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  #1  
Old 08-07-2020, 04:38 PM
kid44 kid44 is offline
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3" .45

I have the hots for a 3" .45 1911. Any thoughts on what I may want to look for, or steer clear of. I have heard they may not be reliable at times due to the short slide. Maybe reliability issues have been addressed over the years.
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  #2  
Old 08-07-2020, 05:51 PM
BrokenGrunt BrokenGrunt is offline
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I'd get a 4" barreled gun with an Officer sized grip.

That extra inch of barrel makes a huge difference and means nothing when it comes to concealment.
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  #3  
Old 08-07-2020, 05:59 PM
roaniecowpony roaniecowpony is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenGrunt View Post
I'd get a 4" barreled gun with an Officer sized grip.

That extra inch of barrel makes a huge difference and means nothing when it comes to concealment.
/\
What he said A.K.A. "CCO"

After "the hots" wear off, consider something lighter like one of the little M&P guns. An all steel 1911, even in a short grip and 3 1/2", like my Detonics, was a big weight to carry around all the time.
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Last edited by roaniecowpony; 08-07-2020 at 06:04 PM.
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  #4  
Old 08-07-2020, 06:04 PM
markm markm is offline
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You always hear that, but I have 10 3" 1911's in 45 and they all work great.
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  #5  
Old 08-07-2020, 06:17 PM
Bob-O Bob-O is offline
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Get a 4", 3" are a hit or miss that's why most of the big boys don't offer them! JMHO
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  #6  
Old 08-07-2020, 06:19 PM
chrysanthemum chrysanthemum is online now
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I personally avoid such guns.

But if you feel you must, as one who has followed many Forum discussions on the subject, I've noted that Forum members have consistently expressed positive experiences with the Colt Defender. On occasion, some other similar guns have also elicited positive comments, but the Colt Defender has done so for years.

I'd suggest looking at these many past threads and then decide for yourself. Look at the many experiences Forum members have shared over recent years.

Be sure that you can handle the re-assembly of a gun of this design...

Also be sure that you are not susceptible to any degree of limp-wristing, keeping in mind that a two-hand range grip isn't always practicable in a critical SD situation (e.g., a carjacking). Not everyone can reliably handle a 3" .45acp chambered 1911 with a one-hand grip in a critical SD situation. When people talk about reliability issues, oftentimes it is a question of whether the gun is a good match for the user's capabilities...and limitations.
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Last edited by chrysanthemum; 08-07-2020 at 06:53 PM.
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  #7  
Old 08-07-2020, 06:45 PM
bmcgilvray bmcgilvray is offline
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The 1911-gun is my favorite automatic and the one I will tote. I'm a huge revolver fan though and tote them slightly more often than I do the 1911.

Regrading 3-inch 1911s, I feel about them the same way I feel about snub revolvers. Both the 3-inch 1911's and the snub revolvers look so tough, bi'ness-like, and bad-to-the-bone. I have a bunch'a snubs on hand and love owning 'em, looking at 'em and playing with 'em at the range or for plinking fun, but generally leave them behind in favor of longer barreled revolvers for "serious social work." I can hide hide a 4-inch revolver, which is my favored carry length, with any of several holsters and concealing garments.

I'd be the same way about a 3-inch 1911 if I owned it. I'd be all about it for looks and would tell myself I could contrive all sorts of valid reasons to have it on hand for carry use, but I'd actually tote the 5-inch full-sized models when push came to shove. I'm also mistrustful of ultimate reliability of the 3-inch 1911, having a "where-there's-smoke-there's fire" skepticism resulting from their reputation.

I like the ballistics of favored ammunition from longer barrels and prefer the sight radius offered by longer barrels. Yeah, perhaps ballistics aren't that much different and yeah, it's about shot placement, but I still take comfort in perceived ballistic advantages and accuracy. I rarely ever consider any carry gun as only a short range, point-and-shoot proposition. I come from a rural upbringing, background, and continuing influence. I never fail to reflect on the times I've been stuck trying to effectively connect with some unneeded varmint or critter at longer distances with nothing but a paltry short-barreled side arm.

Perhaps the longer barreled handgun that I'm willing to go to the trouble to conceal is more of a nuisance to hide properly. Perhaps perhaps the long barrel is a mental crutch bolstering my confidence to utilize the side arm to best advantage. So, sue me.

