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Would anyone here trust their life with a Springfield EMP or a Kimber Ultra Series II? If any of you own one of them that is. Doesn't seem to be a lot of 3" 1911 trustees out there. Maybe ruger will drop out a compact someday because I'd trust my life with pretty much anything ruger.....
 

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Kimber ultra is a good gun. I don't own one but I sure would like one.

The problem with the 3" 1911 is the physics not the manufacturer. I don't know all the details but it has something to do with the tension strength needed for a shorter spring to fit in the 3" and handle the recoil of the 45 acp. For some reason (I think it's the 45 acp causes to much or not enough blow back) it causes failure to eject.

For Ruger to do this they would have there work cut out for the and with selling over a million guns they probably aren't going to bother themselves but that is just my guess.
 

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I seriously considered both the Kimber Ultra and the SA EMP and wound up buying a Colt Defender 3" 1911 .45ACP. I'm extremely happy with it. I paid $1,085 for it. Most of the prices on the Kimber's were north of that, but they fluctuate and of course, I found them cheaper after I bought the colt. But the Colt is a fine gun. Colt was the first maker of the 1911 and they've got it figured out.

There's a lot of discussion out there as to whether or not anyone can make a reliable 3" 1911. My Colt is only a little over a month old and I've fired approximately 250 rounds through it without a hitch. It comes with two mags and I just ordered two more yesterday. I have a slough of 1911 mags and they "sort of" work in the Defender, but not really. If I use one of them, they extend beyond the base a little and often I've had FTF (feed issues) with usually the last or next to last round. But the Defender magazines have performed flawlessly.

The main difference seems to be the recoil spring and Kimber, SA and Colt all have a slightly different approach. I've heard of several people having problems with the Defender, but I've not experienced that and I suspect their shooting technique. There is also a complaint of spent casings flying back and hitting the shooter in the forehead. Out of 250 rounds, 2 have done that to me. The rest fly out in the direction they should. Why this is? I don't know yet, but I may experiment with the angle on the ejector.

Besides the ones mentioned, Colt also makes a New Agent in a 3" 45 1911, but the main difference is the finish and it's sights. The Defender has very nice 3 dot white Novak sights. The New Agent has a trench sight, which is basically just a slot that runs down the top of the slide. Personally, I don't care for trench sights.

I bought a Galco leather OWB belt-slide holster for it that I'm extremely happy with. It tucks in very nicely and comfortably with a 15 degree cant.

Besides price, I've heard of too many QC issues with Kimbers and jamming problems but others report they perform perfectly well. I really didn't see any negative reports on the SA's, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of them around to be reported on.

3" 1911's are a different beast than their bigger brothers even though most of them are just shorter versions of the Commander and GI models. It has to do with the mechanism of the 1911 dealing with the shorter size. Many say they wouldn't go below a 4" barrel. But Colt, Kimber and SA seem to have figured it out.

Good luck choosing! It's half the fun! :D

BTW - there are other makers of 3" 1911's, too. I handled a S&W but gave it the shake test and it rattled like a baby's toy! I think Para might make one, too, but I've only checked out the ones I mentioned.

EDIT: I've fired FMJ and some JHP Remington Golden Sabres through it without a problem with any (other than the FTF's with the standard 1911 mags)

This is my Colt Defender .45
 

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I'd rather see Ruger coming out with a Commander length - 4" barrel - before jumping right to a 3". A Commander avoids some of those built in problems with the 3" and can still be made light enough for a good carry gun.
 

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I seriously considered both the Kimber Ultra and the SA EMP and wound up buying a Colt Defender 3" 1911 .45ACP. I'm extremely happy with it. I paid $1,085 for it. Most of the prices on the Kimber's were north of that, but they fluctuate and of course, I found them cheaper after I bought the colt. But the Colt is a fine gun. Colt was the first maker of the 1911 and they've got it figured out.

There's a lot of discussion out there as to whether or not anyone can make a reliable 3" 1911. My Colt is only a little over a month old and I've fired approximately 250 rounds through it without a hitch. It comes with two mags and I just ordered two more yesterday. I have a slough of 1911 mags and they "sort of" work in the Defender, but not really. If I use one of them, they extend beyond the base a little and often I've had FTF (feed issues) with usually the last or next to last round. But the Defender magazines have performed flawlessly.

The main difference seems to be the recoil spring and Kimber, SA and Colt all have a slightly different approach. I've heard of several people having problems with the Defender, but I've not experienced that and I suspect their shooting technique. There is also a complaint of spent casings flying back and hitting the shooter in the forehead. Out of 250 rounds, 2 have done that to me. The rest fly out in the direction they should. Why this is? I don't know yet, but I may experiment with the angle on the ejector.

Besides the ones mentioned, Colt also makes a New Agent in a 3" 45 1911, but the main difference is the finish and it's sights. The Defender has very nice 3 dot white Novak sights. The New Agent has a trench sight, which is basically just a slot that runs down the top of the slide. Personally, I don't care for trench sights.

I bought a Galco leather OWB belt-slide holster for it that I'm extremely happy with. It tucks in very nicely and comfortably with a 15 degree cant.

Besides price, I've heard of too many QC issues with Kimbers and jamming problems but others report they perform perfectly well. I really didn't see any negative reports on the SA's, but there doesn't seem to be a lot of them around to be reported on.

3" 1911's are a different beast than their bigger brothers even though most of them are just shorter versions of the Commander and GI models. It has to do with the mechanism of the 1911 dealing with the shorter size. Many say they wouldn't go below a 4" barrel. But Colt, Kimber and SA seem to have figured it out.

Good luck choosing! It's half the fun! :D

BTW - there are other makers of 3" 1911's, too. I handled a S&W but gave it the shake test and it rattled like a baby's toy! I think Para might make one, too, but I've only checked out the ones I mentioned.

EDIT: I've fired FMJ and some JHP Remington Golden Sabres through it without a problem with any (other than the FTF's with the standard 1911 mags)

This is my Colt Defender .45
Awesome info. After my initial research I slightly had the EMP on top of my list due to the fact that it comes with 3 mags a little slide holster and a mag holster as extras where as kimber only comes with gun and 1 mag(a low quality mag according to a lot of people) as far as the guns they seemed very similar both almost same size and weight but EMP comes in .40 that's another selling point as I have a sr40c and started reloading for .40. Although if someone can sway me toward kimber or now colt I guess I can always start reloading for .45 acp too. I mean I do already have a sr1911 :) its just SO HARD to decide! They all seem so pretty and nice quality
 

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From what I've seen Kimber seems to be unreliable during their break in period. So make sure you break it in before trusting your life to it. As for the Springfield I don't know too much about them.
 

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Awesome info. After my initial research I slightly had the EMP on top of my list due to the fact that it comes with 3 mags a little slide holster and a mag holster as extras where as kimber only comes with gun and 1 mag(a low quality mag according to a lot of people) as far as the guns they seemed very similar both almost same size and weight but EMP comes in .40 that's another selling point as I have a sr40c and started reloading for .40. Although if someone can sway me toward kimber or now colt I guess I can always start reloading for .45 acp too. I mean I do already have a sr1911 :) its just SO HARD to decide! They all seem so pretty and nice quality
I highly recommend shooting a 40 EMP before buying. The 40 cal round is very snappy in most guns and I think the EMP would be much more so. I'm sure you would find the 45 much more pleasant to shoot.
 

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I highly recommend shooting a 40 EMP before buying. The 40 cal round is very snappy in most guns and I think the EMP would be much more so. I'm sure you would find the 45 much more pleasant to shoot.
I believe the S.A. EMP only is available in 9 mm and 40 S&W. With that being said I am now and always have been a fan of the 45 ACP. I personally prefer the Commander sized 1911's for carry use This one is a Dan Wesson stainless frame C-Bob. I am saving for a alloy frame version of the same gun .
 

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Would anyone here trust their life with a Springfield EMP or a Kimber Ultra Series II? If any of you own one of them that is. Doesn't seem to be a lot of 3" 1911 trustees out there. Maybe ruger will drop out a compact someday because I'd trust my life with pretty much anything ruger.....
I would trust my life with any quality 1911 that has proven reliablity to me by shooting at least 500 to 1000 rounds through it before I would even think of carrying it no matter what the manufacturer is.
One of the most reliable carry guns that own is a S&W 3913 in 9mm it is the only semi auto that I have owned that has funtioned 100%since new. Most of my 1911's required some break in time.
 

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I have the SA EMP in .40S&W and it's an awesome functioning weapon. I have several Kimbers as well and can't honestly say anything negative about any of them. The EMP's trigger is the best out of box trigger I have ever felt on any compact pistol. It's also my most accurate .40S&W I own (I have a total of eleven .40's) It even beats out my full frame .40's for accuracy. My Kimber UC-II isn't as accurate and it's trigger isn't quite as crisp as the EMP but that's based on my particular two guns, keep in mind that these are semi-custom guns so I can't say the same holds true for all of them.
 

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I believe the S.A. EMP only is available in 9 mm and 40 S&W. With that being said I am now and always have been a fan of the 45 ACP. I personally prefer the Commander sized 1911's for carry use This one is a Dan Wesson stainless frame C-Bob. I am saving for a alloy frame version of the same gun .
Yes, you are correct about EMP's. But SA does make a 3" 1911. I've forgotten what it's called but I think it's listed in their Loaded line.

I've yet to get a commander size but the gun that started my gun lust was a satin nickle Colt Combat Commander back in the 70's. 45 is my favorite round for so many reasons.
 

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I have the SA EMP in .40S&W and it's an awesome functioning weapon. I have several Kimbers as well and can't honestly say anything negative about any of them. The EMP's trigger is the best out of box trigger I have ever felt on any compact pistol. It's also my most accurate .40S&W I own (I have a total of eleven .40's) It even beats out my full frame .40's for accuracy. My Kimber UC-II isn't as accurate and it's trigger isn't quite as crisp as the EMP but that's based on my particular two guns, keep in mind that these are semi-custom guns so I can't say the same holds true for all of them.
How's the snap on your EMP?
 

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I bought this Kimber Ultra CDP with CT laser grips back in 2010, WOW.







I was absolutely amazed at how accurate this gun is & the trigger is equally great. It's also easy to CC & there really isn't anything I would change about it. I remember back when I held it for the first time & two things were immediately clear. First, it's very well balanced & secondly the "meld" treatment makes it feel soft, it really does. IMO you can't go wrong on this one & it will hold it's resale value which is something I always consider before buying a new gun.

Good Luck
 

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I bought this Kimber Ultra CDP with CT laser grips back in 2010, WOW.







I was absolutely amazed at how accurate this gun is & the trigger is equally great. It's also easy to CC & there really isn't anything I would change about it. I remember back when I held it for the first time & two things were immediately clear. First, it's very well balanced & secondly the "meld" treatment makes it feel soft, it really does. IMO you can't go wrong on this one & it will hold it's resale value which is something I always consider before buying a new gun.

Good Luck
The Kimber meld treatment is the best I've seen. You can't argue with that. I also like the grip laser you've got on it. I love the feel of the Hogues. I wish there was a CT laser grip Hogue style grip for the 3" 1911's. I "think" CT makes one for the full sized 1911's.
 

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...I've heard of several people having problems with the Defender, but I've not experienced that and I suspect their shooting technique. There is also a complaint of spent casings flying back and hitting the shooter in the forehead. Out of 250 rounds, 2 have done that to me. The rest fly out in the direction they should. Why this is? I don't know yet, but I may experiment with the angle on the ejector...
I believe it is because you have controlled the muzzle flip.
I noticed with mine that if I get a bit sloppy with the grip and I let the muzzle flip way up I get the casing between the eyes.
If I control the muzzle flip, the spents go off to the right like they're supposed to.
 

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I believe it is because you have controlled the muzzle flip.
I noticed with mine that if I get a bit sloppy with the grip and I let the muzzle flip way up I get the casing between the eyes.
If I control the muzzle flip, the spents go off to the right like they're supposed to.
That was my main theory as well. Since I only have the two Defender mags, I've used some standard 1911 mags when I've taken it to the range. I haven't noticed which mags were in it when it happened, but since it's so infrequent, I really think you're right about the flip.
 

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I have around 800 rounds through my Kimber Ultra carry II with no problems. Good trigger and accurate, have had no problems with the stock magazines either.
 

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How's the snap on your EMP?
The EMP is a very well balanced weapon, the recoil varies with the weight of the ammo used but the hottest of loads I've put through it were Speer 180gr GDHP's and it handles them very well, oddly enough I have a Star Firestar .40S&W that seems to bite harder than the EMP! I find the SA EMP a pleasure to shoot. I have a Sig P-250 SC in .357Sig and find that to be as snappy as my Colt Delta Elite 10mm. both of which recoil much harder than the EMP.
 

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The EMP is a very well balanced weapon, the recoil varies with the weight of the ammo used but the hottest of loads I've put through it were Speer 180gr GDHP's and it handles them very well, oddly enough I have a Star Firestar .40S&W that seems to bite harder than the EMP! I find the SA EMP a pleasure to shoot. I have a Sig P-250 SC in .357Sig and find that to be as snappy as my Colt Delta Elite 10mm. both of which recoil much harder than the EMP.
Good to know. Thanks!
 
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