Most reliable 1911 sub compact?


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LFW
November 8, 2003, 02:12 PM
I haven't really kept up with the latest in 1911 style pistols. Is there any company making a reliable, sub 4" barrel version these days? What's the buzz on the Colt Defender? The Kimber Compact? I've always wanted a sub compact 1911 but have been scared off due to horror stories of unreliability.--Leigh

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loveipos1234
November 8, 2003, 02:30 PM
Several months back I purchased a SA Micro .45. After I got it, I cleaned, lubed, and headed to the range. I fired about 150 rounds, and had several FTF and FTE. It shot great otherwise, very accurate out to 50 feet. I sent the gun back to SA as they have a lifetime guarantee. It was returned to me in flawless condition 2 weeks later. Since then, I have not had one problem and have put about 500 rounds thru it. Yes, the 3" can be a little finicky at first, but a good going over by a competent smith to de-burr, polish, and file where necessary will make it a very reliable pistol. I am very happy with SA and their product and Customer service.

denfoote
November 9, 2003, 12:48 AM
The smallest 1911 I have is a Commander. That is as low I will go!!

ambidextrous1
November 9, 2003, 01:14 AM
My SA Ultra-compact with 3.5" bbl has been 100% rliable for a few thousand rounds - after replacing & tuning the extractor.

It also went through a 'break-in' phase of 200 or so rounds. In retrospect, the original extractor might have been okay; in any event, I'm well pleased with the performance of the gun as it is now.

Stevie-Ray
November 9, 2003, 01:48 AM
My Kimber Ultra CDP II is completely reliable with everything but Silvertips. Needless to say, I don't use them. Hydra-Shoks for me, and no problems, ever.

George Hill
November 9, 2003, 03:55 AM
Detonics Combat Master

James Bondrock
November 9, 2003, 04:46 AM
"I haven't really kept up with the latest in 1911 style pistols. Is there any company making a reliable, sub 4" barrel version these days? What's the buzz on the Colt Defender? The Kimber Compact? I've always wanted a sub compact 1911 but have been scared off due to horror stories of unreliability."


Kimber and Springfield Armory make 3" 1911s. (The 3" Kimber is actually the Ultra Carry; the Compact is a 4" barrel.) From what I have read, reliability seems to be hit or miss with both of them. If it functions out of the box, fine, but many of them have to go back to the factory, sometimes several times, to be fixed. The Colt Defender is going to be hard to find. It was only made for a short time before the old management at Colt decided to stop selling handguns to the public, and I am not sure if the new management has or is going to revive it. Para-Ordnance makes a variety of pistols with 3.5" barrels. Some of them look quite nice, but I had such a bad experience with a P12 that I would not buy another P-O. If I were to buy a compact 1911, I would get one with the short butt and 4" barrel. (Colt made one briefly called the CCO, but this would be rarer still.)

IRock
November 9, 2003, 07:34 AM
I have a Kimber compact that has been flawless since it came out of the box. It's been shot a lot with different brands of ammo including many reloads. Very accurate also. One of the nicest factory guns I ever bought for fit and finish also.
I also have a Colt Officers model. It took quite a bit of tinkering to get it right. It is still particular about ammo. With proper ammo though it too is reliable. I haven't carried it since the Kimber came into my hands.

Sean Smith
November 9, 2003, 10:09 AM
On average, none of them.

Suggest 4-4.25" barrel on shortened "officers model" style frame as smallest sensible 1911 packge. Examples are Colt CCO, Kimber Compact or SA Compact models.

Random observation: none of the higher-end 1911 makers that I know of make sub-4" (or, more precisely, sub- 3.9") barrel guns in .45 ACP. Brown, Baer, Wilson & STI have all willfully avoided marketing such a product.

Smoke
November 9, 2003, 10:20 AM
Kimber Ultra carry CDP has never hiccupped.

But it hasn't seen the round count of my other 1911s.

I actually prefer a commander sized gun for carry. That compact grip is just a little to short.

IRock
November 9, 2003, 11:39 AM
Random observation: none of the higher-end 1911 makers that I know of make sub-4" (or, more precisely, sub- 3.9") barrel guns in .45 ACP. Brown, Baer, Wilson & STI have all willfully avoided marketing such a product.

STI does make a 3.4 inch 1911 and I hear good reports on it so far. Two of them Try here (http://www.stiguns.com/guns/ls/ls.html) and here (http://www.stiguns.com/guns/bls/bls.html)

Chuck Perry
November 9, 2003, 11:46 AM
The Colt Defender is going to be hard to find. It was only made for a short time before the old management at Colt decided to stop selling handguns to the public, and I am not sure if the new management has or is going to revive it.

http://colt.com/CMCI/Defender.asp

Defender, and Colt in general, is alive and well. Most people with Defenders seem quite happy with them. I had a Kimber Ultra for awhile. It was nice, but just didn't care for it as much as a regular 5". Traded it for a SW329PD. :D

Tamara
November 9, 2003, 12:51 PM
Detonics Combat Master

Not my experience; mine's rough as a cob. Definitely a project gun.

Eric Bryant
November 10, 2003, 08:28 PM
While not exactly a shining model of reliability, my Kimber Ultra Ten II has experienced exactly zero problems related to the barrel length.

tomr8368
November 10, 2003, 08:40 PM
Nobody mentioned the Firestorm DA .45... mine's been without problems so far... two thumbs up.
Tom

WhoKnowsWho
November 10, 2003, 10:33 PM
I have the Para Carry C6.45 with 3" barrel. About 500 rounds with no problems. FMJ, lead SWC, and hollowpoints.

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