Is the Colt Defender the compact standard? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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rich52us
06-03-2012, 16:47
I'm toying with the idea of getting a 3" - 31/2" light weight 1911 as a daily carry pistol. Of course, reliability is paramount. I would like it to cost 1K or less, and if I could spend less, that would be great. So, is the Colt Defender the gold standard? Are there better choices? I've done my searches but would like to here from those on this forum as to the current market and your experiences. I've read all the threads where people say not to get a 1911 under 4" but I'd like to here from people who carry the compacts. Thanks.
Rich

P.S. .45ACP

Wil Ufgood
06-03-2012, 16:50
I like my EMP, got a good deal on it. Usually they do run more than a grand though.

Good luck!

EricandSuebee
06-03-2012, 16:50
I'd stick with a Commander length, easy to conceal and you get a decent barrel length at 4.25"

rich52us
06-03-2012, 17:01
I like my EMP, got a good deal on it. Usually they do run more than a grand though.

Good luck!

Thanks for the reply, and I've heard only good things about the EMP. I should have specified .45 ACP on my initial post.

rich52us
06-03-2012, 17:02
I'd stick with a Commander length, easy to conceal and you get a decent barrel length at 4.25"

Yea, I think I read that about a hundred times in my searches, but it's the little guys that I'm interested in.

tango44
06-03-2012, 17:10
My Colt Defender is 100% reliable!

glock2740
06-03-2012, 17:23
Get a CCO. Best of both world's. :cool:

ca survivor
06-03-2012, 17:25
I'd stick with a Commander length, easy to conceal and you get a decent barrel length at 4.25"
I have one and unless I'm going to carry in a fanny pack, I rather have a Commander or Gov. length barrel

EricandSuebee
06-03-2012, 17:25
Yeah I forgot about the CCO, and I concur its the best of both worlds. Colt still makes one as well as DW.

glock2740
06-03-2012, 17:48
Yeah I forgot about the CCO, and I concur its the best of both worlds. Colt still makes one as well as DW.
The DW CCO is a GREAT gun. :thumbsup:

http://i914.photobucket.com/albums/ac341/OU1911/IMG_3594.jpg

http://i914.photobucket.com/albums/ac341/OU1911/Gunsonthedeck007.jpg

rich52us
06-03-2012, 18:05
The DW CCO is a GREAT gun. :thumbsup:

http://i914.photobucket.com/albums/ac341/OU1911/IMG_3594.jpg

http://i914.photobucket.com/albums/ac341/OU1911/Gunsonthedeck007.jpg

Well, the CCO seems interesting, but I'm still really interested in the true compacts.

glock2740
06-03-2012, 18:11
I've got a few and they've all been great. Two Kimber 3" and a RIA 3.5". All with no issues. And ALOT more accurate than you would think. :cool:

rich52us
06-03-2012, 18:13
I've got a few and they've all been great. Two Kimber 3" and a RIA 3.5". All with no issues. And ALOT more accurate than you would think. :cool:

Thanks Glock2740. That's helpful information.

Wil Ufgood
06-03-2012, 19:01
Don't have any experience with them, so hopefully someone else can chime in. The STI compact line looks pretty sharp.

Ruble Noon
06-03-2012, 20:12
My Colt Defender is 100% reliable!

So has mine. Various hollow points, semi-wadcutters, whatever, it likes them all. Mine is surprisingly accurate too.

bushhogg
06-03-2012, 21:33
the little springfield is great... I gust got a new Para 1911 LTC for my dress up days... IT is a joy to shoot and its accuracy is great... little over $800.00

countrygun
06-03-2012, 21:42
My wife's Kimber Ultra raptor II has been 100% and very accurate.

at a bit of a risk I will say that Colt, like S&W with their compacts and micros on the 39/59, was behind the curve established by custom makers and others in "micro'ing" the 1911. They did not lead the way, they followed so I don't know that they are a/the standard.

