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  #1  
Old 07-15-2011, 11:18 AM
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Default 1911 Commander vs. Officer

I just joined the 45 ACP club this year and picked up a Kimber Classic Custom Target. I also picked up a EAA Witness and love both of them.







I plan on picking up another 1911 and would like to hear peoples opinions on the difference between a full size 1911 vs. Commander vs. Officer when it comes to recoil and sight acquisition on follow up shots. The ranges near me only rent full size. I have handled the the commander and ultra compact at the LGS but have no experience shooting those two. If you could just pick one (Commander vs. Officer) which would it be? I would use it mostly for the range but would like conceal carry as an option.

I am leaning toward a RIA Commander or the Colt Commander with 100 year roll mark in the slide. Does the Colt Commander have a steel frame?
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2011, 11:20 AM
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If you want a shorter 1911, the only one I would consider would be a true Commander length
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:22 AM
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2nd on the commander. Unless you need deep concealment the shorter grip and sight radius are a real hinderance, at least for me, on Officer size guns.
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Old 07-15-2011, 4:58 PM
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The Commander size is a nice compromise, but personally I actually like the Officer's model (3.5") and Full Size (5") more than the Commander.

The Officer's model RIA is a neat little gun, mine is very reliable and it actually is pretty accurate for its size. I changed out the sights and grips and have been very happy with it.

I have never tried the Micro 1911s (the 3" barrel), like the Colt Defender size. Probably more of a backup gun than a regular one.
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  #5  
Old 07-15-2011, 7:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Majik View Post
If you want a shorter 1911, the only one I would consider would be a true Commander length
This man speaks the truth. I currently have one full size and one true commander (Baer and Colt respectively). Springfield and some other brands don't use true commander lengths.
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  #6  
Old 07-15-2011, 7:22 PM
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The officer's size I consider a gut buster, that having been said I currently shot the crap out of a colt commander. I like the balance of it.
I do have full size 1911 and hardly notice the recoil difference between the full and commander.
The officers does have a bit of a pop, and that's with a all steel frame.

You can scroll down and check out some commanders I have.
Your welcome to put a few rounds down range if you see me

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...=42409&page=41
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Old 07-15-2011, 7:52 PM
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Since .45 auto really doesn't have any significant recoil, my choice is a Stainless Officers Model.

Heres' one of mine next to my Glock 29.

A perfect size.

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Old 07-15-2011, 8:11 PM
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I have a 1911 wide body with both 5" Gov't and 4" Commander top ends.
The Commander "steers quicker" and would conceal better than the Gov't.
The Gov't does "hang on the target" better.

I used to have a lightweight Star PD, about the size of the Officers model.
While it shot OK at the range, it was a tiring handful for shooting much.
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Old 07-15-2011, 8:14 PM
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how do you have the frame set up to except both tops ends?
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Old 07-15-2011, 8:34 PM
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Should accept both pretty easily, just swap the full upper back and forth. Only real change that I know of is barrel length, slide length (dust cover etc) and recoil. Seems to me the only major concern would be making sure tolerances match up well, especially when swapping between brands. Not that I've actually done it, but I would assume the only thing that would need to be swapped is the slide itself and the recoil spring/guiderod.
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Old 07-15-2011, 8:49 PM
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What about a hybrid Officer and Commander like the Les Baer Stinger? Commander slide and Officer grip frame. Seems like the best of both worlds- butt doesn't stick out too much and longer slide for reliability/control. Haven't shot these though.
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  #12  
Old 07-15-2011, 8:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Majik View Post
If you want a shorter 1911, the only one I would consider would be a true Commander length
+1!

The only other thing I would consider now is a CCO, a commander length slide with an officers frame
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  #13  
Old 07-15-2011, 8:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rubber duckie View Post
how do you have the frame set up to except both tops ends?
I do not take credit for this one, I found it in Shot Gun News a few years ago.
There was a limited run of these Commander length slides made to fit Gov't model frames.

Back in the day, gunsmiths used to cut a 1" long section out of a Govt slide just behind the front sight. The front and back sections were then welded together. This allowed a standard 5" barrel to stick out the front of the slide....to be ported and threaded on the end to accept a screw-over compensator for competition shooting. The final overall length with comp was the same as a Gov't model.
(I think Kimber and a couple others make these now..."carry-comp"???) .

The slide I got from SGN was this same concept, just made new in one piece. It was a nice set, complete with 4" barrel, recoil spring set-up, good iron sights....about $300 total.
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Old 07-16-2011, 2:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazman View Post
What about a hybrid Officer and Commander like the Les Baer Stinger? Commander slide and Officer grip frame. Seems like the best of both worlds- butt doesn't stick out too much and longer slide for reliability/control. Haven't shot these though.
Baer makes good guns, but that particular model seems to be a point of contention, even among Baer fans. Take a look over @ the Baer section @ 1911 forums and you should be able to find information containing both points of view. CCO format guns in general seem to be quite nice though.
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Old 07-16-2011, 6:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Majik View Post
If you want a shorter 1911, the only one I would consider would be a true Commander length
This
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  #16  
Old 07-16-2011, 9:15 AM
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Just a clarification on a couple things.

