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Thread: Compact 1911s

  1. #1
    bengewarmer is offline Junior Member
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    Compact 1911s

    So I've been looking at a lot of the compact 1911's. I really love the design (more so than the full size) although I've heard that they incur more problems than the full frame 1911s. In any case I've been looking at the Kimber Ultra Carry ii, the Sig 1911 Nitron Ultra, and the Springfield EMP. Any preferences between these? Are they more or less the same with different branding or are there some serious pros/cons?

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    VAMarine's Avatar
    VAMarine is offline Administrator
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    IF I were to buy a 3" 1911, it would be a Springfield EMP, probably the 9mm.

    It's been redesigned a bit to work better with the shorter cartridges. I've had a couple 3" 1911s and I'm not really fond of the platform in that size.

    If I were looking for a "compact" .45ACP, I'd be looking at the HK45C, Glock 30 or 36, or the Sig 220 Compact.

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    bengewarmer is offline Junior Member
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    What are your feelings on the stainless steel Para Warthog?

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    VAMarine's Avatar
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    That would be one of the last 3" 1911s I'd buy. Para wants too much $$$ for their guns. Back when Paras ran $600-$700 guns they were ok buys for the $$$ but now that they've raised prices there are better options in that price point.

  6. #6
    bengewarmer is offline Junior Member
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    I forgot to add to the list the Colt Defender. Been eyeing that one too.

  7. #7
    jakeleinen1 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    IF I were to buy a 3" 1911, it would be a Springfield EMP, probably the 9mm.

    It's been redesigned a bit to work better with the shorter cartridges. I've had a couple 3" 1911s and I'm not really fond of the platform in that size.

    If I were looking for a "compact" .45ACP, I'd be looking at the HK45C, Glock 30 or 36, or the Sig 220 Compact.
    VA Marine is 100% right on this

    Alot of the 3" 1911s are really not that great, but I do like the KIMBER ULTRA CARRY II that would be my pick out of the three OP wanted. But you should definitly check out some of the ones he listed like the G30 or the HK45c

  8. #8
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    The smallest 1911 I would carry in defense of life is a Combat Commander (Commander sized, alloy). From what I've seen the 1911 design does not lend itself well to down sizing.

    If I wanted a small .45, I'd go with Glock 30 (about the same width as a full sized 1911, but with a blocky grip), or a Glock 36 which combines reliablity and durabilty with a reasonable carry size.

    There are others out there that are smaller. But none seem to have the combination of small/reliable/durable in the same doses as do the Glocks. Also I think that the Glocks are sufficiently small to carry well (and a lot lighter than any of the 1911s even in micro size and alloy).

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    T-55A5 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Packard View Post
    If I wanted a small .45, I'd go with Glock 30 (about the same width as a full sized 1911, but with a blocky grip), or a Glock 36 which combines reliablity and durabilty with a reasonable carry size.

    There are others out there that are smaller. But none seem to have the combination of small/reliable/durable in the same doses as do the Glocks. Also I think that the Glocks are sufficiently small to carry well (and a lot lighter than any of the 1911s even in micro size and alloy).
    I use a Glock 30 as my CCW.....it's shorter and lighter than my 1911 and has 30% less kick, but with the same punch, plus unlike the shorter 1911's it has a 10rd mag

  10. #10
    thndrchiken is offline Member
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    I really like my Springfield Ultra Compact, but for carry I find it's my Sig P250 that gets the nod more often than not.

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    bengewarmer is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for the input. I have also been looking at the HKs and I've been going back and forth between them and the 1911s. Either way I'd like to go compact, and as much as I realize that aesthetics should never be the sole reason for handgun selection, I can't take my eyes off that Colt Defender.

  12. #12
    Spokes is offline Junior Member
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    I have had an Ultra Kimber CDP for many years. 100% reliable and very accurate...

  13. #13
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by bengewarmer View Post
    Thanks for the input. I have also been looking at the HKs and I've been going back and forth between them and the 1911s. Either way I'd like to go compact, and as much as I realize that aesthetics should never be the sole reason for handgun selection, I can't take my eyes off that Colt Defender.

    The only bad thing I've ever heard about the Defender is that it has a plastic trigger. But it is an easy swap out for a metal one (available from many sources). I like the grip. Colt does not seem to take as much care in dehorning their weapons as others. I never checked this particular weapon out for that issue. But my other Colts all chewed the hell out of jacket linings.

    See: http://shopwilsoncombat.com/Triggers/products/97/

  14. #14
    Spokes is offline Junior Member
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    They might have been plastic at one time. The new triggers look plastic but I am sure they are aluminum...

  15. #15
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    A quick Google search shows mention of both plastic and aluminum triggers. It appears that Colt started with the plastic ones (and got a lot of complaints) and then switched.

    From a practical stand point the plastic ones would have been fine. Aesthetically, not so fine.

  16. #16
    LEJFL is offline Junior Member
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    Compact Carry 1911

    I have a Kimber TLE II pro all stainless. It has a 4" barrel. IMHO a 4" barrel is the best compromise. If you can carry a 3" barrel, you should be able to carry a 4". In addition, the 4" should be more accurate than the 3". I like the all stainless. While it is heavier, and that takes some getting used to, the extra weight does reduce felt recoil.

    While I had lots of problems with it in the beginning, once I put in the proper Wolff spring for the 4" barrel, all the problems went away. Wolff will give you the spring info when you call them.

    Good luck on whatever you choose.

  17. #17
    Spokes is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by LEJFL View Post
    I have a Kimber TLE II pro all stainless. It has a 4" barrel. IMHO a 4" barrel is the best compromise. If you can carry a 3" barrel, you should be able to carry a 4". In addition, the 4" should be more accurate than the 3". I like the all stainless. While it is heavier, and that takes some getting used to, the extra weight does reduce felt recoil.

    While I had lots of problems with it in the beginning, once I put in the proper Wolff spring for the 4" barrel, all the problems went away. Wolff will give you the spring info when you call them.

    Good luck on whatever you choose.
    Does your 4" Kimber have the same type of captured recoil spring like my 3" has?

  18. #18
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    @ Stainless Warthog comment:

    That it's the prettiest gun EVER, you mean?

  19. #19
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    I don't think I would ever buy a 3" 45acp. Instead I would get a glock36.
    I have never read of any reliability problems with this 45.
    I believe the dimensions are same or smaller and far cheaper
    And the barrel length is longer too.

  20. #20
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
    Does your 4" Kimber have the same type of captured recoil spring like my 3" has?
    Not really. the 3" guns have a dual recoil spring assy which come somewhat joined:



    While the 4" has a single spring which rides on the guide rod. However, during disassembly, if the little tool is used, the Pro spring plug, spring, and guide come out as one unit but without that tool or a similar device, the unit is not captured.

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