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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I know this topic has been beaaten to death, but thought I'd start it around again and see if any new opinions have been formed lately.

I currently own a Colt Combat Commander (XSE in SS). It's a nice shooting gun and produces very good accuracy. Love the pistol and have carried it several times while camping with the family. My concern is its size for concealment in summer attire and bright stainless finish.

I have been recently considering a Colt Defender for a more compact carry gun. It too has the "bright" finish concern, but should prove a bit more concealable on summer camping trips.

What are you opinions? Stick with the Commander? Get the Defender and swap duty based on attire? Or possible get a lightweight commander? Another alternative....get the XSE Commander converted to the Ed Brown Bobtail design?
 

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I used to carry a Commander but now I carry a Defender(Lightweight) and it is much easier to deal with concealed. I am beginning to like my Defender like I did my Kimber Ultra Carry II. Small, easy to conceal and still has the 45ACP power ! What's not to like ? :rock:
 

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jakes10mm said:
Another alternative....get the XSE Commander converted to the Ed Brown Bobtail design?
I think this is a good option. I've been eyeing the Bobtail, but won't make the plunge until I can try one out first. Don't want to put $100+ into a gun and find out I don't really like it.

I've been carrying my nickel plated Norinco full size and don't worry about the shiny-ness. A polo shirt works well.

My main carry gun is a Springfield Ultra Compact, but it's away at Robar getting dehorned and refinished. Should be back this week. yeah!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Shootcraps said:
I think this is a good option. I've been eyeing the Bobtail, but won't make the plunge until I can try one out first. Don't want to put $100+ into a gun and find out I don't really like it.
I agree about the $100, but also the potential loss of a perfectly good Colt Commander frame should I not like the grip when firing. I found a Ed Brown Kobra carry at a local gun shop and was able to handle it. It felt very similar to a 1911 with an arched mainspring housing, but.....it does remove material rather than "add" it as the arched mainspring housing does. I, too, would like to fire one before deciding.
 

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I believe your best option is to bobtail the LW Commander. I tried a Defender and found that while I thought it was a pretty cool pistol, there were some aspects of it that turned me off.

First, the 3" barrel compromises quite a bit ballistically, robbing you of the benefit of having a .45 acp. Too much velocity is lost with such a short barrel. The best defense ammo in such a short barrel is CorBon's 165 gr. PowRBall and CorBons DXP load. But these are expensive, semi-exotic loads. I like to shoot a LOT of my carry load for practice and these are just too costly for that, even when reloading with DXP bullets. Velocity with most 230 gr. bullets drop down to the low 700's... really not a good thing. There are much more effective platforms and calibers if you want a gun as small or smaller than Defender. (Like Kahr K40, K9, PM9).

The second thing I don't like about the Defender is the recoil spring mechanism, which should be replaced about every 600 rounds or so to help maintain reliability. They're a complex, uncommon, and not readily available spring set and they're costly.

The third thing I dislike is the aluminum feedramp... which wears more readily than a steel ramp does. This isn't a big problem with loads like CorBon PowRBall and a steel insert can be put into the frame... but these measures were just more than I wanted to commit to this gun.

Lastly, Defenders can be very reliable, but they are not as generally reliable with a wide variety of loads as the larger 1911's are. I like the ability to run several different loads with utter reliability and good ballistic effectiveness.... and the Defender just isn't able to do that well due to the very short slide and barrel.

The reliability and ballistic benefits of a longer barrel (4.25" and 5" especially) are well recognized benefits of the larger guns, which I prefer in a defense gun. Nice as the Defender is, I decided a Commander is the smallest I want in a 1911 format. Due to reliability, shootability, maintainability, capacity, and ballistic effectiveness.

The bobtail is a superb mod... as it reduces printing of the butt and retains full grip area and retains use of full size magazines. Personally I can carry and conceal a Commander, especially a bobtailed Commander, about as well as a Defender and the Commander has so much more going for it. Just some thoughts to consider.
 

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I have a Combat Commander and a Wilson Combat CQB Compact (Officer-size grip; 4.1 inch barrel). I find the Commander with the longer grip and longer sight radius much easier to shoot than the CQB. Additionally, I do not find that the slightly shorter grip and slightly shorter barrel of the CQB Compact makes it much easier to carry, and both pistols weigh about the same (about a ton). If the CQB Compact were substanitally lighter, I might carry it more, but I almost exclusively carry the Commander or a Government model. I believe that the Commander-size pistol is the best 1911 platform for concealed carry, and in the event that I needed to use a pistol in a defensive situation, which is the purpose of carrying (it is not a hobby), I would much rather defend myself with a Commander than with a Defender (both functioning properly, etc.).
 

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I own numerous Government Models, several Commanders, 2 CCO's and 1 OACP and I have carried them all. When it comes to carry concealability there really isn't much difference. Especially in warm weather. 1 1/2" to 3/4" off one end or the other just doesn't seem to matter under a tee shirt or a golf shirt they all are not very concealable. If you carry on camping trips maybe a fanny pack would be an option to explore. I have tried an OACP in an ankle holster under jeans and that works, but not for hiking. It is a problem that has concerned many since the CCW laws in most states require the gun be "concealed". Heaven knows a .45 that could be seen would upset many people. (except in Wyoming)
 

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Only you can really know what you need, but, in my opinion -

Hold what ya got. I find my full size 1911's very concealable, even under a mere untucked t-shirt. Though I'm sure they can be very shootable and reliable, I wouldn't buy an Ociffer size 1911. They use a different mag, and, since my full size guns conceal well for me, I'd prefer to have all my 1911's share the same magazine pool. Not one for the "tea cup" grip idea, I also wouldn't care for a bobbed grip. They feel funny to me, and offer no concealment advantage to 6', 230lb feller.

Anyway, what's the rationale for this heightened concern with concealment on a camping trip? I'd probably be more concerned with having a corrosion resistant finish, for which your stainless pistol is already set. My instinct is that you just want another pistol, and my offered solution is that you go out and get yourself one, and be happy.
 

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I too have Government, Commander, Defender Plus(bobtailed) as well as Detonics. A big advantage of the Defender for me is that it will fit a little manpurse that I sometimes carry, and will also fit in the underseat pocket of my car which the Commander and Govt sizes will not. Light weight is the other big advantage for carry. Shooting- that's another matter...
 

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I have a bunch of Gov't model's and one Commander. After shooting and carrying the Commander this afternoon, I think I might do another custom workup on a Series 70 Commander to have a twin for my current one: easily concealable, accurate, just seems to be the "right size". That being said, I don't find a full-size 1911 all that hard to conceal.
 

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I'm going to stick with the Defender to carry over my Commander. I don't see the velocity loss as much of an issue at the close range I would expect to be likely in a personal defense scenario. YMMV :D
 
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