3" 1911

3" 1911

This is a discussion on 3" 1911 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; hi everyery, i would like to start off by asking everyone who knows anything or personaly ownes a compact 1911 i am in the market ...

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Thread: 3" 1911

  1. #1
    Member Array kreinert6's Avatar
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    3" 1911

    hi everyery,
    i would like to start off by asking everyone who knows anything or personaly ownes a compact 1911
    i am in the market for one badly but its hard for me to search google and understand what brands are good or bad and what to goto a gunstore when i get home and ask to look at if they do not have it.
    i am looking to keep the bill under$600 or around so this rules out kimber.
    i would like to know what manufactures make a reputibal compact 1911 for a decent price tag!
    thanks everyone and pics of thoes who own them and carry them will be awesome and what kind of holster you use.

    take care and be safe everyone
    semper fi -keith


  2. #2
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    I'm going to suggest Rock Island Armory. While their guns are not top end, they do seem to be reliable and well built. I personally prefer a 4" barrel in a 1911. Easy to conceal and shoot, and doesn't have the problems associated with the 3" models.
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    I agree. The new compact guns are pretty damn good and are a good base gun to improve on. With your budget you could get the gun, mags, ammo and so on.
    JerryMac likes this.
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  4. #4
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    I would go with the Rock Island also. My EDC is a SA 3” Micro-Compact I purchased several years ago for $700. Be advised the 3” models are very persnickety on ammo and it is not recommended to use +P ammo in some them.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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  5. #5
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    I have a Para P12-45 Limited and it will feed anything my 5 inch 1911's eat.But the P12 has a 3 1/2 inch barrel.
    Have Fun and Shoot Straight !!

  6. #6
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    I own a Rock Island 3" as my EDC and I love it. It has over 500 rounds through it without any failures not caused by the operator. It reliably feeds every ammunition I have put through it including PDX-1's and Gold Dots. The only downside I have encountered are some confusion on the sights for these pistols. I have had several gunsmiths tell me I could not replace the sights because they are not cut to specs for Novak style sights. I was also told this by a rep from XS sights as well. That being said, it is possible the newer ones do not have this issue, or you could pay to have the sights replaced in the future if you wished by a better smith than I have access to. I run it with Kimpro Tac-Mags without a hiccup.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array itschuck's Avatar
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    If it was me I would go with this..
    Colt Defender Series
    Current collection: Too many according to the wife...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array Rigrat's Avatar
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    Rock Island doesn't have a 3" model, but they do have a 3.5" compact model. Mine has been very good with FMJ and HP's. I've set it up with thin grips and it's looks mimic a old Detonic's pistol.

    RIA's are very good pistol for the money.

  9. #9
    Member Array JerryMac's Avatar
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    Would look into the RIA compact / officers models, the colt defender is a very nice gun, but you would have to get lucky to find one in that price range, almost think if it were me n i could only have one, would save a little more n go with the colt. I own a RIA and it is not as ''slick'' as a colt, but at the same time, it has never failed to go boom when i pulled the trigger.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Array Texag's Avatar
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    Hiltion Yam knows a thing or two about 1911s. This is an excerpt from this article:

    Here are the basic specifications to examine for a duty 1911:

    •Full sized Government Model 1911 format with 5" barrel length and steel frame for increased reliability and durability.
    •Chambered in .45 ACP, as that is the caliber in which the gun was designed and functions best. The greatest number of magazine options are available in .45 ACP.
    •Standard Browning barrel without integral feed ramp. Ramped barrels typically have very steep feed ramps that don't feed well. Wide mouthed hollowpoints can also catch at the bottom of the integral ramp, creating further feeding issues.
    •Standard milspec short recoil spring guide rod and plug.
    •Recoil spring rating of 17-18.5 lbs to improve durability with full power duty loads.
    •Availability of ambidextrous safety for left handed users.
    •Type of firing pin safety system, if any. See below for further.
    •Light rail or standard dust cover.
    •Type of finish.
    He includes CC under duty.
    I collect ammo, not guns.

  11. #11
    Member Array ejes's Avatar
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    I've had a Colt Defender since they came out. NEVER had a hiccup; ate everything I've put through it and that includes Aguila IQ I was curious about and tested. You probably will not find one for the price you specify, but you could get close on a used one. If I had to stay at that price point, I, too, would chose the RIA. Closer to $600 I would probably chose the Springfield GI micro compact. I don't think it is made anymore, but if you could find one, I'd go with that just because it has a lowered and flared ejection port.
    Last edited by ejes; January 2nd, 2012 at 02:13 PM.

  12. #12
    Member Array Eaglebeak's Avatar
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    In a 3" barrel 1911 .45ACP sub-compact, the Colt Defender is by far the best and Kimber is a good #2 (only because it's a close copy of the Colt). The RIA is a decent little "bare bones" gun, but even that is going to push your $600 or less price range.

    I don't like the "Series-80" firing-pin lock on the Colt and Kimber because it's got too many little parts that can easily cause a FTF if the gun is a little dirty. You're stuck with the '80 design in a Kimber; but at least you can easily convert the Colt back to a "Series-70" design with a few relatively inexpensive parts.

    Personally, I wouldn't recommend a 3" barrel 1911 in 45ACP of any brand because they are, in fact, very temperamental with different types of ammo which is an inherent trait that can't be side-stepped because of their very short slide-throw. Since reliable loading of each round is highly dependent on the slide's forward speed and strength, such a short barrel and short slide-throw requires an extremely powerful slide spring. Because the pistol is relatively short with a small grip, just chambering the first round can take a considerable amount of effort that can't be easily done with very dry or wet hands that don't afford a vice-like grip.

    Another problem comes from such a short, very powerful slide spring not being able to maintain the same amount of compression force for very long; so it's not uncommon for any of the .45ACP sub-compacts to suddenly start having feeding problems even when using the same ammo that worked well in the past. I wouldn't think the RIA would be any different from the Colt or Kimber who's owners and frequent shooters strongly advise keeping a good supply of new slide springs around and changing them out every 400 to 500 rounds - or even much sooner of problems suddenly pop up.

  13. #13
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    Kimber suggests replacing the recoil spring on the 4" @ 800rds, on the 3" @ 1200rds. I do it on my Combat Commander every 5krds.
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  14. #14
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    Colt Defender

    I have used a 3 inch Colt Defender for 5 years and have been very satisfied with it. I bought it used for $700. I carry it in a Kramer belt scabbard and it conceals well because it is a thin gun that rides high on the belt. It has fired and ejected every time, for over 1000 rounds so far. I use Remington Golden Saber ammo for carry.



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  15. #15
    Member Array patrol's Avatar
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    I hate to be a spoiler but I had about one of the best 1911 3inchers they make the Kimber CDP Ultra and the thing only worked 100 percent with expensive Wilson Combat magazines and Mecgar magazines which are way cheaper...I tested it with over 1k rounds of 230grain mostly full metal or ball ammo mostly Winchester. I recommend going with the Pro-Carry size which is the Commander size for concealment carry.
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