Review: Sig Sauer 1911 Ultra Compact 9mm
January 02, 2019
The 1911 Ultra Compact pistol from SIG SAUER is offered in .45 ACP and 9mm with an all-black nitride finish and blackwood grips, with a nickel PVD finish and G10 grips, or with a two-tone finish and rosewood grips. Mine is the 9mm two-tone version, and it is an excellent personal-protection pistol. It’s lightweight enough for comfortable carry, but not so light that it’s uncomfortable to shoot. Unloaded, the pistol weighs 28 ounces.
The two-tone Ultra Compact’s signature features are its 3.3-inch barrel and short, alloy grip frame. The bull barrel is fitted to the slide, so there is no barrel bushing, and it measures 0.70 inch at the muzzle. The muzzle is precision crowned.
Getting a short-barreled Model 1911 to function perfectly all the time is no simple matter, but SIG SAUER has worked out all the kinks. My pistol functioned perfectly throughout my shooting session. More about that later.
The Ultra Compact also features a full-length recoil spring guide rod and a single recoil spring. The slide has grasping grooves at the rear only, and the ejection port is lowered and flared. The pistol has a low-profile rear sight and a post front sight. Both sights have SIGLITE tritium dots and are dovetailed into the slide. Sight radius is 4.88 inches.
Slide-to-frame fit on my sample pistol was top notch. There was just a hint of side-to-side play, but there was no movement at all when I pushed down on the barrel hood with the pistol in full battery. The slide has a natural stainless finish, and the frame has a matte black hard-coat-anodized finish.
The pistol’s lightweight alloy compact grip frame is the shortened Officer’s ACP size. The frontstrap and the flat mainspring housing are checkered. The bottom of the grip frame is beveled, and the grip safety is a beavertail type complete with a memory bump.
This model has a slightly extended thumb safety (not ambidextrous); a striated slide lock; a striated, two-hole, speed-type trigger with overtravel adjustment screw; and a skeletonized hammer. The Hogue rosewood double-diamond grip panels are checkered. Capacity of the single-stack magazine is eight rounds, and the gun comes with two steel magazines. They have flat followers and side witness holes, and their baseplates are drilled and tapped for bumper pads.
My pistol’s trigger pull averaged 5 pounds, 8 ounces, and letoff was crisp, clean, and consistent. There were only 4 ounces of variation over five measurements. Overall length of the Ultra Compact is 6.8 inches, and height is 4.8 inches.
I fired the Ultra Compact with five 9mm factory loads, ranging in bullet weight from 115 to 150 grains All loads produced five-shot group averages of less than 4.00 inches at 25 yards. The tightest group average was 1.62 inches, and it came with the Federal Syntech 115-grain TSJ loading. Average velocity for that load was 1,061 fps, with a standard deviation of 14 fps.
After shooting for accuracy from the bench, I did a little action shooting, drawing the pistol from a DeSantis Top Cop 2.0 holster and firing it on swinging steel plates and bouncing ball targets. The holster is a nice piece of leather, and it fit the Ultra Compact perfectly.
I didn’t have any failures to feed or eject during the firing session. That’s a testament to SIG SAUER’s success in building short-barreled 1911s that are 100-percent reliable. Recoil was very manageable especially with the 150-grain loads.