1911 help needed, 4" barrel or 5" barrel??

This is a discussion on 1911 help needed, 4" barrel or 5" barrel?? within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Looking at 1911's today and I like the SA champion. It has a 4 inch barrel and I was told by 2 people inside of ...

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Thread: 1911 help needed, 4" barrel or 5" barrel??

  1. #1
    Member Array Bags's Avatar
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    1911 help needed, 4" barrel or 5" barrel??

    Looking at 1911's today and I like the SA champion. It has a 4 inch barrel and I was told by 2 people inside of siad gun shop that the 4 inch 1911 is not as a good setup/design as the 5 inch barrel.

    Is there any real difference? I understand that the longer barrel will aid in accuracy, but is there any other purpose?

    Is there any downside or problems with the 1911 4 inch barrel over the 5 inch barrel?

    I know there is a 1911 forum, I am looking over there, I just prefer to ask yall. There is less brand loyalty here than other forums I have seen.

    Thanks for any help

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    Usually anythign under 4" has more problems than anything above i prefer the orginal commander size 4 1/4 it has been proven to work but seems the 4" springer works well to

    In general most problems i have read though all brands are again under 4"

    I like springfields but dont like a bull barrel its a personal preferance thing i think i have 4 springers at this time in 5"


    Also what they are refering to is a lot of the angles change when you run a shorter barrel than 5" and sometimes it causes a ton of reliabilty issues

  4. #3
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    I am not the 1911 afficionado here at all but from choice would always go full size - or as Bud says, plus on 4".

    Over time I see more and more shorties being way too unreliable by comparison.

    It may be of interest to some - 1911 Tuner over on THR has been doing some experimenting and it is a work in progress I think - attempting to evaluate the factors behind less reliability on shorter platforms.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=199089
    Chris - P95
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    Member Array Bags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bud White

    Also what they are refering to is a lot of the angles change when you run a shorter barrel than 5" and sometimes it causes a ton of reliabilty issues

    You are 100% correct. He did say reliabilty issues... I could not remember exactly what he said.

    Thanks for the info

    And thanks for the link P95.. and I think you are correct, Full size is the way I will go

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    Senior Member Array Rhome's Avatar
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    I have a Springfield Champion 4" barrel, It has been every bit as reliable as my 5"- 100% reliable. I have an older Springer, the new ones have a fully supported bull barrel which is a nice feature and the recoil system is a captured system. if I weren't buying a Kimber I'd buy the newer Champion . thats my 2 cents worth.

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    We try to help if your gonna go fullsize and want lighter weight check out the springfield loaded lightweight great gun weight of a commander with a 5" barrel

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    Distinguished Member Array snowdoctor's Avatar
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    For what it is worth, I own a 3'' baby kimber(ultra carry), a 4" colt commander, and two 5"one colt and one kimber.
    I have seen no reliability issues with any. I carry the baby kimber everyday, and have 1000's of rounds through it.
    Now as you can tell, I can not speak on the SA's, I do not own one. IMO, i do not think the smaller kimber's have a reliability problem. My brother, my brother in law and myself all own one, and really like them. We even stake our life on them. Also you have to be able to conceal and carry with comfort or it will probably get left home.
    take it for what it is worth. and good luck, let us know your decision,
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    For what its worth, I like my SA Champion LW. The OD and black 2 tone sets it off for me. Runs reliably and seems plenty accurate. Also ,I believe the 1" less helps me to conceal it with my body type.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    Member Array Brian45's Avatar
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    My primary carry is a SA 5" 1911. I also have a 4" Lightweight Champion just like Rocky has. The 4" has only had one FTF and that was with less than 100 rounds through it, well within the breakin period. Now I have about 400 round through the Champion without any problems. It is a accurate and reliable gun.
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    Member Array grnzbra's Avatar
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    I can't address the reliability of the shorter guns, but I can say that with a good IWB holster, barrel length isn't the problem; it's grip size. I have been able to conceal a full size 1911 with a 10 round mag (read "extended mag") under a T shirt. (Well, as far as I know, there weren't any police around so the people who didn't see it probably didn't know what to look for. Perhaps a police officer would have spotted it.)
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    I researched the 1911 before buying my SA. Champ. I found most of the problem guns were the micros. 3" barrelled 1911's seem to be finicky if they will be reliable or not. that said the only 3" 1911 I would consider buying is a Colt Defender due to its reliability. Never found any info on the 4" beign unreliable due to barrel length.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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    Member Array R.E.Lee's Avatar
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    How much would accuracy be affected when going with the 4" over the 5" in any particular 1911?

    I dont know that I will carry any 1911 that I purchase, but I think the 4" would be easier to conceal if I chose to do so.

    What makes a bull-barrel undesireable to some people? What are the pros and cons of it? (a bull barrel is bushingless, no?)

    Thanks

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    Member Array Risasi's Avatar
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    Think of it this way, going from 5" to 4" doesn't seem like much, but it is a slide action auto-loading pistol. This means it has to do it's "thing" in 20% shorter period of time instead of the original design John Moses made. That's significant.

    Now having said that let me also say I have never had any jams in an SA commander I had. I did have a few jams in my double stack BUL in commander configuration. I traced this to the 230gr Winchester HP ammo I was using, this same ammunition functions fine in my other BUL, which is a full size government model. Tigher tolerances.

    The other two 1911's I still have are both full size S.A. Gov models. I don't have any problems with them. One is fully loaded, one is just the standard mil-spec model. Out of all the 1911's I have and have had I prefer the single stack mil-spec, (I think it's now the G.I.), it shoots 3" groups at 25 yards, always goes bang. And I mean always. last year I had nearly 20,000 rounds through it.

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    VIP Member Array Bud White's Avatar
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    For Bull vs Bushing Barrel there problem not a difference in the world but personal preferance and i dont like the bull for some reason

    Only differance i notice on the 4-5" barrel is if your a smaller guy or drive a car with really really comfy seats the 5" will hit the seats and push up and usually cause the 1911 to jab ya in the side 4-4 1/4 wont


    That said ive carried both and prefer a 5" im a big guy so i dont have any problems hiding it good belt good holster anyone can hide a 5" 1911

  16. #15
    VIP Member Array TWO GUNS's Avatar
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    I think the Commander size 1911 is just as good as the full size 1911.But I find the full size 1911 to carry better concealed than the 4 inch model.I carry IWB with a Milt Sparks VM2 and the 5 inch model is more comfortable than the 4 inch model.The 4 inch model digs me in the but and the 5 inch does not.I also carry a 3 and 1/2 inch model and that feels great.Hope this helps ya.
    Have Fun and Shoot Straight !!

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