MD357
06-03-2012, 22:03
I'm toying with the idea of getting a 3" - 31/2" light weight 1911 as a daily carry pistol. Of course, reliability is paramount. I would like it to cost 1K or less, and if I could spend less, that would be great. So, is the Colt Defender the gold standard? Are there better choices? I've done my searches but would like to here from those on this forum as to the current market and your experiences. I've read all the threads where people say not to get a 1911 under 4" but I'd like to here from people who carry the compacts. Thanks.
Rich

P.S. .45ACP

If reliability REALLY is paramount as you say you have a few options.

1. Buy an EMP.

2. Get a Colt Defender and have a competent gunsmith run through it. Get quality mags and change your springs frequently.

3. Get a CCO type gun as the difference in carrying a CCO and compact is extremely small, doubt you'd notice. Your window for "paramount reliability" will increase substantially with this and the EMP.

oldsoldier
06-04-2012, 17:01
I owned one about 10 years ago and it would feed anything I put through it. It was an excellent 3" 1911. I like to shoot my guns and the alloy frame started to take a beating in the feed ramp area at about the 3K rd count. I think you should consider that if you plan on shooting it a lot. Maybe it was just my gun but I doubt it. I do know that at least one gunsmith shop offered a steel insert modification to the Defender's frame to fix the damaged feed ramp. I don't know if he's still out there or not. I'm not familiar with all of the 3" alloy frame 1911s out there but I think some of them use a ramped barrel that would probably eliminate the feed ramp damage. It's been a long time since I owned one so maybe it isn't a problem now. Some of the new hard finishes may help to eliminate feed ramp damage and maybe Colt uses something along that line now. Anyway, it is an excellent and reliable 3" 1911.

rich52us
06-04-2012, 17:42
I owned one about 10 years ago and it would feed anything I put through it. It was an excellent 3" 1911. I like to shoot my guns and the alloy frame started to take a beating in the feed ramp area at about the 3K rd count. I think you should consider that if you plan on shooting it a lot. Maybe it was just my gun but I doubt it. I do know that at least one gunsmith shop offered a steel insert modification to the Defender's frame to fix the damaged feed ramp. I don't know if he's still out there or not. I'm not familiar with all of the 3" alloy frame 1911s out there but I think some of them use a ramped barrel that would probably eliminate the feed ramp damage. It's been a long time since I owned one so maybe it isn't a problem now. Some of the new hard finishes may help to eliminate feed ramp damage and maybe Colt uses something along that line now. Anyway, it is an excellent and reliable 3" 1911.

Thanks, Oldsoldier. Great info. I handled a New Agent today. Really felt great, but I didn't like the trench sight much. The Defender should be the same in my hand, but with good sights.

dmdmx2
06-09-2012, 20:26
Think about a Sig Sauer 1911 Ultra 2 tone. According to their specs the barrel is 3.3" long. I've seen elsewhere it say it's 3.5" long. But it is a heck of a gun. I picked one up this week for under a grand. It shoots great and it feeds hollowpoints as well as FMJ's. It's barrel is ramped, it's as light as my Glock 23 and it comes standard with night sights. The best thing is the trigger is nice and smooth, letting off at 5lbs or less with hardly any takeup and no over travel. I'm totally glad that I ended up with this Sig. I had gone in to buy a Glock 21SF. But that thing was huge compared to the Sig. I'll be carrying it full time as soon as the holster arrives on Monday. BTW it's accurate for only having a 3.3 inch barrel. It's like your getting something from the custom shop, but only paying for a standard production pistol.

rich52us
06-09-2012, 21:22
Think about a Sig Sauer 1911 Ultra 2 tone. According to their specs the barrel is 3.3" long. I've seen elsewhere it say it's 3.5" long. But it is a heck of a gun. I picked one up this week for under a grand. It shoots great and it feeds hollowpoints as well as FMJ's. It's barrel is ramped, it's as light as my Glock 23 and it comes standard with night sights. The best thing is the trigger is nice and smooth, letting off at 5lbs or less with hardly any takeup and no over travel. I'm totally glad that I ended up with this Sig. I had gone in to buy a Glock 21SF. But that thing was huge compared to the Sig. I'll be carrying it full time as soon as the holster arrives on Monday. BTW it's accurate for only having a 3.3 inch barrel. It's like your getting something from the custom shop, but only paying for a standard production pistol.

