Why the 3" 1911?

Why the 3" 1911?

This is a discussion on Why the 3" 1911? within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have never understood the hype for the 3" bbl 1911s. In my opinion, the 1911 is offered in 3 perfect sizes: 1) Detonics--if they ...

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Thread: Why the 3" 1911?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Herknav's Avatar
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    Why the 3" 1911?

    I have never understood the hype for the 3" bbl 1911s. In my opinion, the 1911 is offered in 3 perfect sizes: 1) Detonics--if they would put the rear sight where it belongs 2) CCO--Commander slide on an Officer's frame & 3) The old Gov't Model.

    I am primarily an IWB-kind of guy and if I'm going to have a longer grip, I want a longer slide to go with it. Personally, I think the 3" 1911s (to include the EMP) look horribly malproportioned. The only two reasons I can think of are OWB and shoulder carry. It only saves you 1/2" in a OWB over an Officer's/Detonics setup, and unless you are built like Popeye's girlfriend, it shouldn't make that big a difference in a shoulder holster.

    I realize different strokes make the world interesting, so would somebody please explain their allure? I have no intent to flame. I'm just wondering if I'm missing something.


  2. #2
    JD
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    To some, .5" can make all the difference in the world, Limatunes at 5'4" and 105lbs, in order to carry IWB, has to have a 3" bbl.

    Ankle carry of a 3" 1911 is easier.

    Some just want the smallest package possible while still maintaining a large caliber.

    Also, not all manufactures carry a 3.5" 1911. Kimber doesn't. I don't think Colt offers the Officer's model any more, just the 3" Defender

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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Advantages of 3 inch 1911

    I have a 3 inch Colt Defender and a 4 inch Kimber Pro CDP. In comparing the two, the Defender is one inch shorter in the barrel, 1/2 inch shorter in the grip, and weighs 3 ounces less empty (25 ounces vs. 28 ounces).

    From a concealment standpoint in OWB carry, I find the Defender easier to conceal than the Kimber because the shorter frame does not extend as far below the beltline, so it is less likely to "peek" from under the cover garment than the Kimber Pro. Note in the photo below how high the gun sits when holstered relative to the belt line.

    Additionally, the shorter officer's length grip is not as likely to print on the cover garment as the longer grip on the Kimber. And the lighter weight (about 10% lighter) makes it slightly more comfortable to carry.

    These are small advantages, but they are advantages in OWB carry with a cover garment.


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    Senior Member Array Herknav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pogo2 View Post
    Additionally, the shorter officer's length grip is not as likely to print on the cover garment as the longer grip on the Kimber. And the lighter weight (about 10% lighter) makes it slightly more comfortable to carry.
    I guess that's my point. To me, the OACP grip is unnecessarily long. The makers are shortening one aspect (length), but not both (length and height).

    JD--I had not thought about ankle carry.

  5. #5
    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herknav View Post
    I guess that's my point. To me, the OACP grip is unnecessarily long. The makers are shortening one aspect (length), but not both (length and height).

    JD--I had not thought about ankle carry.
    Yes, but in shortening length of grip, you give up capacity. 1911s are low on round count to begin with, 8 in a full size mag, 7 in an officers/defender size mag (pending on mag type, it could be 7 and 6 respectively) lowering the round count to say 6 or 5 would be drastic mistake in my book.

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    Distinguished Member Array SubNine's Avatar
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    I'm a hardcore traditionalist when it comes to firearms. I won't buy any 1911 that is smaller than full size and not chambered in .45 ACP, and I won't buy any long slide 1911s. I can see some advantages to having a smaller 1911 pistol, but I stand 5'9" and weigh 180, and I can conceal a full size 1911 in OWB holster without much trouble. I know there are good 1911 variants out there chambered in 9mm and 10mm, but there are other great guns that are smaller, and easier to conceal that I can choose from.
    USMC rule # 23 of gunfighting: Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everyone you meet.

    I am the God fearing, gun toting, flag waving conservative you were warned about!

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    VIP Member Array raevan's Avatar
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    My Colt defender can be carried in my Vest pocket as a BUG. To me it is not as comfortable to carry on my belt as a full size is.
    I carry 5" 1911 IWB and defender in pocket, spare mags will work in both.

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    VIP Member Array Rob72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herknav View Post
    I had not thought about ankle carry.
    As a bit of an aside, Jack Rumbaugh, with SI, posted this on another forum, re ankle carry:

    "Yes I was assaulted during an attempted robbery at at the K-Mart parking lot on 436 and Curry Ford Rd.

    Yes I am okay - just wish I could have gotten to my gun .

    I got out of the truck and a kid (18-20) told me to give it up and give him my wallet and I told him I don't think so and kicked him in the stomach (was trying to go lower) and then leaned over to get my gun out of my ankle holster when he jumped up with a knife and stabbed me on both sides of my chest (kind of a stabbing/slashing).

    Then he took off running when (my wife) came around the front of the truck. (I) went to the hospital for stitches and gave OPD a report.

    I am a mean old ******* and will live as usual - thanks for checking up on me, and be very very careful no matter where you are.
    I've tried ankle, and will say, having hung out with bikers, I would not ever carry primary that way.

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    Senior Member Array tegemu's Avatar
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    98% of the time my 3" Kimber Ultra Carry II is in my pocket in it's pocket holster. The rest of the time I have a Bobtailed Lightweight Commander in an IWB. The 3" shoots very accuratly and comfortably and is just plain easier to carry. I feel just as, or more, secure with the 3" as I would with one of my 5"ers. That's why.
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence in their behalf. - George Orwell

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    Senior Member Array Herknav's Avatar
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    tegemu--what kind of pocket?

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    VIP Member Array friesepferd's Avatar
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    for us little ppl who need to conceal a little gun

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    Senior Member Array Herknav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by friesepferd View Post
    for us little ppl who need to conceal a little gun
    I'm just curious how you carry it that the extra 1/2" in barrel length makes a difference and the grip (which is the hardest part for me to conceal) doesn't.

  13. #13
    JD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herknav View Post
    I'm just curious how you carry it that the extra 1/2" in barrel length makes a difference and the grip (which is the hardest part for me to conceal) doesn't.

    If they carry IWB, every bit helps, not to mention that womens clothes fit a little more snug than ours. It helps when they have less barrel to try and stuff in their pants.

    If the slide is too long it gets very uncomfortable.






    The last one is a 3" 1911, you can see it's still darn big...

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    Senior Moderator
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    Because it's cute!!

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    Member Array Eric45's Avatar
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    Wasn't a fan of the micro's until I shot one.
    SA micro (steel frame) w/night sights.
    Was more comfortable than I expected and dead on (at 21' anyway).

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