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A more reliable 3 inch 1911?

Discussion in '1911 Forums' started by glock39, Nov 29, 2010.

  1. glock39

    glock39

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    First off, I am not a gunsmith, nor do I play one on TV. I'm just someone who's interested in getting a 3 inch 1911, but I keep hearing that they are either unreliable or, at best, finicky to keep running properly. Apparently, everything has to work just right in a mini 1911, and there's simply no margin for error. Which leads me to my question:

    If you took a standard 3 inch 1911, and modified it to accept the 45 GAP cartridge, then it seems like you might literally wind up with more "room for error" with the shorter cartridge. You'd have to change the barrel out to get a 45 GAP chamber. You'd need to change the extractor to work properly with the smaller rim on the GAP. A regular 45ACP magazine will hold 45 GAP cartridges, but it seems like you'd want a spacer in the back(?) of the magazine so the shorter GAP cartridge doesn't slide back and forth at random. Since the GAP operates at 45ACP +P pressures, you might need a slightly stronger recoil spring as well.

    What's the point of all this? Well, the GAP is about two-tenths of an inch shorter than an ACP. Since the GAP is shorter, extracting cartridges would clear the chamber faster. Ejecting shells would have extra room to clear the ejection port. Fresh cartridges coming out of the magazine would have an extra two-tenths of an inch clearance. It certainly seems like all this might make for a more reliable pistol.

    Back when the GAP was first introduced, I vaguely remember some gun writer saying that it would have the potential for making small 1911's more reliable. But I don't ever remember hearing of anyone trying the above to see if it would work. Both Springfield and Para have made mini 1911's with the GAP, but they did so by downsizing the entire frame to fit the shorter cartridge. My thought is to keep the entire gun sized for the 45ACP, but then put a shorter cartridge in it. A not insignificant bonus is that you wouldn't need to buy a separate gun to get these benefits, you could just buy a parts kit and modify the mini 1911 that you've already got.

    Has anyone ever tried this?
     
  2. But, did you stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night? :)
    Sorry, I've got nothing good to give you. The more knowledgable people will chime in soon.
    I just had to use that line.........
     

    Last edited: Nov 29, 2010

  3. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

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    gonna chime in with the usual response...why .45GAP?

    the Springfield Defender (predecessor to the EMP) was scrapped because of frame longevity using the .45GAP round, though i think it was an alloy frame that they were using.
     
  4. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

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  5. glock39

    glock39

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    The Springfield Defender is, if I'm not mistaken, an example of downsizing the entire frame to fit the shorter cartridge.

    My thought is to deliberately use a shorter cartridge in a regular sized gun. The point being to have extra room for the bullet, and more margin for the slide to cycle, etc. Kind of like using 38 Specials in a 357 Magnum revolver. They eject a little easier, and might be a trifle faster to reload since they're shorter.
     
  6. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

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    correct, it's shortened.

    what you are wanting is similar to the 10mm/.40S&W type size relationship.
    a .45GAP can be done, but there is no market for it.
     
  7. glock39

    glock39

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    Well, actually the 45GAP has already been done. And there are quite a few 3 inch 1911's on the market, in spite of the fact that they have a reputation for less than stellar reliability. If feeding these existing micro 1911's a shorter bullet made them more reliable, then it seems like there would be a pretty good market right there for the 45 GAP.

    Obviously, the GAP will never replace the 45ACP. The GAP is a niche round. It fits in standard (9mm) Glock frames, where a 45ACP won't. If it would improve functioning in micro 1911's, that would be another good use for it. In Commander or full size 1911's it would be pointless to use GAP's as they already work just fine with the much more common 45ACP.

