View Full Version : Springfield's 1911 micro compact 45acp

09-01-2010, 4:21 PM
I'm toying with getting one of these 45's. I would welcome any comments, pro or con.
I would be using it for my edc during jacket weather but not to exclude IWB. during warmer weather. I do have full size 1911's with shoulder holsters and IWB.
I am a retired LEO and have my HR 218 for ccw mostly anywhere in U.S.
This weapon has a dry weight of 23 oz's.

09-01-2010, 7:13 PM
I haven't played with that pistol but I do own another 3" 1911. Frankly I prefer the CCO format. That's the same "Officers" frame as the "micro" but with a 4-4.25 barrel instead of a 3". The weight difference is only about an ounce or two and concealability is about the same since the key to concealability is the length of the grip.

There are three reasons for choosing the longer CCO over the micro.

Reliability: It's possible to make a reliable 3" 1911, but a 4" is inherently more reliable because it's not as susceptible to timing issues. This is where a whole herd of people always chime in and say their micro is 100% reliable. Fine but that does not change physics - all things being equal a 4" 1911 is inherently more reliable.
Ballistics: There is no getting around this one. A 45acp is a big heavy slow moving bullet and it needs every FPS of the cartridge's design velocity to expand reliably. The round was designed for a 5" barrel but will still reach roughly 92-95% of design velocity from a 4" barrel. That's close enough to get reliable - if not quite full expansion with proper ammo selection. Some people think they are outsmarting ammo designers by using lighter-faster loads but what they forget is that ammo designers are pretty smart folks themselves. Bullet design is a balance between maximum expansion and avoiding fragging. A bullet designed for 1100fps isn't going to expand any more reliably at 85% of intended velocity than heavier slower bullet moving at 85% of design velocity.
Sight Radius: Obviously a 4" has a much longer sight radius than a 3".

There are only a couple of CCO format 1911s on the !@#$ list. Two alloy framed "Compacts" from Kimber and one steel framed Wilson Combat - the Compact CQB. I'm not a big Kimber fan but I chose their Compact CDP. The photo is is my Compact CDP after the installation of Esmeralda's slim grips and a short trigger to accommodate my smaller hands. Once the list goes bye-bye I'll upgrade to an alloy framed Wilson Compact CQB that's not available here.


Bottom left to top right: Kimber Ultra Carry; Kimber Compact CDP; Springfield Armory Mil-Spec; S&W PC1911

Sure Shot 45
09-01-2010, 7:48 PM
I had the Springfield Micro Compact Mil. Spec model, it was destroyed by Sprringfield. I had so many problems with it FTF, FTE, stove pipes and all the rest of it. Also it was the most inaccurate gun I have ever shot. I sent the weapon in for repair three times, over the years. They could never get it right, the best it ever did was 2 FTE's out of 100 rounds. The last time I sent the weapon in Springfield deemed it unrepairable. They told me I could pick from any 1911 except the Trophy Match,TRP,or Professional at no cost for my replacement pistol. So I got the MC Operator for $650.00 out the door thats what I paid for the Micro. The MC Operator has about 350-400 rounds through it so far with zero malfunctions of any kind what so ever. It is also very accurate. So I would say SAI rocks, and dont get the Micro. I had to have the gun store FFL do the transfer, pay the dros fee. and wait the ten days. After waiting a few months for the pistol to come from SAI. No they could not use the same serial number I asked about that. It was a long and time consuming process, but in the end I was very happy.

09-01-2010, 8:17 PM
If you want a 1911 that small, take a look at the EMP. I have one, it's the best pistol I've ever owned. 100% reliable.


09-01-2010, 9:01 PM
In .45ACP, you're just asking for feeding problems with a slide/barrel much shorter than Commander length (4.25"). the window of reliability is very small, build tolerances and spring rates become increasingly critical.

I can highly recommend the Springfield EMP if you want to stay with a 1911 type platform...the EMP has been optimized for the 9mm cartridge length. Here's the review of mine

If you'd like to stay with the .45ACP rounds and you don't mine something a little different...find yourself a Star PD

09-01-2010, 9:14 PM
Colt Commanders and Combat Commanders are 4.25 inch barrel length, albeit with the almost full size frame (the dust cover dimension is slightly smaller). The more difficult to get Colt CCO and Colt Compact (no longer made, not on list) have the 4.25 inch barrel on the smaller frame. They can be found, but it will probably take a while...unless you still have the ability to buy off list pistols due to LEO status.

If that is the case, I see CCO's, and Compacts frequently on auction sites.

Good luck.

09-01-2010, 9:37 PM
The more difficult to get Colt CCO and Colt Compact (no longer made, not on list) have the 4.25 inch barrel on the smaller frame. They can be found, but it will probably take a while...unless you still have the ability to buy off list pistols due to LEO status.
of course there is the Nighthawk T3 available

09-02-2010, 12:10 AM
So I got the MC Operator for $650.00 out the door thats what I paid for the Micro. The MC Operator has about 350-400 rounds through it so far with zero malfunctions of any kind what so ever. It is also very accurate. So I would say SAI rocks, and dont get the Micro.

+1 on the MC Operator

09-02-2010, 6:58 AM
I have a Springfield "Ultra Compact" - 3.5" barrel, all-steel. It's a little heavy - heavier than I expected with a full magazine. Shoots reliably well, although I sent it back to Springfield because the bushingless bull barrel fitting was off - the gun shot 6-8" below POA at 7 yards.

