Which *Reliable* .45 Auto?


December 29, 2007, 11:16 PM
I'm seeking a reliable, full-size .45 Auto. I just don't have time to deal with customer service.

I was thinking about the SIG P220, but unfortunately threads seem to be negative. Other than the Glock 21, I cannot think of an out of the box reliable .45 Auto. I was wondering if I could get some input from you fine folks.

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December 29, 2007, 11:20 PM
Springfield XD45....

December 29, 2007, 11:20 PM
Negative threads about the 220? I think I can count on half a hand the objective negative comments I've read or heard about the 220.

the pistolero
December 29, 2007, 11:23 PM
Ruger P90, built like a bank vault and will eat anything you feed it. It's fairly cheap too. I paid about $450 for mine after tax NIB, and that may be high depending on where you are. But even at that price it was more than worth it to me. As for the Sig, though, I've heard nothing but good things about it. I would have had one by now if I had not been bitten by the 1911 bug...

December 29, 2007, 11:32 PM
Although it's new the HK45 looks to be a fine duty weapon or CCW, besides HK has never made a bad pistol

December 29, 2007, 11:38 PM
Seriously, the majority of threads on the P220 negative? No likely.

If the only reliable .45ACP you can think of is a Glock 21, you're not doing much thinking. :neener: ;)

December 29, 2007, 11:47 PM
Ditto on the XD45. If you doubt it, go find one to shoot.

December 29, 2007, 11:52 PM
If you want a low cost 45 (as compared to other brandnames), consider the ruger P90. I had one and it would eat anything. I used to reload a lot and that pistol worked with every brand name of bullet I fed it.

December 30, 2007, 12:10 AM
reliable = ruger
you didn't say beautiful, so yep, ruger

December 30, 2007, 12:17 AM
P220 negative ?????? I guess you can find some bad about any of them.

That being said.

SIG P220
SIG P245
HK USP Compact
Glock 21
Glock 30
Glock 36
Ruger P90
Ruger P97
Ruger P345

That should get you started. :D

December 30, 2007, 12:47 AM
What CS said with the P220 and XD right at the top of the list. I have had nothing but great performance from my 220. That said, the XD does fit my hand well and offers lots of .45's on demand.

December 30, 2007, 01:52 AM
Well all my Colts 1911 have been relieable from the Box. Notice I said Colt. Haven't been lucky with other brand of 1911. That why I only buy Colt now.

December 30, 2007, 01:59 AM
Have to go with the H&K USPC

December 30, 2007, 02:01 AM
A Springfield 1911-A1...

Big Boomer
December 30, 2007, 02:11 AM

My XD has fewer rounds through it than any of my 1911's, and no matter what I fed it, even ones that I belled the case head to much and forgot to crimp them, it fed just fine. My 1911's got stuck on them but that thing just ate them for lunch.

To be honest I was awestruck at just how that thing could devour even the crappiest of loads or the widest hollowpoints and run just like they were made for it.

Out of all my handguns, I was quickest to trust my XD for carry.

December 30, 2007, 03:47 AM
XD is not a bad option, at the moment the M&P .45 has had some issues so this is going to be a rare thread where I dont suggest it. But if you dont have a 1911 get one.

December 30, 2007, 05:30 AM
xd .45
ruger p345

December 30, 2007, 06:05 AM
*cough* colt goverment model *cough*

December 30, 2007, 08:49 AM
Cost Lightweight Commander XSE.

December 30, 2007, 09:10 AM
My 1911A1 Norinco has been dependable as a rock!

December 30, 2007, 09:27 AM
My experiences are:

(1) P220, about 17 years, 15,000 rounds, no failures that were not ammo related (a few bad primers here and there over the years).

(1) HK USP, about 7 years, 10,000 rounds. same as above.

(20 or so) Colt's 1911s, 1911a1s, GCNMs, Clark's, about 25 years. As most of these guns were used, a few 80 years old and almost all over 30 years old at time of purchase, occasional issues with worn extractors, ejectors, springs and the like -- normal maintenance items. Nothing major, except a cracked bushing on a 35 yr old Clark (I bought used and put 5,000 rounds through before it broke), and a 1914 Springfield with a broken firing pin when I bought it.

