Colt Defender Questions

Colt Defender Questions

This is a discussion on Colt Defender Questions within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This may have been discussed before, and if so, sorry for the repeat.... but I am on a short time frame to make what I ...

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Thread: Colt Defender Questions

  1. #1
    Member Array DaveT's Avatar
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    Colt Defender Questions

    This may have been discussed before, and if so, sorry for the repeat.... but I am on a short time frame to make what I think might be a pretty good deal.

    Those of you who have a Colt Defender 45 ACP, please let me know what you think of it.... good and/or bad.

    Thinking of a trade (+ cash), my Kimber Tactical Ultra II for a brand new Colt Defender. My older Tactical is a 2003 model with external extractor.

    Or I could go with a brand new Kimber Tactical Ultra II with the internal extractor.

    This Kimber is nice, but last time out at the range, I had multiple problems with the gun jamming while trying to feed the last round in a magazine. Happened with several different Wilson mags, and two different kinds of ammo: Winchester 230 gr FMJ's and Speer Gold Dot 230 gr JHP. Gun is well past the recommended 'break in period' that Kimber advises.

    Been reading up a lot on the Colt Defender, owners seem to have a lot of good things to say about them.

    Want to stay with a 3 inch bbl to use the same Crimson Trace Grips, holsters and Wilson mags.

    Thanks in advance !


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Go for it...

    I think I would trade a used Kimber Ultra with external extractor and problems for a new Colt Defender, even if I had to put some cash into the trade as well.

    I also researched Defenders before buying one, and found mostly good reports from owners. The one I got 3 months ago has been good so far and I am happy with it.

  3. #3
    Member Array yellowv's Avatar
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    Why not just send the gun back to Kimber and let them put an internal extractor slide on it free of charge? The Defenders are not trouble free either. They have their fair share of problems as well. There are just a whole lot more Ultra sized Kimbers out there so you naturally hear of more problems. I have had two Ultras, an Eclipse which was a piece of crap that Kimber eventually replaced with a CDP. The CDP is a heck of a good gun. After break in it has run like a champ.

  4. #4
    JD
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    Get an officers size Springfield.

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    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    YellowV makes a good point. Kimber will stick a new slide on yours and it's likely to do better. And, the Springfield Officer's size run fine (I had one and sold it to get a Colt Officer's - only because I like the horse on the slide).
    And - I've had a Defender for a year. Not one problem at all with well over 500 rounds of everything through it, FMJ, HP, anything I could find. But - I use Wilson mags in it exclusively, even the stock mags, I changed out the steel (orange) followers for Wilson followers). So, I do not know how the box stock mags would do.
    The only surprise I've had with the Defender is how accurate it is. I expected loose 1911 accuracy and it's much, much more. I will likely buy another one.

  6. #6
    Member Array DaveT's Avatar
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    Thanks folks, I appreciate the information.

    I gave the custom shop at Kimber a call, spoke with Jimmy as Dennis was not there today. He said to send the gun back in, might take up to four weeks, would probably be returned with the new internal ejector slide installed. That will also take care of the problem with the dim night sights also.

    Since I've never shipped a firearm before, he also gave me complete instructions on how to accomplish that without a lot of hassle.

    YellowV, your information was great.... and right on target !!! Thanks again !
    Last edited by DaveT; August 25th, 2006 at 10:39 AM.

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    Senior Member Array slimjim's Avatar
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    I purchased a new Colt Defender a few months back. The gun never functioned right. I had lots of feeding issues with multiple types of ammo. I sent the gun back to Colt and it still came back finicky. There are plenty of people who despise 3" 1911's due to spotty history of reliability. Many wouldn't even call them 1911's. I just recently got rid of the gun as I have lost faith in it, and would be nothing more than paper weight. If you decide to get one, I hope it works out for you. As much as I really like the size, concealability, looks, etc. of the Defender I will probably never buy another again.
    I'm sticking to Commander lengths. Just one man's negative experience. Good luck!

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    Quote Originally Posted by slimjim View Post
    I purchased a new Colt Defender a few months back. The gun never functioned right. I had lots of feeding issues with multiple types of ammo. I sent the gun back to Colt and it still came back finicky. There are plenty of people who despise 3" 1911's due to spotty history of reliability. Many wouldn't even call them 1911's. I just recently got rid of the gun as I have lost faith in it, and would be nothing more than paper weight. If you decide to get one, I hope it works out for you. As much as I really like the size, concealability, looks, etc. of the Defender I will probably never buy another again.
    I'm sticking to Commander lengths. Just one man's negative experience. Good luck!
    +1, except I sent my new Defender back to Colt 3 times and it still wasn't right. I was never able to trust it 100%, so I sold it and got a Colt Commander. YMMV
    "I surrounded 'em"- Alvin York

    "They're ain't many troubles that a man can't fix with seven hundred dollars and a thirty ought six"- Jeff Cooper

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    Member Array yellowv's Avatar
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    Dave did you mention to Kimber than your sights were dim? If not let them know. They usually just take the sights off your slide and put them on the new one. They may notice they are dim but I would let them know. I have heard of some instances where they replaced them without a request just because they noticed they were dim though.

