Can someone give me a quick and easy breakdown of a barrel with a bushing and one without? At this point I dont need the science- just the basics.
Thanks in advance!
A tapered bull barrel will reduce muzzle flip as it puts more weight out front, but the Kimber barrels are all one diameter if I'm not mistaken. There are some benefits to having a bull barrel but for unsupported pistol shooting they are thrown out the window. I never noticed any better performance from a bushing-less Kimber, but all I've had have been 3" and 4" models.
Field stripping differs in that with the 4" and 3" Kimbers you need a pin to insert in the guide rod that fixes the spring plug, spring, and guide rod into one unit for easy removal and reassembly. Springfield uses a plastic collar and now someone is marketing a similar piece for Kimber, you can see THIS THREAD for more details on that.
To get a little more basic...
A bushing sits in grooves at the front end of the slide, and it is what contacts the front end of the barrel, usually with a fairly snug fit (Most non-bull barreled 1911's).
A bushingless barrel has the front of the slide directly contacting the barrel (Glock, M&P, XD etc), which could "technically" lead to not as tight of a lockup etc... if you are able to shoot to the maximum abilities of the pistol. H&K "solved" this problem with an O ring on the barrel that contacted the slide making for a tight lockup.
The only 1911 I own has a bushing, so I can't speak for the bushingless ones, but the field stripping procedure is slightly more involved, and I hear a bent paperclip comes in handy.
Thanks all- that was exactly what I was looking for.
Have worked on both styles of barrel configurations for 30+years, i am partial to the bushing equipped barrels. The main reason is the accuracy enhancement potentiality. Several customers wanted to improve the accuracy on their bull-barrel equipped models. After doing a 4 pound super crisp trigger job & a custom fitted greider nm speed trigger, the only other improvement i could do was to re-cut, lap, & polish the muzzle crown.
However, on a bushing equipped 1911, the accuracy potential was improved further, when i turned, reamed, & lapped a nm stainless bushing to the slide & barrel, thus eliminating almost .015" of total tolerance stack-up of the factory bushing, to a final combined total of only .004" with the new bushing. Bench-rest groups @ 25 yards were almost 70% smaller.
In my professional opinion, i would always advise the government or commander model of the 1911a1 pistol for the above stated reason. Hope this helps.