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Old 06-03-2012, 16:47   #1
rich52us
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Is the Colt Defender the compact standard?

I'm toying with the idea of getting a 3" - 31/2" light weight 1911 as a daily carry pistol. Of course, reliability is paramount. I would like it to cost 1K or less, and if I could spend less, that would be great. So, is the Colt Defender the gold standard? Are there better choices? I've done my searches but would like to here from those on this forum as to the current market and your experiences. I've read all the threads where people say not to get a 1911 under 4" but I'd like to here from people who carry the compacts. Thanks.
Rich

P.S. .45ACP
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Glocks: 17,26,30. Kel-Tec P-11,P3AT,PF9 & Sub 2K. Springfield GI Mil-Spec.,Colt Det. Spec.,Uberti Peacemaker Ruger MK I,Daly Hi-Power,HK P7,Colt Defender .45ACP
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Last edited by rich52us; 06-03-2012 at 16:59..
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Old 06-03-2012, 16:50   #2
Wil Ufgood
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I like my EMP, got a good deal on it. Usually they do run more than a grand though.

Good luck!
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Old 06-03-2012, 16:50   #3
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I'd stick with a Commander length, easy to conceal and you get a decent barrel length at 4.25"
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Old 06-03-2012, 17:01   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MAJ View Post
I like my EMP, got a good deal on it. Usually they do run more than a grand though.

Good luck!
Thanks for the reply, and I've heard only good things about the EMP. I should have specified .45 ACP on my initial post.
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Glocks: 17,26,30. Kel-Tec P-11,P3AT,PF9 & Sub 2K. Springfield GI Mil-Spec.,Colt Det. Spec.,Uberti Peacemaker Ruger MK I,Daly Hi-Power,HK P7,Colt Defender .45ACP
#3014 in the Big Dawg , Kel-Tec , Sub, HK & Black Rifle Clubs. .
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Old 06-03-2012, 17:02   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricandSuebee View Post
I'd stick with a Commander length, easy to conceal and you get a decent barrel length at 4.25"
Yea, I think I read that about a hundred times in my searches, but it's the little guys that I'm interested in.
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Glocks: 17,26,30. Kel-Tec P-11,P3AT,PF9 & Sub 2K. Springfield GI Mil-Spec.,Colt Det. Spec.,Uberti Peacemaker Ruger MK I,Daly Hi-Power,HK P7,Colt Defender .45ACP
#3014 in the Big Dawg , Kel-Tec , Sub, HK & Black Rifle Clubs. .
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Old 06-03-2012, 17:10   #6
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My Colt Defender is 100% reliable!
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Old 06-03-2012, 17:23   #7
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Get a CCO. Best of both world's.
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Old 06-03-2012, 17:25   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EricandSuebee View Post
I'd stick with a Commander length, easy to conceal and you get a decent barrel length at 4.25"
I have one and unless I'm going to carry in a fanny pack, I rather have a Commander or Gov. length barrel
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Old 06-03-2012, 17:25   #9
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Yeah I forgot about the CCO, and I concur its the best of both worlds. Colt still makes one as well as DW.
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Old 06-03-2012, 17:48   #10
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Yeah I forgot about the CCO, and I concur its the best of both worlds. Colt still makes one as well as DW.
The DW CCO is a GREAT gun.

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Old 06-03-2012, 18:05   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glock2740 View Post
The DW CCO is a GREAT gun.

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Well, the CCO seems interesting, but I'm still really interested in the true compacts.
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Glocks: 17,26,30. Kel-Tec P-11,P3AT,PF9 & Sub 2K. Springfield GI Mil-Spec.,Colt Det. Spec.,Uberti Peacemaker Ruger MK I,Daly Hi-Power,HK P7,Colt Defender .45ACP
#3014 in the Big Dawg , Kel-Tec , Sub, HK & Black Rifle Clubs. .
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Old 06-03-2012, 18:11   #12
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I've got a few and they've all been great. Two Kimber 3" and a RIA 3.5". All with no issues. And ALOT more accurate than you would think.
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Old 06-03-2012, 18:13   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glock2740 View Post
I've got a few and they've all been great. Two Kimber 3" and a RIA 3.5". All with no issues. And ALOT more accurate than you would think.
Thanks Glock2740. That's helpful information.
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Glocks: 17,26,30. Kel-Tec P-11,P3AT,PF9 & Sub 2K. Springfield GI Mil-Spec.,Colt Det. Spec.,Uberti Peacemaker Ruger MK I,Daly Hi-Power,HK P7,Colt Defender .45ACP
#3014 in the Big Dawg , Kel-Tec , Sub, HK & Black Rifle Clubs. .
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Old 06-03-2012, 19:01   #14
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Don't have any experience with them, so hopefully someone else can chime in. The STI compact line looks pretty sharp.
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Old 06-03-2012, 20:12   #15
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My Colt Defender is 100% reliable!
So has mine. Various hollow points, semi-wadcutters, whatever, it likes them all. Mine is surprisingly accurate too.
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Old 06-03-2012, 21:33   #16
bushhogg
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1911 compacts

