New, Old Colt Defender

In 9mm Instead of .45 ACP

You know the Colt Defender.

It’s a classic 1911 for concealed carry, an old-timer showing how to pack .45 ACP into a small, rough and tumble platform. Today I’ve got a new Defender in hand. This one’s chambered in 9mm. And here’s the crazy part: I think I like it better than its .45 older brother.


Dimensionally, we’re talking about virtually the exact same gun. Same all-business look and feel. Same fantastic stocks by Hogue. Same nubby safety. All the stuff we know and love about this gun.

As for general mechanical feel, rack the slide and you’ll sense a bit more resistance than what you’re used to. Fire it and you’ll notice a couple more things right away: Gone is the bark and push of the .45 ACP. And in its place is a healthy but very manageable recoil from a 9mm. Gone is any semblance of strong muzzle flip. And in its place is a mild upward snap that falls right back into place. The .45 version of the Defender had some kick to it, yes, but it was never outrageous, thanks to the excellent, finger-grooved, rubber stocks. So with a less powerful round, there’s of course even more control.

There’s no change in accuracy; it remains excellent. No change in trigger stroke; same single action to make the hammer fall. Well, maybe it has improved in smoothness just a bit. Every round of the Colt Defender 9mm ammo I fed it seated, fired, and ejected properly. Defenders retail for around $1,000.

One more noteworthy difference: Each Colt Defender mag holds eight rounds of 9mm. So, with 8+1 and one reload, that’s 17 rounds of 9mm on tap. Using modern self-defense ammunition, no one should feel undergunned carrying this 9mm.

There are lighter, less expensive, higher capacity 9mm guns, yep. But if you’re tuned to 1911’s — and especially to the Defender — and considering changing to 9mm, you might want get your hands on the new old Defender … and see what hasn’t changed.

Learn more at Colt Defender Series.