Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Considering a Colt Defender 45 ACP....

    I am considering a Colt Defender in stainless and was wonderng if anyone here had any real world experience they could offer.

    It feels great in hand but I have not shot one and am wondering what everyone's opinion is on it.

    Does it kick like a mule, how is it to conceal carry, over all performance, things of that nature.

    It would be the most I have spent on a gun and want to make sure I am making a good decision.

    Any opinions are welcome.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Considering a Colt Defender 45 ACP....

    I'm not sure, but I think that the Defender has an alumimun frame. I bought a Commander with a light-weight frame years ago. I loved the feel of the gun. It felt perfect in my hand, and it shot great.
    After taking it to the range a few times I realized that the extra recoil from the light gun wore me out shooting. After about two magazines my shooting got worse. A few years ago I got a Gold Cup for the range, I can shoot a couple of boxes of ammo without the fatigue of the light-weight.
    I now tell my friends, "If you are thinking of buying a light-weight gun, Think of loosing five pounds instead".

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Considering a Colt Defender 45 ACP....

    I can imagine it must kick like a mule. I am going back and forth between the Defender or a Glock. Either a sub compact or the mid sized frame in either a 45 or a 40.

    I didn't think I would like the 1911 action at first but the gun just feels right in my hand and the controls are laid out well.

    I have read that the short barreled 1911 guns seem to have issues with stove pipes and not feeding correctly. On the other hand the Glocks have a funky grip angle to them.

    I wanted to get people's opinion who either owned a Defender or shot one a lot to see if there is any truth to the rumors or if it is a solid gun.

    Obviously the price difference plays a role if the Defender is not as reliable as the Glock.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Considering a Colt Defender 45 ACP....

    You will have tons of people respond to your thread who, after reading my response, will tell you how they have NEVER had a problem with their 3" 1911 platforms. That's good for them. But when some of the best custom gunsmiths in the world stay away from 3" 1911's, it tells me something. You may get one that runs fine - or not.

    There really is no need for a 3" 1911. What do you gain? Concealability? Barrel length is not hard to conceal - when carrying the barrel is a vertical component - an extra inch or so is not difficult to conceal. Grip frame is what's hard to conceal.

    Weight? Most (all?) 3" 1911's rely on a cone-type bull barrel, rather than a thinner walled cylindrical one with a separate bushing. What you gained by lopping off an inch, you just lost with the bull-barrel configuration. Most also have a full length guide rod, which can make takedown more problematic (and also add weight).

    What are you giving up? Velocity, sight radius and, arguably, reliability. For my money there is no finer carry platform than a 1911 - it's thin, it's powerful and it handles naturally for most people. What can you do to enhance that? Alloy frame / Officers's grip frame (like the Defender) / Commander top-end - true 4.25" or certainly no less than 4" / Conventional barrel & bushing with no FLGR. Good sights, of course and you have a terrific carry gun.

    There are three production guns that easily fill these criteria: S&W, Sig and Dan Wesson all make models with these kind of specs. Semi-custom and custom makers also usually have something akin to this in their line, if you're willing to pay the tab.

    As for "shootability" - to me, the .45 ACP has always had more of a big push rather than a snap. The alloy frame enhances "carryability" and will be more tiring during a long range session, but that's not its reason for being. There are always trade-offs and when you are looking for a special purpose tool, you have to decide what's acceptable and what's not.

    In my opinion, you have reached the point of diminishing returns when you drop below a 4" barrel length - but as I said, that's MY opinion. Good luck in forming yours.

    Adios,

    Pizza Bob
    NRA Patron Member

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Considering a Colt Defender 45 ACP....

    While I understand what Bob is saying, I think the idea of a size threshold is needs to be consider. What that means is that for some people, 1 or 2" make a huge difference with overall weight and concealability comfort.

    From my own example, I own both the G19 and the G26. The length and grip of the G19 are not significantly longer than the G26, and adding 5 rounds and size adds 4oz to total loaded weight seems also insignificant. However, I cannot conceal the G19 all day comfortably. It may have to do with my body size (5'6", 130lbs), but the G19 feels significantly heavier and bigger. It could just be in my head.

    A full size 1911 vs. a compact 1911 will likely have that effect on people like me. There are reasons why compact 1911 are made. Given the potential downfalls Bob listed, I'd imagine they worth the downfalls to give the desirable size; otherwise, who would want the trade offs?