I don't have a 3-inch 1911 and have only shot one on a very few occasions. It was ok, but didn't light my fire though it looks so great. Now a older genuine Colt Combat Commander? That would really trip my trigger and I've long had a yen for one. Thing is, while it'd be a truly reasonable alternative carry length to my beloved full-sized 1911s, I'd probably still just tote one of them most often.

My real problem is that I'm a hobbyist and collector who just flat likes guns.

Last edited by bmcgilvray; 08-07-2020 at 06:48 PM.
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  #8  
Old 08-07-2020, 09:28 PM
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RetiredRod RetiredRod is offline
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I like 3" 1911's. I owned and shot a Colt Defender in 45acp and a Kimber Ultra Aegis II in 9mm. The Colt was flawless from day one. The Kimber took two trips back to the plant to solve the feeding problems, but they got it corrected. I've fired at least 5K rounds thru each without a bobble (once the Kimber got lined out). For me, accuracy at 10 & 15 yards is equal to any non-Bullseye 5" 1911. If you want one, get one and don't be swayed by the internet nay-sayers.
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  #9  
Old 08-07-2020, 09:49 PM
wccountryboy wccountryboy is offline
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The physics of 3" 1911s were solved 20+ years ago. There's absolutely no involitable law of physics that says a 3" gun can't function as reliably as a 5" gun. Its more complex, more precise- but fan be just as reliable.
The slide movement is faster- strong magazines are a must. The recoil is less pleasant- but nothing a 10 year old girl can't manage.
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  #10  
Old 08-07-2020, 10:20 PM
fnfalman fnfalman is offline
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Buy a Colt. Reliability problem solved.
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  #11  
Old 08-08-2020, 12:13 AM
rjinaz85308 rjinaz85308 is offline
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I have a Detonics Combat Master that doesn't miss a lick.
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  #12  
Old 08-08-2020, 01:15 AM
robertrwalsh robertrwalsh is offline
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I have four 3" 1911s. The 9mm and the .38 super are quite reliable. The two .45 acps are not so much. I would go with a shorty bottom end and a 4" top end. You do not lose that much in weight or concealability but you can a lot in reliability and ease to cleaning.
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  #13  
Old 08-08-2020, 06:08 AM
combat auto combat auto is offline
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I guess it depends what you are going to do with the gun...A small 1911 requires more TLC. It has less reliability "margin", meaning it will be more sensitive to spring wear, dirt, ammo, oil, and your shooting technique. Also, all other tings equal, less accurate and slower in SD or at the range.

None of these things above are insurmountable, but ask yourself if this is what you want.

I personally prefer a 4" slide vs a 3", to me, that 1" extra makes a big difference in speed and accuracy, and really doesn't present any issues with carry (you can get a compact grip and maybe even an officer's grip as was posted up above (P#2) to help the concealment). 1 inch more of barrel may not sound like much, but you have to look at it as a %-gain, you are getting a 33% longer barrel, that is a BIG difference. Especially if your life may depend on it.

I mean, if you have no choice, say you want to carry in your bathing-suite, go for it...But then I would just look at a cheapo-poly, say like the 3.3" XDs. I have one in 45, it is quite a bucking bronco in 230 gr. It is my only 45 (and I have many) that I down load to 185 gr which tames the beast nicely.
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Last edited by combat auto; 08-08-2020 at 06:19 AM.
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  #14  
Old 08-08-2020, 08:50 AM
Chunker Chunker is offline
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I just had to have a 3" and bought a Kimber TLE. She runs all day on FMJ. Had to find the correct HP to function reliably got about 1500 rds through it now. I went back to Commander size just because and they conceal and carry no differently imo...
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  #15  
Old 08-08-2020, 09:09 AM
glider glider is offline
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I had a Kimber Ultra that was a fine weapon, never missed a beat and as accurate as any normal 5 inch. I wanted a compact [ 4 inch barrel same grip ] so I sold the Ultra to a friend. Wish I hadn't sold it but I am happy with the compact also. Can't tell very much difference in them actually. I'd like to have a steel frame ultra but I don't think anybody makes one.
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  #16  
Old 08-08-2020, 09:36 AM
Steam Boat Steam Boat is offline
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3" .45

Here’s some motivation for you to get a 3” 1911 in .45 ACP.