Thanks. I'll keep it in mind.

glock2740
06-09-2012, 21:49
I hope my new EMP turns out as great as I expect it to be. :cool:

http://i914.photobucket.com/albums/ac341/OU1911/DSC00269.jpg

http://i914.photobucket.com/albums/ac341/OU1911/DSC00265.jpg

http://i914.photobucket.com/albums/ac341/OU1911/DSC00268.jpg

Officer's Match
06-10-2012, 07:14
I would consider the EMP in 40 in order to get a steel frame.

rich52us
06-10-2012, 07:25
I would consider the EMP in 40 in order to get a steel frame.

Well, all of my CCW pistols are 9MM or .45ACP. I'm not interested in having to stock a new cal.

Officer's Match
06-10-2012, 07:53
Well, all of my CCW pistols are 9MM or .45ACP. I'm not interested in having to stock a new cal.

Yeah, I understand. I just wish SA would make an all steel 9mm EMP. I'd probably just go with a RIA and have a good 'smiff go thru it.

rich52us
06-10-2012, 08:04
Yeah, I understand. I just wish SA would make an all steel 9mm EMP. I'd probably just go with a RIA and have a good 'smiff go thru it.

Officer's Match, we seem to be operating under different philosophies. I'm interested in a 1911, .45ACP, light weight, compact pistol.

Officer's Match
06-10-2012, 08:07
Officer's Match, we seem to be operating under different philosophies. I'm interested in a 1911, .45ACP, light weight, compact pistol.

In which case the Defender (45) or EMP (9) should fit the bill. I'm just not a alloy frame fan, something psychologically bugs me about the long-term wear 'n tear factor. But then, I do over-think things at times...

Officer's Match
06-10-2012, 08:16
delete

Baba Louie
06-10-2012, 10:43
I used to carry my Defender. A handy little piece to carry and shoot on occasion. I shot mine too much. Recoil spring assembly will munch out on you eventually, around 1500+/- rds in my case.

So do be aware of that issue. Probably true for all small barrel 1911s, so have a replacement or two handy. Hate to have that important piece of the action go down on you when things were getting hairy. Hence, my lack of trust in the size. Prefer Commander or 5 inch myself, for serious shooting.

If it is to be your CCW piece, to carry much and shoot once in awhile... Good to go. If it is something you will shoot daily, be prepared with extra bits and pieces from Colt. (and keep in mind your round count v. last spring change should you CCW it).

rich52us
06-10-2012, 11:53
I used to carry my Defender. A handy little piece to carry and shoot on occasion. I shot mine too much. Recoil spring assembly will munch out on you eventually, around 1500+/- rds in my case.

So do be aware of that issue. Probably true for all small barrel 1911s, so have a replacement or two handy. Hate to have that important piece of the action go down on you when things were getting hairy. Hence, my lack of trust in the size. Prefer Commander or 5 inch myself, for serious shooting.

If it is to be your CCW piece, to carry much and shoot once in awhile... Good to go. If it is something you will shoot daily, be prepared with extra bits and pieces from Colt. (and keep in mind your round count v. last spring change should you CCW it).

Good to know. Thanks. Can't the recoil spring assembly be replaced easily?

Baba Louie
06-11-2012, 06:43
Can't the recoil spring assembly be replaced easily? EZ as can be. Just need to have one handy when things go urk

rich52us
06-11-2012, 06:54
EZ as can be. Just need to have one handy when things go urk

Sounds like I should order one the day I bring home a Defender.

snatiep
06-11-2012, 07:38
I picked up the 9mm Colt Defender a few months ago. Beautiful little gun. Fun to shoot, accurate, and a wonderful trigger. Good looking gun.

Mine has been 100% reliable so far. As others have noted, the recoil spring assembly will need replacing eventually, so if that is one of the only "issues" with it, I'm extremely pleased.

I love mine!

