Colt Commander

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Colt Commander
Flickr - ~Steve Z~ - Colt Combat Commander MKIV .45 ACP.jpg
A MK IV .45 ACP Colt Combat Commander.
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin  United States
Production history
Variants
  • Lightweight Commander
  • Combat Commander
  • Commander Gold Cup Colt
  • Combat Elite
  • Concealed Carry Officer's pistol
Specifications
Barrel length
  • 4.25 in (108 mm)

Cartridge
Action Short recoil operation
Feed system

magazine

  • 7 round or 8 round (.45 ACP)
  • 9-round (9 mm, .38 Super)

The Colt Commander is a single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, and recoil-operated handgun based on the John M. Browning designed M1911. It was the first mass-produced pistol with an aluminium alloy frame and the first Colt pistol to be chambered in 9mm Parabellum.[1]

Colt made several variations of the Commander and offered it in .45 ACP and .38 Super chamberings. Other variants followed with different degrees of factory accurizing and materials.

History[edit]

The pistol that would eventually be named the Colt Commander was Colt's Manufacturing Company's candidate in a U.S. government post-World War II trial to find a lighter replacement for the M1911 pistol that would be issued to officers. Requirements were issued in 1949 that the pistol had to be chambered for 9 mm Parabellum and could not exceed 7 inches in length or weigh more than 25 ounces.[2]

Candidates included Browning Hi-Power variants by Canada's Inglis and Belgium's Fabrique Nationale, and Smith & Wesson's S&W Model 39. Colt entered a modified version of their M1911 pistol that was chambered for 9 mm Parabellum, had an aluminum alloy frame, a short 4.25-inch barrel, and a 9-round magazine. In 1950, Colt moved their candidate into regular production. It was the first aluminum-framed large frame pistol in major production and the first Colt pistol to be originally chambered in 9 mm Parabellum. The first year's production included 45 ACP and 38 Super chamberings.[2]

In 1970, Colt introduced the all-steel "Colt Combat Commander", with an optional model in satin nickel. To differentiate between the two models, the aluminum-framed model was renamed the "Lightweight Commander".[2]

Variants[edit]

The "Colt Commander Gold Cup" was designed to offer competition-ready out-of-the-box performance in National Match competition. It came with one 8-round magazine plus a separate recoil spring and one 7-round magazine for wadcutter ammunition.[3]

The "Colt Combat Elite" was specialized for combat-style match shooters. The .45 ACP model comes with two 8-round magazines and the .38 Super model with two 9-round magazines.

The "C.C.O." or "Concealed Carry Officer's" pistol mated the slide and barrel assembly of the stainless-steel Commander with the shorter frame of the blued Lightweight Officer's ACP.

The XSE variation of the Colt Combat Commander

Statistics[edit]

Colt Commander (1950-1969); Lightweight Commander (1970+)[edit]

  • Chambering: 9x19 mm Parabellum, .45 ACP, .38 Super.
  • Barrel Length: 4.25-inch.
  • Overall Length: 7.75-inch.
  • Weight: 27 oz. / 1.68 lb. (0.76 kg.)
  • Magazine: Single column box magazine. 7-round (.45 ACP), 9-round (9 mm, .38 Super).
  • Finish: Blued Steel.
  • Features: Aluminum Coltalloy (tm) frame.

Colt Combat Commander (1970+)[edit]

  • Chambering: 9x19 mm Parabellum, .45 ACP, .38 Super.
  • Barrel Length: 4.25-inch.
  • Overall Length: 7.75-inch.
  • Weight: 36 oz. / 2.25 lb. (1.02 kg.)[Steel model]. 37 oz. / 2.31 lb (1.05 kg.)[Stainless Steel model]
  • Magazine: Single-column box magazine. 7-round, 8-round (.45 ACP), 9-round (9 mm, .38 Super).
  • Finish: Available in Blued and Nickel-Plated steel or Stainless Steel.
  • Features: All-steel construction (frame and slide).

Colt Commander Gold Cup National Match[edit]

  • Action: Single Action
  • Chambering: .45 ACP or .38 Super.
  • Barrel Length: 5 Inches
  • Overall Length: 8.5 Inches
  • Weight: 36 oz. / 2.25 lb. (1.02 kg.)[Steel model]. 37 oz. / 2.31 lb (1.05 kg.)[Stainless Steel model]
  • Magazine: Single-column box magazine. 8-round (.45 ACP), 9-round (9 mm, .38 Super).
  • Finish: Blued steel and Matte or Bright Stainless steel.
  • Features: Undercut front and Colt Fully Adjustable Elliason rear sights; one-piece wraparound Checkered Rubber Composite grips.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ayoob, Massad (2007). The Gun Digest Book of Combat Handgunnery. Gun Digest Books. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-89689-525-6. 
  2. ^ a b c Ayoob, Massad (2010). Massad Ayoob's Greatest Handguns of the World. Gun Digest Books. pp. 33–44. ISBN 978-1-4402-0825-6. 
  3. ^ Malloy, John (2011). "The Colt 1911: The First Century". In Dan Shiedler. Gun Digest 2011. Krause. pp. 108–117. ISBN 978-1-4402-1337-3. 

External links[edit]