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What size 1911 would you carry? 3", 4" or full size?

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by willseeker, Nov 11, 2009.

  1. willseeker

    willseeker N. Portland. Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the process of purchasing a 1911 and hope I can get some advise on what size barrel and round capacity should I be looking at.
    I'm 5' 8", 175lbs and usually carry a G19. I don't seem to mind the bit of printing I get from it and certainly wont mind as the weather gets cooler and I have a jacket on.
    As far as the 1911s are concerned, I've looked at the 3" subs and wonder if I would be giving up a lot of accuracy over a longer barrel. Maybe go with a 4"? or forget the dilema and just get a full size?
    My budget is $1000.00 and want something in stainless.
    Any thoughts on 1911 carries would be greatly appreciated. Also your opinion on brand.
    Thanks all, Will
     
  2. yumarick

    yumarick Olympia, WA New Member

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    ...and there is not much difference in terms of concealment between carrying a 3" and a 4" at my size (6ft, 220). 5" drags a big getting it out of my IWB holster, however, it is great for the long shots. I normally carry a three, in .45 acp, and would recommend that or a 4 for you. I you can have two or three, so much the better.

    If I had a 4" .45 acp, I'd probably carry it in the summer. Or my 3". In winter you can carry nearly anything including a trombone under your coat.

    Since you are familiar with Glocks, have you looked at those in the shorter barrels? Go somewhere you can rent them and see how they shoot for you. My hands are too big for the compacts they have, so I prefer the standard size Glocks.

    And there are lots of different makes of 1911's. I prefer Colt and Kimber and my 3", which I carry most often is a Kimber Ultra CDP II. The Ultra Carry II is just fine too. I think I may try their Pro in 4" soon.

    Hope this gives you some ideas,
    Rick
    Olympia:thumbup:
     
  3. willseeker

    willseeker N. Portland. Well-Known Member

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    How do you like the finish on the CDP? I like the rounded machining.
    But was thinking along the lines of satin steel.
    I've also considered the Kimber with the CT sights, any comments on that? or just get checkered wood grips and CTs later?
     
  4. techieguy

    techieguy Well-Known Member

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    Will,
    I'm about 5'8" and 160lbs and easily carry a full size 1911. I wouldn't give up the relibilty of the 4" or 5" guns for the small gains in carrying a 3" gun. The biggest item to try and hide is the grip as I don't carry deep, should I need my firearm I want it to be easily available! I carry in Milt Sparks VMII (IWB) and its quite comfortable in my normal day to day pants I wear. As far as guns go... I currently have a Kimber (my third) and Colt 70 series. I think quality 1911 should be fine (Kimber, Colt Springfield, Fusion, Dan Wesson)

    Charles
     
  5. yumarick

    yumarick Olympia, WA New Member

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    is that some of the Kydex holsters I have are not nice to the black part. I have the CT sight and grips and they are fine. I like my Hogue's much better as grips, but that is a personal thing. Have them on my other 1911's. Having the CT gives me options in action that I don't have without it. Also great for newer shooters.

    Rick in Oly.
     
  6. willseeker

    willseeker N. Portland. Well-Known Member

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    I also believe that the holster is a very important part of whatever you're carrying. I currently have a very nice Galco OWB holster for my G19 and like it except for the fact that it's a paddle. Tends to move around a bit. A better wider belt will help with that I'm sure. I'll make a note of the Milt Sparks VMII, IWB. Thanks! You say you would give up the reliability of a longer barrel?
    Frankly, with the probability that when needed, it is going to be a three to ten foot shot, the 3" will do the trick. ****, At that range I'd end up setting the bad on fire. LOL:cool: Thanks Charles.
    I have a factory CT on my 642 Airweight and for me it's more for a novelty than anything else. I should just focus on getting a quality piece and deal with the toys later. Thanks Rick. BTW do you have any experience with the Kimber Eclipse?
     
  7. raindog

    raindog Portland, OR Active Member

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    My main concern with the smaller 1911s is that they're usually not made out of steel. The "carry" 1911s are often aluminum, and personally I find .45ACP out of a light, aluminum 1911 to be unpleasant.

    Round capacity? A traditional full-sized 1911 is only 7+1. A snub .38 (which is a very popular carry choice) is only 5. I think however you go, you'll be fine.

    I like Kimber or Springfield for 1911s. Owned both, both have been great. I'd pay attention to the snaggable surfaces (carry-optimized 1911s usually take care of these) and the trigger.

    I think you'll find any 1911 to be fussier than a G19, though. That is my somewhat heretical opinion. I love 1911s, but they are not as reliable as Glocks. (ouch! stop stoning me!) It may be a case of 99.9% reliability vs. 99.99%, granted. To take one example...the Glock manual says (paraphrasing) "use some CLP for lubrication if you want, but it's not really necessary". My Kimber manual has two pages of detailed "one drop of oil here, one drop there" instructions for vital lubing. They're just a fussier gun.