Just bought a Taurus PT1911 which now has 2,500 rounds through it without an issue todate.

Of all of them, however, if I had to pick one for defense, it would be either the HK or P220 and I would pick these over any new 1911 I've seen or shot.

December 30, 2007, 09:52 AM
To be honest I do not have experience with all these other pistols so my opinion is very limited, but my XD45 service has done just what I want of a pistol. I would trust my life to this gun without a second thought.

December 30, 2007, 10:01 AM
I've had a HK USPc 45 for 8 yrs. and a XD 45 since early spring. Neither one has ever had a malfunction. You'll pay a little more for a HK but, it's a quality weapon. For me, the XD points better than a Glock.

Top Gun Supply
December 30, 2007, 10:07 AM
If I were looking for .45ACP pistol to carry, I would probably go find a plain jane alloy frame P220. Not too heavy, reasonable profile, very accurate and rock solid reliable. You can find them used for under $500.

December 30, 2007, 10:09 AM
XD45, reliable with a boat load of lead at your disposal.

December 30, 2007, 10:17 AM
I have half a dozen .45's, can't think of a single one that hasn't been reliable. on the new guns, I always give them 100-150 rounds to settle in before I start to judge them. After the initial 150 or so, never had a single problem with any .45 I have owned.


December 30, 2007, 10:34 AM
Other than the Glock 21, I cannot think of an out of the box reliable .45 Auto.

I can think of several. I own or have owned Glock, Astra, Springfield, Colt, Ruger, and Taurus 45s and all are reliable without any tweaking, gunsmithing , or trips back to the factory. You can find a lemon in any of them once in awhile. What happens is someone gets a bad one, tells 10 friends and that becomes 10 bad guns instead of one. When someone posts that one type of gun is the answer to all your desires it's their lack of experience that's displayed.

December 30, 2007, 10:36 AM
If I had the $$ right now I would buy a lightly used USP .45 compact.

December 30, 2007, 10:53 AM
+1 for a Colt 1911

December 30, 2007, 11:25 AM
but unfortunately threads seem to be negative

Dude, this is the intarwebtubenets. Everything has a bunch of negative threads about it. Sig 220s break trigger pins, Glock 21s break extractors, 1911s need to have their extractors re-tensioned every other magazine (which, btw, have to be selected carefully, since half the mags you may find (and pay $30/ea for) will not work in your gun). Pulling the trigger on a locked HK turns it into a paperweight. Etc. The list goes on.

There may or may not be a grain of truth in each thread, but if you just take what gets bandied about on teh toobs as gospel, then you'll never come to a decision. You say you don't have time to deal with customer service? Then find someone you know to be honest who has something that works (~500 rounds through it) and offer them new gun money for it. There you go, you got what you want-- a pistol with a known track record and no need to deal with customer service. Otherwise, you're just going to pay for a ground-up, four figure custom job that includes break-in and a 100% guarantee that your gun will run 100% out of the box.

If those options don't suit you, then you're just gonna have to roll the dice. The pistol you mention in your original post (Glock 21) as being "reliable" I've personally had issues with. Hell, I dropped mine on a carpeted floor and popped the front sight off. Does that make it crap? No. It's just not perfect. Nothing is.

December 30, 2007, 11:38 AM
I am guessing that the 1911 fairy has always shined on me. I have shot thousands of rounds of 45 from 1911's over the years. I will admit that the vast majority of that has been hardball. Full size platform thank you.

That being said I have very few if any problems. When I did it was becuase of cheap magazines, or, I needed to replace springs. That was in a SA I bought used and who knows how many rounds it had been fired before I got it.
I have had two G21 and never had a problem out of either one. NOT ONE FTF. I have shot XD's and with my limited experience (200 - 300 rounds) I never had a problem with it either.

The only 45's I have ever had an issue with was the small platform models. and take your pick, Colt, SA, Detonics, or Glock. And I have had lots of problems with them and will not own another one.

December 30, 2007, 01:39 PM
My P97 has been reliable as all get out!!

