Review: SIG C3 1911 – .45 ACP

In the 1911 world there are several frame sizes. The Government Model, Commander, and Officer’s Model are the most common. Both steel and aluminum frames are common. These handguns feature 5, 4 ¼ and 3 ½ inch barrel lengths.

The Commander has the full size firing grip of the Government Model with a shorter slide. The Officer’s Model features a shorter grip frame. Then there are new variations. The four inch barrel which eliminates the barrel bushing and uses a belled barrel for lock up is used in many modern handguns. Then there are 3 inch barrel variants.

One of the more interesting variants is the CCO. This is the Commanding Officer’s Model. At first this was a non standard lash-up by custom gunsmiths. The Commander length slide with its 4 ¼ inch barrel with barrel bushing was used along with a short Officers Model frame. The pistol was the best of both worlds they said with a Commander length slide and sight radius for balance and accuracy and an Officer’s Model frame for concealed carry. Some of the custom guns ran well and of course some did not. Colt made a short run of these pistols in factory form.

Enter SIG Sauer doing what they do best, manufacturing a reliable and accurate pistol at an affordable price. 

The Comfortable Concealed Carry SIG C3 features a Commander length slide with Officer’s Model frame. This comes off the best of any CCO type in my opinion. The stainless slides features a slide contour unique to SIG. The barrel is 4.25 inches long and uses a standard 1911 type barrel bushing. If you design a pistol shorter than 4.25 inch you must use a bushingless lockup to allow the barrel to tilt sufficiently. The C3 neatly uses the standard length. The ejection port is generous. It allows not only easy ejection of spent cases but ease in removing a full length unfired cartridge from the chamber, something that is iffy with original small slide windows. The pistol features a trouble free external extractor. Cocking serrations are well cut. The hammer is skeletonized. The beavertail grip safety leads the hand into the frame, reduces the bore axis slightly, and even helps spread recoil about. The slide lock safety is positive in operation.

Trigger compression is a smooth consistent 5.5 pounds even. The slide is stainless steel while the aluminum frame is nicely anodized. The pistol features nicely done front strap checkering. The mainspring housing is also checkered. The grips may be rosewood or cocobolo. They are nicely checkered. The combination of checkered grips and properly checkered front strap and mainspring housing make for a good gripping surface. The pistol’s short grip fits most hands well and conceals easier than the true Commander length. Be careful and take your time first in dry fire and then in live fire as you fire the pistol. There is a tendency to fire low for those of us used to the full length handle. It is easily adjusted to. 

On the range the C3 was fired with Remington 230 grain FMJ load. This is my usual outdoors load when hiking and makes a formidable anti personnel loading. While we should take advantage of expanding bullet technology the .45 is an effective cartridge with hardball loads. The pistol comes on target quickly. Combat accuracy, firing quickly, is good excellent. The pistol is controllable and allows fast follow up shots. Slow fire accuracy isn’t as important but always interesting. The pistol is properly sighted for 230 grain loads at 15 yards using the six o’clock hold. I fired a five shot group at 15 yards with both the Remington 230 grain FMJ and Federal’s 205 grain Syntech hollow point. Three shots went into 2.0 inch on average. The pistol is reliable, fast handling, and features SIG reliability. It is a formidable handgun for those who prefer the 1911.


1911 single action type

CCO – type configuration 

Barrel Length 4.25 inches

Magazine capacity with SIG Magazines 7

Caliber .45 Automatic Colt Pistol 

Length  7.7 in. OAL

Height   4.8 in. 

Weight  29.5 oz.