View Full Version : 3" 1911 Reliability

10-05-2010, 2:39 AM
Two questions regarding 1911's with 3" barrels:
1. Do they cycle as reliably as 4" 1911's?
2. In comparison with a 4" 1911, does the relative bullet velocity loss associated with a 3" 1911 result in less reliable expansion of hollow point ammo?

Cyc Wid It
10-05-2010, 3:00 AM
1. No.
2. Depends on ammo.

10-05-2010, 3:10 AM
Any advice regarding hollow point ammo that cycles and expands reliably when used in a 3"?

10-05-2010, 6:04 AM
You might be interested in this: Why are short 1911s considered to be unreliable? (http://forum.m1911.org/showthread.php?t=54403) I have no experience with the compact and subcompact 1911's but found that info when I was thinking of getting one (still am, but will probably go with a 4.25" S&W 1911PD instead).

10-05-2010, 7:27 AM
Better to sick with 4 inch barrel in 1911

10-05-2010, 7:35 AM
I'm in love with the Kimber Covert. The Ultra is the only one thats available here CA. Which does not make any sense!

10-05-2010, 7:48 AM
I took a personal defense class one weekend which I used a Kimber Ultra CDP II. I went through approximately 800 rounds in various drills and reloading scenarios. I only had 2 FTF's which happend towards the end of the class and attribute to the weapon being dirty. I changed the spring and have shot an additional 400 rounds without one FTF or FTE. It is my primary CCW.

10-05-2010, 8:17 AM
My EMP works great. Never a problem and can be shot by either my niece or me. Springfield went to a lot of engineering to make the 3" 1911 work reliably.

Gun Tests' reviews were also positive.

I haven't done expansion tests, but the EMP works with Federal' EFMJ 124 gr and any practice rounds (PMC, Remington/UMC, S&B) I pick.

10-05-2010, 8:41 AM
I have only shot a couple 1911's with 3" barrels. Had problems cycling with both.

10-05-2010, 9:43 AM
GrizzlyGuy, thanx for the terrific link!

10-05-2010, 9:48 AM
The most reliable 1911's are 5 inch , std GI recoil rod and ball ammo.

10-05-2010, 9:49 AM
I have had no issues with my Kimber Ultra Raptor II.

10-05-2010, 10:46 AM
So 4" + are GTG? I've got the Kimber Pro TLE/RL II and DW CBob on my wish list. :)

Cyc Wid It
10-05-2010, 3:24 PM
4" isn't a true commander size. True commander size + full size are the most reliable.

10-05-2010, 6:10 PM
The only failures on my EMP have been with damaged ammo. Other than that. No ftf, or fte...

10-05-2010, 6:45 PM
I'd only go down to 3.5" (Officer's ACP). Even then, there's still fewer issues with 4.25" (Commander) and full 5" (USGI profile).

10-05-2010, 8:00 PM
GrizzlyGuy, thanx for the terrific link!

I'm glad you liked that one. I'm a geek so it was fun to read something that had a bit of scientific explanation behind it. :)

Note that Ed Brown says (http://www.edbrown.com/massadayoob.htm) that 4.25" is the smallest that you want to go without trading off reliability:

The slide has been reduced to the minimum possible (4.25") without significantly impairing the legendary reliability of the 5" slide...Slides shorter than 4.25" are notorious for reduced reliability.

10-05-2010, 8:02 PM
People on the internets say theyre unreliable. I never had a problem with my Kimber Ultra Crimson Carry :shrug: