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  #1  
Old 03-20-2009, 08:31 AM
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I am trying to decide between the Smith and Wesson SW1911 Sub Compact 45 ACP and a Kimber Ultra Carry II Blue 45 ACP. While price is and should always be a consideration, it is not the overriding consideration in comparing the two. I am concerned more about conceal ability, reliability, service from factory, accuracy, and recoil of such small .45 ACP pistols. I would appreciate any input from those who have handled and actually fired both pistols and also from anyone that actually uses one of them for concealed carry. Additionally, I donít know how easy it would be to get parts for either of them.

Just looking at them they look similar except the butt plate on the Kimber appears to be flush and therefore shorter and possibly easier to conceal. I donít know much about the 18 pound Kimber spring system which seems very light for such a small 1911 style pistol. Unfortunately I just canít justify buying both of them. LOL

Some of the differences I have found online are:

Smith and Wesson SW1911 Sub Compact 45 ACP
Best actual price so far: $1,065.86 Which includes shipping
Specifications: Height (inches) 90į to barrel: UNKNOWN
Weight (empty): 24 oz.
Overall Length: 6 7/8"
Capacity: 7+1
Recoil spring (pounds): UNKNOWN
Type guide rod UNKNOWN
Frame:Steel Frame
Finish:Matte Black
Barrel Length:3"
Twist rate UNKNOWN
Sights:Fixed White 2 dot rear, dovetale
Radius (inches): UNKNOWN
Grip:Fully Stippled Synthetic
Trigger: UNKNOWN


Kimber Ultra Carry II .45 ACP
Best actual price so far: $758.00 Which includes shipping
Specifications: Height (inches) 90į to barrel: 4.75
Weight (ounces) with empty magazine: 25
Length (inches): 6.8
Magazine capacity: 7
Recoil spring (pounds): 18.0
Full length guide rod
Frame: Material: Aluminum
Finish: Matte black
Width (inches): 1.28
Slide: Material: Steel
Finish: Matte black
Barrel: Bull Barrel Length (inches): 3Ē Steel, match grade
Twist rate (left hand): 16 Ramped
Sights: Fixed low profile
Radius (inches): 4.8
Grips: Black synthetic Double diamond
Trigger: Aluminum Match Grade Factory setting (approx. pounds): 4.0 - 5.0
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Old 03-20-2009, 08:31 AM
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I am trying to decide between the Smith and Wesson SW1911 Sub Compact 45 ACP and a Kimber Ultra Carry II Blue 45 ACP. While price is and should always be a consideration, it is not the overriding consideration in comparing the two. I am concerned more about conceal ability, reliability, service from factory, accuracy, and recoil of such small .45 ACP pistols. I would appreciate any input from those who have handled and actually fired both pistols and also from anyone that actually uses one of them for concealed carry. Additionally, I donít know how easy it would be to get parts for either of them.

Just looking at them they look similar except the butt plate on the Kimber appears to be flush and therefore shorter and possibly easier to conceal. I donít know much about the 18 pound Kimber spring system which seems very light for such a small 1911 style pistol. Unfortunately I just canít justify buying both of them. LOL

Some of the differences I have found online are:

Smith and Wesson SW1911 Sub Compact 45 ACP
Best actual price so far: $1,065.86 Which includes shipping
Specifications: Height (inches) 90į to barrel: UNKNOWN
Weight (empty): 24 oz.
Overall Length: 6 7/8"
Capacity: 7+1
Recoil spring (pounds): UNKNOWN
Type guide rod UNKNOWN
Frame:Steel Frame
Finish:Matte Black
Barrel Length:3"
Twist rate UNKNOWN
Sights:Fixed White 2 dot rear, dovetale
Radius (inches): UNKNOWN
Grip:Fully Stippled Synthetic
Trigger: UNKNOWN


Kimber Ultra Carry II .45 ACP
Best actual price so far: $758.00 Which includes shipping
Specifications: Height (inches) 90į to barrel: 4.75
Weight (ounces) with empty magazine: 25
Length (inches): 6.8
Magazine capacity: 7
Recoil spring (pounds): 18.0
Full length guide rod
Frame: Material: Aluminum
Finish: Matte black
Width (inches): 1.28
Slide: Material: Steel
Finish: Matte black
Barrel: Bull Barrel Length (inches): 3Ē Steel, match grade
Twist rate (left hand): 16 Ramped
Sights: Fixed low profile
Radius (inches): 4.8
Grips: Black synthetic Double diamond
Trigger: Aluminum Match Grade Factory setting (approx. pounds): 4.0 - 5.0
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:01 PM
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Welcome to the forum

Well since this is a Smith forum most may tell you to buy the Smith

I would say quality would be on par with each other and I have thought for a long time the Kimbers are underpriced.

I dont like "melted" guns so some of the Kimbers are a turn-off for me, and as funny as it may sound would keep me from buying one.

Smith finally solved the one weak link in the Colt/Browning system by changing the extractor, so thats a plus.

As far as parts goes almost all Colt and aftermarket 1911 parts interchange...no worries there.

To ad to your dilenma...have you considered Colt or Springfield Armory??? SA guns are also underpriced in my opinion and are great guns. I bought the wife a SA lwt champion and she loves it.

Just my $.02
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
While price is and should always be a consideration, it is not the overriding consideration in comparing the two.
The cost of one's personal weapons is practically insignificant, when you think about how long the gun should provide good service and, if you should ever need it, how invaluable it may be to you. You're probably only going to buy one, or maybe two. Why bother at all about the bucks, as long as it is not prohibitive.

These two guns are not the easiest things to do a good job of shooting well. I would buy the one that feels best in my hands. The Kimber grip safety is very annoying to me, though I like their pistols otherwise.

Finesse_r, that S&W is not going to have a steel frame at 24-oz. Apparently some more homework is needed, if you are talking about the gun I am thinking of, which is the only subcompact 1911 .45 S&W makes. (SKU 178020? S&W lists it at 26.5 oz. in the 2009 catalog.) I believe it has a Scandium-alloyed frame, which is meant to be a selling point over a plain aluminum frame. Draw your own conclusions on that matter.
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Old 03-20-2009, 05:52 PM
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You are correct about the S&W frame. I donít know how I got that so wrong. It is a Scandium-alloyed frame, and not a steel frame.

Thanks for the feedback and I probably really should wait until I can actually handle both guns and see how they feel. I just have not been able to find a S&W SKU: 178020 1911 Sub-Compact other than on the internet.
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Old 03-20-2009, 09:10 PM
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I would add to your dilemma one more time...

The Smith and Wesson 945-1 in a 3.25" barrel.
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Old 03-21-2009, 06:02 PM
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I do not own, nor have not shot S&W's offering with that caveat, this.
Mag capacity is a function of whose mag's you'll be using. Since both are equipped with an aluminum (S&W with Scandium) frame(s) even call. The modern aluminum alloy's have few of the downsides that the older stuff did. (As in pre-mature wear of feed ramps) Any aluminum 1911', but especially an "Officer" length, shouldn't be shot long term with +P's. (Too much chance of frame battering, especially with the +P 185's) Beyond that, do what your innards tell you to do? It'd be hard to go far wrong with either. They both are high quality products. However I'll express one opinion that I would apply to either gun. Make sure that at the very least, it has a front Tritium night sight.
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Old 03-22-2009, 07:28 PM
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I don't have any experience with the 3" S&W, but there is an article about it in this month's American Handgunner. In the disassembled view, it appears to have a single recoil spring, which can be a problem in these small 1911's. The single spring doesn't last as long or handle recoil as well as a double captured recoil spring like the Kimber has. Colt's short gun with a single spring had a recommended change frequency of 300 rounds. Kimber's goes 2000 rounds. The dual spring handles recoil well. My Ultra CDP (and my Glock 36 with dual springs) have much more even recoil (less sharpness) than short Colts I have fired. The only advantage to the single spring is that the springs are easier to change out than the captured variety.

I don't think of the internal extractor as a bad feature on a 1911. Controlled feed and easy adjustment are good features (witness Mauser style bolt rifles). Every semiauto change to an external extractor that I know of was done for cost reasons, not performance. But, to each his own.

Smith makes a good 1911. I don't see any reason why the small version should not be as well made. You can always change out the recoil system to a two spring aftermarket if you want to.

Buck
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Old 03-22-2009, 10:04 PM
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Or wait until S&W eventually does the dual coiled guide rod to theirs anyway Haggis!
(Mine's an Ultra CDP, with internal extractor)
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Old 01-26-2013, 09:55 PM
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finesse_r,

I have the Lew Horton version of the S&W 1911 Pro Series Compact (the only differences from the standard model are cosmetic). The S&W has a full-length guide rod with a single flat-coil spring. IMO it has less felt recoil than my SW1911PD with a 4.25" barrel, possibly because the barrel of the compact is so thick/heavy. The springs do seem to wear out at around 300-500 rounds. Mine is scary accurate, as in it hits exactly where I want it to and pretty much puts everything in the same hole at 7 yards, shooting off-hand.
That being said, mine is currently back at the factory for the second time for extraction problems. I suspect that the chamber is too tight as some of the spent casings are sticking in the chamber. If that issue gets resolved I will be very happy with the pistol.

May I offer one other thing for your consideration; S&W has a lifetime warranty on their products while Kimber only offers a one-year warranty.
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1911, 945, browning, bull barrel, colt, concealed, extractor, glock, kimber, scandium, sig arms, smith and wesson, springfield, subcompact, sw1911, tritium

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