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OH1911SM
16th October 2009, 20:54
I am thinking of purchasing a Colt 1991A1 Commander. I currently own a Colt Defender. My question is would the slide/barrel assembly of the Commander fit the frame of the Defender without any gunsmithing?

My goal is to create CCO / Commanding Officers pistols...I think I read somewhere that with Series 70 pistols the swap between a Commander and an Officers Model could be made with no smithing...if this is true, was wondering if the same could be done as described above?

Any guidance would be greatly appreciated, and while I am no stranger to 1911 pistols, I am no expert on the inner workings as some seem to be, so if this is a dumb question please excuse me. :o

Hawkmoon
16th October 2009, 22:19
"Probably"

I have put a Mark IV Commander top end onto an M1991A1 Compact receiver. I lucked out -- the rail dimensions were nearly identical and the Commander slide went onto the Compact frame like it was a gunsmith fit.

OH1911SM
17th October 2009, 12:29
Thanks,

When the money is right, I will make the purchase reguardless...just didn't want to try something unsafe! :nono:

smokey
17th October 2009, 16:35
OH1911SM, you cannot put the Commander slide on the Defender bottom. The dust cover[the forward extention of the frame] is too short. You need an officers model frame to do a CCO.Sorry but I also thought of that when I couldn't find a Lightweight Officers frame to do another for myself.Regards, Nick

smokey
17th October 2009, 18:03
OH1911SM, Let me add,after reviewing the entire thread,I am not contradicting Hawkmoon.I don't have,nor have I ever had,a 1991A1 Compact receiver. I do have two MKIV series 80 Commander top ends languishing in my "warbag" awaiting frames to grace. I also have ,in my hand, a Defender. Mating the two leaves about an 1/4 inch gap of exposed recoil spring.Let me also say you can "mix and match" series 70 and 80 tops and bottoms but you may/will need to remove the series 80 parts and replace them with "spacer parts" sold by Brownells.[sorry I don't have the catalog here in front of me]Best of luck in your quest, Nick

Hawkmoon
17th October 2009, 21:18
My bad. Not having a Defender, I was not aware that the dust cover on the Defender is shorter than that on the Officers/Compact. I believed that they used the same size frame.

OH1911SM
18th October 2009, 14:10
Thanks to both of you for the info...I guess this just means the project waits, and I will have to buy another pistol to make the swap...oh darn!

Ric4509
18th October 2009, 15:17
The Defender's dust cover has the same length as that of a Colt Commander and compact 1991 or Officers. Only the grips length is shorter. Hence, a commander's slide will fit on a Defender or Officers frame and the recoil spring will not be visible. I have tried that and it works.

Hawkmoon
18th October 2009, 18:08
The Defender's dust cover has the same length as that of a Colt Commander and compact 1991 or Officers. Only the grips length is shorter. Hence, a commander's slide will fit on a Defender or Officers frame and the recoil spring will not be visible. I have tried that and it works.
That's what I originally thought. Thanks for the confirmation.

smokey
18th October 2009, 18:21
Ric4509, You need to do some measuring,it ain't gonna work. I'm sitting here with the parts in my hand. You are mistaken and passing incorrect advice to the OP.If OH1911SM wants to trust your post he is going to be UPSET when he finds out you shot from the hip and cost him money.I don't mean to be disagreable but you need to check your facts, 'cause it AIN"T SO. Nick

Rich-D
18th October 2009, 20:06
Here is a link showing Photo's wherein a member mated a Commander Slide on a Defender and a Defender on a Commander frame.

http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=54465&page=3&pp=10&highlight=Commander+Frame+Defender

Ric4509
19th October 2009, 19:05
smokey - yes I am now realizing it ain't so. I stand corrected. My apologies for the wrong information. It was the other way around when I mix match my Defender with my Commander. I used the commander's frame and defender slide. Not the other way around. Yes indeed the Defender's dust cover is shorter than that of an officers/commander. Again, my apologies.

