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1911 compacts or subcompacts?

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by Small Tony, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. Now that I have been bitten by the 1911 bug. I think I would like to maybe carry one. Not sure I could go high end like a STI Escort or maybe something like Colt New Agent .45.

    I was thinking about 1k or less for a carry 1911. I did have a Kimber once before that had so many issues but may be willing to reconsider kimber.

    I also heard that a 1911 platform doesn't shoot that well out of 3" barrel? Any advice on model for carry? Thanks,
  2. Pima Pants

    Pima Pants Urine Idiot

    Jan 23, 2000
    Prescott, AZ
    The prevailing wisdom seems to indicate that a sub-4" barrelled 1911 may be more "glitchy" than 4" or 5" models. I have a Colt Defender (3"), a Colt Officer's (3.5') and used to have a Kimber Ultra II (3"). All shot flawlessly. The Officer is my daily carry. Of the 3 inchers, Colt seems to have the two most reliable models, the Defender and New Agent.

  3. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    Nov 24, 2005
  4. I have two 3" 1911s and both have proven reliable and accurate.

    Colt Defender 9mm (replaced my EMP ~ I like the standard dimension grip better)


    Kimber Ultra Carry 45

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  5. CDW4ME


    Jun 5, 2009

    If you are considering appendix carry or Smartcarry then the shorter 3'' barrel will make a difference.

    If you are sticking with strong side IWB, then barrel length really doesn't matter, the grip is the hard part to conceal.

    For years, I thought a 5'' height was my limit of strong side IWB; I was okay with a Glock 23 or compact 1911. I carry at 3:00 with a forward cant. I had a Mitch Rosen ARG for the 1911 compact and a Fist adjustable for the G23.

    I discover the Blade-Tech UCH which has adjustable cant. Well, with the generous forward cant I can achieve suddenly a Lightweight Commander is concealable, by my anal standard.

    Concealment: I want to be able to lean forward, as if getting a drink from a fountain or getting something from a shopping cart, without printing. I will check to make sure that I can pass this test before giving a carry combo the green light. I realize most people are unaware and will never notice, but that is irrelevant, I'm going to cover the 2% that might.

    I see lots of people post pics of their carry method and there is no way they could lean forward without printing, they may not care.

    Pistol: MIM parts may be "good enough" but I prefer to avoid them if possible. Of the pistols in the $1,000 range Colt has the least MIM, about 4 small parts; one maker uses MIM for the thumb safety, slide stop, and more. I've not personally experienced any MIM parts breakage, but a title search on the 1911 forum using the term "broke" or "broken" will result in some convincing pictures; I wish I had been informed / educated before buying pistols with high MIM content. I sold my MIM infested pistols for piece of mind (Priceless. Well, actually just more $$$).

    Also, Colt has stainless barrels, another maker uses "in the white" bare metal barrels that many people think are stainless until they forget to keep them oiled and the rust begins.

    If considering appendix or Smartcarry a Colt Defender would be my pick, regardless of price. For strongside IWB the Lightweight Commander conceals well with the right holster & belt.

    I've recently started carrying a full size 1911 and the extra weight actually isn't a big deal and the 5'' barrel seems to keep it from moving around as much as the Commander length.
  6. Nakanokalronin

    Nakanokalronin JMB & MTK

    May 13, 2008
    My 2 favorite options for a sub-compact 1911 are around $300-$400 apart from each other,however both are reliable. Kimber Ultra Carry and RIA Compact.


    The RIA has a stainless thumb safety since I had one laying around that was better than the stock part. I also had the trigger laying around and wanted something longer. Its a back-up carry piece so I kinda don't care about the color scheme. :whistling:

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  7. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    I got a Colt M1991A1 Compact coming. Don't know why Colt didn't call it M1991A1 Officer's ACP, but it's the same thing except not as pretty. I'm gonna carry it SOB style.
  8. I have a sig rcs which is the cco sized gun. It was s good gun at $1000 which I paid now they have dropped the price to $850 and it's a great deal. My only complaint is not all holsters fit.
  9. My edc is the G30sf. So besides the length of Colt Commander it should be as easily carried vs. Colt New Agent?
  10. The little .45 ACP launchers can be a little bit more snotty about ammo etc. and do take a little more practice to shoot well. I have a Colt Commander I carry now, but have played with many small guys like the Colt Defender.


    Or Glock 36


    If you are not sure about liking the small 1911 platform, I have played with the RIA, and it is not bad and may let you know if you like the whole idea or not.

  11. G27RR


    Oct 11, 2010
    The Escort is a very good one. It's the backup to my STI Shadow. Small 1911s take a little more practice to shoot well, but a good one can be very accurate once you're used to it. I posted a review of my Escort and on for the Shadow a while back. Shadow review is linked in my signature, Escort should come up in a search.

    By the way, on the tour I just took, they told me the Escort is one of their best selling models. The similar Elektra is apparently quite popular in Asia.
  12. mrsurfboard

    mrsurfboard The Anti-Glock

    May 23, 2010
    Agreed. This is where a bobtail makes all the difference.
  13. Fedor


    Apr 19, 2011
    I really like my S&W SW1911PD .45

    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  14. true believer

    true believer Moderator

    Apr 17, 2000
    drexel hill pa
    i have 1 and love it...its a good shooter..goes bang every time..
  15. PlasticGuy


    Jul 10, 2000
    I have found 1911's under 4" to be a lot more finicky.

    My favorite carry 1911 is a Les Baer Stinger, but there are a lot of good options.
  16. cole

    cole Millennium Member

    Dec 25, 1999
    My steel 4" Kimber Compact Series I runs great. It's a great shooter, too. Less than 4" just does not work for me, and I'd actually really prefer a 4.25" CCO. The further you get from the 5" bushing design the greater probability for issues. Simple as that.
  17. up1911fan


    Mar 12, 2009
    Upper Michigan
    My choice would be an EMP or Colt for a 3". Have you considered a CCO sized gun?
  18. fnfalman

    fnfalman Chicks Dig It

    Oct 23, 2000
    California & New Mexico, US
    Three days and counting.:supergrin: