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The Colt Wiley Clapp M1911 type semi-automatic pistols have been around for eons and currently comes in five models. Two of these are the Wiley Clapp LW Commander .45 ACP (8+1) and 9 mm (9+1).

Wiley Clapp has written extensively about guns. These guns were designed with his input and his philosophy as a guiding spirit. He wanted guns that would be exactly what would need out of the box. Nothing more. Nothing less.

The LW in the gun’s name stands for light weight. For starters, it’s topped with a barrel vaulted carbon steel Commander slide. On top sit a highly regarded Novak brass bead front sight and a simple wide notch rear sight. It has no front serrations, but it does have diagonal slide serrations at back. Behind that is a looped hammer. A nice design touch is how the hammer’s horizontal serrations echo those on the slide catch and even the much larger slide serrations.

This slide integrates with a lightweight gently bobtailed aluminum frame that ends in an elegant curved beavertail and a grip safety.

While the gun is generally stainless steel in color, the trigger, sights and certain other elements are black.

The match grade barrel is 4.25” long. Sight radius is an inch longer than that at 5.25”.

The thumb safety and slide catch are nicely beveled. But most catching are the wooden grips. They are elegant and beautiful and run right up to the slide. Unusually, they have a recessed three finger pattern one both grips that echo where one’s fingers will go. These recesses are checkered at 25 lines per inch for a good hold. The same checker pattern runs across the magazine release, frontstrap and on the flat mainspring housing on the backstrap. By the way, the two grip panels are simply fastened with a flat head screwdriver.

The trigger guard is round and undercut. In it is a curved solid match trigger with vertical grooves along the trigger face. And when the trigger fires, it works in conjunction with a Series 70 firing system.

This comes with a 9 round magazine for the 9 mm and 8 round one for the .45 ACP. Both have witness holes permitting easy count of how many rounds remain inside when the magazine is removed.

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