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Thread: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

  1. #1
    Senior Member samzhere's Avatar
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    Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    This thread could go in the personal defense section, too.

    Looking for suggestions for a modest price .45acp compact pistol for either concealed carry or other compact use. A full size 1911 is too large for my needs although I love the design.

    A pricey compact 1911-style might be okay, Kimber or whatever, but I'd prefer something less expensive.

    A pistol about the size of a Glock 36 (single stack) would be fine, and although I like Glocks, maybe something on the order of a Kahr might be a good alternate.

    Yes I know there are dozens of options out there, but I'm asking about models or brands you PERSONALLY have fired or own or otherwise can recommend. Thanks!
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    Senior Member timc's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    I am a huge fan of the Kahr CW45. I picked one up a few months back and have really come to like the feel and light weight, no safeties to fumble with and very comfortable to carry.
    Buds has them for $355 with free shipping, that's a deal you can't go wrong with.
    http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...tainless+Slide
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    I love my Kahr CW 45 Sam. I bought it for the trigger after dry firing several different guns at the LGS. But it's great for carry. Lite, rounded corners, and the only things on the outside are the mag release and slidestop/take down lever. Knowing what I know now, I'd buy another in a heartbeat.

    Edit: That's a good price timc. My guy wanted $429 but I was OTD at 385ish. Not counting 200 rds of his cheapest ball
    Last edited by Razorbacker; 08-18-2012 at 10:54 PM.

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    Senior Member timc's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    If you will be happy with a pricey compact 1911 I would highly recommend the Springfield LW Champion operator, it is a super nice light weight 1911.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
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    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    I've owned an AMT Backup .45 for 20+ years. It's an all-stainless DAO piece, 5+1 rounds with a long, fairly stiff trigger pull and no safety. My only gripe is that it's a bit heavy- - - -no complaints about relability or being able to hit what it looks at. I did need to do a mirror polish on all the mating parts of the trigger assembly to get rid of a gritty-feeling trigger pull. I made no spring modifications whatsoever, but the apparent trigger pull effort was noticeably redduced by the polish job.
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    Senior Member NN's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    First off, Sam, I have not shot an XDs; but, I would certainly look at one before I made a decision since
    a pistol the size of a glock 36 is a benchmark.

    There will be a recoil issue with the XDs as with the glock 36 since the two are close in weight.
    They are very close is measurements, but the big issue for me would be trigger pull----12 lbs for the glock
    and 5.5-7.7 lbs for the XDs.

    And if you have large hands neither might be good. The XDs, however, does have an optional 7 rnd
    mag for larger hands.

    Good luck with your quest.
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    Senior Member Fisheadgib's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    Rock Island Armory makes an officers sized compact 1911. I've read nothing but good things about it and it usually runs for about 400.00 or so if you can find one. Most places sell them as fast as they can get them.
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    Senior Member Diver43's Avatar
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    Sam wby not take a.close look at a Commander or Officers model 1911?

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    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    Glock 36

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    Senior Member bruchi's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    I got a Para Ordinance OPS which is a "officer's" sized 1911, small, accurate, reliable and all metal so the recoil is quite manageable.

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    Senior Member JasonMPD's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    I love my Glock 30. It's beefy for a compact pistol and concealing it is not for everyone's body type. I love it, though. 10+1 rounds, very accurate, points superbly, recoil is very controllable.

    There are some limited holsters out there, but night sights, magazines, etc. are easily found and readily available.
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    You're already running a Glock 21, aren't you? Buy a G36 - relatively cheap and a familiar operating system. Also a gun you can sweat on and get pocket-linty with fewer ill consequences. Only downside is it positively NEEDS a holster.

    For little 1911's, I like Springfield's Micro Compact, but I don't think the 1911 platform is best for pocket-holster carry. Great guns for on-belt/under shirt applications, but in pockets, the areas around the hammer and under the grip safety lint up pretty ferociously - not an issue if you are into detail-stripping stuff, but if that's not your bag. . .not so much. The Glocks are a little better at operator access to the stuff that matters - a field strip and compressed air will solve 99% of your lint issues

    For that general size application, I've become more a fan of the hammerless J-fame Smith .357 than anything else, but your mileage may vary.
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    Senior Member cpj's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    Check out the new XDs model. Ask Mr Dan Chamberlain about his.
    That don't confront me, as long as I get my money by next Friday.

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    Senior Member cpj's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    That don't confront me, as long as I get my money by next Friday.

