Best Compact 1911?


October 13, 2010, 01:15 AM
Hey all... A friend of mine is looking into a compact 1911 (.45) for carry, my only experience with this type of 1911 was a Para-Ordnance specimen which left a lot to be desired in my opinion.. I'm wondering if any of you have suggestions in the 400-500$ range. New or used, doesn't matter. I've encouraged him to do some research on his own but I would like your input as well.

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October 13, 2010, 01:57 AM
I carry a Rock Island Armory Compact model every day, I love it! Same size as the Colt Officer's ACP. Mine has the beavertail and combat hammer, it could stand better sights. They make a version with Novak-style sights, but they're still black.

I prefer flat-bottomed magazines, FWIW.

When new.....

With Lasergrips.....

First time shooting it.....

A and O
October 13, 2010, 02:06 AM
I bought a SA Micro Mini 1911 about 8yrs ago and wished I hadn't until last week. It sat in the safe for the most part because I did something really stupid, I shot some +P ammo in the first firing and based my opinion on the fact it hurt my hands to shoot. Well I pulled it out and put some 185gr jhp's through it and to my surprise it's an accurate shooter and a hoot to shoot to boot. Kinda heavy for carry however but really a lot of fun. I'm looking forward to Saturday to put some more rounds through it.

October 13, 2010, 07:58 AM
You have just got to try a Glock 36 if you like compact .45 caliber handguns, the Kahr CW 45 isn't bad either for a carry piece in .45 caliber.

October 13, 2010, 08:23 AM
Colt Defender, Colt Defender, Colt Defender

Mine has been absolutely reliable and it is surprisingly accurate for a 3" 45. The group below is 7+1 rounds at 14 yards. It shoot better than I can, I threw two shots away due to impatience. I put the highlighter in for a group size comparison.



Click Images to Enlarge

Here is an Example of the recoil with Hornady 230gr +P TAP FPD.

October 13, 2010, 08:43 AM
Thanks guys for the suggestions, While I even suggested the Glock 36, he seems pretty set on a 1911 model... I did mention the Colt Defender but I feel it might be out of his budget. SA makes a similar 1911 for a bit less I noticed, anyone ever use that one?

October 13, 2010, 08:56 AM
I've seen good reviews on the American Classic. Also have my eye on the Compact Citadel.

Russ Jackson
October 13, 2010, 09:02 AM
Buy a used Detonics Combat Master...Russ

October 13, 2010, 09:18 AM
+1 on the Colt Defender. I'm also looking at the RIA Tactical Compact.

October 13, 2010, 09:25 AM
I used to have a Citadel Compact (essentially the some thing as the Rock Island compact). I ended up selling it because I wasnt' happy with it. It wouldn't feed hollowpoints and the ejected brass had put all kinds of nicks in the finish and took it down to the bare metal. I ended up having to do a Duracoat on it. Most other people that I've heard talk about them very positively. I just wasn't all that pleased with the one I had.

October 13, 2010, 10:23 AM
If my budget was $500.. I'd buy the RIA compact shown above. A local dealer has one, it's a sweet looking piece. I almost have a friend talked into it. I just bought the Springfield Ult Comp (same size as the RIA) Loaded.. with loaded it's got some bells and whistles I don't really need, but wanted over the RIA.. I still almost bought the RIA.

October 13, 2010, 12:21 PM
+1 on the Rock Island cs but id go with the tactical version I got it for a few bucks more I believe it was 450.00 shipped from Belshire guns on gunbroker. Best out of the box shooter 1911 i've ever owned.

Full Metal Jacket
October 13, 2010, 12:56 PM
GI micro.

October 13, 2010, 01:19 PM
mesinge2 -
Better be careful recommending COLT. According the internetz NOBODY carries a COLT these days... :neener:

Sevenfaces -
If you want to go used and can find one, a COLT OACP or M1991A1 Compact is a very good choice. I bought this one for $450.00 and it's my EDC.


October 13, 2010, 02:12 PM
With the Citadel/RIA guns, know that the barrel is raw steel. At least it was on my gun. When I bought it, it was nice and shiny and the dealer told me it had a stainless barrel. Put the gun away up and a month later, the barrel was completely rusted. It took me some time with sandpaper and steel wool to get the barrel clean. After that, it got Duracoated too.

October 13, 2010, 03:22 PM
GI Micro compact

After two years I added night sights, better beavertail and hammer to match it

Love it

But it is picky with ammunition

Rail Driver
October 13, 2010, 03:25 PM
I second the RIA.

*Edit to add: I like the grain on your grip panels better, Rondog... Wanna trade? :P

With the Citadel/RIA guns, know that the barrel is raw steel.

Not on my RIA... The barrel is finished the same as the rest of the gun, with the exception of the section visible through the ejection port, which is stainless and has some kind of transparent coating or finish on the metal. It's not bare, however.

October 13, 2010, 07:06 PM
My Citadel compact runs like a top with most ammo (I got a few feed malfunctions with the cheapo WalMart WWB HP rounds, and for some reason Short Barrel Gold Dots also ... everything else runs great!)

RIA is pretty much the same gun.

For $500 you can have the gun and a good holster.

Nothing wrong with the other models either, remember that the shorter the barrel the more picky the gun is likely to be.

And another big thumbs-down on the Glock 36 ... low capacity and the grip still isn't thin enough.

Full Metal Jacket
October 13, 2010, 09:36 PM
the OP asked for a $500 price range compact 1911, yet people keep still posting the $900 colt defender.....:scrutiny:

October 13, 2010, 11:32 PM
You can find a used Defender for around 500 if you look around
Used Officers out their also little more weight and 1/2 longer barrel.
Colt Officer same size as the RIA compacts

October 13, 2010, 11:36 PM
In the $500.00 price range the Rock Island is an excellent buy. Plus you get that excellent customer service from Arnel and Ivan in Nevada.

March 25, 2011, 05:07 PM
Here is my RIA cs. I just got done cerama-coating it. It shoots great and I have had no problems at all. $399 otd.

March 25, 2011, 05:58 PM
What is it with $500 lately?:rolleyes: Is this the 34th under $500 1911 thread this week?

Whats the best CCW 1911 for $500??? Sorry, deos not compute.

March 25, 2011, 08:03 PM
I have bought or traded for in the last 8 months -Colt Defender Plus, LNIB Springfield V10 Ultra compact and a LNIB Colt New Agent with Crimson Trace laser grips-all for under $600 ea. The deals are there - you just have to look.

March 25, 2011, 08:23 PM
+1 on the Detonics Combat Master.

Incredible weapon. Love mine and will never part with it. Finding one may take a bit of time. I looked for the one I have for at least 5 years. They are out there though.

March 25, 2011, 10:01 PM
Personally I didn't read the OP, but I'd really like one of those Sig C3s. They look great, and Gun Tests really liked the one they had.

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