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1911 Commander -- the new range length?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by mbruce, Jan 14, 2013.

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  1. mbruce

    mbruce Member

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    I'm looking at either a 5" or 4.25" steel frame 1911 in. 45acp.

    Based on forum(s) posts a lot of shooters are enjoying the commander size at the range

    Is the perceived recoil from a steel 4.25" really that much more noticeable than a 5"?

    Is the 0.75" shortened sight radius on a 4.25" really negatively going to affect a majority of hobby shooters who just like to hear steel?

    A lot of posts lose perspective regarding accuracy and perceived recoil and fail to define/quantify what less accurate is and the significance of the amount of recoil on average

    I figure you can't go wrong with either one so I'll be happy with whichever...I'm thinking the 4.25 steel but I dunno...I live in a small town and will purely decide on forum input and pics..lol

    I guess by design the commander is talked mostly from a concealment view...but can a commander like the V-bob be a fun range gun as well?

    and I searched the forum on this heavily covered topic...but like I mentioned accuracy and recoil are never defined or put into perspective for a weekend shooter's skillsets

    Thanks!
     
  2. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

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    No reason a commander can't be a fun range gun, and recoil being subjective, I don't find them unpleasant to shoot. If your concerned about recoil, look at owning a commander-sized 1911 chambered in 9mm. Cheaper to shoot, less recoil, lots of fun.

    Honestly, I prefer the Commander-sized guns over the regular service models, and that tends to be true whether it is a 1911 or not, and regardless of chambering.
     
  3. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    I prefer the commander sized. I own them in 5", 4.25" and 4".
    The only thing I can really differentiate recoil on is my Lightweight Commander vs a Government. otherwise its slight if at all.
    The bob'd versions feel odd in my hands, same with arched MSH's, they both look awesome but I just cannot get over the void feel.
     
  4. Stringfellow

    Stringfellow Member

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    Directly shooting one after the other, the 5" was more controllable for me. The Commander was by no means uncomfortable, but it had noticeably more muzzle flip for me.
     
  5. Jed Carter

    Jed Carter Member

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    Noticable recoil/muzzle rise difference, yes, uncomfortable, no. One of my favorite range and steel plate rack pistols is a CCO sized SIG RCS 1911. But my favorite period is a Government sized STI 9mm.
     
  6. Hacker15E

    Hacker15E Member

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    The difference in recoil is noticeable if you shoot the 5" and 4.25" back to back, but that's about it.

    I much prefer the look and feel of Commander-length 1911s.
     
  7. mbruce

    mbruce Member

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    that's pretty cool. I have pretty good muzzle control and enjoy shooting a 10mm (outdoors) and I have a polymer .45acp...and I shoot light reloads too so that will reduce perceived recoil . I guess for me it was a question based on will it kick like a donkey such as Keltec PF-9 or will it be more in line with a Kahr PM-9 which is a super fun range gun and handles so smoothly.

    had I not shot a Keltec PF-9 and Kahr PM-9 then I wouldn't be hesitant dropping $$ on a good steel commander. I just didn't want to be surprised by the unpleasantness recoil such as the donkey stomping of a keltec pf-9--- of what will be the most expensive pistols my wife and I will own.

    I bought her a DW Guardian 9mm. I was wanting to stick with the DW theme (these r gifts to each other) and get either the valor or v-bob. And i know a store that has 1 of each in stock. funny thing I almost got her a Trojan....then it dawned on me that wouldn't have gone over so well. It's bad enough to have Guardian stamped on the slide but that's not near as awful as having Trojan on the slide.

    My friend loads hot .45LC and they are awesome to shoot so its not ab handling the recoil as much as it I don't want to spend ~$1,400ish on a donkey kicker.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  8. mbruce

    mbruce Member

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    I'm really leaning towards the 4.25"...its just a weird feeling of "pick that one"...probably because my wife and I have 5.25" polymers with extended barrels mimicking a redneck makeshift race gun

    I think it would be fun and nice to pull out a 4.25" and have some fun.

