Custom Colt Defender

This is a discussion on Custom Colt Defender within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey Y'all, I've recently re-discovered the world of custom 1911's and I've been searching through the internet to find a company that could do a ...

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Thread: Custom Colt Defender

  1. #1
    Member Array COWBOYF550's Avatar
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    Custom Colt Defender

    Hey Y'all, I've recently re-discovered the world of custom 1911's and I've been searching through the internet to find a company that could do a "Carry Package" on a Colt Defender. I realize that Kimber and SA do offer 3" 1911's with all the bells and whistles added but in this case I'd really prefer to buy the Colt Defender and get the work done. I was wondering if any of y'all out there have any experience with a particular company? Any help you could provide me with would be greatly appreciated. Thanks ahead of time!
    -CowboyF550

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  3. #2
    Member Array MPA249's Avatar
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    You may want to reconsider your options on three points.

    1. 3 Inch 1911's are usually the least reliable sized 1911's and have the most issues from what I have seen. Granted I had a Defender and had no issues. Many prefer the 4.25 in commander size guns. A great compromise is something like wilsons CQB Compact (commander slide and barrel with an officers grip which will reduce the printing).

    2. The Defender I had was a good shooter and I did'nt think anything of it until I shot my buddy's 6 inch 357mag I thought he was shooting light target loads or 38Spl out of it. He was shooting full power magnums. I was shooting 230gr ball. I found the Defender to be slower than a Commander size weapon with follow up shots substantially more of a muzzle flash with a 3 inch barrel so low light vision may be effected, substantially more reciol in my opinion granted it was easy to control but it was definately noticable compared to other weapons.

    3. I just don't think most colts offer enough for the money they are asking and the quality of the finished product as far as fit and finish is not up to the colt name IMHO. Right now the only colt I would spend my money on is a 70's series Govt and that would be for customization anyways. But then again like your situation I could just as easily buy a pre built gun from Les Baer, Ed Brown, Wilson Combat, Night Hawk, Rock River Arms or a few others for the same money if not less, same quality end product and I don't have to worry about waiting a year for a gun to make it's way to my house.

    If you are looking for customization I would go with any of the following:

    -Wilson Combat
    -Novak Guns
    -Les Baer
    -Ed Brown
    -Robar Guns
    -Cylinder and Slide

    To name a few. Good Luck and I am sure you will have one heck of a carry gun when you are done. Just trying to give you options.

    Be Safe

    Matt

  4. #3
    Member Array COWBOYF550's Avatar
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    Thanks Matt,
    I just got in one of those moods where I wanted a little project to do. I do prefer the commander size when carrying OWB but I like the shorter barrel and how thin a 1911 is compared to a chunky Glock or H&K. As far as asthetics go, I didn't want to do much with it since it will be carried IWB / Tuckable. I just wanted to change out the trigger and do a "carry package" upgrade to it. I saw that Novak Guns do offer a package for my needs.
    Thanks again

    -COWBOYF550

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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Modified Defender

    I'm not sure what modifications you would make to your Colt Defender, but I'll describe what I did to mine. I bought this gun slightly used in 2006, and it has the following modifications:

    1. Wilson drop in beavertail to replace stock Colt ducktail.
    2. Steel checkered mainspring housing to replace stock Colt polymer part.
    3. McCormick aluminum trigger to replace stock trigger.
    4. Thin wood grip panels to replace stock rubber grips.
    5. Wilson Combat 7 round magazines.

    I believe these changes enhance the gun for carry purposes, and none of them required a gunsmith. The original Colt trigger pull is 4 to 5 pounds and crisp, so I didn't alter it. The original Colt sights seem fine, and I haven't changed them. The one thing I might have done by a gunsmith is a dehorning, as some of the edges on the slide are a bit sharp.

    The gun has fired about 600 rounds of mixed ammo and has not failed to feed, fire or eject. I trust it for defensive use.




  6. #5
    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    don't forget a Detonics Combat master series.....they're never mentioned, and they are one of the very original "chopped and channeled" 1911s that were, and still offered today (about 1200.00 retail)
    http://www.detonicsusa.com/combatmaster.html
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  7. #6
    OD*
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    Nice lookin' Colt, Pogo.
    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Diligentia Vis Celeritas"

    "There is very little new, and the forgotten is constantly being rediscovered."
    ~ Tiger McKee

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    I'd go with the DETONICS.

