[4 of 5 Stars!]First of all, let me say that order processing and delivery from Bud\'s was great, as always. No issues there whatsoever.
Having owned dozens of 1911s over the last 40 plus years, I bought the Citadel Compact to explicitly compare it to some higher end 1911\'s I already own. I was actually going to order up a Rock Island Armory gun as my test subject, but the Citadel went on sale at the same price, came with two magazines, and I thought it looked just a little bit nicer. So, it is what I bought.
The pistol arrived in due time, in a Citadel black plastic box, and was covered with oil inside a plastic bag. It was not, however, \"swimming\" in lubricant as some have noted about RIA guns. Along with two fired cartridges, I received two magazines marked \"ACT Made In Italy\" but also curiously marked as \"Rock Island Armory\". The magazines appeared to be of good quality. Overall the fit and finish of the pistol, once cleaned up, was quite good, and a cut above that of the Rock Island branded products I have examined lately. The cocking serrations on the slide were angled rather than straight as on the equivalent RIA firearm. By the way, the pistol did not come with a manual of any kind. This is important because field stripping requires a bent paper clip and it would be nice if its use was explained to the user somewhere. Legacy Sports sent me a photocopy of a manual on request, but it was for the full-sized 1911 that does not use this paper clip method.
The pre-range function check put an abrupt stop to my evaluation in that the thumb safety was improperly fit and did not function correctly. By this I mean that if you applied the thumb safety, it stuck in the \"on safe\" position and could not be taken off except with force applied by two people and ultimately a rubber mallet. There is absolutely no way this pistol passes any sort of final inspection at the factory, given how it was received. Fortunately, a single call to Legacy Sports, the importer, resulted in them issuing me a FedEx tag and picking the pistol up at my home. It was returned to me 12 days later, with confirmation that the gunsmiths at Armscor in Nevada had confirmed the problem and repaired it. I also noted they had polished the feed ramp while they had the gun. Nice touch. I was able to measure the trigger pull at an average weight of right at 6 pounds, but it was a very good and serviceable trigger.
So, then it was off to the range where we tested the little .45 with both factory supplied magazines and three types of ammunition after giving the pistol an initial cleaning and proper lubrication. This is simply NOT a step you can skip with a 1911 if you want to be fair to the pistol. We had no failures of any kind while running Speer Lawman 230 grain TMJ, PMC 230 grain FMJ, and Remington Golden Saber 185 grain JHPs. The pistol shot groups that were the same size as those turned in by a brand new 2016 Colt LW Commander costing exactly twice as much. Pretty impressive to say the least. This is not a lightweight gun at 2 pounds, but the weight makes it easier to shoot well, and recoil was simply not an issue, similar to an all-steel Commander we had on hand. The sights were good and visible, but on dark backgrounds could use a dab of paint. Legacy Sports sells the proper night sights for this gun at $80 if you want a Tritium option.
Overall, this was an impressive little pistol, except for the initial quality control issue with the safety. As a practical matter though, the supplied magazines have bumpers on them that make the pistol exactly as tall as a full size 1911 with a flush fit magazine, so you are giving up one round to no benefit really, and the pistol weighs exactly the same as an all-steel Commander. However it is a good looking, good shooting package. So much so that after testing, my assistant purchased the pistol as his very first 1911, and is completely happy with it now that he has added a bit of paint to the sights, while he waits for his night sights to get here. He has continued to shoot it, and to date has had zero malfunctions in about 500 rounds so far.
This is a lot of gun for the money and I think the full-sized option is even more so. I think this would be a great gun to buy if you want to see if you like 1911s without risking a ton of money. I\'d have given it 5 stars except that they shipped it with a broken safety.
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[5 of 5 Stars!]Great gun for the money. The slide frame fit is tight and trgger is very crisp with only a small amount of creep and no overtravel.Show More Reviews...