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  #1  
Old 04-04-2012, 07:51 AM
hondo1892 hondo1892 is offline
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Barrel bushing or no barrel bushing




I've been wanting a commander size 1911 for quite sometime now. However I see most don't have barrel bushings. It seems like a barrel bushing would be a good thing to have. The bushing to barrel fit gets sloppy you replace the bushing. But with no bushing you would have to replace a barrel or slide when the fit gets sloppy. Am I wrong? I've never owned a 1911 so I don't know. I also have no idea how many rounds you would have to shoot to get to this point. What are the pro's and con's of no bushings? Thanks for the help.
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  #2  
Old 04-04-2012, 08:06 AM
T Cro T Cro is offline
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Most every (4.25" barrel) Commander sized pistol I've seen all carry a barrel bushing; but not all as a few select manf do use a bull barrel. Now compact or (4.0" or less) Officer sized 1911 platforms mostly use what is called a "bull barrel" which by design locate the barrel in the slide like a funnel fitting inside of a funnel, this system works very well too.
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Last edited by T Cro; 04-04-2012 at 08:45 AM.
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  #3  
Old 04-04-2012, 08:22 AM
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RetiredRod RetiredRod is offline
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I have a Commander (4.25" barrel) with a bull barrel and no barrel bushing. I've got about 5K rounds thru it, and as far as I can tell, it's as "tight" as it was on day one. Maybe at 100K rounds it might start to get loose. Might need a new, slightly bigger OD barrel at that time.
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  #4  
Old 04-04-2012, 09:01 AM
drail drail is offline
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I have a 1990 Springfield MilSpec that I fit a Wilson bull barrel into and have run at least 25,000 rounds through it (or more). The barrel is still as tight as it was when first installed. Keep it clean and lubed and you will have to work really hard to wear the outside of a bull barrel or the inside of the slide to the point where accuracy will be affected. The slide to frame fit has loosened some, but the barrel is still tight in the slide. A bull barrel has much more contact surface to wear than a bushing which supports the barrel over a very small area. The other "pro" of a bull barrel is slightly delayed unlocking and more mass at the muzzle which helps with rapid follow up shots. Increasing the weight at the muzzle can slow you down if you need to move the gun quickly from one target to the next because once you get it moving it tends to be harder to stop. I am a big fan of bull barrels. But there is nothing wrong with a properly fitted bushing barrel either.

Last edited by drail; 04-04-2012 at 09:07 AM.
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  #5  
Old 04-04-2012, 09:24 AM
guysmith guysmith is offline
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I can't comment on bushing barrels, however I can comment on bull barrel w/o bushing, both my 1911 have bull barrels, a 5" and a 4". Both barrels have ramps, which aids in feeding. Although the additional support is not needed in 45acp, it's insurance if a case splits. Going bushing less also reduces the number of parts which could fail, also seems like a good idea. While the chances of a bushing failing is slim it does happen.
The down side to ramped and supported bull barrels is that they require a little more attention to details when fitting. When fitted correctly they are a dream, and when they are NOT fit correctly they are a very large pain, unless you know a GOOD 1911 gunsmith to refit the barrel correctly. Both of mine had to be refit, and are good to go NOW.
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  #6  
Old 04-04-2012, 10:24 AM
emptymag emptymag is online now
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Many major 1911 manufacturers offer their own version of a 'commander' model, but go 1/4" shorter, with a 4" barrel. At 4" you are compromising the stability of a barrel bushing (needs to be very short-- inside the slide), so the consensus has been to use a bushingless bull/cone barrel at 4" and shorter 1911s.
Those who still build 4.25" barreled compacts/commanders usually run with a normal barrel and bushing.
For the most part, on modern 1911s, there is no real functional drawback of a bushingless bull barrel. Many semi-auto pistol manufacturers have been running the barrel against the slide, with no replaceable bearing surface, since "day one".
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  #7  
Old 04-04-2012, 10:28 AM
mikeg1005 mikeg1005 is offline
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I have an STI Edge with almost 52k through it.... Bull barrel(no barrel bushing) and the thing is still tight as a new one.

The fit between the two would be 100% based on who does it... If done right, I'd imagine lock up/fit would be equal between the two.

+ side to a bull barrel is more weight... down side is its more complicated to take apart, especially with a full length dust cover.

