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Citadel or STI Spartan 3" 1911

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by rgwalt, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. rgwalt

    rgwalt Well-Known Member

    Hi all, I have a bad case of the 1911's! It all started with my new Sig nitron rail government... It is a sweet gun and really fun to shoot. I want to pick up a compact 1911 for fun and occasional CC and carrying in my car. I really like my Sig, and understand that there are lots of great options from the major manufacturers. However I am thinking of taking a chance on an import. I am looking hard at a Citadel which I can get at my local Academy. I think they run $500, but the academy website says $580. I also like the STI Spartan III, but can't find one locally... By the time I bought one from Dawson Precision, paid shipping and then paid the transfer I would be in to it about $700. I am thinking of waiting for the next gun show to look for both models as well as compacts from Rock Island.

    I know there are risks going with an import, but I hear that both Armscorp and STI customer service are top notch. I also know a great gunsmith who works on 1911's exclusively who can help me with minor issues.

    So, does anyone have experience with one or both of these pistols or brands?
  2. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member

    The Citadel is a 3.5" barrel on an officer frame, I think the STI is also 3.5".

    My Citadel runs like a top with most ammo, reliable and well made. It dislikes steelcase, but runs everything I've stuffed into it that had a brass case. It even feeds most HP ammo (doesn't like the cheap Winchester white box HP's, and didn't like Gold Dot short barrel loads, but does fine with normal Gold Dots ... everything else I can recall ran fine)

    Armscor (armscorp is something else) makes the Citadel 1911 line as well as Rock Island Armory, the Citadel compact is essentially a RIA CS tactical with a different rollmark and serrations.
    They also make the STI spartan line, to STI specifications with some parts supplied by STI.
    Armscor has a great little shop in Nevada, and their own gunsmiths, I'd stick to their services for any major modifications, the Armscor warranty is superb, but is voided if the gun is heavily worked outside their control.
  3. Cocked & Locked

    Cocked & Locked Well-Known Member

    The RIA (Armscor) compact 1911 seems to be a good gun. It has a 3.5" barrel. I owned one a few years ago and traded it off.

    Missed it so much I got another. This is not the "tactical" version.

  4. rgwalt

    rgwalt Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info, and thanks BigDave for those corrections. It sounds like both the Citadel and RIA options are good choices. Anyone want to chime in on the STI?
  5. smalls

    smalls Well-Known Member

    Both are solid. I carry a Spartan IV, and Iove it. Been thinking of getting a III for a while.

    If you do go with a Citadel, make sure to find one with Novak style sights. Those GI sights are terrible. But that's more personal preference I guess.
  6. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member

    I'm fairly sure that the only current production Citadel guns are the "almost novak cut" that RIA/Armscor uses.

    And I agree, don't get the one with GI sights, the few bucks for the nicer sights is worth it. Same applies to the Fullsize RIA guns.
  7. markallen

    markallen Well-Known Member

    I have the Spartan 3. The number after the Spartan designates the barrel length. It's been 100% right out of the box. And is my EDC.
    I keep Hornady 230gr XTP JHP +P in it.
    I have had a few sub compact 1911s in my life. The best one had been my original Detonics Combat Master MK VI. It would load roundball and hollow points reliably, but didn't like truncated bullets. My STI will feed every shape I have put through it.
    The only modification I have done to it is to paint the front sight. Even though the sights are large, the front sight is hard to see with fifty three year old eyes.
    I would highly recommend STI.
  8. KAS1981

    KAS1981 Well-Known Member

    FWIW, the Spartan is an Armscor gun with some STI internal parts.
  9. rgwalt

    rgwalt Well-Known Member

    Found a Metro Arms Amigo to toss into the mix. Has a better feature set, and better sights, than the stock Citadel or Rock Island, and runs $570 + tax at my LGS. Fit and finish seem really solid. I'm heading back on Friday after work to take another look at it. So many decisions, and I don't want to end up with a lemon. It would be nice if someone had a Spartan locally for me to look over. Argh... These decisions are agonizing!

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