Also, I find the shortened "Officer's" frame to be barely enough to hang on to -- mine is back at the factory getting a checkered frontstrap for a little more grippiness.

When I finally found one and bought it a couple years ago I was real excited -- I thought "this is my future CCW piece forever!" But after shooting it I'd rather adjust to carry a Commander instead. .45 ACP in such a small package requires much more deliberation and concentration to shoot small groups than with a full or Commander-sized 1911.







09-02-2010, 7:55 AM
+1 for the EMP in 9mm or 40SW. I have the 9mm and have 100% reliability with factory ammo. Had some issues with my reloads, but they were out of spec and I can't hold the pistol responsible for not working with my crappy reloads.
I bought it specifically for the NRA National Police Shooting Championships Off Duty competition, but it shoots sooooo good and hides sooooo well I added it to my CCW and carry it. And BTW it's a 9+1 if I want, but I load it only with 9, nine winchester "T" series or Federal HST's (which ever I have in stock at the moment). It's controllable, almost to a fault. I love it.

It's not a .45acp but I can put the pill(s) where I need to and that's what really matters.

09-02-2010, 11:06 AM
I use a Kimber as my CCW and my carry method depends on the clothes that I am going to wear that day. Never a nuisance with weight or bulk. IWB is great.
I use an Ultra CDP 2 in 45ACP. 8 rounds on tap.
3" reliability? Your mileage will vary. Mine was not 100% until about 700 rounds through it.
Try out different ammo until you can trust the load 100%. Nuff said.
If I ever have to pull I would expect it to be real close threat so the ability to hit a target the size of my hand at 50 yards will not matter. Combat accurate is good enough. Extra inch longer barrel at short range means very little. Pointability is paramount.
Try to explain to jury your "well aimed shot at a distance"....hmmm.
Good luck choosing your "personal 911" life saver!

09-02-2010, 9:46 PM
Thanks everyone, wonderful insights. I will keep you updated as to my decision.

09-03-2010, 5:02 AM
I have a Kimber Ultra CDP shortie thats almost reliable enough to put on my CCW... all the features I like and great accuracy but I'm still having occasional early slide locks. I'm working on it... My Officer's LW still keeps its place on my permit, I've never had a single failure, but I don't shoot it too often as they aren't known for their durability and thats not a desireable trait.

I really like Commander's but the only LW one I have is a 1953 9mm model and I'd rather have a .45acp if I'm carrying something that large. If I ever find the right one it will replace my Officer's LW as I trust the longer slide 1911's more and concealability of slide length isn't that big of a deal although it does add weight.

I drool over the EMP's all the time, but I can't see one replacing my EDC Kahr PM9 (on permit) in the same calibre which can slip in my pocket in a pocket holster, although the Kahr P380 (also on permit) is even lighter and smaller and fills the same role although in a lesser calibre; as a civillian non-leo I'm stuck with only 3 pistols on my permit. Why the permit doesn't cover every handgun you have I'll never know, in many states they do. In the old days I used to have 7 pistols on my CA ccw.

09-03-2010, 6:28 AM
The poster is looking for a compact .45 for carry, and the issue of reliability in 3 inch 1911s has been raised. Several have suggested 4 inch 1911s with officer's length grip to give more reliability while maintaining a concealable short grip.

Another alternative, currently on the CA list, is the Sig P245, with a short "officer's" length grip, a 3.9 inch barrel and an outstanding reputation for reliability out of the box with no tweaking. Here are the specs and a photo:


Caliber: .45 ACP
Overall Length: 7.1 inches
Overall Height: 5.0 inches
Overall Width: 1.4 inches
Barrel Length: 3.9 inches
Weight w/o Mag: 27.5 oz
Mag Weight: 2.5 oz
Sight Radius: 5.7 inches
Mag Capacity: 6
Available Finishes: Blued, Two-Toned

09-03-2010, 7:10 AM
As others have mentioned, reliability is the key issue. I would not trust any 3 inch 1911 to Duty/Carry work unless it was HEAVILY worked on by a ranked gunsmith.

The sig P245 is a great compact .45, but theres the issue of concealibilty. It is still a little fat compared to the 1911 frame. Other than that, yes I also recommend the p245 as I had one for 5 years and had zero issues with it as long as you're using FACTORY sig mags. (After market mec-gars or other brands were hit or miss).

Definitely look into the officers size 1911 with a beavertail. About as compact as you can get without compromising reliability.

09-03-2010, 9:23 AM
My steel Colt Combat Commander only weighs 1 oz less than my GoldCup.

Using a Crossbreed IWB it almost disappears but you notice the weight and a little butt if you don't wear the correct shirt.

My cats meow would be an aluminum framed Commander frame and 4.25 barrel, but would look hard at the Officers frame and 4.25 barrel, if your hands fit good enough for control.

The dependability of the 1911 with a 4.25 inch barrel over a 3" and it field strips in the normal way which the 3" ones do not.

Another thing on the 1911 I would look at would be the Zero Fail coating so you could run the gun dry and not worry about all the dirt and grit the slide oil attracts, Cylinder and Slide is building them.

09-03-2010, 10:04 AM