TFBTV at SHOT Show 2016: Colt’s Four ‘New’ 1911 Pistols

James had the opportunity to handle and shoot four new 1911 models from Colt at SHOT Show 2016’s Industry Range Day.

Colt has released information on the new Colt Lightweight Commander and Competition models (press release copied below), but it also unveiled two new additions to the Combat line – railed guns made with the operator in mind with aggressive texturing, hard finishes, and upgraded sights.

Price list here:

Press release:
WEST HARTFORD, Conn. (January 6, 2016) – The historic firearms manufacturer Colt is announcing three innovative new products for the start of 2016; the Colt CompetitionPistol™, the Colt Expanse™ M4 Carbine, and the Colt Lightweight Commander®.

“We’re incredibly excited about these new offerings,” said Paul Spitale, Senior VP of Commercial Business at Colt. “The Colt Competition Pistol™ is race ready right out of the box, and the Expanse™ M4 is a great building block that’s easy to get into for both the first-time AR-15 platform owner and the more experienced collector alike.”

The Colt Competition Pistol™, which is available in .45 ACP or 9mm, offers several features that competitive shooters will appreciate, including Colt’s innovative DualSpring Recoil System™ developed for the M45A1 in order to reduce recoil and help keep shots on target at critical moments. “This pistol is competition grade,” said Mark Redl, Team Colt sponsored shooter and Product Manager for Colt. “We designed a pistol that you can buy on the way to a match.” Other features include Novak’s new adjustable rearsight and fiber optic front sight, competition ergonomics including an undercut triggerguard and upswept beavertail safety, and a National Match® barrel. The ColtCompetition Pistol™ carries an MSRP of $899.

The Expanse™ M4 puts a Colt quality AR-15 within easy reach of the modern sportsman looking to enhance his or her ir collection, or the first-time buyer looking for a starting point on which to build their dream modern sporting rifle. Either way, the Expanse™ M4 in 5.56 x 45 NATO (.223 Rem.) is a great way to add another Colt to the stable. The Expanse™ M4 retails for $699.

The Lightweight Commander®, offered in .45 ACP or 9mm, affords enthusiasts the ability to concealed-carry a real 1911 platform pistol comfortably. With a shorter profile and lower weight than a traditional full size Government Model®, the Lightweight Commander® offers the Dual Spring Recoil System™ and custom Colt G10 grips, among other enhancements. “We wanted to offer something special to the concealed carry enthusiast who wants that authentic Colt experience in a package that can add both confidence and comfort,” said Spitale. The MSRP of the Lightweight Commander is $949.

James Reeves

• NRA-licensed concealed weapons instructor, 2012-present
Maxim Magazine’s MAXIMum Warrior, 2011
• “Co-Director” [air quotes] of TFBTV
• Former Regional Sales Rep, Interstate Arms Corp., MA
• Champion, Key West Cinco De Mayo Taco Eating Competition
• GLOCK® Certified Pistol Operator, 2017-2022
• Lawyer
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    M45A1 is not a new model, they have been on gun broker for more than a year.

  • M.M.D.C.

    I know what everyone’s is thinking: “just more of the same old 1911’s.” But, as designs aimed at specific kinds of shooters, they look like a step in the right direction.

    The Competition pistol looks like it would be a fun range toy and cheaper to plink with in 9mm.

  • FrenchKiss

    Yay! More guns that Commiefornia won’t let law-abiding people buy.

    • Bob

      They won’t let you buy a pistol with a single stack mag that carries a whole 8 rounds even if not pinned? I would think California would embrace 1911s, what with all the safeties. Not many handguns these days with the grip safety, way less scary than the evil black Glock with no safety and a super high capacity magazine that you can shoot nine hundred bullets out of…

      • M.M.D.C.

        I believe any new guns must be approved and put on a Okay-To-Buy list before being sold.

        • Bob

          OK, I get the red tape BS, but I don’t think new grips, sights, and some altered dimensions exactly constitutes “new” when the base design is over 100 years old. Eh, I’m just glad I don’t live there.

          • M.M.D.C.

            One would think so but fish gotta swim, bureaucrats gotta check little boxes… or something like that. It may BE so, I’m all the way on the other side of the country so I don’t keep up with their regs.

          • Phil Hsueh

            The rules regarding the list are very stupid in that even cosmetic changes to a previously approved gun means that it needs to be re-approved and the same model in a different finish is a completely different model in the eye of CA and needs to be approved. To further add to the silliness, the relative safeness of a given pistol actually has a shelf life and at the end of this year the shelf life for everything still on the list will expire.

          • Marcus D.

            Cosmetic changes don’t count. Says so in the statute. Not that it matters. The current AG hates guns and has determined that the most minor change is a “material” change requiring re-approval–just so that the gun can be banned for failing to comply with the microstamping requirement. Case in point: There is only ONE remaining 1911 offered by Colt on the California roster as of 1/1/16, that being a Commander. Rumor has it that Colt changed its manufacturing process in some fashion, the result of which ALL of its other 1911s were determined to be “new” guns. (Funny thing is, there is a Python on the roster which, unless there are some announcements to come, isn’t being produced.) So no Colts for you, unless you fancy one of their fancy 1873 SAAs.

        • Bob

          I guess what I am saying is I understand the why, but I think it a bit ridiculous.

          • M.M.D.C.

            Yes, it is.

      • FrenchKiss

        Microstamp required.

        • Marcus D.

          See my comment above. As of January 1, 2016, ALL Colt semiauto pistols except for the Colt Commander require microstamping, and are therefore no longer on the Roster. Bye bye Colt!

  • Bob

    Just doing some out loud thinking here: I am no expert, but it seems to me that although everyone is clamoring for Colt to do something innovative like producing a poly framed 1911, it is unlikely they can do more than modifications of their present products for the moment. They are bankrupt, how much money do they really have for R&D, for new equipment, etc? I doubt they have the means and resources to do better than variations on a theme right now. So the questions should be more along the lines of: Can their limited changes now bring back the profits? If they do, will the corporate big wigs try to get some change going, or will they just brush the sweat off their foreheads and go back to the company resting on its laurels?

    • bob

      Bob, I am the other Bob. See my reply to phauxtoe explaining some Colts woes over the last 30 years or so.

  • phauxtoe

    Colt is the ONLY 1911, everything else is a 1911 CLONE!

    • Leigh Rich

      Colt keeps on going bankrupt!!

    • bob

      Take a DEEP breath, you are starting to hallucinate !! The Colt of 1938 is Not the same company it is today.F.Y.I. In the mid 80’s Colt workers went on strike. Colt brought in Scabs to work as the strike lasted for years.By the time it was settled many, many of the true Craftsmen and Skilled workers had moved on leaving a very
      inexperienced work force. Quality went down the tubes. Then the State of Ct. became a major stock holder of Colt. AS a result,the State demanded and Colt agreed to stop making handguns. This period when Colt did not make hand guns further reduced experienced workers. As a result, there is NOT any Colt produced today that can even remotely keep up with companies like Kimber, Ruger, S&W, etc for Q.C and performance.

      • J.T.

        “AS a result,the State demanded and Colt agreed to stop making handguns. This period when Colt did not make hand guns”

        What? When did Colt ever not make handguns? Immediately after the state of Connecticut became a stock holder they tried marketing the Double Eagle and then the All American 2000.

  • bob

    As Long as Colt remains in one of the Most Anti gun states in America,I refuse to buy ANY Colt product ! Their tax $$$ are used to promote and fund many anti gun initiatives in Ct.
    These gun grabber tactics are used as models elsewhere by other gun grabbers inan effort to further erode our 2nd Amendment Rights.