Rock Island Armory aimed to give shooters a more versatile 1911 when it introduced its 2011 Tactical Series a few years back.
The defining feature of the series was the accessory rail situated at the forend of the pistol. The new design was perfect to take advantage of the growing trend of topping handguns off with flashlights and other aftermarket products.
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The trouble was, if a shooter planned to tote a 2011 as a concealed carry piece, they were in a pickle. The series only included full and mid-sized models of the steel-framed pistol, making them cumbersome for some to carry.
The Armscor subsidiary has addressed this situation with a recent announcement of two new pistols tailored for clandestine carry. The company is adding compact versions of its 2011 in .45 ACP and 9mm at the end of 2014.
Both pistols boast six-groove, 3.5-inch barrels and trim overall dimensions. The handguns each measure in at 7.375 inches in length and 5.5 inches in height, which should make them easy sidearms to conceal.
Unfortunately, there was no information on the new pistols' weights, which is always an consideration when it comes to concealed carry firearms. However, a similar Rock Island handgun – the TAC 1911 II – has a listed weight of 2.36 pounds unloaded.
The big difference between the two new 2011s is their capacity. The 9mm comes with an eight-round magazine, while the .45 ACP comes with a seven-round magazine.
While the new 2011s are smaller, they still retain many of the same features of the rest of the line, including: ambidextrous thumb safety, combat hammer, G10 grips, adjustable sights and extended beavertail.
The most obvious similarity of the compact 9mm and .45 ACP to earlier iterations of the 2011 is the Picatinny rail at the forend. This addition makes slapping a flashlight or other accessory on the gun a snap.
The pistols both have a MSPR of $760, which continues Rock Island’s tradition of being among the more economical names in 1911s.