New to 1911s
What is the smallest 1911 on the market today that can be purchased in stainless?? I've searched and found the EMP, the Ultra Carry, and the Para Ordance. Which of these is the smallest in terms of length? Also is there another one out there smaller or about to be released? I know Kahr makes a small 45acp but I was specifically looking for a 1911 becuase I dont have one. Thanks.
Not being made anymore but the DETONICS CombatMaster can still be found Vintage New In Box.
Not all parts will interchange with 1911 though. Excellent compact .45 though. One of the best compacts.
3 inch barrels
I believe the Detonics shown above is just about the smallest 1911 I have heard about. They are fairly scarce and hard to find.
I'd say the smallest 1911s commonly found are the 3 inch barrel models with "Officers" length grip, such as the Kimber Ultra, Colt Defender and others. These are pretty small, weighing about 25 ounces with aluminum frames and being 0.90 inches thick in the slide. They conceal easily, if that is your intent. Here is my Colt Defender, which has a stainless slide and light colored anodize finish on the aluminum frame:
Small 1911s( smaller than Commander) tend to be problematic. I have a Kimber compact that works fine but I have seen a lot that just don't work that well.
The short recoil cycle makes the timing a lot more critical than a full size pistol.
I'm thinking that since the EMP was sized-down proportionally, it would be the smallest of the 1911s-but some people may not even consider it a 1911 any more. I'd like to have some pix of one side-by-side with some of the little Officer length/3 inch barrel guns (not that I'd risk a 3 inch gun, myself).
My Kimber UCII is as reliable as any firearm I have ever owned (I'm not young and I own many). I agree that the short actions can have their quirks about them but can be tuned to run like a sewing machine. A proper break-in is critical. I would not hesitate to own another. I trust my life to mine everyday.
Speaking as a graduate from "The School of Hard Knocks" I would not recommend a chopped 1911 w/exc of the SA EMP 9mm you mentioned. My SA Champion went back to the factory 5 times for feeding problems. I couldn't trust it after that and dumped it. Personally seen way too many Kimbers (full and chopped size) malfunction to ever pay the money myself for one. I only trust the full 5" versions for PD.
I've stated this before. Look at all the big buck makers of 1911's (Wilson, Brown) and they pretty much stay with the 5" guns that are tighter than drums but still feed 100% of the time.
I have seen and shot a few of the EMP's and think they are a outstanding 1911 style 9mm. Very well made and never seen or had one bobble. Just wish they would checker the front strap for the money. With ammo prices going through the roof a 9mm is much cheaper to shoot and you have to shoot it in order for you to master the 1911 platform. JMHO
here's one thing you need to understand about 1911s: when you get outside what John Moses intended for the design, you really need to consult a master pistolsmith who specializes in this type of work, period. I know one poster mentioned a Champion that had been back to the factory 5 times before he dumped it. Mine was one of the original champions and it is flawless; the difference is that I took mine to a pistolsmith that knew what he was doing, and had it checked and tuned right from the get go. With the compact 1911 pistols, timing and fitting are even more critical than on full size models so do yourself a favor and plan on shooting a couple hundred rounds through it then take it to a competent gunsmith to check it out and tune it up. This will save you a lot of headaches later on.
I think the Sprinfield EMP is by far the smallest 1911.
I am the poster who dumped the POC SA Champion. I sent it back to the factory as SA warrants them for life. I would of thought that THEY (Springfield Armory) would have been able to cure the problem. Why should I or anyone else have to send a new gun off to a gunsmith before shooting it after shelling out hard eaned money on a weapon we are to trust our lives with from the factory after proper break in.
Originally Posted by edr9x23super
I stick by what I wrote. If you want a gun that is not going to give you trouble and don't want to spend BIG money for it to run buy the full size version. My 1990 SA Standard has never been to a gun doctor or suffered a single malfunction in 18+ years.
There is no reason to shy away from a shortened 1911. There is a very common MISCONCEPTION that the recoil cycle is shorter than standard for these pistols. If your gun does not cycle properly it is most likely an ammo or magazine problem.
My EDC is a SA Micro Loaded .45, the exact same size as the EMP and it has never failed to function like it should. It probably will one of these days because anything mechanical can fail at any time. Mine has well over 4000 rounds through it so far and all I have done is change out some springs and adjust the extractor to suit me.
Yes sir, I agree there are ones that do not have any problems.
Originally Posted by coffeecup
If you talk to Mr. Wolff from Wolff srings, who manufactures LOT's of springs for the major manufactureres and is an expert on 1911's he will tell you otherwise. The problem lies with the faster speed of the slide cycling, and everything else being in time , including the recoil and magazine springs.
My Champion did not start acting up for over a year but when it did, it went South quickly.
You SHOULD NOT have to take a new pistol to a gunsmith before properly lubing it and breaking the gun in with 250 - 500 rounds of ammo to ensure it's reliable. I have a safe full of S&W's revolvers that see lots of use and they are as reliable as the day I bought them.
Both my 5" 1911 and 1977 Browning HP have NEVER given me a problem. Heck my 1911 will feed LSWC's all day. Both have 5" barrels. You will have fewer problems, better accuracy and higher velocities with a 5" 1911.
I change out my mag and recoil springs once a year and also use a Wilson shock buffs on the Springer to keep the frame intact.
I'm biased in a big way on this subject and sticking to my guns. :bier:
I've got this Wilson Combat Sentinel Compact in stock, but it's not stainless. The size will make a superb carry pistol. I'll be glad to order one in stainless if it interests you.
Joe Rankin - Clay and Wings - Level III Shooting Instructor