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Posted: 1/10/2006 7:35:36 AM EDT
I am in the market for a1911 and I would like a compact model. I am doing my homework before buying and I read somewhere that the compact models have a tendency to jam quite frequently. Can anyone confirm or deny if this is an issue with the compacts? The only 1911 I ever owned was a Kimber CDP 2 that I paid 1100.00 for (it was suppose to be the cream of the crop) yet it jammed every 3 or 4 rounds. I sold it and ever since I have missed the perfect feel in my hand a 1911 gives me, but I don't want to make the same mistake twice.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 7:57:11 AM EDT
I own a Kimber Ultra II that has been very reliable for over a thousand rounds. It has an internal extractor which seems to be preferred to the external. But then again others have had problems with theirs so YMMV.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:00:40 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Sandman67:
I am in the market for a1911 and I would like a compact model. I am doing my homework before buying and I read somewhere that the compact models have a tendency to jam quite frequently. Can anyone confirm or deny if this is an issue with the compacts? The only 1911 I ever owned was a Kimber CDP 2 that I paid 1100.00 for (it was suppose to be the cream of the crop) yet it jammed every 3 or 4 rounds. I sold it and ever since I have missed the perfect feel in my hand a 1911 gives me, but I don't want to make the same mistake twice.

Did you send it back to Kimber for repairs ??
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 8:18:33 AM EDT
I have heard that the compact 1911's are more ammunition sensitive than the full-size models.
This has been my experience with the limited number I have had my hands on.

What to do? Simple - feed them ammunition they like.

If you reload, COL is an important factor, as is the amount of crimp. In my experience, a COL of 1.225"-1.235" for 200 & 230 grain HPs helps reliability. The max COL for the 45 ACP is 1.275".
Get a case gauge and use it. Loaded rounds should drop into and fall free of the case gauge.

For factory ammunition, try the common self defense rounds like the Speer Gold Dots, Winchester Ranger or Federal Hydrashocks. I personally like the Win Ranger ammo (230 gn).
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:29:48 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 9:30:31 AM EDT by Sandman67]
I'm still learning here, so forgive me.....Commander size models are not the same as full size nor compacts right? They are somewhere in between? Would a better choice be a Commander length model instead of a compact or are they plagued by the jamming as well?
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 9:32:44 AM EDT
I have a comander sized TLE/RLII and it will eat anything.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:01:50 AM EDT
Full Size or Government are 5 inches

Commanders are 4 inches

Compacts are 3 to 3.5 inches

I have heard of the Compacts having issues but if you get a lower quality 1911 any size can have problems.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 10:06:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 10:07:19 AM EDT by BigPhil]
My officers model (Colt Series 80) likes everything but my reloads. (I could go into details about what I think it doesn't like about my reloads, but I wont). They are not loaded to max capacity and out of 100 rounds there is usually one or two FTF and a few falures to make it totally into battery. As far as commercial ammo goes, I have only tried Winchester white box and Speer Got dots and it likes them both.

Officers model barrel is slightly shorter than the commanders length. The grip is also slightly shorter. To me, I like the Officers model. I have carried a full size and I like the Officer's size better for carry.

That being said. I hardly ever have any FTF with my full size. It doesnt matter what ammo I shoot out of it, there never seems to be any problems.

So are the Officer's length more finicky? If you ask me I would say Yes. Is it this big issue a lot of people seem to make it? Well, not for me. Is there enough reliability issues that I wouldn't carry one or own one? Absolutely not. I know how my pistol performs and I carry it everyday.

My next purchase will be a commander length since I do not have one. If I was going to get one for shooting and occasional carry, I dont think you could go wrong with a commander length.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 1:37:48 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:48:40 PM EDT
Is Kimber the only one making 1911's with internal extractors.

-Mike
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 2:56:22 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:08:25 PM EDT
So if I understand you correctly SGB you're saying to get one with an INTERNAL extractor because they are more reliable?

What about Para and their Power Extractor? Is that as good?
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:12:51 PM EDT
I believe para's "power extractor" it just another kind of internal extractor. correct me if im wrong?
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:34:39 PM EDT
My Kimber Compact Custom is very reliable. No problems with FTF or FTE issues.
It has the 4" barrel.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:38:16 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Slimbo:
I believe para's "power extractor" it just another kind of internal extractor. correct me if im wrong?

