3 inch .45 Sufficient?

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by s+w1911, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. s+w1911

    s+w1911 New Member

    Nov 20, 2007
    Hello group,

    What is your opinion about a 3 inch 1911 vs a 5 inch?

    I know about the velocity loss, but is there really an expansion issue?

    I have a Kimber ultra cdp 2 and use federal hydro-shok 230 gr. Plus p's

    I use the plus p's to add some lost velocity.

    Am I very well armed?
  2. Lotsdragon

    Lotsdragon New Member

    Apr 5, 2009
    Potosi, Mo
    LOL I wouldnt want you shooting it at me, specially if you know how to do your job................

  3. s+w1911

    s+w1911 New Member

    Nov 20, 2007
    lol me eigther, but I want to know you won't have time to shoot back, I guess that is the ?
  4. s+w1911

    s+w1911 New Member

    Nov 20, 2007
  5. hogger129

    hogger129 Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    As for 1911's -
    I own a 5. Have a friend with a 3 1/2. I can honestly tell you that because of the way the gun is designed, the 3 1/2 is more prone to problems. The barrel has to be conical for everything to clear when you rack the slide. Because it's a smaller frame, he can only carry 7 rounds where I can carry 8. The smaller size means more recoil. His gun is more prone to feed problems because the ramp has to be steeper due to the shorter barrel. For a conceal carry, your best bet is to go with the 4 1/2 Commander size. A full-size can be carried for conceal and carry though with the right holster and the right belt - it's an issue I am currently working on fixing. I have a weak belt and a nylon IWB holster and it's tough to carry a full size 1911 with those. I have been told to get a good strong belt and a leather holster for a full size 1911.

    and for concealed carry, you should use hollowpoints, not the 230 grain fmj. i have 230 grain fmj, and some semi-wadcutters, but i decided to use hollowpoints when i'm not on the range, cuz i'm afraid if i ever had to use my weapon, it would go through something and possibly into the neighbor's house, or ricochet and hit someone else or just something else that i didn't intend to shoot at. hollowpoints are also proven to have better one-shot stops over fmj. stick to jhp for self defense.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2010
  6. s+w1911

    s+w1911 New Member

    Nov 20, 2007
    Hi guys,

    I'm not concerned with reliability, mine is flawless with 10k rounds. I'm asking about the velocity loss causing expansion issues.


  7. rancherodad

    rancherodad New Member

    May 22, 2009
    In theory your going to shooting within twenty feet check out ballistc by the inch web site I think your going to be fine if you do your part
  8. 308 at my gate

    308 at my gate New Member

    Dec 6, 2008
    Lost in SW USA.
    I do not believe that there is enough loss in velocity to worry about proper expansion from a shorter barrel. Most self defense shooting is going to be at close range and I do not think it is something to be concerned over. I reload for 5 different 45 semi autos that I own. One is a short barrel Para Ordinance. I have a Colt series 70, A spring field style 1911, A Glock sub compact, and a Sig Sauer. I just happen to like 45's.
  9. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

    Jun 24, 2008
  10. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    North Florida
    I carry a colt defender 3". I doubt seriously that anybody you shoot at 20 ft or less is gonna know there was any velosity difference. If you plan on shooting people from a distance then maybe. You are well protected.
  11. rocklinskier

    rocklinskier New Member

    Aug 16, 2009
    I do know that a couple of manufacturers (speer for one) do make HP ammo specifically for short barrel pistols. I beleive the diff is the burn rate of powder, and the 'openess' of the hollow point.

    That being said, I don't think that any round from any length of .45 is unproductive, but the SB ammo appears to be designed for max effectivness for just that application.
  12. Ed K

    Ed K Member

    Jan 4, 2008
    I carry 3 inch CDP Kimber loaded with CarBon 185 gr load supposedly designed for short bbl gun no expansion or velocity issues no function issue or I wouldn't bet my life on combination of gun and cartridge
  13. oscarmayer

    oscarmayer New Member

    Jun 24, 2008
    :) no doubt anyone shot with a short barreled 45 would notice the difference even if the speed of the bullet isn't enough to open the hollowpoint on impact the hole will be plenty big enough to get someones attention but i do believe you're right there are loads that are designed to work better from shorter barrel lenghts
  14. hogger129

    hogger129 Well-Known Member

    Nov 29, 2009
    are you shooting it in like competitions and stuff? for a conceal carry weapon, i don't think it matters because at the range you will need to use it, how accurate do you really have to be? i'd think a longer barrel would have higher accuracy though.
  15. jacksonco

    jacksonco New Member

    I shoot and carry 200 grain hp in my 3 1/2" bbl 1911. I carry 230 grain HP in my commander and full sized 1911.

    I would not be concerned with the 3" bbl length as long as the gun worked as it is supposed to.
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