    Anyway, regarding the Colt Defender in .45. I haven't shot one, but I've shot other compact 1911's. No, they don't kick like mules and they are relatively manageable. If you can handle a full size 1911, a compact 1911 isn't that much more difficult. My wife is actually looking at the Colt Defender in 9mm, which has outstanding reviews from all the readings I've come across.

    Al

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Considering a Colt Defender 45 ACP....

    Al,
    I'll speak from experience in carrying essentially all 3 guns that you are thinking about. I started off carrying the Glock 19. I decided I wanted to try something different and go with a slimmer gun through the barrel for IWB carry. What I ended up with was a Kimber Ultra Carry II. I loved the gun and had no issue's with it what so ever. It ate everything I put through it including JHP. The gun concealed great with smooth wood grips and a C5 Leather Montana XLT. My only complaint was the butt of the gun. It was pointy and no matter where I had it positioned I felt like it was either sticking out or hitting me in the spine. In what I now regret I got rid of it and picked up a Glock 26. This little thing is great and I absolutly love it. It carries great and disapears no matter if I'm OWB or IWB. That is just my past and current experience.

    Now as far as reliability of the 3" 1911 I had no issues, but everyone has different experiences with their weapon and the 3" is known to have the most issues. I do plan on picking up another 1911 in the future for carry however I will be picking up a Commander size Bobtail. The Bobtail removes the point of the but and lets the cover garment flow over the weapon and essentially dissaper. It's similar in grip style to the Glock in that the but is rounded.



    Handle all the weapons at the same time and make your decision off which feels the most natural for you.
    P229- 40 S&W

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Considering a Colt Defender 45 ACP....

    Based on what I have been reading all around the reliability of the sub compact 1911s is questionable. My hesitation is when spending $800-$900 for a gun that will be needed to save my life I need it to be 100% reliable, accurate and dependable.

    I am leaning toward either an XD of some model or a Glock, maybe a G30. Not the prettiest but seem very reliable and small enough to easily conceal.

    Too bad my P11 didn't come in .45 ACP. After thousands of rounds it has never failed and is designed beautifully for concealed carry.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Considering a Colt Defender 45 ACP....

    Quote Originally Posted by Brudog View Post
    Based on what I have been reading all around the reliability of the sub compact 1911s is questionable. My hesitation is when spending $800-$900 for a gun that will be needed to save my life I need it to be 100% reliable, accurate and dependable.

    I am leaning toward either an XD of some model or a Glock, maybe a G30. Not the prettiest but seem very reliable and small enough to easily conceal.

    Too bad my P11 didn't come in .45 ACP. After thousands of rounds it has never failed and is designed beautifully for concealed carry.
    The G30 is a fine, fine SD pistol. Point-and-shoot, no manual safety fiddling, no nonsense with Glock's notorious reliability. 1911 shooters though seem to prefer the XD because of the XD's grip angle is similar to that of a 1911. I for one, don't really have any problem with Glock grip angle even though I am decent at shooting and love 1911's.

    Any reason why you're so set on .45ACP? I get twice the practice on my 9mm Glock G26 than I would out of a G30 on pure ammo price alone.

    Al

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Considering a Colt Defender 45 ACP....

    I have shot for years using my KelTec P11 and my Ruger p89 both in 9mm. I am at apoint where I would really like to step up in quality and purchase one gun to be my carry gun.

    I have read so much about the 9mm being a little lacking when it comes to real stopping power. I also started carrying my SP101 and the 357 magnum caliber gives me a very secure feeling however I would prefer more shot capacity than 5 rounds.

    I am still planning on keeping my Kel Tec since it is so easy to conceal and is light, narrow and reliable. I was just thinking about upping the knock down power and was going to go 45 ACP or maybe .40 cal but if I did that I would sell the P11 since it is so close.

    Any opinions on 9mm vs. 45 ACP. Although cost is a concern I shoot reloads so its not quite as bad.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Considering a Colt Defender 45 ACP....

    brudog, there's an old joke 9mm poster "for those who sit to pee" the rebuttal one's caption in "it won't matter when i put 2 in your chest,and one in your forehead"

    i agree with the 2nd one. no, it won't stop a razorback boar, not dropping a building like a 44 mag. it doesn't need to. i own a 9, a 40, a 44, and a 45. i'd trust my 9 to defend my home, without the fear of overpenetration.(i use a guage for that, but i wouldn't doubt that 9mm sig to get the job done.)

    i carry the 40 or the 45.


    40 is a great compromise as far as many are concerned.

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