consensus on short barreled .45 ACP?

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by Midget, Oct 5, 2010.

  1. Machaira

    Machaira Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 27, 2004
    For a 1911, Kimber or Springfield are the best quality values.

    How about a Springfield XD or a baby Glock?

    I have them all. I like them all.

  2. tyr_shadowblade

    tyr_shadowblade Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 3, 2006
    I have several Star BMs and they are probably my favorite pistol -- and I've owned Colts and SIGs. The Star PD is a great pistol with a fatal flaw . . . you need to replace the rubber recoil buffer after every 100 rounds or the pistol will batter itself apart.

    I've looked at a lot of compact and subcompact 45s. You probably don't want to go any smaller than 3.5" OM size, and it may need work to make it run well. Never had a problem with my Colt Officer, and I've heard good things about the Springfield Armory Officer as well. Many 3" 45s (Defender, Warthog, etc) are considered jam-o-matics. That half inch seems to affect reliability quite a bit.
  3. glee


    Feb 14, 2004
    Concerning short barreled 1911's, the Officer's size is as small as you should go. Things get noticeably touchier after that. The Officer's size is already pushing the dynamics envelope anyway. Slide speed is increased, action is snappier due to a shorter lighter slide and strong spring and there is a lot less tolerance for errors. There's simply not a lot of room and everything has to work just right. An example of this is an Officer's sized gun I had that would not shoot Wolf. I would find empty cases left in the chamber that instead of being jammed would simply fall out of the chamber. The steel cases of the Wolf were not releasing from pressure as quickly as the brass and the action of the gun was trying to extract before the cases let go of the chamber wall. In full sized guns they shot fine. Very fine timing issues. But with a Glock's a G19 is the same physical size as an Officers Model and at that barrel length are still very effective for the 9mm with little loss, while in .45 the loss is noticeable. You have the option of going to much higher capacity if your situation changes or you simply decide to for whatever reason, it's lighter and works like a Timex. You can drop one with less fear of discharge or damage. Just dust it off and keep on going. With modern ammo you don't really lose any effectiveness from the .45 and you have better penetration through barriers like auto bodies and it's easier to shoot. .45's are notoriously bad at penetrating cars due to the slow wide bullet, but many of the good 9mm loads usually get to the interior fairly well.
    Don't get me wrong, I still love .45's, but a G19 is just more efficient in many ways, especially you don't have capacity restrictions.

    Just my .02
  4. tyr_shadowblade

    tyr_shadowblade Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 3, 2006
    My stainless steel Colt OM was a heavy pistol, but that recoil was snappy. First mag shot fine, but by the 3rd mag the grouping was all over the paper and by the 7th mag my hands were shaking and my wrist hurt. Recoil seemed harder than a 357 snubbie for some reason. Ended up swapping it for a SIG 9mm which is lighter and more enjoyable to shoot.
  5. shunsui

    shunsui Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 12, 2008
    I guess the question is: would you want to stand in front of one ?
  6. 338375


    Nov 4, 2006
    +1.... I've carried 1911's for years. My favorite being an early Colt lite weight Commander.
    I'm 6'2 220 pounds and always carry IWB, and for me the Gov't version 1911's aren't to bad to carry, but I still prefer the Commander. I never gave much thought about going to a subcompact version, mostly because of reliability concerns, and the fact that I don't want to have to use any tools to disassemble it in the field if needed. The same reason I don't fit my barrel bushings overly tight.
    The Gov't version is simple. I'm not real big on ballistics charts. For me personally, the only good thing about ballistics charts is as a reference for hand loading. I don't think you are going to notice any performance difference in a self defense issue because the bullet is going a little slower. Maybe if it had to penetrate multiple layers of heavy clothing, but even then I'm not sure...
    Thats the beauty of the 45, it was never intended to be a smoking fast round. I look at it similar to my hunting rifles. I have used a 338 win mag for many years. Heavy bullet moving fairly fast, but when using a 45-70 cartridge which is the same principle as the 45acp, a big heavy bullet moving fairly slow, the effect it has on animals is unbelievable. Its like they got hit with a bowling ball :D

    Didn't mean to drift off topic a little, but I agree with Infi. I switched to Glocks as a main carry gun about 7 years ago. They are light weight, very reliable, more accurate then most people can shoot, and if you live a humid or wet climate, there are no concerns with rust. The are also very easy to work on.

