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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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:danceban:
 

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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
 

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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
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Bud White said:
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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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. :image035:
 

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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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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.
 

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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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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.
 

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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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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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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
 

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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.
 

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i carry a stainless tle/pro 2 with the rail. by the way pro means 4 inches in kimber terminology. this gun comes with a match grade bull barrel.this gun is as accurate as it gets without gunsmith work done to it. i also have 5 inch 1911 with barrel bushing. both of these are accurate for self defense. i find no difference in reliability or accuracy with either of these guns. just that one is easier to conceal than the other because its an inch shorter
 

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The hard part for me to conceal is the grip, not the barrel. The champion has the government grip, just as Kimber Pro Carrys.

The plus side is that the full length grip means your springs last longer if you stick with seven round mags (compared to 7 round magazines for the officers model, and eight rounders for the government).

4" 1911s use the officer's model spring, Kimbers do anyway, I'm not sure about springers. If you keep a fresh spring handy, you wont be likely to have any issues. I change the spring in my 4" about every 500 rounds or so. It could probably last longer, but I want it to function even when I'm limp-wristing it, so 500 rounds is about I get out of it. The 4" isnt less reliable, just higher maintenance. It gets less reliable when not maintained properly.

If I were getting a 4" 1911, I'd go for the compact. Since the Pro Carrys and the Champions have the full-length grip, I go with a 5" instead, which is what I currently carry.
 

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Zach S said:
The hard part for me to conceal is the grip, not the barrel. The champion has the government grip, just as Kimber Pro Carrys.

The plus side is that the full length grip means your springs last longer if you stick with seven round mags (compared to 7 round magazines for the officers model, and eight rounders for the government).

4" 1911s use the officer's model spring, Kimbers do anyway, I'm not sure about springers. If you keep a fresh spring handy, you wont be likely to have any issues. I change the spring in my 4" about every 500 rounds or so. It could probably last longer, but I want it to function even when I'm limp-wristing it, so 500 rounds is about I get out of it. The 4" isnt less reliable, just higher maintenance. It gets less reliable when not maintained properly.

If I were getting a 4" 1911, I'd go for the compact. Since the Pro Carrys and the Champions have the full-length grip, I go with a 5" instead, which is what I currently carry.
Zach, you change your springs very 500 rounds?If I did that I would be changing my springs every week.:spankme:
 

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If you are in the market for a 1911 start with the full size because you will not be happy. Then later see if you can get yourself a good used 4 inch. I am currently in the market for 4inch myself. However, as most have said the grip is the only issue with concealing. I have concealed my 1911 under a polo shirt while shopping with the wife.
 

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I alternate between my Kimber Eclipse Pro with 4" barrel and my full sized Nighthawk Predator. Frankly I can tell any difference as far as comfort goes. Each is easy enough to carry concealed, with the right holster, and both provide the accuracy I like, out to 25 yds. The recoil difference is unnoticeable. I have fired subcompact .45s with the 3" barrel, and quite honestly, I wouldn't have one of my own. I didn't like the recoil (makes that double tap difficult for me), and I prefer a gun that I can spend a day at the range with and not come home with a sore wrist. Just my two coppers !:redface:
 
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