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Need suggestions for Ultra compact 1911 for carry use.

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by crash32, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. crash32

    crash32 Well-Known Member

    I have 5 handguns and my smallest one is a Glock 23 and the biggest one being a S&W 500 mag lol. Although my Glock 23 is technically a compact, it is too big for me to fit into my hunting pack when I go hunting so I am looking for a ultra compact.
    I could not bring myself to buy a cheap gun so I have decided to go up to the 1911 platform for this. My price range is around $1,000 (900 to 1,300ish).
    While I do not want to spend the coin associated for a Wilson Combat Ultra Compact ($3,000+) as I am waiting to spend that kind of money for a full size 1911 I still want to get something nice hence me going with a 1911 as opposed to a Kel-Tec etc.

    Thanks guys
  2. hAkron

    hAkron Well-Known Member

    The Springfield EMP comes to mind, though you didn't mention a caliber, so I assume you are looking for 45ACP. I believe the EMP only comes in 9mm and 40S&W. I have an RIA compact model, and while it was about half of your proposed budget, it's a pretty nice compact 1911.
  3. crash32

    crash32 Well-Known Member

    I looked into the EMP and it seems as if it is either an absolute hit or miss. Some people with the EMP love it to death and others say that even after sending it to the factory twice it still does not function (stove pipes etc). I am not set on any particular caliber and am perfectly fine with 40 cal.
  4. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    The only Ultra Compact 1911 style pistol, barrel/slide shorter than 4.25" Commander length) I'd even consider reliable enough to carry would be the Springfield Armory EMP. It's down sized action, over .45ACP length ones, offer a larger operating window in a shortened 1911.

    I'm not sure I'd feel very comfortable with a 1911 shoved into a backpack as opposed to a holster. My personal inclination would be something like a Kahr CW9
  5. rockhopper46038

    rockhopper46038 Well-Known Member

    I personally would suggest you look to a different platform if you want to go that small. I carry a Bill Wilson Carry pistol, which is a 4" slide on an Officer size frame, and that is as short as I think is prudent in a 1911. I know that many sub-compact 1911s from various manufacturers perform fine, but the geometry of chambering plus the recoil impulse seems like it gets pretty sketchy in the 1911 once you get under 4". In fact, I had to be convinced on the BWC - I had always carried a full sized 5" and was only interested in seriously considering a 4-1/4" Commander model as an alternative. If you really want to get something shorter than the 4" BWC, I'd stay with one of the manufacturers that have been doing it for awhile - not one of the newer companies on the 1911 scene. Again, a Commander length model is going to carry awfully well; do you really need to take another inch off the slide for your purposes?
  6. JTQ

    JTQ Well-Known Member

  7. Madcap_Magician

    Madcap_Magician Well-Known Member

    Well, that's more or less the story with all Officer- and Defender-sized 1911s, so you pays your money, and you takes your chances...

    At least with a Springfield you know that if it doesn't work, they'll make it right.
  8. David E

    David E Well-Known Member


    Consider the obvious: a Glock 27

  9. oldandslow

    oldandslow Well-Known Member

    crash, 10/24/13

    I have a Springer Ultracompact .45 as well as a full size Govt. model and other non-1911's. Even after four thousand rounds and different mags, springs and extractor it still has a 3% failure to feed rate. In my reading from different forums the sub-4" 1911's are often problematic. The one pistol I see consistently good reviews on is the Colt Defender. So as others have said in the above posts it may be wise to consider other options. Good luck.

    best wishes- oldandslow
  10. Coltdriver

    Coltdriver Well-Known Member

    I would go with a Colt Officers. If you want lighter get a Colt New Agent.

    When hunting I always have a side arm but I focus on lighter and even my Colt Officers weighs too much to lug all over the woods.

    So I have a Glock 27. If you want .45 and capacity is not a problem look at the 36 or for capacity a 30.

    I know you said 1911 and I think hunting is a great reason to buy any 1911.

    Let us know what you decide on.
  11. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Well-Known Member

    Dan Wesson ECO.

    A 4" 1911 is about the same size as a Glock 23. The above is a hair smaller.
  12. gpjoe

    gpjoe Well-Known Member

    I've got three 1911s that are compact (less than 5"):

    A 9mm Springfield EMP, a Kimber Ultra CDP II, and a stainless steel Colt Commander XSE.

    I don't have a high round count through any of them, less than 1000 rounds each, but I am confident enough in any of the three to bet my life on them. All three are in my regular carry rotation.

    All of them fit your budget.

    Yeah, I said it: I carry a Kimber. :neener:
  13. Scuba_Steve

    Scuba_Steve Well-Known Member

    Crash32- I agree with the above, check your PM please.
  14. David E

    David E Well-Known Member

    Except these are very, very close in size to the 23, which he says is too big to stow in his pack...

  15. gym

    gym member

    Kimber has been making small 1911's longer than anyone else. I would stick with them when it comes to a 3 inch size.
  16. tarosean

    tarosean Well-Known Member

    Im sure you have your reasons. However I have to ask, why would you not want a full size pistol for use while hunting? The longer sight radius would be ideal in the great outdoors.
  17. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    I believe Colt produced their Officer's ACP quite a few years before Kimber started...and they are still in production.

    Before that, the first production Sub-compact 1911 was the Detonics Combat Master
  18. optimator

    optimator Member

    I've carried my Kimber UC II for quite a while now. I have over 1,000 trouble free rounds thru it. I have plenty of others that I could carry, but I have 110% confidence in my Kimber.
  19. JDR

    JDR Well-Known Member

    I agree with the Dan Wesson ECO
  20. Tirod

    Tirod Well-Known Member

    Hunting pack carry, haven't heard that one yet.

    Consider the SIG P938. If you want small, then it's about making the frame and slide smaller, too. Cutting down .45's makes them notoriously finicky, but when they are engineered from the start as a compact 9, it's different. The slide weight and style of lockup work better rather than forcing a traditional 1911 to work against it's design.

    Most of the 1911's on the market have a wide variety of deviations, up to and include DA and double stack. I know "1911" has a recognizable look, but it's the controls that really define it's operation. The P938 has those controls in the same locations, just right sized for a small pistol. It's worth a look and it fits the budget realistically, cause after a few more mags, a couple new holsters, etc, tell me we don't overspend our budgets 25%.


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