Smith & Wesson 1911 Pro Series Subcompact in a Class by Itself
Every gun manufacturer is clamoring to find a seat on the 1911 bandwagon. With countless models currently on the market ranging from standard military and police issues to beautifully customized competition firearms, finding a market niche for another 1911 can prove to be a daunting task.
Smith & Wesson wisely designed their 1911 Pro Series .45 as a subcompact, realizing the burgeoning concealed carry market would want a ready-made match for their mid-range line of pistols.
The 1911 Pro Series belies its designation as a compact. The black Melonite finish combined with black textured grips give the gun an aura of power.
For a gun packed with 8 rounds of .45 ACP ammo, the 1911 Pro Series is reasonably light at 30 ounces and can easily be carried for long periods of time. The gun is also a single stack, measuring less than an inch across the slide. As a result, this high-powered subcompact has minimal print, concealing effortlessly with an IWB or OWB holster.
During range testing, the Smith & Wesson 1911 Pro Series proved itself to be consistently accurate at the 10 yard distance with zero malfunctions or misfires through several hundred rounds. Recoil was noticeable, but manageable due to the lightweight scandium alloy frame.
The 1911 Pro Series is equipped with standard three-dot low profile sights. Although these sights are no-snag and allow for a smooth draw, a nice perk on a gun designed for personal defense would have been night sights.
The trigger pull on this handgun is light enough at 4.5 pounds to be maneuvered smoothly and deliberately. However as author Mark Kakkuri explains in his article “Smith & Wesson 1911 Pro Series (‘Pro’ in Every Sense of the Word)” at USConcealedCarry.com, there are some potential issues when the gun is repeatedly fired over a prolonged period, such as at the range:
“After a few 50-round boxes of .45 ACP, the S&W 1911 Pro Series showed its second flaw: a trigger with serrations sharp enough that they cut into my trigger finger. A smooth trigger would likely alleviate the matter, [but] I was happy to tell anyone who’d listen that I am blood-earnest about test firing handguns.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
Anyone who spends time at the range knows the importance and necessity of being able to field strip a gun in less than ideal settings. Smith & Wesson has made cleaning the 1911 Pro Series a breeze with no extra tools required and it comes with a full-length guide rod. Cleaning the slide and slide release is a little tricky, but the generic 1911 manual has specific and easy to follow instructions for the 1911 Pro Series subcompact.
The 1911 Pro Series lives up to its name. Despite a couple of minor flaws, this gun is a powerful weapon and is ideal for concealed carry. Designed to be a mid-range firearm between S&W’s main line and their custom Performance Center models, the sleek black 1911 Pro Series is in a class of its own. Although the $1,159 MSRP is not a bargain price, it may be the last concealed carry gun you ever buy.