EVERYTHING I've heard about the "power extractor" has been bad, but to each his own.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 3:52:41 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/10/2006 3:54:45 PM EDT by lu380]
It's been my experience that the 5" models (and the 4 1/4" Commander models, to a somewhat lesser extent)are less jam-prone than Officer's (3.5") and the 3" sub-compacts.

I have never owned a 1911 that didn't have at least one or two malfunctions when they were brand new. They seem to get more reliable with time. Reguardless, 1911's and BHP's are still my favorite design.
Link Posted: 1/10/2006 4:01:53 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 3:27:34 AM EDT

Originally Posted By SGB:

Originally Posted By rvogster:
Full Size or Government are 5 inches

Commanders are 4 1/4 inches

Pros and Compacts are 4

Officers ACPs are 3.5

Compacts are 3 to 3.5 inches

I have heard of the Compacts having issues but if you get a lower quality 1911 any size can have problems.





Ps..............................the 3 and 3 1/2 icnch guns can be harder to get running with some ammunition. My Officers acp runs great on Winchester Rangers.

Check out the Kimber Pro series (with internal extractor only) and I think you'll be quite pleased.



So Springfield Champion series = Compact?

Springfield Ultra Compact = Officers ACP?

Springfield Micro Compact = Compact?

I learn something new everyday. So who makes Commanders because I always thought the 4 inch Springfield Champion was the equivalent?
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 3:39:05 AM EDT
A decent gunsmith can make any "compact" 1911 run properly, IMO.

If this little tool can run properly (and it does) any compact 1911 can.



They don't get much smaller than the Detonics Combat Masters and this one has seen plenty rounds malfunction free.

Mike
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 7:07:10 AM EDT
The shorter barrel requires more angular swing to operate correctly. Coupled with the shorter slide the timing becomes more sensitive. While a full size has a lot of margin, the shorter weapons need to be set up more carefully for reliable operation. Close is not good enough.
I used 1991A1 for a Gunsite course (1200+ rounds) and had no problems besides shedding the front site on day 2. This is all 230 ball, but I have since run hundreds of rounds of HP through the gun and use it as my primary carry weapon.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 7:57:41 AM EDT
I have a SA Ultra Compact and the SOB WAS a jam-o-matic that is until I swapped out the recoil spring with a Wolff spring. Now no jams no problems. This is with 230 ball only mind you.
Link Posted: 1/11/2006 11:23:54 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2006 1:20:38 PM EDT by SGB]
WARNING do not troll this forum.

Steve
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 8:25:14 PM EDT
I've owned a Colt Officers Model, Series 80 for several years. Did have some feeding problems at the beginning until I changed all the Springs to Wolff and started using Wilson 7 Round Mags. I practice with Federal 230 Grain FMJ and carry Feds. Personal Defense Ammo. No problems since having made those changes or with the Ammunition I use.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 9:00:40 PM EDT
Want a compact? Get your wallet out and call C.T. Brian.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 12:56:27 AM EDT
I have owned and extensively shot several 1911's running from a 6" Bob Marvel Custom all the way down to a Kimber Ultra Carry CDP-II. As fas as feed reliability goes I have never noticed any difference between any of the different barrel lengths. Set up properly, I don;t see why there would be a problem. Currently my CCW gun is a Les Baer Stinger and it works just as well as it's big brother, the Premier-II.

I would certainly agree that the faster cycling slide could make the shorter-framed guns more sensitive to timing issues, but any gun (not just short slides) not set up properly will give the user fits. Maybe I have just been fortunate but I shoot my guns often, feed them quality ammo, and clean and lube them regularly. So far, so good.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:58:26 AM EDT
Well . . . here’s my 2 cents . . . .

Back in 1911, when the good old 1911 was “perfected” for military service, the weapon was designed to run with a 5 inch barrel. JMB designed the 45 auto with a 5 inch barrel and with that length it runs the best. ( You can trace the history back to 1903, and then 1905 and even 1910, but that’s a different story)

Then . . . . in the late 1940’s Colt brought out the “short” 45 auto – the “Commander” -- 4 ¼ inch barrel with an alloy frame. Uncle Sam was looking a “smaller, lighter” pistol and the Commander was a contender in the trials. The Commander-sized 45 was also a commercial success and the steel frame was added to the Colt line some time later. During the developing trials by Colt, it was discovered that reliability could still be achieved with the 4 ¼” inch barrel. Pistol handled well, shot well, and was still reliable. (Notice that Colt did NOT release a 4 inch barrel ? ? ?)

