Value of a compensator on a 3.5" 1911?


Rail Driver
September 13, 2010, 07:56 PM
Is there any? Do they make short compensators around 1" long or so?

I think this would make a compact 1911 look a bit more balanced...

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September 13, 2010, 08:34 PM
compensators work best on high pressure rounds--which the .45ACP (the traditional 1911 round) is not. I suppose somebody could sort out a compensator for a 9mm compact 1911--but, I doubt that it would really be needed.

Compensators (may) have their place on raceguns--but someone active in racing probably will have to chime in with the current state of affairs in their group. I suspect no matter which operation, however, looks have little to do with the demand; lower times are the only thing that really matters, after all.

Jim H.

Jim Watson
September 13, 2010, 09:12 PM
I had a Marvel compensator on a Colt OACP .45. It did not know it was too low pressure to drive a comp, it shot like a champ with recoil on the order of a full size G.M. I wish I still had it.
But that was one of his last comp bodies and he does not offer them any more.
Maybe Nowlin will still make one.

September 13, 2010, 09:39 PM
make a compact 1911 look a bit more balanced...Why?

The whole point of a compact 1911 is to be small, adding bulk sort of negates toe original intent.
Springfield made (makes?) ported 1911 models, I think they made a compact one if you want the actual compensator effect ... I want a concealable and comfortable gun, if I spend time looking at it, I do so from the rear, not the side.

September 14, 2010, 03:17 AM
I had a Colt Officer with one installed I guess was a special run by a distributor or something It was the ultra bright finish with night sights . It shot fine but wasn't any thing great . I sold it 45 doesn't need one. and takes away the reason for a compact pistol.

September 14, 2010, 05:45 AM
I would value a compensator on an OACP less than adding .75" to your upper by going to a Commander length barrel/slide.

I have seen an OACP with a comp...I think it was an Ed Brown...but I think the Commander slide would look even more balanced and would definitely improve reliability

September 14, 2010, 09:18 AM
Personally, I don't see the point. If I wanted more balance I would go with a commander sized gun. The STI Ranger II is a great carry gun and good example of going bigger but still allowing good concealability. I also c,arry an STI Shadow and recoil is not strong enough for me to want a compensator or a bigger gun.

The Wiry Irishman
September 14, 2010, 03:19 PM
The whole point of the small 1911s is concealability and carry. Depending on what method of carry you use and your body size, adding the size of a comp could ruin its concealability. Have you ever shot a comped or ported gun from retention or in low light? The comp kind of ruins its usefulness for carry, too.

Rail Driver
September 23, 2010, 04:19 AM
I see some very valid points, thanks for the info. Personally, I mostly wanted it for looks, but I think I'm going to get a full size 1911 to play with all kinds of aftermarket parts (and learn what I like and don't like) while leaving the compact I ordered today stock (until I find parts that work with my shooting style, personality, and gun)

FWIW, I ended up ordering the RIA 3.5" 1911 CS, I got the one with the skeleton trigger though I doubt it was worth the extra $40 ... I got that on impulse even though I was going to buy a 1911 anyway, I decided to spend a little extra and start with the nicer option.

I'm a smaller guy (5'7" 150 lbs) and it's tough to conceal a pistol with a long grip, so a 4" might be just as good, but I definitely need the shorter grip. I print even with a slightly oversized hawaiian shirt over my owb bianchi shadow carrying my SW40VE. I should have no problems with the little 1911 and a decent holster.

Full Metal Jacket
September 23, 2010, 05:10 AM
compensators make little to no difference on the recoil of low pressure .45 rounds, regardless of barrel length. don't waste your money.

Jed Carter
September 23, 2010, 05:58 AM
They are LOUD really really LOUD, and unless you are trying to shoot really really fast, they are useless.

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