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Old May 25, 2013, 09:31 PM   #1
Aristides
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Help Please: Colt Lightweight Commander: Do I Need a New Spring?

I have a new 45 ACP Colt Lightweight Commander. I've shot roughly 200-300 rounds through it, a combination of FMJ and JHP. It seems to run fine on the regular pressure 185 grain and 230 grain stuff, but it has occasional feeding problems with 185 +P Golden Sabers...maybe one FTF in 15-20 rounds. This is what I would like to carry for self defense, because it does fine in my Ruger SR1911 Commander (stainless steel) and Glock 30S, and I like the ballistics.

I asked a guy at a local gun store why my Ruger Commander was doing fine with the +P, but the Colt Commander was struggling. He suggested it might be because my Colt is lighter weight (alloy). He recommended I try a stronger spring, perhaps from Wolff. This brings me to some questions:

- Do you agree with the local gun guy?
- What spring weight came with my Colt?
- What spring weight would be the next step up?
- If I change to a stronger spring to accommodate the +P, will that cause feeding problems when I shoot the standard pressure 185 and 230 grain ammo?

Thanks for the help!
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Old May 25, 2013, 10:08 PM   #2
JohnKSa
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Quote:
- Do you agree with the local gun guy?
Not enough information for me to agree or disagree. And not enough information for the local gun guy to make a ruling either, for that matter.
Quote:
- What spring weight came with my Colt?
I believe that Colt put 18lbs springs in the lightweight commanders, but I could be wrong.
Quote:
- What spring weight would be the next step up?
Probably 20lbs.
Quote:
- If I change to a stronger spring to accommodate the +P, will that cause feeding problems when I shoot the standard pressure 185 and 230 grain ammo?
Maybe. Even worse, there's no guarantee that the stronger spring will fix the problem you're having.

If the gun works with all the other ammunition you've used, I'd leave it alone and use ammunition in it that it "likes".
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Old May 25, 2013, 11:32 PM   #3
4V50 Gary
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Given that you're using Colt magazines all the time, then the problem is with the bullet. The gun works with everything other than the bullet of your choice. The feed ramp may need polishing.
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Old May 26, 2013, 01:58 AM   #4
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I recommend people do not polish the feed ramp on a Lightweight Commander. You may get into the soft aluminum underneath and end up hammering the aluminum and eventually causing the ramp to be too rough to feed altogether. Just feed it what it likes.

Commanders came from the factory with an 18 lbs recoil spring installed.Instead of moving up to a 20 lbs spring, you can install a progressive spring in it. In order to reduce battering of the frame, which may eventally crack it, install a square-edged firing pin retainer plate, it will slow down opening and reduce slide velocity.
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Old May 26, 2013, 07:11 AM   #5
HiBC
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My suggestion is,do not hot rod your lightweight Commander.

Shoot standard pressure loads.Its still a full power 45.

Hotrod your Ruger,if you must.
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Old May 26, 2013, 08:07 AM   #6
g.willikers
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What is meant by FTF?
If the hang up is due to the errant rounds entering the chamber, but not allowing the gun to go completely into battery, then a stronger recoil spring might help.
If the FTF is something else, maybe not.
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Old May 26, 2013, 01:44 PM   #7
Aristides
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Yes, the FTF is hang ups as the round feeds, thus failing to go into battery. The feeding round gets caught at an angle, and doesn't go all the way in.
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Old May 26, 2013, 08:16 PM   #8
4V50 Gary
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What Scorch said about the ramp. I didn't know they were aluminium.

However, you can lightly polish the ramp on the barrel smooth (not necessarily shiny).
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Old May 27, 2013, 09:02 AM   #9
g.willikers
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It may be more of a cartridge length issue than a spring problem.
Have you checked the differences, if any, if the overall lengths of the various cartridges?
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Old May 28, 2013, 11:17 PM   #10
Aristides
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There doesn't seem to be any length difference that I can see.

Several different FMJ brands have run fine, and although I've shot less of it, I haven't had any issues with the 185 grain standard pressure Golden Saber.

It is only the 185 grain +P Golden Sabers that give the occasional failure to feed.
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