Which Micro 1911?


September 19, 2006, 07:32 PM
Ok guys, I need some advice.

Im looking to pick-up a used Micro-Compact 1911 and customize it to what I want.

My two choices are:

1) Kimber Ultra Carry II Stainless Steel w/ Internal Extractor

2) Springfield Mil-Spec Micro Compact PX9808L

Now, with the Kimber, I would change out some of the MIM parts on it, change the saftey with a carry safty, change out the action kit with a cylinder and slide kit, and change out the mainspring housing with a S&A mainspring housing/magwell.

On the Springfield, I would change the saftey with a carry safty, change out the action kit with a cylinder and slide kit, add a beavertail grip saftey, and change out the mainspring housing with a S&A mainspring housing/magwell.

The Springfield is steel, the Kimber is Aluminium.

The Springfield has a lowered and flared ejection port, the kimber has the longest cycle time of any small 1911 pistol.

The Springfield is parkerized, the Kimber is stainless. However, Im going to have either one of them refinished in bi-tone hard chrome.

Springfield has less than 200 rounds through it, Kimber has around 500 rounds through it.

The Springfield is $550, the Kimber is around $700.



Thanks for the help guys.

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September 19, 2006, 08:17 PM
I have both a Micro-Compact and an Ultra-Carry. They were both terrible. Jammed with almost every mag of ammo. Other people claim theirs are reliable though, so maybe my experience is not typical.

The shorter 1911s get, though, the more unreliable they seem to be.

If you buy one and it jams, just remember I told ya so.

September 19, 2006, 08:20 PM
Yeah, I have heard that some have problems but Im not really worried about getting this one to work as I have a friend that is a very good gunsmith.

Also, I rented a Kimber Ultra Carry II this weekend and put 100 trouble free rounds through it.

September 19, 2006, 08:30 PM
I know it does not answer your question, but I also must ask why you want to get a micro? They are obviously easier to conceal, but there are many disadvantages. They are harder to shoot well, the loss of bullet velocity (compared to a longer barrel) makes it more difficult to find a round which will reliably expand, and the smaller 1911s may have reliability issues

September 19, 2006, 09:15 PM

I have one of the original year Kimber CDP Ultras, and it has been very reliable. Otherwise, it would be for sale on the used market!;)

That being said, it is not for sale!

Accuracy is decent also, although the 10 yard, standing/unsupported group I shot with it last week (at 1" dots) is a little to the left in the attached photo. I guess I'll have to drift the rear sight to the right a little. The round was the 230 grain Remington "Golden Sabre," my preferred carry round in this little auto.

I've too heard horror stories about the later Kimbers. Then again, I've heard of others who've had excellent results like I have.

I do agree with those who warn about the shorter barrelled 1911s. The shorter they are, the less reliable they theoretically are. Be prepared to keep it in great shape.

So . . . if you get either one, before you dump a lot of money into it, make sure it is a very reliable gun. The worst gun someone can carry is one that doesn't go bang 100% of the time. Mine is out-of-the-box "stock."

I'd recommend an aluminum framed officer's sized 1911, for the main reason to go this small is concealability . . . and my CDP Ultra's light weight makes it a great little gun to carry in the summer even.

If I were buying a small one again, I'd probably buy another Kimber . . . and keep my fingers crossed until I could break it in properly!


September 20, 2006, 12:36 AM
Either one will serve you well BUT after you start tinkering and swaping parts all bets are off. If it ain't broke don't fix. At 10 yds these will do just fine as they came from box.

Old Dog
September 20, 2006, 03:56 AM
Got a couple SA Loaded LW Micros, the bi-tone models. Love 'em. Both a hundred percent reliable and quite accurate (one incredibly so). Picked one up a couple years ago, it worked out so well, got a spare. No issues.
PS - S&Wfan, couple of mighty nice-lookin' Smiths there!

September 20, 2006, 10:43 PM
I prefer steel guns, so I'd go w/ the Springer :D

September 20, 2006, 11:43 PM
All though it isn't on your list I would look for a Colt Defender.

Mine has never had a single issue will eat anything, the same cannot be said for my brother in laws Springer Micro or his Kimber Ultra CDP.

