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Author Topic: Colt 1911 Commander bobtail  (Read 5377 times)

johnnyboy83

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Colt 1911 Commander bobtail
« on: May 12, 2011, 10:05:03 PM »
Well, I went to my local Cabela's and was drooling over the Kimber Super Carry 5" with the perfectly round radius-ed bobtail and alloy frame last weekend, so I looked and found the Super Carry plus (3" slide on Commander alloy frame with bobtail) and fell in love....till I saw the $1400 price tag. So I talked to a friend of mine and then went to Midway and ordered an Ed Brown BT MSH and the fitting jig and turned them over Tuesday night along with my Government-turned-Commander test frame. Last night I got my frame back drilled and with a 45* back cut and ready to be hand fitted at home. An hour later this is what I had...






I will have to run some test loads through the gun to verify the new MSH and spring, but all in all it's sweet. I took the chance to have the frame sugarsand-blasted and all the internals detail cleaned and relubed, as well as I hand contoured the frame, housing and even matched my hogue grips to fit. The frame is a tad heavy, but I plan to pick up a Para LTC LW Commander tomorrow and do the same thing to it. I prefer ramped barrels in my alloy guns so it should work well.

With $120, an hours work, and a friend who used to do metal work you can have a complete bob-tail conversion. The pistol feels awesome now and I can't wait for a range day to give it a go.

Kimber can kiss my a**.... both guns will have cost me less than their Super Carry even after rebuilding the Para with my preference in parts.
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booksmart

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Re: Colt 1911 Commander bobtail
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2011, 11:35:26 PM »
I take it you didn't look at the Colt Defender?  :hide

GeorgeHill

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Re: Colt 1911 Commander bobtail
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2011, 11:44:25 PM »
Well done, Sir.  Well done indeed. 

I wonder about doing that to my ATI...  :hmm
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johnnyboy83

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Re: Colt 1911 Commander bobtail
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2011, 11:47:49 PM »
I've never been a fan of officer sized guns (I really prefer a 4" barrel or more) and I'm even less a fan of the newer Colt products. They really just don't impress me, especially at $850+. I think with this latest little undertaking I may have $700 in this pistol. If I include the $50 for the jig, $750. I also like having a full grip on a 1911.

I priced building a comparable Super Carry + myself from Fusion and found it to be about $1100 with my own assembly and no warranty (as they did not build it). This is my test mule pistol so after this dry run, I can do this for any one of my 1911's if I choose.
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johnnyboy83

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Re: Colt 1911 Commander bobtail
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2011, 11:53:23 PM »
Well done, Sir.  Well done indeed. 

I wonder about doing that to my ATI...  :hmm

It is well worth it. The jig is $50 and the Ed Brown MSH comes ASSEMBLED for $65. If you know anyone with a drill press that does drilling be center to center measurements (nearly any basic machine shop) you can do this and hand fit it yourself. Obviously if a pro had done it, it would be a tad smoother, but I spent $125 ($65 from now on) to do it myself as opposed to $175-200 for about an hours work and provide my own MSH plus two way shipping.

 All I had to do was agree to let my friend keep the jig with the provision he cuts all my future bobtails for free.
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booksmart

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Re: Colt 1911 Commander bobtail
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2011, 12:04:18 AM »
Looks good.

Personally speaking, I think I'd prefer the aesthetics of a smoother break into the bobtail, but it looks good.

johnnyboy83

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Re: Colt 1911 Commander bobtail
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2011, 12:17:03 AM »
George,

I thought about getting an ATI or American Classic 4" and bobtailing it, but I think I'll go with the Para for the weight. I like the AMC extended controls and Novak sight cuts though.

I skimmed Steven's article at Hi powers and Handguns on alloy 1911's weaknesses and since I use McCormick 8rnd shooting stars that fit flush with the non captured followers, the Para LTC ramped barrel seems to be a better choice than a traditional frame cast in aluminum.
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johnnyboy83

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Re: Colt 1911 Commander bobtail
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2011, 12:22:22 AM »
Looks good.

Personally speaking, I think I'd prefer the aesthetics of a smoother break into the bobtail, but it looks good.

