Quantcast
  1. Sign up now and join over 35,000 northwest gun owners. It's quick, easy, and 100% free!

Colt Defender

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by Karma, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. Karma

    Karma the woods in Oregon Active Member

    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    72
    I have no experience with the Colt Defenders. I am thinking of picking one up that is in brand new condition. Wondering what thoughts people have who actually have actually fired the gun! Any advice would be great. Thanks.
     
  2. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    367
    I dont like the one without sights. Colt is a good brand but any of the 3 inch barreled models can be finicky about mags and ammo. The 1911 design just wasn't designed to be that small.
     
  3. U201494

    U201494 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    812
    Likes Received:
    492
    The old "Short barreled 1911s are finicky" is just not true. Maybe 25 years ago, but not now. I have owned Kimber Ultra Carrys, Citadel compacts, and a Colt Officer's ACP, no problems with any of them. I love the compact little 1911s and have 3 or 4 at any given time. I carry one daily and have 100% confidence in it. I have never fired a Colt Defender so I can not comment on that, but I can offer my experiences with compact 1911s in general.
     
  4. swoop

    swoop Milwaukie, Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,079
    Likes Received:
    281
    I've been packing ( about 6 mo. ) and shooting ( about 600 rds. ) with this one...I like! Only thing I would change are the grips..VZ's on the way..:D
     
  5. U201494

    U201494 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    812
    Likes Received:
    492
    That is a good looking weapon, I think I need one now.
     
  6. Karma

    Karma the woods in Oregon Active Member

    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    72
    Cool. I am probably going to do the deal tomorrow. I am taking it in as part trade on something I had up for sale. I just wanted to hear from people who have actually handled them. I figured being a colt, they couldn't be bad. lol.
     
  7. Outrider

    Outrider Oregon Active Member

    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    153
    When the top end 1911 pistol smiths still talk about the short barrel 1911 pistols being problematic, it's something you can count on. Most people who own these carry them a lot and shoot them very little. They don't have the personal experience that the top guys have. -Think about ammo costs and sample size. Shooting is expensive. Buying guns is expensive. Most people who own guns shoot well less than 1,000 rounds per year and don't have a lot of different guns to make a fair comparison.

    There are solid articles written on the topic by experts in the field. It basically comes down to tasking the gun to deal with more recoil and making it attempt to cycle more quickly than the original design with the 5" barrel. With the compact versions the various companies have had to change the barrel and recoil system to try to make it work. It can work, but not reliably over time. You are not going to see high round counts and high numbers of pistols in the hands of many shooters saying they're good to go.

    The reason you still see people carry them is that people want a smaller (easily concealable) 1911 and a .45 ACP. Gun companies will happily make bad firearms if people will buy them. When is the last time you heard a gun company say that they could make it but it would be awful so they would never make that? Almost never. You are far more likely to see it made, fail, and the gun company will never hear about it because the person will pawn it off on someone else in a trade or send it to a local gunsmith.

    Karma should feel free to do the trade but don't expect it to run like a Swiss watch.
     
  8. swoop

    swoop Milwaukie, Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,079
    Likes Received:
    281
    Didn't buy mine for a range gun..got a full size government and Gold cup for that. Just keep the short ones lubed up and fresh springs in them and you'll be fine. :thumbup:
     
  9. U201494

    U201494 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    812
    Likes Received:
    492
    Please name these top end pistol smiths and exactly what they are saying.

    This is probably the most used cliche' on internet gun forums. I am still looking for the source of this. Can you provide a survey or poll, maybe from the NRA that supports this? People that I know who carry concealed practice often.

    Agreed

    -
    I disagree with this. Gun owners that I have known in my life time shoot much more than that. So, again show us something to support that statement.

    Probably the second most repeated saying on firearms forums and yes. it is true, but your next statement is not.

    I am interested to find out how you will convince someone of this.
    Personally, I have fired thousands of rounds through compact 1911s, most of that in the last 10 years. I have had no more problems with these than I've had with other firearms.

    I have no idea how you came up with this. You could happily sell a plate of dog crap too if people would buy it.

    Think this one through. How long would any company last if that was their thought process. C'mon.

    I have a Swiss watch in a drawer. I chucked there in 1974 because it didn't work right. I'll never buy another because someone on the watches.com forum posted that Swiss watches are finicky.

