Armscor Rock Ultra CCO

One of the best-priced .45 launchers around

Recently, my gunsmith friend, Rick Macchia, and I were putting some rounds downrange. I was shooting one of my plastic guns and he had brought his Armscor GI Standard FS, which looks just like a standard M1911. We swapped for a while, and I shot his gun.

The trigger was so crisp, I told him I needed to test one and share my experience with our readers. I ordered a Rock Ultra CCO in .45 ACP, which is a Commander-sized gun with an Officer-length grip. If you are reading this, and your book of knowledge is limited to the plastic gun era, the design is from a time when guns were made of hard stuff like steel and aluminum and only bank robbers wore masks in public.

I started shooting the Rock Ultra CCO and his side-by-side and commented that both triggers felt great and both guns shot tiny groups. It was then Rick told me his gun had a standard drop-in Armscor trigger.

If you’re the kind of reader who takes a peek at the end of an article to get right to the “bottom line,” here it is: The Rock Ultra CCO retails at $759. There are $1,500 premium guns out there that don’t have this kind of quality.

Surge In Popularity For 1911-Style Guns

There’s been a recent surge in single-action handguns that resemble the 1911 design. That is, they are single action with a grip and thumb safety and features reminiscent of the John Browning design. The latest designs have alloy chassis and polymer grips. They have begun to become popular for duty handguns.

With all the trigger-safety polymer guns out there, what explains the surge in popularity for 1911-style guns? Many shooters find the design safer and faster. They are safer because a well-trained 1911 shooter can keep the gun on safe until the moment the decision to fire is made. To explain the fact they are faster, we only need to look at the kind of gun that dominated steel plate shooting for decades.

The Officer-sized grip makes the Rock Ultra CCO concealable, especially for IWB shooters. The 4.20″ barrel is the perfect length for good handling and IWB carry. I have always found this design more comfortable to shoot than the full-sized M1911 I was issued.

Under light clothing, the Rock Ultra CCO disappeared. The reduced grip is enough for a full purchase on the firearm, but it doesn’t poke out when pressed against the body. The tradeoff is the 7-round magazine capacity. Single-stack magazines are flat, so users can carry several.

On the range, I tore up some paper with Armscor’s 230-grain ball. I found the balance of this gun smoothly allowed transition from threat to threat. I was throwing projectiles with 368 fpe at targets as easily as I shoot 9mm. There’s nothing like concealed carry with a caliber of confidence.

I did have to drift the sights when I first started shooting, but it took two seconds of effort, and I was able to drill the center out of the target with ease. The gun liked all of my reloads, including my flat-faced semi-wadcutters. Not every gun can feed SWC rounds this smoothly, so I credit Armscor for making this gun omnivorous.

My Rock Ultra CCO came with two 7-round magazines, which had rather stable followers and a remarkably smooth finish. They loaded and dropped freely from the gun. I also used some 7- and 8-round magazines. Throughout the test, I never had a stoppage. At 7 yards, I could make all the holes in my target touch.

The skeletonized trigger is adjustable for travel and was as close to custom as one can get.

Many 1911-style users prefer these guns because of the customization options. The one improvement we prefer is better sights. Issued 1911s came with staked sights. The Rock Ultra CCO has a dovetailed fiber optic front sight and an LPA MPS1 adjustable rear sight. This gives shooters the full adjustment of the dovetail, and the opportunity to swap sights if they wish.

I shot the CCO in waning light, and the bright front allowed quick alignment for multiple targets. I prefer tritium vials to light tubes, but I have to admit the front sight wasn’t bad. The rear sight was easily adjustable but had positive clicks and prominent reference markings. Usually, shooters like non-adjustable sights in a carry gun, but the rear sight is robust enough for any duty, and low profile enough for a working gun.

I like to accessorize my carry guns, but I’m going to make an exception here. The Rock Ultra CCO came with scalloped G10 grips that had so much texture and usable contour I stuck with them. For those who know me, this is a first: I kept the stock grips on. I also liked the beavertail with enough tactile indexing for a consistent master grip. This gun is a tribute to the original design, but the modern improvements are superior.

Not every gun can feed SWC rounds this smoothly, so I credit Armscor for making this gun omnivorous.

I shot the CCO in waning light, and the bright front allowed quick alignment for multiple targets.

Only One Change For Me

Armscor is known for advanced manufacturing, and the quality of this build is outstanding. The Parkerized slide and anodized frame are smooth, and the slide mates smoothly with the frame. This is a full-length guide-rod gun, and it felt broken in from the first round downrange.

There is something I would change on the Rock CCO, but not right away. It comes with a standard thumb safety on the left side, similar to the original design. I prefer ambidextrous ones with a larger thumb surface. I like the sights but align XS Sights faster. I can add them sometime later.

On our scales, Rock Ultra CCO weighed 28.6 oz., unloaded. I’m a Kydex IWB kind of guy, so I’m shopping for holsters now. Alien Gear makes a pretty good chest rig, so this may be my new backwoods fly fishing gun.

I spent plenty of time behind a .45. I carried one for duty for a bit. I have yet to see a gun for this price with this kind of quality and features. I know all eyes have been on the new RIA 5.0. However, the Rock CCO is probably one of the best-priced .45 launchers around.

Get More Carry Options content!

Sign up for the newsletter here: