S&W Subcompact 1911
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Thread: S&W Subcompact 1911

  1. #1

    S&W Subcompact 1911

    I took a look at one of these at the shop this past weekend. I'd love to get one! Anyone out there have one? I'd love to hear your feedback. Thanks in advance!

    Product: Model SW1911

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Arizona mountains
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    71
    I own a Colt Defender, so maybe I am prejudiced. From what I have read on other forums, the Defender is the most reliable 3" 1911 on the market. For self defense reliability is king.

    I have had the opportunity to shoot a S&W full size 1911 and was very impressed. I especially like the external extractor. I have a Colt Compact model that has given me a bit of trouble with extractor adjustment. Apparently the internal extractors do not like to close on a round already in the chamber, which I did once. It required readjustment afterward. I don't think the Smith external extractor would be affected. I would like to convince my CFO that I should get a Smith 4" 1911 with the short grip (I don't recall the model number). That should be a great CC piece.

  4. #3
    I think the 3" Smith is the only subcompact 1911 on the market that uses a conventional, one-piece recoil spring guide rod and single recoil spring, rather than a dual-spring, telescoping arrangement. Generally, there isn't enough room within the slide to get away with using a single spring, but S&W is using a flat-wire recoil spring. The dual/telescoping systems seem a little flimsy to me (I had two of them custom-made for my Detonics Combat Master by Cylinder & Slide, and they both failed after only a few rounds), and the S&W set-up may ultimately be more durable and reliable.

  5. #4
    Join Date
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    Location
    Arizona mountains
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    The Defender has been on the market for about ten years or so IIRC. Its reliability, according to the 1911 forums I have frequented, has been excellent. I have had mine for about a year, so I can't speak firsthand about long term results. How long has the S&W 3" 1911 been out there? I am pretty conservative, so I would prefer to see how it performs for others for a couple of years before I got one. Like I said before, I am generally impressed with Smith's full size 1911.

    My Colt Compact (3 1/2" barrel) came with a dual spring setup, but replacements are no longer available. I replaced it with a single flat spring and it seems to work ok. I don't understand the fine details, but apparently Colt's spring system is patented. Posts on the other forums imply it is the reason for the Defender's reliability.

  6. #5
    I'm not sure it matters how long you've owned the pistol when you're talking about reliability. But so far I have about 2000 rounds through the Kimber that I carry and have had no issues whatsoever. I think the compact 1911s make an excellent carry pistol. From what I've read the S&W is one fine pistol. Do you know what kind of warranty they offer?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    2000 rounds with no problem is respectable. Have you changed any springs yet? I have seen some recommend replacement of the recoil springs between 500 and a thousand rounds, especially on short barrel 1911s. I have put only a couple hundred through my Defender and have no idea what my Compact has seen, since I bought it used. I replaced the recoil spring on the Compact just in case.

    The Smith warranty is 1 year to the original purchaser. That should be enough to work out any bugs.

  8. #7
    No parts replacements yet on the Kimber. The only wear it show is on the finish due to carrying. And on the underside of the slide the finish is also wearing where there is metal to metal contact. The only thing the pistol has issues with is Magtech ammo. Magtech causes occasional FTE issues.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    MA, Away from the liberal loonies...
    Posts
    2,658
    Quote Originally Posted by reb55 View Post
    I own a Colt Defender, so maybe I am prejudiced. From what I have read on other forums, the Defender is the most reliable 3" 1911 on the market. For self defense reliability is king.

    I have had the opportunity to shoot a S&W full size 1911 and was very impressed. I especially like the external extractor. I have a Colt Compact model that has given me a bit of trouble with extractor adjustment. Apparently the internal extractors do not like to close on a round already in the chamber, which I did once. It required readjustment afterward. I don't think the Smith external extractor would be affected. I would like to convince my CFO that I should get a Smith 4" 1911 with the short grip (I don't recall the model number). That should be a great CC piece.
    It's the 1911Compact ES (Extended slide) Very nice..
    Product: Model SW1911

    I've held and handled (not fired) both the ES and the 3" compact that SurfCC was indicating above. I was tempted, but not fully..

    I too have a compact Colt 1911, Officer's ACP 45 and love it. I was lucky to come across the deal that brought it to me for a trade. Getting a Colt in MA is expensive... I couldn't bring myself to part with it.

    The external extractor can be damaged as well, if closed by recoil spring force on a chambered round. better to not do it at all. I replaced the extractor on my Officer's (internal series 80) with the Wilson bullet proof and use the Wilson magazines. I had some intermittent ejection issues with the original mags and extractor. The replacement parts took care of them.

    I think I'll keep it and save the pennies for a S&W 1911 full size.

    Peace...
    You can give peace a chance alright..

    I'll seek cover in case it goes badly..

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Ft. Lauderdale FL
    Posts
    10
    I also have the full size S&W 1911, and a Kimber Ultra Crimson Carry II. The Smith was bullseye at 15' out of the box, and the Kimber is just as accurate with or without the laser, easy carry piece!

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