Help me pick my compact 1911

Help me pick my compact 1911

This is a discussion on Help me pick my compact 1911 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hi All, Been a while since I've been around but I'm back again! Anyway, I'm looking to try my luck with one of the small ...

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Thread: Help me pick my compact 1911

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array raysheen's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Maine, USA

    Question Help me pick my compact 1911

    Hi All, Been a while since I've been around but I'm back again! Anyway, I'm looking to try my luck with one of the small 1911s out there. I've read all that I can, done searches and see that the question has been asked before, etc, etc, etc. But Now I'm actually close to making my purchase. I have the following options. All are prices shipped to my ffl for NIB guns. Tell me what you think:
    Colt Defender: $800
    Kimber Ultra Carry II: $681
    Kimber UCII Stainless: $780
    Springfield Loaded Ultra: $845
    Now at the moment, I'm thinking that the Colt seems to have gotten the best reviews/highest number of successes but two things are stuck in the back of my mind. 1) This is really my biggest question. Is the extra .5" of the Springfield (3.5" total) going to help with reliability? This is the most expensive gun but the fact that it has night sights helps offset that a bit I guess. 2)There is such a "big" difference in price between the Kimber and the Colt and it seems that there are still quite a few people out there that have great success with the Kimbers...this is making me wonder if I shouldn't forget about the Colt and try for the Kimber Decisions...decisions...Any help (even if it's just personal preference) would be great.

    Order of priorities for me:
    1) Reliability acceptable to be used as a primary carry piece - very important
    2) Price - not as important
    3) comfort/weight/sharp edges - not very important at all.. I'm not sensitive to weight (especially in this size), and my holster choices tend to mitigate any edge problems.

    Thanks so much in advance for any help you guys might be able to give.

  2. #2
    New Member Array cayenne's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Lynchburg, Virginia
    Out of the list you posted I would go with the Springfield.

    I am a fan of their customer service and currently carry a Loaded Micro-Compact Operator which has been nothing but reliable. You won't be disappointed in the Ultra-Compact.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array raysheen's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
    Maine, USA
    thanks cayenne for the input, I appreciate it!

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  5. #4
    Member Array rmarcustrucker's Avatar
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    Apr 2007
    Twinsburg, Ohio
    ultra carry II was so pretty, but I had trouble with it feeding hp's. I'm trying to second quess myself from 4 years ago, but I might have not had a proper grip (limp wristing), but I still don't think so. I've shot and still shoot .45 acp and I might have had a lemon. I tried some basic things and after 6th range trip, I traded it in. Should have had gunsmith take a look at it..... enough excuses, life is to short to fart around with fickle guns. Hope it helps.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Array jhh3rd's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    Bought a Defender back in 2006. Very reliable and looks good too. Pleasant gun to shoot and looks good too.

  7. #6
    Distinguished Member Array USPnTX's Avatar
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    Aug 2006
    Dallas, TX
    I have a Springer and a Kimber. They are both well made guns but the Springer wins in my opinion. My Springer hasn't had a failure in 1,500 rounds. The Kimber has in excess of 3,000 rounds and during the first 500 rounds I had 30 FTF's. After the 500 round count I had 5 FTF's - after I switched to Chip McCormack mags around 700 rounds I haven't had a problem. I don't however carry this weapon any longer. As well, I have utilized customer of both companies and Springfield wins in that department as well. IMHO Springfield is much more responsive and stands behind their product.
    "Do not fear those who disagree with you; fear those that do and are too cowardly to admit it" - Napoleon

  8. #7
    VIP Member Array ELCruisr's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Central FL
    I've got the "basement" model GI Micro from Springfield. Over 4,000 rounds and very happy after break in and a trigger job. Took 500 rounds to really make it function well. It seems to prefer factory mags over anything else. Gets carried a whole lot! Feeds everything I've ever tried except some red hot +P Double Tap loads and Springfield recommends against +P in the Micro anyways.

    My only beef with Springfield is their 6lb triggers! Way to heavy for me. But a trigger job from a good smith isn't bad and it now is just under 4lbs just like I prefer 'em.
    If you stand up and be counted, from time to time you may get yourself knocked down. But remember this: A man flattened by an opponent can get up again. A man flattened by conformity stays down for good. ~ Thomas J. Watson, Jr.

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Hate to say it I carry A RIA compact 1911 100% reliable with either cast reloads or factory JHPs,accurate and at sarcoinc dealer cost is $329.00

  10. #9
    Senior Moderator
    Array RETSUPT99's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Central Florida
    Kimber Ultra...
    Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”

    Certified Glock Armorer
    NRA Life Member

  11. #10
    Member Array polardaddy's Avatar
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    Feb 2008
    Sumner, WA

    its a toss up

    I carry a Kimber ultra ten II, and my twin bro carries a Springfield ultra carry, and I have a friend weighing out this excact question. both are great imop, personally had a colt years ago, it didn't like me, so it's gone, but neither the ultra carry or ultra ten have had any problems, can't go wrong with either, I'd take price into consideration, and see if you can shoot both and then see which one your more accurate with.

  12. #11
    Member Array Catalina's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
    Lake Erie Shore
    no Para Ordnance on your list?
    Go Glock - until you can afford H&K

  13. #12
    VIP Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Sep 2007
    Put my vote in the Springfield column. My Micro compact has been nothing but reliable from day one. Wish I could say the same thing about any of the Kimbers I have owned. Unfortunately, I can not. SA customer service is second to none---period!

  14. #13
    VIP Member Array rodc13's Avatar
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    Jun 2006
    San Antonio, Texas
    Out of that list, I'll add my vote for the Kimber in stainless. I have the Kimber Ultra CDP II, and it is just a fantastic handgun. Never a problem, extremely accurate and comfortable to shoot. I've tried quite a variety of FMJs and JHPs in it without a hiccup. My defensive load these days is Winchester Ranger SXT 230 gr JHP. I got an especially good deal on a case of it a while back.

    I don't think you'd go wrong with any of the handguns you mention. They're all high quality from well-respected manufacturers. So pick the one you like best. Don't worry, once you get one, more and more 1911s will start showing up!
    "We're paratroopers. We're supposed to be surrounded!" Dick Winters

  15. #14
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    May 2006

    My Defender has worked well

    I've owned a Defender since 2006, and put about 600 rounds through it without any problems (including hollowpoint). My impression from reading gun chat threads is that most owners are happy with their Colt Defenders. I have no experience with the Kimber or Springfield 3 inch guns.

    I have added some new parts to my Defender to customize it, including a Wilson beavertail safety, a steel checkered mainspring housing, Wilson magazines and slim Alumagrips. I also had a gunsmith dehorn the slide because it felt a little "sharp edged" to me.

    I have carried the gun and it conceals very well.

    Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the Peoples' Liberty's Teeth." - George Washington

  16. #15
    Senior Member Array elkhunter's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Hi all.
    I’ve been out of touch for several months.
    When I saw this thread, I just had to jump in.

    I absolutely Love my Kimber Ultra Carry II.
    Early on, I had a few FTF’s, I had some advice on what was causing it, and to be honest, I don’t recall what that advice was, but it worked. (Memory is the first to go ya know.)
    I have run several hundred rounds through it with great pleasure and accuracy.
    I carry it every day with confidence.

    Now, I want to get a Springfield for my wife, but she isn’t there just yet. Till then she’s happy with her Bersa.
    It’s so much easier now days, to "Love and honor" my wife, when she is armed, and shoots a better group than I do. (Till death do us part, eh?)

    “The way you get shot by a concealed weapons permit holder is, you point a gun at him,” the Sheriff said.

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