  10. #10
    Distinguished Member Array p8riot's Avatar
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    The Lightweight Defender is one of the guns I wish I had never sold. It was the nicest, sweetest shooting 3" 1911 I have ever carried.
    "You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone." - Al Capone

    The second amendment is the reset button of our Constitution.

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    Okay I'll weigh in here with my .02. I have said this before. My personal experiences with sub 4 inch 1911 design's (I have owned three of different quality brands) have all resulted in unreliable firearms. FTF's, FTE's double feed jams and the rare stovepipe. This NEVER happens with either my 1911 Government or my 1911 Commander. It is my theory and that of my IDPA club (Miggy will verify--cause he saw the trouble I had with my Springfield Armory micro-compact) that in a sub 4" barrel, the 1911 design becomes inherently flawed. I have two supporting resources for this:

    #1 In his monthly column last year Cooper's Corner Jeff Cooper reported a number of complaints like mine coming in from around the country and HE was of the opinion that this represented a possible problem in combat reliability. He said HE had no intention of ever buying such a gun.

    #2 I asked WILSON COMBAT if they'd do a Relability Package on my gun (the micro). They informed me over the phone that such a package would cost $100 but that they would in NO way WARRANTY 100% Reliability in any sub four inch 1911. That's a pretty telling statement for me. When I choose to carry a 1911, I'll stick to my 4.25" Commander. Although these days I'm mostly a Sig or an H&K guy, anyway.
    Former Army Infantry Captain; 25 yrs as an NRA Certified Instructor; Avid practitioner of the martial art: KLIK-PAO.

  12. #12
    Member Array DaveT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yellowv View Post
    Dave did you mention to Kimber than your sights were dim? If not let them know. They usually just take the sights off your slide and put them on the new one. They may notice they are dim but I would let them know. I have heard of some instances where they replaced them without a request just because they noticed they were dim though.
    I did, and was told they would replace them with new ones.

    Took my Crimson Trace grips off and put the stock ones back on, getting the gun ready to ship via FedEx on Monday.

    Stopped in at my usual gun store on Friday while I was in Abilene for radiation, they said that the wait on new Kimbers is anywhere between four to six weeks once ordered. All the more reason to send this one back in, get the slide and sights replaced, and save a lot of money in the process.

    Again..... thanks yellowv, maybe I can treat ya to a cold beverage of your choice one day !

  13. #13
    JD
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    I know there's a lot of gruff towards the 3" adn 3.5" and all I have to say in this matter that the only 3" 1911 I've never had a problem with is the Para P10 that I had a while back, end even then the double stack and short barrel made for IMHO an unbalanced carry piece.

    Personally I will carry no shorter than the Kimber 4" Pro models.
    If I were to buy another 3" 1911 I would probally go with Springfield.

  14. #14
    Member Array yellowv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveT View Post
    I did, and was told they would replace them with new ones.

    Took my Crimson Trace grips off and put the stock ones back on, getting the gun ready to ship via FedEx on Monday.

    Stopped in at my usual gun store on Friday while I was in Abilene for radiation, they said that the wait on new Kimbers is anywhere between four to six weeks once ordered. All the more reason to send this one back in, get the slide and sights replaced, and save a lot of money in the process.

    Again..... thanks yellowv, maybe I can treat ya to a cold beverage of your choice one day !
    No problem at all. With my first Ultra I had my share of calls to Dennis so I know how it goes. I just have one more piece of advise for you. Call Dennis on Monday and ask him to issue a call tag. My eclipse went back to Kimber 3 times and I didn't pay a dime out of my pocket for shipping. It costs about $50 to overnight a handgun. Hopefully they get it running right for you. I had lost a lot of faith in the 3" Kimbers with the eclipse but they really can be good guns. My buddy has a SS Ultra that has been his daily carry for years. It works great and is the reason I bought one. Now that I have my CDP broken in is runs great as well. I put over 300rds including various JHP's through it last week and it ran without a single hiccup.

  15. #15
    Member Array jamz's Avatar
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    With any 3" 1911 design you take a risk in wether it will be reliable or not. When I was reviewing smae for a colt defender, I read that in order of reliability of these micro 1911s, there was 1. Colts, 2. Springfields, and 3. Everything else. Something about the necessarily sharper angle of the feed ramp, plus reduced slide mass and increased spring strength to make up for cycling time make for strange reliability issues more often that with regular sized 1911s.

    I bought my Colt Defender used fully aware that it may or may not be reliable, and fortunately it has turned out to be very reliable- never any issue at all that was not caused by my experimentally-sized reloads.

    It is my primary carry piece now, and I love it. I know of one other guy here on combat carry who loves his Defender as well. Oh, my Defender also used to belong to CLASS3NH, and it ran like a clock for him, too.

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