View Full Version : Colt Combat Commander in 356TSW

May 8, 2002, 04:28 PM
I have a Combat Commander in 9mm. I am considering having a barrel made for it in 356TSW. Has anyone here had any experience with such a conversion? What problems should I watch out for? What weight recoil spring should I use?

I received one suggestion that I go all the way to 9x23mm. Does that make the conversion more complicated than the 356TSW? Are any other modificatons required other than changing to a stiffer recoil spring?

I would appreciate any information anyone might be privvy to.


Jim Watson
May 9, 2002, 04:28 PM
Do you have a source of .356 TSW ammo or brass? Made only by Federal, as far as I know. I have not seen any advertised at all recently. It never was common because nobody built any guns for it but S&W and they could not compete with 1911 .38 Supers or even Tanfoglio 9x21s in IPSC. And they did not promote it in carry guns except a few special editions.

You could convert to 9x23, a very powerful round. You might only require a barrel (or rechambering the Colt) and a recoil spring- one about like a heavy duty .45. It will feed from .38 Super magazines. Only Winchester loads factory ammo or makes brass. Starline 9 Super Comp brass will chamber but is not as thick and will require a different set of loads. The old 9mm Largo will work as a light practice load, available in Blazers.

A .38 Super barrel, magazine, and maybe some extractor adjustment would also work.

May 9, 2002, 06:10 PM
Starline makes brass. Either standard or nickel plated.

Do you know of any magazine articles or smithy books that talk about the conversions?


Jim Watson
May 10, 2002, 09:57 AM
With Starline making the brass, you are all set there.
I have never read anything about a Colt in .356 TSW and only a couple of articles plugging the S&W PC and Horton guns. I think one of those had a little loading data but cannot find it. There is data for 9x21 which would be a starting point (Kenneth L. Walters pointed out that the .356 is about a 9x21.5 and shot 9x21 ammo in his, .020" headspace and all.)
Layne Simpson briefly mentions a 9x21 GM in his book. He did not see much point, since the action will accept the more common .38 Super and more powerful 9x23, but there have been some of those. So there is no reason it can't be done.
I guess you are just going to have to start calling gunsmiths.
Sorry not to have been more help.

May 10, 2002, 10:29 AM
Seems like I remember Bill Caldwell talkin' about somethin' similar...He's in Monroe LA I think...Sometimes posts at pistolsmith.com...good luck...

May 13, 2002, 11:35 PM
Thank you for your suggestions.