Baba Louie
06-11-2012, 10:23
Sounds like I should order one the day I bring home a Defender.Naaah. But keep track of your approx round count. Approaching 1000 rds, call Colt & order. Have it handy just in case. (If it ain't broke...)

I think you'll like your Series 90 Defender. A lot.

Bflying
06-11-2012, 12:35
I've been looking at the Springfield Loaded Micro Compact (3") Lightweight. I cannot give you a range report on it, but have been really close to "pulling the trigger" on one a few times now. My choice would be between this and the Colt Defender, leaning toward the Springer.

http://www.springfield-armory.com/armory.php?version=6

rich52us
06-11-2012, 12:47
I've been looking at the Springfield Loaded Micro Compact (3") Lightweight. I cannot give you a range report on it, but have been really close to "pulling the trigger" on one a few times now. My choice would be between this and the Colt Defender, leaning toward the Springer.

http://www.springfield-armory.com/armory.php?version=6

I was at Gander Mountain today amd handled a Springer EMP 9MM and a Defender .45ACP side-by-side. I was surprised that there is almost no difference in size between the two. The EMP also seemed heavier (more than the 2 ozs claimed) and muzzle heavy. The Defender seemed lighter, better balanced, and had a better trigger IMO. I also like the Defender better than the Kimbers I've handled. I have my dealer looking for a Defender.

rich52us
06-11-2012, 14:10
I found a Colt Defender deal on Slick Guns that took me to Grab-a-gun. They had 1 Defender left for $864.45 + 5.99 shipping. It is now on the way to my FFF dealer:supergrin:. They say it will probably ship on Wednesday. Can't wait to get it and shoot & carry it.

I guess I need to start looking at holsters & extra mags.

Thanks to everyone for their input so far.

fnfalman
06-11-2012, 14:30
9mm or .45Auto?

rich52us
06-11-2012, 14:35
9mm or .45Auto?

Big holes:rofl:.

Ruble Noon
06-11-2012, 17:27
I found a Colt Defender deal on Slick Guns that took me to Grab-a-gun. They had 1 Defender left for $864.45 + 5.99 shipping. It is now on the way to my FFF dealer:supergrin:. They say it will probably ship on Wednesday. Can't wait to get it and shoot & carry it.

I guess I need to start looking at holsters & extra mags.

Thanks to everyone for their input so far.

Congrats on the Defender.
I bought a bunch of Colt magazines for mine through CDNN. I also have some Metalform that work well also.

rich52us
06-11-2012, 17:54
Congrats on the Defender.
I bought a bunch of Colt magazines for mine through CDNN. I also have some Metalform that work well also.

Can I use standard 7 & 8 rd Gvt mags in the Defender? I guess they might stick out the bottom of the grip, but they might work as re-loads.

G27RR
06-11-2012, 17:59
STI makes great compacts. I have a Shadow and an Escort. They are both very reliable (zero malfunctions in1K rounds on the Escort, 3 in 4,000 rounds on the Shadow (two of those were failures to return to battery from being excessively dirty after a very long range session)). I have posted reviews of both on here before.

The Defender is also highly reliable. I used to carry one before I had the STIs. I would prefer if it had some sort of front strap treatment because it is slick without the wraparounds, and night sights would be nice, but otherwise it is good to go. Somewhere between 1,500-2,000 rounds through mine with zero malfunctions.

I would recommend any of those.

edit - congrats, I see you already got one!

G27RR
06-11-2012, 18:02
Can I use standard 7 & 8 rd Gvt mags in the Defender? I guess they might stick out the bottom of the grip, but they might work as re-loads.

You can, but it is possible to over-insert the long ones. You can get some mag adapters that slip over the government mags to prevent that, and they also provide some extra grip surface. Xgrips or something like that. I've never tried them.

rich52us
06-11-2012, 18:06
You can, but it is possible to over-insert the long ones. You can get some mag adapters that slip over the government mags to prevent that, and they also provide some extra grip surface. Xgrips or something like that. I've never tried them.

