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Value of a compensator on a 3.5" 1911?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Rail Driver, Sep 13, 2010.

  1. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Well-Known Member

    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...
  2. jfh

    jfh Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. bigfatdave

    bigfatdave Well-Known Member


    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.

    MICHAEL T Well-Known Member

    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.
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    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
  7. G27RR

    G27RR Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. The Wiry Irishman

    The Wiry Irishman Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Rail Driver

    Rail Driver Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. compensators make little to no difference on the recoil of low pressure .45 rounds, regardless of barrel length. don't waste your money.
  11. Jed Carter

    Jed Carter Well-Known Member

    They are LOUD really really LOUD, and unless you are trying to shoot really really fast, they are useless.

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