Dehorning the Commander
By removing the metal, I removed the nickel finish, and I insured that I would be refinishing this pistol. Of course, I would have had to anyway, because the ejection port had been flared when I purchased it. I replaced the original hammer with a much lighter Nowlin Speed Demon hammer, which all but insured the pistol would not bite. I paired up the Nowlin hammer with a Nowlin sear. The Pachmayr wrap around grips are about my least favorite type of grip. They were beginning to crack near the triggerguard, so I removed them and took a scalpel to cut away the wrap around part. I still do not particularly like them, but they will suffice for now.
I replaced the short, solid Colt trigger with a longer McCormick adjustable trigger. The McCormick trigger allows for pre-travel adjustment as well as overtravel adjustment.
I continued to dehorn the sharp corners of the Colt. I worked the areas around the triggerguard and mag release, especially. I radiused the edges of the slide stop, and the underside of the slide. Finally, I carefully straightened the lines of the frame above the triggerguard. I will replace the thumb safety with an extended Ed Brown unit, which will also be dehorned for comfort. Along with the thumb safety, I will be ordering an inexpensive flat mainspring housing. I decided against the bobtail conversion.
In addition to smoothing out the edges on the right side of the pistol, I decided to countersink the slide stop pin. I have considered serrating the front strap, but I have never done that before. I do not like an aggressively checkered frontstrap, but I have learned to appreciate the serrations on my SW1911. I am loathe to pay someone to cut serrations, but perhaps I will have them cut prior to refinishing this pistol.
I just placed my order with Midway instead of Brownell's this time. Midway is clearancing some flat aluminum 20LPI checkered mainspring housings made for Smith & Wesson, and the price is $10.99. These come complete with the internal parts. I ordered two housings, along with the Brown extended thumb safety and a Cylinder & Slide sear spring. With the USPS shipping, it all came to $60.
Finally, I took the Commander to the range. I shot 400 rounds of ball and JHP ammo with no failures. That was good news, the gun was reliable. The Commander was not as accurate as I had hoped, however, and shot low until I adjusted for elevation. The front sight will likely have to be changed on the Commander as well as the bushing. I shot my Clark 1911 for a couple of magazines and printed cloverleafs where ever I wanted to be sure of my results. The accuracy problem was definitely the Commander and not myself. I shot the Commander until I ran out of ammunition, and I was pleased to find 100% reliability and a grip safety that did it's job. While not as comfortable as a beavertail, the combination of the radiused grip safety and the narrow Nowlin hammer prevented me from getting bit by the hammer no matter how high I held the pistol. It looks like I will be ordering an EGW Melt bushing from Brownell's. I suppose I should get a couple of checkering files too.