Unfortunately you have only two choices for bob tail MSHs, Ed Brown and Fusion Firearms. Kimber makes a MUCH smoother MSH that actually feels better, but they don't sell you the parts or do the service (maybe if you had a Kimber sent to the custom shop). With only those two identical options available, I went with the Ed Brown because it came assembled. I can still round it more, but how much has a lot to do with the way the MSH was made more than anything. It is difficult to recontour the part and make it look even AND uniformly round. Though I may tinker with this one more since it is a test mule. Oddly enough the Hogue grips had enough extra rubber to cut and round to match. I half expected to run into the plastic insert in the grip panel while I was shaping it.
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MarshallDodge

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Re: Colt 1911 Commander bobtail
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2011, 01:46:52 PM »
That came out well.

One word of caution on the goverment/commander frame.  There are other dimensions besides the dust cover on the government frame that need to be addressed or you will have reliability issues. Have you researched and made those changes?
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johnnyboy83

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Re: Colt 1911 Commander bobtail
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2011, 02:57:11 PM »
That came out well.

One word of caution on the goverment/commander frame.  There are other dimensions besides the dust cover on the government frame that need to be addressed or you will have reliability issues. Have you researched and made those changes?

The sentiment is much appreciated, but I bought the frame as a junk frame (38 super with para ramp cut) and built it as a 45 commander. I had looked up the dimentional differences and had worked all the problems out of it when I put it together. That's why I use it as a test mule. 3 years and untold thousands of reloads and target rounds later it still will run with any Kimber (I tried just to make a friend mad  :neener). The frame rails and location of the recoil spring have never made an issue for me, but I use a GI style recoil system.

Next I will be bobtailing a new Para LTC Expert if I can ever get an email confirming if they have ramped instead of GI barrels...

George, you don't happen to have one at the store do you? No one around here has one in stock for me to check the barrel in person.
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GeorgeHill

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Re: Colt 1911 Commander bobtail
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2011, 11:58:19 AM »
Para LTC?  No.  I have 1 stainless Warthog and that is it for Para. 
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johnnyboy83

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Re: Colt 1911 Commander bobtail
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2011, 03:42:27 PM »
Para LTC?  No.  I have 1 stainless Warthog and that is it for Para. 

Thanks anyway, kind sir. I saw Budsgunshop had them in stock with the alloy frame but they are the new GI Expert LTC LW models. I emailed Para and Buds and neither have answered me as to whether it is a ramped or GI style barrel like the rest of the GI Experts. I have a P12 at my shop that is ramped, but the double stack mags just don't do it for me.

It's not a pressing matter, so maybe I'll give Para a call Monday and see if they will tell me in person.
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ZeroTA

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Re: Colt 1911 Commander bobtail
« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2011, 06:22:50 PM »
Looks good. Bobtail Commander is the ultimate carry 1911.

There are small differences in frame dimensions between Government and true Commander frames. The grip's not one of them, and the others are pretty minor. So while the right way to build a Commander is to use a Commander frame, most Commander slides will still work on a Government frame if you want to slap it on there. You probably won't have problems, but there's a chance you might. Just throwing it out there.
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johnnyboy83

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Re: Colt 1911 Commander bobtail
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2011, 12:13:29 AM »
Looks good. Bobtail Commander is the ultimate carry 1911.

There are small differences in frame dimensions between Government and true Commander frames. The grip's not one of them, and the others are pretty minor. So while the right way to build a Commander is to use a Commander frame, most Commander slides will still work on a Government frame if you want to slap it on there. You probably won't have problems, but there's a chance you might. Just throwing it out there.

Marshall brought that up earlier. I knew about the difference in recoil tunnel and rails when I built it. It's been running for 3 years and over 10K rounds. The bobtail is just the latest in a series of little test things I use it for. It get's to be the guinea pig for the new ideas before any of my non-franken1911s...

Next thing I think is milling the slide for Novak tritium sights...
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johnnyboy83

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Re: Colt 1911 Commander bobtail
« Reply #14 on: May 19, 2011, 01:48:30 PM »
Just FYI, I finally got a hold of a seller on Gunbroker that had a GI Expert LTC alloy and asked him and according to him the barrel has a GI style feedramp on the frame and barrel instead of the Para style. So basically it is a bad idea to use it with GI style mags if you don't want to ding your frame with the follower.

I still haven't heard from Bud's or Para on the matter though.... great customer communication.  :clap
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