Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The Colt Commander, on duty.

So, given that the S+W has gone back to the factory, I know everyone is just salivating to find out what has replaced it in carry duty.

You were, weren't you? You in the back maybe?............


HUumph... I don't care. I have a case of verbal leakage, so here goes....

Since the 9mm Smith is off getting it's 'issues' repaired by the home team, my old Colt Commander has been brought out of retirement. This .45 auto has been in the stable for decades, and left carry service only because of weight and concealment issues.

While it carries nicely in a Galco Miami shoulder rig, it's not often I wear a jacket constantly. Even in the dead of winter I often just have on a flannel shirt. I have a Galco belt slide that carries the Colt perfectly as well, but the target sight digs a bit.

Dig.... as in draws blood if I bend wrong.

Now that my main carry method is this Maxpedition Fat boy shoulder bag, all of my problems with carrying the Commander are gone.

I should have done this ages ago...... the Colt really is a quality piece of work.

I got in some range time today... it se
emed to be needed. Since I am carrying the colt in a new venue, I wanted to practice draw and fire techniques.

I shoot at 4"x6" index cards. That's about the target size I think I should be able to hit reliably. Reliably, to me, means 100% hits at seven yards with double taps, on a draw, and 80% at fifteen yards under the same conditions.
Let me clarify that.... at fifteen yards, 100% of the double taps result in a hit with 80% of the shots hitting the target. I'm working on 100/100%, and it's coming along.

Standing position, weapon in the bag at my side. Colt in Condition two, cocked and locked, standard carry for a 1911 style pistol. Eyes on target, unzip bag, draw to stance, safety off, align sights, fire, aim, fire, sweep targets, safety on, re-holster, re-zip the bag.

One hundred rounds of full house, two rounds at a time. Two magazines at a time. Swap targets every few magazines. Slow, deliberate, practice.

Smooth is fast.... smooth is fast....... smooth is fast.................

This Colt really is a trooper, no pun intended. It's the most reliable pistol I have ever owned, although it wasn't always that way.

When I bought it many years ago, blue and badly used, it had been butchered internally. The springs were booger
ed and the grip safety was inoperative. The sear would catch about 90% of the time and it cycled badly.

I re-sprung the pistol, replaced the trigger, and polished the works. It also got a hand fitted barrel bushing, a full length guide rod, and a buffer. This brought it to 100% reliability. Some years later, I swapped a rifle (Marlin 336) for the nickel plate work and the milling of the slide. At that time is also got the target sights and an internal retrofit back to series 70 clockwork.

Since then it's had over 5,000 rounds through it with the original buffer still in place and in good shape. Over all those years, I can't recall misfire or failure to feed that wasn't caused by my own hand loading experimentation. Even those can be counted on one hand.

Shooting the old Colt today, I am starting to think the switch to the S+W 9mm was a mistake. There's just something speci
al about a pistol that shoots straight and works every single time like it's meant to.


Anonymous said...

If you don't mind me asking, what kind of grips are those?

I don't believe Ive ever seen a set like that.

Who is..... Carteach0? said...

They are from Tucson Custom Grips. I don't think they are in business anymore.

That's one question I always get about this colt.... the grips.

These are much better to hold than to look at, and they don't look bad.
It feels like a part of your hand, especially for someone with big hands, like me.

True story.... Years ago I handed this pistol to a buddy who wasn't a shooter. He had never fired a pistol in his life. As he handled it and I explained some of the details, he seemed kind of interested. After a while I asked for it back... and he didn't want to let go! He said it just felt really good, and wanted to buy it rather than return it.

Anonymous said...

Regarding the grips, look here, Altamont Ultima Grips. They look identical to my eyes.

Who is..... Carteach0? said...


Excellent! I have bookmarked the site. They do indeed look to be identical.

Thank you.