Moving up to .45


August 5, 2005, 02:22 PM
I picked up an extra class to teach next semester, and the wife cheerfully agreed to split the proceeds with me. "What are you going to buy?", she asked.
"A compact .45 for CCW", I quickly retorted.

Okay, so I know very little about the 1911 platform. I am a 92FS man right now and I love it, but variety is the spice of life. So I am interested in a compact version if possible. I normally carry 4:00 IWB and will probably continue to do so.

So I am asking the numerous members of the 1911 style platform supporters, which compact model I should look at? Kind of hung up on 3" barrel, and 7 + 1 is attractive, but I am open to your valued suggestions.

Thanks everyone. :)

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Double Maduro
August 5, 2005, 02:24 PM

variety is the spice of life.

Don't let your wife hear you say this. :neener:


August 5, 2005, 02:28 PM
The Colt Defender seems to have a pretty good reputation.

I'd consider the STI LS series:

Or the STI BLS series:

The HK USP compact would also be a fine choice for C&L carry:

August 5, 2005, 02:36 PM
I have both a Kimber Compact in stainless and a Colt officers model in matt hard chrome. (They are the same size and use the same manual of operations) I use them for carry often. Both are accurate, 100% reliable and easy to carry. Sometimes I use a Milt Sparks Summer Special and at other times I use a Wild Bills OWB (sort of a long belt slide or a short pancake holster). Both work well.

I have not tried shorter barreled 1911's as I feel no need to. The length I have conceals and carries really well and I feel a shorter one would do no better. The loss of velocity and POSSIBLE loss of reliability of a very short 1911 is something I feel I don't need to experiment with.

Try one of the officer length ones AND one of the very short ones. See what will work for you. Good luck.

August 5, 2005, 03:03 PM
Look at the 'Commander' sized pistols too. Colt, Springfield, Kimber all make them.

My first 1911 was a '50s vintage Commander... lightweight, hard hitting.

August 5, 2005, 03:44 PM
I had a V-10 Springfield compact. Shortie compensated. Not much fun to shoot. The concussion from every shot got old quick, but it was OK to carry.

Actually, a little extra on the barrel doesn't make a ton of difference for carry typically. It's the length of the grip that sticks horizonal that makes a bigger difference. YMMV.

August 5, 2005, 04:24 PM
Give the Sig P245 a look. 6+1, will take P220 8+1 mags. DA/SA, manual decocker, no external safety. It's trim, easy to control, and you can shoot it all day long.

Mine's chugged through 16k rounds, and still going strong. (I replaced the recoil spring @ 10k rounds)

August 5, 2005, 04:39 PM
I tried a co-worker's Springfield Ultra Compact. I did not particularly care for it, but then again the 1911 design just doens't do much for me anyway (I'm not much of a Glock fan either). On that particular gun, there a few things I especially did not like. One was that the slide would sometimes drop when I would insert a loaded magazine. I don't know if that's a flaw, or a feature, but either way I was not a fan. Also, the gun chucked a casing straight back at my eye on at least one shot. If that were to happen during a fight for my life it could put me out of commision (since I would not be wearing eye protection).

Ultimatly I went with a Sig P245 (.45ACP single stack 6+1). The advantages for me with that gun are that a) it fits my hand better than any other gun I've tried - the sights just line up better and more naturally for me, b) it's a DA/SA which I prefer over SA only, c) it has a 3.9" barrel yet it's still the same overall length as the Springfield and d) it's a Sig. It will also accept the 7 and 8 round P220 mags, and I think ProMag makes 6, 8 and even 10 round mags for it.

August 6, 2005, 11:48 AM
Get a Commander size as the 3 in are not 100% with out some tinkering and you will loose a lot in power. My Para 3in shooting at some old barn wood 230 ball stopped cold in wood(could pull couple rounds out with my fingers) My govt blew right thru wood and keep going. Not a great test I know but did leave me a little unsettled. That was Winchester 230 ball.

August 6, 2005, 02:40 PM
This will be better served in autoloaders I think.

August 6, 2005, 02:59 PM

It's the Goldilocks 1911 carry gun - just right! The extra bit of bbl length (4.25) over a 3" or 3.5" makes it no harder to conceal, but adds a touch of reliability, bullet velocity, and more spring life.

Had the Kimber CDP Compact, and it was very similar, but not as snag- and print-free as the Para. And the LDA gives you just a smidge more margin of safety in the event the manual comes off while carrying, or you draw down with adrenaline pumping.

I'd also second the Sig P245 as a good choice.

Black Majik
August 6, 2005, 03:25 PM
For carry, dont go anything under 4.25 in barrel.

So, that results in the suggestion for the S&W 1911 Scandium. True commander size, lightweight, and long enough that its still comfortably carried IWB.

Or a Lightweight Commander.

The SIG P245 is a great suggestion also.

The HK USPc .45 is a great gun also. I love the ergonomics and options of that gun, except for the checkering on the front/back strap. Carried condition 1 or DA/SA. Not very compact though, as it is also quite thick.

Art Eatman
August 6, 2005, 04:20 PM
I'm quite content with my LW Commander. It works in a Coronado vest, or lays up real good above my right hip pocket...


August 7, 2005, 09:37 PM
FWIW, the STI mini 1911s I've handled and shot didn't run very well. I would go with either a Colt Commander or Officer's ACP. If it is to be shot a lot, go with a steel frame. If it's going to be carried more than shot, get an alloy frame variant of either.

A really nice variant is the Colt CCO. It mates a Commander (4.25") barrel and slide to an Officers ACP frame. They are all series '80 versions save for the latest, which is the Colt Gunsite CCO, which is everything in a carry gun that I'd want save night sights. (It does have Novak LoMounts, though.)

August 7, 2005, 10:33 PM
The P245 is a wonderful baby 45. Stoked with either +P or 185/200 gr. loads, mine has all the power and accuracy of it's big brother, the P220.

I have owned the Glock 30, 36, Springfield Ultra-Compact, and Springfield commander size "Fully Loaded." I have retained the Sig P245 due to it's accuracy, reliability, and ergonomics. Best of luck in your search!


August 7, 2005, 10:48 PM
if you're dead set on a 1911, i recommend the kimber ultra carry ten II. my friend carries one all the time and it's only slightly larger than my glock 27. it is 100% reliable so far and surprisingly accurate. the ten round mag and ability to accept reliable 13rd reloads makes it a heck of a deal.

if you can "settle" for something other than 1911, i recommend you test drive a compact glock. i carry a 23 and a 27. i feel the frame size of the 23 is an ideal balance. not sure what the model number is in .45 but i'm sure you can find an appropriate size pistol without settling for the 6 or 7 round limit a single stack 1911 offers.

yeah, i know alot of people will say "if you can't do it in seven..." sure, fine, but why settle when you can do better?

August 8, 2005, 03:16 PM
I used to carry a P245 on the job - for about three weeks before our personally-owned firearms were taken away by the former (now again the) NYPD Commissioner and made to carry Glock 9mms. It was/is the best of the DA .45 compacts - even better than the Hk-USP "Compact". I would carry one again, if able. The P245 is, however, thicker and bulkier than a Gunsite CCO or my CQB-compact.

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