Not a dumb question. I too would like to know.
This is a discussion on I have a dumb question. within the Defensive Ammunition & Ballistics forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I have a colt Defender, and a Commander, can i shoot +P ammo in them? both of them are .45 my commander is stainless. thanks ...
I have a colt Defender, and a Commander, can i shoot +P ammo in them? both of them are .45 my commander is stainless. thanks for the input. also i am new the the world of the 1911's...
Not a dumb question. I too would like to know.
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I believe you might better served by calling the manufacturer of your 1911 and or looking at the manual to see if there is any disclosure on the use of +P ammunition.
I shoot an awful lot of H&K USP's and their manual specifically states that their pistols are rated for +P and +P+ ammunition.
I have fired 185 grain +P ammunition out of my Kimber and my Wilson and my Night Hawk Custom with no problems to speak of but I wouldn't want a steady diet of +P ammunition in those particular pistols. The external extractor broke on my Kimber during a mag of +P 185 grains but I'm not certain that those hot loads where the cause of an extractor breaking or not. Your recoil is much sharper and much more quick with +P ammunition thus giving you a much faster front sight to trigger press timing than standard pressure ammunition and 230 grain loads.
I'd just call the service desk and try to find someone in the shop that can give you a yes or no answer.
U.S. Army retired
Actually I can answer that.
+P .45 acp ammo can only ever BE so "plus."
Due to the brass cartridge cases and the case wall thickness you'll reach a point where the cartridge case walls will rupture on extraction so you can never have workable brass +P++++ type .45 ammo in a .45acp case.
That being said your Colt Defender and your Colt Commander will easily handle as much +P ammo as you can afford to buy.
As far as the actual STRENGTH of the Colt pistol is concerned I remember a test where Steel Cased .45 acp was loaded to near .44 magnum power and that was fired in a Colt with absolutely no damage to the pistol. Extraction was a problem though.
SO in short - shoot as much +P as you want to in both of your Colts but, just install fresh recoil springs more often than you normally would.
If I still have not convinced you then move up to a slightly stronger recoil spring.
Figure that your Colts are at least TWICE as strong as they NEED to be to handle a healthy diet of +P.
My one Combat Commander has thousands of rounds of +P through it and it is still as functionally perfect as the day I bought it.
My alloy frame did a couple thousand +P and it displayed no battering or problems at all.
I eventually traded it but, not because there was anything wrong with it but, only because I like the perfect balance of the all steel Combat Commander better.
You do not need to "baby" your Colt pistols.
They were designed and built tough.
Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ
Concerning Colt frame and slide can handle the .45 SUPER conversion.
Click here to get info on the .45 SUPER
Just an off topic FYI on my part.
We are sometimes asked here at Ace Custom 45's Inc.: What is a "45Super"® or in some cases why there is a "45Super"®? While the concept has been written up many times in the past, perhaps it will be helpful to those who are just becoming familiar with the "45Super"® concept or to those who have had some exposure to the "45Super"® concept, to provide some background on the "45Super"® , from its original conception dating back to 1988, to its current status in 2000.
In 1988, the beginning idea for a "45Super"® originated in Dean Grennells fertile imagination. Dean, longtime managing editor of Gun World Magazine, envisioned the concept of updating and strengthening of the popular Colt M1911A1G model auto through new gunsmithing techniques and the utilization of modern cartridge cases to improve the 45 ACP!
To do this Grennells went straight to the problem, pinpointing the weakest part of the M1911 system - the cartridge case itself! The standard 45 ACP leaves a significant portion of the case hanging unsupported over the angled feed ramp of the barrel, thereby limiting pressures and velocities to low levels. The unsupported section is forward of the case head and the brass there is thin, this poses no particular problem since the standard 45 ACP is loaded to levels not much greater than black powder loads, and standard brass is amply strong to handle this! However this scenario does present a serious barrier to increased ballistic performance! (There are some who would argue: that there is no need for increased ballistic performance for the 45 ACP, for those who are of that mindset we leave them there!)
