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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/21/2005 1:35:03 PM EDT
I currently have two Kimbers, a Compact Aluminum and a Custom (both Series I). I have been hankerin for a Rock River Arms for years (should have bought one when I could have gotten the damn thing for $1k) and am now financially in a position to buy one/two. I believe in having multiples of any firearm, as close as possible in configuration. That's why I have the two Kimbers now, and they are both set up almost the exact same way one just happens to be smaller and lighter. For obvious reasons I tend to carry the Compact more, even though I can conceal the fullsize just as well.

So as I look at the Rock River Arms, my first inclination is to get two fullsize, one with the rail and one without but otherwise identical. The second option is to get one fullsize and one 4", with the fullsize either having the rail or without it.

So, how important is a compact 1911 to you?
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:13:08 PM EDT
Personally, I don't own a 1911 with a barrel shorter than 5". Like you said, there aren't any issues with concealing a 5" model, and the shorter sight radius/spotty reliability of the shorter guns would drive me away from them. IMHO, if you are set on getting two, get both in Gov. model length.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:16:58 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:19:50 PM EDT
For CCW nothing beats them IMHO.

Link Posted: 8/21/2005 2:31:25 PM EDT
I do find that the shorter barrel is more comfortable in situations where I have to sit alot (dinner, driving, some days at work). It's not that I can't conceal the fullsize, it's just that the compact is more comfortable in certain circumstances.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 4:18:15 PM EDT
2 Commanders and 2 Govt models, I would carry the Commander concealed. I have not had any issues with reliablity issues with Commander length guns.

Link Posted: 8/21/2005 4:56:13 PM EDT
While I admit my experience to firing/carrying a commander is limited, I have no problems with the government model, and I prefer its handling and firing characteristics to the commanders. The main areas of the pistol that "print" are the beavertail and the sight, and thats the same with any 1911--Tim Brian Sidewinders and Detonics excluded.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 4:58:16 PM EDT
I prefer the handling and reliability of a 5" 1911.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 5:33:29 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/21/2005 5:34:47 PM EDT by ALAN308]

Originally Posted By in_burrito:
So, how important is a compact 1911 to you?

I like to carry a commander and have had several. Of pistols I have carried, 225 and Commander were the best. I still carry a Colt Commander. I also do not consider a 4.25" Colt Commander to be a compact. Compacts are not for me.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 7:19:48 PM EDT
I have a full size 1911 and a SS Officers ACP. The Officers model was my first handgun purchase almost 20 years ago and has never given me any problems over the years. It sits in my nightstand cocked and locked.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 7:38:20 PM EDT
I like Commanders because they're lightweight and compact without being small enough to be troublesome or hard to handle.

It's the lightweight aspect of the Commanders I really like though. In fact when I bought my Tactical Custom II I felt it was the perfect carry 1911 -- a 5" gun with an aluminum frame.

I don't have a lot of use for the Combat Commander or the Officer's, though.
Link Posted: 8/21/2005 8:13:46 PM EDT
I have a TRP Operator, SS TRP but neither of which I could carry without a big guy to pack it for me until neded....Unless in the dead of winter.

I was lucky and got in under the wire and nabbed the last SA Lwt Compact they ever received due to SA discontinuing the Compact. The 4 inch Compact hasn't given me a bit of a problem and with the Bull Barrel is extremely accurate and easily controlled.

I spend a lot of time on the 1911 forum and the general consenus is anything under a 4 inch barrel cna be problematic with FTF, FTE issues. Some have had great sucess where others have had to fiddle with swapping out springs to get them to run 100%.

Once the shorties are running right they have a way of tearing up springs to the point of needing replacement (some within 1000 rounds).

The original 45 ACP was designed around a 5 inch barrel for optimal timing/function and would still work fine with a barrle as short as 4 inches. Shorter you are just hammering away at something that isn't there and something is gonna give at the wrong time.

Link Posted: 8/21/2005 9:09:04 PM EDT
the only 1911 I own is a 4" kimber pro tle/rl II. personally, i like the feel of the shorter 1911 better

i find i am just as accurate with my 4" kimber as i am with my friends 5" tactical custom.
Link Posted: 8/22/2005 2:59:23 AM EDT
I am not too hip on 1911's shorter than a Commander. I am most fond of the Colt CCO package, 4.25 barrel with an Officer frame. Hides best and is 100% reliable, accurate and keeps the fps up.

