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4 inch vs 5 inch 1911

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by jwalker497, Nov 24, 2009.

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  1. jwalker497

    jwalker497 Member

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    I want to know if there is an issue with carrying a full size 1911 as opposed to the 4inch or 4.25 inch versions. I dont have the option to test them so I wanted to get a consensus to see if the full size was indeed more difficult to conceal.
     
  2. CZ223

    CZ223 Member

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    I have both

    My 4 inch gun is a Kimber Tactical Pro II with a full sized frame. My full sized gun is a 5 inch Taurus PT 1911. I have tried to carry the Taurus concealed and have done it succesfully but the Kimber is a lot more comfortable to carry. The frame of the Kimber is aluminum and weighs 9 ounces less than the Taurus and that has a lot to do with comfortability. The shorter barrel does make a big difference in my opinion.
     
  3. LancerMW

    LancerMW Member

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    the grip is harder to conceal than the barrel. i think something with an officers frame on a commander barrel is the best option. if i had a commander id have the grip bobtailed. that being said ive successfully concealed a full size 1911 with little problem
     
  4. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    To me, the grip size makes more difference than the barrel size. But neither of them were enough to make me carry cdr size. I had a Para P-12 for a while, and I went back to full-size and I don't miss it at all.
     
  5. proud2deviate

    proud2deviate Member

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    For me, 4.25" seems to be quicker on the draw. Barely.
     
  6. Oro

    Oro Member

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    I find the 3/4" difference between the full size and the commander significant in ease of carry. I gave up carrying a full size about 15 years ago, but still do the Commander sometimes.

    The grip frame is not so big an issue to me - plus the "bob" just isn't to everyone's tastes or hand. But if it suits you, try it. If concealment is foremost on your concerns, consider a round-butted short barrel .357. Now that's a great cc piece...
     
  7. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    My Dan Wesson CBOB conceals as well or better than my sub compact Glocks. It's thinner but the bobtail helps too.
     
  8. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    The officers grip made all the difference in the world for me while sitting. I traded a very nice S&W commander away for this reason. The officers grip with a 4.25" barrel, is the perfect match. Sig makes one and Kimber, maybe others that I'm not aware of. A set of thin carry grips, and it all but disappears:)
     
  9. jwalker497

    jwalker497 Member

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    " the grip is harder to conceal than the barrel. i think something with an officers frame on a commander barrel is the best option. if i had a commander id have the grip bobtailed. that being said ive successfully concealed a full size 1911 with little problem "

    Can someone please give me examples of this, an Officer frame on a commander barrel?
     
  10. The Bushmaster

    The Bushmaster Member

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    The 3" Kimber is even easier to conceal...
     
  11. JTQ

    JTQ Member

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    I'm sure there are more, but the ones I'm aware of...

    Colt CCO, I believe the original. Out of production for a few years, but can be found on the used market.

    Les Baer Stinger
    http://www.lesbaer.com/mono.html

    SigSauer C3
    http://www.sigsauer.com/Products/ShowCatalogProductDetails.aspx?categoryid=25&productid=165

    S&W 1911 ES
    http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/...ted=over&isFirearm=Y&parent_category_rn=15709

    STI Guardian (not exactly Commander length barrel, but close)
    http://www.stiguns.com/
     
  12. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    I started CCing with a 4" Kimber. I now carry a full size. Both pistols are steel, so the weight difference isn't very noticeable.

    The 1911 is so thin that it didn't make a difference in concealment with my attire or method of carry. I'm a T shirt and jeans kinda guy, and carry IWB.

    One thing I hated about the 4" Kimber is that it would pinch my butt if I sat down wrong. That's not a problem with the 5" Kimber.

    Oh, I'm a pretty skinny dude too. 6ft tall, 150 lbs.
     
  13. trickyasafox

    trickyasafox Member

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    I don't have a 4in, but I have a 5in and a commander (4.25) I much prefer the commander as I carry at 12:30- that 3/4 of inch of extra clearance really makes sitting much easier. also, my commander is a lightweight, so shaving a few more ounces is always nice as well.
     
  14. LancerMW

    LancerMW Member

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    pretty sure the Springfield Armory "Champion" is a commander slide w/ officers frame, same with the Dan Wesson CCO
     
  15. jwalker497

    jwalker497 Member

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    Champion and Full size springfield show as the same height 5.5inches
     
  16. LancerMW

    LancerMW Member

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    ah then it just has a shorter barrel
     
  17. HexHead

    HexHead Member

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    You'd be wrong then. I had a Springfield Champion, my first 1911. Its a 4" barrel on a full size frame.

    To answer the OP's question, I've had the above mentioned Springer, a Kimber Pro Carry II, a 5" Kimber Royal, and now have a Commander size (4.25) Nighthawk bobtail and a 3" Colt on a lightweight Officer's frame. So I've run the gamut of size and frame material.

    Yes, the Commander size is more comfortable, though not necessarily easier to conceal than the 5" 1911. The 5" will tend to move around more when seated and using an IWB holster. Because of their thin frame and slide, the 1911 is a very easy pistol to conceal, regardless of barrel length if you're using an IWB holster. Obviously with an OWB, the 5" is more likely to protrude below a cover garment. The 5" is the least comfortable to carry of the 1911s.

    Of course the secret to carrying a steel frame 1911 all day comfortably, is really no secret at all, you need a good holster and good, sturdy gun belt. They make all the difference in the world.
     
  18. JDGray

    JDGray Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  19. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    4

    inch
     
  20. Wahoo95

    Wahoo95 Member

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    My favorites are the Dan Wesson CCO and the Kimber Compacts with their lightweight Officer sized frames and 4" Slides.

    Wesson CCO
    http://cz-usa.com/products/view/dan-wesson-cco-bobtail/

    Kimber Compact
    http://www.kimberamerica.com/products/pistols/cdp/compact_cdp_II/
     
  21. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Yep, and that is my main full sized gun now, but my old L/W Commander was never a problem. Of course, there weren't any 3" pistols back then, only the 3 1/2" Officers Model. The light weight and 3/4" shorter barrel made a big difference over the 5" steel gun I had been carrying on occasion.
     
  22. tlen

    tlen Member

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    It depends if you're concerned about carry weight. The Commander size
    SW1911PD weighs a lot less that the standard size 1911 and most other commander models.
     
  23. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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  24. Clarence

    Clarence Member

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    I guess I'm going to be one of the few who go against the grain on this thread, but I prefer to carry a 5" gun and I do every day all day when I'm not at work.

    In my experience having a good belt and holster makes all the difference. I've owned over a dozen 1911's of all shapes and sizes. I've carried all of them in a Milt Sparks VM-2. I honestly can't tell a difference between a Commander sized gun and a 5" when carrying in that rig. I can tell a little difference in weight when carrying a compact but as long as you're wearing a good belt the extra weight of a 5" is no big deal.

    All things being equal a 5" gun is going to be more reliable than either a 4-1/4" or 3" gun. I've owned 3 different compacts and none of them were completely reliable unless you changed the recoil springs frequently.
     
  25. contactcole

    contactcole Member

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    The smaller gun will always conceal better, and be more comfortable. I have a 4" Compact. Good belt and the right holster make all the difference. No way I carry my 5" 1911 unless I seriously dress around it. Even then, the thing is HEAVY.
     
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