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  1. #1
    mattdillon's Avatar
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    1911 Barrel length preference?

    If you could only choose one 1911 what would be your barrel length preference? I am looking at the 4 inch 1911's, but looking at the 5" also for my first 1911 purchase. I know, you will say just get one of each and eventually I probably will.....but what would be your FIRST choice??

  2. #2
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is offline Senior Member
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    I'd go for the full, standard-issue, Government-Model length.
    Parts are easier to find and get, and the gun will be dead-on reliable. Shorter barrels can come with functioning problems built-in.
    The full-size gun will be easier to shoot well, and it will conceal just as well as an inch-shorter model will. (It's the grip, not the barrel, that's hard to hide.)

  3. #3
    Cary Keshen's Avatar
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    The only 1911 I own is a Springfield Long Slide with a 6 inch bull barrel. It is extremely accurate - the extra 1 inch means it is 20% longer than a 5 inch, which I believe does increase accuracy. Also adds a little more weight to soak up recoil. Eventually I will get a 1911 with a 5 inch barrel, but somehow I think I'm going to be a little dissappointed. The Long Slide is a great shooter.

  4. #4
    mattdillon's Avatar
    mattdillon is offline Junior Member
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    Good points to consider.

  5. #5
    ScottChapin's Avatar
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    I chose a 5" Colt, but then I already have a Baretta 92 SBC. I'm still trying to see if there is a way to carry the Colt

  6. #6
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    I prefer 5".

  7. #7
    unpecador's Avatar
    unpecador is offline Senior Member HGF Gold Member
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    I choose the Commander model length.

  8. #8
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    Govt model!

  9. #9
    Baldy's Avatar
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    My frist and only one for a good while was a Commander size, and I still carry it today.

  10. #10
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    I'd go for the full, standard-issue, Government-Model length.
    Parts are easier to find and get, and the gun will be dead-on reliable. Shorter barrels can come with functioning problems built-in.
    The full-size gun will be easier to shoot well, and it will conceal just as well as an inch-shorter model will. (It's the grip, not the barrel, that's hard to hide.)
    A ditto to the above from me. Unless you're a shorter person the extra inch of barrel is no big deal, but I've heard from some shorter persons that the extra inch makes it uncomfortable to sit and pending on carry location, some may have trouble clearing the holster with a 5". If my wife carries at 3 o'clock with a 5" her hand is in her armpit before the muzzle is clear of the holster opening.

  11. #11
    Frank45's Avatar
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    I own a couple commander lengths, they work well for me. Zero issues.

  12. #12
    Shipwreck's Avatar
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    If I didn't like carrying my Beretta 92 so much, I'd likely carry my 5" 1911. The length is fine to me, and its more fun on the range. Less recoil too.

  13. #13
    mattdillon's Avatar
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    Great feedback. Thanks. As many of you own more than one I will probably own both a 4" and 5" with the 5" edging out the 4" as my first one. I will keep you posted on what I get.

  14. #14
    tony pasley's Avatar
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    I have several 1911's and some of the shorter versions I still carry a full size daily.

  15. #15
    Kano's Avatar
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    5" Barrel

  16. #16
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    I'd go for the full, standard-issue, Government-Model length.
    Parts are easier to find and get, and the gun will be dead-on reliable. Shorter barrels can come with functioning problems built-in.
    The full-size gun will be easier to shoot well, and it will conceal just as well as an inch-shorter model will. (It's the grip, not the barrel, that's hard to hide.)
    I agree. If you use an inside the waistband holster barrel length is immaterial to concealment.

    The longer slide (along with a steel frame --or stainless steel) means more mass and an easier to shoot weapon.

    If you are fairly strong (and exercise will improve your shooting) the heavier weight will allow the gun to settle on the target easier and will have less perceived recoil.

    The gripe about weight seems to me to be related to on-the-belt-carry, but a paddle holster or an inside the waistband holster does not stress the belt very much and carries the weight fairly easily.

    As far as reliability goes, when I was a very beginning shooter I had problems with my light weight Commander with the alloy frame. I guess I was "limp-wristing" the weapon but I had ejection jambs. This went away when I switched to a steel frame. I am far more experienced now and the few times I've shot a light framed pistol has not seen this problem again so I think I've conquered the limp-wrist issue, but I enjoy shooting a heavy gun much more.

    I think a beginning shooter will do better with a standard issue military-type weapon. Later on, after gaining experience he/she can make a judgement as to whether to go to a smaller weapon or a lighter one.

  17. #17
    sig225's Avatar
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    Barrel length

    My first choice would be the 4.25" Commander length. I have an Ed Brown Massad Ayoob 1911 and a Smith & Wesson 1911ES model, both Commander size. But, those are my choices, mainly because I like to carry, and they offer the best of both worlds ... being perfect for range or concealment.
    Some prefer the 5" barrel, which is fine. We all have out presonnel preferences, depending the scenario involved. If you want more of a range shooter, go with the 5" barrel.
    Make sure to choose a quality 1911 .... you'll be glad you did, down the road ....


  18. #18
    samurai is offline Junior Member
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    The main thing to me is dependability. I have a Colt Defender Plus 3", Dan Wesson CBOB 4 1/4" and a Springfield 5" loaded. They have all shot great with no problems - however, I would much rather carry a 25 oz. gun all day than a 36- 40 oz.( with the same load)

  19. #19
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by samurai View Post
    The main thing to me is dependability. I have a Colt Defender Plus 3", Dan Wesson CBOB 4 1/4" and a Springfield 5" loaded. They have all shot great with no problems - however, I would much rather carry a 25 oz. gun all day than a 36- 40 oz.( with the same load)
    Again, a lot depends on how you carry. In a shoulder rig I don't think weight is an issue at all. On the belt, yes it is an issue. Less so with a paddle holster which relies on friction between the hip and the paddle for much of the carry. The same for an inside the waist band holster.

    If you can shoot the 25 ounce weapon as well as you can shoot the 36 ounce weapon, then by all means go with the lighter one. But some people are recoil sensitive and the heavier weapon will reduce the amount of felt recoil. If you are amongst those that are recoil sensitive then make your judgement based on how well you shoot each weapon--comfort needs to be secondary to proficiency.

  20. #20
    buck-boost's Avatar
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    Full size for sure.

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