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Home > Articles & Reviews > Western Arms Colt Commander (Page 1/3)
Western Arms Colt Light Weight Commander Review


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 15 BBs.

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 with gas.

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 >>>

This review was brought to you by John Caradimas (M1911).
The M-1911 Pistols Organization

October 27, 2005. Athens, Greece.
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