1911 9mm's [Archive] - Glock Talk


View Full Version : 1911 9mm's

06-03-2012, 16:21
Hey guys,

I am seriously thinking about getting my first 1911 and was leaning towards the sub compact EMP or Kimber Ultra in 9mm. My local gun shop has a indoor range and they had a EMP I could rent and try out. I was very impressed with the feel of the gun and the accuracy but I shot a box of 50 and the gun failed to feed 6 or 7 times so I was less then pleased with the EMP. Actually if the gun didn't fail like it did I would of purchased one because I am sold on the single action trigger of the 1911.

My question is are the sub compact 9mm 1911's reliable? Whats your take on the Kimbers in 9mm? I have done some web surfing and have read that you really need to get quality after market clips for the Kimbers. Any advise would be appreciated......

06-03-2012, 16:37
Hard to get a good feel from range guns. That EMP must've been in pretty bad shape if it had that many malf's with range ammo. Ramped barrels are something to definately look for in a 9mm 1911. Both Kimber and SA make great 9mm 1911's.

06-03-2012, 16:47
smaller 1911's will have fail to feed issues when one has a poor grip or slightly limp wrists. have someone who is more proficient try it. also, range guns might not have the best care and cleaning regimen.

1911's use magazines, not clips.

full size 1911's are the way to go even in 9mm.

06-03-2012, 16:48
Not a fan of 9mm on a 1911, I say get a BHP for 9mm if you want a design similar to a 1911.

06-03-2012, 16:49
I got my 1st 1911 in 9mm a few months ago. I looked at EMP, but decided to get Kimber Aegis. I didn't want to box myself in with proprietary magazines. I also bought several brands of 8rd. 9mm mags from Midway (Springfield, Colt, and Metalform (2 styles). All the mags worked fine as did the Kimber factory magazine. Approximately 500 rounds of WWB, Blazer Aluminum, Gold Dot, and Federal with no failures. Aegis is very nice gun, however, I'm not a fan of the bobbed safety, so I put a new standard one in.

06-03-2012, 16:50
Hey man, I'll give my opinion on this but please don't be offended as this is just MY OPINION. I don't like the 1911 in any other format other than .45 acp government length for a carry gun. I have a .38 super gov Colt, I've never fired it so can't comment on it. I've also had an officers sized colt 80 series, 2 Kimber Pro's (commander'ish) as well as an early Nighthawk Custom Enforcer commander sized. The colt had problems with the factory mags but once I went to wilson mags it was 110% after and accurate for a cheapy colt. The only other one that had problems was the first Kimber Pro I had but. This was resolved after going back to Kinber for work on the external extractor(I'll never buy another 1911 with an extrenal extractor again. Unless it's a S&W). Now I don't have any 1911's other than a few in government sized. The gun was designed around that caliber so I feel that it's the most reliable out of the box. The .38 super is roughly the same overall length so I've heard that helps with reliabilty. If I'm not mistaken the 9mm 1911 use .38 super mags with an insert since the 9mm is shorter. I don't know if that could be a potential problem but I feel that some factory mags that come with 1911's are the weak link. So, I'd make sure I buy something like Wilson mags, though I've heard that Wilson 9mm mags were somewhat problematic in the recent past. I'm not saying I wouldn't buy or even CC another non-gov .45 1911 but it wouldn't be a Kimber. I love the 1911 and it's my favorite pistol but as far as CC pistols go I'm a Glock guy. Though, even Glocks have been said to have problems lately with the extractors and late 3rd gen and early 4th gen (9mm). So, whichever you choose I'd say make sure you test it with you carry ammo at least 200 rnds before considering it reliable enough to carry.

Just my two cents.

Good luck

06-03-2012, 17:02
I had an EMP in 9mm. I had a lot of problems with the gun. Failures to extract, off center primer strikes creating failure to fire, feed problems on loads and bullet profiles that feed in every other 9 I own, etc.

After a few trips back and forth to SA I finally gave up and sold it for a substanial loss after a full disclosure of the issues. The good news is SA has unparalleled support, shipping both ways for each trip in for repair was fully paid and the longest time between having the gun was 2 weeks, pretty amazing CS.

I own a 9mm Kimber Stainless Target (Government sized frame, ramped barrel, etc.). It has been a flawless operator, extremely accurate, feeds anything I throw at it. Good luck finding what you want.

