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1911 Government vs. Commander

This is a discussion on 1911 Government vs. Commander within the Handguns forums, part of the Gun Forum category; I currently have a Government model 1911 and would like to have a shorter commander length slide/barrel for ease of carry. I have had mixed ...


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Old May 12th, 2009, 12:28 PM   #1
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Question 1911 Government vs. Commander

I currently have a Government model 1911 and would like to have a shorter commander length slide/barrel for ease of carry. I have had mixed information regarding whether this is possible or not.

One person said the Commander assembly can be switched out and will work on my frame with no problems. I talked with Caspian today about ordering a slide, and he said that the receiver rails on my frame need to be shortened by 0.084" for the shell to eject reliably.

First of all, does anyone have the two length slide assemblies and switch them on their pistols? Secondly, can someone measure the length of the slide rails on their commander frame for me to compare to my frame?

I would really like for this to work, but don't want to drop the $$$ if it won't. TIA, Jim.

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Old May 12th, 2009, 03:08 PM   #2
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Frame rails on my Gold Cup - 3.530"
Frame rails on my Commander - 3.440"

This is why Commanders use an extended ejector.

The other problem is the spring/dust cover on the slide.
Back of the slide to the back of dust cover is

GM/GC - 5.770"
Comm - 5.450"

Some brands did take the 3/4" off the front of the slide with no other changes and will interchange. I know AMT did this. Not sure who else.

I'll take and post some pics later.


Last edited by M14E2; May 12th, 2009 at 03:27 PM.
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Old May 12th, 2009, 05:43 PM   #3
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Cool Brtvll3

I'm a 1911 armorer and I've been asked before about this . About the best answer I can give is that it "depends'. It depends on what make, and sometime series (i.e. Colt) on whether or not it will work and most importantly ,work reliably.
You can order 1 frame ,2 slides through some manufacturers,such as Caspian or SVI, but they need to know what you intend before hand. It's been my experience that this has been done but not without issues with some of the less expensive makes. I have seen a Caspian that worked well in this configuration but again it was much more expensive than the others because of the work that went into it. IMO I would not recommend it for a "carry" weapon. Good Luck

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Old May 12th, 2009, 08:01 PM   #4
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Below are pictures of my latest 1911 Commander build. It started with a Caspian government size frame and government size slide. At the time these photos were taken the proper front sight was on order. Took alot of work to get this gun to this point and is definitly not for the faint of heart. The barrel is a Schumann hybrid that is commander length. The slide is cut down to commander length and the recoil spring plug is a custom fabricated part. This 1911 is in 40 S&W and it would have been a lot easier to start with commander size parts. Would take more space and time to list all the work that had to be done to get this combination to work. Only reason to go this route is due to having these parts on hand.

My experience is you may have a lot on your plate if you want to convert a government to a commander.

Danny Cooke



[IMG][/IMG]

[IMG][/IMG]

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[IMG][/IMG]

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Old May 12th, 2009, 08:07 PM   #5
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I have dropped Colt Commander slides onto Colt and Springfield Armory frames with no issues, several times over the years.

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Old May 12th, 2009, 08:37 PM   #6
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commander

Danny, Very nice commander.

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Old May 12th, 2009, 09:29 PM   #7
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One of the problems with switching commander slides to government frames is the chin length on the slide. The chin is the part of the slide that the recoil spring and recoil spring plug fit into. The end of the chin on the commander slide is about .090 further back and that is the reason the frame rails should be .090 shorter. This is also the reason you "may" run into problems with poor ejection of the fired brass case with a commander slide on a government frame.

On the Caspian I posted pictures of the opposite is true. After you trim the government slide to commander length the chin length is .090 shorter than a commander slide and you end up with recoil spring bind. The fix for that was to make a custom reverse recoil spring plug that takes into account the .090.

As mentioned by others sometimes it works ok and some times it doesnt and adjustments have to be made.

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Old May 12th, 2009, 10:10 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1563621 View Post
Danny, Very nice commander.
Thanks, lots of work went in to it.

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Old May 13th, 2009, 03:32 AM   #9
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Thanks

I appreciate all the info. My pistol started out as a builder's kit from Sarco and an inexpensive frame that my brother got in a trade. It turned out to be fun to build and I've been slowly upgrading parts over the past two years. I was hoping to be able to convert this to an inexpensive carry gun but it doesn't look like that gunna be the case. Looks like I'll have to build another one .

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Old May 13th, 2009, 04:46 AM   #10
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Having Both styles, I don't see the shorter being that much more convenient if any to carry.

Seems like the grip area is the part thats tough to conceal & both are the same.

Sarco's kits are a mixed bag so I try to avoid their kits.

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Old May 14th, 2009, 11:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anarchist View Post
Having Both styles, I don't see the shorter being that much more convenient if any to carry.

Seems like the grip area is the part thats tough to conceal & both are the same.

Sarco's kits are a mixed bag so I try to avoid their kits.
Agree 100%

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Old July 15th, 2009, 02:49 PM   #12
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new agent / defender

go ahead and get a defender.

everything you love about 1911 and 3" barrel.

lightweight frame....

tedbiv

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