It was thirteen months ago when I published the Coonan Classic .357 Magnum review, and you can read that by following this link. 

It was at the 2016 NRA show where I learned Coonan was building a pistol in .45 Automatic. Here I was able to look over the prototype and talk to my friends at Coonan about a test sample. Coonan has made a name for itself building a unique 1911/Hi-Power hybrid pistol chambered in .357 Magnum but it makes sense they would get into the .45 Auto market. Coonan did not just copy the standard 1911 design and instead kept the same features from the .357 such as linkless barrel, external extractor, and pivoting trigger. I am used to seeing quality pieces coming from Coonan. Upon initial inspection and the first few magazines, it would appear this pistol is holding up that standard.

Initial Impressions 


Monolith receiver helps the Coonan stand out from the crowd.


Standard barrel bushing, fit snug but did not require tools to remove.


Beautiful “lava” stocks that are somewhat aggressive and matching mainspring housing. The grip safety was well fit and incorporated a palm swell.


Extended single side thumb safety, engaged as it should with an audible click. Standard slide stop that engaged on an empty magazine reliably. Checkered magazine release.


Skeletonized speed hammer, external extractor, rear fiber optic sight that is adjustable for windage and elevation. The pivoting trigger broke clean at 4 1/2 pounds with a bit of take up and minimal overtravel. Truthfully I have never cared for an external extractor on a 1911, primarily due to aesthetics  but when done correctly they are reliable. Since this is a hybrid pistol I will let this one slide.

coonan-45-4 coonan-45-3

Front and rear fiber optic sights that are dovetailed into the slide. Slide to receiver fit is snug but non binding


Aside from the pivoting trigger and external extractor the Coonan .45 detail stripped same as any other Government Model. Everything looks great after 400 rounds, and while that is not a lot of rounds through the pipe, if there were issues present I expect they would have shown up by now.


Accuracy at 25 yards from a rest, 3 shot groups, please click on the chart for a larger version.

Range Day 


The new Coonan .45 ran well through some 400 various rounds without a hitch. The Coonan is not really a 1911 but it is somewhat of a hybrid of the Government Model and Hi-Power, having the pivoting trigger, external extractor, and linkless barrel like the Hi-Power. If you are already familiar with the manual of arms of the 1911, you will feel right at home with the Coonan .45 and if not it is easy to pick up and learn. It is true, there are a plethora of 1911s on the market and today it is tough to set yourself apart from the herd. The Coonan does that by utilizing a little different design while keeping the quality on par with other high end pistols. This pistol would serve well for defensive carry, local action pistol matches and home defense.  All in all I am satisfied with the new Coonan pistol in .45 Auto and expect it will do well.




Barrel Length: 5 inches
Construction: Stainless Steel
Magazine Capacity: 7 Rounds
Weight: 42 ounces empty
Length: 8 inches overall
Height: 5.5 inches
Width: .9 inches
Sights: Dovetail Front & Rear,  fiber optic, rear adjustable                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Trigger pull 4 3/4 pounds
MSRP starting at $1375




Ruger Ammunition 

By Hunter Elliott

I spent much of my youth involved with firearms and felt the call early on to the United States Marine Corps, following in my father's and his brother's footsteps. Just after high school I enlisted and felt most at home on the rifle range, where I qualified expert with several firearms and spent some time as a rifle coach to my fellow Marines. After being honorably discharged I continued teaching firearm safety, rifle and pistol marksmanship, and began teaching metallic cartridge reloading. In the late 1990s I became a life member to the National Rifle Association and worked with the Friends of the NRA. Around that time my father and I became involved with IDPA and competed together up until he passed away. I began reviewing firearms for publications in the mid 2000s and have been fortunate to make many friends in the industry. Continuing to improve my firearms skills and knowledge is a never ending journey in which we should all be committed. I am also credited as weapons master on a few independent films.

10 thoughts on “Coonan .45 Automatic, that is not a typo”
  1. Hunter, this is such a good article and the video is outstanding. You put a lot of work in this one and it really shows. Congratulations. I fell in love with this Coonan .45.


  2. Woe, that is some nice grouping work for a pistol at 100yds. I am very impressed. Now let’s walk it back to the 500yd. line and see what it can do. Your chart says 100 rather than 25. Hoo Rah, Grrr, kill.

  3. Way cool, I was really just going to pass this off as “another 1911”. My lack of knowledge on the Hi-Power has me scratching my head a bit to find a link less barrel in a 1911 type pistol. I’m with you on the external extractor, not a fan of the look but this isn’t a government model. The look of the full dust cover is sweet but I’d like it better if it had a full rail under it. But that wouldn’t stop me from getting one.

  4. Thanks for the review.

    Just one question, does it take traditional 1911 magaziines? You metioned the “Hybrid” feedlip design and just wnat to make sure it handles quality aftermarket (Wilson) mags.

    1. Yes it will run on traditional 1911 magazines it is just I prefer the hybrid lip magazines and to be honest I do not care for the Wilson Combat magazines. There is a reason JMB designed the 1911 magazine follower like he did.

  5. Will this be on the CA DOJ list to purchase? When will this 1911 Hybyrd 45 be in the retail
    market for purchase?

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