Unreliable 3 inch 1911s - Urban Legend?

Unreliable 3 inch 1911s - Urban Legend?

This is a discussion on Unreliable 3 inch 1911s - Urban Legend? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; We have all heard urban legends - stories which are repeated over and over, such that many people come to believe them. Yet these stories ...

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Thread: Unreliable 3 inch 1911s - Urban Legend?

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Unreliable 3 inch 1911s - Urban Legend?

    We have all heard urban legends - stories which are repeated over and over, such that many people come to believe them. Yet these stories cannot be proved, and no hard evidence can be presented to verify the stories. Examples might include:

    1. The Sasquatch - a large, elusive apelike animal that lives in the forests of the Pacific Northwest.

    2. The Lost Dutchman Mine - a fabulous lost gold mine in the Superstition Mountains east of Phoenix.

    3. The Bermuda Triangle - a mysterious spot in the Atlantic Ocean near Florida, in which ships and airplanes disappear without a trace.

    I believe I have identified a new urban legend that is often observed right here on DefensiveCarry.com. It is the legend that 1911 pistols with 3 inch barrels don't work and should be avoided. Every time someone posts something about these guns, the same chorus of wailers comes out of the woodwork and proclaims that 3 inch 1911s should be avoided like the plague.

    Yet nobody offers anything like proof involving a study of failure rates in large numbers of 1911s having various barrel lengths. It is always one person's anecdotal experience with some flawed 3 inch 1911 in Boise 10 years ago, followed by the solemn pronouncement that God and John Browning only bless the 5 inch 1911s.

    Yet people (including me) keep buying these little guns, shooting them at the range and carrying them. They are evidently very popular. What's going on? My 3 inch Colt Defender just keeps working and working. I just don't have the heart to tell it that it isn't supposed to work.



  2. #2
    Buz
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    Yep,
    I don't think I have the heart to tell mine either.


  3. #3
    Member Array Homer1's Avatar
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    pogo2 maybe your Colt Defender has an identity problem you know how a Chihuahua will take on a pit bull so your Colt thinks it is a 5’ 1911.
    let him dream a little longer

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    It has been reported by many very experienced and knowledgeable folks... I think this falls under the "where there's smoke, there's fire" column. There are certainly many 3" 1911s that are totally reliable, but there were/are enough problems to create the "buzz," and not enough time has passed with a low enough problem rate to wipe the slate clean.
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array slimjim's Avatar
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    Personally, I have owned four 1911's (Colt Govt, Colt LW Commander, Colt Defender, & Kimber Ultra Carry). Required additional work on two of them, the Colt LW Comm. and Defender. The Defender never got it's act in gear, now it is long gone. BTW, I love my Kimber (Oh wait...is that 3 incher even considered a 1911?)

  6. #6
    Member Array Moondo's Avatar
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    Way back in the old days, I believe the year was 2000 when the little 3" was born. There were articles published with phrases like this:


    {American Handgunner, Sept, 2000 by Cameron Hopkins}

    "All three pistols feature bushingless bull barrels with double captive recoil springs on the Ultra 3" version. The 4" versions have a standard recoil spring. It is interesting to note that Kimber employs special Wolff springs in the 3" system, giving the little .45s the longest cycle time of any miniature 1911. One of the problems with shrinking the 1911 envelope down to a 3" barrel is that the slide, now of very little mass, moves so fast during cycling that the magazine spring may not have time to move the next round into proper feeding position. Kimber's system is the best for remedying this, along with a specially relieved breech face, tuned ejector and special slide stop dimensions to insure total feeding reliability."

    That is all it takes, for people to believe they are experts on the firearm and start posting on forums.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by slimjim View Post
    Personally, I have owned four 1911's (Colt Govt, Colt LW Commander, Colt Defender, & Kimber Ultra Carry). Required additional work on two of them, the Colt LW Comm. and Defender. The Defender never got it's act in gear, now it is long gone. BTW, I love my Kimber (Oh wait...is that 3 incher even considered a 1911?)
    Well, perhaps a few other folks experienced 50% failure rates from reputable manufacturers like slimjim - that might start some rumors of unreliability, ya think?
    A man fires a rifle for many years, and he goes to war. And afterward he turns the rifle in at the armory, and he believes he's finished with the rifle. But no matter what else he might do with his hands - love a woman, build a house, change his son's diaper - his hands remember the rifle.

  8. #8
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    My EDC, a Kimber Ultra CDP II, works just fine. I've never had a problem with it, I still use the Kimber mags, I do trust the gun... the 3 inch barrel has proven itself. No complaints here!

    I also have the CDP Pro, but the Ultra just conceals so well...it's a great sidearm...OMO

    Stay armed...stay safe!
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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    Member Array Erich's Avatar
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    I found my Springfield loaded Micro Compact to be no more unreliable than the average 1911.
    Shot-placement is king. Adequate penetration is queen. Everything else is angels dancing on the heads of pins.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    No problem with my Colt Defender -- and though a huge 1/2" longer, no problems with two Colt Officer's and a 3 1/2" Springfield. And I mean no problem ever. I use Wilson Combat mags in the Defender just because I like them and I want polymer followers, not metal, with the aluminum frame.
    I am shooting a wild guess that between all of them, there's been way over 25,000 rounds fired. I know one of the Officer's has seen at least 10,000.
    The Defender ejects backward more than the Officer's. It is also the most accurate by far. It is more accurate than my Colt Combat Elite (5").
    I have told all these short guns on numerous occasions that they should jam up and just not work at all, but none of them listen.
    Oh, and my wife can shoot my Defender and she has no grip strength at all. She will make a Glock stovepipe. With the Defender and her light grip, it still runs fine, though it does jump up pretty fast.
    Of course, this is all hypothetical, as none of these guns will actually work at all. Look! I'm a gunwriter.....

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    Senior Member Array Duisburg's Avatar
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    nope, never heard anything poor said or written about 1911's of any size or "breed" to speak of :) nice guns you have posted guys!
    I am sworn to protect the Constitution of the U.S.A. from all threats both foreign and domestic.

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    Member Array GotSig?'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Erich View Post
    I found my Springfield loaded Micro Compact to be no more unreliable than the average 1911.
    Thats really not saying much.
    كافر(Infidel)
    He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.
    Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good and Evil, Aphorism 146
    German philosopher (1844 - 1900)

  13. #13
    Member Array kashton's Avatar
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    My 3 inch 1911 sucked hard

    Here is a pic from my phone of a LIVE ROUND stove pipe!

  14. #14
    VIP Member Array eagle5's Avatar
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    My Para Slim Hawg has been reliable. The only problem I ever had with it was the a crack in the slide which Para took care of. The crack was more a manufacturing process glitch than a reliability issue.

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    Senior Member Array David III's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GotSig? View Post
    Thats really not saying much.
    Are 1911s generally unreliable?

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