06-03-2012, 17:03
IMO, if you want the BEST 1911 in 9mm for CC, range or whatever you want to do with it, it's the DW Guardian. I'll put mine up against most any of my semi-customs when it comes to accuracy all day long. And it's been 100% reliable. The aluminum bobtailed frame makes it GREAT for CC. And 124+P Gold Dots coming out of a 4.25" barrel mean business. :thumbsup:



06-03-2012, 17:08
I have an Officer's Model 1911 by Llama in 9mm. Yep, it was cheap but that thing fed anything I put through it and after 1500 it's still going strong.

So I would say, yeah they hold up fine.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06-03-2012, 17:09
IMO, if you want the BEST 1911 in 9mm for CC, range or whatever you want to do with it, it's the DW Guardian. I'll put mine up against most any of my semi-customs when it comes to accuracy all day long. And it's been 100% reliable. The aluminum bobtailed frame makes it GREAT for CC. And 124+P Gold Dots coming out of a 4.25" barrel mean business. :thumbsup:



If I do buy a non .45 1911 for CC it will be this one. I think Buds has one right now for $1427. If I wasn't wating on a No Name I would probably forget everything I just said in my previous post and buy one. I'm a big DW fan!

06-03-2012, 17:39
Magazines are the achilles heel of 9mm 1911s. Ive had great luck with Tripp research and metalform and terrible luck with wilsons, which is odd because ive been using wilsons in my 45s for years without problems. You really should look into a 4"barrel or longer if its going to be mostly a range or IDPA gun. I have a full size Aegis and I LOVE IT. Its accurate, light weight and low recoiling compaired to my TLE.

06-03-2012, 17:44
+1 for the DW Guardian. FWIW, I have an EMP .40, and it's highly reliable with the "right" ammo. Some EMPs (and 1911s in general) need to go back to the factory for a tuneup before they are ready for duty. It's just the nature of the beast, and if you want a 100% reliable gun right out of the box, I suggest an HK instead. Springfield and DW have outstanding customer service, and will return your "problem" gun quickly and better than new.

06-03-2012, 17:46
If I do buy a non .45 1911 for CC it will be this one. I think Buds has one right now for $1427. If I wasn't wating on a No Name I would probably forget everything I just said in my previous post and buy one. I'm a big DW fan!
:rofl:You wouldn't go wrong with the DW Guardian in 9mm for sure. :cool:

06-03-2012, 19:33
Hhhmmm well I was leaning towards a CCW that I could carry IWB so the 3 inch barrel was what I was interested in and call me cheap but I like the idea of 9mm because of the cost. I will definitely look into the DW Guardian and maybe change my mind and get a 45 acp I'll probably end up getting a 45 anyway so why not now.........Thanks for all the good info!

06-04-2012, 00:25
tca, another .02 worth. I have owned 1911 type guns in several different calibers over a lot of years. I much prefer the full sized guns myself, but found the 4.25" barreled Commanders I owned to be very reliable. I would consider "sub compact" to be 1911 type guns with barrels less than 4". The two Colt Officers Models I had some experience with, 3.5" barrels I think, suffered from chronic malfunctions. One with feedway malfunctions, the other with extraction failures. My brother's 9MM EMP had all kinds of issues as received, but after warranty repairs, it is a totally reliable and quite impressive little gun. I do believe though, that as you go down in size, especially below the 4" guns, reliability is more problematic.

Since many 9MM 1911 guns now use the ramped barrels, the reliability problems with 9MM in 1911s seems to have been solved. I have Springfield, Kimber and Dan Wesson 1911 type 9MMs, using the ramped barrels, that are totally reliable with any ammunition I put in them. I continue to hear good things about the DW Guardian in 9MM. I mostly use the MetalForm "Front ramp" 9MM magazines, but the factory Dan Wesson/Checkmate and Kimber magazines have worked fine too. Strangely, with Wilson's reputation for quality, their 10-round 9MM 1911 magazine is the one I have most frequently read of having reliability issues... ymmv

06-04-2012, 05:34
I picked up a Rock Island Armory 1911 in 9mm to plink with. Great shooter and I can drive tacks with it at the range. It's a good gun to practice with for mechanics since 9mm is a lot cheaper than .45 ammo. BUT, when it comes to actually carrying I stick with my STI Guardian in .45. I guess it's all about what YOU feel comfortable with.

06-04-2012, 16:15
If you want a small cocked and locked 9mm, you might look at the CZ Rami. Mine's quite reliable (9mm Ramis have a better reliability reputation than small 9mm 1911's); it's accurate and holds 10 rounds plus one in the chamber - 14 plus one with the extended factory mag. It's only 25 ounces unloaded.

