4 inch vs 5 inch 1911

This is a discussion on 4 inch vs 5 inch 1911 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I use to carry a fully custom five-inch stainless 1911 that I loved! Unfortunately, it was a real challenge for me to CC. The weight ...

View Poll Results: What barrel length for Concealed Carry in a 1911 and why?

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  • 5in is fine - length in a 1911 is not an issue

    34 35.05%
  • 5in is too long to comfortably CCW every day

    1 1.03%
  • 4in is Fine - Just the right size combo for CCW

    56 57.73%
  • 4in is too long too long to comfortably CCW every day

    6 6.19%
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Thread: 4 inch vs 5 inch 1911

  1. #16
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    I use to carry a fully custom five-inch stainless 1911 that I loved! Unfortunately, it was a real challenge for me to CC. The weight and footprint was massive on my smaller than average framed bod. Today, I prefer j-frames in 2-1/8 or 1-7/8. Now, I’m not too keen on alloy or vinyl frames, as I prefer steel or stainless in the 21-23 ounce range.
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  3. #17
    Member Array rico68's Avatar
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    I think the answer is a blend of two of your choices. 5" is fine for carry, the length really isn't a problem. But that being said, I think the commander-size is the ideal carry size; the reliability of the full-size, smaller package to conceal, a little lighter (plus, with the CCO-size you can shave 3/4" off the grip, too). I've had a few 3" models from both SA and Kimber. I could never get any of them to feed/cycle properly. That was enough for me stay away from all 3" models. Other folks have had great luck with them and swear by them.

  4. #18
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    I find my SA Champ fits me perfect, but a 5" model would probably work too.
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  5. #19
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    FWIW the effective PD range is 25 yards (some would say a lot less) at the most...so the difference between the two for accuracy or bullet velocity isn't significant. You should be able to hit any target/BG with any quality 4" gun. I'd get a pistol that is as easy to pack as possible.

    If your talking target or competition shooting...you'll get a difference answer.

  6. #20
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    My only 1911 is a 5" and I have absolutely no problem carrying it concealed.
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  7. #21
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    I like the 5"

    I am 6'0" around 205 lbs, and I carry a full size 45.


    Sounds like I am at a 1911 anonymous meeting.

    Any way, I love mine, probably won't buy a 4" for a while, since there are others I want first. I have no trouble CC it all day, with a tucked in polo shirt. Mine is on a lightweight frame so that saves about 8 ozs, puts it around 32 unloaded. The cant of the gun matters, and where you stick the muzzle, I get mine about 4 o'clock, in the crevice of my hip, and butt cheek. I think the 5" balances better than my other pistols that are 4" barrels.

    That said I carry a PF9 a lot because of my surroundings (kids, family, playing... one of my kids (all preschoolers) ran into me with my 1911 on and wacked their head on it, the pf9 is just smaller and lighter) and its lightweight, I am confident in it also. But I feel the 1911balances better IWB.

  8. #22
    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    I'll stay with my 5.
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  9. #23
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  10. #24
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    I do not see a big difference in carrying a 4" or 5" but the 4" just feels perfectly balanced for me.
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  11. #25
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    I have a 3" Kimber and a 4" Kimber...either will work as effectively for a CCW. It's not the barrel length, but rather the grip length that determines concealability...IMHO...anything can be concealed, it's just that the shorter grip makes it a little easier.
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  12. #26
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    There was a time Wilson Combat would not work on a 1911 the had a barrel less then 4" because they just were not as reliable as the 4+ guns. I know he does offer shorter 1911's.

    A 5" 1911 is just not as fast to clear the holster as a Commander length barrel or 4 1/4". I think you lose too much velocity in an already slow moving bullet to go less than 4".

    Colt and Gunsite once offered a CCO which had a Officer frame and a Commander slide; IMO this is the best size for CCW. I believe Sig is still making their C3 which is basically a CCO.

    I know many will loudly disagree but i do not trust Kimber. I have seen 2 at my local range break a MIM slide stop and a MIM bushing. They once made a great gun but now appear to ride on their reputation of old and went to using too many MIM parts. For me 1 MIM part is too much. For those who do not know what MIM is it is Metal Injection Molding. It can be strong for certain applications like maybe a mag catch but has no place being used as an extractor for example. Colt at one time tried to save money by using a MIM extractor but found it was costing them more money in repairs than if they used a bar stock extractor so they went back to bar stock.
    Think of concrete, it can be very strong as a pillar in compression but would you want a concrete diving board?

  13. #27
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    I carry both the full size 5" and Commander 4.25"
    The .75" difference in barrel length makes little difference.
    For me the best feature for a CC 1911 is having a bobtailed mainspring
    housing. It really takes the bulge away when sitting down while conceled carring a 1911.




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