Compact .45: Revisited


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nebeel
August 18, 2012, 09:41 PM
Been looking at finding a .45 suitable for regular carry use for a while now but still haven't landed on anything that I really like yet.

I've been looking a bit at the EAA Witness .45 Compact, but have heard there have been some issues with the slide cracking. Does anyone know if this is a common thing or if it has been resolved?

I definitely want to stay with something hammer fired DA/SA since this is what I'm comfortable and familiar with. Is there anything else that I should be looking at that would be roughly in the same price range?

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DanTheFarmer
August 18, 2012, 10:09 PM
Good Evening,

I got a Bersa Thunder 45 Ultra Compact at the start of the summer. I've been working up loads for it and practicing with it. It has been completely reliable, accurate (from a rest! The gun's o.k., the shooter is still a work in progress!) and I've been very pleased with my purchase.

One note: The name might imply that the pistol is very small. It isn't. It is definitely smaller than a service sized pistol but I think of it more as a compact version of an "Ultra" model than an "Ultra Compact" model if that makes sense. Since it originates in Argentina I chalk up the name issue to translation problems. (I bought an Alfa-Romeo once. The owner's manuel instructed me to "Avoid the fuel tank from becoming empty." I knew what it ment but it wasn't the smoothest translation possible.)

Check out www.bersachat.com. They've got a sub-forum devoted to this pistol.

You may also hear complaints or comments about the level of finish on Bersas. I'd heard that the level of finish was going up with recent models and I can confirm this. My older Bersa's work great but the finish leaves something to be desired. This newest pistol has a much nicer finish.

Good Luck on whatever you decide.

Dan

NG VI
August 18, 2012, 11:04 PM
I think the only Witnesses that had slide cracking issues were chambered in 10mm.

Otherwise, there is the Baby Eagle/Jericho line, they are also Tangfolio-built CZ derivatives, and they come in pretty much the same sizes and configurations as the Witnesses, being basically a side line of the same pistol.

There are some smaller than full size Sigs based on the 220, some of the 3rd Generation S&W compact pistols always get high marks, there's the Cougar in .45, probably plenty more as well.

NG VI
August 18, 2012, 11:09 PM
Ruger 345!

That's what was on my mind! People seem to love theirs, and it fits your budget handily.

Also maybe one of the HK USP .45 Compacts, I bet you can either find a good used one (they're very durable and well finished, it would be much harder to find a ripped up one than a stellar example) or some new old stock ones in your price range.

Download the CDNNInvestments.com catalog, they frequently have lots of delightful one-offs and dumped contract over-run or bulk purchase used guns for outstanding prices.

And it'll give you an idea what's available.

airbus300
August 18, 2012, 11:15 PM
Smith and Wesson 4516. All Steel, SA/DA, Great size and balance

TennJed
August 18, 2012, 11:15 PM
Sig P250 compact or subcompact. Best DAO trigger out there

browningguy
August 18, 2012, 11:34 PM
You won't find anything as accurate as the Witness pistols for anywhere near the money. The only slide cracking I ever heard of was the early 10mm pistols.

Tom Fury
August 19, 2012, 11:45 AM
S&W 457 0r 4516; alloy or steel respectively; built like tamks, absolutely reliable; who expects 75yd accuracy with a 3.5 barrel? But for combat, they'll do just fine. I'd choose it over EAA. Look at 4513 TSW if you need a rail.
Cheers, TF

dondavis3
August 19, 2012, 01:28 PM
My Sig P220 Carry is a great gun.

http://i742.photobucket.com/albums/xx67/dondavis3/Guns/IMG_1619.jpg

It is a tack driver.

CDNN has several in their latest catalog.

I also own a Ruger P345

http://i742.photobucket.com/albums/xx67/dondavis3/Guns/RugerP3452.jpg

It is a great gun too.

But much too large to carry concealed IMHO

:cool:

nebeel
August 19, 2012, 02:57 PM
I didn't even think about the baby eagle... Doesn't that have a slide mounted safety like a Beretta 92? While I like the Beretta, slide mounted safety just kinda screws me up (speed wise) so I'm thinking it might just end up being a range gun.

I've tried to convince myself that a Sig P220 compact would fit my needs nicely, but try as I might the relatively high bore axis bugs me a little bit.

