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Thread: Question on 1911 Pistols

  1. #1
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    Default Question on 1911 Pistols

    Specifically, the "Long Slide versions.

    How much, if any, does barrel length effect the function of an Auto pistol?

    The Long Slide guns, have not only a longer barrel, but also a longer slide.

    Sooo, is that because of the LOOKS,
    OR a longer sight radius because the front sight is on the slide,
    OR, is it a somewhat needed thing for better function?

    I've also, noticed 1911s that have a longer barrel sticking out in front of the slide, and some with Muzzle Brakes, or Porting. Therefore, I wonder about this.

    Just curious, and my curiosity IS satiable.

    Thanks
    Smitty of the North
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  2. #2
    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    In my experience the the shorter the 1911 the more problems you have. Recoil springs can only make up so much of the momentum needed. I ordered a custom shop 1911 officers slide commander frame from colt years ago and it was built to precise to work. By time they got enough slop in it to function it was no longer custom shop quality and they gave me something I nominally couldn't afford at the same price.
    Long slides were for sight picture and extra fpe pin shooting mostly.
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

  3. #3
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    Long slide like Amigo said is usually for better sight radius. Usually a long slide is for competition shooting. The barrel can be a couple things. Extended barrels are a necessity if you plan to attach a suppressor. So that's pretty common. Ports/muzzle brakes are only there for one purpose. They reduce muzzle flip and felt recoil. Again, that's mainly a competition thing. Shooters in competition want fast sight picture, accurate, and easy follow-up shots. If the more your muzzle rises after a shot, the more time it takes to settle it back down for that sight picture. Sure we're only talking tenths of a second, but when a guy is looking at trying to achieve 0.16 second splits (between shots) a tenth of a second nearly doubles your shot time. And if it's a tenth for each shot, a course of fire with 15 shots means adding 1.5 seconds to your time. That can put you out of the running.

    To a lesser extent, the longer barrels also push speeds higher on the bullets, but the differences are very small. Saw a guy test out the difference between 3 barrel lengths on the same gun. They were all about an inch apart. So like 4", 5", and 6". Or so. The difference in speed was something like 50 fps max between them, which isn't enough to really do any good. However, the longer barrel (with longer slide) is slightly more accurate because of the sight radius.

    Personally, I think the reason you see more issues with reduced sizes on 1911's is because you're fiddling with the design. Browning designed in a certain way and altering that design means you have to make adjustments to make it work. Not saying it's a bad thing, just a fact of life. If I take a proven design and I want to alter it, odds are I'm gonna half to adjust the design to make it continue to work.

  4. #4
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    Yentlemen:

    Thanks for those answers.

    Smitty of the North
    Walk Slow, and Drink a Lotta Water.
    Has it ever occurred to you, that Nothing ever occurs to God? Adrien Rodgers.
    You can't out-give God.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobius View Post
    Long slide like Amigo said is usually for better sight radius. Usually a long slide is for competition shooting. The barrel can be a couple things. Extended barrels are a necessity if you plan to attach a suppressor. So that's pretty common. Ports/muzzle brakes are only there for one purpose. They reduce muzzle flip and felt recoil. Again, that's mainly a competition thing. Shooters in competition want fast sight picture, accurate, and easy follow-up shots. If the more your muzzle rises after a shot, the more time it takes to settle it back down for that sight picture. Sure we're only talking tenths of a second, but when a guy is looking at trying to achieve 0.16 second splits (between shots) a tenth of a second nearly doubles your shot time. And if it's a tenth for each shot, a course of fire with 15 shots means adding 1.5 seconds to your time. That can put you out of the running.

    To a lesser extent, the longer barrels also push speeds higher on the bullets, but the differences are very small. Saw a guy test out the difference between 3 barrel lengths on the same gun. They were all about an inch apart. So like 4", 5", and 6". Or so. The difference in speed was something like 50 fps max between them, which isn't enough to really do any good. However, the longer barrel (with longer slide) is slightly more accurate because of the sight radius.

    Personally, I think the reason you see more issues with reduced sizes on 1911's is because you're fiddling with the design. Browning designed in a certain way and altering that design means you have to make adjustments to make it work. Not saying it's a bad thing, just a fact of life. If I take a proven design and I want to alter it, odds are I'm gonna half to adjust the design to make it continue to work.

    I like your answer….and when I'm bored I like to tinker. for me experimenting is half the fun… While i don't think i could any way really improve a design that has been debugged since 1911…. Its always fun to see what modifications or worthwhile and which ones or a sales gimmick… I love 1911's for beauty and feel…I have found the government models to be reliable... but I've seen a whole bunch of the short ones having a whole bunch of problems… I don't think John Browning intended the platform to be a micro compact….

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