1911 Types


October 24, 2008, 02:00 AM
Good evening,

I hate to ask such question, after searching the internet I wasn't able to find a full answer. What are the differences between 1911 Officer, Command, and Government models?


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October 24, 2008, 02:07 AM
the differences are mostly barrel length-gov is 5 inches, commander is 4.25 inches as a standard, though some companies fudge it and make models that are not "true" commanders with 4 inch barrels, and and officers model is a 3 inch barrel. an officers model also has a smaller frame, while gov and commander models run on the standard full size 1911 frame. im not sure about the commander forgeries from kimber etc. with 4 inch barrels-they may have a smaller frame as well, but a true commander runs on a full size 1911 frame, the same as the government model. hope this helps!

Kind of Blued
October 24, 2008, 02:10 AM
Government = 5" Barrel

Commander - 4.25" Barrel

Officer = Shortened grip/frame, 3-something inch barrel.

Kimber uses a 3", 4", 5" system and calls them the Ultra, Pro, and Custom respectively.

October 24, 2008, 02:11 AM
I appreciate it, I figured it was the staggered barrel length, but like you said, Kimber has messed with frame sizing (as proven by my 4" Kimber Stainless Compact II with a shortened grip).

October 24, 2008, 02:58 AM
Jerryrigger, the Commander has a shorter slide frame than the full size 1911.

Rob G
October 24, 2008, 11:53 AM
Actually Kimber has 4 sizes at the moment.
Custom = Government
Pro = Commander (4 inch barrel not 4.25)
Compact = Commander barrel on officer frame
Ultra = Officer

October 24, 2008, 02:46 PM
The second part to my question is this; what firing pin replacements would I use for each of these? I've called Kimber twice, each time they gave me a difference answer. One person there said they both use the same firing pin, the other said that's not the case.

Tom Fury
October 24, 2008, 03:02 PM
Depends on what brand name you have; if we were talking Colt, all would use the same FP: I believe Springfield uses the one Colt uses for the .38 super/9mm and I know Caspian does. Others are beyond my expertise.
I also believe the dust cover on a Commander is a bit shorter than on a GM, and the ejector is thinner and has a protruding "finger". Also just for the record, a GM barrel will not work properly in a Commander slide due to differences in the locking lugs (they can be modified; see EGW). Commander and Officer's model slides are drop on interchangeable.
Cheers, TF

October 24, 2008, 03:55 PM
In the 1911, to use this monicker as a gemeric term:
Colt owns the trademark for the
"Goverment: Model - Civilian version of the 1911A1
Full Size
5" Bbl. & Slide - Full Height frame
Semi-Compact ?
Colt Also owns "Commander" Early 1950s
4.25 Bbl. & Slide - Full Heithght - shortened dust cover
as well as different lug/slide lockup
Various Names but it's a Colt CCO
"Commander Length Bbl. Len./Slide
& Officers Model - Again Colt trademark
The frame is shortened with the removal of
.75 inches in length at the base
I think the barrel only has one lug for lockup.

Other manufacturers also offer 3" Bbl.d variatns.

The Full size mags will/should work in Officers frames
but of course stick out the bottom .


February 24, 2010, 06:58 AM
How man different variations in grip sizes for different 1911 models exist when considering only Government, Officer, and Commander? :confused:

Do Government and Commander models use the same size grips generally while Officer's is the smallest (among the three of course)? I have been searchin' and searchin' and have found nothin' useful really...

Thanks in advance!

February 24, 2010, 07:08 AM
Do Government and Commander models use the same size grips ....... while Officer's is the smallest That's it. Two sizes fit all. (With the exception of the EMP now)

Government/Commander (http://www.midwayusa.com/viewProduct/?productNumber=643964) - Fit 99% of the 4 to 5" barreled guns. There are a few 4 & 4 2/4" guns with the Officer sized grip.

Officer - Fits all 3 and 3.5" guns. (Except EMP)

Welcome to THR

February 24, 2010, 08:27 AM
This is perfect! Thanks for putting an end to my misery... this was driving me crazy!

Thanks for the welcome. I have been reading the forum for a while now--even thought had a log-in but couldn't remember it for the life of me! Glad to be part of the THR.

May 13, 2010, 11:42 AM
How would the Springfield Micro Compact fit into this discussion?? What category would you call this pistol..Re if it falls into the officers category I have a line on a new set of grips .. THX..

May 13, 2010, 11:53 AM
The Springfield Micro Compact has the short stack (shorter grip) and a 3" barrel. Should be close to the Officer.

I currently have an order in (money down) on a Springfield Ultra Compact (loaded stainless).. short grip, 3.5" barrel (I thought 3" too short and 4" just not enough different from 5") OMG I can't wait for it to come in. :banghead::cuss: So much for cooling off period.. I'm getting madder the longer I wait.

May 13, 2010, 11:59 AM

They have a sizing guide.

Sniper X
May 13, 2010, 12:06 PM
Here's something else to add to the confusion, I have all three sizs, well four sine I also have a CDP Ultra. and i have put my Kimber .22 conversion on the DW Bobtail, (Commander length), Colt Combat Commander, and my Kimber Tactical Custom II (Government size). And I was going to try it on the cDP but don't feel it will work but have yet to really look. It sure would look funny if it would fit the CDP Ultra II!

May 13, 2010, 12:15 PM
Yes Greg I know the feeling.. I just picked up a Nearly new Springfield Long Slide Trophy Match...Had it on my list to buy for 3 years...

May 13, 2010, 12:20 PM
Don't forget the Commanding Officer


Lt Commander

Tank Officers


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