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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
other than being a little more CHL friendly, what are the benefits/drawbacks of the ~4" slide vs. the ~5" slide? Does that extra inch or so for the sights dramatically help your accuracy?

How is the balance affected? What about recoil? I imagine that the less mass might increase recoil slightly.

I (obviously) haven't shot a lot of 1911s, but am looking to get one really soon.
 

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The additional inch can help accuracy but not significantly at SD distances when all you need is combat accuracy. That said, it is certainly possible to have a 4' or even a 3" 1911 that can shoot as accurately as a 5". My most accurate gun is a 5" 1911 that has shot a 2.25" group at 25 yards however my 4" Kimber shoots under 4" and my Baer Stinger shoots just over 3" from sandbags at 25 yards. Plenty for a SD gun.

The extra inch on a 5" can reduce muzzle flip however some of us prefer the balance of a 4" gun over a 5". If you can, I would definitely recommend renting a few and trying them for yourself.
 

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I agree with everything Dirty Rod said. I've carried both size pistols in the past and now I only carry my commander size. It just feels way more comfortable and I can shoot just fine with it.
 

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I've got four standard barrel length 1911s and one Colt Commander LW (aluminum frame). The LW does feel a bit different in the hand and I'm not quite as accurate with that as with my other 1911s. The biggest difference in my experience, however, is my LW seems more sensitive to what I feed it... even with ball ammo. Also seems more sensitive to the magazines I use compared to the other four.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've got four standard barrel length 1911s and one Colt Commander LW (aluminum frame). The LW does feel a bit different in the hand and I'm not quite as accurate with that as with my other 1911s. The biggest difference in my experience, however, is my LW seems more sensitive to what I feed it... even with ball ammo. Also seems more sensitive to the magazines I use compared to the other four.
Do you think that's because of the length of the slide or the aluminum frame? I imagine that the reduced weight would considerably affect felt recoil.
 

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I imagine that the reduced weight would considerably affect felt recoil.
The difference in recoil from the alloy Kimber I carry and my other steel 4" guns feels like the difference between shooting 230gr range ammo and my 230gr Hydrashoks. I can definitely feel it but it's really not that significant. After shooting it for a couple years, my slow fire and double tap groups are no larger than the groups with my steel guns.
 

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I carry a Kimber Pro Carry II 4".
I love it. Feels great in all ways. Accurate.
Just got a RIA GI Gov't model 5". It's my project weapon.
Shoots just as accurate. Maybe a bit more so.
The sights suck though. Just black on black. For now. :D
But it feels balanced. The steel frame is counter balanced by the extra lenth slide and barrel.
It really feels natural. Just harder to CC with it.

That's just my opinion.
 

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Do you think that's because of the length of the slide or the aluminum frame? I imagine that the reduced weight would considerably affect felt recoil.
I can feel the difference in recoil, but like Dirty Rod said, I don't think it is a significant difference... no where near as different between shooting a .38spl vs a .357mag. I honestly can't pin down a single factor that makes it shoot different for me. It just feels different in hand, the sight line is a tad shorter, there's a bit more recoil and maybe the lighter weight itself makes it a little less steady for me. Just to give you an idea of difference... if I'm hitting 2" at seven yards with the other 1911s, with this one I'll be at 4"... close enough to do the job as a CC but if punching holes in paper for bragging rights, I'd shoot one of the others.
 

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I like the balance of a Commander better. Big Commander fan. Here's two of my favorites. Hardchromed full custom Colt and HC'd Guncrafter No Name. :)


 

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was at the range today and a gentleman let me shoot his colt commander, never fired a 1911 in my life till this, took 8 total shots, 4th shot i got a dead centered bullseye at 15 yards and the following 4shot group were all touching and just half inch to the left outside the bullseye, it took the first three rounds for me to get a feel of the trigger but i was very impressed, i def think the 4 inch barrel is accurate and would love a shoot a 5inch, i think my next pistol will be a 1911.
 

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was at the range today and a gentleman let me shoot his colt commander, never fired a 1911 in my life till this, took 8 total shots, 4th shot i got a dead centered bullseye at 15 yards and the following 4shot group were all touching and just half inch to the left outside the bullseye, it took the first three rounds for me to get a feel of the trigger but i was very impressed, i def think the 4 inch barrel is accurate and would love a shoot a 5inch, i think my next pistol will be a 1911.
Congrats! But watch out, they can be very addicting. :D
 

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Congrats! But watch out, they can be very addicting. :D
those are the exact words the gentleman that owned the pistol said after i handed it back thanked him and told him he sold me on a 1911. If your purpose is to conceal a full sized .45acp pistol the colt commander felt very very light and the 4inch barrel would not be an accuracy concern to me unless you plan doing on competative shooting.
 

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Sweetness Joe..


Who did your hard chrome?
Thanks. :D Chris Peters at Metaloy. He's hardchromed a couple of guns for me. He also did the hardchoming for Wilson, when they used to offer it and does Nighthawk's and Guncrafter's too. This a full custom Kimber he did for me.





 

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I don't really notice and recoil difference between my 5 inch guns and my Colt Combat Commander. It might be a little more snappy, because of it's shorter slide cycle but its not enough to really notice.

The Commander is easier to carry and a little lighter.

Accuracy? I dunno....the longer sight radius on the 5 inch gun is best for targets on the range, but in a defensive situation....I doubt you will notice.

If it is for carry most of the time...go Commander....if its going to the range or staying home...go with a 5 inch gun.

Also, on the whole...I have had less feeding troubles from 5" guns than the smaller ones. The smaller 1911s have gotten better, but the 5 inch guns are still the most reliable.

- brickboy240
 

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The purests always like to bring up the fact that the cartridge was designed for a 5 inch barrel so it doesn't develop full "power" in a shorter barrel. This is true in the chrono tests especially much below 4 inches, but at SD range and the target isn't vested or armored I don't think that makes much difference. A BIG slug is still a big slug even if it isn't a racecar :p;)
 
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