Colt Defender: The coolest carry gun you don’t know about
(www.gunnuts.net) By Caleb am deeply suspicious of 1911s in configurations smaller than Commander sized. Part of this is because there are a lot of shops with spotty QC that will crank out micro-1911s that barely work specifically to capitalize on the fact that the American gun buying market loves the .45 ACP cartridge and the 1911. While I’ve seen full size and Commander sized 1911s make it through classes just fine, I’ve never seen someone with an Officer sized 1911 complete a class without having gun issues. So whenever someone says “hey, check out my new Officer sized 1911″ my inner monologue usually goes something like “I wonder when it’ll break.”
As a result of watching countless stripper-named micro 1911s go TU in classes and on the range, when Colt brought the Defender to SHOT Show earlier this year, I was skeptical. Sure, the guns at Media Day ran just fine, but come on. Then they brought another pair to Gunsite last week, and I was still pretty skeptical, but I figured “what the heck” and started shooting them. While I spent most of my time with the full size and Commander sized guns, I made sure to rotate some trigger time in on the Officer sized guns as well. While I wasn’t a big fan of the grips, everything else about the gun I liked quite a bit. It’s dehorned for carry, has good sights, and is remarkably comfortable to shoot for an Officer’s sized .45 ACP.
But what really impressed me is that it worked well. Both of the test guns made it through the entire trip at Gunsite without a single bobble. In fact, there were four Officer’s sized 1911s there, and they all ran like a raped ape. Just like the Commanders and the Government sized guns, in fact. I was actually really impressed with how well the little guns ran on top of how well they shot.
Now that got me to thinking, because one of the things that I believe in is keeping your carry and competition platforms similar. Basically, if you’re shooting a Glock in competition, carry something similar – no manual safety, strike fired, etc. If you’re shooting revolver, carry a revolver. And if you’re shooting a 1911 pattern pistol in competition, carry a 1911 pattern pistol. The idea behind this is you don’t want to spend 100 hours in practice with your competition gun doing one thing, and then when you go to draw your carry gun it has a different manual of arms.
An Officer’s sized 1911 isn’t considerably bigger than my M&P Shield. Like the Shield, it’s too big for a pocket, but small enough that it disappears under an untucked shirt when appendix carried. I was sufficiently impressed with the Colt Defender at Gunsite, honestly if was going to be shooting a 1911 in competition, I’d want a Colt Defender for a carry gun. I’d also shoot the wheels off it to make sure it was reliable, but with four guns at Gunsite pounding through piles of Black Hills .45 ACP without so much as a hiccup, I have to say that for the first time in 10 years, I was really impressed with an Officer’s sized 1911. Plus, the name is awesome: Colt Defender. It really is the coolest carry gun that no one knows about.