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MOshooter 07-27-2013 06:06 PM

1911 Steel vs. Alloy Frame Commander
I'm in the market for a 1911 Colt Commander and this steel vs. alloy frame really has me on the fence as which route to go? I really like the 1911 Colt Commander LW XSE,the Willey Clapp Colt 1911 Edition,and of course a all stainless Commander. But how will the Alloy frames hold up compared to a steei frame?

What are your thoughts and experiences with steel frame vs. alloy?

The pistol will be shot frequently informal shooting,no competition yet? And will be carried from time to time as a CCW.

Gatoragn 07-27-2013 06:33 PM

To paraphrase Canebrake, alloy is for carrying, steel is for shooting.

Donn 07-27-2013 07:47 PM


Originally Posted by Gatoragn (Post 1317250)
To paraphrase Canebrake, alloy is for carrying, steel is for shooting.

+1. If you plan on carrying even just sometimes, get alloy.

ClemsonSCJ 07-27-2013 07:52 PM

It's my understanding that alloy will hold up just as well with standard target rounds. It's the +P's where the alloys will not hold up quite as long. Which makes for an ironic situation...the alloys are for carrying, and generally self defense (carry) ammo is +P, where target are not. However it's generally negligible because self defense ammo is just for that, so just how often do you shoot +P self defense ammo? Rarely. I usually fill both mags and then shoot the rest of the box just to make sure it feeds alright. So my 1911 has only had 5 +P rounds put through it. I have a Taurus though, not a Colt. My next is going to be a 4.25" commander Sig.

danf_fl 07-27-2013 08:14 PM

Gator and Donn are correct IMO.

With standard loads, the "normal" shooter should not wear out an alloy frame from a manufacturer like Colt.
(Normal meaning someone who shoots maybe 200 rounds a year.)

If the owner plans on getting into competition, then don't use an alloy frame for practice.

Axxe55 07-27-2013 08:26 PM

i tend to agree and think for carry and casual shooting, the alloy frame will be fine. if it was more for range use or informal target shooting, then the steel frame would be ideal.

another option is to get a little stiffer recoil spring for when shooting hotter loads like the +P ammo. it only takes a few minutes to change out and they are really inxpensive. use the stock recoil spring for carry and the stiffer one for hotter loads. it will dampen some of the force and keep it from battering the alloy frame as bad.

limbkiller 07-27-2013 08:44 PM

Are you going to shoot 20,000 rounds through the gun. If you are forget the alloy frame. If not go for the alloy. It will hold up just fine. If not Colt has a lifetime warranty so you will be covered. It's as simple as that.

kirbinster 07-27-2013 10:31 PM

Well I have two 1911's and they are both heavy steel models. I like the extra weight as it absorbs the recoil much better.

Thebiker 07-27-2013 10:51 PM

I agree with the Canebrake philosophy. I shoot my 1911's frequently, like 100 - 200 rounds per week. That's not a lot compared to a serious shooter. But if you do the math, you are looking at 2500 - 5000 rounds annually.

Most folks once they start shooting a 1911 quickly become addicted and shoot more than they did pre-1911.....just my observation as well as personal experience.

With that in mind, buy steel. I routinely carry either a full sized STI 1911 or a Sig Stainless Steel Carry (commander size). My usual advice applies to all CC, invest in the right holster and the right BELT. Many folks skimp on the belt expense, bad idea. The right complete rig makes all the difference between carrying comfortably and it never "feeling quite right". Once again, JMHO based on almost 30 years of daily CC.

Good luck with your choices and enjoy them.

MOshooter 07-27-2013 11:04 PM

Thanks I really appreciate everyones input,opinions,and experience pertaining to Steel vs Alloy frames

Lately i've really had 1911 on the brain real bad,wanting another one,maybe two? I've been very conservative saving my pennies and ready for a purchase.

The only 1911 I have is a Para Ordnance P14-45 Alloy frame that i've had since the early to mid 90s,it's a really good shooter,just too fat to use possibly as a carry pistol. In the nearly 20 years i've owned the p14-45 i've shot mainly target loads along with a few stout loads through the pistol,I bought this during the 90s double stack craze. I now find myself wanting the more traditional single stack 1911s and a pistol that will appreciate in time.

I think this next purchase will be a LW Commander and start saving up for a nice steel commander as a shooter,because I shoot more than an average shooter if they're only shooting 200 rounds per year?,I can do that easily in an afternoon in the backyard,Although I don't shoot 20,000 rounds a year :eek: :D LOL

Thanks again for all the great input and advise.

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