A few weeks ago I added a Ruger 1911 Lightweight Commander to my personal collection. I wanted to go back to a lightweight Commander style 1911 as an EDC for some time, for a variety of reasons… Namely style, accuracy, hard first shot hits… and I’ve always been a 1911 guy and it’s been a few years since I really carried one. I really appreciate the narrow profile of a 1911. So I started my shopping process. I wanted to try something a little different. And I’ve been impressed with the quality and value that Ruger has been churning out lately. So I overlooked my normal Go To brands… and I’m glad I did!I’m really digging this Ruger SR1911LWC. The slim grips make a narrow pistol even narrower. The pistol is very light compared to all the other 1911’s I’ve ever carried, second only to my SIG C3. Reliability has only been lightly tested, but so far flawless. And by lightly, I mean only 100 rounds of CCI Blazer Brass and 25 rounds of Winchester PDX1 230’s. The rounds in the magazines are currently still PDX1’s… but that will change soon.
Accuracy has been Above Par… With the Blazers, it’s not bad at all. With the PDX1’s, it’s been exceptionally good for an out of the box Commander.
The trigger is good and on par with production 1911’s… But that can be improved. As can the sights… which are the typical 3 Dot Novaks… and I’d like a more Hi-Vis something up front… like a Trijicon HD.
For a regular production, business class 1911, this gun is excellent. However, all is not sunshine and rainbows… It’s not perfect. The one part that was curiously rough and unfinished, was the Barrel Bushing. It had sharp burrs around the inside edges of the front flange area. It took some time with a fine stone to remove the bur, and some more time to true the front face. Once done, it was just fine. But this should have been fine out of the box. Rock Islands don’t require such modification. But this, I think, was a fluke. I didn’t notice such burrs on other SR1911LWC’s. The rest of the pistol is well finished. In fact, the carbon tarnished slide came instantly and easily cleaned when I wiped it lightly with a microfiber cloth.
Overall, for a Production 1911 pistol under a Thousand Dollars… It’s excellent.
Just returned from Carolina Arms Group in Mooresville, where I had some work done to the Ruger. Visually, the Barrel was Crowned. and Dawson Precision night sights installed. Because Defensive Guns need Night Sights instead of plain dots of Fiber Optics.
The Trigger was cleaned up – a lot. And the pull lighted from about 6.6 pounds down to just a tick under 4 pounds. The 4-pound goal was hit on the first try by the Gunsmith, who holds no small degree of talent.
To install the night sights, an extremely precise micrometer was used. The process of tapping and checking and tapping and checking took some time… because the gunsmith knows that exacting details are required for precision results.
The crowning was done with equal precision and then polished in a lathe.
Not only were trigger components polished and stoned with exacting precision, like everything else. Even the Extractor got some attention because the gunsmith paid close attention to exactly how it held a cartridge and contoured the profile to allow for consistent feeding and extracting… Not just squaring the hook like so many other gunsmiths.
Detail care was given every single part that had to with function. Including the cleaning up of the internal channel of the Main Spring Housing. I mean, who does that? CAG. CAG does that.
Gunsmithing the Old Fashioned Way. It was truly a pleasure to watch an Artist of the Gunsmith apply his craft to the 1911 that I was able to take home with me. I am not just impressed with the attention to detail… I am astounded by the extent of care given to every detail. Truly amazing.
Carolina Arms Group doesn’t have the services listed on their Site… But they are more than happy to work on other 1911’s. Reach out to them about your pistol and see what they can do for yourself!
8 thoughts on “RUGER 1911 Lightweight Commander .45 UPDATED”
Have one IWB right now.
Right on. Carries rather nice, don’t it?
I like it, but it seems like a backwards coloration. I like a dark slide on a hard-chromed frame, the way Pachmyer used to do em! Business like, ya know?
I agree… I do prefer that over this, which is what I call a Reverse Two-Tone. Normally, Two-Tones are my favorite finish for a 1911 because that’s how all the best Custom 1911’s used to be when I was growing up reading Gun Magazines like other kids were “reading” Playboys.
But realistically, for all practical purposes, a Stainless Slide on a light alloy frame, is just fine, even if it does look backwards to me. Functionally it’s probably ideal. But it does remind me of a Stainless Slide on a Polymer framed gun, and does make it smack of Cheap and not Custom.
I am glad you posted this. I purchased the all stainless Ruger commander 6 months ago and I love it. Nice slim build and shoots hotter ammo real well and is very accurate. Its heavier than the lightweight, clearly… but such a well made gun and half the price of certain brands. Arguably better quality, in most cases, than those expensive brands too.
Darn it! You’re review has caused me to make an offer on a mint used model. I have a Nighthawk Custom T3-thin that I love but it gets surprisingly heavy by the end of the day. I’m looking forward to wringing this new-used Ruger out.
You’re going to like it for an EDC Beater Gun. The T3 is a flat out AMAZING handgun… and the Ruger isn’t going to compete with that in terms of refinement.
Now, You can buy… what, 4 Rugers for the price of the T3? So you know you are going to get what you pay for, but you will be well pleased with the value the Ruger gives you.
To Date, I’ve 650 rounds through my Ruger. 0 Failures. Few 1911’s I’ve owned have run this well.