1911 Steel vs. Alloy Frame Commander

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by MOshooter, Jul 27, 2013.

  1. MOshooter

    MOshooter New Member

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    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.
     
  2. Gatoragn

    Gatoragn Active Member

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

  3. Donn

    Donn Active Member

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

    ClemsonSCJ New Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2013
  5. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    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.
     
  6. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    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.
     
  7. limbkiller

    limbkiller New Member

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    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.
     
  8. kirbinster

    kirbinster New Member

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    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.
     
  9. Thebiker

    Thebiker New Member

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    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.
     
  10. MOshooter

    MOshooter New Member

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    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.
     
  11. MOshooter

    MOshooter New Member

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    After lots of research on Colt 1911s,I figured out I would like one of each :D lol

    I finally purchased a Colt 1911 Combat Commander xse,I decided to go with the steel frame on this purchase and in the near future maybe a LW Commander?

    I almost bought a Colt Gold Cup Trophy which will definitely be the next Colt purchase,I've been struck hard by the 1911 addiction :cool: :D
     
  12. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Welcome to the colt club!!

    Picking up a lightweight colt commander tomorrow on a trade
     
  13. MOshooter

    MOshooter New Member

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    Thanks Jon, Congrats on the LW!
     
  14. MOshooter

    MOshooter New Member

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    Waiting for a firearm has to be the longest wait!,except for child birth :D lol jkg.

    I was given a tracking number to track the package,how many times a day do you think I check that?? :D
    I'm normally a patient person,but waiting on a new 1911 Colt,it feels like the Earth is revolving slower on this wait?? :) lol
     
  15. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    Pretty much.

    We got that stupid waiting period here. At least we have a semi reasonable reason why. In the recent past pre1980 folks that beat their children and wives mostly to death in a habitual manner were listed as disturbing the peace on wisconsin crime reports. Even if they spent time in jail. So the wisconsin legislature gave the state 2days to determine the actual cause of any handgun holds.

    I don't agree with it but the basis has some merit and some reasoning. But if it wasn't charged as a felony by the libtard courts why are the rest of us paying for it.

    Anyway put up some pics When you get it!!
     
  16. MOshooter

    MOshooter New Member

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    Jon,
    It a shame some of the hoops we have to jump through for others mistakes?.

    Here in MO. we no longer have a waiting period on handguns,years ago in the 90's we had a waiting period where we had to fill out a registration with our local law enforcement and pass a back ground check before we could actually buy a handgun. Now with the national back ground check,we can simply walk in pass the back ground check and walk out with the handgun at that moment. I like that :)

    I purchased the Colt in PA. on GB and have been tracking the package,looks like it shipped through Kansas City KS. this morning,about 130 miles from here,so I probably won't be getting the pistol until Tues.?
    I would've really liked to had it for Labor Day weekend,oh well i've been waiting this long,what's another day or two.

    As soon as she comes in and I get her cleaned and polished i'll post some pics along with a range report.

    Let us know how your Colt LW Commander's shooting,she looked like a really nice pistol.
     
  17. connectegr

    connectegr New Member

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    In general, I agree with the other comments, alloy for carry. But, I traded my Ultra CDP for a SA EMP40. The compact steel frame just feels right. And it is comfortable everyday in IWB (Milt Sparks).
     
  18. MOshooter

    MOshooter New Member

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    I went back and forth with the steel/alloy frame decision and originally was going alloy,actually looking at the Colt LW Commander xse pistol.
    When I found a Colt Combat Commander at a price I couldn't walk away from,one day I hope to purchase a LW Commander.
    But for now will pack the extra 6 ounce difference.
     
  19. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    was yours new as in one of the xse colts or an older one without the new colt throating??
     
  20. MOshooter

    MOshooter New Member

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    Jon the Colt Combat Commander xse I purchased is the newer model,as far as colts new throating with the dimple? Not sure?
    This is new information to me,not sure about the pros and cons on colts new throating. From what little I read it's supposed to help feed aggressively designed JHPs. better?