Well, I have a number of GI size mags, so I may try to find the adapters and go with that. Thanks.

rich52us
06-11-2012, 18:14
Found them.

http://x-grips.com/products/1911c1pc.html

fnfalman
06-11-2012, 19:15
Well, I have a number of GI size mags, so I may try to find the adapters and go with that. Thanks.

What's the point of owning an Officer's ACP size frame and then put extenders on the long mags?

As long as you don't ram the mags home like there's no tomorrow, you're not going to overinsert anything.

Ruble Noon
06-11-2012, 20:50
Can I use standard 7 & 8 rd Gvt mags in the Defender? I guess they might stick out the bottom of the grip, but they might work as re-loads.

Like fnfalman said, as long as you don't ram them home you will be fine. I carry 8 round government mags for spares.

What's the point of owning an Officer's ACP size frame and then put extenders on the long mags?

As long as you don't ram the mags home like there's no tomorrow, you're not going to overinsert anything.

rich52us
06-12-2012, 02:44
What's the point of owning an Officer's ACP size frame and then put extenders on the long mags?

As long as you don't ram the mags home like there's no tomorrow, you're not going to overinsert anything.

I intend to carry the pistol with the Defender/Agent/Officer size mags in the pistol. The longer mags would be for the range, and possibly as a re-load when carrying.

rich52us
06-13-2012, 15:20
I ordered 2 additional Officer/Defender mags anyway.

Ruble Noon
06-14-2012, 18:40
I ordered 2 additional Officer/Defender mags anyway.

Something else that you might consider is a set of wood grips. The Hogue's are comfortable and nice for shooting but on a CC weapon they tend to cling to your cover garment.

rich52us
06-14-2012, 18:42
Something else that you might consider is a set of wood grips. The Hogue's are comfortable and nice for shooting but on a CC weapon they tend to cling to your cover garment.

The Hogue grips feel great in my hand, but I have been looking at possible alternatives because I intend to carry the Defender IW.

Catch22
07-02-2012, 20:33
Para Ordnance Warthog wearing hogue grips is hard to go wrong with 11 rounds of 45 on your side. :thumbsup:

Shark1007
07-03-2012, 15:23
A little afraid of Para, have heard of too many issues.

rich52us
07-03-2012, 16:00
A little afraid of Para, have heard of too many issues.

Me too.

michael t
07-03-2012, 19:36
My Colt Defender is 100% reliable!


I go with that my Defender has been 100% since day one.


my para was one big issue Never again.

Catch22
07-03-2012, 20:48
I have shot a defender its nice no doubt. I own a colt or two one is a lightweight model. I shot a warthog and I own one now. I can't comment on a Para other than the one I have and it's never coughed or sneezed once. I can't talk about its longevity as far as round count. The way the grips even fit in a little channel so the web of your never will never even think of getting chewed on. The front site is dovetailed in and the fact it where's serrated nitesites(does colt even give you that option). The grip safety just blends to frame of the gun perfect. The safety is extended but flush against the side(I can't recall the defenders safety look).The gun will even take a 13 rounder if the 10 rounder isn't enough for you.
Side note:
I think a Colt mustang is a true deep cover gun I sold all my other 380s after takeing it out shooting once. I think performs more like a full size 1911 than any 380 I've owned or tryed out.

Buster342
07-21-2012, 22:40
I picked up one each, used: Defender and New Agent. I kept the New Agent and sold the Defender.
I have small hands and I can tell you that the Defender felt fatter in my hand. The D has full size grips, while the NA has slim grips plus stippling on the front strap that add up to a more secure grip.
It only took one magazine to cozy up to the trench sights. I feel this weapon is a reflex shooter to a man size target 20' away at most and I was much faster on target and no less accurate with the NA trench sights over the D with traditional sights.
Add to all that the NA has a slim and short, but very effective grip safety while the DA has the bulkier bevertail and the NA is quite a bite more compact. It is, in fact, more compact than a 9mm EMP. Nuff said.

prez1967
07-22-2012, 04:54
http://i302.photobucket.com/albums/nn89/prez1967/compacts4.jpg

Love my Springer compacts... 110% reliable and they dissapear on me... Only pistol i carry more is my G36