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3" 1911 Jones

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by CaptJim, Jan 24, 2010.

  1. CaptJim

    CaptJim Lifetime Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    NC Coast
    I've had a desire for some time to buy a 3" 1911, but didn't want an AL frame. I have three 1911's now, and often carry a Combat Commander and sometimes a 5". I have been looking at a Kimber SIS Ultra, it has all the attributes that I like, steel frame, no FP safety,etc. and is smaller and lighter for easier carry as I age.

    The question is I have not been able to find anyone that has one of these to ask them about their oveall impressions. I hate to spend that much $ only to find I made a mistake, so I thought I'd ask here. My biggest concerns are reliability, shooting comfort and accuracy.

    Thanks in advance for any help.

  2. GVFlyer

    GVFlyer Senior Member

    Sep 9, 2008
    Somewhere in the air.
    They don't work, why do you want one?

    From a reliability standpoint, standard 5 inch and Commander length 4.25 inch pistols generally work fine - 4 inch and 3 inch 1911s tend to be a definite step down in functionality.

  3. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

    Jan 7, 2002
    NE Ohio
    have you looked at a CCO? it has the smaller officer's grip with a 4.25" barrel.

    if you look at the semi-custom builders, they don't go below 4.25" barrels due to reliability.

    with that said, i had a Kimber Tactical Ultra that worked fine. I also have an EMP.

  4. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
    I won't go below a Commander size in 1911s.'08.
  5. CaptJim

    CaptJim Lifetime Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    NC Coast
    I would want one because of the smaller size and lighter weight. I was also unsure about the small Glock 26, but have been very pleased with how it shoots and its reliability, but I am more partial to my 1911's.
  6. Short Cut

    Short Cut PatrioticMember CLM

    Apr 28, 2002
    Above ground
    I also believe that on average the 3" models aren't as reliable, however I also know people that have very reliable Kimber Ultras and one buddy who shoots the heck out of his Ultra CDP and it is very accurate and reliable. So if you really want one I'd go into it with the thought that it might need some work or experimentation with mags and ammo, but that it CAN be made reliable.

    A couple of things that are drawbacks though:

    • The .45ACP is no speed burner to start with and therefore I like a little more barrel length to get what speed out of the cartridge that I can.
    • IMO a longer barrel rides nicer in a holster, particularly an IWB, because it puts more barrel/slide into your pants which helps to stabilize it.
    • Finally, while the Ultras can be quite accurate, a longer sight radius is typically easier to shoot more accurately and the weight will enable faster follow ups.
  7. CaptJim

    CaptJim Lifetime Member

    Jan 3, 2007
    NC Coast
    Thanks for your input. I agree that the longer barreled 1911's are quite stable in a good IWB carried behind the point of the hip (about 3:30-4:00 for me). I am thinking the 3" gun would be good for appendix carry as well as traditional positions, and give more accessability while seated and driving while not digging into my leg as a longer barrel would.

    Using an appendix holster with the little G-26 I was amazed just how much faster I could draw and fire. I know I could do as well or better with the
    1911, since I am more used to the grip and grip angle.

    No, a 3" gun is certainly not my first choice of defensive weapons, but I see it as just another option, another tool to use in certain circumstances. And another challenge.
  8. Cherokee Tracker

    Cherokee Tracker

    Oct 19, 2009
    I prefer a 5" barrel ,, but I have a Kimber ultra with the 3" SS and night sites, it came this way, and I agree with you that there are times when it is handy. It fits easily into my Jacket pockets.So far it has not given me any problems. Lets hope it never does.The "felt" recoil is sharper than that of the full size of course, but the rubber grips help some. Shooting close range, accuracy has not been so bad as to make me leave the gun at home or sell it.Over 15 yards is stretching it for me anyway with that pistol. I have tried the federal reduced recoil ammo and found it to be pleasant enough. I am sure there are even more choices out there now.
    As far as holsters go,, I still prefer the full size because of the balance and feel, even holstered. I purchased a custom made holster for my full size colt and It has never gotten in the way or bothered me when I carry it even in the car. This one has NO thumb break. I am too old to run anyway LOL
    PM me if you want the name of the company.
    It is much better to carry something than to go with nothing because of discomfort or difficulty in concealment. Do like I did and try it if you can afford it and try a lot of different ammo with it. Remember it takes approx 500 rounds to break in a pistol and this should begin to tell you what the pistol likes. So that you feel confident when you are carrying. Good Luck
  9. Combat_vet


