering about RIA myself. Seems like it might be a good no frills back up.
I own a Colt Combat Commander & a DW CBOB.. both these 1911's are as reliable as any Govt sized 1911 I've owned.
Wanting to see if what 'd heard about Officer sized models was true ( they were problematic) so, I bought a previously owned but unfired RIA CS Standard.
The CS model is their compact sized 1911 (Officer model copy) w/ 3.5" barrel. It uses a FL guide rod & a tapered bull barrel, no barrel bushing.

Though mine came with tiny GI style sights, I was impressed with several things..1) it was surprisingly accurate, & @) it was 100% reliable, being fed 230 gr hardball. Reading the manual, it states it is made for 230gr. rds only. I had to try my handloads, & problems arose. Slide wouldn't always completely when fed SWC's..would close with gentle thumb pressure to back of the slide. Took pistol to my gunsmith & he checked it over, discovered the chamber was a little tight @ the front. Used a chamber reamer, (maybe 1 full turn) and it now feeds everything without problem. I thought of informing RIA of my issue, but manual did state it was made for 230gr Hardball, & it ran perfectly with that ammo. From my experiment.. 3.5" 1911's can be as reliable as any other 1911..my experience.
 
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