Good Luck.

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
September 21, 2006, 01:04 AM
SWMBO decided she wanted a pistol with a slimmer grip about a year ago. She's been shooting a PT111 for several years. One afternoon at our local indoor range and emporium she noticed a Kimber in the rental case; officer's size. We obtained it for awhile, and she fell in lust with it. She wanted to see what they had in inventory and decided on a Springer Micro Compact, as it had more features at a better price than the similar Kimber.

Several thousand rounds later, she still loves it. The only problem shes' encountered is a failure to extract a spent case if she doesn't lock her wrists firmly enough. It's NOT picky about ammo- it eats 230 gr. RN, 200gr HP and 185gr HP with equal relish. It's remarkably accurate in her hands and I rather like shooting it myself. It's enough to make me consider obtaining one for myself, although I'm a dyed-in-the-wool SIGophile.
I've not experienced the same FTE problem she does, probably because of a difference in grip. Hers is the green park/phosphate finish.

Best of all, she picked it out-herself-as an early birthday present to herself.


September 21, 2006, 09:48 AM
How about looking at the new Detonics USA guns? All stainless, no MIM parts and probably cheaper than working up a used gun.

September 21, 2006, 12:23 PM
--never mind --
i thought springfields new E.M.P was a 45....
nope! its a 9mm...

Lloyd Smale
September 21, 2006, 06:22 PM
Im a big fan of the cdps ive had two of them and they were great guns. Like a dummy they got traded off but sometime soon i will replace at least one probably the 4 inch officers sized one. I also have a springfield compact and a dectonics combat master and there great guns put being all steal there a little heavy and neither in my opinion compares to a cdp. In my opinion the cdps are one of the finest carry guns on the market at any price.

September 22, 2006, 02:06 PM
I have the Kimber Ultra CDP and love it. Albeit, I did just pick it up last week and have only fired 200 rounds through.

Here is a range report I posted on another forum:

I was recently on a quest to find a new carry pistol and had narrowed my choices down to the Colt Defender and the Kimber Ultra CDP. I have several friends that have had troubles with Kimber products and they warned me against it. They even joked that if I buy the Kimber it would be a jam-o-matic. I currently own a malfunctioning SA 1911 and could care less (it's my range pistol). For a carry piece I need something that is ultra reliable. After many agonizing hours of searching message boards and visiting the gun shop, I had chosen the Kimber. I'm not going to lie, the aesthetics of this pistol ended my thorough search.

As with any new pistol, the first trip to the range is make or break time. I was extremely apprehensive about taking this pistol out after reading and hearing about Kimber malfunctions. I stopped at Sportsmans to pick up some ammo. Strangely, SW had a very limited selection of .45 ammo. I was looking for WWB, Remington, and Blazers to use for break in and see what the pistol likes. The only non-remanufactured ammo they had was Blazer. So I ended up with 150 rounds of Blazer 230g FMJ's. It would work.

To the range. I entered the range, set up my station and loaded my first magazine. I paused as I loaded the mag....I seriously feared the possibilty of this pistol being a jam-o-matic. Any malfunctions would be greeted with "I told you so's" and laughter from the buddies that recommended the Colt. I locked and loaded, acquired my target, and......FIRED! Whew! I shot another and another and another. Then a spent casing hit me in the head. "***?" I shouted. This better not be an extraction issue! I fired the remaining bullets in the mag without a hiccup. I loaded another magazine and proceeded to fire again. This time I had a buddy watching from behind to check for any extraction issues. Several more flawless rounds cycled through this beautiful pistol and I was hit in the head again. I finished off the mag and asked my buddy what happened. He knew I was concerned and said with a laugh, "The shell bounced off the wall and hit your nugget!" Whew! I was happy!

I blew through the 150 rounds of Blazer like a kid though Christmas present wrapping paper. Each flawless magazine hightened my excitement. The pistol was more accurate than me and fired with the precision of an Italian sports car. WOW! But the fun would end...I was out of ammo.