Rich-D
19th October 2009, 20:46
Ric4509, Have you viewed the link I posted, wherein Landman made the slide swap between a Defender and Commander!

smokey
20th October 2009, 04:46
Gee, there must be a special run of Defenders with longer dust covers than mine. I'd also like to find an Officers Mod in .38 super. Didn't know they made one of those either! Hmmmmm. Nick

Ric4509
20th October 2009, 06:38
Ric4509, Have you viewed the link I posted, wherein Landman made the slide swap between a Defender and Commander!

Yes I looked and didn't see a Defender frame on a commander slide.

OH1911SM
20th October 2009, 10:46
Maybe I was not clear on exactly what my intention was or maybe I used the wrong terminology.

What I wanted to do is to put my current Defender slide/barrel assembly onto a 1991A1 Commander frame that I would be purchasing.

The reason is I like the 3" barrel of the Defender, but like the full size grip of the Commander.

I asked because I know it has been done with Commander's and Officer's / Compact models...just didn't know if it would work with the Defender because if I am not mistaken an Officer's model has a 3 1/2" barrel and a Defender has a 3" barrel.

Rich-D
20th October 2009, 11:17
Yes I looked and didn't see a Defender frame on a commander slide.

The photo is encoded as 10&highlight=Commander+Frame+Defender. However, even if it is a Frame from a 3.5" Officers. The 3" Defender utilizes an Officers frame. So Landman's photo show a Commander Slide on an Officer's or Defenders Frame and vice versa.

Hawkmoon
20th October 2009, 16:43
Well we have two people here saying they have tried it. One says it works, one says there is a quarter inch gap. While I am willing to believe that each of you tried it, I have to say that I do not believe that a gap of a quarter of an inch is possible.

I don't have a Defender, but I've been making inquiries. I do have an M1991A1 Compact (Officers ACP). From the center of the slide stop pin to the end of the dust cover on my Compact is 2-5/16". A friend measured his Defender and came up with 2-3/16". That's a difference of 1/8", not 1/4" -- and it would be a gap of 1/8" only if the recoil spring tunnel in the Commander slide doesn't have ANY overlap on an Officers frame. However, I have put a Colt Mark IV Commander slide on the Compact, and the slide does overlap the frame by about 1/16" or so. So the maximum gap I would expect to see would be 1/16", certainly not 1/4".

Since we have two people who have actually done it, and who report conflicting results, and dimensional measurements suggesting yet a third result ... I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that there are probably some dimensional variations between pistols here that have not been taken into account. Smokey, rather than calling Ric4509 a liar when he says he has done it and it worked, it might be more prudent to consider that your truth may not be the only possible truth. You didn't try it with HIS parts, and he didn't try it with YOUR parts. It is dangerous to label someone a liar or "mistaken" if you have no first-hand knowledge of what they are reporting.

At this point, it rather appears that instead of saying it will "probably" work, my response should have been "It might work." It just may be that there is only one way to be certain, and that's to try it. Each pair of parts may match up differently.

Hawkmoon
20th October 2009, 20:34
Maybe I was not clear on exactly what my intention was or maybe I used the wrong terminology.

What I wanted to do is to put my current Defender slide/barrel assembly onto a 1991A1 Commander frame that I would be purchasing.
That is exactly the opposite of what you asked, and what we have all been trying to answer. You asked:


My question is would the slide/barrel assembly of the Commander fit the frame of the Defender without any gunsmithing?

My goal is to create CCO / Commanding Officers pistols...

OH1911SM
21st October 2009, 10:31
I am thinking of purchasing a Colt 1991A1 Commander. I currently own a Colt Defender. My question is would the slide/barrel assembly of the Commander fit the frame of the Defender without any gunsmithing?


Maybe I was not clear on exactly what my intention was or maybe I used the wrong terminology. What I wanted to do is to put my current Defender slide/barrel assembly onto a 1991A1 Commander frame that I would be purchasing.

I realize now that I am to blame for all this confusion...I humbly apologize!

I essence I was asking both...Hopefully this may be a simpler way to say what I mean.

If I had both a Colt Defender and a 1991A1 Commander, could I put the top end of one on the other's frame. 1. Defender slide on Commander Frame and 2. Commander slide on Defender frame; in essence creating two pistols.

I again apologize for the confusion, my intent was not to cause problems between forum members. Again, my fault. :o :o :o