    The 45 GAP is pretty much ballistically identical to the 45 ACP, but otherwise it's kind of like the 380 compared to the 9mm. The 9mm is more common, more versatile and much cheaper to buy. But the 380 fits in smaller guns than the 9mm will. Likewise, the GAP has some limited, but legitimate uses that the 45ACP can't fulfill.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  8. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

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    again, the .45GAP hasn't taken off, so the market just isn't there. the lack of readily available .45GAP ammo and ammo cost is another factor. you just don't see/hear of .45GAP Glock's flying off the shelf compared to a 45ACP, even though the grip frame is the same size as the 9/40/357 package. putting a 45GAP into a .45ACP frame negates the intended purpose of the 45GAP design.
    i would think that it would be a bad ROI for a 1911 manufacturer to design/produce a .45GAP to have them sit on the shelf.

    if you really want one, Fusion would probably build one for you.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  9. mrsurfboard

    mrsurfboard The Anti-Glock

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    It also doesn't help that Glock is the only gun manufacture that chambers for it.
     
  10. Glock27NY

    Glock27NY

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    My cheap RIA 3 inch tactical has been flawless with roughly 1200 rounds thru it. Its the gun manufacturer that makes the gun unreliable not 45acp. Thats just my opinion though...
     
  11. matt c

    matt c

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    Well there are some good reliable 3" 1911's out there. The Colt defender/new agent comes to mind. I would not hesitate to buy one. 45 Gap is pointless unless used to downsize the pistol.
     
  12. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

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    There is/was the XD-45 GAP, not sure if it's still made though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  13. glock39

    glock39

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    Para-Ordinance produces two different mini-1911's chambered for the 45GAP. Springfield has made a prototype 45GAP mini-1911 (based on their short EMP frame). Some S&W Model 25 fans use 45GAP moonclips, as the shorter GAP ejects easier and reloads faster than the longer 45 ACP. So other people are using the GAP, not just Glock. But both of the above mini-1911's are built on chopped frames, with shorter slide travel and smaller ejection ports, so they don't answer my original question.

    We seem to be off on a GAP bashing tangent. Let me try to re-phrase my question: If I took a standard empty 45ACP case, trimmed two-tenths of an inch from the mouth, and reloaded it to an overall length of two-tenths of an inch shorter (which would give me nothing more than a homemade GAP), would the shorter cartridge length help the functioning of mini-1911's?
     
  14. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

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    moon clips are different then magazines, so that's an apples to oranges comparison

    already answered, that YES you can make a .45GAP 1911.
    Installing a .45GAP chambered barrel into an existing 1911 micro frame won't change anything (make it more reliable) because the slide still has to travel the same amount when the gun cycles.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  15. Quack

    Quack Rent this space

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    corrected that for you. the .45GAP is no longer offered by Para.
     
  16. nolt

    nolt DONT PANIC!

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    you could invent your own round and fusion would probably build you one
     
  17. HAIL CAESAR

    HAIL CAESAR Senior Member

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    In my shop
    :rofl::rofl:
     
  18. glock39

    glock39

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    Yes, the slide would still travel the same distance. But if the cartridge is shorter, then it wouldn't have to travel as far back to pick up the cartridge (assuming a spacer in the magazine to position the bullet forward). You'd still have an extra two-tenths of an inch clearance. If the slide was slowed down, if the magazine spring was weak, whatever, then you'd have a little more time before the slide hit the rear of the cartridge. I'm afraid my math isn't good enough to figure how may milliseconds that translates into, but it seems like it might be enough to help compensate for a weak spring, dirty pistol, etc.

    Let's say, hypothetically, I had a 3 inch 1911 that was not 100% reliable (this is a stretch, I know, but let's pretend). If I waved my magic wand over it, or paid a really good gunsmith $10,000, and lengthened the frame two-tenths of an inch, might that extra slide travel help me to get a more reliable pistol? Since "chopped" 1911's are generally less reliable, might not a lengthened 1911, with extra room right where the bullet feeds, be more reliable?

    If the answer to the above question is "Yes", then the next question is "Would there be any difference between lengthening the frame and shortening the cartridge?".
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  19. Hokie1911

    Hokie1911 >

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    Sweet! I want a 9x45GAP doublestack. I am so glad to hear BS can build that. :banana: