Advice from the .45 acp owners in the community

I am relatively new to the USCCA, EDC, and overall 2A lifestyle. With that being said, I’m trying to fill in the caliber ladder for handguns, so I am not totally dependent upon polymer striker fired 9mm’s for home protection to augment the AR9 and AR15.

Current inventory includes a .22lr mid size trainer, .32acp pocket, 9mm subcompact (primary EDC), and 9mm compact. To me the next logical step is to .45acp, skipping over 40SW. I have some experience shooting a friend’s older full size metal Ruger; P90 if memory serves me, and a rental Sig Sauer P227, For me the the Ruger was more controllable, predictable, and comfortable to shoot. My next range session, I plan to try some of the 1911’s available; e.g. Kimber Custom II, Kimber Pro, Remington R1S, Ruger SR1911, SW1911Pro, & Springfield TRP, to see if I like the platform and grip angle. Are one of these an absolute must try?

Are there any recommendations from the “.45acp aficionados” for a full size metal framed .45acp in brand, format and a medium price point < $1,200? Is there a viable Commander size alternative? Any thoughts on buying certified used from or should “new” be my first option?

Thank you in advance for any knowledge and advice you can share,

editted since no one admits they’re members of the “In Crowd” :wink:


I don’t belong to the “in” crowd but here’s my $0.02.
For $1,200, you don’t have to settle for used.

My two RIAs are worth about $1,200–combined. If I had that money available, I’d go for a Kimber, Ruger or Springfield. At current prices, not sure if there’s enough change for ammo.


Thank you. By “in crowd”, I meant those on this forum with 45acp experience as there seems to be a lot of 1911 fans.


Lots of choices here


Any 1911 will work for you then.
I’ve haven’t noticed any differences shooting 1911 for $500, $800 or $1,200.

The real difference starts from +/- $1,600.

I personally like Rock Island Armory 1911s. They are cheap but not perfect. However they shoot pretty well. With some extra gunsmith work they can compete with other branded 1911 from $1,600 price range.


I have a fully loaded Springfield .45 - 1911 and I like it. I also have a Kimber Ultra carry II,…45 ACP ! which is smaller and easier to conceal and carry. I usually carry the Kimber. My best advice is go rent out the different .45s and give them a try. You need to find the one that works for you the best.
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The top gun is a SIG P365 XL - 9 MM the lower one is the Kimber .45 Ultra carry II. That is the size comparison.

We covered up your serial numbers on your firearms in the pictures, @Todd30. Hope you don’t mind. ~Moderators


Thank you. Not looking to carry as my P365 serves me well in that capacity. The nearby range has 6 different 1911’s and as long as I buy their ammo, I have no rental fees. Will try them all.


I get afraid to test guns out anymore. I might end up buying another.


As much as I am a fan of 45, why not a full size 9mm to compliment your compacts?

If you go for a double stack with 12-15 rounds, they feel pretty fat in hand. Some, like myself, don’t mind this. The newer 45acp polymer guns are often limited to 10 rounds to reduce grip width.

As 12+ round polymer goes, my favorite is the HK USP 45 with an overtravel stop trigger. It’s thick though. The G21 also has a loyal follwing. The FNX 45 can take a 15 rounds magazine, but I don’t like the trigger overtravel on my FNX 9 and am worried it would be the same on the 45 with almost no aftermarket support. The Walther PPQ 45 gets good reviews, but I heard the trigger is very light and short.

The 1911 is a fine gun, but I might suggest it to someone who doesn’t mind learning about the internals, maintenance schedules, and how to replace things like tuning a new extractor which might not be as forgiving as replacing parts on the newer plastic fantastics.

If you don’t mind being limited to 10 rounds, the HK45 and S&W M2.0 45 might also be worth looking into. Their grips don’t seem as thick as the older style doublestacks.

I never warmed up to Sig’s P220, but many people really like it. It only holds 8 rounds though.