    The OP digs the Colt Defender and asked for feedback from folks who actually fired them. I have not, but I replied with what I know to be true, because I have lived it. Swoop did the same. You have offered no real life experiences, just some stuff that anybody could come up with. I can find something on the internet to support or dispute anything.
    The OP probably already did the research and read all of the things printed (good and bad) about the pistol he is interested in.
    I know that I feel better about my decisions to buy or not buy when I've heard from people with real life experiences.
    Now he has both sides of this.
     
    doomsday and (deleted member) like this.
  10. lowridedon

    lowridedon se pdx New Member

    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    2
    I've had my Defender for eleven years and love it. Shoots good and has been reliable and accurate. Only ammo it won't eat so far is Wolf.
     
  11. jordanvraptor

    jordanvraptor Oregon City, Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,667
    Likes Received:
    367
    Well if we are just dealing with personal experiences, I owned a Colt Officers that would on occasion have a hiccup. I have personally seen two kimber 3 inch models have multiple failures. I'm not saying they are horrible guns, they're aren't. I'm saying the 1911 wasn't designed to be that short. By the way if you want names, Bill Wilson and Ed Brown don't build compact 45's with barrels less than 4.0 inches. Fresh springs and good magazines is good advice for these short ones. I still don't like the one with no conventional sights... :) Guess you could put lasergrips on it. :)
     
  12. Outrider

    Outrider Oregon Active Member

    Messages:
    363
    Likes Received:
    153
    If you want a research project, you can spend your time reading up on it. I'm not going to run around assembling all the quotations and citations for you. Start with Larry Vickers (the man has shot and built many 1911 pistols). You can go on from there. You can find dedicated 1911 forums where people and smiths have devoted their lives to the 1911 design. The consensus is once you go below 4" barrels, you are more likely to run into trouble.

    Honestly, when smiths like Vickers say don't go with the smaller variants, you can take it to the bank. If I had heard that advice years ago I could have saved time, money, and aggravation. In my direct, hands on, experience even a Commander length Colt did not run as reliably as the full size Government model. The Officer's model was problematic. I wouldn't try my luck going smaller with a Defender.

    Are you kidding? The NRA is a partisan organization. I know. I am in it. They are not going to release a poll that says most people who buy guns are not good shots because they lack training and don't practice much. It is counterproductive to their cause. Look around. If you are any good with a firearm, you must have noticed some horrible shooters in the ten years you say you have been shooting.

    Think about a cop's pistol. It spends most of its service life riding around in a holster. If a cop was involved in a shootout every day or even once a week, how long would it be before he'd get shot or fired? Most people who carry concealed are not getting into shootouts on a regular basis. We know this because we don't hear about people getting into shootouts all the time. People would talk about it. You'd hear about it if they were. That's why people say they are carried a lot and shot little.

    Shooting their guns weekly just to stay sharp is something that is the exception, not the norm. -I've been involved in shooting for over 20 years. This includes being active in pistol leagues and being a competitive shooter. I know from experience that finding a shooter who shoots at least 200 rounds a week, every week for a year, for five plus years in a row, in structured practice is not the average shooter. Not even close.

    I don't know your friends so I don't want to play games about what they do or do not do. The issue is not whether you know a couple of people who shoot more than 1,000 rounds per month. It's about whether that is the norm and it's not. Work at a shooting range and you'll see how few of the customers are regulars relative to the overall number of visitors. Spend your weeks at a pistol and rifle club and you'll see how few regulars there are when compared to the list of dues paying members.

    I do know people who carry concealed. While they take some shooting courses and go to the range often, they're not going every week and they're certainly not going through 1,000 rounds per month. Someone who does that has dedicated himself or herself to the craft. If you have any real experience, you know that is not the norm. When you buy ammo 1,000 rounds at a time and you're doing that at least once a month you should start to notice that you are not the average shooter.

    With being in pistol leagues, I've been through going to the range every week and going through at least 200 rounds per visit. I can tell you it gets expensive quickly. As a result, people drop out. I've seen it and I've heard from people who have also seen it. The league that operates out of the Clackamas range just went through this a month ago where the league was not getting a good turn out and it was due to cost.

    Ten years? I've been at this for over 20 and many of those years with 1911 pistols. By far, the most problematic 1911 pistols were those that were below 5" barrels. The rule of thumb in the field is you can get away with the the 4.25" and 4" barrels (I personally have seen some of these be troublesome) but once you go below 4" you are likely to run into trouble. The last Colt Officer's pistol I had in my hands definitely fit this characterization. It took a lot of work to get it to run correctly.

    For someone who wants all the specifics, you don't want to provide any specifics yourself. You have fired thousands of rounds through compact 1911 pistols but you're not giving any break down. If you have four different compact pistols and you fire 5,000 rounds total, you would have fired thousands of rounds through compact 1911 pistols. However that does not mean much since you'd only be averaging 1250 rounds per pistol. That's not a high round count. I'd be surprised if your compact 1911 pistols had high round counts. I'm not saying you couldn't totally make it up but I'd hope you wouldn't.