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Last edited by Steam Boat; 08-08-2020 at 09:40 AM.
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  #17  
Old 08-08-2020, 10:38 AM
gnystrom gnystrom is offline
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I had a Kimber Ultra CDPII with an internal extractor that never gave me one second of trouble. Light, accurate, and shot everything I ever put in a mag.
Keep a few spare RSA's and replace your carry spring with an older one for range use.
I am not sure if this is still the case but back in the day the Kimber frames were prone to chipping by the metal followers on some mags. I solved that by putting in plastic followers in my range mags or opted not to shoot them empty.
I sold that gun to a customer that really needed it at a time it was totally unavailable and I was being a nice guy.
My LGS has a pre-owned 3" Nighthawk that is tempting me.
You can beat me to it if you want,
https://secure.arnzenarms.com/produc...-keith-murr-t3
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  #18  
Old 08-08-2020, 10:56 AM
Steam Boat Steam Boat is offline
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Quoted wrong post......
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  #19  
Old 08-08-2020, 10:59 AM
Steam Boat Steam Boat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gnystrom View Post
I had a Kimber Ultra CDPII with an internal extractor that never gave me one second of trouble. Light, accurate, and shot everything I ever put in a mag.
Keep a few spare RSA's and replace your carry spring with an older one for range use.
I am not sure if this is still the case but back in the day the Kimber frames were prone to chipping by the metal followers on some mags. I solved that by putting in plastic followers in my range mags or opted not to shoot them empty.
I sold that gun to a customer that really needed it at a time it was totally unavailable and I was being a nice guy.
My LGS has a pre-owned 3" Nighthawk that is tempting me.
You can beat me to it if you want,
https://secure.arnzenarms.com/produc...-keith-murr-t3
The pictures in your link are of a 4.25” barrel, Even though the text says 3”.
Either a typo, or wrong picture......
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Last edited by Steam Boat; 08-08-2020 at 11:03 AM.
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  #20  
Old 08-08-2020, 11:12 AM
lashlaruhe lashlaruhe is offline
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Its not a 1911, but I have had a Colt Officers Model around 1989?.
IMO, the very best 3" 45 ACP, available and not a bank breaker is a S&W Shield 45. Never failed to function, has thumb safety and magazine capacity is 6 and 7 rounds. Haven't read anyone having a function problem and lifetime warranty.
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  #21  
Old 08-08-2020, 04:57 PM
GT40DOC GT40DOC is offline
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ALL of my 3" bbl 1911 function just fine, and have for years. If you want one, get it and don't look back.
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  #22  
Old 08-08-2020, 06:56 PM
gnystrom gnystrom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steam Boat View Post
The pictures in your link are of a 4.25” barrel, Even though the text says 3”.
Either a typo, or wrong picture......
Thank you. I just cut and pasted. I will contact them on
Monday.

I just called a buddy that works there and they made a typo. It is a Commander.

Last edited by gnystrom; 08-08-2020 at 07:17 PM.
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  #23  
Old 08-08-2020, 09:43 PM
shooter1911 shooter1911 is offline
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As you can see from the answers above the 3 inchers are a roll of the dice. Many guys on this forum have had great luck with them, and some like me have not. I tried a Colt Defender several years back, and I really liked the gun, but it was just not reliable enough to carry for SD. I sent it back to Colt two times, and they said it was normal. They asked me about the frequency of FTF, and I said at lease one or two hollow points per box consistently. The CS rep said that was with in spec, so I took the gun to a local smith. He couldn't find anything wrong with it so I replaced the gun with a SA 4" 45 compact. It has been 100% reliable, and has been my daily carry for many years. I'm not going to say the 3" 1911s are bad, because apparently some are OK, but I just had bad luck with mine. I am not hearing about issues with the 4" 45 or 9mms with full size or compact grips.
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  #24  
Old 08-08-2020, 09:49 PM
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AZ Husker AZ Husker is offline
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I personally know three very respected 1911 smiths/builders that won't touch anything below the true 4.25".
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  #25  
Old 08-08-2020, 09:56 PM
citation650 citation650 is offline
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I’ve got two 3” Kimbers. Been great.
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