I spent extra $$$ to have mine converted by CZ Custom to SAO, so now it has a trigger that rivals any 1911, but the factory SA pull isn't bad, either.

06-04-2012, 19:37
I have 1911s in .45 ACP, 9mm and .38 Super, but I own no 1911s with a barrel length less than 4.25 inches. It has been my personal experience that no 1911 with a barrel length less than 4 inches is reliable.

06-04-2012, 21:33
I have great luck with 9mm Mec-Gar mags in my Colt Combat Commander.

06-05-2012, 17:05
Bul M-5

Largely unheard of, but a great gun, once it works. I had to tune mine, but it's an older model. They also have an officer's size, and come in 9mm, .40, and .45. Double stack, polymer frame, hardest part is replacement mags, only 1 place in the states that sells em. Fun gun though, and it's not 2 grand for an STI.


06-05-2012, 18:33

I have a RIA 9mm Tactical. It's been 100% reliable with Wilson Mags (stock one sucks), it's very accurate, and it has almost 0 recoil.

I would strongly recommend against any sub 4'' Kimber. I teach new shooters either weekly or every other week and lots show up with these little guns; they consistently have reliability issues. More than any other gun I see---including Hi Points.

If you're going the small 1911 9mm route I strongly recommend the EMP; they seem to be reliable.

06-05-2012, 20:05
i hate them.

gonna use the Harrison 2011 for the Costa Ludas class next month.

instead of using this.

or this.

and stuck with carrying this one daily.

which replaced this for carry.

which replaced this for carry.

06-05-2012, 20:24
Few months ago I found a COLT commander LW in 9mm w/ original box at a local Gun Store for $900 and snapped it up ASAP , Gun in great shape and accurate. I am not dissapointed at all....

06-06-2012, 12:10
well,I like mine its super accurate,easy to carry and has very little recoil.

06-06-2012, 13:16
... I don't like the 1911 in any other format other than .45 acp government length for a carry gun...

I'm glad you said gov't length as that does give us a little wiggle room. I know there are lots of folks who don't think a 1911 should be chambered in anything but .45 acp.

I like the feel of the EMP in my hand, but the commander size 1911 is not that much bigger and would guess it gives you a lot more reliability. Finding a 9mm commander is not too hard and I think the DW is one of the better ones. But I might be prejudice just a little.


On the other hand, if it's small size you a looking for and you can wait a little while longer there is the new Sig 938. This has me intrigued. http://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductDetails/p938-rosewood.aspx


06-06-2012, 23:33
From my observations from many days on many ranges:

1911s are the most unreliable handgun on the market today.

Sub-compact 9mm 1911s are the most unreliable 1911s of unreliable 1911s.

Of all the god-damn guns you could go out and buy, why start out with junk? Buy a real gun....

06-06-2012, 23:54
The 1911...making gunsmiths out of shooters for the past 101 years :animlol:

06-07-2012, 07:33
When I was looking for my first non .45 handgun I too had been looking for a 9 mil / .40 caliber 1911. From my research I found that 1911's really hate being changed from the original design too much.

Short barreled .45 versions can have issues feeding and extracting reliably with the short recoil springs. Small calibers can have similar reliability issues because the overall size of 1911's were designed to work with .45 ACP and .45 ACP only. They don't have the power to consistently work a steel 1911 slide enough for any sort of defense situation.

The only exception would be something like the Springfield EMP, which was re-engineered around the smaller cartridges. It is shorter from front to back on the grip and slightly smaller all around, but the high price puts it in the leagues of higher end full size .45 Kimbers.

In my humble opinion, your best best for fun, accurate shooting with a starter 1911 is to stick with the big round and get a Springfield RO, Loaded or Mil-Spec, or even one of the other guns in the same price range from Remington, Ruger or Rock Island. Alos a full size .45 1911 is all I would even think to rely on for defense. Anything else is just for fun.

06-07-2012, 08:54
I find it hilarious that modern Plastic Perfection would choke on Russian steel case ammo, but my unreliable Colt would eat it day and and day out.

06-07-2012, 21:32
I have 2 1911s in 9mm. One is a full size Rock Island that feeds FMJ 100%; feeds JHP about 30%, even AFTER I had RI tune/polish for that fix. The full size 1911 in 9mm is a design deficiency, LOOKING for a malf/FTF. There is no getting around that.

