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  #1  
Old 01-20-2020, 10:30 PM
Kev_byf Kev_byf is offline
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5" or 4" in 9mm?

After carrying a 45 ACP Government Model for nearly 15 years on-duty I want to do what a decade ago would have been unthinkable and switch to a 9mm 1911. In 45 ACP I have always preferred the 5" guns, but I keep reading that 4" is better for 9mm (this video really has me thinking https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQe5kA36HNA&t=311s).

So what is your preference? What is your experience with the gun in 9mm?
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2020, 11:19 PM
BAMac BAMac is offline
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I've had both and really enjoy the 1911 in 9mm. Can easily shoot all day long. I don't have data to prove it but believe I'm more accurate with the 5" but quicker with the 4". I think on rapid fire it takes just a hair longer for me to find that front sight on the 5".
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Old 01-21-2020, 12:04 AM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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I use a 5 but I have it sprung differently to stop the "slow motion" effect that 5 inch 9mms tend to have that leaves the shooter "waiting" on the gun.
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  #4  
Old 01-21-2020, 12:14 AM
tjpaxton tjpaxton is offline
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I have a 4 inch, 4.25 inch and a 5 inch 1911 in 9mm. They all run perfect. The shorter barrel lengths are slightly zippier than the 5 inch barrel.

My perception is different than Ken’s in that the 5 inch barrel has the least recoil. The 5 inch barrel 1911 in 9mm is like cheating.
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Old 01-21-2020, 03:31 AM
L84CABO L84CABO is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
I use a 5 but I have it sprung differently to stop the "slow motion" effect that 5 inch 9mms tend to have that leaves the shooter "waiting" on the gun.
^^^^ This. If I had to do over again I would go 4" in 9mm. But call Wilson and talk to the experts and see what they think.
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  #6  
Old 01-21-2020, 05:57 AM
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Grandpas50AE Grandpas50AE is offline
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After having 9mm 1911's in 5", 4.25", and 4", I own a 4" and 4.25". I find the 4" and 4.25" a little quicker on target and the front sight is easier to see on them than the 5" (old guy here), so they are my preference. I enjoy the 5" when buddies shown up with one for a casual range trip, but with older shoulders, wrists, and fingers, the serious training sessions with higher round counts the 9mm 1911 in 4" and 4.25" get the nod. As far as quickness on target and sight radius being right for old eyes on front sight, I find those two to have little difference in ease of use. YMMV.
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  #7  
Old 01-21-2020, 06:43 AM
Prange Prange is offline
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For carry,Commander size. For range use, Full size.

As an alternative, those S/A EMP's with the bobtail are very nice.
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  #8  
Old 01-21-2020, 08:00 AM
jr24 jr24 is offline
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I'm going to preferring 4" (though my only 9mm is 4.25") for 9mm (and probably everything else) for much the same reasons as Bill Wilson.

The eyes just don't pick up the sights as well on longer barrels, even the difference between a commander and 4" is telling in how fast I find the sight and how sharp it is.
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  #9  
Old 01-21-2020, 08:03 AM
Steven1127 Steven1127 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
I use a 5 but I have it sprung differently to stop the "slow motion" effect that 5 inch 9mms tend to have that leaves the shooter "waiting" on the gun.
How is it sprung?
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  #10  
Old 01-21-2020, 08:32 AM
aaronsappl aaronsappl is offline
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I have a 5" full size, 4" Pro, and EDCX9 4" in 9mm. As a range gun, the 5" all day, it is a blast to shoot, very little recoil and with the flat wire springs, the slide is not slow at all. I carry the Pro, its a great pistol, lots of fun to shoot. I hardly ever shoot the X9, I just never fell in love with the X9.

If you are gonna shoot a Wilson 9mm, you either need a progressive re-loader or purchase ammo by the case. They are a blast to shoot. When I go to the range, I will end up shooting 3 times the amount of 9mm over 45.
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  #11  
Old 01-21-2020, 09:24 AM
pcar157993 pcar157993 is offline
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I have 9MM in both full size (5") and commander size (4.25"). The commander size just feels better balanced in the hand. Otherwise I see no difference in shooting.
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  #12  
Old 01-21-2020, 10:24 AM
markwell markwell is offline
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We have a "few" 4.5" 9mms and a couple of 5" 9mm guns. Our preference for most shooting and carry is the 4.5"s (in CCO configuration). However we are currently shooting a 5" Govt. sized gun with an alloy frame. Compared to a steel frame? The verdict is still out. I'd suggest the 4.5" for most uses due to the Commander recoil spring set up instead of those often found in the compacts; simpler is better IMHO. If you think you want a CCO try the grip length before you buy; it doesn't work for everyone and a Commander may serve better. You will love shooting the 9mm BTW.

Good luck with your quest.
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  #13  
Old 01-21-2020, 02:36 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven1127 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Striker2237 View Post
I use a 5 but I have it sprung differently to stop the "slow motion" effect that 5 inch 9mms tend to have that leaves the shooter "waiting" on the gun.
How is it sprung?
Flatwire conversion and on step down mainspring, recoil is a little higher but times are better since I don't have to wait on the gun or have a dead trigger/try to fire it before the slide is back all the way or when it bobs low from the overly heavy stock spring.