December 30, 2007, 02:42 PM
Glock 21 Or Glock 21 SF

December 30, 2007, 03:03 PM
Lots of good suggestions in here. I suggest a stainless, Colt Series 70 Reproduction. I did a 3,000 round torture test on mine, zero cleanings and zero failures. At present, I have in excess of 10,000 total rounds fired, and zero failures.

If you have larger hands, I sure can't throw rocks at either SA-XD 45ACP or the Glock 21 or 21-SF. The Glock 30 is another beauty.

In closing, you problem is not finding a reliable .45 ACP...your problem will be finding the one that you like. :) Someone's gonna have fun shoppin' around! ;)


December 30, 2007, 10:57 PM

December 30, 2007, 11:00 PM
springfield 1911 A1 +1 100% reliable for me.

December 30, 2007, 11:03 PM
A Springfield 1911-A1...
+1 100% reliable for me.

Grizzly Adams
December 30, 2007, 11:24 PM
Love my Para-Ordnance P14 old model never had a failure. Shoots anything put through it. (don't know about the new ones)

Have never had a single failure from my Springfield 1911 A1. Shoots anything I put through it.

Ruger P90 ugly but very reliable.

December 31, 2007, 02:13 AM
I haven't run into a bad .45ACP pistol.

My personal experience is with the following...

Colt M1991 Series 80; works fine.

Ruger P90 and P345; both will eat anything you feed them.

Sig 220; Nice gun

Glock 21; good dependable gun... subject to my personal prejudice against striker fired pistols.

Taurus PT24/7 Pro .45ACP; good gun, less subject to my prejudice against striker fired guns because it's technically SA/DA.

If you can do so, try out different pistols and decide which one suits you first and foremost.

December 31, 2007, 02:27 AM
My P220 and SA 1911 have been exceptionally reliable.

Zach S
December 31, 2007, 02:40 AM
A Springfield 1911-A1...
I had one of those. I got it used for $400. Though not really a mil-spec, with its generous magwell bevel and lowered and flared ejection port, I liked it.

Before I paid it off I had already swapped the gripped off for the Kimber rubber ones, the trigger for a long one and the MSH for a flat one. I got a front night sight (novak dovetail mount), and a S&A beavertail for it. Never installed. Planned on having them installed when it went in for a triggerjob that never happened. Also had a caspian light rail, got it and forgot about it untill after I traded the pistol. I traded the rail to someone locally for 2 wilson 47s.

The more I shot it, the more I liked it the way I had it. I've traded off a few guns, one being a mild custom Colt 1991A1. I miss the springer the most, but the colt is a close second.

I'm gonna have to get another.

December 31, 2007, 05:38 AM
I'll second (or third, or +1 or whatever :D) the Ruger P90. I love mine, and it's absolutely great in every way imaginable for a full size .45 if you don't HAVE to have a double stack gun.

December 31, 2007, 09:17 AM
Beretta 8045 Cougar.

December 31, 2007, 10:41 AM
S&W 457
Taurus PT1911

December 31, 2007, 12:01 PM
The Sig P220 is in my opinion the most accurate and reliable .45 auto on the market. I personally am carrying a SAO match at this time.

December 31, 2007, 01:20 PM
My P220 was 100% reliable, except for one batch of IMI ammo that was uncrimped, and would not work in any other weapon, either. (The case mouths were flared a bit.) Now, I must use a .40 DA auto as a duty pistol, and as the P229 is on the approved list, I carry a P229, which is also 100% reliable. I am acquainted with quite a few of my co-workers, who carry a variety of pistols, and I have heard of NO problems with SIGs, and this includes P220s that were "grandfathered" from the old firearms policy, when .45s were OK, and the P220 was immensely popular as a duty pistol. I was stupid, and only grandfathered 1911 pistols, during a time of temporary insanity. It's OK, though, as the P229 fits my hands better than the American-style P220. All manufacturers have managed to produce some lemons; keep in mind that it is the unhappy customers that make the most noise. Satisfied customers tend to be a silent majority.

December 31, 2007, 05:28 PM
Negative threads about the 220? I think I can count on half a hand the objective negative comments I've read or heard about the 220.

