Will a commander slide assembly work on a full size Colt?

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by ASTEC, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. ASTEC

    ASTEC New Member

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    I have a 5" Colt Government model 80 series 45. Is the frame the same for a commander and a Government model? Can I put a Colt Commander series 80 4-1/4" slide/barrel on my full size series 80Government frame?
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  2. HossFly

    HossFly New Member

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    Short answer- Yes
    I've done it on a 70 series-
    The dust cover is going to look funny tho-
  3. hogger129

    hogger129 Active Member

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    should... same frame size between the commander and gov't
  4. carver

    carver Moderator

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    Maybe, and then again, maybe not! Was the slide on either gun hand fitted? Might need a little fitting work done, or maybe a lot!
  5. ASTEC

    ASTEC New Member

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    Nope, no hand fitting. I am just contemplating a commander upper to make my government model a bit more CC friendly. I have not purchased it as yet, or I would just try it. The commander upper (with complete slide, barrel, spring assembly) for $450 was at a gunshow. I got the sellers name/number and told him I would get back to him.
    Just to clarify, if no hand fitting was done to either slide nor frame, it should work OK, it will just look kinda funny? Please explain.
    Thanks everyone.
  6. ASTEC

    ASTEC New Member

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    I found this online: What is the frame difference betwwen an Officer's, Commander and Government.
    The difference is the grip, frame rail size and the dustcover beneath the slide. The Colt Government model 1911 frame must be shortened in both the rails and the dust cover area to work as a Commander. and the Officer model dustcover a bit shorter still. The Officers model generally has a shorter grip and a smaller magazine.

    Both the Colt Commander and Officers model frame rails are about .086" shorter than those of the standard Government frame, which is why a Commander sized slide is able to work on the smaller Officers frame, and vise versa, but the Commander and Officers sized slides will not work on the Government frame.


    The Government model 1911 is a standard 5 inch barrel and slide with the full frame

    The Commander model is a 4.25 barrel w/ shortened slide rails and a government sized grip.
    The Officer model is a 3.5" inch barrel w/ shortened slide rails and a reduced length grip frame.
    The Government and Commanders model 1911's accept the standard 7 rnd. or 8 rnd. magazines.
    While the Officers model has a shorter magazine reducing the capacity to 6 rnds. However some aftermarket magazines are available that can give the additional 2 rnd. capacity to you for the Officers model.
    All 1911 type pistols are based on the original colt 1911 design specifications but not all 1911 type slides are compatible to switch between each other due to proprietary differences some have.
    Springfield armory makes a compact model 1911 with a 4" barrel/ slide and Para Ordnance makes an even shorter version of the Officers with a 3" barrel/ slide.

    Thanks everyone for your help on this question. I suppose if I had a Colt Commander, I could put an Officers slide on it, or vice versa, but neither will work on a Government 1911.
  7. HossFly

    HossFly New Member

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    The dust cover will be longer on the full sized frame- I cut mine down to fit-Not a big deal.A little cold blue will work fine to touch up the end of dust cover if your carefull how you cut it-

    Dust cover length on Commander
    [​IMG]

    Dust cover length on full sized-
    See where the dust cover end is on relation to slide?
    The full sized will be close to the end of the slide on the shorter Commander slide-
    [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
  8. Cuba

    Cuba New Member

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    I cut the frame abutment and rails back by about .100" and shortened the dust cover.

    If you put a Commander slide on an unmodified government frame it will probably work but the slide travel is reduced by about .100". You may not be able to slingshot the slide and the reduced travel may cause feeding problems if mag springs are a little weak.

    shoot safe, shoot straight, and have fun
  9. ignats

    ignats Member

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    HossFly, how did you shorten the dust cover? Did you cut the rails back as well? TIA.
  10. HossFly

    HossFly New Member

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    Just used a fine blade in a hacksaw with the frame in a well padded vice. Just have to cut slow & keep the cut square. Polished the edges & touched up with cold blue- Its more a cosmetic thing that a has to be perfect to function thing.
    No on rail cut- Worked perfectly :cool:
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012
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