So . . . . . . .

Several custom pistolsmiths released shorter and shorter 45 autos in the late 50’s thru the 70’s. Most of these 45 autos were “custom made” and most were also very reliable. Then the “commercial manufactures” joined the ball game and now we see a flood of “chopped” 45 autos.

Do the “chopped” 45’s run ? ? Sure they do ! But almost any one will tell you that they are more temperamental than a 5” or even a 4 ¼” barreled 45. More ammo sensitive, springs need replaced more often, and more prone to “limp-wristing”.

And as for external/internal extractors: the internal extractors have been in service for almost 100 years. And when the Marines requested a new 45 for some of their specialized units, they request the tried-and-true internal extractor in the 45. Something to think about . . . .

(My new S&W 1911 PD, in the Commander length, has an external extractor and has been 110% reliable in over 1,000 rounds so far)

I’ve had two name-brand 3” or 3 ½ inch barreled 45’s in the past and I’ve sold them both – neither one was 100% reliable.

I currently have six 45’s – and four of them are “cost effective” models: two SA’s (one a Mil-Spec and one a WWII model and two Colt “1991A1’s). All four of these have always been 110% reliable right from the box, and thru at least 1,000 rounds in each pistol. Clean it, lube it, feed it good ammo – and the 45 will take care of you ! ! !

As for “are the accurate ?” I truly believe most 45’s, in good condition, are more accurate than most people can shoot them ! ! JMB said “they can hit a man at 75 yards” – any of mine will do that all day long, and then some. Remember – you’re shooting a “defensive pistol”, not a “target pistol”, unless your shooting something “match grade”, but doubt you’ll want to carry that as a defensive pistol. Most shooters would be better off buying a “middle of the road” 45 and putting the extra cash into practice ammo.

When looking for a new CCW handgun I too did my research. Settled on the new S&W 1911 PD model – light-weight frame, 4 ¼” barrel. A real joy to shoot, carries well, handles extremely well for a light-weight 45, and been 110% reliable with ball, SWC, and HP ammo.

Not everyone will agree with what I just said, but everyone is also entitled to their own opinion. Over the past 20 years or so this is what has worked for me . . . .
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 1:26:52 PM EDT
Just for refrence , i took my para ord LDA CCO out today and put 100 blazer through it that were about 8 years old , to the point of some corrosion on the copper FMJ. No loading problems what so ever. I really don't see feeding being a issue as long as its made right , the feed port is polished decently and the like.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 3:34:53 PM EDT
I just got a SA GI 3 inch. Other than a VICIOUS hammer bite, nary a single bobble through the first 100 rounds. Don't know on the accuracy thing yet. Once I get a few more hundred rounds through it to make sure it's reliable I'll concern myself with groups. Getting 6 cases in the air at one time is NOT conducive to accurate shooting....


GT
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 4:04:07 PM EDT
How's the sites on the GI and Milspec models?
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 4:23:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sandman67:
How's the sites on the GI and Milspec models?



I can kinda see the sights on the milspec. But if the spec sheet for the GI didnt say that it came with sights, I never woulda known they were there.

Usable, actually, in SLOW fire. Very hard to use rapidly. I find that original style sights are far inferior to modern sights.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 4:30:12 PM EDT
Hello everyone. I'm new here. I have two Smith and Wesson 1911s, a full size and a Commander (4.25") size. I also have a Kimber Ultra Carry II with the external extractor. While I have not yet had any problems with the Kimber, the S&W external extractor is rock solid. Both of mine have been 100% reliable so far. Don't overlook S&W when considering a 1911, I think their's is one of the best on the market.

Link Posted: 1/19/2006 12:29:45 AM EDT
I love my Officers, and this is the first I have heard of them being unreliable. Hell it even its my reloads.


In fact I thought if it was good, a Micro would be better, smaller, easier to conceal.

I was talked out of that by a few guys smarter than me, so I will stick with what always goes bang, my Officers.


Link Posted: 1/19/2006 2:37:34 PM EDT
I had an Officer's Model that wouldn't feed Hydro-Shoks. Ball it would eat all day long but had a habbit of not feeding hollowpoints.
Link Posted: 1/19/2006 4:08:46 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Sandman67:
How's the sites on the GI and Milspec models?



Er.. on the GI model, you're better off sighting down the plane of the slide in rapid fire.
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