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  #1  
Old 05-17-2006, 06:42 PM
SPM SPM is offline
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3" or 4" barrel?




I am looking to buy my first 1911 style handgun...

this weapon will be my primary concealed carry weapon... to be carried out side of the waist band. I was looking at Kimber as the manufacturer. (If you have any other suggestions let em rip)


There is a colleage of mine selling a used Kimber Tactical Pro, and he was willing to part with it for 700 dollars. The weapon appears to be in good condition and I am sure he took decent care of it.

On the other hand, if I were buying it new, perhaps a "Kimber Ultra Raptor ll Custom Shop" (for 3") or the "Kimber Pro Raptor ll Custom Shop" (4").

Someone told me that the 3" barrels (on any 1911) can lead to problems and that the spring needs to be replaced frequently.

So I guess my question is this:

Between the Raptor or Tactical Pro, is either "better"? Because this is for concealed carry, I was leaning toward the 3" barrel but alas: I would rather have something a little larger but dependable.

Comments? Thanks

-SPM
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  #2  
Old 05-17-2006, 06:49 PM
45caldan 45caldan is offline
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Someone will probably tell you to do a search as there have been a lot of posts on this. I tend to agree with the 4 or 4.25" being the better choice. If you must go with a 3", I have had a good experience with a Colt Defender. Having said that, I would rather have a Colt CCO which had a 4.25" bbl. and officers frame (no longer made).
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  #3  
Old 05-17-2006, 07:05 PM
SPM SPM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 45caldan
Someone will probably tell you to do a search as there have been a lot of posts on this. I tend to agree with the 4 or 4.25" being the better choice. If you must go with a 3", I have had a good experience with a Colt Defender. Having said that, I would rather have a Colt CCO which had a 4.25" bbl. and officers frame (no longer made).

Yes... I see that there are a few posts. Not many really talk about the difference between 3 and 4... and particularly I could not find if there was any reason you might consider a 3" to be less reliable...

Also, part of my question is... what would the difference be between the Raptor and Tactical Pro? Both are Kimber 4"... raptor has different markings...

Sorry about my 1911 newbness.
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  #4  
Old 05-17-2006, 07:21 PM
SistemaTodd SistemaTodd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPM
Yes... I see that there are a few posts. Not many really talk about the difference between 3 and 4... and particularly I could not find if there was any reason you might consider a 3" to be less reliable...

Also, part of my question is... what would the difference be between the Raptor and Tactical Pro? Both are Kimber 4"... raptor has different markings...

Sorry about my 1911 newbness.
The smaller a 1911 is, the more finicky it becomes.
The Tactical(I hate that word) has an alloy frame and will therefore be lighter.
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  #5  
Old 05-17-2006, 08:21 PM
Nick A Nick A is offline
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SPM. Hey, dude. Welcome. Regardless of advice in this forum (especially mine) use your own good judgement for your particular situation.

In terms of ballistic performance, go to the bottom of this thread to the table of similar threads from the archives (these are really old, so don't try to reply to them, just read them).

Click on the one called 3", 4", 5" barrel started by plunker. A guy puts 230 grain bullets through all three barrels and measures velocity on a chronograph.

Compared to the 5" barrel, the 4" lost 50 fps. The 3" lost another 50 fps. So what does this mean? Every member on this forum will have a different opinion, so you make your own judgement. I don't want to get hit by any of them, especially since lots (almost all) self-defense shoots are within about 10 or 12 feet. Even at 25 feet, the 45 caliber hollow point is opening up a really, really big hole in my gut at that velocity.

(Note: I would expect the velocity difference to be smaller for lighter self-defense bullets, say 185 to 200 grain.) (Also, if you reload you can select powder with different burn rate and adjust your cartridge length to maximize velocity and accuracy in your specific barrel.) Use your own good judgement.
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  #6  
Old 05-17-2006, 08:48 PM
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epj epj is offline
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I have owned and shot both the Kimber Ultra and the Pro. The Ultra has a pretty sophisticated spring system that tames recoil. It doesn't seem to have any more percieved recoil than the Pro. On the other hand, the Pro has a full size grip and a longer sighting radius. My preference is the Pro, but the Ultra is margainally easier to conceal. I couldn't really tell that much difference in the weight, as both have alloy frames. If I had to only have one of them, it would be the Pro size. My two cents.
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Old 05-17-2006, 09:25 PM
devo6684 devo6684 is offline
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Kimber Pro CDP II- commander size

This is an alloy framed 4.25" pistol w/ full size grip. It is very comfortable to carry. It is much lighter than an all steel pistol. Very accurate and reliable, with melted features for smooth, "snag free" draw. Also, comes standard w/Mepro night sights.

Hope this helps! This weapon is way more accurate than I will ever be.

D-
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  #8  
Old 05-18-2006, 05:37 AM
45caldan 45caldan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by devo6684
This is an alloy framed 4.25" pistol w/ full size grip. It is very comfortable to carry. It is much lighter than an all steel pistol. Very accurate and reliable, with melted features for smooth, "snag free" draw. Also, comes standard w/Mepro night sights.

Hope this helps! This weapon is way more accurate than I will ever be.

D-
NO Kimber has a 4.25" bbl! They have a 4" bull bbl. with the "paper-clip" takedown.
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  #9  
Old 05-18-2006, 06:04 AM
RONNIE J RONNIE J is offline
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The Kimber Cdp II

is about as good a carry weapon as there is when it comes to all day use and no real problems as it comes from the factory. One little extra I have done to mine is to bobtail the grip with the ED BROWN BOBTAIL MSH, for me this was the little extra touch that did the trick, being in a wheelchair even the ULTA'S at times would ride the grip into placement that was a bit uncomfortable. The bobtail took care of that and gave me a super commander size carry gun.



Best
Ron

Last edited by RONNIE J; 05-18-2006 at 06:05 AM. Reason: correct text
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  #10  
Old 05-18-2006, 06:25 PM
Striker 5 Striker 5 is offline
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My 1911's are 5" and 3.5", so I fall outside the envelope. The condensed version of everything that I have read and heard (that I consider credible) is:

The velocity drop from 5" to 4" etc is minimal (as noted in a previous post). The beauty of the .45 cartridge is that it does not depend on velocity for terminal performance.

John Browning designed the 1911 as a 5" all-steel platform. The more barrel, slide, and recoil spring you chop, the more imaginative the designers have to get to make it work. Any barrel length can be made to work, it just raises the possibilty of the pistol being "finnicky", as you stated. I believe that you must replace recoil springs regularly on the shorter barrels (if you are doing lots of shooting), someone w/ more knowledge can expound on that issue.

I like the CCO idea of a Commander slide and Officer frame. It seems that this idea, properly executed, would answer the mail.

Also, be aware that Kimber has gone through an evolutionary process w/ their external extractors and their firing pin safety. To some this is a big issue, others shrug it off. You might want to do a search on that too.

Good luck on your quest!
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  #11  
Old 05-18-2006, 06:35 PM
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My first 1911 was a 3" model. I don't have it anymore and carry either a SA lwt compact or a GI champion (both 4" models).
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