    When I first started carrying Glocks, I got the 21. Its a great pistol, but not real comfortable for edc. I now edc a Glock 36. It wasn't the most comfortable pistol when I first got it. I have big hands, so I made it fit my hand :D
    I relieved the rear area of the trigger guard so I could get a higher hand hold on it, lightly reshaped the beavertail area, removed the hook on the front of the trigger guard, and did a trigger job on it. It now fits like a glove.

    I've heard many stories of people having feeding malfunctions with the 36's, but I'm 100% certain they are all user induced. I've ran just about every kind of ammo through the 36 and never had a single malfunction, and it has thousands of rounds through it.

    If you go with a 1911, don't go cheap with the gun or the magazines, unless you just buy it to plink with. Reliability is a much bigger concern than loosing a few fps because of a shorter barrel.
    Cheap 1911's are know to have issues, and unless you can work on it yourself, you are not going to be happy. YMMV
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2010
  7. TimberWolf7.62


    Aug 29, 2010
    I carry a .45 Para P10 (3" barrel) and it has functioned flawlessly except for Wolf ammo which has the bullet seated lower than most .45 ammo. With everything else it runs perfectly. Your mileage may vary, but my experience with the 3" barrel reliability has been good.

    Now on to ballistics. This individual
    chronographed a Colt Defender, which has a 3" barrel, with the following results:

    Remington 185-gr. MC-Flat Nose:
    Average Velocity: 923 ft/sec

    Federal 185-gr. Classic JHP:
    Average Velocity: 885 ft/sec

    Corbon 200-gr. JHP +P:
    Average Velocity: 958 ft/sec

    Sellier & Bellot 230-gr. FMJ:
    Average Velocity: 722 ft/sec

    Winchester USA 230-gr. FMJ:
    Average Velocity: 765 ft/sec

    Federal 230-gr. Hydrashok:
    Average Velocity: 799 ft/sec

    Winchester Ranger 230-gr. JHP:
    Average Velocity: 797 ft/sec

    Winchester Ranger 230-gr. JHP+P:
    Average Velocity: 866 ft/sec

    I don't think that 958 fps is anything to sneeze at. Disregarding the FMJ rounds, which you wouldn't select for defensive use anyway, the slowest ammo was still almost 800 fps.

    The ammo available is adequate to the task. Don't worry about that.
  8. timsclips


    Nov 27, 2007
    I have owned several 1911 style pistols over the years, Colt, Kimber, Argentine Military, General Ordnance "Thompson" among them. I switched over to 10MM with a S&W 1066 about 15 years ago. It does everything I need it to do.


    Oct 29, 2005
    i have a colt defender.

    it has had no reliability issues. over 1000 rounds have been fired.
  10. tyr_shadowblade

    tyr_shadowblade Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 3, 2006

    Many of them run well out of the box and you got a good one.

    I've heard too many horror stories about dissatisfied customers who returned their piece to the manufacturer for repair or took it to a gunsmith and it still would jam -- with a variety of mags and ammo. The sheer number of complaints about the reliability of 3" .45s made me decide never to invest in one. But I've never even fired one myself so I probably shouldn't be commenting based only upon other people's complaints.

