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I had a colt defender. it was a piece of crap. It was ammo picky and I couldnt get it to group for anything.
Can't go wrong with the Kimber or a Guardian from Dan Wesson.
I personally carry a Colt 1911 New Agent and love it. I have carried and shot glocks rugers s&w etc. Bought this one for, CC. 3" barrel, channel/gutter sights, 17oz weight, 45cal. Took a few practice shots to get used to no standard sights but once zeroed wow! I can consistently hit center mass at 50'. Rule of thumb in self defense is 21' or less. It is single stack 7 rnds but for CC self defense perfect and looks good too.
Colt New Agent 1911 is very tight. It has a recommended 400 round break in. I have approx 300 rnds through mine so far, good groups, no mis-feeds, or operational issues. Shot 230grn ball rounds, and a couple mags of Federal hydra-shock HP to make sure the ramp would feed hollow points flawlessly. My low end Colt military would not feed hollow point without ramp modification.
Another vote for the Colt New Agent. I just went through this same ordeal about two weeks ago...was down to four pistols, Springfield EMP, Kimber Ultra Carry, Dan Wesson Duty One and a Colt New Agent/Defender. I was pretty much set on an EMP when I went to the gun show...had a chance to handle all of my choices but the Dan Wesson...I ended up with the Colt New Agent Talo edition, has XS Big Dot sights...I really liked the way the Kimbers felt, but after about an hour of fondling, I chose the New Agent, primarily based on the way it felt, it was all black verses stainless, it had defensive carry sights and just happened to be in the caliber I was looking for...the pathetic 9minimeter!
This will be my daily carry once I am comfortable it is sufficiently broken in...it just feels great!
I carry a Colt New Agent and a Rock Island compact (in 9mm)as part of my C/C rotation. Both I trust with my life. There is a vast difference in price here. The Rock Island has been a great weapon with zero issues. The New Agent (also no issues) is lighter but shoots NO better. I actually think I would buy the Rock before the New Agent in your case. They have GREAT customer Service should you need it and you can make additions to the pistol should you want to (like getting new grips. The stock grips on a Rock are pretty hideous).
Carry a Citadel (RIA cousin) compact 90% of the time and I've had no problems that weren't mag related. Also shoot it better than my Colt Commander (probably due to having put more rounds downrange with the Citadel). It is a heavy sucker, but a good holster and belt do wonders.
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