I surfed the forums and among the SUB1911s designed around the LENGTH of the 9mm, I'd heard some disparaging comments about the Kimber AEGIS but none on the EMP. So I bought a new EMP and have put about a thousand reloads (some factory, too) thru it with no failures. It does JHP, FMJ and my own cast LEAD ! I shoot many light target loads and some HOT handloads. I would carry it thru HARLEM or BROOKLYN with absolutely no hesitation. Then I'd be willing to walk SanDiego and LosAngeles at night, too.

Of course, I practice with it (a thousand rounds, remember....)

Granted, the 1911 is SUPPOSED to be 45ACP (I have a full size and a Compact Officer) and I can CC ANY full size 1911 but there are times I want to carry the EMP. Just my opinion.

And I don't understand what barrel length has to do with feed reliability. Just saying.

And samuse
if the 1911 is the most unreliable gun:rofl:, why are there so many companies making it and why has it lasted 100 years ? Just wondering. :dunno: You sound like the typical ohvomit liberal who only drinks kool-aid and spouts crap but offer no data to back it up. Give me some HARD DATA.

I'll still carry my 1911s and BET MY LIFE on them.

06-07-2012, 22:06
cdunn- I like the grips pictured on your gun- where'd you get them?

06-07-2012, 23:54
Only 9mm 1911 I have ever owned is the SA EMP. While the gun was great and was reliable, I was always about an inch or two above the POA...I had a few friends shoot it with teh same results. Got rid of it for a DW VBOB and haven't looked back. Don't even really miss the EMP and I usually miss the guns I sell/trade.

06-08-2012, 05:18
As far as barrel length goes, I'm sure its fine on the EMP designed for the length, but from all the reports I've read (couldn't tell you the physics) people have more issues the shorter the barrel gets on the 1911 design. I suppose its all anecdotal evidence, mine is a full frame.

06-08-2012, 08:12
Not to muddy the waters, but Wilson Combat has claimed the small 1911's in 9MM are more reliable than the full size models. It was posted on the 1911 Forum a week ago or so.:dunno:

06-08-2012, 11:25
... I don't understand what barrel length has to do with feed reliability...

On a standard 1911 you have a linked barrel and a short, fat .45 cartridge. Getting that cartridge out of the magazine and into the chamber is actually a pretty tricky bit of business. Shortening the barrel changes it's angle when the slide is back. The shorter the barrel the sharper the angle and the harder it is to get the cartridge into the chamber. You want the top cartridge to be flat below the slide so slide can move back and forth. You also want the top cartridge pointed up in to the tilted barrel. You can't have it both ways so you compromise.

If you loose the barrel bushing or hang a ramp on the barrel, things are easier to work out. Also, if you use a longer, skinnier cartridge it is easier to align it with the waiting empty chamber.

So those are some of the things people talk about when they argue about merits or problems with 3 or 4 inch barrels.


06-08-2012, 14:00
For a small, 9mm, 1911 for carry, I went with a Kimber Solo.

Kimber has a list of recommended ammo for the Solo on their website. Mine has run 100% with any of their recommended ammo. The cheaper stuff has been hit or miss.

I currently have about 1K through it, and trust it to carry it.

06-09-2012, 03:59
cdunn- I like the grips pictured on your gun- where'd you get them?
custom order,but Larry is great to work with.

06-09-2012, 05:09
For good results with the compact 9mm I would try the Colt Defender, had one and it ran great and was very accurate. I sold it to finance a CCO project. The two other compact 9mm 1911's I would consider are the Springfield EMP and the Kimber Ultra CDP.

I have also received excellent service from a Para Carry 9 LDA, but not everyone likes the LDA trigger.

06-13-2012, 01:36
I had a Kimber Stainless II in 9mm for a couple of years and sold it due to constant reliability issues. Biggest flaw is Kimber uses a .40 S&W breech face on thier 9mm 1911's. Extractor tension is much harder to maintain when the round is pushed over too far because of the oversized breech face. Mine had constant failures to extract and double feeds. No amount of extractor tuning would fix it. Tried three different extractors (two kimbers and one wilson combat) and a hand fit oversized firing pin stop and still no luck. It was fine most of the time, but would choke just often enough for me not to trust it. Some get lucky and their 9mm kimbers run great. Mine didn't. It was picky about magazines and ammo too. Personally I feel that 9mm in a 1911 is too much of a compromise. My personal research into the matter has revealed a spotty reputation in them. The design just doesn't seem to be as forgiving with the shorter, tapered 9mm round unless things are just right. Personally, I'll stick with .45 ACP 1911's from now on. It's kinda like caliber conversions in general. They may work for the most part, but it will always be a compromise to some extent.