    My 3.5" OM also ran 100%.
  11. k5blazer


    Oct 27, 2002
    I've owned Springfield Ultra Compact and a Champion and have been very impressed with their performance.
  12. SIFU1A


    May 12, 2001
    i've had a star BM, BKM and a PD and i also thought they were ok, for the $$, the BKM wasnt a bad little edc pistol as it was fairly lite. i shot my PD quite a bit (all ball, it would not feed HP ammo at all, in those days silvertips and speer 200gr was it) and i never replaced anything on it, nothing, never had problems either, perhaps i was lucky lol. while ok in the day i wouldnt want one now for anything, if for no other reason than parts are difficult/impossible to find, a bud needs a part for his BM and is still looking lol, a slide release IIRC?.

    if i wanted a small .45 i would go with a 1911 officers model, i have heard lotsa good about the new kahr .45 poly frame but have not had a chance to shooot one yet,

    imho with good modern ammo (ie speer gold dot, w-w ranger, remington golden sabre) any of the service calibres will do the job fairly well, if i was stuck with ball i would go with a .45 ACP though,
  13. Infi-del

    Infi-del Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 6, 2009
    Yeah that's the beauty of the them... you can really do a lot to trim it up to fit you. I removed the finger grooves on mine, stippled the frame, did a trigger job with rounded safety plunger, and added night sights. It's like they took a mold of my hand.

    Because of it's light weight, powerful cartridge, slender profile, and loud report... The Glock 36 is probably THE most limp wristed handgun in the Glock lineup. I've had at least 5 different shooters get jams out of my G36. Yet when I shoot it, I've never experienced a single one. It's not a weapon for anyone who doesn't hold a gun like they mean business. No compact 45 is.
  14. Zombie Zeke

    Zombie Zeke

    Nov 26, 2006
    That's what I hoped for when I bought my P10 unfortunately I had the exact opposite experience, stovepipes and failure to feed were the norm. So I traded it for a Sig239 and finally decided altogether that small pistols weren't for me.
  15. ROCK6


    Feb 8, 2004
    I've had great luck with both a first generation Kimber Ultra Carry and my Para Ordnance P12. The only issue with the Kimber UC is getting good magazines which turned out being Wilson's.

    It's a handfull and I've been running Sivertip HP's (185gr) in it without any issues.

    To be honest I really like the full size grips with a commander sized barrel (such as my 4.25" Dan Wesson CBOB).

  16. tyr_shadowblade

    tyr_shadowblade Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 3, 2006
    And that is why I bought three. ;)

    On the Star B series, that slide release is the part that not only locks the slide back, but actually fixes it to the frame. Can't shoot it very well without that part.

    Anyhow, as for Star BM parts, most of the parts dealers do not have them. Have your friend keep looking on gunbroker, auctionarms, gunsamerica, and even eBay. Misc. small parts or damaged "parts guns" do come up every now and then. Also, on gunboards there is a member called Star who is in Spain and has easier access to parts and will be able to help your friend out. :thumbup:
  17. Midget


    Jun 1, 2002
    this is all great information, thanks for sharing guys.
  18. TimberWolf7.62


    Aug 29, 2010
    When did you get your P10? The reason I am asking is that I got mine in about 1998 or 99 and it seems the QC was better back then, from what I have been hearing.
  19. 338375


    Nov 4, 2006

    Absolutely. You just have to be careful in a couple spots because the material isn't very thick. I was going to completely remove the finger grooves on the front strap too, but as I lowered them and radiused them it got perrty comfy , so I stopped there. I also reshaped the thumb rest indentation too so my thumb can sit a little lower.

    The point about it not being for everyone is very true. My wife shoots 1911's and carries a Glock 26. It took her a little while to quit limp wristing the 1911's, but she got the hang of it. She hasn't done so well with the 36 though :D
  20. Les Snyder

    Les Snyder

    Jul 6, 2010
    338375... have your wife try rolling her elbow "up" to lock her wrist... if she is not using a weak thumb forward grip (some transitioning from a 1911 don't) work with her using it... usually will cure the limp wristing malfunctions... if that doesn't work... work with the recoil spring rate... one cartridge loaded from magazine to chamber, hold pistol in weak hand, shoot limp wristed... ejected brass should clear by 6inches...and lock slide open... you may need to go to a non captured guide rod and single spring.... get the Wolff spring pack with differnt diameter wire rather than trimming coils

Share This Page