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Answered 2010-12-17 21:04:54
Answer Model ComparisonThe difference is the grip, frame rail size and the dustcover beneath the slide. The Colt Government model 1911 frame must be shortened in both the rails and the dust cover area to work as a Commander. and the Officer model dustcover a bit shorter still. The Officers model generally has a shorter grip and a smaller magazine.

Both the Colt Commander and Officers model frame rails are about .086" shorter than those of the standard Government frame, which is why a Commander sized slide is able to work on the smaller Officers frame, and vise versa, but the Commander and Officers sized slides will not work on the Government frame.

The Government model 1911 is a standard 5 inch barrel and slide with the full frame

The Commander model is a 4.25 barrel w/ shortened slide rails and a government sized grip.

The Officer model is a 3.5" inch barrel w/ shortened slide rails and a reduced length grip frame.

The Government and Commanders model 1911's accept the standard 7 rnd. or 8 rnd. magazines.

While the Officers model has a shorter magazine reducing the capacity to 6 rnds. However some aftermarket magazines are available that can give the additional 2 rnd. capacity to you for the Officers model.

All 1911 type pistols are based on the original colt 1911 design specifications but not all 1911 type slides are compatible to switch between each other due to proprietary differences some have.

Springfield armory makes a compact model 1911 with a 4" barrel/ slide and Para Ordnance makes an even shorter version of the Officers with a 3" barrel/ slide.

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