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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/23/2005 9:41:57 AM EDT
Hi all . . . is it OK to talk about guns here?

A couple of months ago I received a 1973 nickel Combat Commander in trade for an AK that I had built. It's in pretty good shape, but I was told from the beginning that it needed a new extractor. I shot it at the local range a couple of times, but never really took a liking to the pistol.

Last weekend my Dad and I finished up the range at his house that he built WAY out in the boonies. We have about 100M of clear, flat land that we can blast on to our hearts content. Because it's private we can do just about anything we want as long as it's safe (by our standards ). So Sunday we planned a two man bulletfest free-for-all. My dad needed three handtrucks to get the ammo out at the last gun show, so we figured that it was time to put a bit of a dent in the ammo reserves.

On the way down I rolled through Wally World and grabbed a couple value packs of 230gr .45. I figured that if the gun didn't appeal to me by the time I was done it would be sayanora . . . the little guy would go to the EE. I don't keep safe queens . . . a man with two kids and a stay at home wife can't afford to. As a rabid XD fan I just couldn't see carrying around that much dead weight in steel just to launch 8 mingy .45 rounds. The beavertail hurts like hell and the old Pachmeyer wraparounds just flat out sucked. The little teny itsy bitsy NICKELED sights didn't contribute to my love for the damn thing either I mean really . . . who in the hell could possibly think that nickeled sights were a good idea? I've always felt that the 1911 disciples were a little weird anyway. But, I dropped the pistol into my shooting bag.

I brought 5 different AK's, my CETME (awesome rifle BTW), my MN M38 , my Armalite M15A2C, my XD9, and the Commander. My dad brought his M-14, the Garand (my favorite thing that I will inherit), and the rest of the Barlow arsenal.

We had been shooting for a couple of hours in the 98 degree plus heat when I figured it was time to break out the Commander. What a fateful decision that was to be . . .

When I shoot I generally could give a rat's ass about "group size". I usually try to shoot to the "Marchinko Standard" . . . can you reliably hit a 3x5" index card EVERY TIME you pull the trigger? If you can get a round into any part of the card, I call it a hit. I figure that if you can do that with a pistol you have all the skill that you reasonably need.

I was doing quick double taps at about 15 yards with my beloved XD9 when I switched over to the Commander. I dropped in a mag of all American .45 ACP goodness, racked the slide, and carefully lined up the sights. Safety - front sight - press - BANG! I hit the card. Hmmm . . . now that I was paying attention, I found that the recoil impulse of the .45 was actualy a bit more manageble than the 9mm (which was a serious surprise). A couple of mags later I noticed that dad was doing quick double taps from the holster. I'm pretty decent with my XD . . . I can go a pretty much full speed and get good card hits about to about 20 yards - after that I have to slow down a bit. So I figured I would try the same with the Commander.

I reloaded the mag, dropped the Commander into the Kydex holster for my XD, and walked up to the 20 yard line. I figured that i would be a smart ass and just go full out - full speed just so see what would happen.

Grasp - eyes on target - find front sight - drop safety - press - BANG! - - - - A perfect hit perfectly centered in the card. I did it again - perfect hit. I tried double taps from the holster - BANG! BANG! - - again, almost perfect. I was staring at the gun in disbelief. I was shooting better with this little bastard than with my XD that I have shot thousands of rounds through. I have smoothed the XD, cared for the XD, practiced sight pictures with the XD, dry fired the hell out of the XD, kissed the XD, slept with the XD, etc . . . and this little Colt from 1973 was kicking it's ass.

Finally I realized that the grip angle, the diameter of the grip, the axis of the bore, and the recoil impulse generated by the Commander are simply perfect for instinctive, fast shooting. In fact, the less that I pay attention to the gun and target and just focus my self on a little bit of steel in the front sight the better I shot. By the end of the day I was shooting the Commander far faster and more accurately than I ever have shot ANY combat handgun. I had a couple of failures to eject due to the extractor (a known problem) but no other problems other than a torn up hand from the Tourqemada designed stock Colt beavertail (whick will be replaced soon).

I have drank the kool-aid and strapped on the tin-foil hat with duct tape. I'm now a 1911 man, like God and John Moses Browning intended me to be. After I get the extractor and beavertail replaced and the gun certified with decent hollowpoints, the XD will stay at home with the wife. I won't ditch my polymer guns, but my Colt Combat Commander is simple a work of art in steel. Perhaps some King-Tappan fixed sights as an icing on the cake . . . and hard-chrome . . . and stippling . . . yup I've got the bug bad now.

There are many like it, but this one is MINE!

Link Posted: 8/23/2005 10:06:42 AM EDT
It has been said many times before- "Worthless without pics"
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 10:51:26 AM EDT
1911's are an intersting thing . You mostly have to mess around to get a grip,trigger,and decent sights. You might have to mess around to get the function as it should be. You can avoid all this by spending great ammounts of hard earned $ for a top line or semi custom gun . The darn things just plain work !
Go to most any plate shoot ,IPSIC,or other speed type shoot and you will see the 1911 very well represented. I really like my Glock for certain tasks but the 1911 is the real deal! I have found that if I really work at it (lots of practice) I can shoot the little officers model just as well as my full size. I never got my comander set up so it felt like it was in the running but I guess I never tried to hard as my full size and officers model work so well for me .
Funny you should talk about Nickel sights. 30 years ago my only pistol was a Ruger .357 Blackhawk .I walked into a local gunstore and fell in love with a Combat Comander (all steel) in electroless nickel which was a semi custom finish from the colt custom shop . About half way through my first box of ammo I realized the sights sucked . About then the front sight flew through the air and dissapered . I trucked back to the gunstore and while the guy was stakeing on a new front sight I had him swap out the rear one also .
I don't recall what they were (Milliet ?) but they way ahead of the crappy factory ones . I used to take the sight black to the whole top off the gun for matches before I bought a full size .
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:02:33 AM EDT
You are hooked my friend. Welcome to the madness. Your other pistols will be on the EE soon. Discovering a great 1911 is like discovering sex it will only get better.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:06:56 AM EDT

Heartwarming, touching story.