    As always, thanks for the input and replies.

    btw: I called Dan Wesson Customer Service to get their input and was told kinda what I was thinking... perceived recoil is relative to what else you're shooting that day but support guy said he personally can't tell the difference or its not enough for him to notice or pay attention and that the accuracy will be the same for 99% of weekend shooters, especially non-bullseye shooters -- then again maybe he thinks I'm shooting 4x8 steel sheets from 25 yards.

    I saw that guy on youtube hit a large steel plate at 80 yards...and he was nailing decent sized steel at 50-70 yards... so accuracy must not be that bad if you're not expecting to take out the red star and win a stuffed animal $55 later.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  9. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Commanders are just COOL! :)

    I shoot a lot of different guns so my perception of relative recoil is probably "insensitive," but I don't notice any appreciable difference. Yeah, for competition and dedicated range use I probably would pick a Gov't model just because of the longer sight radius, but even that's not a huge difference. But a Commander just has a lot of class and is arguably even better to carry than a 5"...if such a thing is possible. :)
     
  10. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I have always been a big fan of both the Combat Commander and the Lightweight Commander. The Combat Commander is great for the range and the Lightweight Commander is fine for CCW where a little less weight is a good thing when carrying. If recoil is a problem then consider one in 9mm. or .38 Super instead.
     
  11. Ankeny

    Ankeny Member

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    I have a V-Bob and I like it a bunch. The only time a casual observer can tell much of a difference in how I shoot the V-Bob vs. a Les Baer PII is when the timer and/or score sheets come out of hiding.
     
  12. mbruce

    mbruce Member

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    haha -- gotta claim windage, angled elevation where you were precisely standing, and u stepped in an ant bed.
     
  13. Dryft

    Dryft Member

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    I'm going to second Timbo on this one and recommend a commander length 1911 chambered in 9mm - it is positively the bee's knees.

    Even better? Get one with a bull barrel and ditch that *&^%$#@ bushing.

    STI Spartan IV. Check it out.
     
  14. mbruce

    mbruce Member

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    guess there's the steel vs aluminum vs scandium too...
     
  15. mach1.3

    mach1.3 Member

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    I'll start off by saying I'm not a 1911 expert but an enthusiast. I own 8 1911s now in bbl lengths of 3" through 6". I have found in my limited experience that the mechanics of the 1911 function best with the 5" bbl. I seem to be more accurate on average with the 5" and the 5" seems to be slightly more reliable. This isn't but my personal experience. All my 1911s have been .45acp. I've owned Kimbers, Colts, Sig, Nighthawk Custom, Wilson Combat and Ed Brown. I think that's a wide range of makers and types. I've been hesitant to buy economy 1911s for fear that they won't be reliable esp. considering their competition. I understand that some economy models are fine shooters. I have shot most types of 1911s, some with stainless, some with alloy frames and some all steel guns. STI is one I haven't shot and understand it to be an outstanding weapon. I've had several old, old timers tell me it's not really a 1911 if it's 9mm or even 10mm. I just like the .45acp.
    Whatever you buy, beware, you'll love the feel of the 1911 and like many of the rest of us you'll buy another and maybe another---it gets expensive but it's fun.
     
  16. alde

    alde Member

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    Commander length 1911s are great. Of the 8 1911s I have the 4" bobtailed Kimber Pro Carry is my most accurate. It's an alloy frame but still fun to shoot. I would go with a steel frame for a first 1911 though.
     
  17. Batty67

    Batty67 Member

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    I just got my first 1911: a sig fastback carry with 4.2" barrel. Fired wonderfully yeserday (150 rds to star break-in process), much less snappy than my CZ RAMI in 9mm with a 3" barrel or the Sig 229 in 40S&W I sold last year.

    The commander length truly seems to be a very satisfying compromise between the full length and officer-length (3") pistols.
     
  18. 420Stainless

    420Stainless Member

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    Combat Commander is my favorite. Its not enough of a difference from 5" that I notice anything performance wise, just saves a little space and weight. The reverse is also true - I don't find the difference in going up to 5" to be any significant hinderance, I just have a personal preference that skews toward smaller.
     
  19. mbruce

    mbruce Member

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    k so -- dont want anyone taking offense if I didn't go their suggested route --

    I got the V-Bob in black to match my wife's Guardian. Although I prefer matte stainless... I'll look into taking it from dark to light one day or some form of a cool visual effect that doesn't decrease the value.

    If SW would have made a 1911SC-E in 9mm then I would have chosen that in a 9mm/45acp pair...they are super slick looking and are getting rave internet reviews.

    None the less I'm pumped about the Guardian 9mm and V-Bob Black. If she doesn't like it we'll sell them and get Rugers -- apparently Ruger is the cool thing to have these days. ha
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  20. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Sweet! Range report and pics once you've got some soot on 'er! :D
     
  21. RSR

    RSR Member

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    Love my 4.25's

    I own a DW V-Bob, and a LB CVII, both "commander/commanche" sizes, respectively. I was digging through my bullets, wanting to reload some 230's, which do snap a little compared to a 5" 1911, and I found some 185gr flat nose match bullets. All I can say is wow.:evil: I used 5.2 gr of HP-38 and this combination made a magnificent target load. It's honestly like shooting a 9mm given the weight of the 42oz 1911 frame.
     
  22. BCRider

    BCRider Member

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    For "proper" .45ACP guns I prefer the 5 inch models.

    But I lust over the idea of a nice 9mm Commander length after some time with an STI Ranger II. That was a really superb combination of cartridge and platform.
     
  23. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

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    Assuming that both have steel frames, with equal springs, you won't notice any difference, and...if you've got a good hand...you may notice a little less with the Commander, muzzle flip being the main factor that we think of when we talk about recoil...which isn't recoil at all. By the time muzzle flip occurs, the bullet is about 20 yards downrange...and recoil is long since over.

    And...

    Because by the time our brains have time to process an actual recoil impulse...acceleration...what we perceive as recoil...movement of the gun...is actually momentum.

    With an autopistol...and particularly with a locked breech pistol...we don't get a lot in the way of recoil from the action/reaction event that comes with firing the cartridge. It comes mainly from slide to frame impact, but the compressing spring is also in play. The stiffer the spring, the sharper the felt recoil.

    Any difference in the impact energy...which isn't much by the way...is more than compensated for by the lower slide mass and momentum on impact.

    The question of slide impact energies came up during one of my 1911 Function/Facts vs Fiction workshops...I was privileged to have a bright young lad in attendance who had a fresh mechanical engineering degree under his belt. Of course a debate ensued when I made my points, so he whipped out a pencil and went to cipherin'. Without factoring in any outside forces from recoil spring, mainspring, and hammer mass...he concluded that the difference in impact energy was something like 27 pounds/feet, and he reckoned that adding equal springs and hammer mass would bring that to below 20.

    Then he went on to concur with my points:

    Physics 101:

    The higher the velocity of an object, the faster its rate of deceleration when it encounters a given outside force.

    The lower the mass of an object at a given velocity, the faster its rate of deceleration when it encounters a given outside force.

    The Commander's shorter barrel produces less velocity with a given lot of ammunition...and because momentum is a function of Mass X Velocity...the slide's momentum can't be greater than the bullet's. It can be less, due to unequal outside forces...but it can't be greater.

    Hence...assuming equal outside forces...springs/hammer mass...the lower mass Commander slide not only starts out with less momentum with a given round of ammunition...the slide decelerates at a faster rate...and impact momentum is lower than that with a 5-inch slide.

    In reality, there isn't enough difference to flip a coin for.
     
  24. Dryft

    Dryft Member

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    Gotta love physics!

    Thanks Tuner, that's pretty cool.
     
  25. Cocked & Locked
    • Contributing Member

    Cocked & Locked Member

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    At least one picture needed in this thread :uhoh:

    402425553.gif
     
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