Colt XSE Lightweight 1911

Colt XSE Lightweight 1911

This is a discussion on Colt XSE Lightweight 1911 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; It seems that I am getting bit by the 1911 bug again. My first 1911 style gun was a Springfield EMP chambered in 9mm. I ...

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Thread: Colt XSE Lightweight 1911

  1. #1
    Member Array beni's Avatar
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    Colt XSE Lightweight 1911

    It seems that I am getting bit by the 1911 bug again. My first 1911 style gun was a Springfield EMP chambered in 9mm. I eventually sold the gun because I was having issues with the gun ejecting live rounds when trying to empty the gun.

    This time I'm considering either a Government or Commander model Colt lightweight XSE.

    Are there any drawbacks to going with a 1911 with an aluminum alloy frame rather than steel?

    From a reliability standpoint is there any difference between the Government and Commander sizes? I have heard of people having issues with 3 inch 1911s in general but wasn't sure if it were the same with the Government and Commander models.

    If I purchase this gun I will also intend on carrying it.
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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    Colt Commander XSE, great pistol. I have one in .38 super. I had a gunsmith tell me to use a shock buffer in it because of the aluminum frame, but I'm not sure what he was basing his theory on. It's not like I'm running a 12 lb spring in it. And there are lots of aluminum framed 1911's out there. Commanders are very reliable. You won't be sorry.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member Array 1911er's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beni View Post
    Are there any drawbacks to going with a 1911 with an aluminum alloy frame rather than steel?
    You won't be able to polish the frame ramp. If you do you will probably ruin the gun. (If the shop has more than one available check them all for the best looking barrel breech cut.) Make sure that any HP bullets have a smooth feel around the circumference of the bullet since some say that overly aggressive HPs (see http://cdn1.cheaperthandirt.com/ctd_...prod/26545.jpg & http://media.midwayusa.com/productim...925/925942.jpg) can ding the frame. Only use highest quality mags in it. (There was a time when Chip McCormick mags would gouge aluminium frames. See if a plastic follower mag is reliable enough for your needs.)

    If I purchase this gun I will also intend on carrying it.
    Excellent choice since it weighs about 26 oz. empty.

    If it doesn't come with a one or two piece solid guide rod you may want to install one in the hope that the slide will ride straighter on the frame rails. The slide shouldn't be too tight but it probably doesn't need to be as loose as on a military 1911. And don't be surprised if you find yourself changing the thumb safety - some complain about the edge on them, that they feel serrated. Find out if there are any MIM parts in it and change accordingly (mag release is usually one, as is the slide stop and thumb safety - at least on many other 1911s.)

    If it's blued you may not want an unlined cow or horse hide holster as it may exacerbate slide wear.

    And yes, I think it's an absolutely beautiful piece. I'll take mine in the white...
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  4. #4
    Distinguished Member Array deadguy's Avatar
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    Commander should be just fine. I carry a lwt about everyday. Standard velocity 230 grain jhps are sufficient. Winchester Ranger Ts are an excellent choice in a carry round as well as Federal HSTs. My preference is the Ranger.
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  5. #5
    Member Array MLittle's Avatar
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    I own a Colt XSE LW Commander. It's a pretty good 1911....I shot over 2,000 rounds of hardball then began experiencing feed problems. Ended up replacing some of my mags, and extractor and the feed issues went away. I will say that this pistols scratches pretty easily. The Teflon coating on the receiver is very tender and easily scratched. Not near as durable as an all steel 1911.
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    Senior Member Array Sap03's Avatar
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    I am in love with my 1070xse its everything I could hope for, if the lightweight is just as reliable then that is one sweet carry piece
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    Just took my new old commander out today. Nice shooting pistol, a little different than a full sized Government model . It shot well. Me, not so much. You'll like it for comfort,punch and accuracy. You won't like it because you will want MORE.....you're doomed.. must have another....resistance is futile....

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    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    I think the commander is the perfect pistol. It's just the right size/proportions.
    My dream commander is due to arrive next week. I hope it's everything it was described as, the pics were kind of cruddy.
    Hopefully owning the "same one" I sold years ago will curb my 1911 addiction, but I'm not holding my breath.

