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Discussion Starter #1
I'm in the market for a new Mil Spec Compact .45
I don't have a lot of money. Maybe 600.00
I'm thinking Rock Island (I have a full size and it's great) or Springfield.

Any advice on the two?
I'm don't care for Charles Dalys.
I don't like Night Sights or Skeletonized Hammers or extended beavertails. I like just plain ole mil spec.

Any and all information is needed and apprecited.
 

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Run away! Run away!

I've just finished my own private little war with the compacts. Let me preface my remarks by saying that I wanted to believe, I really did. I wanted smaller, I wanted lighter.

Bought a Springfield Micro, (a 3" barrel on an officer's frame) and am about to send it back to Springfield for the third and final time- we're negotiating what I'm going to get instead, another weapon or a refund.

I belong to a league, and I should have just asked around.

I talked to a guy who carries a 4" barrel on an officer's frame, and he almost had me convinced- until I asked him if he'd ever run a couple hundred rounds through it at once. He said no, so I put up a box of ammo, and he put up a box of ammo, and his weapon malfunctioned on the 97th round.

Not good enough for me.

Today, at the range, I made the same deal with a guy who carries a Colt Defender, and then again with a guy who swears by a Springfield Lightweight Compact.

42nd round and 38th round, respectively.

Now, I've become a True Believer.

I own a Springfield Government Milspec, and have well over five thousand rounds through it, of all types of ammo with no malfunctions.

I refuse to be impressed with and won't carry a weapon that won't go 200 rounds without a malfunction. Minimum.

And that's hardball, which is what the things are supposed to be designed for. I'd hate to see those weapons with carry ammo...

The 1911 was designed for hardball, with a 5" barrel, and everything, and I do mean everything hinges on that.

The hardball specification can be worked around, but if you start whacking length off the slide, there will be consequences.

There is only one thing that matters to me in a carry weapon.

It must go bang.

The little ones only go bang sometimes, and sometimes they go click.

If you must run out and buy a baby 1911, take it straight to the range, run 200 rounds through it, and if it doesn't come apart at the seams, (my Micro blew the recoil mechanism, a Springfield convolution, downrange during the second magazine on the first day I fired it) count the malfunctions.

I'll get off my soapbox now, and wish you the best of luck.
 

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I ran into terrible feeding/ extraction/ ejection issues with my Micro also and really don't care for the absolute pain of "breaking" it in any further. It seems to amount to a fairly good single shot though. And I agree, the guide rod arrangement looked a bit weak to me also and the posted experience with it breaking seems only a matter of time with such a small part and heavy dual recoil spring system. AFTER I bought it I was told by a knowledgeable friend on how the cyclic rate has been tampered with severely by shortening the slide to the bare minimum (DUH, something I've already read about in several gunsmithing books but totally ignored upon purchasing this POS). Yes, there are some that probably go bang every time, but I'm not taking any more chances. It's full size 1911 for me, I'll just mark it down as a learning expereince, albeit a 600.00 dollar one.
:(
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Maybe I'll stick to a Gov't model...

I guess there's not too much difference in a Gov't model and a compact other than one works :D
 

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My experience with a SA micro mirrors the other two poster's. I prefer full size or not shorter than a commander.
 

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I recently bought a Mil Spec Ultra Copmpact (officers size gun) It did hang up a few times while feeding when I bought it. There were some things I wanted to change on the gun before I bought it. I wanted to get rid of the MIM trigger parts and put a long trigger in the gun. I knew that going in. While the smith had it I told him it had hung up a few times while feeding. Ht throated the barrel a bit and polished the feed ramp while he had it in for the trigger work and a beavertail ans a regular grip tang beats a hole in my hand. The gun works great now! I shot an IDOA match with it last week and it worked very well. The factory mag is a POS and does not feed but the Wilsons I have feed great.

I think the compacts may take a little more tweaking to get it right and Joe Blow down the street may not be able to make your gun run but a decent smith should be able to do it no problem. If you go in knowing it may need a little adjustment and some of the MIM (pot metal in my book) parts may not be optimum I think you will be happy wiht your gun. would definitely choose teh Springfield over teh Rock Island no question. The comments above seem to mainly be referring to the MicroCompact.
 

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Got mine a few months ago....SA MICRO. Took it to the range the first day. First 60 rounds of FMJ it was flawless. 60-120 rounds, FTE every 4th round. Turned the gun over to Eddie, a Smith that works out of Village Sports in Arlington Hts, IL. He worked on it, de-burred it, throated, polished, checked tensions......rounds 121-600 absolutely flawless. If I had to do it all over, I would stick with the 5", but now I love this little sucker.
 

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It is a well known fact in 1911 circles (though some people take great offense and don't like to hear it) that anytime you deviate from the 5" pattern, you will in all likely hood encounter troubles. And I'm NOT being maker specific. It just doesn't matter.

Its true that some Commander type guns may run well, but even those can be cantankerous. Anything smaller than that...well, you pay your money and you take your chances.

If its a toy/fun gun you want, get what is fun for you. lf its a serious gun you need, go with a 5".
 

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My SA Ultra Compact Mil-Spec (with the addition of a full length guide rod, and using only Wilson Combat mags) is every bit as reliable as my 5" guns. It will feed anything, including crappy Wolf steel case ammo, as well as every HP that I have tried. In fact, my Sistema won't feed all HPs, and absolutely hates the Wolf crap. I once put 250 rds of Wolf through the SA in one session, just to use it up, and without a malfunction.

With that said, when I carry the SA it is stoked with 185 grain Cor-Bon Pow'rBalls for both the reduction in felt recoil and round nose for feeding reliability.
 

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no problems

Well I've got a Les Baer SS Stinger it's an officers frame on a commanders slide.

It had 12 FTF's and 5 FTE's in the first 1200 rounds so it went back to LB shop. They retuned the extractor and since then I've put 3000 rds through it without a single malfunction. It eats everything Ball, Hollow Points; Winchester, Remington, Federal, Magtech, PMC, S&B no problem. Yes I shoot more than a couple hundred rounds in one session. Typical session round count is 200-300 no oil no cleaning in between just shooting.

While I'll have to agree with most people that the smaller you go the more chances you take with getting a lemon, but your still taking that chance with any gun that you buy. My recommendation as far as manufacturer would be make sure they have great customer service in case you do have a problem, but I recommend this regardless of the type of gun that you buy.
 

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Jammer: I'm fighting the same war as you, and I wonder if I'm not headed to the same conclusion. In a couple days I'll be picking up my next attempt... a Kimber S1 Custom Compact, 4"/Officers combo. I'm hoping it'll make the grade. If not, I'm gonna try a full house custom, though whether it'll be on that Kimber or from scratch, I haven't decided, before I give up once and for all.
I was talking to my best 'smith the other day about my problem with compacts, and he told me that in his experience, if you took 10 Governments, 10 Commanders, and 10 Officer's, 10 Governments would run, 8 Commanders would run, and only 4 or 5 of the Officer's would run. I'm beginning to believe it wholeheartedly. I'd like to hear C.T. Brian's opinion on this matter, as he's the unofficial Commander of the Commander, so to speak :)
 

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Jammer: I'm fighting the same war as you, and I wonder if I'm not headed to the same conclusion.
The recoil mechanism on the Springfield is particularly bad. Mine blew up in the second magazine, then I sent it back a second time because the slide is so short, and the cycle, therefore, so heavy that the slide stop peened itself to death, and bashed the slide lock notch in the slide round in only a couple hundred rounds. The slide had to be re-machined, and the slide stop replaced.

The third malfunction was the final straw, and convinced me.

The recoil mechinism departed downrange a second time, after only about 110 rounds. I had only had it back one day. One day.

That all said, it did do one good thing for me.

It blew up during a league shoot, where I'm one of the newest members.

I ranted and raved for a few seconds, and finished by announcing loudly that my Micro was for sale, and that I would also trade it for any dog that I could then shoot.

There was a moment of silence, and then one of the old timers said

"Well, now he knows too much to be the new guy, so we need a new new guy."
 

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if you absolutely must have a tiny gun...STI BLS or LS... given they dont come in 45acp (however the STI Ranger does), they are still very potent....and bruttaly accurate (more accurate than most 5 inch 1911's)
 

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Considered that, NJ, but I gotta have a .45. Plus, I just absolutely hate STI's aesthetics. <shrug> I know, piddling thing, but when I'm throwing around X-thousand dollars, I like it to look just as good.
I also though about having SVI build me one, but I don't know if I could ever trust their interchangeable breechface system in a carry gun.
 

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Mil spec and compact. Isn't that a contradiction in terms?
Yes, it is.

This is one of my pet peeves, too.

Milspec stands for "Military Specification", and there's only one of those.

It's for a parkerized, 5 in. 1911A-1.

No beavertail, no ambidextrious safety, no stainless steel, no extra milling on the front of the slide. Nice and loose, because infantrymen crawl through the mud enroute to engaging the enemy. No tightening, ala Les Baer or Wilson, just a weapon that's guaranteed to fire, every time.

Vary from these specifications, and it may be a good weapon, but it's not milspec, in spite of what Springfield et al say.

"Two old ladies, layin' in bed..."
 

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TRB said:
Considered that, NJ, but I gotta have a .45. Plus, I just absolutely hate STI's aesthetics. <shrug> I know, piddling thing, but when I'm throwing around X-thousand dollars, I like it to look just as good.
I also though about having SVI build me one, but I don't know if I could ever trust their interchangeable breechface system in a carry gun.
while i can understand not liking the asthetics of the double stacks...what exacly dont u like about their single stacks? they are identical in every way to all the other tiny 1911's
 

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Thanks for the pic, it gives me a convennient reference to list everything I don't like.

1: Ball cut on the front of slide
2: Wide, shallow, square cocking serrations
3: "STI RANGER " (I'm sure there's a picture of the state of Texas on the other side)
4: Scallop-type grip surface on frontstrap
5: Butt ugly trigger; don't know if it's plastic or not, but it looks it.

With regards to the Ranger itself:

1. It should be black. Blacker than darkest midnight, as black as my own sadistic soul. ......Oops, did I say that out loud?
2: It's -too- chopped. the proportions are frelled up. Not to mention how little mainspring there must be there.

If you think that's "identical" to "all the other tiny 1911s", NJ, you have a piss-poor eye for detail.
 

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TRB said:
Thanks for the pic, it gives me a convennient reference to list everything I don't like.

1: Ball cut on the front of slide
2: Wide, shallow, square cocking serrations
3: "STI RANGER " (I'm sure there's a picture of the state of Texas on the other side)
4: Scallop-type grip surface on frontstrap
5: Butt ugly trigger; don't know if it's plastic or not, but it looks it.

With regards to the Ranger itself:

1. It should be black. Blacker than darkest midnight, as black as my own sadistic soul. ......Oops, did I say that out loud?
2: It's -too- chopped. the proportions are frelled up. Not to mention how little mainspring there must be there.

If you think that's "identical" to "all the other tiny 1911s", NJ, you have a piss-poor eye for detail.
no i just dont nit pic cocking serrations (every company uses their own), slide markings (again every company uses their own), what kind of front strap it has, and trigger type (BTW the trigger is plastic and probibly the most comfortable ive ever shot).

But i appreciate your candidness:mummy:
 
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