Best compact/ultra-compact 1911 for CCW

Discussion in 'M1911' started by FarmerVincent, May 29, 2008.

  1. FarmerVincent

    FarmerVincent XDTalk Member

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    I know there are lots of "best 1911" threads around, but couldn't find one specific to this question. I'm a fairly small-framed guy looking for a single-stack .45 ACP CCW (G30 prints too much in the summer), thought I'd also finally settle my desire for a 1911 with the same purchase. I prefer to carry IWB, so I've been looking at 3-3.5" barrels for comfort, but might also consider a 4" barrel with a compact frame. My price range is $1200 and below.

    I'd shoot anything before I purchased it, but for now am just looking for opinions and answers from experience (concealability, features, gun performance, etc.) to narrow down my search. Models I've held recently include:

    Kimber Ultra Carry II
    Kimber Ultra CDP II (prefer this to the UC b/c of it's carry features)
    Kimber SIS Ultra (loved the feel, not sure about that slide)
    Colt Defender
    Springfield Loaded Ultra Compact

    Any others? Any opinions? Thanks in advance.

    Brett

     
  2. Bycyclist

    Bycyclist XDTalk 1K Member Founding Member

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    Why not SA EMP, now available in 40cal or 9mm? Even smaller profile than your list above
     
  3. FarmerVincent

    FarmerVincent XDTalk Member

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    Bycyclist,

    While not mentioned in my list above, I have the SA EMP on my list of guns to try out. I want something stronger than 9mm for CCW, so it would be the .40 (although I wouldn't be thrilled about needing to now buy .40 ammo in addition to the 9mm and .45 ACP I buy for my other guns). I'm no 1911 expert, but have been warned by 2 guys with 1911 experience on shooting 9mm and .40 through 1911s. They say the guns just weren't designed for rounds that short, although perhaps they are just being purists. I know a number of people who shoot 9mm 1911s in IDPA.

    So I will try the SA EMP in .40 but wanted some help in wading through all the 1911 options.

    Thanks,
    Brett
     
  4. FarmerVincent

    FarmerVincent XDTalk Member

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    Correction - I meant wading through the 1911 .45 ACP options. Also, just read that the EMP was designed from the ground up to eliminate issues with smaller calibers. So it's definitely one I'll check out. Thanks again.
     
  5. LUVMYSIGP225

    LUVMYSIGP225 XDTalk 5K Member Founding Member

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  6. saltysquid

    saltysquid XDTalk 500 Member

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    I think the defender/new agent is easily the most dependable short .45 1911's out there, colt had a couple of problems with the officers but they seem to have gotten it right with the defender. Don't get me wrong, I have a lw oacp and it runs like a sewing machine, but it's more likely to take some tweaking to get it perfect. I'm not a colt nut, only own one right now, but in recent years the defender (which the new agent is pretty much the same) has been very good.
     
  7. ckuplent

    ckuplent XDTalk 100 Member

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    The difference is the EMP was designed to work with the 9mm. It's not a true 1911 perse.
     
  8. Frostyeyes

    Frostyeyes XDTalk 1K Member

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    My best 1911 Compact is my Springer Micro Compact Lt Wgt Bitone it has never failed for any reason and at 24oz it's easy to carry all day long and when I can see that far it will ring the steel gong at 100 yds most of the time LOL
     
  9. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts XDTalk 5K Member Founding Member

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    Kimber UC CDP II here. perfect out of the box.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. FarmerVincent

    FarmerVincent XDTalk Member

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    saltysquid,

    Thanks for the unbiased comments. I just can't get used to the lack of sights on the New Agent. I plan on renting a Defender, I just wish it had checkering on the front straps like the Kimber CDP/SIS.
     
  11. Slapshot

    Slapshot XDTalk Newbie

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    Vincent, my daily carry gun for the past two years has been a Kimber Ultra Carry (a pre-Series II version that I bought used). I put "poor man's checkering" (stair tread safety tape) on the front strap and installed a Kimber aluminum magazine well.

    One thing to watch out for with the aluminum-framed guns is the configuration of the magazine follower. Common advice on the 1911 forums I belong to is to avoid magazines with steel folowers that could tilt into and mar the feed ramp after the last round is loaded. Not sure how much of a problem that really is, but I use magazines with polymer followers and don't worry about it. This gun has proven more than reliable through several IDPA BUG (back-up gun) matches using 230 grain FMJ, and more than 200 rounds of Winchester 230 grain SXT carry ammunition, but I sure wouldn't want to buy that much at today's prices!

    The light weight aluminum frame makes a significant difference in weight of the gun, but I also carry an all-steel Kimber Compact (4 inch barrel), and find that the holster used affects carry ease and comfort more than the weight of the gun. I use Milt Sparks Versa-Max II holsters for both. Yeah, they take forever to get, but they're definitely worth the wait.

    Hope this helps.
     
  12. FarmerVincent

    FarmerVincent XDTalk Member

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    Rustynuts, thanks. What types of grips are those on your UC CDP and where'd you get them? I think they look better on that gun than the rosewoods. Also, how many rounds do you have through your UC CDP? I've heard complaints of Kimbers needing 200+ rounds before they're broken in, and even more before they can reliably be carried.

     

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