Sneak Peek: Rock Island’s New Compact .45
Terry Nelson 08.19.19
Features of the Rock Island Armory BBR 3.10 in 45 ACP are as follows:
- Overall length: 6.85 inches
- Overall width: 1.47 inches
- Overall height: 4.55 inches
- Barrel length: 3.10 inches
- Trigger pull: 5.0 pounds to 7.0 pounds
- Weight empty: 2.0 pounds
- Front sight: dovetail-mounted fiber optic
- Rear sight: LPA adjustable
- Grip: G10, serrated front and rear strap
- Parkerized frame and slide
- Capacity: 10+1
- Hammer: combat style serrated
- Beavertail grip safety
Recently, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a BBR 3.10 for a tryout. During my testing, I utilized five different brands and types of 45ACP ammunition totaling about 100 rounds. Ammo tested included: Armscor 230 gr, JHP, Armscor 230 FMJ, Sig Sauer 230 gr V-Crown JHP, Sig Sauer 200 gr JHP, and Federal Syntech 220 gr TSJ (synthetic jacket). Distances varied from 15 yards and closer.
From 15 yards I was able to keep all rounds consistently within an eight-inch group from a bench rest and pistol supported position.
I then tested all five brands of ammo mentioned above from seven yards with the intent to fire five shots as accurately as possible from a standing, off-hand position. As you will see in the accompanying photos, most groups were five shots touching with perhaps a flyer that you can attribute to me, the shooter. Point being, the BBR 3.10 has more-than-sufficient accuracy in a very compact platform that will serve well as a defensive pistol.
Compactness is achieved, in part, through the design of the BBR magazine. RIA went from a single stack to what some would call a one-and-a-half stack, allowing for increased magazine capacity in a compact package.
During my testing I had one malfunction; a failure to feed. I was never able to get the malfunction to repeat itself. Recoil as one might expect for a small-frame 45 is noticeable but very manageable — and can be minimized with a proper selection of ammo. Federal’s Syntech is engineered for soft recoil, and it delivered noticeably less recoil than the other ammunition in this test.
The front sight is a highly visible fiber optic that would no doubt be an asset in a defensive situation and/or poor light conditions. I was surprised to see the BBR 3.10 comes with a steel adjustable rear sight for both windage and elevation, a nice feature to be sure. The rear sight is made by LPA of Italy and retails in the $75 to $100 range if purchased as a single component.
The grip on this little 1911 is a G10 material that is nicely textured along with a serrated front and back strap and is full in the hand due to the wider magazine for the increased round count. The magazine release is serrated and easy to reach with shooting hand thumb, and allows the magazine to drop freely.
The skeletonized trigger on the BBR 3.10 is crisp and breaks consistently in the three- to three-and-a-half-pound range. Reset is short and almost immediate, allowing for a quick follow-up shot.
The 45 ACP BBR 3.10 will not disappoint if you are a 1911 aficionado. The new Rock Island Armory 3.10 is an ideal choice for those wanting a concealed carry gun with the classic appeal of the 1911 while enjoying an increase from standard 1911 magazine capacity. All Rock Island Armory pistols come standard with one magazine… two would be nice.