This is a discussion on 1911 questions... within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm going to go out on a limb here and actually try to ANSWER some of the OPs questions instead of just stating what I ...
February 8th, 2008 09:39 AM
I'm going to go out on a limb here and actually try to ANSWER some of the OPs questions instead of just stating what I carry and like....
This one isn't too hard, choose a reputable manufacturer that carries a lifetime warranty, if you're new to the 1911, buy new, not used, it gets hard to tell what is original and what is not on many used 1911s, and you just might not know what a home gunsmith can or can't do.
...how do you separate treasure from trash?
Looking at the factors you have listed:
I know that there are 1911 pistols with 3 inch, 4 inch , and 5 inch barrels available. Which length is the best choice for a balance of reliability, accuracy, proper ballistics performance, and concealment?
- Ballistics performance
A 5" gun will have the most accuracy and ballistic performance, but the least amount of concealment.
A 4" will have better accuracy and performance than a 3" gun, and is moderately easier to conceal.
A 3" Has the least amount of accuracy and terminal performance of the sizes, but generally is the easiest of the 3 to conceal.
Now looking at my statements, please understand that concealing a 5" gun is not a hard thing to do, as you can see above, a great number of members here (myself included) do it every day, as a matter of fact I'm doing it right now.
So to answer your question, a new in the box, 4"-4.25" 1911 will most likely be the balance of what you desire without being currently familiar with the 1911.
The Commander sized guns are the happy man in the middle so to speak, they are not as long as the 5" so they will clear the holster more quickly, and still offer more recoil absorbing mass, while still maintaining a longer barrel and sight radius.
So here's where it gets tricky, the hardest thing to conceal on any gun, is the grip area of the firearm.
While the smaller Officers size gun have a shorter grip to ease concealment, you're cutting your slide mass, sight radius, and barrel length.
While some have no problem concealing the grip (see my bit on the 5" guns) some do.
So if you want the benefits of a Commander sized gun (4"-4.25"), but also want the benefits of an Officer's size gun (3") you need to get a gun with the Commander length slide and barrel, but has the officers size frame like the Colt CCO, and the Kimber Compact. There are other makers of this style 1911, but I'm not going to list them all for you.
I carry a Les Baer Thunder Ranch Special in a Milt Sparks Versa Max II.
February 8th, 2008 09:56 AM
To add to what JD said, the Commander length slide is a nice blend of recoil control, reliability and sight radius. While the Officer's frame will be easier to conceal it will hold one less round in the magazine. Another option for ease of concealment is the bobtail frame. This is a full size frame that has the corner of the frame/mainspring housing bobbed. This eliminates the corner that most often prints and lets you retain the full size magazine. Check them out too.
Ed Brown Products, Ed Brown Custom, rifles, 1911, parts
DW Commander Cls Bobtail
"The liberty of the individual is no gift of civilization. It was greatest before there was any civilization." Sigmund Freud
February 8th, 2008 11:31 AM
thats all I shoot is 1911 and thats all I do is point shooting. Its easy if you take the rear sight off. your eyes are not drawn to the sight cause its not there....
Originally Posted by BikerRN
February 8th, 2008 12:00 PM
A big +1 for the 4" Wilson Professional. I have been carrying mine for a couple of years now.
The only thing needed for evil to exist is for good men to stand by and do nothing!!!
February 8th, 2008 04:48 PM
I have been carrying a 3" 1911 for about 7 years now. I personally don't see a big difference concealing a 3" or 5" 1911 (or even a Sig P220). The barrel and grip are a little longer, but when carrying, it's not really that big of a difference.
Also, I have found my 3" Kimber to be very reliable, and accurate. It seems a lot of people have had reliability issues with their small 1911's, but not me, or my 2 other friends who also have the same pistol I have.
FWIW, I would rather carry a full size pistol than a compact, and hopefully will be switching back soon. I just like the feel of a full size pistol better, it's not a reliability issue for me.
"Nice grips, weird choice of etching" Rocky
February 8th, 2008 04:50 PM
Originally Posted by gunnerdd2
"Nice grips, weird choice of etching" Rocky
February 8th, 2008 05:20 PM
Carried a 1993 full size SA Standard (same as current SA mil spec) till last year when I switched over to a commander size Springfield Champion. Shoot it just as well, easier to clear the holster when drawing and conceals better on my medium frame, 5' 7" 175 lbs. body than it's larger full size brother. With that said I recommend the Springfield Armory Champion that is in your price range and a TT GunLeather High Quality Leather Gun Holsters IWB holster. Buy a couple of Wilson 8 rd. mags and you should feel very comfortably armed. JMOAMOO. Have fun shopping!
Sportsterguy-NRA Life Member
Join the NRA today, or don't complain when your guns are taken away!
February 8th, 2008 08:55 PM
My first handgun, let alone 1911, was a Springfield Armory Loaded Champion. It had the features, ergonomics, and concealibility that I wanted.
The best way to answer this question for yourself is to start handling a few different handguns to see what is best for you.
February 8th, 2008 09:35 PM
Get a Colt Commander and for your plastic 45 get a Wilson Combat KZ45 Compact.Thats what I did.
Have Fun and Shoot Straight !!
February 8th, 2008 09:38 PM
That is excellent advice.
Originally Posted by Delta Force
"The pistol, learn it well, carry it always ..." ~ Jeff Cooper "Terrorists: They hated you yesterday, they hate you today, and they will hate you tomorrow.
End the cycle of hatred, don’t give them a tomorrow."
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