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    Senior Member samzhere's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    Thanks for the recommendations. I already own a G36 and G30, maybe looking for something a bit different.

    Kahr CW sounds like a good start.

    The microcompact 1911s are fine but in all honesty I'm looking for a few bucks less.

    I'm not looking for any gun, regardless of how interesting, that I need to modify in any way (change trigger, polish insides, etc). I'm not adept in fine tuning myself and don't want to pay a gunsmith either. If it needs work, it's not the gun I want in the first place.

    It's terrific to have so many choices, and also makes the search harder, but either way it's fun. I'm just window shopping now and if I decide, I'll post pics and such. Thanks again.
    Last edited by samzhere; 08-19-2012 at 09:24 PM.
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    Senior Member timc's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    Quote Originally Posted by samzhere View Post
    Thanks for the recommendations. I already own a G36 and G30, maybe looking for something a bit different.

    Kahr CW sounds like a good start.

    The microcompact 1911s are fine but in all honesty I'm looking for a few bucks less.

    I'm not looking for any gun, regardless of how interesting, that I need to modify in any way (change trigger, polish insides, etc). I'm not adept in fine tuning myself and don't want to pay a gunsmith either. If it needs work, it's not the gun I want in the first place.

    It's terrific to have so many choices, and also makes the search harder, but either way it's fun. I'm just window shopping now and if I decide, I'll post pics and such. Thanks again.
    You will love the CW45 Sam, great shooting reliable little pistol.
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  17. #17
    I have a Kahr CW45 it's a really good shooter and very comfortable to carry.
    I paid $326 from my LGS.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1345520702.811446.jpg

    I also recently picked up a ATI Titan for $460 again from my LGS it's a little heavy but a good shooter.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1345520807.345489.jpg

    It is getting some imitation Ivory grips as soon as I find some I like.

    There are allot of reasonable priced 45 out there you just have to find one that fits your needs.

  18. #18
    Senior Member samzhere's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    Quote Originally Posted by timc View Post
    You will love the CW45 Sam, great shooting reliable little pistol.
    I've only heard good stuff about the CW45. My ex-girlfriend sure likes her Kahr P9, it handled nice when I shot it, too. I'm thinking the CW45 may be just what I'm looking for, considering size, price, and it being a decent weapon, too.
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    Senior Member bruchi's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    Been real lazy about posting the pics so I been keeping this to myself, got some new to me guns, one of them an HK USP Compact in 45 acp, have not shot it enough to deem an opinion but for a small 45 I would go with a metal frame gun, heavier sure but just because of this it will be easier to manage, if you are looking for something light for personal defense I would choose another caliber. Lots of folks make great metal 1911 in the officer's size and I believe those have been doing a good job for some time now.

    Something like this:

    Last edited by bruchi; 08-21-2012 at 07:16 PM.

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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    Quote Originally Posted by 45 Defender View Post
    I have a Kahr CW45 it's a really good shooter and very comfortable to carry.
    I paid $326 from my LGS.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1345520702.811446.jpg

    I also recently picked up a ATI Titan for $460 again from my LGS it's a little heavy but a good shooter.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1345520807.345489.jpg

    It is getting some imitation Ivory grips as soon as I find some I like.

    There are allot of reasonable priced 45 out there you just have to find one that fits your needs.
    Man, you stole that CW. Was that OTD? Hard case and all?

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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    "Try it before you buy it", is my favorite saying...If this is going to be your CCW, it is imperative you can shoot it accurately and consistently! Everyone says, "You'll love my ________ (insert their brand name). Buy the one which works best for YOU. Your life depends on it!
    Good luck in your decision.

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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    I love my Para Ordnance Tac Four but it may be larger than you wish - shown here with a G27 for comparison. The LDA trigger is sweet and allows it to be carried sans safety.


  23. #23
    That is OTD on the CW
    Razorbacker

    My LGS is very good to LEOs and the military boys in my area I buy for cost and he shows me the book to prove it. I bought my Colt Defender for $860.00 that's allot of money to me but well under MSRP and it's a Colt and a very sweet shooter.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1345698351.544257.jpg

    I really try to support my LGS every opportunity I get.
    But I buy my ammo at walmart. Except when I shoot with him.

  24. #24
    Senior Member samzhere's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    The price for the CW was your LEO discount, for which I'm happy for you but that won't help me. Did some prelim checking and about $430 was the price around here at local LGSs for civilians. If I do decide to buy the CW45 I'll check mail order too.