the little springfield is great... I gust got a new Para 1911 LTC for my dress up days... IT is a joy to shoot and its accuracy is great... little over $800.00
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Old 06-03-2012, 21:42   #17
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My wife's Kimber Ultra raptor II has been 100% and very accurate.

at a bit of a risk I will say that Colt, like S&W with their compacts and micros on the 39/59, was behind the curve established by custom makers and others in "micro'ing" the 1911. They did not lead the way, they followed so I don't know that they are a/the standard.
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Old 06-03-2012, 22:03   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich52us View Post
I'm toying with the idea of getting a 3" - 31/2" light weight 1911 as a daily carry pistol. Of course, reliability is paramount. I would like it to cost 1K or less, and if I could spend less, that would be great. So, is the Colt Defender the gold standard? Are there better choices? I've done my searches but would like to here from those on this forum as to the current market and your experiences. I've read all the threads where people say not to get a 1911 under 4" but I'd like to here from people who carry the compacts. Thanks.
Rich

P.S. .45ACP
If reliability REALLY is paramount as you say you have a few options.

1. Buy an EMP.

2. Get a Colt Defender and have a competent gunsmith run through it. Get quality mags and change your springs frequently.

3. Get a CCO type gun as the difference in carrying a CCO and compact is extremely small, doubt you'd notice. Your window for "paramount reliability" will increase substantially with this and the EMP.
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Old 06-04-2012, 17:01   #19
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I owned one about 10 years ago and it would feed anything I put through it. It was an excellent 3" 1911. I like to shoot my guns and the alloy frame started to take a beating in the feed ramp area at about the 3K rd count. I think you should consider that if you plan on shooting it a lot. Maybe it was just my gun but I doubt it. I do know that at least one gunsmith shop offered a steel insert modification to the Defender's frame to fix the damaged feed ramp. I don't know if he's still out there or not. I'm not familiar with all of the 3" alloy frame 1911s out there but I think some of them use a ramped barrel that would probably eliminate the feed ramp damage. It's been a long time since I owned one so maybe it isn't a problem now. Some of the new hard finishes may help to eliminate feed ramp damage and maybe Colt uses something along that line now. Anyway, it is an excellent and reliable 3" 1911.

Last edited by oldsoldier; 06-04-2012 at 17:11..
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Old 06-04-2012, 17:42   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsoldier View Post
I owned one about 10 years ago and it would feed anything I put through it. It was an excellent 3" 1911. I like to shoot my guns and the alloy frame started to take a beating in the feed ramp area at about the 3K rd count. I think you should consider that if you plan on shooting it a lot. Maybe it was just my gun but I doubt it. I do know that at least one gunsmith shop offered a steel insert modification to the Defender's frame to fix the damaged feed ramp. I don't know if he's still out there or not. I'm not familiar with all of the 3" alloy frame 1911s out there but I think some of them use a ramped barrel that would probably eliminate the feed ramp damage. It's been a long time since I owned one so maybe it isn't a problem now. Some of the new hard finishes may help to eliminate feed ramp damage and maybe Colt uses something along that line now. Anyway, it is an excellent and reliable 3" 1911.
Thanks, Oldsoldier. Great info. I handled a New Agent today. Really felt great, but I didn't like the trench sight much. The Defender should be the same in my hand, but with good sights.
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Glocks: 17,26,30. Kel-Tec P-11,P3AT,PF9 & Sub 2K. Springfield GI Mil-Spec.,Colt Det. Spec.,Uberti Peacemaker Ruger MK I,Daly Hi-Power,HK P7,Colt Defender .45ACP
#3014 in the Big Dawg , Kel-Tec , Sub, HK & Black Rifle Clubs. .
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