So, at this point I don't own a compact.
Link Posted: 8/22/2005 5:18:45 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/22/2005 5:19:25 AM EDT by Wave]
Link Posted: 8/22/2005 6:34:20 AM EDT
While I prefer the handling and reliability of a full size, there are times when it just isn't practical. At my work, I have been told that no guns are allowed. This is not in the employee handbook, but was told to me by the owner of the store. As a result, I have to be extremely cautious about what I carry. I can't get made. That means I either have to carry a BUG in a pocket holster or a larger gun in a Smary Carry holster. I don't really like either of those options, but the SC is what I do.

That means a short barrel, short butt and very light weight are critical. I carry a Springfield Micro. It took a while to find a reliabile defense round, but the 165 grain Federal Hydra-Shoks have never failed in this pistol.

On my day's off, I carry either a full size, full size Operator or a 4" Champion. The Champion only gets used if I'm wearing a shirt that requires IWB carry. Loose and untucked buttom-up shirts will easily conceal an OWB holster and the 5" barrel guns get the nod.
Link Posted: 8/22/2005 6:39:50 AM EDT
I have never had a sub-5" 1911 that I considered reliable enough for carry.

Every one I've owned had just enough malfunctions to turn me away from trusting
my life to it. I don't buy them anymore.
Link Posted: 8/22/2005 6:50:48 AM EDT
Ultra CDP is my carry piece. I love it.
Link Posted: 8/22/2005 9:29:35 AM EDT
How important? Not at all.

I carry a 5" 1911 all day every day. I walk, run, drive, eat, and nap/sleep with a fullsize 1911 on my hip. I have no use for a smaller version of a 1911.

Link Posted: 8/22/2005 10:47:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dubb-1:
How important? Not at all.

I carry a 5" 1911 all day every day. I walk, run, drive, eat, and nap/sleep with a fullsize 1911 on my hip. I have no use for a smaller version of a 1911.


Must be nice to work in a place that allowsyou to carry. Would you feel the same if you worked in a place the discouraged or even forbid pistols?
Link Posted: 8/22/2005 11:38:39 AM EDT
cliffy109, that is a very difficult decision for an individual to have to make. I have had to make it in the past, and have no regrets.

Link Posted: 8/22/2005 11:43:31 AM EDT

Jeff Cooper has no issues with the Commander as his number one carry choice and neither do I.
Link Posted: 8/22/2005 1:18:16 PM EDT
I carry IWB so it does not matter if it is a 5" for me and that is what I would prefer.
Link Posted: 8/22/2005 3:03:36 PM EDT
I have a full size SA and a Kimber Pro Carry. They are equally accurate (one big hole), but the Kimber is much easier to pack.
Link Posted: 8/22/2005 8:24:30 PM EDT
i have carried a Detonics for nearly 20 years as back up piece and now for CCW, guess i got lucky as only the mainspring has needed replacing once and have never had a F2F during practice
it will fill a 5" group of 7 rounds at 30 feet.
i do tend to over compensat the size and it pulls left. i know it is the grip i use due to its size as my colt and kimber are right on.
gave up trying to correct grip on the little thing and just point a bit right of COM
at 10 ft or under it groups around 2" COM.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 11:18:57 AM EDT
I've heard that the barrel length does not affect concealability as much as the length of the grip. After all, it is usually the part that prints. The advice given was (if you could swing the cost), to have a commander sized slide mated with a officer sized frame.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:31:35 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Mall-Ninja:
I've heard that the barrel length does not affect concealability as much as the length of the grip. After all, it is usually the part that prints. The advice given was (if you could swing the cost), to have a commander sized slide mated with a officer sized frame.

Actually the barrel length is a comfort issue for me when sitting.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 12:57:20 PM EDT
Yup. It depends on the holster. Because I carry in a "Smart Carry" holster, short barrel length is critical. If I could wear a regular IWB or OWB on the hip, it would be less important.
Link Posted: 8/23/2005 5:03:24 PM EDT
My Springfield V-10 has never failed to run reliably except with Hornady XTP's. However I took a bit of 600 grit wet/dry sand paper and polished the ramp and the problem has disappeared. I've run around 500 hollow point rounds through this gun without a single malfunction.

Even the XTP's only failed failed to load on the first round in the magazine, if you ran the mags short they would load fine. (Also Wilson mags seemed to take away the problem prior to polishing the ramp)

So in the end, I feel my compact is reliable... It isn't as accurate at 25 yards as a 4.5" or 5" but at shorter distances it's fine.

It's really like anything else, it's about what you're comfortable with and want to carry. I do on occassion carry my 5" but as stated here, it's a lot harder IWB when yur sitting for a long time.. Where as my officer length seems hardly there.
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