Citadel Warbird 1911 Review – Range Impressions and Field Strip

Citadel Warbird by Graham Baates
Citadel Warbird by Graham Baates

USA – -( With so many options out there for 1911s already, Citadel has released a small lot of pistols featuring custom-grade cerakote jobs.  We previously reviewed the Madagascar in 9mm and were impressed, when the chance to try out the Warbird came I couldn't say no.  Purists will rejoice at the 70's series construction which appears to have been performed by Rock Island Armory.  Those same purists may have mixed feelings about the bushing-less barrel and full-length guide rod.  While these features have their advantages, they do make field stripping a bit more complicated.

Get a better look at the Warbird in the tabletop video below:

The Warbird is definitely a beautiful pistol.  The kind of gun that is difficult to shoot alone at the range because everyone wants to have a look.  While the Warbird can't be found on Legacy Sports International's website at the time of writing this, specifications can be found through Gallery of Guns:

UPC:  682146282115
Description:  LEG CIT 1911 WARBIRD 45AP 8RD
Brand:  Legacy Sports Intl|Citadel
Model:  Citadel Warbird
Type:  Pistol: Semi-Auto
Caliber:  45AP
Finish:  Gray and OD Green Cerakote
Action:  Single Action
Stock:  Polymer Miss Behavin Battleworn Grips
Sight:  Novak Style Sights
Barrel Length:  4.25
 Overall Length:  7.75
Weight:  33 oz
Capacity:  8+1
# of Mags:  2
Safety:  Extended Ambi Thumb, Extended Beavertail Grip
Receiver:  Gray Battleworn Cerakote
Packaging:  Lockable Plastic Case
Features:  Custom Cerakote Grips and Slide;
Series 70 Firing Syst,Skeletonized Hammer & Trigger
The Citadel Warbird pairs nicely with a matching Thorn & Fire pistol bag.

While the Citadel Warbird certainly looks good, we were curios about how it would perform.  I hit the range with my two range partners and a pile of ammunition.  We started things off with the usual “full-mag plus one” followed by our signature, “What's For Dinner?” and a quick grouping at seven yards while we collected our thoughts.  “What's For Dinner?” is a test of basic function with a variety of loads.  The ability to pick up and feed a round from slide lock, complete a cycle, and the lock open when empty are tested.  Unfortunately, our sampling of .45 ACP loads is not quite as diverse as our usual 9mm or .223 loads.  In all seven different loads were tested from 118gr to 230gr including hollow points, a semi-wadcutter, steel-cased, and hollow points.

You can see the results of these tests in the Shooting Impressions video below:

So the gun runs as good as it looks.  Are there any complaints to be had?  Some might say the price, or snobs might complain of the gun's heritage.  Both of these are easily dismiss-able.  Anyone who knocks on Philippine-made 1911s must not have tried one in recent years, or be ignorant of the significance the 1911 has in the Philippines.

We had no issues with the loads tested.  The Warbird is a pretty piece, and while the MSRP of $1,100 may give a little sticker shock, once we remember that's less than $400 over a comparably-equipped Rock Island model it's easy to see the value.  If you know of a shop that can perform such a detailed Cerakote job for less than $400 please let us know because otherwise, the Warbird seems like a deal for a workhorse-level gun with show-stopping appearance.

BBQ gun with style? Just enough of the Citadel Warbird protudes to show off.

About Graham BaatesG B Guns

“Graham Baates” is a pen name used by a 15-year active Army veteran who spent most of his time in the tactical side of the Intelligence community including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-Army Graham spent some time in the local 3-Gun circuit before becoming a full-time NRA Certified defensive handgun instructor and now works as an industry writer while curating a YouTube channel on the side. Visit Graham on Youtube .

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Old 1811praackWild BillMichael Compagnone Recent comment authors
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Old 1811
Old 1811

Shouldn’t a WWII-themed 1911 be a standard (or at least close to it) 1911A1? You know, no guide rod, 1911-style hammer spur, and solid trigger?
The modern sights, ambi safety, and enlarged ejector port are necessary improvements, even to a curmudgeonly purist like me, but if you’re gonna make put WWII stuff all over a 1911, shouldn’t you use at least a WWII-looking pistol?


sticker shock for a citadel,
must be the cusrom cerakote job, my last citadels had 2 tone cerakote and were about 400 each. – one in 45 the other in 9mm. so i am a bit puzzeled at the massive increase in price to kimber land….

Wild Bill
Wild Bill

I’d like to spruce-up my ParaOrdinance 14/45. Anyone know of a vender that makes fancy grips for ParaOrdinance. I want to add to Trump’s economy and prepare for the upcoming “Not Corrupted Yet” candidate support barbecues, in 2020!

Michael Compagnone
Michael Compagnone

Very good review on the 1911 . I’m a huge 1911 fan and do love the look.
The price seems about right and I did not notice if it is available in 9 m m.