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The steel framed commander weighs about 6 more ounces than the aluminum one. Anyone carried both and have an opinion on how big a difference the weight makes over a period of hours?

I really wanted my next 1911 to be an STI lightweight commander, but they don't make an aluminum framed gun. The next choice would be a Kimber, but I really want an STI.

Any opinions? I also plan on shooting this gun a lot.

Thanks,

Crabo
 

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I have owned a number of 1911's over the last five years. Some of these have been Full Sized some Commander length. Most have been steel but I have owned a Colt LW Commander and a S&W 1911 SC. While I never experienced a problem with either of these guns I have seen several with broken frames and this prompted me to remove them from my collection. Steel guns are just more durable and this is an important consideration if you plan on shooting the gun a great deal. However if you are set on a LW model I would encourage you to add the scandium framed S&W commander to your list for consideration. It has only been available since 2004 but scandium is purported to be stronger than steel but lighter than aluminum. Plus S&W has done a great job with thier 1911 platform.
 

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carbo: I will agree with Blackhawk83 on his recommendation for a S&W 1911 SC (the Scandium frame) but my experiences with aluminum framed Commanders is different.

I have owned an aluminum framed Commander for over 35 years. It served with me in S.E. Asia and in South America. It saw lots of use, both in active combat and clandestine roles. It has probably over 10k rounds through it and most are/were mil-spec ball and mil-spec level or better handloads. The only problem I have had is with the safety plunger tube coming loose (a Vietnam field repair withoput the proper tools lasted only 30 or so years before needing replacement and re-staking. There has never been a problem with the frame. I have also spoken with a couple of fellas at the Ed Clarke's shop who have used the aluminum frame 1911s for possibly 100k match rounds and they have held up just fine.

I had thought about replacing that old lightweight and had reviewed both the Kimber and S&W line, settling on the S&W as it is built like the original 1911s and will take aftermarket parts. The Kimber has a bull barrel and no bushing while the S&W does - neither is any more accurate than the other and the S&W parts can be replaced with aftermarket parts if desired. HTH. Mikey.
 

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I have owned and carried both colts comander models, the lightweight model was my favorite to carry on a daily basis concelled, both shot about the same a little more snap with the light weight however its the price you pay for a little less weight, I have found that weight is one of the main reasons I DONT carry a particular handgun over anything else, if its uncomfortable it seems to stay in the safe. JIM
 

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This is a real old thread, but I'm pretty new here and have some experience with the Commander. For eight of my ten years as a Marine officer I carried a Commander (only aluminum-framed back then), leaving the issue 1911A1 in the armory. I qualified with it most of those years (when the command didn't object) and shot many thousand rounds of service ball and handloads during the time I owned it. No problems encountered and I always qualified Expert. I don't remember it even stove-piping or failing to feed. The Commander is the only auto I've ever owned that I wish I still had.

The specific reason I bought the Commander was to save weight. The average Marine back then carried 65 pounds, plus weapons. The average Combat Arms officer carried just a bit more. Every little bit helped.

(I just remembered why I traded it off. I sold it to raise funds for a LaFrance Nova. Some old-timers may remember that tiny 9mm from around 1980.)

-Don
 

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alloy commanders are my favorite carry guns. Ive had a few of them. My current one and my main carry gun is a kimber. It even has the dreaded external extractor. This gun has been totaly reliable and accurate for over 20000 rounds. the frame shows absoultely no wear and the gun is as tight as new. It has never had a malfuntion due to anything other then some iffy handloads i fed it. Id trust my life to it and i do on a regular basis. I think most of the alloy frame problems came from some iffy colt frames that were made in the early days. Now everybody that wants to talk like they know guns will jump up and say there junk just to sound like he knows somethng. Theres a couple other bs things id like to lay to rest. One is that a commander is less reliable then a full sized gun. What ive found is that if a gun is put together right and kept halfway clean and oiled either is as reliable as the other. If your maintanance is poor a commander will usually balk first. Another one is kimbers external extactor. Everyone avoids them like the plague. there is nothing wrong with this system. The problem lies in the fact that it is adjusted slightly diffently and some old timers are dogs that dont want to learn a new trick. Get them ajusted right and there a stronger extractor that is less likely to break and are very reliable. If there out of ajustment there no differnt then a internal extractor and your gun isnt going to run. Like was mentioned in the other post those scandium smiths are slick. My buddy has one. The smiths external extractor is an even more rugged unit then the kimber. They weight even less then a alloy commander and his shoots like one of my comp. guns. I keep telling him one day hes going to turn his back and that gun will dissapear!!
 
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