Colt Defender

This is a discussion on Colt Defender within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Anyone else have major issues with a Defender? Mine has been to Colt two days after purchase for stove piping and it came back with ...

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Thread: Colt Defender

  1. #1
    Ex Member Array Savage's Avatar
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    Colt Defender

    Anyone else have major issues with a Defender? Mine has been to Colt two days after purchase for stove piping and it came back with new symptoms.
    Second question anyone want to buy a barely broken in Defender? I think it's going to be replaced with a Kimber!

    Had to replace OEM mags with Wilson Combats to allow slide to lock after last fired round, had to polish feedramp, adjust extractor and replace slide recoil springs. In fact the springs that Colt shipped me were longer (two inches on large spring one inch on small, c-clipped inner spring).

    My biggest concern is that of the frame rail itself. The left rear frame protrudes about 1/8" beyond the slide when in firing position. The right side of frame is flush with the rear of the slide! It came back from Colt this way. Bought it in March, have been told to shoot through thr problems, grind it down!and others say they have had no problems.

    It is new and under warranty but why continue to send it to a failing manufacturer? They are now an LLC and have seen significant losses over many years.

    Suggestions, comments? I own two other Colt 1911's, this one is a real issue.

    Thanks!

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array TWO GUNS's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear of your problems.How much do you want for it?I think it should work it's way out after a couple hundred rounds down the tube.
    Have Fun and Shoot Straight !!

  4. #3
    Ex Member Array Savage's Avatar
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    How about 500 rounds.....

    500 shot through already. I don't believe that a handgun has a breaking in period. If there is one it certainly shouldn't have these types of malfunctions.

    I am probably going to just box it up and ship it back to Colt for refund or replacement. I never get many replies on this issue.

    Thanks!

  5. #4
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    Call Colt customer service and ask them either for a replacement firearm or demand that it be properly fit with a new slide and barrel if necessary.

    Tell them that you want it "function checked" and test fired before it returned to you.

    If you are not getting any satisfaction from the person that you are speaking to then ask to speak with their supervisor. Write down the name/names of the person/people that you talk to and the date and the time of the call.

    Tell customer service that you are a member of DefensiveCarry.com and there are about 14,000 members waiting to find out how they handle your particular problem with your firearm.

    If your firearm has been back to them once already - and you got it back and it still has function and cosmetic problems - then you have a right to have a properly fit and functioning pistol at no further expense to you.

    To be fair to Colt Firearms - that is actually VERY UNUSUAL for Colt to have not properly repaired any firearm before shipping it back to a customer - after it has been sent in for repair. I would say that is a fluke rather than the norm for Colt.

    When you ship your firearm back to them include a letter stating exactly what you want taken care of cosmetically also.
    If the slide is not properly fit and finished to the frame then you are entitled to have that taken care of.

    You will get satisfaction from Colt.
    Give it another try.
    Tell them that you would like a technical person or someone from the custom shop to CALL YOU before they ship your firearm back to you (for what will be the second time now) and then have that person visually inspect your firearm and check to make sure that it has been test fired and checked for functional reliability.

    If you do not get your firearm back from Colt in an acceptable functioning condition this next time around - then send me a private mail but, make sure you have the name of the person that you talked to and the date and the time that you called.

  6. #5
    Distinguished Member Array P7fanatic's Avatar
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    Cool

    I agree with everything QKShooter had to say.
    No excuse for this. Colt should make it right. Good Luck.

  7. #6
    Ex Member Array Savage's Avatar
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    Thanks QK

    It sounds as if you may have some 'affiliations' in your post. I appreciate your comments and plan to do exactly what you posted this coming week.

    I should have been more respectful of Colt in my post. However, the first time I sent it in I did list everything and placed it inside the barrel as well as on a packing slip. They returned it over 60 days later to my local shop with three out of 10 items I had listed. Even the rear Novak site set screw was loose upon return which was one of my items on the list.

    As I mentioned I own two other 1911A's. Both of my Grandfather's side arms during WWII. I shoot one often and have never once had an issue that a good cleaning didn't remedy.

    I will bust some chops on Monday and get it overnighted once I can get an RA.

    My questions to you are;

    Do you have a name contact I can speak to?

    In regards to your comments and possible affiliations does defensivecarry.com carry some weight?

    I hate to give up a good handgun, especially one of Samuel Colt's legacy.

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    My Colt experience

    I'm sorry to hear about your Colt Defender problems and hope they are resolved to your satisfaction.

    I wanted to comment on my Colt and Defender experiences. I currently own 8 Colts, of which 6 are 1911 design and 2 are revolvers. I have about 20 years' experience with Colts, and my most recent Colt purchase was a Defender bought about a year ago.

    I have never had to send a gun back to Colt, so I can't comment on their customer service. My Colt problems have been pretty minor, and I always used a local gunsmith to handle them. I believe the Colt brand in general is excellent, and that problems with their guns are fewer than with some other brands.

    I did have a few minor problems with my Defender, which I bought slightly used. The plunger tube was a little loose, and I had the gunsmith restake it. Also, the slide stop would sometimes hold the slide back when there were still rounds in the magazine. This was solved by using a Wilson aftermarket slide stop and having the gunsmith drill a small indent in the slide stop where the plunger engages it. Thus far I have 650 rounds through the Defender with no failures to feed or eject, and the gun now runs very well. I think Colt Defenders may be the best of the 3 inch 1911s, from what I have seen.