MIke.
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  #8  
Old 04-04-2012, 01:44 PM
hondo1892 hondo1892 is offline
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Thanks for the responces guys. I want a Colt combat commander but they are as plentiful as hens teeth around me. I ask about ordering one and one of the gun shops laughed. They said they take any Colt that there supplier gets and it was very few. So I'm considering something else. I know there are Colts on the web but I prefer to look first before I lay out my cash.
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  #9  
Old 04-04-2012, 02:16 PM
austing austing is offline
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  #10  
Old 04-04-2012, 04:12 PM
XKR XKR is offline
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Most of Nighthawk guns have barrel bushings... Even their 4.25" models with the exception of the T3 Comp models that don't have bushings. I have both bushing and non-bushing...there I'd a slight difference, but I think that has more to do with the comp.
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  #11  
Old 04-05-2012, 09:32 AM
mfaz28 mfaz28 is offline
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A tapered cone shape as in the bushingless barrel, have their mating surfaces unlock at the instant of reward movement and hence no linear friction that could cause wear unlike a bushing that must maintain contact during a sliding motion.
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  #12  
Old 04-05-2012, 11:12 AM
chrysanthemum chrysanthemum is offline
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As mentioned by others, the bull barrel (without barrel bushing) is a sound design and it does not compromise the expected life of your 1911. For 1911s with barrels shorter than 4.25, the bull barrel is clearly the preferred design. The rapid cycling and heavier recoil springs on a compact 1911 would place a lot of stress on a barrel bushing.

Even on 4.25 barrel models, the barrel bushing is a significantly stressed part ... much more prone to failure than on a 5" barrel 1911. (Not saying that it will fail; only that if one were to survey a large number of Commander manufacturers/models over the course of firing 25,000 rounds through each gun, there would be some barrel bushing failures).
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  #13  
Old 04-05-2012, 11:24 AM
FLSlim FLSlim is offline
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Happy shopping! I have both types in commander sized 1911s. IMO, just flip a coin. I wouldn't let a bushing or lack thereof control my decision on finding the "right" 1911. FWIW, my favorite commander is a bull barreled STI.
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  #14  
Old 04-07-2012, 09:39 AM
Captain Bligh Captain Bligh is offline
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My Kimber Compact with a bull barrel is a tack driver. It is the most accurate handgun I own and can outshoot my 5" Springfield that has a match grade fitted barrel bushing.

The only disadvantage I see to a bull barrel is that take-down is inconvenient as compared to a gun with a bushing.
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  #15  
Old 04-07-2012, 09:45 AM
T Cro T Cro is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Bligh View Post
... The only disadvantage I see to a bull barrel is that take-down is inconvenient as compared to a gun with a bushing.
How is it inconvenient? To take down my bull barrel compact all that is required is to push out the slide stop.
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  #16  
Old 04-07-2012, 10:23 AM
Bill Mannatt Bill Mannatt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T Cro View Post
How is it inconvenient? To take down my bull barrel compact all that is required is to push out the slide stop.
A bushing barreled gun is inconvenient compared to a bull barrel gun.I'll take a coned barrel anyday. My Kimber Pro,and Caspian officer frame are a breeze to take down.
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  #17  
Old 04-07-2012, 10:42 AM
richpetrone richpetrone is offline
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Bull barrels vs. bushing and barrel

It is very possible to get very good accuracy with a bull barrel. I recently built an STI Eagle and have developed hand loads that shoot less than an inch 5-shot groups from a rest at 25 yards....I was as happy as if I had purchased a winning lottery ticket...(OK, maybe not that happy but close....)
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  #18  
Old 04-11-2012, 06:37 AM
Captain Bligh Captain Bligh is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T Cro View Post
How is it inconvenient? To take down my bull barrel compact all that is required is to push out the slide stop.
I use the paper-clip thingy to take down the Kimber Compact to keep the recoil spring captured. I find it a nuisance.
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  #19  
Old 04-11-2012, 08:17 AM
JetBlackGT JetBlackGT is offline
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Barrel fit is about accuracy. But in CQB (which is what a commander is all about), pie-plate accuracy, at 20 feet should be plenty. I'd look for MAX reliability, even at the cost of a little accuracy.

Because of the "C" in CQB".
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