In terms of finish I would rate them in this order:
Guardian "Duty Treatment" is a molecular level hardening and blackening ferritic nitrocarburizing metal treatment. The nitrocarburizing process are a very durable finishing for handguns. Similar to tennifer on Glocks IIRC.
Colt stainless is next.
Colt blue is last.
Carrying a 1911 is all about a proper belt and a proper holster. If you have both then you can carry IWB with minimal discomfort. IMHO Your friend is accurate in his assessment that sitting with a 5" Govt the gun is more present than with a 4.25" commander.
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-Its a tool box... I don't care you put the tools in for the job that's all... -Sam from Ronin
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