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Smaller guns are more finicky about ammo types than their bigger full size brethren.

Example: Para Ordnance Warthog comes to mind. When it first came out there were a lot of reliability problems and Para could not give them away. Most went into storage.All of this was because of reliability problems having to do with bullet shape,weight, and the fact that hardball of certain types were all that would feed through it. Fast forward almost a decade and the Warthog was reintroduced though it wasn't marketed that way.

Whether these pistols were reworked or not I am not sure of. They are back out and heavily marketed.Reliability does not seem to be the issue anymore.

Being bulky through the grips didn't help sell the pistol.Double stack .45ACP don't you know. Trying to get a solid grip and carrying the pistol CCW were also strikes against an otherwise decent design.

Mass Ayoob,Chuck Karwan, and Clint Smith have documented the troubles of getting small ,compact, or sub compact.45ACP pistols to work well under most conditions.

Engineering the pistols to work has and have been major problems. Physics is one of the main problems. Whether it's the slide mass, recoil springs,firing pins weight and mass,feed ramp angle,or other factors there is only so much that can be done.

Colt ran into troubles with the Officers ACP 1911 for a lot of the same reasons stated above.Took a few years to work the bugs out and make it a reliable pistol. Gunsmiths made a fortune having to tweak compact 1911's and traditional DA/SA semi autos.

So while things have improved somewhat over the years there are still problems finding the right balance for proper fit and function. And there are a few trade offs for going with smaller guns. Parameters for these just are not that forgiving.

The one compact .45ACP pistol that seemed to work with just about any bullet type or shape was ironically the Star PD.

So expect to have to put some effort and experimentation into reliable loads for these smaller pistols regardless of caliber if they are a major one for self defense.
 

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No mistake. It's because of these very things that this develops in these and other pistols. Balancing the parts and types of springs, this includes the strength of those springs, are part of the engineering problems.

I need to clarify this better. What was being said was that there are a lot of factors that go into this and there are compromises on just how and what can be put into a pistol design.

There are trade offs and no free lunch anywhere along the line with this.

With lead free or practically lead free primers being mandated on quite a few types of ammo, trying to find a happy medium and a spring strong enough to get the firing pin to set off these primers is a real chore.

Reduced size guns means that the spring power is going to have to be compromised somewhere along the line. The smaller the pistol the harder it is to come up with parts that can do what full size parts can do.

Sometimes primers are too hard, too soft,or the lead free primers will not give consistent performance.

While the lead free stuff is getting better there is still much room for consistent performance to be established.

This was the intent of the post. Trying to cover all the physics and engineering aspects in one post without trying to get long winded.

When making compact pistols there are a lot of obstacles to overcome. All that can be done for most of these is compromises with some shortcomings we all may need to learn to live with.

Could be why I am a revolver person for the most part. Things are a bit more simpler with the revolvers all the way around despite the sizes. This is subjective and an opinion, but what has been observed. :)
 
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