Colt Commanders always attract my attention. As my friend
Hawkmoon says "the Commander is more proportionally
correct, than the Government model". I do not know
if it was that, or the simple fact that I cannot own a Commander
(here, only 5" pistols are allowed for those who have
a athlete shooters license), which draw my attention to
this pistol. I wanted one, and I got one, so now my collection
features a 4.25" 1911 as well.
The pistol is made by Western Arms (WA), which is considered
to be the manufacturer of some of the best Gas-Blowback
pistols in the market today. This model is a copy of the
Lightweight Commander (it is actually about 100 gr lighter
than the Combat Commander model WA also produces). The pistol
arrived in the usual dark grey (almost black) Western Arms
SCW uninspiring box, with a just a blue label on the side,
describing which model is inside.
Upon opening the box, I found the pistol, a small, nice
manual (if it only was in English instead of Japanese!),
a warranty card, one paper target, a bushing wrench, an
allen wrench (for adjusting the hop-up) and a small bag
with a few BBs.
What caught my attention, before anything else, were the
cheap, totally plastic looking grips. I just couldn't stand
them, even though they had the Colt pony in the middle.
A search through my grips box, allowed me to replace them
with a very nice set of double-diamond checkered cocobolo
grips, that you see below.
With the pistol now featuring a nice set of grips, I started
examining the rest of it. The finish is ... well, how to
put it? strange. The frame is plastic, that's for sure,
but it is not ugly or bad looking. It is actually better
looking than the slide, which looks as if it is metallic.
However, the side surfaces of the slide, are not as polished
as the ones of the frame. Actually, you would expect the
upper surface of the slide to be more dull, in order to
reduce light reflections, but in this case, it is the sides
of the slide which looks more dull! Go figure why the made
it that way.
Pressing the mag release button, drops the magazine,
which is a single column one, with a capacity of
To load it, you have
to pull down the follower and have the BBs inserted
from the top. The magazine does not have any base
pad, so it appears very much like the standard 7-round
Colt item. At the bottom of the magazine, is the gas
filling valve, which is nested in a circular recess.
Unfortunatelly, the valve's stem is not perfectly
centered in its hole, but that does not affect the
filling with gas, you just need to be careful to properly
align the valve's stem with the nozlle of the gas
bottle. Please note that this is a Japanese pistol,
so the recommended gas is HF134 and not Green Gas
(see note at the end of this report).
Staying on the
magazine, at the rear of it, there is the gas release
valve, like in every other Airsoft pistol magazine,
but there is also a special switch, which is used
in WA magazines. This switch has to be pushed down,
before charging the magazine with gas, or else the
gas goes in from the filling valve and out from the
top of the magazine! It's the perfect way to freeze
your hands, so remember to press that switch down,
before grabbing your gas canister to fill the mag
The pistol I got featured full Colt logos as can be seen
in the pictures below. Typically US customers cannot have
those logos, due to Colt's pattends etc. Also, US customers
will get the pistol with an orange barrel or barrel tip,
thank God this was not on my pistol.
As I was playing with the pistol, I noticed one thing.
This grip safety, is no better than the spur one! Believe
it or not, an Airsoft pistol pinched my hand, just like
a real 1911 does.
Proceed to the next pages about DISASSEMBLY
and SHOOTING >>>
review was brought to you by John Caradimas (M1911).
The M-1911 Pistols Organization
October 27, 2005. Athens, Greece.