    The CW45 seems to be about the right choice for me right now, price and features and size, etc. Thanks to all!
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    Senior Member samzhere's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    Quote Originally Posted by timc View Post
    I am a huge fan of the Kahr CW45. I picked one up a few months back and have really come to like the feel and light weight, no safeties to fumble with and very comfortable to carry.
    Buds has them for $355 with free shipping, that's a deal you can't go wrong with.
    I've not bought a pistol via mail order. Can you tell me the details? Okay so Bud doesn't charge shipping but isn't it required the pistol be shipped to a dealer? I live in Texas. Or what were your receiving arrangements? Thanks.
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    Quote Originally Posted by samzhere View Post
    I've not bought a pistol via mail order. Can you tell me the details? Okay so Bud doesn't charge shipping but isn't it required the pistol be shipped to a dealer? I live in Texas. Or what were your receiving arrangements? Thanks.
    Yes, it has to be shipped to an FFL. Go to GB and click on the "Find a dealer in your area". The dealers list their prices to handle the shipment. And this can very wildly. If you decide to go this route, you contact the dealer you choose and he faxes his FFL to GB. It's simple really. Then do your math. Price paid on GB +shipping+FFL guys fee= OTD final price.

    You know you can dicker at the LGS right?

  27. #27
    Senior Member bisley's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    Sam,

    I just picked up my XDs 5+1 shot .45, yesterday. I won't get a chance to fire it before Sunday, at the very earliest, but I strongly urge you to check it out. I compared it to my Kahr K-40 last night and was surprised to find that it is actually smaller, for all practical purposes. It is exactly the same length, and the grip is about 1/4" shorter, making it easier to conceal, since the grip is pretty much the determining factor for IWB or OWB carry. This would pretty much put it in a size range between the CW series Kahrs, and the PM series. It fits pretty well into my 1911 Crossbreed IWB holster, and practically disappears from view, when worn under nothing but a thin T-shirt. (The Kahr does, too, but the XDs, even more so.)

    The big difference for me is the angle of the trigger, compared to the Kahr. I always attributed the length of the trigger reach to the trouble I had with Kahrs, but it is actually that upturned angle the Kahr trigger has that is making it awkward for me, with my long fingers. The XDs has thesame trigger reach, but the trigger is not turned up, and that allows me to use my normal combat grip, without 'bowing' my trigger finger out. Also, there is more room inside the trigger guard. It may sound like a small thing, but it means the difference between an enjoyable range outing, and a 'chewed up' trigger finger, to me.

    Another reason I believe I am going to like it is that the XD platform just works for me. I've never had a problem of any sort with my two XD45's (a Service Model and a Compact) and everyone who has ever fired them has done so quite well. They are genuine shooters and I'm expecting a lot from this mini model.

  28. #28
    Senior Member cpj's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    Quote Originally Posted by 45 Defender View Post
    That is OTD on the CW
    Razorbacker

    My LGS is very good to LEOs and the military boys in my area I buy for cost and he shows me the book to prove it. I bought my Colt Defender for $860.00 that's allot of money to me but well under MSRP and it's a Colt and a very sweet shooter.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1345698351.544257.jpg

    I really try to support my LGS every opportunity I get.
    But I buy my ammo at walmart. Except when I shoot with him.
    So... you buy guns from the LGS at cost. Which means he makes no profit. Then you buy ammo at Walmart. So how are you "supporting" him again?
    That don't confront me, as long as I get my money by next Friday.

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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    I had a Kahr 45 and it kicked like a mule. I quickly sold it. Can't remember if it was all steel or even if they make a plastic one, but it was enough to cure me. In such a small gun, I'll never go higher than a 9 mm any more. I might go for a Colt Officers Model.
    Not too many problems you can't fix
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  30. #30
    Senior Member timc's Avatar
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    Re: Suggestions for .45acp small frame pistol?

    Quote Originally Posted by samzhere View Post
    I've not bought a pistol via mail order. Can you tell me the details? Okay so Bud doesn't charge shipping but isn't it required the pistol be shipped to a dealer? I live in Texas. Or what were your receiving arrangements? Thanks.
    Sam,

    Here is the tutorial from Buds, it is really simple. The gun just needs to go through a transfer dealer, most charge $20-25 for their service. You can ask your local dealer if they will do it for you and if they are not on file with Buds then they will need to send in a copy of their FFL or you can use one of the dealers on their list. I would suggest calling the dealer first before ordering to let them know you want them to transfer for you.

    http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/howtobuy.php
    http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/ffl.php
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