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Government Commander Tomfoolery

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by funnelcake, Dec 9, 2007.

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  1. funnelcake

    funnelcake Member

    Oct 27, 2007
    Awright, long-winded but maybe funny for a Sunday.

    I swapped for a .45 Cmdr awhile back (alloy frame) and after a really good cleaning and little touch-up on the front strap with Aluminum Black (stuff works well if directions are heeded) was looking good. I usually only change one thing on any 1911 --gotta have a smooth trigger. In this case though the grip safety wasn't staying either. I don't have much problem with the original on my 9mm Combat Commander but on a LW .45 it drilled a bleeding hole into my hand. Also the grips were in pretty good shape but the right panel was chipped under the mag release.

    Don't care for upswept grips safety's on otherwise stock weapons so started thinking. I had a Colt factory duckbill left over from something so figured it'd go in along with a Colt nylon trigger from a bunch of 1991 parts. Stripped him down, new parts, back together. Grip safety no work --somewhere in that 30 sec I remembered trying to fit that part awhile back on a different Commander an I filed the nose a mite short. :cuss:

    Plan B? Hitting the parts bin I had a bunch of grip safetys but no other duckbills only regular old Commander and one later dished type but it was a non-Colt cast part with an ugly casting line along the back. Was starting to get unhappy. Finally had time to work on this one and no right part. :fire:

    Light bulb went off. I put together a 5" .38 Super awhile back on an Essex frame an slide. Intended to be reg Govt with spur hammer and grip safety but Essex didn't have any carbon 9mm/ 38 standard frames to ship for 6-months, so I took one of the Enhanced versions. That long grip safety didn't look too good with the .250 radius on the tangs --ended up using a Colt dished type safety and Commander hammer so I still had the 70-Series Colt hammer and grip safety. A Commander with a spur hammer? Hmm...done. I also replaced the sear spring with a new Colt, disconnect & sear legs didn't look right. Kind of figured with the trigger an sure enough it got better.

    Last thing was the grips. I'd bought a couple pairs of the walnut checkered "GI" grips at a show, but they needed medallions. A 5 buck pair of rubber V-frame grips donated them. Buttoned it up stowed the original parts an here's the Government Commander:


    The safety looks better than I thought with the shorter tangs an I never had a problem with the Govt safety beatin my hand up. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I've got one like that. A wide GI hammer on a Commander for use in Condition 2. (I don't do that any more, but it works fine in Condition 1, so there is no reason to change it back. The original hammer is on a friend's Remington Rand he fixed up back when it was Army Surplus instead of a Historically Significant Artifact and Valuable Collector's Item.)
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