Customizing my Colt Defender


August 24, 2007, 11:00 PM
I've had the gun bug for quite some time now and I've really been wanting to get a Commander sized 1911. However, with my wife and I just having our first baby, money has tightened up. I'd like to upgrade some parts on my Defender, but I really don't know anything about doing it. I've been trying to read up on it here, but I haven't found any info to help me understand why things are done and what it changes. I don't have much experience shooting 1911s besides the Defender and a Series 70 Commander. Any suggestions? If you can, send me links too! Thanks!

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August 25, 2007, 05:28 PM
The only changes I made to my Defender was wood grips. I hate rubber and when carried rubber can cling and expose you pistol. I carry it daily and has been a 100% relieable. I use Corbon DPX either the 160grDPX compact non+P or the 185DPX +P.

Shoot it, learn it, and perhaps like my self(other than grips) you will leave the pistol as it came. Just may be Colt really knew what they were doing when they made it. I don't belive in a lot of add on for a carry pistol and Defender is a SD gun not a target pistol.

August 26, 2007, 12:05 AM
I bought the rubber Colt grips to try something different than the original Hogues. I've always loved the feel of the Hogues, but I had to try something different. The checkered rubber is also temporary until I can find something else (I really like some of the VZ grips!).

I seem to have a problem with Speer Gold Dots. I can rack a magazine worth and never have any problems, but it seems that when I drop the mag, the top round will pop out of the mag and fall out separately. This does not seem to affect the round in the chamber. I haven't shot any of the Gold Dots yet as a friend of mine who was in town recently just gave me a handful of them. I may have to look into the Corbon.

I really was just hoping to have some opinions and explanations on upgrade parts. Like I said before, I don't really know what the advantage is to a new beaver tail or different trigger. About the only thing I do understand is the extended safety. I suppose if they aren't needed, then there is no reason to do them. As far as I'm concerned, I love it the way it is. I can't carry anything else I own because I feel like I am betraying my baby. It's just the unknown that makes me wonder. Thanks for the reply!


The Lone Haranguer
August 26, 2007, 01:18 AM
I'm not sure what this gun really needs. :confused: (Maybe some wood grips. :)) Are there areas you feel it is deficient in?

August 26, 2007, 01:42 AM
Wood Grips ( I put the ones off my Officers model which now has esmeraldas) and Tritium sights (which Colt should have put on a $1000 gun and it's all the way there!

August 26, 2007, 10:54 AM
I don't feel like it is deficient in any area, but that is because it is my only experience with a 1911 style gun. It may be perfect and I just don't know it. I love it the way it is, and I guess if I never gain more experience, I'll never know if there is anything better out there. Which is why I was asking for opinions.

August 26, 2007, 11:21 AM
If it were mine, I'd have to add an extended thumb safety and a "fitted" EB beavertail...because of the way I hold/shoot the gun. I hold a "high" gun position, thumb on safety, and have trouble depressing the grip safety... and the "gaps and edges" on the defender frame tangs and safety would chew up my hands in a hurry.

If it works for you now, I wouldn't "mess" with it IMHO...except for grips.

And, that's not something I'd do myself on a gun I really carried since it really has to work. I'm dumb...but not entirely "stupid". ;)

August 26, 2007, 12:51 PM
esmeraldas Yes their on my Defender and Commander

August 26, 2007, 02:01 PM
Wow, very nice, I hadn't heard of them before. Pricey for me right now, but definitely a future upgrade. Is there any disadvantage of using a smooth grip as opposed to checkered or some other textured grip? I'm shooting the Defender with the rubber checkered today for the first time, but as I recall from a while back, I shot a friends Commander with checkered wood, and they tore my hands up after a while.

August 26, 2007, 04:46 PM
OK, tell me what I have to do to keep those hot casings from hitting me in the forehead? Also, why does this thing run cheap ammo through it with never any problem and Speer Gold Dots jam just about every other round? So far those are my two biggest problems, and I wouldn't mind having the thing honed down a bit. How do I go about this? Thanks!


August 26, 2007, 07:23 PM

Different HP's manufactures have slight difference's in cone shape/size of the HP. Some are a tad wider, others are a tad more cone/bullet shaped. Also, some have more stand-out straighter serrations, which can hang up and cause the jams.

With mine, for SD/HD, I'm using *Remington Golden Saber 185gr, no problems. The serrations are curved, like the rifling inside your barrel, and my guess is rather than straight serrations, these allow the bullet to spin in if they hit some kind of stoppage/hang-up while chambering.

For range, like you, 230gr FMJ, no problems..


PS.. the hot casing's hitting your head may well be that your not using enough wrist-lock, and they're hitting you because of the torque (of the bullet spinning out) of the gun and the excess recoil is from too light a wrist-lock, not a case of limp wrist, but just loose enough for the gun to torque up and over on its side and they pop you in the forehead.

Try a straighter shooting hand/arm, and see if it stops. As heavier range 230gr FMJ ammo causes more torque than the lighter 185gr which spin out faster, probably a bit straighter as well.

Now, it could just be the gun, but my bet is tighter wrist, with straighter shooting arm lock, and you'll reduce the recoil and torque value just the tad it needs to eject out to your right.. and hit the next guy in the next lane.. lol

August 26, 2007, 08:22 PM
My defender ejects into my head occasionally, too. I usually use lighter 185-200gr ammo in mine.
Still wearing the original fingergroove grips, but I really want a set of those VZs-that would be very nice.

August 26, 2007, 10:30 PM
My Defender puts them close to the head. It is a Lt. weight gun , it is NOT a range gun IMHO. It may very well be the ultimate CCW gun however and one does need to practice with it!

August 27, 2007, 10:47 PM
Lonestar49 - Thanks for all the info. I am thinking about having my ramp polished, but I have to find a local gunsmith. The local Colt guy passed away earlier this year. Very sad. I will also try some different HPs for SD. After attempting to fire the gold Dots and having so many problems, I'm glad they weren't needed during the last few weeks I had been carrying them.

I will also try locking my wrist tighter. That is probably my issue. My mind runs through so much stuff I am trying to remember when I am shooting (Kinda like swinging a golf club!).

On another note, can someone suggest an extended slide lock? I would also like to see a picture if anyone has one. I have a really hard time reaching it on the Defender. Thanks!


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