To address the case weakness of the standard .45 ACP Grennell used a modified .451 Detonics magnum case. This case was longer than the 45 ACP, with thicker walls and a heavier web area to withstand higher pressures. These cases trimmed to proper 45 ACP length and then inside neck reamed to accept 45 ACP bullets, provided the basis for the "45Super"®!
As a matter of note it was never intentional by Grennell nor is it ours, to wring the last foot-second from a 45 ACP pistol, but to provide a performance boost for 45 auto fans without resorting to extensive and expensive modifications! Grennell did this with the shortened .451 Detonics magnum case utilizing principally a standard .45 auto government model with a 22 lb. recoil spring. While he was satisfied with the cartridge concept, the pistol clearly needed some work to refine the concept completely.
Dean turned the project over to Tom Ferguson, fellow "Gun World" staffer, who brought a sackful of .451 Detonics brass and a Colt .45 Auto to Ace Custom 45's Inc. This lead to a series of upgrading modifications to the Colt .45 Auto that eventually lead to a properly functioning "45Super"® pistol. The original loads were chrongraphed using both 185 and 230 grain bullets and the velocities returned were impressive indeed. (Detonics' magnum cases)
185 Gr @ up to 1400 FPS
230 Gr @ up to 1200 FPS
At this point Bruce Hodgon of Hodgon Powder Company Incorporated was contacted and agreed to run pressure tests for the "45Super"® and thanks to his gracious efforts, pressure tests revealed that the Colt Mod 1911A1 was well within the strength compatibility required by the "45Super"® pressures. Maximum working pressures for the .38 Super (for example) is 35,700 CUP; most of the loads ("45Super"® ) tested by Hodgon were slightly below this level! (By contrast our top "45Super"® loads today, generate about 28,000 CUP! 185 Gr @ 1300 FPS 230 Gr @ 1100 FPS.)
It had been done: the "45Super"® was now a reality! Ace Custom 45's added to its line of services "45Super"® conversions on customer supplied weapons!
Eventually the supply of .451 Detonic's Magnum cases dried up and except for laboriously modifying .308 Winchester rifle brass there was no cartridge case suitable for the "45Super"® concept.
This changed in 1994 when factory produced "45Super"® ammunition became available and Ace Custom45s obtained a "Federally Registered Trademark" of the name "45Super"®. The factory "45Super"® ammunition was based on "new cases" made by Starline Brass to meet the parameters required for "45Super"® pressures and velocities; with the cases being headstamped "45Super"®, and finally Springfield, Inc. introduction of a factory produced "45Super"® PISTOL, their V-16 LONGSLIDE "45Super"® pistol.
Currently Ace Custom .45's Inc. offers 10 different complete "45Super"® pistols, based on Springfield Armory, Para-ordnance, Kimber, and Glock Model 21 units and of course we continue to offer "45Super"® conversions on customer supplied weapons, as well as "Gunsmith fit" "45Super"® conversion kits, for Govt. Mod 1911 style pistols and 4506 series Smith & Wesson pistols, and the Glock M-21.
As for the future; Ace Custom .45's Inc. is currently evaluating other candidates for the "45Super"® concept, and will be adding new additions to our current line of complete "45Super"® pistols in the future.
President, Ace Custom .45's Inc.
Garey O. Hindman
Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ
Only thing I have noticed in my 3" Springfield is that +P does not seem to cycle well. I think it may be too much slide velocity. The factory manual says much the same. I can't speak for you Colt though as I don't have one! I do have a Lightweight Commander that handles +P just fine although I wouldn't want to give it a steady diet of it. I do carry it with +P ammo though for defense.
If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.
Nice reply there. I'm filing that away for info for a few shooting buddies that use Colt 1911's.
Les Baer 45
N.R.A. Patron Life Member