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Discussion Starter #1
OR: The pistol that determines if compact 1911s live or die in my eyes.
If you've been following my posts in the Kimber, SA, and General Forums, you might know I've been having some trouble finding a satisfactory compact 1911 .45 to slip in my belt pack on those days when I am, for whatever reason, loathe to wear pants that actually have belt loops. Cuz some days, only the sublime comfort of sweat pants will do.
Anyhoo, after a pair of annoying Officer's size false starts (including one that tried to fool me by being perfect out of the box but actually breaking OUT rather than IN, deteriorating into a useless jam-o-matic), I decided I needed some more slide to get what I wanted. Thanks to crackerjack's Kimber Duces (sic) thread, I was made aware of the nifty 4" barrel, Officer's gripped Kimber Custom Compact. I was considering biting the bullet anyway, and getting a Kimber, but was disappointed when I found the current catalog only listed two guns in the size pattern I wanted... the Compact Stainless and the CDP. The CDP was appealing but overly expensive, and I've developed a dislike for stainless. Nothing tangible, just a quirk of mine lately. Then crackerjack's post made me aware of the Series I, all black option. Anyway, it was amazingly easy to find one for sale online, and Monday I got it and today I took her to the range.
It ended up a late day, after helping my buddy (who owns the range) skin out a deer, so I didn't shoot a whole heck of a lot, but I came away with a fairly hopeful impression.
First, the gun itself. It's a Series I Kimber Custom Compact in blue, with old plastic McCormick trigger, 4" bull barrel, FLGR, and checkered plastic MSH. Balance and hold are pretty good... I'm blessed with long, skinny fingers that'll go around just about any handgun's grip, yet still allow me to get all my fingers easily onto and Officer's size grip. The trigger was very nice... the take up had a hitch or two, but the break was very clean, around 5.5#. Much better than the last few I've handled in the gun stores. Typical Kimber/CMC fixed sights, that gave a good, Heinie-esque sight picture, though IMO the rear sight notch was -way- to narrow. I would have preffered a standard barrel with a Commander bushing/short guide rod, but sometimes even my spoiled brat pickiness has to acknowledge reality.
Anyway, no idea of accuracy, because I was too lazy to hang paper, but the sight regulation was just like I like it, and windage was right on. It came with a -Colt- factory mag, oddly enough, which was the first one I loaded up. On the last round, nightmare of nightmares, I got the exact same malfunction that had inspired me to junk my 3.5" guns. I took a deep breath, calmed myself, and shot a couple of magazine fulls through my Wilson 47OX and a Metalform Officer's mag modified with a Wilson 7-round follower and spring (6 shots in an Officer's mag), in which the gun was flawless. I also ran 8 through a 47D as fast as I could pull the trigger, trying to induce a malfunction, but it wasn't happening. I shot 6 more through the Colt mag, and sure enough, got the malf again. Obvious mag issue, retired it, and the only problem I had for the rest of the rounds was a couple premature slidelocks, easily fixed since the MIM slide stop and lockwork are going to be going bye-bye anyhow. As the sun sunk below the horizon, the lack of tritium, not to mention a light gap between the rear notch and the front sight to amount to anything, screwed up my ability to hit with any speed, but I still managed to do well if I took my time, thaks to the serrated sight surfaces.
Lot of fun to shoot, both with American Eagle and my slightly-too-hot 230gr FMJ Power Pistol loads (I think my powder measure creeped up a tenth of a grain... this stuff gives a HECK of a fireball!). And, I'm hopeful for the future... I think I might be able to carry a compact 1911 yet.
 

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I love mine!

I was also on a search for shorter grip frame 1911 pattern pistol. I finally settled on the Kimber Stainless Compact Series II. Mine shoots like a champ, maybe better than my Classic Custom. The fit of the frame to the slide is noticable tighter, FWIW.

Good shooting!
:) :) :) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I meant to post this update last night but I was talking to so many people on AIM I guess I forgot to hit the post button!

Anyway, what I wanted to say was thanks for the words of encouragement. Since I first went shooting, I fitted up a Wilson Bulletproof slide stop I had laying around, and I also tensioned the extractor best I know how. Shot another 100 since without a hitch through a variety of mags. I think I've got a winner :D
Looks like I can maintain some faith in a compact 1911 after all. And, I'm pretty happy about that.
Reliable though she may be, I still have plans, though. Box stock is a dirty word 'round here :D :D
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Nice gun, Richard :)
Hopefully mine'll be as good to me as yours has been to you (so far so good!). Grip tape on the frontstrap, right?
 
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