.45acp barrel length


August 1, 2008, 06:09 PM
Hi, I tried the search and came up with nothing but if there is a thread on this please let me know. I plan on eventually getting another .45 probably an xd maybe another 1911. my question is does a different barrel length affect power or function(I think I saw something about 1911s with a shorter barrel)

would the round be that much slower out of a 4in barrel?

If you enjoyed reading about ".45acp barrel length" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
August 1, 2008, 06:16 PM
You will be fine with a 4 inch barrel...it will lose nearly 8% - 9% of the velocity (compared to a 5 inch barrel), so your average 230 grain velocity will be around 775 fps or so.

This can be overcome if you reload. I load my ammo to just shy of +P specs and I get 830 fps from 230 grain XTP's out of my 4.25 inch barrel.

August 1, 2008, 08:40 PM
i agree that you will be good with a
4" barrel but i wouldn't go any less than that if you do your velocity is gonna suffer pretty bad, but there are the speer gold dot short barrel jhp's out there that you might be able to try to get the velocity back.

i am not a fan of 1911's with shorter that 4"-4.25" barrels personally. they were designed with the 5" barrel for a reason, and that is what mine has, i might go with a commanders size one day but for now i will stick with my 5". the xd is a great choice and it will serve you very very well.

August 1, 2008, 11:51 PM
Thanks for the replies guys, does anyone know at what velocity the .45 becomes ineffective?(for humans)

August 2, 2008, 12:53 AM
You need at least 750 fps for any chance of expansion in a hollowpoint.

FMJ 45 acp loads will be more effective than most other FMJ loads because of a larger hole...no matter the velocity.

August 2, 2008, 12:58 AM
does anyone know at what velocity the .45 becomes ineffective?(for humans) When the pistol ceases to function.

August 2, 2008, 01:02 AM
deleted...misunderstood post

August 2, 2008, 01:11 AM
does anyone know at what velocity the .45 becomes ineffective?(for humans) When the pistol ceases to function.

im pretty sure you could send someone to the emergency room if you removed your standard variety 230g hard ball ammo and threw it at them, provided you dont throw like a girl, lol.

pretty much if a round that heavy will operate an auto pistol, its gonna be effective.

August 2, 2008, 02:30 AM
I carry a 3.5" 1911, and at bad breath range I'm not gonna worry about a few fps loss. They're still gonna hurt. If one/two ain't enough, I've got more.

August 2, 2008, 02:35 AM
A corbon 185 DPX +P is still over 900fps from my 3" Defender. Commander 4 1/4" has been working fine since 1950's Ball or HP.

August 2, 2008, 08:04 AM
I like to stick with conventional barrels 4" and longer. But if you are concerned about velocity and want something a little shorter, you could look to H.K., GLOCK, and Kahr. Their polygonally rifled barrels cheat some of it back. I would definitely feel confident with the 3.8" U.S.P.c or 30/36 in .45 A.C.P.- and probably the 3.54" Kahr P45. J.M.O. and Y.M.M.V.

August 2, 2008, 08:14 AM
ok thanks guys looks like I'll be slightley better off with the 5in. but if I see a deal on a 4in I might take it
Thanks for the replies.
BTW the reason I was going with the xd or 1911 was bc of my small hands. Does the Kahr have a thick grip?

August 2, 2008, 11:25 AM
This may be a little blurry. Sorry 'bout that. Speer Gold Dot markets a 230gr round specifically for short barrels. www.ammunitiontogo.com has them. I carry them in my Taurus PT-145 as my SD round.


August 2, 2008, 11:50 AM
185 lead SWC 5.5gr Unique 3" SA Micro Average Vel 756

185 lead SWC 5.5gr Unique 5" SA G.I Average Vel 838.8

These results are from my Beta Chrony

August 2, 2008, 04:03 PM
I don't know about power, but I'm concerned about the accuracy figures I see from 3" 1911s. The published groups in the gun rags are always around 3." Add that to the varriance created by the "nut behind the trigger," and I'm not sure I could be as accurate as I wanted to be.

Darth AkSarBen
August 2, 2008, 11:17 PM
I have a Bersa MiniFirestorm .45 ACP D.A. pistol that I got recently. I was very surprised and pleased with the group. I attached a picture of a five shot group at 15'. That is an old 50 cent piece and you can move it over the bullet holes and cover them with it.

What do ya think? This Bersa has a 3 1/2" barrel, with 7 shot magazine +1 chambered. I think it will do for close encounters of the worst kind:)

Ammo used was Winchester Western 230gr FMJ I got at Wal Mart. I have my own private range..... I live in the country:D

Steve C
August 3, 2008, 12:43 AM
When I've ran the same loads on the same day over my chrono, the velocity results from my Sig P220 with 4.4" barrel, Combat Commander with 4.25" barrel and Government Models with 5" barrel are statistically identical with average velocities being within a 6 fps extreme range.

Harley Quinn
August 3, 2008, 09:47 AM
Darth the extremes some go to are really evident...LOL


Darth AkSarBen
August 3, 2008, 12:28 PM
That's true, Harley. Before I ever bought my .45 I was wondering if I could get as good as a result in accuracy as I did with my Bersa BT380. A 3.5" barrel for a .45 ACP, is not very long. You have to loose a little to velocity and to accuracy....to a point. Biggest contributor to the accuracy is how far spaced are the rear and front sights. I've always preferred handguns with longer barrels for the reason of accuracy. It's kind of hard to conceal a 14" buntline though. LOL

August 3, 2008, 12:46 PM
Darth: Those results are pretty encouraging. Just curious, is that freehand or from a rest.
I might have to keep an open mind when looking at shorter 1911s. I'm equally accurate with my makarov (similar sight radius as your BT380) and my government 1911...but honestly I would struggle to keep either in the black, on your target, from 15 yards freehand.

Your results are much better than I typically see published...but I'm glad you're getting that kind of accuracy out of a 3.5" pistol.

Darth AkSarBen
August 3, 2008, 01:48 PM
I was standing, using two hand hold as I was taught at the Law Enforcement Training Center in Nebraska. No rest. I've shot a LOT of rounds through pistols over the years, and bigger calibers are no exception. I just figured that a 3.5" barrel might be lacking a lot in accuracy. I can't complain as 3 rounds pretty much cut the same hole, and the other 2 cut the other hole. I really believe that it is a tighter group than I have gotten with my Bersa .380.
After thinking about this reply I went and measured the Bersa .380 and the Bersa .45 sights. The .380 has a 4 1/2" rear to front sight distance while the Bersa .45 has a 5 1/2" rear/front sight distance.
Below is the Bersa Thunder .380 with a friend holding the target showing approximately where the shots would have occurred on a body.


If you enjoyed reading about ".45acp barrel length" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!