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Full size vs Commander size for CCW.

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by TN.Frank, Jan 6, 2011.

  1. TN.Frank

    TN.Frank Glock4Life

    Oct 11, 2004
    Avondale, AZ.
    I've owned 9, 1911a1 style pistols, out of those only the Llama's were not full size guns. One was a Commander size and one was a P12 style so I have more experience with the full size guns.
    For those of ya'll who have both which do you find better for CCW? I find that the grip length makes more of a difference for CCW then barrel length and both full size and commander size have the same grip length so does that 3/4" less barrel length really make a big difference in packin' the 1911a1 for CCW?
    I do like the looks of the commander size gun better, seems to look more balanced as far as grip length and barrel length.
    Thoughts, opinions, suggestions. Just kickin' around weather I should get a full size or commander size even though I'm thinking commander size right now.
  2. Hokie1911

    Hokie1911 >

    Dec 26, 2003
    NE Ohio
    Bobtailed commander. Problem solved. :supergrin:


  3. rgregoryb

    rgregoryb Sapere aude

    Oct 20, 2004
    Republic of Alabama
    commander.......and a true 4.25" commander.................
  4. 1006


    Aug 12, 2007
    Newnan, Georgia
    I carry a LWT XSE Commander. The weight, rather than size, is the bigger reason for me.

    With the loads I shoot, I loose about 50 Feet Per Second with 230 FMJs. The lighter bullets will loose more velocity than the heavier bullets when switching from a longer barrel to a shorter barrel.
  5. AZ Husker

    AZ Husker

    Mar 25, 2003
    I have no difficulty hiding the extra 3/4 inch inside the waistband.
  6. I've carried both and find neither difficult or uncomfortable to carry. My current CCW is a custom Colt Commander with a Wilson round butt mainspring housing. I'm very happy with this setup.
  7. Hokie1911

    Hokie1911 >

    Dec 26, 2003
    NE Ohio
    Those new grips are looking tasty. :thumbsup:
  8. Trent


    Jul 6, 2009
    I've carried one or the other for about 25 years, and I currently carry the commander sized most of the time. The only real difference that is noted when using a real gunbelt and good holster is when seated. That is the only time that the 3/4" difference is noticeable. If you plan on sitting most of the day, you'll probably find the commander more comfortable. If standing, there is no real difference at all. Since Colt and other good manufacturers now offer aluminum in government sized frames, weight isn't as large of an issue when carrying all day. However, I never noticed it much regardless.

    Also, I carry IWB most of the time now, and that is what the above paragraph is regarding; if OWB the difference is far less with a good belt and holster.
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2011
  9. MD357


    Jul 13, 2008
    To me there's not that much difference with a good holster but it depends on your method of carry and body type. I've seen really skinny boys have some trouble carrying a full size 1911 OWB.
  10. Bill Lumberg

    Bill Lumberg BTF Inventor

    Jun 14, 2002
    I prefer a commander, but I own a flawless 5", and won't switch. In certain vehicles, for all day carry, that 1" you lose in slide length really makes a difference on your hip where the muzzle hits.

  11. Shipwreck-The-Sequel

    Shipwreck-The-Sequel Beretta 92 Nut!

    May 11, 2010
    Hockey City, Texas
    I prefer to shoot a fullsize over a commander size - I find the smaller gun has a little more recoil.

    I conceal a Beretta 92FS everyday IWB - so if I ever switch to a 1911, I'd carry a 5" fullsize one. Just my preference. The grip size is the same anyway.

    And, I always hated that the subcompact guns I used to carry in years past never had a full length backstrap. I hate that - which is why I can't get into the bobtailed models. Whenever I hold a bobtail, I always find myself preferring the normal grip.
  12. CAcop


    Jul 21, 2002
    IWB the length means nothing. OWB the length of the 5" might make it stick out from under a shirt or jacket. One of the reasons why I pretty much go with IWB since I have a long torso and most T-shirts only give me an inch or two to cover my belt.

    The Officer's grip is defintely the way to go with CCW if the grip sticks out too much. My Springfield Compact (4" barrel on top of Officer's frame) just disappears when carried IWB. I really don't like barrels under 4" so the CCO is where it is at for CCW for me.

    I need to pic up a second CCO style gun at some point before I retire so I can have a backup to my Springer.
  13. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

    Jun 19, 2008
    NW Ark.
    I like the size and balance of a Commander.
  14. PlasticGuy


    Jul 10, 2000
    I generally carry a 5" steel framed 1911. The only size that I think offers a valuable increase in carryability while still being 100% reliable is the CCO size with alloy frames. These combine a shorter officer's grip with a medium length commander slide and barrel, and drop the weight by about half a pound. I have the S&W version, and love it. I still carry a full sized 1911 most of the time, but the S&W CCO is a bit more comfortable on long and active days.
  15. mr.scott


    Oct 26, 2008
    I can't do a full size 1911. When I sit the barrel presses against my wallet and makes sitting uncomfortable. I can't carry a smaller 1911 because for some reason with shorter models I get hit in the face with brass.
  16. RetailNinja


    Jan 31, 2007
    SS2 + government model = easy money

    so much so that I got rid of my 4" (bull barrel SA) and just carry the 5"
  17. Officer's Match

    Officer's Match S.R.D. v

    Jun 22, 2007
    Lancaster, Ohio
    Has anybody ever made a 5" top over an Officer's frame? It'd look weird, but frankly would be kinda' cool.
  18. maslin


    Oct 27, 2008
    I've found my Springfield Compact to be about perfect as well, I wish they still made them. Mine is stamped 2002.
  19. gruntmedik

    gruntmedik Honk Honk CLM

    Jan 2, 2005
    Taylorsville, KY
    I couldn't agree more.