Umarex and Colt have collaborated on a faithful recreation of an American classic: The Colt Commander. This BB gun version is a spot-on homage to the original. But before I break it down, I want to provide a bit of context.
The original centerfire Colt Commanders are interesting 1911s. The original guns were an attempt to downsize the 5” frame on the original John Moses Browning design into something lighter. This isn’t an easy task. That 5” frame provides a solid platform for the balance of the American-sized .45 ACP, but it also allows for some space inside containing a well-balanced set of springs.
The .45 ACP produces significant recoil, especially with hot loads or heavy bullets. The springs are tuned to absorb that recoil and return the gun to battery. This process can’t happen too fast, as extractors mangle the rims of shell casings. It can’t happen too slowly, either. If it lacks just enough power, spent casings won’t clear during ejection, and new rounds won’t feed. And no one needs a gun that won’t work.
So you can’t just lop off a section of spring, trim the barrel, cut down the slide and call it good. But 1911 fanatics have been trying to do so for years. 5” guns evolved into 4.25” guns, 4” and even 3” versions—all in the name of concealability and ease of carry.
The Colt Commander had the added task of chambering other rounds. Browning had already mastered the .25 ACP and the .380, even the .38 Super. Yet there was a push for an effective caliber that wasn’t as punishing as some perceived the .45 ACP to be. Enter the 9mm.
All of this may be a bit academic. If you are a gun-nut like me, the history is entertaining reading. …read more