+100 I have almost three dozen handguns in my safe. My P220 is the best of the bunch.

December 31, 2007, 05:29 PM
My choice = GLOCK 21 :fire:

December 31, 2007, 06:00 PM
HK USP 45 and USPc 45, G21 & 21SF were my first thoughts for reliable 45's :cool:

January 1, 2008, 10:30 AM
My choice to purchase a GLOCK was based on performance, looks was not the issue. Someone on THR or it may have been on another sight, performed an uncontrolled 'STRESS TEST' on a GLOCK 21. It was buried in dirt, mud, exposure to salt water. Just about anything he could to make a GLOCK fail.' This was about two or three years ago, does anyone remember?

It seems as it the gun was removed from the test container, tapped off the loose stuff, inserted a magazine, jacked in a round and dispensed of about a dozen rounds without malfunction.'

I purchased the book, GLOCK. It was the history of the company. It wasn't long I purchased a GLOCK 21. The .45 has been my choice in personal protection, close combat round. Chose the weapon and round that you can control and are most comfortable with. Work with it, do not be afraid of it. About every 90 days you should 're-qualify' yourself to keep your confidence level up.

January 1, 2008, 12:35 PM
The 10 rounder grip feels GREAT - at least for me - try it. Then the 13 rounder is good for nightstand use. It is very accurate, and very reliable. It also looks very nice for this type of pistol. Robust and well-finished.

January 1, 2008, 12:45 PM
I'm a .45 nut, have multiple 1911's from colts to ria, s&w, springer,cd,dw,llama,sistema,molina,riguad,
well just can't help grabbing one up when I can afford it.
Anyway, if you shoot enough, its eventual that a failure of some sort will happen, the only thing you can do it keep the unit in the best shape possible, as clean as possible and practice for malfunctions,
Everyone will have a favorite, not so favorite,but will carry when they feel the need for change.
I consistantly carry a compact 1911, either a CD bul 5, a para slim hawg, a commander , or an ria commander size.
If you are concerned with failure, perhaps a second carry is in order, it would surprise you the amount of folks that do so, whether a pocket hide or an ankle or a where ever.
I have found that to be a good shooter, knowledge and practice will rule in the end.
I also believe its a personal choice, especially in shooting style and posture, limp wristing, etc.

Keep in mind brother Murphy is alway present, one can only ward him off by being prepared as one can be.
good luck with selection, its much like picking the best fishing lure for the first presentation, try'm till you find the one you are confortable with.
If you were in Az. would happily meet you and provide multiple units to try.
I am always looking for a reason to have to clean a few units.
happy new year.

January 1, 2008, 05:29 PM
Taurus 24/7 Pro in .45. Not top heavy like the XD, well balanced, and 13 rounds.

January 1, 2008, 05:38 PM
Lets see what I come up with in reliable 45acp pistols. Bersa Thunder 45, Glock 21, Glock 30, Ruger P90, Ruger P97, Sig P245, S&W M457, S&W Chiefs Special, and Para 12 LDA. Regards, Richard:D

January 1, 2008, 05:41 PM
I'm sure I'm repeating someone, but from where I sit, when you say "reliable" you say "Sig"

January 1, 2008, 06:04 PM
I'd be happy with an HK USP (with the cocked n locked feature), XD45, XD45C, Glock 21SF, Glock 30. And I love Colt 1911's.

My faves for defense duty are the Glock 30 and Glock 21SF. The G30 is my primary carry gun. Awesome reliability, accuracy, comfortable shooting. The G21 is my next Glock purchase, will be used for home/RV defense.



Deer Hunter
January 1, 2008, 06:05 PM
CZ 97 comes to mind.

January 1, 2008, 07:57 PM
I have shot a lot of sigs, and for the most part they don't impress me. But the P220 is something special. IMO, it's one of the best pistols out there. Ain't nothin wrong with it, unless you need more than 8 shots.

The 21SF is a great piece, but it's a bit bulky for concealed carry. If that's not an issue, I can't think of anything that you could complain about for choosing the Glock.

