1911 for Jenny - Colt Defender vs Colt Officers

Joe Link

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I've been racking my brain for the past few days thinking of a good gun that fits Jenny's hand that she can shoot comfortably on a regular basis, and possibly also carry. This gun would be funded with the sale of my West German P226, which she loves but can't hold properly (though that doesn't stop her from outshooting me with it). I've never shot a mini-auto that was pleasant enough to take to the range for fun and practice, so I began thinking of larger guns with smaller grips. Many were considered, but for one reason or another most were disqualified.

Then it hit me, what about the 1911? It's one of the thinnest guns out there, and it's worth a shot. I retrieved my Springfield Loaded from it's home and had her try it out. Sure enough, proper grip and it fits! Though the full size steel gun was a bit heavy for her (she's 5'3, 100lbs), I'm thinking a small lightweight would work great (if the recoil is manageable).

I started researching the two 3"-ish offerings from Colt, the Defender and the Officers model. Throughout my research I've noticed most people are partial to one or the other, with only a few liking both of them. The main factor is the width and depth (would that be the correct term?) of the grip. I'd love to hear peoples comments that have used both of them and see how they compare.
 
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I have a LW Officers I can let her try out.

The short barrel gives them a bit more bark, but I think she'll do fine with it.

Springfield has that little EMP in 9mm that you might consider as well.
 
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Joe Link

Joe Link

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Awesome, I'm going to take you up on that! Maybe next time you come to town we can visit the PSTC. Would you prefer a Defender over a ltw officers, vice versa, or would you buy whichever I found a good deal on first? Do you think this would be a good option for her? She's not very sensitive to recoil.

I looked at the EMP, but I can't seem to find one anywhere close to what I can afford.
 
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I think either would be ok, just make sure they haven't been messed with.
When I come thru, I'll just drop it off to you, that way she can spend some time with it, and not feel rushed.

If you do decide to get one, I'll do a once over on it, and make sure it fits her hand properly. With different thickness of grips, main spring housings, and lengths of triggers, we'll get it custom fitted for her.

Ever think of a small frame revolver for her?
 
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Joe Link

Joe Link

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Awesome! Thanks a ton, that'd be great.

I've thought about a revolver for her, but she, like most new gun owners really wants an auto. From my experiences, it takes people a while to see the beauty in revolvers :D

Any comment on 3.5" vs 3"? Is the Defender grip shorter?
 
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Not long ago, I acquired one of the 9mm Colt LW Combat Commanders for my wife. Though the gun was originally built in the 70's, it was in remarkably good shape. With the addition of thin grips, it was a perfect fit for my wife’s hand. It's now on the waiting list at Heirloom Precision for some much needed upgrades.
 
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If you are looking for a full size but lighter weight, check out Wilson Combat's KZ line. It's a 1911 but with a polymer frame. Comes in 9mm and .45 ACP and I think .40 S&W too.

It's also available in a compact (Commander) size
 
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Might try the Browning Highpower too, most women love the grip and the easy kick.

I have owned all sizes of 1911s but it doesn't make me an expert. Each size has it's pluses and minuses. Weigh out what you want most in a 1911 and the choice will be obviouse. Small guns tend to kick alot but are easy to carry. Large guns are heavy but shoot straight (longer sight radius) and kick less. The smallest ones almost have to be tuned to the operator to get them to run right (amoo,spring etc)

jj
 

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