1911 3" barrel.

This is a discussion on 1911 3" barrel. within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I purchased a used 3" kimber ultra eclipse with which I had some FTE's until I replaced the extractor. It has been 100% since then ...

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Thread: 1911 3" barrel.

  1. #16
    Member Array Ducmonster's Avatar
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    I purchased a used 3" kimber ultra eclipse with which I had some FTE's until I replaced the extractor. It has been 100% since then and I love it. I would recommend starting with a Remora holster. They are inexpensive
    and allow you to experiment with positioning to see what works best for you. It is still my go to for IWB carry. I have a Galco belt slide for OWB which I prefer for comfort and ease of draw but find it difficult to keep from printing unless I am wearing a jacket or bulkier clothing. That is what works for me.

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  3. #17
    Member Array golfer's Avatar
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    I have a 3" Kimber CDP. It has been good to go from day one. That being said, I studied up a bit on bullet velocity out of a 3" barrel and was not liking everything I saw. The 230 grain bullet is hitting a little more than 600fps with most loads. Thats not enough for me.
    IMO you will want to be using the 180 gr. or possibly the newer 160 grain bullet in a short barrel mode. It will give enough velocity for the bulleet to expand which is what you want.
    That being said, the 4 or 41/4" barrel is really no more difficult to conceal than the 3. It gives you the velocity you need with the heavier bullets is a little more stable in the hand and overall has a better reputation for reliability.
    Try them both if you get a chance, pick the one you like.
    Best to you.
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  4. #18
    Member Array mk70ss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kmagnuss View Post
    Old school guys will swear up and down that 3" 1911's are unreliable and the platform was made for 5"... 4.25" is barely acceptable. Then drones of others will chime in about their uber-reliable 3" ers. I had a uber-reliable Springfield Ultra Compact (3") and I had a RIA that was only reliable with Wilson Combat mags and Gold Dot ammo... (FMJ wouldn't feed right for some weird reason).

    Anyway... IMO they're fine. And if they're not fine right out of the box you can find somebody who will make it fine.
    I have a Colt New Agent and a Sig Nitron UltraCompact. Both are 3 inch 1911s and they function 100%. Maybe the earliest ones were problematic. But now I think they work as well as anything else.
    No one ever said it'd be easy.

  5. #19
    Senior Member Array Smarshe's Avatar
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    Thanks to all for your advise. Re ammo, I just bought some Glaser Pow'RBall 165 Gr +P. it was recommended for 3" 1911s at my LGS. Should feed well.
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  6. #20
    Senior Member Array royal barnes's Avatar
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    I sometimes carry a Colt New Agent when my clothing dictates(sweater or vest). I carry the same Gold Dot 230 grain HP in it that I do in my 5" Colt LW Government. I just don't want to keep up with two different rounds. If the HP does not expand reliably from a 3" it still performs like a 230 ball round which is nothing to sneeze at. The 3" will conceal better than a Commander or Government Model because of the grip length. The ideal would be a Commander length slide with an Officer's grip but I make do with what I have.

  7. #21
    Distinguished Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    I owned a Kimber RCPII from their custom shop, it worked well and I never had an issue. I prefer a Commander or Govt. Model as they actually are easier for me to conceal IWB. The Officer length guns allow the grip to lean out and away from my body where the 4"/4.25"-5" guns muzzle keeps the grip in tight and hidden. The CCO and Officer sized grip is a little short and cramped for me as well. Post up some pics whatever you get and good luck.

  8. #22
    Distinguished Member Array Nmuskier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smarshe View Post
    Thanks to all for your advise. Re ammo, I just bought some Glaser Pow'RBall 165 Gr +P. it was recommended for 3" 1911s at my LGS. Should feed well.
    Bring that garbage back and ask for SD hollow points. Heck, FMJ would be a better option than the "safety" junk. Look for 230 gr. especially if you're using a subcompact.
    Federal
    Speed
    Remington

    To the OP, I've seen too many reputable trainers warn against 3" 1911's. They have no real concealablity advantage over a 4". The commander size has a (generally) much better reputation.

    Barrel length may be opinion or make/model sensitive. Get rid of the Glaser ammo.
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  9. #23
    Member Array SFCDan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pogo2 View Post
    I use a 3 inch Colt Defender, similar to the Kimber you are considering. I have owned this gun for about 6 years, buying it slightly used from the original owner. It has been perfectly reliable for me, and I have put about 1000 rounds through it and changed the recoil springs once. I modified it slightly with thin grips, a Wilson drop in grip safety, a McCormick trigger and a dehorn job on the slide. I carry it in a Kramer horsehide belt scabbard. It is very accurate and has an excellent trigger pull. I use 185 grain Remington Golden Saber ammo, which feeds well.




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  10. #24
    Member Array revldm's Avatar
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    I have the Kimber Ultra carry II. I am not a great shot but that three inch gun will out shoot my five inch Colt and Springfield . The Springfield has a CT laser on it.

  11. #25
    Member Array tflhndn's Avatar
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    1911 3" barrel.

    +1 for Kimber Ultra Carry... I have carried one for about four years now. When I shot it in IDPA for a bout a year and once broken in, have not had any problems with it. I find it much easier to carry than my commander length. K

    It just works for me. I use 185 gr hollow points..

    My thoughts on "safety ammo": when I shoot my gun, it is not supposed to be safe. By the time I clear leather, my gun had better be highly unsafe for someone...

    Seriously though, when it comes time to use the gun, you will want something better than a "safety" round.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

  12. #26
    Senior Member Array Smarshe's Avatar
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    Not sure what "safety rounds"are. The Powerball 165 gr. +p are HP.

  13. #27
    Distinguished Member Array matthew03's Avatar
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    A few years back we had a member involved in a defensive shooting, he had loaded a mixed ammo magazine and fired two shots into the assailant's abdomen, one FMJ and one Power Ball round in .45. The results were not impressive if I remember correctly. I would rather have a 230gr Gold Dot or Win. Bonded. They can be found in the 50 count LEO boxes for much cheaper online as well.

  14. #28
    Distinguished Member Array Nmuskier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smarshe View Post
    Not sure what "safety rounds"are. The Powerball 165 gr. +p are HP.
    Glazer makes safety ammo. You may have Cor-Bon. Either way, a 3" 1911 will perform better with 230gr. ammo. You are seriously reducing muzzle velocity. Still, these subs get finicky regardless of maker. Going up a frame size increases reliability endurance, yet is still very concealable.

    RBarnes has it right. Commander slide, Officer grip.

    Sorry about my fat fingers/auto correct. I meant Speer ammo, not speed.

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