    Years ago when Detonics started marketing the chopped 1911 format they did an incredible amount of modification and tweaking in order to maximize reliability in the stubby format.
    They modified the recoil spring set~up & the barrel configuration - eliminated the bushing - even the slide mass & so on and really have the bugs worked out of getting a chopped firearm to operate 100% - just fyi

  9. #8
    Member Array COWBOYF550's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help y'all, I'll check out DETONICS.
    POGO; Thanks for the info. Good looking COLT. It seems like a project I could take on myself. That's just what I was looking for.

  10. #9
    OD*
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    Cowboy,

    Colt will be bringing out a new Defender targeted for concealed carry.



    "The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper

    "Diligentia Vis Celeritas"

    "There is very little new, and the forgotten is constantly being rediscovered."
    ~ Tiger McKee

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Redneck Repairs's Avatar
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    My bride carrys an original carbon Detonics still . Its her favorite pistol tho she did go browning hp for duty use ( at my urging and some mods to the hp ) . Detonics has been in the " production class " of chopped pistols longer than anyone i know of , tho they have " reorganised " and sold the name several times . Detonics ( imho ) attemts to mass market a custom level of pistol and runs into financial trouble when they cannot get the mass sales to support the quality of product they produce . Most see the sticker price and never actualy look at just what they are buying , they can pick up an officers model cheaper and its almost as small . They dont look at what it would cost to have a reputable smith duplicate a detonics , and they really should .

    To answer the OP question tho IMHO the combo of longer slide/sight plane and short butt is a no brainer for me , i just cant find them . Most folks howeaver shoot a mag or two thro a short butt handgun and decide they dont like the pinky finger hanging off the end . I have shot them enough that to me its like drinking from a cup , at aunt marthas i can stick that pinky out and still get the cup to my mouth . Just as i can gag her dammed tea down instead of coffee lol .
    Last edited by Redneck Repairs; February 14th, 2007 at 12:39 PM.
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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Pogo,

    I carry a Colt Defender as well and it has nearly the exact same updates as yours, literally part for part and mfr./supplier as you mentioned...

    In fact I had to do a double take on your pic because it looks _exactly_ like mine down to the grips.
    The only difference is I swapped out my backstrap for a Spingfield Armory 'ILS' http://www.springfield-armory.com/st...hp?cPath=21_29) and I use with it a combination of Wilson 7 rd. mags and McCormick 8 rd. mags.

    It's been stone rliable never once not firing and in my hand it's headshot accurate as well for it's intended application out to 25'.
    I've even shot IDPA sessions with it and have done fine.

    The Defender is IMHO an excellent piece and the exception to the sub 4" 1911s are a problem rule.

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

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    Member Array COWBOYF550's Avatar
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    OD;
    Thanks for the heads up, I'll be looking for that Colt Defender coming out. My interest in this particular model was peeked last week when I went to the local True Value Hardware store and saw this gun in the display case. The guy behind the counter told me that not many people pay too much attention to this model becaue other buyers are opting for a Kimber or a Glock. I saw the Colt Defender and a Colt Commander and I'm ready to go and pick them up. I want to send off the Colt Commander to Novak but I'd like to do the work myself on the Defender and make it one of my primary CCW's.

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Similar modifications to Defender

    Quote Originally Posted by Janq View Post
    Pogo, I carry a Colt Defender as well and it has nearly the exact same updates as yours, literally part for part and mfr./supplier as you mentioned...
    In fact I had to do a double take on your pic because it looks _exactly_ like mine down to the grips.
    Janq: It is quite a coincidence that your Defender is so similar to mine. My motivation in the changes was that I don't like the Colt "ducktail" or plastic mainspring housings, and thought the original big rubber grips on the Defender were just too large for a CCW gun. The advantage of the 3 inch 1911 is that it is thin and concealable, so I wanted the thinnest grip panels available to take advantage of this. And the Defender with thin grip panels is very concealable.

    Someone else mentioned grip length and the little finger hanging over the end of the grip. I have larger than average man's hands, and I can get all my fingers on the Defender grip. It is officer's size, and only half an inch shorter than a government 1911 grip. The Defender grip length is almost exactly the same as a Glock 19 or 23 - I have compared them side by side.

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array CLASS3NH's Avatar
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    Hi Cowboy
    Here's a Detonics MKVI that I currently own..along with a few others I recently aquired around the same time of the thread posting. It's a 1981-82 series Detonics gun (when they sold for the top price of 575.00) It's posted in another thread in the Forum. You may want to take a look and see if it suits your needs..
    http://www.combatcarry.com/vbulletin...ad.php?t=14737
    The Detonics guns are out there, just need to look for em, mainly at gun shows, as they're low-key sleepers
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  16. #15
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    CLASS3NH;
    Thanks for the link to the thread. Looks pretty good.

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