Taurus Officer & Commander

.45 ACP Two For The Tool Box
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A good comparison of the bull-barreled Officer model (R) and standard barrel of the Commander with bushing.

Both my Grandfathers wore overalls to work seven days a week. Farmers, they were the salt of the earth, hardworking, honest men. Far from being city-slicker jetsetters, they used what worked, at a fair price — “For quality goods” as they used to say. I guess you could say I have the same mentality. Name brands don’t impress, or discourage me. I don’t get goo-goo-eyed over labels — I think for myself.

I get a mighty smug feeling when less expensive tools do the same job for me, at bargain cost. I’ve always felt it was more the man, than the tool, getting the things done.

The Commander (L) and Officer, both .45 ACP, proved accurate and reliable in Tank’s shooting. You could get both for well under $1,000.

Dynamic Duo

Taurus first released their full-sized model 1911 in 2005. In 2018 Taurus downsized things, releasing both the 4.25" Commander and 3.25" Officer models. Both feature entry-level pricing, while exhibiting characteristics of more expensive pistols. Something the workingman, or youngster just starting out, can truly appreciate.

The guns feature a matte black monochromatic finish, giving them the looks of pricier pistols. Carbon steel slides sport rear serrations, and the Commander has front serrations as well. Both sport low profile, drift-adjustable, dovetailed Novak front and rear 3-dot sights. Easy to change out if you like, too.

The ejection ports are tapered and lowered for positive ejection. Both guns also display excellent fine-line checkering on the mainspring housing and front strap, giving them a custom look and feel of a much more expensive 1911. Nice job, Taurus! Combined with the classy checkered-stocks featuring the Taurus logo and diamond shaped accents, Taurus delivers a comfortable, slip-free grip — while adding to the overall looks.

Extended beavertail grip-safeties and thumb-safeties are standard on both models. The enlarged thumb-safety paddle makes for easy, positive, natural manipulation. The magazine button and thumb-safeties are right-hand only. A note here is not all “Colt-style” parts will fit the Taurus 1911 models so keep this in mind if you are thinking about doing some parts swapping. A good pistolsmith will help you with decisions there.

A Simply Rugged wildebeest Cuda with a CID combo pouch worked wonders for the Commander while a Barranti CCP (upper right) from his Carry Confidence line was perfect for the Officer model.

The Commander

After stripping the Commander down and giving it a few shots of Ballistol, a light, aerosol oil, to both remove the preservative goop on the pistol and lube the innards, things were looking and feeling pretty good.

After the Ballistol treatment, the gun ran without a single malfunction using several different types of ammo, including cast bullet handloads of my own making.

For me, the Commander-sized 1911 is about the perfect balance of both size and balance. Shorter than a full-size model, concealment is easier, and the sight radius is still long enough to make further shots possible, at least for me. Plus, it just balances well and feels good in my hand.
The Taurus Commander has a single stack 8+1 capacity and ships with two steel magazines. I shot an assortment of Black Hills ammo, including their HoneyBadger series, which I think is one of the most aggressive and accurate loads you can carry for self-defense these days. It seems to shoot well in every gun I’ve fired it in, regardless of make and model, and it always seems to run fine.

At 50 feet, or just shy of 17 yards, 5-shot groups tended to be around the 2" to 3" range. I think this is pretty darn good for a gun in this price slot. Ejection was strong, throwing the empties with authority over my right shoulder. The trigger was good, but not great, with some over-travel. I experienced no malfunctions of any kind while shooting over 200 rounds of ammo. But cleaning and lubing it and shooting good ammo through it always helps to keep an auto running.

The Commander disassembles as any 1911 does. No surprises here, inspiring confidence.

Size Matters

The Taurus Commander has a 4.25" barrel, with a traditional 1911 bushing, but has a full-sized grip. Overall length is 7.9" and width is 1.3". Weight is right at 38 oz., so it’s no lightweight.

The skeletonized trigger features straight, vertical grooves and an adjustable trigger stop. A traditional Commander-style hammer rounds out the stylish-good looks.

Owning a Taurus Commander is proof you can get into the 1911 game without spending a thousand bucks. Being more than an entry-level gun, but with entry level pricing, its custom features provide value, protection and fun without having to starve yourself getting one. Great news when recruiting youngsters wanting to see what 1911s are all about.

Built for working men/women, the Taurus line offers value, filling a niche for all — proof you don’t have to get milked to own a 1911!

The Officer Model

The little brother of the Taurus 1911 line is proof good things come in small packages. The older I get, the smaller I like my guns. When they pack a big-bore punch, it’s all the better.

While the shorter grip-frame requires the use of 6+1 magazines, we’ll sacrifice firepower for convenience of carry. The 3.5" barrel is the shortest of the Taurus 1911 line, giving it an overall length of 7.2", making it a perfect side companion for self-defense.

Does It Shoot?

While full-sized grips fit my paws better, I gotta’ admit the shorter Officer model feels pretty darn good, too! The overall compactness of this hardy gun makes shooting .45 ACP cartridges both comfortable — and comforting.

The carbon steel frame, slide and barrel are machined and given a tough-looking, all-black matte finish. The shorter sight radius was no problem with the Novak 3-dot sight system. The trigger was impressive for such an entry level 1911, helping give better than expected accuracy.

After about a dozen rounds, I settled down and some really good groups emerged. We’re talking 2" at 50 feet, about as good as I can do with a gun like this.

A 6+1 vs. 8+1 comparison shows magazine capacity for the Officer and Commander. Every-thing in life is compromise, convenience vs. capacity.

Mini Measurements

The Taurus Officer Model has a 3.5" coned barrel and is bushing-less, nudging the scales to 35 oz.

If you’re looking for a bargain-sized compact, the Taurus Officer model is certainly a way to go. We’re talking realistic prices of around $450 dollars for it, and an MSRP of about $600 for the Commander. I’m betting street prices are even more affordable. It’s value you can appreciate and a great way to enter and experience the 1911 world.

Summarily Speaking

While Taurus may not tickle everyone’s fancy, they fill a niche. I’m happy they provide a strong option, with many custom features. The Taurus Commander and Officer models are tools well within the reach of most people’s budget and will be an asset for anyone’s toolbox. As my Pap used to say, “That dog will hunt, and that ain’t no bull!”

For more info: www.taurususa.com, Ph: (800) 327-3776