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.45 out of 3" to 3.5" Barrel

Discussion in 'Caliber Corner' started by Redstate, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Redstate


    May 17, 2011
    It appears that 1911 with 3" barrels are becoming more and more popular for carry. Without doubt, the 3" barrel will have a velocity loss from a 5" barrel.
    Is anyone aware of any terminal ballistics tests for these short barrel 1911s?
  2. WinterWizard


    Jan 17, 2012
    I don't know of any, nothing scientific at least. Seems all .45 ammo tests are done with 5" 1911s. I, personally, don't like anything less than about 3.5" in a .45 acp, preferably 4"+. If I had to go with a 3" gun, I'd rather have 9mm. JMO.

  3. orangeride


    Oct 19, 2011
    I have a 5" colt and a 3"Springfield. From the colt standard 230 hard ball would run around 830fps and the same from the 3" would crono 720-740. Way to slow in my book. It was also a pretty tuff gun to shoot well. At that vel. The fpe is way low.
  4. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Not a fan of anything less than 3.5" in any caliber but especially .45. I can tolerate 3" in a 9mm but only when I absolutely don't want to carry anything larger.
  5. I also don't like a 45 ACP out of a barrel less then 3.5 inches.

    But with a 3 inch barrel if you miss you can set them on fire and blind yourself!! :supergrin:
  6. countrygun


    Mar 9, 2012
    A 9mm may have trouble expanding if it doesn't get enough velocity but a ,45 is in no danger of shrinking.

    (says the guy with a Smith 908 on his hip)
  7. fredj338


    Dec 22, 2004
    From my 3.5" bbl OM vs 5" 1911:
    Fed 185gr+P Hydrashok 975fps vs 1110fps
    Rem 230gr GS 770fps vs 830fps
    Rem 185gr GS 950fps vs 1050fps
    Hrdy 200gr XTP 850fps vs 900fps
    So yes, you are going to lose vel, about 50fps. If you are worried about expansion, I recommend a lighter bullet like the 185gr or 200gr. They are actually slightly better performers IMO, when the bbl shortens & vel drops. You get less expansion & sligthty better penetration.
  8. rustytxrx


    Oct 17, 2012
    dont know what ya think of the kimbers. some guys have good luck with them some dont. I have had very good luck. the three inch Kimber is the one on the bottom. It is the Super Carry Ultra plus. such a nice carry gun. Kimber states is t is 8 round pistol. 8th round gives me Trunning the gun at rouble several ways, I carry it as a seven round. The gun runs good after a little work on the barrel ramp. I use Federal Premium 165 HP low recoil. The gun is pleaset, bullet is effective, Split tims run pretty low. Bow statews `1050 fps at the muzzle. I am not usre if that is FBI compliant are not. Keep in mind if this gun goes into play The bad guy is gonna be close enough to smell. I am going to just trust my life to the great trigger and fast second shot. I am going to break both shoulders down then drag him over to the meat pole and field dress him. :)

  9. barth

    barth six barrels

    Oct 7, 2011
    The Free Zone
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  10. crazyasian1


    Mar 17, 2010
    Did you type this on a phone?

    Relax, just playing, had a little trouble reading it, but I think I got it figured out. :tongueout:
  11. tnedator

    tnedator Lifetime Member

    May 22, 2009
  12. Spiffums

    Spiffums I.C.P.

    Sep 30, 2006
    From what I have seen, you'd have more problems with getting the gun to run right than worrying about expansion of a HP. Those lil 1911s can be troublesome and gremlin filled.
  13. cgaler

    cgaler CGALEUSMC

    May 1, 2010
    I shoot and carry a 3" STI , not even a burp in close to 1000 rds. through it in all manners of shooting. That is all.
  14. I looked at 3''+ 1911s and with all of my research the purchase would be a roll of the dice. some were very reliable and many not. I wasn't willing to roll the dice. so velocity wouldn't be my concern on a 3''+, it would be reliability when the barrel is less than 4''.
  15. rustytxrx


    Oct 17, 2012
    I have a 3&3/4" 45 acp that I got before my Glocks. A Sig p220 Compact SAS DAK. It has never missed a beat. I have tested the 165 gr HP Low Recoil Federal Premium a lot. I was interested in the penetation. I carry the p220 compact in a store where controlled penetration would be important IMO. It is the pistol I carry if I am in town and people will be around and the Federal 165 low recoil is the round I carry.

    I have carried the p220 compact as a field gun with a magazine of snake shot and an extra magazine of 230 gr gold dot for hunting.

    Last edited: Jan 23, 2013
  16. rustytxrx


    Oct 17, 2012
    The Federal 165 HP low rocoil has a big hole for the HP It does expend well.

    I am not recommending you carry this round. I would want you to test for yourself. I have specfic reasons I carry the round when I carry it.

  17. GIockGuy24

    GIockGuy24 Bring M&M's

    Jul 14, 2005
    With Amber Lamps
    I compared velocities of different loads with a Glock 21 and a Glock 30. The first thing I noticed is that the +P loads lost more velocity and created more muzzle flash. The heavier bullet lose less velocity than the lighter weight bullets, but the heavier bullets are then in the range of 44 Special velocities. For my Glock 36 I chose standard pressure Remington 230 grain Golden Sabers to carry in it. I have sometimes found non +P 185 grain Golden Sabers but they aren't common. I even have to look hard to find the 230 grain Golden Sabers as the +P 185 grain Golden Sabers are the most popular. The Remington 45 ACP ammunition seems to be the most reliable feeding JHP's in the in all bullet weights. I did have a Colt Officer's Model that was really picky about which ammunition it would feed.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2013
  18. SCmasterblaster

    SCmasterblaster Millennium Member

    Sep 24, 1999
    Hartford, Vermont
    So true, the .45 doesn't have to expand. It is already at .45 caliber - a diameter that 9mms and .357s try hard to expand to. Just go with a good 185gr JHP.