Sneak Peek: Rock Island’s New Compact .45


Looking for a compact 1911 in 45acp with increased magazine capacity? Armscor/Rock Island Armory shared with OutdoorHub one of their soon-to-be released newest addition to the BBR (Baby Rock) series.

For the 1911 fan, the BBR 45 is worthy of showing up on your shopping list. It’s a real 1911, but it’s also the compact, defensive carry gun it’s designed to be.

Features of the Rock Island Armory BBR 3.10 in 45acp 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.

On the range with the RIA BBR 3.10

From 15 yards I was able to keep all rounds tested 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 all 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 to 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 very 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.

New Compact .45
RIA BBR 3.10 showing fiber optic front sight

The front sight is a highly visible fiber optic that is no doubt 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 purchasing as a single component.

Adjustable LPA rear sight on the BBR 3.10

The grip on this little 1911 is a G10 material that is nicely textured along with a serrated from and back strap and is full in the hand due to the wider magazine for the increased round count.  The magazine release is also serrated and easy to reach with shooting hand thumb and allows for 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.

New Compact .45
Rock Island Armory BBR 3.10 in .45 ACP

The 45acp 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 the standard 1911 magazine capacity. All Rock Island Armory pistols come standard with one magazine, two would be nice.

MSRP will be $799 according to the company with a release date sometime in the third quarter of this year. Check out Armscor/Rock Island Armory at

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