  9. #8
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    I just recently bought a new Defender and posted something under "Concealed Carry Guns"......I think it was titled "First time experience with new Colt Defender"

    Admittedly I've only fired it <100 times, it did just fine other than one empty hitting me between the eyes.

    All in all, I think any brand of short-barrelled 1911 can be a little finicky at times.

    I think you've gotten good previous advice here, I don't have anything beneficial to add other than "good luck", and stay after Colt until you get some satisfaction.
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

  10. #9
    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    It's my experience that ALL 1911 designs shorter than a 4" barrel are inherently less dependable than Commander+ lengths. I've tried Kimber Ultra Carry, Springfield Mirco Compacts & Colt Defenders. Anything that relies on the dual-captured (Seecamp style) recoil spring set-up is, to me, a gamble. Yeah, I know, I know...the "never had a hiccup" crowd is gonna' grouse. I just know MY experience in making SEVERAL attempts. I don't mind an Officer's length frame, I just want a Commander length slide. Good Luck.
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

  11. #10
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Sounds like you got a lemon, ask for your money back.

    My own Defender I've had 3+ yrs. now and bought lightly used has run like a top both in my hand that of the previous owner. He sold it due to arthritic wrists and hands not being able to comfortably deal with the recoil. Only mods to mine are new grips, a solid trigger, a Wilson beavertail safety (dropped right in), and an SA ILS (Integrated Locking System).
    I pull the trigger, it goes bang, I pull the trigger again, repeat...

    I'd ask for my money back and tell them to keep that specific unit.

    - 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

  12. #11
    Ex Member Array Savage's Avatar
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    Finally got the time!

    I wanted to keep this thread open to see it through.

    I called Colt today and left a message for the person in charge of all repairs/customer service (Mark Roberts) today. He had a lady named Carol call back that I have spoken to on several occasions regarding the same handgun. They are overnighting me a FedEx Label to send the Defender and it's mags back. I asked for it to be replaced since they already had it for two months the last time but no dice.

    I will let you know how it comes out.

    One note, I have 5 compact carry weapons, and realize they require a strong wrist but I don't think that you should have to mod ANY handgun that's over $800 out of the box to make it work. There may be some simple things such as burs or lubrication/cleaning that needs to be done but being told to 'shoot through the problem' or mod the weapon to me is ludicrous. I think I got a lemon as well, hopefully Colt will live up to their rep and handle it for me in a timely manner.

    Thanks for the assistance and I will post here until it comes back and I fire 500 more rounds (an afternoon) through it satisfactorily. I wonder if they can improve my 25 yard shot with it while its there??

  13. #12
    Member Array Linda's Avatar
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    I bought my first Colt Defender new in Jan. '04. It was a lemon straight out of the box. Would not cycle anything but alum. cased ammo. Go figure! Colt had it back 3 times. The third time I got directly involved, instead of the store that I bought it from. Colt sent me a brand new gun. That one has worked like a charm right out of the box.

    Keep on Colt. You're doing the right thing at this point in insisting they send you a different gun.

    Kathy in customer service at Colt bent over backwards to take good care of me.
    Member of the National Rifle Association's Board of Directors
    www.BuckeyeFirearms.org Buckeye Firearms Association Central OH Chair
    NRA Instructor/CCW Instructor/Realtor
    2009 NRA Sybil Ludington Women's Freedom Award Recipient

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Agreed...no mods at all should be required.
    In my own case the mods are purely toward individual operator comfort (grips) and convenience.

    Again send it back and request your money back or a completely new exchange.
    Sorry to hear of your debacle as I love my Defender, it's been great.

    - 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

  15. #14
    Ex Member Array Savage's Avatar
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    We'll have that return label to you by 8/16.....

    I have to go with what was suggested to me earlier in the post by QKShooter. I'll give Colt another shot at the weapon, one last shot.

    The prepaid return label was due to arrive today. I did not receive it.

    So far, not pleased. Hopefully someone at Colt is a member or reader.

    I guess this is a good excuse to go and buy yet another HG to add to the collection. It will leave a 2 month void in the cabinet, wife can't notice an empty......can she?

  16. #15
    Ex Member Array Savage's Avatar
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    Received the label via USPS 12 days to go 500 miles...

    I shipped the Defender off to Colt on Friday, 8/24 after waiting for their FedEx label to arrive. Then I went to a gun shop (same day) and bought another Colt! Am I crazy?

    I've included my latest addition as my avatar pic. It's a GI series 80, MarkIV. I replaced the rosewood with the black rubber grips and stuck it in my IWB holster, that extra 2 inches hurts when you sit down!

    Colt signed and received for my Defender this morning. I suppose it will be at least 2 months before I see anything. I called when I shipped it and asked for a replacement noting that I didn't feel safe firing this weapon or using it for protection. It would either go back to the gun shop and be re-sold to someone else who will send it in or they can give me a new one. They said let us take one more whack at it. I said no thanks, they said that's the policy, I said no thanks, they said basically too bad.

    Hoping that they do what is right, I own 5 of Colt's weapons now but I am not beyond shipping them all back to make a statement!

    Here's waiting on my Defender. I'll keep all posted.

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