    If you're shooting over 1,000 rounds per month and you've been at this for ten years, that's at least 120,000 rounds. If you've shot 120,000 rounds it should not have been difficult for you to focus on one pistol and get 20,000 rounds through it over a ten year span. I'm guessing if you had actually done that, you would have led with that fact to support your position. Instead it's the nebulous claim that you've shot thousands of rounds through pistols. Do you even know how many rounds you have through each compact 1911 you own? Do you keep a log or are you going on your gut feeling?

    You are applying a double standard. You insist that I have to come up with a list of citations to justify my position but you don't even have to provide a round count per pistol to justify yours. It should be easy for you to provide a round count on your own pistols but you have not done it. Instead you insist on me assembling a research paper for you that is basically going to tell you the world is round when you think it is flat. Daring you to provide a real log for round count is likely to result in a fabrication and I am not trying to dare you into making something up. My point is not that I need to know the number. It is that you are being hypocritical.

    Whatever. You seem to feel he should buy one because you (as a non-professional) think they're fine. He asked. You have your view of it and I have mine. I've done the research and I've had my experience going to the gunsmiths multiple times to tweak and tune short barrel 1911 pistols. It was annoying and expensive. If I had done the research before enduring the experience I could have avoided the tar pit. Instead, I got to do the research to try to understand what the problems were as I went through them. At the time, it seemed weird that the design was great as a fullsize pistol and sort of sketchy as a compact. As I read up on it, I learned why scaling any design up or down can present a problem. -I love the 1911 but I have no plans of ever buying another that is smaller than a Government model.
     
  13. Karma

    Karma the woods in Oregon Active Member

    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    72
    Ya, I have done research online. The thing is that the internet almost has too much information! lol. I don't think I have ever researched a firearm that doesn't have it's fans and critics. I have a couple of Glocks. I have never had a problem with a Glock EVER. I can find opinions and "reviews" that talk about Glocks being garbage.

    I just figured I would ask some of the good folks here that have had experience with them, or a similar weapon. I am looking at this for concealed carry purposes primarily. That being said, I don't have a gun that doesn't get shot fairly regularly.

    I appreciate the views, both for and against. I have heard enough good, that I am probably going to do the deal. I think I am getting a good deal on it, so I don't think it will be a losing thing. Thanks again guys!
     
  14. U201494

    U201494 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    812
    Likes Received:
    492
    Uncle.
    I give up, you win.
    You can type more words than I can.
    Yours is bigger than mine.
    You shoot more guns than I do.
    You have more freinds than me.
    Your dad can beat up my dad.

    Reggie
     
    doomsday and (deleted member) like this.
  15. swoop

    swoop Milwaukie, Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,079
    Likes Received:
    281
    :laugh::laugh::laugh: You're a smart man Reggie :thumbup:
     
  16. WA_SIG

    WA_SIG Greater Seattle New Member

    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    0
    O.K. My .02 ......
    I have carried a Defender everyday for the last 5 yrs. I trust it completely. I go to the range about twice a month, and run about 100 rds of SD ammo thru it each time. I have never had a malfunction of any kind with this gun and it is as stock as the day I bought it. I also practice with a full size 1911 Colt with no problems except for an occasional FTF or FTE with cheap ammo.

    My feeling is if you take care of your equipment and use good ammo you will be fine. Stay proficient!

    I am not disagreeing with any previous poster, just offering my personal experience.
     
  17. glockguy

    glockguy Albany Oregon Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,876
    Likes Received:
    60
    i had a defender in .40 and it was not a good gun.. i wouldnt trust it with my life... it kept jamming and stove piping. Maybe it was just my gun or the .40 version... I ended up giving it back to the gun shop and getting a glock:)
     
  18. Karma

    Karma the woods in Oregon Active Member

    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    72
    Well, I picked up the little Defender yesterday. It is a nice little gun so far. I put a box through it, without any problems at all. I like the feel of it for a small gun. The grip fits my hand well. Anyhow, thanks to everyone for helping me out on making my decisions.
     
  19. U201494

    U201494 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    812
    Likes Received:
    492
    Cool, enjoy.
     
  20. Karma

    Karma the woods in Oregon Active Member

    Messages:
    486
    Likes Received:
    72
    I will. Thanks. Here is a picture of it, and the newly acquired .17.

    coltr.th.jpg

    Uploaded with ImageShack.us