    But of course, nothing wrong with carrying a 1911...you do want to practice the **** out of it, though. The drills are different, hand position is different, etc. I do find I'm more accurate with a 1911 than a Glock, simply due to the SA trigger.

    One thought...the problem with 1911s might not be the length so much as height if you're using an IWB. A friend once said you could conceal a 15" flintlock IWB if the height wasn't too bad. I don't like IWB carry, so I can't personally say. There was a company (Detonics?) that was making a full-sized 1911 with a reduced height, but I think they're out of business. Unfortunately, if you want a reduced-height 1911, you have to go with a shorter barrel as well.
     
  8. beararms5000

    beararms5000 Seattle Member

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    I personally carry a 3" 1911 (Kimber Ultra Carry II) every day and love it. There is definitely an accuracy gain with the longer barrels but for me it would not be enough to affect the outcome of a gunfight at self-defense ranges.

    As far as my own reasons for choosing the 3", it was pretty straightforward: I can fit the 3" in the cargo pockets of heavy work pants but the 4" is just a bit too much. This is handy when I'm doing wiring jobs or crawling under people's desks (computer support), where an IWB bangs around or sometimes becomes visible if your shirt gets pulled up.

    Another benefit was that it stows easier in my biking waist pack, my hiking packs and my laptop bag's hidden back pocket.

    Basically, any time I'm trying to conceal in a compartment or pocket of any sort, the length seems to be a big issue. When we're just talking IWB or OWB, height seems to be the bigger issue and there, almost all 1911s are the same. If you only intend to carry at your waist, I would go for the largest size you can manage. If you want extra concealment options, go with the 3".
     
  9. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    I carry a few 1911's that are in the 3-3.5" realm. I find them all to be very reliable and very accurate. If you do not feel comfortable with the smaller barrel lengths I will add that the hardest part of the gun to conceal is the grip. Guns with comparable sized grips will conceal about the same. The extra .5-1" barrel length makes little difference.
     
  10. huntpotter

    huntpotter SW WA Negotiator Bronze Supporter

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    4 in Kimber, and 5 in Kimber. I'm a bigger guy, so I can conceal a full size. Ultra carry, or officers are just too small for my hand.
     
  11. willseeker

    willseeker N. Portland. Well-Known Member

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    Yes I have been looking seriously at the Ultra CDP (3"), however; I really liked the Sig that PP displayed a few days ago on another thread (wasn't that a 3.5"?).
    I have been in contact with Andrew and researching his site for a 1911 carry. I would like to support one of our local vendors. Any directions?
    If as you say, that the grip is the primary factor in CC, maybe a 4" Pro in Kimber or?
     
  12. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    Who? me? A Sig? You mean a Springfield maybe? :)
     
  13. bugeye

    bugeye Oregon Well-Known Member

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    14 inch and loaded with enzyte!

    Take that Bob you smiling doofus!
     
  14. I carried a Kimber Tle /rl stainless and had great luck with it till some crackhead ripped my safe off my wall and stole it. that was a fullsize 5". I replaced it with the Springfield operator lightweight and love it every minuteHits whatever I point it at and is alot lighter than the kimber. the finish has held up to my kydex really well to.
    Kyle
     
  15. willseeker

    willseeker N. Portland. Well-Known Member

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    The Springfield Loaded Ultra Compact in stainless has a 3.5" barrel and has caught my attention, however; I'm not able to locate one. Seems that Springers and Kimbers might be hard to find?
     
  16. PlayboyPenguin

    PlayboyPenguin Pacific Northwest Well-Known Member 2016 Volunteer

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    The Gun Broker in Clackamas has a new one in stock right now. :)
     
  17. willseeker

    willseeker N. Portland. Well-Known Member

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    Rock n Roll my friend, thank you. I bought an xd45 from them last year and had a good experience.
     
  18. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    IMHO I like the full size 1911 but everything is realative. When you buy one you find out if you like it or not. I never had many recomend guns that really work for me, I had to figure out what works for me.

    I find the full size to be the most accurate and just taking off an inch to make a commander size makes most of em less accurate in my opinion. If I am going through the hassle of hiding a gun I want it to hit what ever I shoot at.

    I have a micro springfield that sometimes works and I have been going through it to make it reliable for a second gun (bug). Had to change alot of things but it is comming along. Wilson mags were a big help.

    If the 1911 doesn't work out then they are easy to sell. Good design but heavey.

    jj
     
  19. Nosrac

    Nosrac Lakewood, WA Member

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    I'm 5'10" 160lbs and I love the Springfield EMP 9mm. For a cc gun it's great. Light weight, small, accurate and fun to shoot. I have several 1911's in different configurations but for CC comfort it's the EMP with small grip and 3" barrel. My next fav 1911 is probably the SW1911PD commander,or the DWCBOB but I find the CBOB relatively heavy with the steel frame and a full mag.
     
  20. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    I carry a DW CBOB. 4 1/4" Commander length.