.45 is my go to caliber. Sig makes a beautiful commander length 1911.
It’s a great carry gun (a little heavier than the plastic guns), but from all the stats i’ve seen, a single stack of quality ammo is all a civilian ever needs (if they can hit their target).
I have a M&P shield in .45 that is my EDC.
I had a Sig 220–great duty gun, but kind of big for carry. My son has it now in a safe under his bed.
I have a Glock 30–again, too thick for EDC in my opinion. But if you think you really 10 or 13 rounds, it’s an option.
I don’t like double stacks for carry. Too often I see students show up with their high capacity 9 and unfortunately are unable to "hit a pig in the *ss with a bushel of peas’ (as my grandfather used to say). I had a couple of para ordnances in officer length, but didn’t really care for the double stack.
The 1911 is (for me) the best handgun ergonomically bar none. Given the deserved religious devotion it has had for over a century, owners should be doubly protected under the freedom of religion as well. :slight_smile:
Here’s a list of reviews on 1911’s by Pew Pew tactical.


I carry a Walther CCP 9mm most of the time but I do carry a 1911 at times. They are my favorite pistols. It was my sidearm for years in the military. I love the 45apc!!! My S&W 1911e, Ruger SR1911 & the new Taurus made in Banebridge, Ga. is a sweeeeeet pistol. shoots everything & will not fail. It was only $500


My compact is a MR920 so I have the ability to add the extra capacity of a full size, but carry concealed if needed with the std 15rd magazine. I guess I’m really looking for a non-EDC range & home defense complement in .45acp with a metal versus polymer frame. Thank you for your comments.


Tried to buy a Taurus on BDU Sunday, sight unseen, but when I went back to the site they were out of stock again. Can’t think for an hour in today’s volatile market! Specs and especially price seemed good.


I appreciate the response. Will go through the Pew Pew posts to glean some more pros & cons information. I see more homework and range visits in my future!


I have a Sig commander size 1911 that is so much fun to shoot that it isn’t even funny. My hardcore 1911 friends say it’s “not a real 1911” because it has an external extractor.

That said, owning a 1911 can be frustrating because some of them are very, very picky about ammo. My Sig is not finicky, so I’ve had nothing but good times with it. My brother has one that I call the Jam-O’matic. I wouldn’t own such an unreliable thing, myself.

H&K has some great .45s. Some people really hate H&K for some reason, so owning one might net some unsolicited comments at the range. A friend of mine has a Dan Wesson 1911 that’s really fun to shoot and never seems to malfunction. Another friend of mine has a Springfield 1911 that was great until he started swapping out parts and polishing up other parts to “improve” it. Now it seems to get one malfunction every 25 rounds.

On a different note, I know one of these old codgers who knows everything there is to know about 1911s. He could disassemble one down to the bare frame blindfolded and then reassemble it in a sinking ship under cannon fire after downing a fifth of Glenfiddich wearing that same blindfold. His 1911s never malfunction. He says if you want to really enjoy a 1911, you should get to know them intimately and have a bunch of spare parts (Brownell’s, I guess) on your workbench. That dude is so good that he can hear malfunctions happening in other people’s firearms at the range—and the guy is deaf as a post! We call him the 1911 Whisperer…


@William591 Welcome. I have a Taurus PT 1911 w/light rail 8+1. I put wood grips on it and changed rear sight to an adjustable, with a little spit an polish on the chamber and feed ramp it is 100% reliable and it has the best trigger pull right out of the box. I bought 4 mags the sight and grips from
To say the least it’s my favorite pistol. :us:
About $650.00 w/tax and fees.


I will be awaiting the comments from the 1911 Whisperer…funniest thing I’ve read in years :rofl:! Now as far as scotch, that’s another of those subjective matters thou shall not discuss, nor infringe upon another’s taste buds and enjoyment. Like guns too many good ones to own them all.


I prefer shooting .45 1911s, but i have to ask—why not depend on your 9mm polymer strikers?
Most military and LEOs in the world do, and 9mm Parabellum ammo will likely the first handgun ammo to return to the marketplace because of demand.

Being the best shot you can be with what you have is logical, while collecting every caliber is logical if you want to be a collector

Of course you run into the danger of maybe preferring the .45 to the 9mm. That happens too (and don’t I know!)


To add my $0.02. The Kimber Custom II is really nice in my opinion and has never failed me. It is a decent 1911 for a decent price, well below $1,200 new.


The 9mm’s are primary in the defensive scenario and range training time. Collector- guilty to an extent, but also want to be able to perform with a selection of different platforms if ever needed.