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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never owned a 1911. Fired one many, many years ago - not sure, but I think it might've been a Colt Gvmt. Issue.
From time to time, I've considering buying one. If I ever do, most likely it will be a Ruger or RIA.

Question:
What are the Pros and Cons of a Full size vs. the Commander?
I realize the Commander is shorter and lighter and therefore more easily carried.
But, is there a major difference in shootability, accuracy or handling?
 

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I am not a 1911 expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I don't see a huge difference other than what you mentioned. If I am not going to carry it I prefer the feel of the full size. But if I was only going to buy one 1911 I would get a commander. Of course nobody buys one 1911.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the advice, BDD!
Most likely, I wouldn't be carrying it. I like to pack light - LCP in warm weather, M&P Shield 9mm in cool weather.....
I'll see if my range has a FS and/or CMD for rent and try them both out if I can.
 

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I realize the Commander is shorter and lighter and therefore more easily carried.
But, is there a major difference in shootability, accuracy or handling?
The Commander is about 1" shorter barrel length. Grip length is the same as Govt.
My opinion is that both conceal the same. The barrel is down your pants so barrel length doesn't matter. That extra inch of barrel weight is negligible compared to the overall firearm weight.
An Officers model has a shorter grip length. That does make it easier to conceal as it doesn't "bulge" the shirt as much. Ruger doesn't make an Officers model (yet).
As for accuracy, the Govt has 1" more sight radius so it should be more accurate, but I've heard many Ruger Commander owners say they shoot the Commander as well as the Govt. Enough so that I think a Ruger Commander may be one of my next purchases.
As for shoot-ability/handling, they are both 1911's so they are gonna be very good.
Hope this helps.
 

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I agree with Snake. Grip length is the same and thus the same to try and conceal. If you are not going to carry it, I would get the full size. I have a full size gov't model from Springfield Armory and it is not that bad to carry. Especially in cooler weather with a large cover shirt, sweat shirt or coat. IMO the most important measurement for ease of carry and concealment for an IWB holster is thickness, and grip length. Length of gun not as important.

I also have a XD .45 compact (double stack), 4 inch barrel, that has shorter grips and is not that hard to hide. I find my self carrying that as much or more than the full size 1911. Not as thin, but the shorter grip and a good forward cant on the holster makes it concealable. That gives you 10+1 over the 7+1 on the full size 1911. The XD 45 Compact comes with an extended mag and get you 13+1 of the .45's. Dang I like that gun!

If you can, get them all! :tennis: Options are good.
 

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The Commander is about 1" shorter barrel length. Grip length is the same as Govt.
My opinion is that both conceal the same. The barrel is down your pants so barrel length doesn't matter. That extra inch of barrel weight is negligible compared to the overall firearm weight.
An Officers model has a shorter grip length. That does make it easier to conceal as it doesn't "bulge" the shirt as much. Ruger doesn't make an Officers model (yet).
As for accuracy, the Govt has 1" more sight radius so it should be more accurate, but I've heard many Ruger Commander owners say they shoot the Commander as well as the Govt. Enough so that I think a Ruger Commander may be one of my next purchases.
As for shoot-ability/handling, they are both 1911's so they are gonna be very good.
Hope this helps.
 
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I had a steel frame Commander and preferred the added weight over the alloy. The steel frame tames the recoil a lot by comparison. It was easy to conceal with a SOB holster on a good belt. I don't think a Government model would be any more difficult to keep out of sight. The 3/4 inch shorter barrel only loses 100~150fps in velocity. Which is negligible if using ball ammo, although hollow points are affected. The better brands have designed bullets that will expand out of the 3 1/2" officers model with good reliability though. The Commander when loaded has a better muzzle to grip balance in my opinion, where as the Government is a tad more muzzle heavy (target friendly?).
 

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I often hear that felt recoil will be harsher on a Commander. Being completely honest, I don't feel it. Of course you will end up with several so it really doesn't matter which you buy first.
 

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I just picked up a slightly used commander and i absolutely love it. The recoil wasn't not as bad as i excepted. I as on the fence, and the deal just presented it self and i couldn't pass it up.
 

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I have owned a Star PD (25 oz.) for many years. It has the grip of the officer 1911 and the length of the commander. The barrel of the Star PD is over a 1/4 inch shorter than the commander and just under a 3/4 inch in overall length. The Star PD is also shorter in length than the officer 1911 even though the barrel length of the Star PD is .4 of inch longer.

The Star PD is 4.9 inches in height. The commander is 5.19 inches in height. The overall height of 1911 officer with its shorten grip frame is 5 inches.

There is no grip safety on the Star PD and you can engage the safety with the hammer down, which you cannot do with any 1911.


My next 1911 will probably be Kahr Auto Ordnance 1911A1 and after that it will be Ruger's SR1911.

KAHR ARMS UPGRADES THE AUTO-ORDNANCE 1911
 
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