    Mar 18, 2009
    I have 4 Springfield Champion's, which are 4" bull barrel designs. I have one stamped 2001 and has over 40,000 flawless rounds through it and has never been touched, the other three have several thousands of rounds down them without issue as well.

  10. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

    Jun 19, 2008
    NW Ark.
    Get the SIS Ultra. You won't be dissapointed at all.
  11. Rick50

    Rick50 average guy

    Jan 16, 2010
    I have a colt officers model I think I got it in the late 80s, I havent put a ton of rounds thru it and quit carrying it a long time ago because I prefer DA for that.
    Ive had no issues with it,

  12. Cobra64

    Cobra64 Deals in Facts

    You might find this thread by a well known 1911 pistolsmith, interesting.
  13. glock2740

    glock2740 Gun lover.

    Jun 19, 2008
    NW Ark.
    Great looking gun Quack.
  14. BK63


    Sep 15, 2005
    Wow Quack, thats such a nice pic, I want to print it out and put it in a frame up on the living room wall.
  15. I know I've posted this before, but here I go again: I have owned a Colt Officers ACP for many years. I bought the gun used. For a long time, it was my fave carry gun- target accurate, 100% reliable, easy & comfortable to wear concealed. About 2 years ago, during qualification shortly before I retired, the gun disassembled itself on the fireing line, when I inserted a loaded mag and released the slide to chamber a round. It did this a couple times so our dept armorer said that the weapon was disallowed for use. Turned out that the recoil spring had taken a "set" and was allowing the slide to "bounce" as it went into battery. New spring- problem solved. Fast forward 2 years to my first renewal of my retired LEO CCW. During practice, the little Colt went 200+ mixed rounds with NO PROBLEMS. @ days later, uner a Rangemaster's watchful eye- the damned thing would not feed & fire 3 consecutive factory duty rounds. The extractor has now apparently gotten weak. Now, before the gun started giving me any probs; I had probably put 4-5k rounds thru it with no problems. It was not ammo-sensitive, all my mags worked in it, etc. But now, I've got to get it working again. It took 30 years of constanyt use to make my first "duty" Gov't model unreliable, about 8 years for the little Colt. P.S.- that first duty 1911a1 was made by Remington-Rand during WW2. I love the Officers-sized .45's, when they work. Good Luck hth
  16. mikegun


    Jun 22, 2006
    I have a Kimber ultra stainless 11, very good shooter and very comfy for carry.....25oz,the little fellow never skips a beat...forgot to mention everybit as accurate as my 4in kimber pro cdp 11, i think kimber has fixed any probs they may have had in their 3 in ultras...
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2010
  17. wjv


    Jan 17, 2002
    Pacific NW
    Works Just Fine. .

  18. GVFlyer

    GVFlyer Senior Member

    Sep 9, 2008
    Somewhere in the air.
    Interesting read from 1911 gunsmith Bruce Gray of Grayguns and consistent with my understanding of 1911 function. While I'm pleased that posters here with short pistols have received reliable service from them, their experience is empirical and not representative.

    Bruce has an interesting website as well.
  19. Sniper308


    Sep 12, 2001
    I have five Fred Craig Fantoms in different calibers and they all have 3" barrels. Four of the five have been fired. Out of the four, the only one that gave me problems was the 45. Its a reliable pistol. The problem I have with it is that it would hit me in the head with the spent casing every few rounds. Sent it off to John Harrison and the problem disappeared.
  20. andy4731


    Dec 6, 2006