I headed back in to the shop for 1 more box of ammo. To my utter dismay, they had no WWB, Blazers, or Remington! Dang it! They only had some remanufactured ammo (American, I think) so I bought a box. I thought that if my new Kimber was going to malfunction, it was going to malfunction on the stuff I just bought.

Back to the range....loaded the magazine, aimed....BANG! Nice! I blasted through the box of remanufactured stuff WITHOUT a hiccup! I was impressed! I wouldn't have put the remanufactured stuff in my Glock let alone my new Kimber! This little pistol far exceeded my expectations!

My impressions:
- Very accurate (to 45') (moreso than me)
- Smooth!
- Nice break on trigger
- I need more magazines
- Shoots very naturally for me
- Reliable (thus far)

Caveat: This range report is 100% true. I really did not have 1 malfunction. Time will tell how it does with JHP or other hollow point type ammo, but thus far this pistol shot 100%.

A VERY happy Kimber customer,

September 22, 2006, 11:44 PM
This range report is 100% true. I really did not have 1 malfunction.

I believe you, but wish mine had worked that well. I cannot tolerate an automatic that jams.

September 23, 2006, 01:15 AM
Micro 1911's must be absolutely perfect run reliably and every grey beard 1911 fanatic I know avoids them like the plague. I would prepare for it to go back to factory at least once.

Old Dog
September 23, 2006, 01:56 PM
And then there are folks who post without reading all of the previous posts ...
Micro 1911's must be absolutely perfect run reliably and every grey beard 1911 fanatic I know avoids them like the plague. I would prepare for it to go back to factory at least once.
Of course, what do I know? I've been using 1911s for only about 35 years or so (26 of those on active duty); some would call me a "1911 fanatic" and if I did grow a beard, it'd be full o' grey ... and my two SA Micros have been perfect, and accurate ... and haven't even needed to go back to the factory. Further, my experiences have been mirrored by at least three of my long-time associates from the military who also own reliable SA and Kimber 3 or 3.5 inchers ...

September 23, 2006, 02:00 PM
Hammering out the details with a gentleman on another forum about a slightly used Springfield Micro-Compact bi-tone. This makes me pretty happy as I really like Springfield's customer service. I will let you guys know if the deal goes through, and when I get the pistol. Heck, I will even post pics of the pistol once I finish with it.


September 24, 2006, 01:13 PM
"Micro 1911's must be absolutely perfect run reliably and every grey beard 1911 fanatic I know avoids them like the plague. I would prepare for it to go back to factory at least once."

I was extremely apprehensive at first, but my skepticism has been somewhat alleviated with my last range trip. So far so good, but we'll see.

Note - I just replaced a my Kimber mag follower with the polymer follower kit from Wilson Combat. This should avert any future mag issues on this pistol. I also have the internal extractor.


Ala Dan
September 24, 2006, 01:20 PM
Adding to my friend Old Dog's comments, I also own a 3" Kimber
Stainless Ultra Carry II that has proven too be 100% reliable; without
any trips back to the factory~!:cool: :D

larry starling
September 24, 2006, 03:14 PM
Fwiw even though its not on your list I would try and find a Colt Defender or a MKIV series 80 Officers ACP. I own both and havent had any issues. :)

October 15, 2006, 07:34 PM
Went with a Kimber Tactical Ultra II.

Haven't made it to the range yet.

October 15, 2006, 07:50 PM
Micro 1911 variants remind me of a poem I heard once...

"There was a little girl who had a curl in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good, she was VERY good,
but when she was bad...she was horrid."

November 13, 2006, 06:44 PM
I've said this elsewhere on another thread. My Defender, when it behaves, is amazingly accurate and easy to shoot (well, you know what I mean ...).

BUT --- when she decides to be grumpy, she spits out a lot of stuff without digesting it.

Very, very good --- and very, very bad.

After my dealer tweaked the extractor, I'm giving it one more range session after today's iffy one --- then it's Back to the Factory. :cuss:

November 13, 2006, 09:28 PM
i've had mine for 3 years, and thousands of rounds. during the break-in, first 500 rounds or so i had the usual jam problems. didn't send it back, just found some good mags ( kimber pro-tec) and now it never jams. every time i pull the trigger something very good happens! and way more accurate than i am.

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