This is one reason I really enjoy my CZ P-01 for carry, and thought that I might like the EAA. Unfortunately, I have yet to find anywhere around my area that rents or even has EAA pistols in stock, so if I do purchase one, it would most likely be without holding it first.

mesinge2
August 19, 2012, 03:58 PM
While not a DA/SA my favorite compact 45 is a commander slide on an officer's frame such as my Springfield version of the CCO. I have just never been a fan of the transitional trigger.


http://i1210.photobucket.com/albums/cc401/mesinge2/My%20heaters/142.jpg

oldandslow
August 19, 2012, 04:28 PM
nebeel, 8/19/12

I have a number of .45 compacts including the .45 EAA Witness in the Wonder finish. Mine was bought new along with a full sized .45 EAA Witness about five years ago. Both guns were accurate and heavy being all steel construction of both frame and slide. The compact was a bit heavy to carry compared to my aluminum framed guns. While the full sized model was very reliable I had a number of problems with failures to feed with the compact model whether using 230 grain or 185 grain standard pressure ammo.

The real problem with both the compact and full sized EAA .45 was frame and slide cracking. The compact developed frame cracks by the magazine release button and on a frame rail, and by the recoil spring tunnel on the slide. The full sized developed frame rail cracks. The total round counts where the cracking occurred were in the 2800-3200 range (depending on the gun).

I had the guns hard-chromed due to corrosion issues here in the tropics. When I sent the guns back to EAA for their "lifetime warranty" service (at my expense) they shipped them quickly back to me (also at my expense) stating that the hard-chroming voided their warranty. None of my other ten pistols or rifles that have been hard chromed have had any metal fatigue problems.

While they were fun and accurate to shoot they both wore out at low round counts and EAA would not provide any customer service to fix the problem ("google" EAA and customer service and you will find many who feel that EAA has the worse CS in the industry) . I have followed the frame/slide cracking issues on the internet forums and they seem to be mainly with the 10mm and .45 standard grade pistols, with an occasional .40 having problems.

So in summary, I would not recommend the EAA Witness .45 compact. Good luck.

best wishes- oldandslow

PabloJ
August 19, 2012, 05:27 PM
Been looking at finding a .45 suitable for regular carry use for a while now but still haven't landed on anything that I really like yet.

I've been looking a bit at the EAA Witness .45 Compact, but have heard there have been some issues with the slide cracking. Does anyone know if this is a common thing or if it has been resolved?

I definitely want to stay with something hammer fired DA/SA since this is what I'm comfortable and familiar with. Is there anything else that I should be looking at that would be roughly in the same price range?
Look for used Gen. 3 S&W 45X or 45xx series. LGS called Colonial Shooting Academy has 457 in excellent shape with three mags for $369 which is reasonable price. While 457s have spurless hammers those are DA/SA not DAO design.

dondavis3
August 19, 2012, 05:50 PM
@ PabloJ

Excellent suggestion

Here's my S&W Model 4516 in .45 cal

http://i742.photobucket.com/albums/xx67/dondavis3/Guns/DSC_0139.jpg

Great gun - I carried it as a duty gun for 5 years.

I g

:cool:

kutz
August 19, 2012, 06:25 PM
Love my Colt New Agent, small, light,accurate, & .45

nebeel
August 19, 2012, 11:18 PM
Oldandslow: that doesn't sound very encouraging... Even though I don't put huge round counts through many of my guns, I'd rather get something reliable rather than having to get several different firearms over the years.

Browningguy: Do you have an EAA compact that you've had good experience with?

I've considered an H&K USP compact, but with the price being almost double what an EAA is, it's a tough sell, not to mention saving for quite a while longer.

beatledog7
August 19, 2012, 11:42 PM
Baby Eagle.

coalman
August 20, 2012, 12:47 AM
P220 Carry or Filipino Compact 1911.

Dean1818
August 20, 2012, 07:37 PM
I love my M&P 45 compact......

DAdams
August 20, 2012, 11:38 PM
Springfield XDs if you can find one.

http://www.google.com/search?q=xds&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari

TennJed
August 21, 2012, 12:01 AM
Springfield XDs if you can find one.

I went out today to the local shops. 3 different stores in the Memphis suburbs and 2 of them had the XDs. I was pretty surprised. Not sure how long they will last or if they will keep they stocked, but maybe it is a good sign.

DAdams
August 21, 2012, 06:43 PM
I went out today to the local shops. 3 different stores in the Memphis suburbs and 2 of them had the XDs. I was pretty surprised. Not sure how long they will last or if they will keep they stocked, but maybe it is a good sign.

That's encouraging. It's a bit overpriced right now due to demand. There are lots on GB too...maybe Bud's will be next to have a few.

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