Also helped feed reliability since before it would get kinda slow at about 2k rounds between cleanings. Now it can easily hit 3k without starting to slow, 9mm also doesn't beat up the gun nearly as much as .45 does.
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  #14  
Old 01-21-2020, 04:39 PM
txbadge txbadge is offline
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Let's throw a fly in the old ointment here. The carry comp is sprung like a 4" but has a five inch....I'm partial to it.
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  #15  
Old 01-21-2020, 05:24 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is offline
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Originally Posted by txbadge View Post
Let's throw a fly in the old ointment here. The carry comp is sprung like a 4" but has a five inch....I'm partial to it.
It's still a 4 inch slide mass.........it's actually sprung lighter than a 4 in some cases since the comp bleeds off energy and a too heavy spring may prevent ejection entirely. Not something I've seen too much on Wilson guns but on Glocks it's a real issue.
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  #16  
Old 01-21-2020, 07:11 PM
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I have a Pro and a Commander now but did have a full size CQB. My first impression on handling the CQB was that it was a little heavy on the muzzle end. As Striker2237 said it always felt like the slide was running a little slow. I put in the second spring included with the gun and that was really slowing the slide down. Come to find out the extra spring was for heavier loads. I didn't sell the CQB because I didn't like but because life threw me a curve ball.
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  #17  
Old 01-23-2020, 08:43 PM
chrysanthemum chrysanthemum is offline
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It's a close call, with subtle details coming into play.

I think there is definite merit in the arguments favoring a shorter barrel (4" or 4.25").

At the same time, a 5" barrel (9mm) is a joy to shoot on the range. And countless people have experienced excellent reliability with such 1911s, myself included.

If everything else is the same, and if the purpose is daily carry, most people might favor the more compact size. But if range use only, and with "normal" vision, I think most would opt for the 5" barrel.

The interaction between the shooter's vision characteristics and the sight radius is obviously a big factor. But in regard to that specific factor, the only suggestion that's really helpful and reliable is to know your own vision characteristics, per actual experience on the range.
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Old 01-23-2020, 09:00 PM
robertrwalsh robertrwalsh is offline
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What is "better?" Obviously you will get more performance and a longer sight radius with the bigger pistol. The size and weight can be an issues, especially when age starts creeping up on you. I now routinely carry a compact alloy frame 1911 9mm when I used to carry a government model 45. "Better" is what works best for you.
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  #19  
Old 01-29-2020, 08:09 PM
AZ Desertrat AZ Desertrat is offline
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IMHO the 9mm doesn't really NEED the extra barrel inch....they get up to speed pretty fast in a shorter barrel due to the fact they are a high pressure cartridge. If you want the longer sight radius, go for the 5 inch...I just don't think it necessary. My only 9mm 1911 is a Valor Commander....4.25 inch.....shoots just fine in all conditions.
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Old 01-30-2020, 08:42 AM
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PT-Partners PT-Partners is offline
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This is what I hear from clients and from "Personal" experience with the 1911 style 9mm. Most of the clients seem to prefer the 4" or 4 1/4" or Commander length in the 9mm.

Those with the 5" guns have ZERO complaints but seem to like the 5" for longer range shots or target or precision type shooting.

Personally I have one of the early EDC X9s and it is a tack driver and very easy to carry and shoot for my little back yard 20 yard range. When I shoot from the max of 50 yard from the driveway, it is harder to get a good shot. Maybe it is my 69 year old eyes or whatever. When I use a 5" 1911 9mm seem to be easier.

One of these days will try the longer EDC X9 but waiting for a preowned to pass through and try it out.

I have found with the longer or 5" gun in 9mm there are more that have the adjustable rear sight as there seems to be more variation of bullets in weights and speeds that would have an impact on where the bullet prints as well as speed of slide as well as return to target.

So one very important factor with the 1911 9mm is test or check out what runs the best in your gun. Look at the ranges of bullet weights as well as bullet speed meaning there are loads out there as light as 100 Grain and those as heavy as 158 grain. Bullet speed from the 900 fps for the heavy stuff to 1400 fps for the lighter stuff. There is everything else in between. So the choice of load whether commercial or a reload is a major factor.

Hope this helps.
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  #21  
Old 01-30-2020, 08:49 AM
Eric Eric is offline
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Originally Posted by PT-Partners View Post
This is what I hear from clients and from "Personal" experience with the 1911 style 9mm. Most of the clients seem to prefer the 4" or 4 1/4" or Commander length in the 9mm.



Those with the 5" guns have ZERO complaints but seem to like the 5" for longer range shots or target or precision type shooting.



Personally I have one of the early EDC X9s and it is a tack driver and very easy to carry and shoot for my little back yard 20 yard range. When I shoot from the max of 50 yard from the driveway, it is harder to get a good shot. Maybe it is my 69 year old eyes or whatever. When I use a 5" 1911 9mm seem to be easier.



One of these days will try the longer EDC X9 but waiting for a preowned to pass through and try it out.



I have found with the longer or 5" gun in 9mm there are more that have the adjustable rear sight as there seems to be more variation of bullets in weights and speeds that would have an impact on where the bullet prints as well as speed of slide as well as return to target.



So one very important factor with the 1911 9mm is test or check out what runs the best in your gun. Look at the ranges of bullet weights as well as bullet speed meaning there are loads out there as light as 100 Grain and those as heavy as 158 grain. Bullet speed from the 900 fps for the heavy stuff to 1400 fps for the lighter stuff. There is everything else in between. So the choice of load whether commercial or a reload is a major factor.



Hope this helps.


Terry I also think the 4Ē 9MM 1911 is idea. Iíve been carrying a Wilson ULCC the majority of the time for the last 3 years and find itís a great fit. In Gods caliber I still prefer full-size 1911 but for the 9 Iíll take a 4Ē.


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  #22  
Old 01-30-2020, 09:05 AM
DWARREN123 DWARREN123 is offline
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I like all my 1911 style pistols to be 5".
Just me.
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  #23  
Old 01-30-2020, 01:04 PM
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I have a 4” and a 4 1/4” in 9mm. My Commander is my primary 9mm range gun and for me a 4” or Commander just balances better. If you like the 5” and are comfortable with it after carrying one so long, then I would see no issue with a 5” in 9mm. It would feel like shooting a .22 in a full size gun.
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