I'm not crying - I swear.

There's something in my eye.

Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:10:03 AM EDT
I always thought 1911s sucked, til I shot one, then I became a believer as I can shoot a 1911 better than any other handgun. Used to have a bunch of Glocks, Sigs and HK's, most of those are gone and have replaced with 1911's.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:14:52 AM EDT
1911's are the best, IMO. They fit, point and shoot exceptionally well...especially my Kimber. Superb handguns.

Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:19:18 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:20:05 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:27:01 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:29:36 AM EDT
Yep. The first 1911 I shot I was hooked forever. Glad to hear about your epiphany and subsequent conversion.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:57:46 AM EDT
Oh yeah! Another one brought into the fold.
My first gun was a Colt combat commander, blued of course. I ended up selling it but I have kicked myself ever since. Still the finest gun made.
Wait until you decide to build one. (hint: save up for it cause it will cost you plenty)
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:15:06 PM EDT
Not in the fold, but I can see how it happens.

I have always been a beretta man, but after shooting a friend's 3 year old Kimber ultra carry, and hitting everything that I aimed at....
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:17:28 PM EDT

Jeff Cooper can carry any pistol in the world and he chose the Commander back in the ‘60’s if I recall correctly, and has been carrying the same one ever since. I think the only timed he didn’t was when he was overseas in countries that didn’t allow civilians to have .45ACP caliber pistols because it was a military caliber.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:20:03 PM EDT
Welcome to the brotherhood..


Secret instruction will be forthcoming
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:32:33 PM EDT
1911 fever is BAAAAAADDD!!!!

Its been 8 years (next month) since pistols were declared illegal in Britain. I still miss my babies.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:33:46 PM EDT

Another one assimilated.

The first handgun I fired was a full size 1911. I never looked back.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:36:22 PM EDT
Why was this a surprise? The 1911 is the best combat handgun ever devised.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:42:02 PM EDT

Originally Posted By texastactical:
Why was this a surprise? The 1911 is the best combat handgun ever devised.

I'll put a nice, big, fat, red


on that one!
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:45:55 PM EDT
The 1911 and the CZ-75 are the two single greatest automatic pistol designs EVER.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:56:54 PM EDT
But, wait! It gets worse. You need to try a P-35 Browning/hi-power.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 2:25:22 PM EDT

Originally Posted By rjroberts:
But, wait! It gets worse. You need to try a P-35 Browning/hi-power.

LALALALALALALALALAAAA I can't hear you . . .

I have shot a Hi-Power before and I loved it. You are a naughty fellow for reminding me

I probably should throw this into it's own thread, but what do you guys think the best out of the box extractor is? There are a zillion brands . . . any preferencs?

Link Posted: 8/23/2005 2:28:59 PM EDT
Actually fellas, the biggest surprise was the managabilty of the recoil impulse.

The old saying that the .45 is more of a "push" is true. The 9mm "snaps" it a less controllable way for me.

I would love to shoot a .45 GAP XD and compare it to my 9mm. I wonder if the GAP would have better split times?

Link Posted: 8/23/2005 2:47:22 PM EDT
1911 A1. It doesn't get any better.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 2:53:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 2:53:49 PM EDT by chuckhammer]

Link Posted: 8/23/2005 2:56:28 PM EDT
1911's are accurate and fast? well no shit sherlock

I will never understand why people are suprised that 1911's are more accurate and easier to shoot than any other pistol has anyone been paying attention for the last 60 years.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:07:12 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/23/2005 3:08:48 PM EDT by SGB]
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 3:38:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SGB:

Originally Posted By _disconnector_:

I probably should throw this into it's own thread, but what do you guys think the best out of the box extractor is? There are a zillion brands . . . any preferencs?


Cylinder&Slide spring steel

+1, that was the original spec, spring steel. And welcome, AR expenses? BWAHAAAA!!!!! I enjoy buying the old ratty or not so ratty Colts. As long as they have not been dicked with by D-Men, they shoot and shoot ad nausium. I have "turned" several at work to the siren call of a good 1911. Mostly by just letting them shoot mine several times and then letting them go back to their latest wondergun.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 6:16:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By _disconnector_:

I probably should throw this into it's own thread, but what do you guys think the best out of the box extractor is? There are a zillion brands . . . any preferencs?


Wilson Combat "bulletproof"
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 5:46:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SGB:

Originally Posted By _disconnector_:

I probably should throw this into it's own thread, but what do you guys think the best out of the box extractor is? There are a zillion brands . . . any preferencs?


Cylinder&Slide spring steel

I use Wilson Bulletproof extractors in my 1911s but I'd like to say that the Cylinder & Slide trigger/hammer/sear kits are top notch... They are easy to install (might require a little fitting, mine did) but do a great job of slicking up the trigger pull. Highly recommended - those guys at C&S know their stuff.
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