  9. #9
    Member Array StripesDude's Avatar
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    I have a XSE govt model. Haven't had any issues yet. Have heard that you need to be more careful reassembling from field strip, when putting the slide stop back in (so you don't unseat the plunger housing).

    Have also heard that you need to use more caution when fully disassembling, particularly when using a screwdriver as a lever to dislodge the ambi safety. Don't have backup for this, but there have apparently been cases of bent frames.
    My EDC: Springfield XDS
    My sometimes EDC: Colt XSE LW or G26

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array 1911er's Avatar
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    The M1911 Pistols Organization Forums Site - Questions on replacing MIM parts in new XSE
    Mim parts in a colt Read CaneBrake's posits.

    Looks like the XSE's MIM parts are: sear, dis-connector and mag release. Maybe the thumb safety and grip safety.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array patri0t's Avatar
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    I have owned several Colt 1911s over the years. I had a little trouble with an Officer's model after ~15k rounds. All .45s.
    Later, I learned the shorter bbls are 'chops' and more prone to problems.

    Then, I learned about the Colt Defender. It is built around the 3 inch barrel and it shows in every way. It is 22 ounces of joy. It holds tight groups at 25 yards with its low profile sights, I'd hold it to my 5 inchers. I tossed the Hogue grips, but many like them.
    Otherwise, it needs nothing and only comes in stainless so there is no 'wear factor'. The balance is almost unreal. I could shoot the thing all day.
    Hands down the finest sidearm I have ever owned and only cost a little under a grand.
    If you're looking at 3 inch Colts, give this one a serious look before deciding. I got the 2011 model with the 100th Anniversary Rollmark.

    Colt Defender.jpg
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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Kimber Pro

    You asked about aluminum framed 1911s in commander size, and mentioned the Colt. I have a number of Colts and think highly of them, but don't have an aluminum framed commander size model. I do have an aluminum framed Kimber Pro CDP, which is a 4 inch gun (just shy of the 4.25 inch commander). This gun has been excellent over the 6-8 years I have owned it. It may have a couple of advantages over the Colt aluminum commander:

    1. Comes standard with a "melted" slide for carry, while the Colt generally has rather sharp edges.
    2. Front strap checkering is standard.
    3. Night sights are standard.

    I modified my Kimber with thin grip panels, a single sided safety and Wilson magazines, and it makes an excellent and concealable carry gun with great feel and balance. I have about 2000 rounds through it with no problems.



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  13. #13
    Senior Member Array 1911er's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by patri0t View Post
    I had a little trouble with an Officer's model after ~15k rounds. Later, I learned the shorter bbls are 'chops' and more prone to problems.
    My first question is whether or not you changed every single spring in the pistol when it started to have problems?, starting with the recoil spring, then mag springs, then the extractor spring, then the mag release spring, then the firing pin spring and lastly the main spring? Most shooters probably ignore the recoil spring because they lose count of how many rounds they have shot through the piece and may buy cheap mags or keep their mags fully loaded all the time, which usually weakens them.

    My advice to anyone who buys a used firearm is to replace each and every single spring before taking it out to the range. (I probably wouldn't buy any pistol that I couldn't procure a spring kit for it. But that's just me. ymmv.)
    http://www.gunsprings.com/cID1/mID1/dID1
    Obviously, the sear spring and the main spring should only be changed by a qualified gun smith since they're internals.

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array PAcanis's Avatar
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    You forgot the plunger tube spring
    Those can get pretty boogered up from people stretching them so they don't come flying out and lose them, directly affecting the thumb safety operation.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array 1911er's Avatar
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    I didn't want to open an old wound for a certain member. The 1911: Replacing Plunger Tubes - Shotgun News

    It's such a little thing but I'm anal about the shape of the plunger assembly tips. Part of it is that they need breaking in. I just wish that they were stainless steel and were polished. http://media.midwayusa.com/productim...611/611618.jpg MIM part? Compare to Plunger Tube Assembly | Blue-Wilson Combat But where's "the kink"? http://shopwilsoncombat.com/images/R33AS.jpg Current part? http://shopwilsoncombat.com/Safety-L...ductinfo/R33C/
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