Coonan Compact 1911 in .357 Magnum

    Coonan, Inc. was on my list of stops for SHOT this year and also came recommended by a friend whose opinion I trust. As I had written in an earlier review, my irrational view is that a 1911 should be chambered in .45 ACP. Coonan’s evolution of the platform is a 1911 in .357 Magnum.

    They have been making them for a number of years and have a very limited number of variations, and I’ve heard that they do them very well (I can’t attest to that as I’ve never fired one). What I can confirm is that the appearance and feel of the weapons on display in their booth was impressive. Everything just fit together well–the machining was superb. And the models that I handled fit very well in my hand (of course that is a personal thing though, YMMV).

    The new item they were showing off was their Compact version.


    * Caliber: .357 Magnum (will chamber and fire .38 Spc; may be some cycling sensitivity)
    * Barrel Length: 4″
    * Construction: Stainless Steel
    * Magazine Capacity: 6 Rounds + 1
    * Weight: 39 oz (empty)/ 45.5 oz loaded
    * Length: 7.7″
    * Height: 5.4″
    * Width: 1.3″
    * Sights: Dovetail Front and Rear, Fixed White Dot Sights
    * Grips: Smooth Black Walnut

    * Black DuraCoat with Fixed Serrated Night Sights and Fully Checkered Black Aluminum Grips
    * Additional Magazines
    * Grip Options

    I would definitely be interested in firing one sometime. Does anyone here have experience with one? I’d love to hear some “in the field” feedback.

    Tom is a former Navy Corpsman that spent some time bumbling around the deserts of Iraq with a Marine Recon unit, kicking in tent flaps and harassing sheep. Prior to that he was a paramedic somewhere in DFW, also doing some Executive Protection work between shifts. Now that those exciting days are behind him, he teaches wilderness medicine and writes for a number of publications, including The Prepared, a site devoted to self-preparedness. He hopes that his posts will help you find solid gear that will survive whatever you can throw at it–he is known (in certain circles) for his curse…ahem, ability…to find the breaking point of anything.

    You can reach him at tom.r AT