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Old 08-26-2011, 21:54   #1
fnfalman
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My hypocrisy knows no bound - Lightweight Commander XSE

I was so impressed with the Combat Commander's handling and balance that I figured a Lightweight Commander would even be better.

Alas, after perusing all the shops and pawn shops around Boise, I didn't find a regular Lightweight Commander. Only one joint has the XSE in stainless steel. I was dawdling because of the front slide serration, full length guide rod and ambidextrous safety. I don't know when I'd be able to get a Lightweight Commander but at the same time I don't want all the geegaws. The shop owner cut me a deal that I couldn't refuse, so here I am with a gun that I only so-so want. Oh well, life is tough and then you die.

I may leave the ambi safety as is or I may switch to a left-side-only lever. However, the full length guide rod must go.

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Old 08-26-2011, 22:20   #2
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Very nice, fnfalman

Congrats!
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Old 08-26-2011, 22:32   #3
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:17   #4
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You have quite a few Colt 1911s now.
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Old 08-27-2011, 04:31   #5
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Sweet Colt, congrats!
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:33   #6
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Congrats on the so-so wanted Colt!
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Old 08-27-2011, 05:53   #7
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Nice!

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Old 08-27-2011, 09:24   #8
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Nice, I don't bother changing out the FLGR in my Colt's, they come out easily without tools.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:50   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickpisp View Post
Nice, I don't bother changing out the FLGR in my Colt's, they come out easily without tools.
That they do, but damn, it's rough on your thumb.
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Old 08-27-2011, 09:52   #10
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Thanks for the well wishes, everybody. I'd only wish that it were a regular Lightweight Commander but hey, it's better than a sharp poke in the eye. Besides, I have issues with impulse controls, I can't wait for a regular Lightweight Commander to work through the used gun circle.
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:20   #11
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I'm not a fan of the Duckbill grip safety, but overall it's a great looking gun.
-Joel
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:30   #12
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Congrats on the new addition.
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Old 08-27-2011, 10:40   #13
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Congrats on a beautiful pistol! I still want a commander, but there are a couple of others I'd like to pick up first.
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Old 08-27-2011, 11:32   #14
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Well O.K. Now I have to start looking too!
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Old 08-27-2011, 15:20   #15
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Old 08-27-2011, 19:32   #16
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I'm in the middle of moving, so time is a wee bit pressed. I ran to the local indoors range and blasted 100-rounds through it to check for functionality more than anything. Found some good and found some not so great. The ammo were a box of Blazer Aluminum and a box of PMC, both 230-gr ball ammo.

First of all, I tried the GI plug. For some reasons that setup didn't allow the slide to go all the way back. I need to check the GI plug from my other Commander to see if there's a difference in length or what. The slide doesn't go back far enough to lock it in place with the slide lock lever, about 1/8" short or so by my eyeball calibration. I disassembled the gun, looked it over real quick, couldn't see what's wrong. Reassembled and same issue. So I slapped the one-piece full length guide rod back in and shot the mutha.

The shots all went low. Maybe 2" at 7-yds, 3" at 10-yds and 4'-5" at 15-yds. It's back to the gun shop now and the gunsmith will see if he can cut the front sight down a bit. That was quite disappointing. On the other hand, the damn gun shot like the devil. Groups were tight and controllability was great. I loved my 9mm Commander's handling characteristics, but I wasn't sure how a lightweight Commander in .45ACP would do. Obviously it ain't gonna hurt me, but I was wondering how less controllable it might be. Control wasn't an issue at all. I felt a bit more snap but not enough to bother me and the gun was on target during rapid fire a lot more than the Gold Cup that I was shooting side-by-side.

First group was tight but low as heck. Second group was done at 10-yds and it was also low. I thought that maybe the gun was sighted in at the factory and calibrated for the white dots instead of top of the sights, so I started experimenting with aiming via white dots only. If anything, it made the groups spreaded out all over the joint. However, the bulk of the groups were still impacting low. I hunkered down and shot at 15-yds. I knew that my sight picture was off but the group was decent...and low. So now the pistol is with the smithy to see if he can shave the front sight down a bit.

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Old 08-27-2011, 19:36   #17
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No point in shooting at bullseye at this stage, so I switched over to silhouette target to see about handling. The gun may shoot low to point of aim, but if push were to come to shove, it'd still put rounds on target.

Tried some Mozambique drills, some rapid fire flash sight picture drills, some quick aim drills. I finished it off by 1-second/shot at 7yds - still shot low.

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Old 08-27-2011, 22:35   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickpisp View Post
Nice, I don't bother changing out the FLGR in my Colt's, they come out easily without tools.
Indeed they do. This along with the fact that you can't charge a Commander by pressing the front of the slide against something, like you can with a Government Model I decided to leave it be on my XSE build.



Quote:
Originally Posted by fnfalman View Post
That they do, but damn, it's rough on your thumb.
Indeed it is!



Congrats on the Colt, sir! My XSE commander has been a superb pistola and I'm sure yours wil be as well.
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Old 08-27-2011, 22:56   #19
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So, nobody switches over to the GI recoil spring setup? What's so special about this
XSE Commander that it can't be done?

I'm going to see if I can find a left-side-only safety lever and switch it out for the ambi safety. For some reasons the ambi safety bugs the hell out of me.
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Old 08-28-2011, 17:05   #20
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Nice Commander you have. I bought the same model LW Commander xse used. Ordered Colt's curved mainspring housing and single sided thumb safety from Midway, and drop in grip safety from Wilson's. Installed m/s housing, grip safety and a short trigger that I already had. The grip safety didn't line up right with the frame so put duckbill back in and filed off some excess. I'm going to have a gunsmith fit the thumb safety. I really like the gun. Pics later.
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Old 08-28-2011, 18:48   #21
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Is it me or the mainspring housing on the XSE is made out of plastic?
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Old 08-28-2011, 19:09   #22
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Quote:
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Is it me or the mainspring housing on the XSE is made out of plastic?
Yup, it is.
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Old 08-29-2011, 12:31   #23
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Well, that's one part that has to go.
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Old 08-29-2011, 19:05   #24
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Yes, Colt makes those in nylon/plastic/polymer, the Colt arched replacement I ordered was also plastic. It works ok, I just prefer the arched m/s feel. Smith and Alexander has a good selection of aluminum, steel and stainless m/s housings. Can also be ordered with lanyard loop. I plan to upgrade from them someday. I didn't mention previously that I had to drift my rear sight slightly to the left to get my shots centered. The sight was so tight I had to take it to the gunsmith where I purchased the gun to get it to move. My hammer and punch method wasn't working. I also had to find a set screw for the rear sight, as it was missing when I bought the gun. After trying Colt, Midway and Brownells, I emailed Novak's, explained my situation, and they sent me one free of charge. Pics tomorrow I think.
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Old 08-29-2011, 21:45   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fnfalman View Post
So, nobody switches over to the GI recoil spring setup? What's so special about this
XSE Commander that it can't be done?

I'm going to see if I can find a left-side-only safety lever and switch it out for the ambi safety. For some reasons the ambi safety bugs the hell out of me.
Not a reason at all you can't change it if you so desire. When I began customizing my Commander I decided to leave the factory FLGR and plug. For me it didn't hurt anything and there was nothing to be gained by changing it.

I hated the ambi safety too, and swapped mine out for a barstock EGW. The plastic MSH went the way of a Wilson round butt and she got a Wilson Bullet Proof beavertail.
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