Unless you have a special slide like Ojisan, most Commander slides won't work on a Govt. frame. The vertical impact surface is cut in a different spot on a Commander frame versus a Govt frame to allow more slide travel, and even with this position moved a Commander still has 1/10 inch less slide travel than a Govt. model. Some people have reported a Commander slide works on their Govt model but its the exception, not the rule and probably depends a lot on what ammo you're shooting and I'm not sure they're not batterring their frame more than they think.

The shorter slide travel as you move down in size is one of the reasons why 1911's tend to get more finicky the shorter you get them. They can run 100%, but everything needs to be in a proper state of tune; extractor tension and position, ejector length and angle, feed angle, proper recoil spring and replaced at proper interval. The 4.25 true Commander length is less finicky than the other shortened 1911's.

The OP states that this pistol is for range use, not ccw. In that case I'd recommend a Combat Commander which has a steel frame. Lightweight Commanders with their alloy frame are great for carry and occasional range use, but in the very long run they won't be as durable as a steel frame. I have a decent assortment of 1911's, including all the models discussed here, but my favorite to shoot is a customized Combat Commander for range use.

Many people like the Officer model (or Defender) for CCW. The shorter grip frame (with corresponding lesser magazine capacity) does conceal easier than a Commander or Govt model, but the difference isn't huge. I like the alloy frame versions for ccw if you're gonna get a real short 1911 like this, may as well maximize the size and weight advantage. So I'd pick a Officer's model LW. However for range use I don't personally enjoy shooting the shorter frame nearly as much but your mileage, like some of the other posters here, may vary.
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  #17  
Old 07-16-2011, 10:42 AM
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Commander, the Officer has a shorter sight radius and one less round.
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  #18  
Old 07-16-2011, 12:31 PM
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I have owned both the Colt Officer's ACP and Colt Combat Commander.
I still own a Combat Commander. I found that the Officer's grip too short to be comfortable in my hand. Officer's best use is for CCW. I recommend the Commander
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:16 PM
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OP here. Thanks for the replies everyone.

Just for clarification "I would use it mostly for the range but would like conceal carry as an option."

I should have stated the following in my OG post but didn't think about it at the time. In addition to semi-auto I also shoot .357mag revolvers so I understand the difference between my 4" S&W 686 L frame, 4" S&W 13-2 K frame, 3" Ruger SP101 and 3" S&W 60-15. When shooting .357mag and .45acp would it be fair to compare the K Frame and the commander and the SP101 and the officer. The reason I ask is because I enjoy shooting the K Frames and like to conceal carry the SP101.
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Old 07-16-2011, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by evolution1974 View Post
OP here. Thanks for the replies everyone.

Just for clarification "I would use it mostly for the range but would like conceal carry as an option."

I should have stated the following in my OG post but didn't think about it at the time. In addition to semi-auto I also shoot .357mag revolvers so I understand the difference between my 4" S&W 686 L frame, 4" S&W 13-2 K frame, 3" Ruger SP101 and 3" S&W 60-15. When shooting .357mag and .45acp would it be fair to compare the K Frame and the commander and the SP101 and the officer. The reason I ask is because I enjoy shooting the K Frames and like to conceal carry the SP101.
How do you normally carry? If IWB, a great benefit of packing a 1911 is the thin nature, the longer slide while heavier helps provide support inside the waistband to prevent the grip from digging into the hip.

Smaller officers are great when it comes to size and weight but.... oh heck, in this case the correct answer would be to find a Colt CCO.
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Majik View Post
How do you normally carry? If IWB, a great benefit of packing a 1911 is the thin nature, the longer slide while heavier helps provide support inside the waistband to prevent the grip from digging into the hip.

Smaller officers are great when it comes to size and weight but.... oh heck, in this case the correct answer would be to find a Colt CCO.
I carry IWB. Thanks for the suggestions.
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Old 07-16-2011, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Black Majik View Post
If you want a shorter 1911, the only one I would consider would be a true Commander length

Once again This is the right answer as expected from Black Majik regarding 1911's


My Colt Officers took a lot of effort and money to get it to run right The Detonics as well...

Even my ProCarry 4" bull Barrel no bushing gun had some issues it was a first generation Mostly it was an extractor issue...

Can the larger guns 5" and 4.25 and up have issues sure... but my experience has shown me less so.. so much so it's not an issue...
4.25 and up.. is the only way I will buy a 1911 from now on. Hey I just did...

SW 1911 SC Light Weight Commander sized 1911 with a 4.25" barrel. 28oz of 45acp carry fun which is not to heavy... with a full size grip and a barrel bushing The Scandium helps add strength to the alloy mix... It's all the Carry 1911 I need.. Supplimented with a g19 until my hand heals up


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Last edited by Ranger20; 07-17-2011 at 12:14 AM..
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  #23  
Old 07-17-2011, 7:30 AM
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I am surprised that some folks are having problems with the Colt officer-size 1911s.

My RIA Officer size runs like a champ, will eat anything I feed it. The only thing I changed was the sights. It is pretty accurate too, will put two full mags into a 2" circle at 10 yards. Not bad for a backup gun.

The SW 1911 SC mentioned above is a great gun, I had one for a while before trading it off.
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Old 07-17-2011, 9:58 AM
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Have you considered a Officers frame with a 4" barrel? My Kimber has an Officers frame and a 4" barrel. I get just as good groups with my Kimber as I do with my full size 1911's.
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