When I bought my first pistol, I was still pretty young. It was a colt officer's. Funny thing it, I always felt like the colt was something of an expensive toy. Even though my Glock is more expensive (probably about the same price, adjusted for the times) and made out of plastic, it somehow comes off as all business, and I have never had any regrets about the purchase.

January 1, 2008, 09:10 PM
Ain't nothin wrong with it, unless you need more than 8 shots

I think high capacity is an important selection criterion.

There are quite a number of very capable, reliable .45 acp launchers. All equally "defense" accurate and relatively equal from a reliability standpoint.

SO what really matters most to me among them is simplicity of operation (same trigger pull every time) and capacity (higher being better). DA/SA, decockers, etc. all add more operational complication than I like in a defense gun. Thus, I lean toward the simplest operating design (Glock is a good example here). Next up is capacity. Here's where the 1911's (dearly as I love them) and the other single stacks (like the 220, USP, etc) lose out for me. I'm a believer in carrying the highest capacity pistol you can (within constraints of workable size, reasonable weight, potent caliber, etc.). These days it is quite possible, perhaps even likely, that one may encounter multiple assailants. Factor in the likelihood of having a number of misses and/or ineffective hits and seven or eight rounds can be spent in a hot hurry, without the task of stopping the assault being accomplished, thus leaving the need for more rounds on tap, often without possibility of a reload.

SO choosing from the various .45 acp handgun choices which have relatively equal reliability, these two points: simplicity of operation and high capacity have lead me to my preference for the G30 (11 rounds) and G21SF (14 rounds). These .45 acp Glocks exemplify ultimate simplicity of operation, stone reliability, proven durability, excellent accuracy, and high capacity (for caliber). All I do to my Glocks to sweeten the deal is install smooth-faced triggers (if the gun doesn't have that already, like the G30), a 3.5# connector (resulting in a 5# pull), install night sights, and polish the trigger action interfaces.

The XD45 and XD45C are quite close (akin to the G21SF and G30) to meeting this same criteria for me and I'm sure they would do a splendid job as well. I'm not quite as happy with their higher bore axis and grip safety lever, however, though I like the guns a lot overall. I don't feel that the M&P45 is quite ready for prime time yet, though in time it probably will be. The new HK45 looks to be a great gun, but suffers in the capacity criterion, I think... for a full size .45. If I'm going to use a full size .45, I want 14 rounds on tap!

January 1, 2008, 09:18 PM
Plenty of reliable .45 options, as have been mentioned already.

Can't say anything bad about most of them. There's something to be said for higher capacity weapons. However, opinions like this are subjective and the simple facts are these: if you're comfortable with a certain weapon (and proficient) then that is what you should carry. After this, factors such as price, mag capacity, etc come into play. No sense in getting what other people say is good when you're not comfortable with it.

January 1, 2008, 09:21 PM
If you want hi-cap though, I'd go with either the XD or Glock .45s. The M&P is very nice, but new. I don't know what issues people keep saying the M&P is having, but it IS a new gun.

If single stack is good for you and you want out-of-the box reliability, the Sig 220 is probably tops, especially if you aren't interested in paying 4 figures for some super duper 1911 custom job. Oh, and HK is nice, but service is generally not great for civilians, and they are putting out a product that is arguably not much better, if any better at all, than most of it's competitors. Again, such opinions are subjective.

January 27, 2008, 01:22 AM
My Ruger P90 has never missed a beat. Recently aquired a S&W 457 which is ding great- feel very comfortable with it.

January 27, 2008, 01:57 AM


My 1911A1 Norinco has been dependable as a rock

Totally agree ,it is my first .45 ACP and M1911 and it is dependable and reliable :)

I almost get a Sig P220 for $400 (rental retired gun ) but somebody beat me to it

January 27, 2008, 07:49 AM
The S&W thrid generation 45XX series has been a proven performer, if a bit on the heavy side. I've managed to land a brace of LNIB DAO 45XX's and 10XX's, and have found them all to be totally reliable.



I also have several SiG P220's, in the Carry length, and am well pleased with them as well.

P220 Stainless Carry Elite:


January 27, 2008, 10:14 AM
XD 45 COMPACT I have one and it is great,never had any problems

January 27, 2008, 07:27 PM


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