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LW Commander Lust.....

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Anchorite, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

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    I’ve got a strong desire to add a LW Commander to the family, just cannot decide between the Wiley Clapp or the standard catalog LW model. Front strap checkering, thumb safety and firing pin block (series 80) are the big differences that I can tell from the inter web. I believe the WC has an ambi safety, but I’m not sure. I know, flip a coin, right? I honestly think build quality on current production Colts are luck of the draw......am I right?
     
  2. Old Dog

    Old Dog Member

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    Opinions will vary on whether quality of Colt's production pistol is "luck of the draw." If so, I am very lucky over the past thirty years or so. While I still have the Wiley Clapp version on my acquire list, my LW XSE still works fine ... You're correct about the differences; also, the plain version has 3-dot sights, the WC a brass bead insert in the front sight blade and plain black rear sights.
    Colts.jpg
     
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  3. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

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    Ah......didn’t catch the brass bead front sight on the WC. Not too interested in that. As for build quality, the techniques to build both are essentially the same, that’s why I hypothesized that quality would be a luck of the draw. Could be wrong.
     
  4. AZAndy
    • Contributing Member

    AZAndy Contributing Member

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    While you're weighing your options, have a look at a Sig C3 too. Mine's been very reliable and more accurate than it has any right to be. It does have an external extractor, which I consider a plus, but you might not.
     
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  5. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

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    Actually I have no real problems with the external extractor. Have even considered the S&W line of 1911s. If anyone can build an external extractor, it’s S&W. Will look into the Sig. Thanks for the tip!
     
  6. Texas10mm

    Texas10mm Member

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    My S&W Scandium framed Commander is one of my favorite 1911 pistols.
     
  7. Mike .45

    Mike .45 Member

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    The Clapp is not ambi safety. The LW commanders should have the vertical lines cut into the front strap and of course the Clapp is checkered. I know the full size Clapps have black rear and front brass bead sights (I believe this is true for the commander also but I am not sure) and the standard LW commander is 3 dot Novak.
     
  8. WC145

    WC145 Member

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    I've bought a bunch of new Colts over the last few years, including a Wiley Clapp LW Commander, a LW Commander, and steel Commanders. They all have been great quality guns, well fit and finished, with zero reliability issues. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one if I was in the market. Personally, I'd take the WC over a regular Commander for the extras you get like the front strap checkering and bead front sight (I prefer gold or brass bead front sights) and no S80 safety. IMO, they're worth the premium you pay.

    I used my WC for a custom build and it made a terrific base gun, but it's a solid, "ready to carry" piece right out of the box. I had a steel Commander built for my son and it was also a quality piece as new but I wanted something to commemorate his accomplishments in the military. Whether you want to keep one original or build it into something more I don't think you can go wrong with the new Colts.
    h6fjU3U3EIe_9zz4b65EtJEt6RVVyPXMFygBs4_Awh3Ow8_0D2etFZAfYFgUcl36Isvc-fBxmz0P_Y38sW=w1280-h779-no.jpg
    MHrJpZ1sqqUVwW3ZCVHFQKtv63f7d2jTMelWFoHrXLhJsJULa9qQFercL56CMQreqFakUuQO0GmqLShRvp=w1225-h907-no.jpg
    tcIf6YE7ZTE9pqKbMG6GnRFTgwleaRSw0ByufKde12Eq6CYGlrkoKZhdMMButBPTT9e2SYvmnTJWCH-f1s=w1280-h775-no.jpg
    ZwLkpt76kTM6mjuvULdUtwP35Iwg5bWrlnq407JIOMG9uh4OQb53bAzEhDwfxoFnEzEqD5Qzbqtj4GzZ6P=w1280-h825-no.jpg
     
  9. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Very understandable. No help with choosing which though.

    Although I would say I like the basic appeal of the last one in @WC145 's post.
     
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  10. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

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    I do like the looks of the last one.....that’s the “standard” LW Commander in Colt’s lineup. As for S80 in the WC, I’ve never let that be a deal breaker before. I think those triggers can be just as slick as any on a non-firing pin block 1911.
     
  11. WC145

    WC145 Member

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    The Wiley Clapps do not have the S80 safety. However, I agree that S80 triggers can be done right. I have a Krebs built 1991A1 Commander and it has an outstanding trigger, maybe the best out of my 1911s.
     
  12. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

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    You’re correct ~ I meant the S80 on the “catalog” LW Commander. I have a Commander Plus model that is a S80, and it’s trigger is every bit as slick as a my other non-S80 trigger Colts.
     
