Are the hood dimension on the Commander different that Gov't?


July 8, 2006, 03:52 PM
I have a Commander barrel that does not fit well in my Essex Commander slide. I am trying to determine if the barrel I got is cut wrong, or if my slide has the wrong hood dimensions.

The Commander barrel I have has narrower dimensions, and they are not symetrical. When the barrel is put into the slide, there is an unexceptable amount of clearance all the way around the hood and the sides of the hood.

I'd appreciate any info you could give me.

If you enjoyed reading about "Are the hood dimension on the Commander different that Gov't?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
Old Fuff
July 8, 2006, 05:23 PM
I believe the hoods on Commander barrels (as made by Colt) are the same as the respective Government Model barrels. However there is a difference between the hoods on a .45 vs. .38 Super & 9mm barrels, the latter two being more narrow.

Unless there is evidence that someone filed on the hood on the barrel you have, I would sooner suspect the slide isn't to print.

I often check suspect parts against a set of USGI blueprints, but this is becoming less enlightening because today's gun and parts makers seldom pay any attention to what the original dimensions and specifications were anyhow.

July 8, 2006, 05:45 PM
Old Fuff,
Thanks for the reply. I am not sure yet whether it is the slide or the barrel. It is a 45 essex slide.
I sent the barrel in question in, and they test fired it at the factory reporting that it worked and shot accurately. However I am still skeptical. I received the wrong barrel in the mail(mistakenly they sent me the wrong one), but it appeared to be cut in the same manner in the hood region. I am wondering if they are designing these for a specific model of Commander in mind. Otherwise I find no other way to explain a hood length .020" too short and the width to be .050" to narrow. I was under the impression these are to be less then .005" for a sloppy 1911 in hood length, and less than .010" per side on the width (again for one with plenty of tolerance for reliability). At any rate, when I receive my barrel back, maybe I can find another commander to drop it it.

July 8, 2006, 06:36 PM
Fuff, the Stinky one probably has one of the newer "Enhanced" barrels, which have a much narrower hood than the old standards, along with narrower recesses in the slides that they fit into. His Essex slide is cut to the old hood width, and the new-style barrel hood is too narrow.

Old Fuff
July 8, 2006, 06:50 PM
Fuff, the Stinky one probably has one of the newer "Enhanced" barrels, ...

Could be. That new fangled fancy stuff hasn't made it out to the frontier country yet. I considered, but rejected the possibility of a Gold Cup barrel, which also has a narrower hood.

Anyway, none of my pistols are Enhanced - just the plain old stuff as Browning designed it. Now that I know there is a difference I'll make a point not to buy anything that has the word "Enhanced" stamped on it anywhere. :uhoh:

July 8, 2006, 07:01 PM
Wow, quite a reputation I must have to be 'The Stinky One'...haha :D

So what you are saying is that the barrel is likely cut to the correct dimensions (according to some blue print) that will fit the new enhanced commander slide, but that I should fit a Commander barrel with the old style cut. I assume using the 'enhanced' version with that much dimensional difference could be dangerous or problematic?

Would StormLake be a good 1911 commander barrel to pursue to finish this project? What is your preferred barrel Co. for putting one of these together?

I thank you both for your time and your expertise. Have a nice weekend! :D


edited because I can't write properly.....

July 8, 2006, 08:14 PM
Howdy Stinker,:D

The barrel hood is cut to correct dimensions for an enhanced slide, assuming that's what you have. If it has the new-fangled "Dimple Throat" then that's what you have unless somebody has reshaped it to the older configuration.

If I'm not mistaken, the hood width is the same as the Gold Cup barrels.
I suspect that the GC slides were machined with the narrow recess, and the hoods of standard barrels fitted to'em to enhance accuracy...but that's just a theory. It did work out pretty well when I had to rebarrel a NRM Government Model, and all I had was a barrel with standard hood width.
In addition to a surprisingly good overall fit, having to cut the hood to fit into the slide recess helped a little.

Installing it into the wide recess won't be dangerous...assuming that the headspace is within the allowable range, but the barrel may not be very accurate due to the side clearance...or it may not run reliably due to the barrel wiggle-waggling as it goes to battery. Then again, you may not be able to tell the difference in either. Verify good headspace and give it a try. it may work out pretty well. If not...Storm Lake.

If you enjoyed reading about "Are the hood dimension on the Commander different that Gov't?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!