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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm struggling to understand the difference between these two pistols, beyond the obvious weight. If I understand it correctly and I may not, the original Commander was the light weight. made of aluminum to some degree.

Later, the gun was introduced in steel and the original renamed light weight.

I'm curious as to why they felt the need to later make the gun in steel? On the surface, it would seem that they might have gone a little backwards or defeated some of the original purpose - smaller, lighter gun.

It strikes me as kind of peculiar. I might wonder if the aluminum gun had some problems that they were trying to fix, but they sure keep making the light weight. Kind of rules that out, to me.

I guess I'm trying to understand the story or the thought process.

Thanks.
 

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Original Commander is lightweight

the Steel one is Combat Commander

why make a steel one because the people wanted one .. i prefer a steel one vs a lightweight
 

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Aluminum frames have been around for decades, they are still being made and sold and as far as I know there is no "rush" of people having problems with them. To me it DOES depend on the use. I have owned both and if it's for carrying a full size government/commander frame I think the lightweight is much better and hard to beat. For example the colt lwt xse is 26 oz and the steel version is around 35 oz so that's a pretty good difference. When I had both I never carried the steel frame's but then I also tend to not wear a belt so it's more of the weight on my clothing (pulling my pants down) than being too heavy to carry. Most people that have lightweights use them for carry and they are not heavy duty range guns, but even there I don't know of any widespread problems with aluminum frames. Look at sig, they use aluminum frames in their guns and they are top of the line in quality and service life. If you are getting one it for just range shooting there is no reason to go aluminum, but If you are getting it for carry then lightweight is hard to beat. The normal person won't have any problems with it anyway and I wouldn't worry about the frame not holding up, as some are, unless you plan on using it for VERY heavy range use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Gawd!!! I didn't know it weighed that much less! You're right pistolero. There are a world of hi quality guns made of aluminum.

I think the sales / marketing piece is lost on me. "Thank you Colt for making the smaller, lighter 1911 that we asked for - now make it heavier.":wink:
 

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Yep, pretty big difference. For some reason the colt xse lightweight weighs less than the other guy's lwt cdr's.

If you send the frame (at least) off to mahovsky's (after you bob botail it) for hard chroming the surface is boosted to something lile 85 rockwell so that it's tougher than steel, still light and you can polish the ramp to a high sheen without worrying about polishing off the anodizing.

Man, I'm sure talking myself into another lwt xse.
 

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only reason i prefer steel is i shoot a ton if its my carry gun i shoot it every chance i can ..

at my weight i dont notice then 10 more OZ
 

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I don't notice the weight but not using a belt the steel frames pull my pants down several inches lower on that side and aluminum frames (even the sigs which are in the same weight range with the lwt colt) has no effect. I wear warm up and sweat pants all the time in the winter and shorts in the summer (us retired guys like to be comfy) and would much rather carry a gun to fit my clothing than dress uncomfortable for a heavier gun. On the rare occasions I have on jeans and a belt I usually give my steel guns a chance out. Using a clip in holster with no belt shorts those 9 ounces make the difference between being comfortable or always pulling the pants up on that side though.

I like to shoot but I will never put enough rounds any one gun I own to worry about wearing out a frame, aluminum or otherwise. That's just me. I'm not a 100,000 rounds through any gun person. I have every confidence that when I go the guns I have will be going strong and the daughter will sell them and go throught the money in a few days as planned.
 

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Ya need a Belt Jerry otherwise youll look like one of them Gangbangers
 

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You got that right, guess I need to practice holding my gun sideways. When it gets to a certain point there's no stopping them from hitting the floor. I do have some suspenders I use sometimes, but the steel ones still make my pants swing low on that side. I have been carrying my sig p220 a lot, I prefer the thinness of a 1911.

I guess I could just get a shoulder holster and eliminate the problem.

This is not the proper place but we are already off topic, but the sticky of the colt barrels. They really did something with those. The have become one of the most dependable out of the box because of them and I am suprised everyone is not doing it. Now if they would just pay more attention to the cosmetics.
 

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I agree Jerry and get rid of that Damn Duckbutt
 

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Hey, the old lady likes my butt....oh. The colt one. I agree, replacing that is a given.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks guys. Learned a lot. I always consider it a victory if I survive any thread with Bud, without having a few teeth knocked out.:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Bud, I never knew, till you just said it, that the steel one is a Combat Commander. Heard of that name before, but had no idea what it applied to.
 

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yep combat is the steelie
 

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You really want to stay away from Alloy frames nothing like cold steel in your hands.Some nice 4130 metal with last a lifetime , alloy will only last a few thousand rounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
There's a lot to be said for Bud's comment about shooting the gun you carry a lot. There's a ton of practical sense in that.
 

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You really want to stay away from Alloy frames nothing like cold steel in your hands.Some nice 4130 metal with last a lifetime , alloy will only last a few thousand rounds.
That is not even close Vic, a few thousand rounds. Maybe you can post links to people that have had alloy frames go out in a few thousand rounds? Don't you own alloy sig p series frames and do you really think they are going to only last a few thousand rounds? Why did you get them then? If that were true there would be no used, cpo or police trade in p series sigs at all. Maybe 50-100,000 rounds, but a few thousand. No way. Plastic framed guns like glocks last what, a few hundred rounds?

Bill, go to one of the 1911 fourms that have been around for 13-14 years and ask how many have worn out an alloy frame and see how many have worn out an alloy frame even shooting it regular. It's rare. I think people should get what you want, but a few thousand rounds is not even close.
 

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That is not even close Vic, a few thousand rounds. Maybe you can post links to people that have had alloy frames go out in a few thousand rounds? Don't you own alloy sig p series frames and do you really think they are going to only last a few thousand rounds? Why did you get them then? If that were true there would be no used, cpo or police trade in p series sigs at all. Maybe 50-100,000 rounds, but a few thousand. No way. Plastic framed guns like glocks last what, a few hundred rounds?

Bill, go to one of the 1911 fourms that have been around for 13-14 years and ask how many have worn out an alloy frame and see how many have worn out an alloy frame even shooting it regular. It's rare. I think people should get what you want, but a few thousand rounds is not even close.
I have heard this debate many times on various gun forums, but never the data to back it up.
Kinda like that cast vs. forged argument.
I am seriously looking at the Commander XSE LT myself.
 

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I read in a gun catalog several years ago that Colt introduced the Combat Commander as a result of the heat they were taking pertaining to the rapid/excessive wear on the alloy frames. I can understand that since metalurgy then obvious wasn't what it is now. There are in fact many good alloy frame guns out there now, and for carry to moderate range use, I wouldn't hesitate to buy one because of the fear of it wearing out. I don't own an alloy gun at this time, but that's just because I shoot all of mine a lot and I just like the feel of a steel frame pistol.. FWIW, Kimber claims 20K rounds on the alloy frame with no measurable wear, but then 20k isn't a lot of rounds for a competition/range gun.

I also have a shooting buddy who owns an alloy frame Kimber Compactand the slide lock notch on the frame did wear to the point where the slide would not lock back on it's own. But, in all fairness, it had many, many rounds through it many more than Kimber's advertised 20K, and I think he used the slide release almost exclusively instead of the slingshot method.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I truly don't know. My guess and that's all I have, is that if the frames were cracking on Colt's, they'd have replaced the gun with steel and been done with it.

They continue to make both. I do see a lot of aluminum guns that are known for taking a beating and having long lives.

To me, it would make more sense that the steel was introduced for other reasons - maybe something like recoil. Interesting subject.

I f I knew the answer, I'd make Bud pay me "the big money.":biggrin:
 
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