  13. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Anchorite

    Quality was definitely hit or miss during Colt's labor troubled years but they definitely stepped up their game around 2010. I went shopping for a new 1911 back then and went to a gun shop where I knew the owner who was also a top notch 1911 gunsmith. He showed me a couple of lower priced guns and then he said he was really impressed with the build quality of the current Colts, saying they were the best he had seen in quite some time. I checked out what he had and bought a Lightweight Government .45. Liked it so much I went back some time later and bought a standard Government Model and then purchased a Colt Commander in .38 Super and a Colt Agent in 9mm. from other gun shops. All four have been great and if I were in the market for another 1911 I wouldn't hesitate to buy another Colt.

    As to which one to choose between the two, I would probably take the $300 difference with the price of the Wiley Clapp version, buy some ammo and go with the regular LW Commander.
     
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  14. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

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    Can’t disagree with anything you’ve said. I picked up a Competition model, one of the Series 70s last year and it was very well made. Best Colt quality I have seen in years. And I do think they have turned things around for now. I even like the roll marking - reminds me of the older Colts.

    I am also very tempted to do just as you suggest - opt for the regular and buy some brass and get to shooting. Decisions, decisions!
     
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  15. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    I've got one of the earlier WC Commanders with serrations on the forward part of the slide. It's an absolute rattle trap, but has the best trigger and consistently produces the best groups of any 1911 I've shot. It's never choked on anything from 200gr SWC's to 230 JHP's from multiple manufacturers.

    [​IMG]

    That's 5 rounds at 10yrds. I don't shoot that well that often. Only gripe is I'm used to a 6 O'clock hold and it shoots directly to the sights.

    The only things I'd even think about changing is maybe bobtailing it and having the trigger guard under cut. Everything else is perfect.
     
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  16. Flatbush Harry

    Flatbush Harry Member

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    The standard factory version works just fine.
     
  17. Mike .45

    Mike .45 Member

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    I have been looking hard at the standard version in 9mm. I can't decide if the checkering is worth it. I would like it to be a carry option for me but I dislike the safety, and front sight on my government clapp so those would have to be changed as well as the grips.

    Series 80 triggers never really bothered me so that's not a concern for me either.

    Tough choices. LOL I think that is why I keep putting it off.
     
  18. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    I have a fullsize all steel XSE as well. For me, I prefer the gold bead/ all black wide notch sights on the WC versus the 3-Dots on the XSE.

    I do prefer the slightly larger thumb safety on the XSE. I like the undercut trigger guard on the XSE but consider it a wash against the checkered front strap on the WC. I'd like to have both on both pistols. I am changing the thin grips off the WC to a set of standard thickness, but I'm not holding that against the WC.

    The series 80/70 debate doesn't concern me.

    You can't go wrong either way.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. mushu

    mushu Member

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    i carry a ruger 1911 lw commander in 9mm love it! and if i was to do anything to it, i would put the standard colt safety and commander hammer on it. but it works so good the way it is now a 110% with anything i feed it. i carry it every day in a pancake holster
     
  20. Anchorite

    Anchorite Member

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    Is the trigger guard on the standard catalog LW undercut and the WC is not? I cannot tell very well from the pictures.
     
  21. WC145

    WC145 Member

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    They're both undercut the same amount,, the pics of my guns show it pretty well.

    ETA: Here is another pic of my WC Commander, it shows the amount of undercut a bit better.
    b8PJlpETwTirjT4dCvk5z0SRYZkno7bkxXuG9bqqgMFGsYC5kAfBqSoUl6X_Hz-sqEH07dcFl-Xf4eyoilJ=w960-h590-no.png

    And another pic of the regular LW Commander for comparison. It looks like the WC is cut a little higher.
    nlIKZ4fci-r3P_LUEZIBSjhSqZfvzGUkt-MXjcxu4C0EA7WpmgwlWcWnIjvbFaNw-v-Opu7elFiuVxPiJq=w1153-h907-no.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
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  22. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    It does appear that the newer WC's are undercut. The earlier one with forward serrations on the slide are not.
     
  23. Spad2008

    Spad2008 Member

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    Got a Ruger Commander size in 9mm, I have a Colt Defender (45) as daily carry and a Colt Combat Commander (45)I carried a long time, but the Ruger is sure impressive quality wise. Love my Colts thou. Spad
     
  24. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have two Series 80 "Enhanced" Colts and they are both undercut on the back of the trigger guard. I like it. It's a plus for me on any 1911.
     
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  25. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    Ideally any 1911 I add to the stable will be undercut and have front strap checkering.
     
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