December 2002

.45s from Kimber, Para Ordnance, And Springfield: Plenty of Punch

What would you call a hand-sized pistol filled with big .45 ACP rounds? We recently tested three downsized 1911-style handguns and found them to be powerful pipsqueaks.

The words “mouse gun” (usually uttered with a sneer) commonly refer to smaller-caliber semi-autos that measure about the same size as the average adult hand. But what would you call a pistol of similar dimensions if it were filled with .45 ACP rounds? Mighty Mouse?

Designing a small semi-auto has always been a tricky proposition. Given the reduced mass and shorter top end, anyone who tries to build one is faced with the challenge of getting the slide to gather and eject cartridges within a very small window of time. To see if current technology had conquered the obvious pitfalls, we decided to take on three production pistols that appear to be miniatures of John Browning’s 1911 Government model.

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