Are the 3.5" and 3" 1911's better now? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Big_Drunk
06-14-2010, 00:35
I've read and heard anecdotal tales of 3 and 3.5" 1911s having reliability issues.

I've also heard from numerous shooters that they've had the 3" 1911's and have had no problems whatsoever. Have they improved?

What was behind the questionable reliability that I sometime hear referenced? I'd love to get one, but hesitate because of the widespread belief that these are less than reliable.

Thanks

bac1023
06-14-2010, 04:22
I don't care for them, but they are much better than in years past.

check 6
06-14-2010, 06:18
I have a Kimber Ultra CDP II with 3" barrel and it is reliable and very accurate. A pleasure to shoot and easy to carry out of sight.

BlayGlock
06-14-2010, 07:27
Yes. Ive had a Kimber Ultra and a Colt Defender. Both were very reliable and accurate, but not all that much easier to conceal than a commander or CCO size so I switched to them for better velcocity.

ArmoryDoc
06-14-2010, 10:04
This one was a royal pain the the rear with first round feed problems until about 450 rounds of break in. I think most of it was mag problems.
http://www.kscch.com/KimberUltra.jpg

This one has been excellent from birth (1995) to present.
http://www.kscch.com/Colt_Officers.jpg

Johnspark
06-14-2010, 10:08
http://www.kscch.com/KimberUltra.jpg



I have an Ultra Carry 2 that is currently being broken in. So far it has been flawless. I have two factory mags and a Chip McCormick. It has eaten both FMJ and Hollow Points just fine.

I recently changed the grips to a smooth wood set.

Big_Drunk
06-14-2010, 11:02
Thanks for the replies!

I was in the 2/327, John. "No Slack"

flynlead
06-14-2010, 17:22
I bought a Kimber ultra carry for my wife and between the two of us it has around 500 through it with zero issues but most of the shootin was done by her. Some people say they have the wrong recoil spring in them but like I said zero problems with hers so far.

MADBMW
06-14-2010, 17:45
They can be reliable, but do take more attention to preventative care and parts replacements than the full size. You have to stay on top of recoil, firing pin and magazine spring replacement, and they generally need to be cleaned more freequently than full size guns. Due to the change in slide velocity (and other factors) that differ greatly from how the 1911 was originally designed, they have a tendancy to be more finiky than full size 1911's.

paul45
06-14-2010, 18:13
1 Defender, 2 Officers that have worked as intended.

BubbaShoots
06-15-2010, 16:52
My Colt New Agent has been flawless - now at 500 rounds. Field striped and cleaned it twice. No detail clean yet.

knedrgr
06-15-2010, 17:05
No issues with my SA Ultra Compact. It feeds reliable with stock SA mags. Also ball or JHP's are fine with minor polishing of the feed ramp.

GOOFA
06-15-2010, 17:49
These are my Kimbers. 4000 rounds between them, very accurate and 100% trouble free.:perfect10:

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1286/4704837240_3ff7084ce6_d.jpg

http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4009/4390879001_c889ae8a18_d.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3050/3003276941_4047d2797a_d.jpg

jtkimber45
06-16-2010, 00:09
No problems with my Ultra CDP, been 100% from the start. I have over 1000 rounds through it. My buddies Ultra Covert is also 100% with around 600 rounds down range.

1time
06-16-2010, 02:56
I have a RIA CS that has been 100% for about 1000 rounds so far. For the price and size this pistol surprises me with the reliability and accuracy.

TexasVine
06-16-2010, 13:00
I've had great performance from my Ultra Carry II. Maybe just lucky. Didn't intend to get a shorter barrel 1911 but a great trade came my way. The gun had only been fired a few mags so I was a little skeptical. Fortunately she shoots like a dream and very accurate.

Rio Vista Slim
06-16-2010, 15:56
My first 3" barreled 1911 was a Kimber Stainless Ultra Carry II. I bought that pistol when Kimber was beginning the "Great Experiment" with external extractors.
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a294/RioVistaSlim/IMG_0116.jpg

The weapon was extremely accurate, but horrible about mis-feeds and failure-to-feed. I sent the pistol back to Kimber, and whatever they did to it made it reliable. It should be noted that at the time of my return, Kimber was not replacing the slides.

While the gun was reliable, the previous problems made me uncomfortable about carrying it. The pistol was used as a trade toward another brand's 5 inch 1911.

I never really got over how much I enjoyed carrying the Ultra Carry II, so a few years later I purchased a Colt New Agent.
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a294/RioVistaSlim/IMG_2696.jpg

I crossed my fingers, and hoped for the best. I have not been disappointed! Although this pistol was involved in the recent Colt recall, I was only without it for a week. From day one, the New Agent has fired anything I've loaded into the magazine. It is one of my preferred concealed carry guns.

As others have said, one needs to keep these 3" pistols clean, and replace springs in a timely manner.

98_1LE
06-16-2010, 17:35
My STI Escort is perfectly reliable, as was the Para Ordinance OPS I had before it. The Kimber Ultra CDP II, not so much.

myanof
06-20-2010, 20:24
I waited years before I would trust a 3in 1911, but after a long research project I bit the bullet. This one is 100% so far, and very shootable. Do your due diligence and you will quickly learn which one you can trust.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2736/4305536862_0a6f6b5cbb.jpg

krunchnik
06-21-2010, 20:29
I have a Springfield EMP40 that had teething problems thru about 250 rounds,now with Golden Sabers and around 500 rounds its been 100% since.I think its a matter of break in and finding the right chice of ammo.Everyone says that the shorter barrel 1911,s like the lighter bullets but mine fires 180gr just fine in the .40S&W.

http://i763.photobucket.com/albums/xx272/krunchnik/IMG_1094.jpg

glock2740
06-21-2010, 20:48
All of my 3" and 3.5" 1911's have all been very reliable and accurate.

GOOFA
06-22-2010, 03:30
I almost forgot about this one. Over 3500 rounds through it without a problem.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3175/2597913281_631e23ba75_d.jpg

SagKC
06-22-2010, 08:53
This 3" Kimber has been flawless, accurate, and a joy to carry and shoot this year. No hiccups on FMJ or JHP so far.



http://i913.photobucket.com/albums/ac339/kcsag/Gun%202010/KimberUltraCarryIIbl-1.jpg

syr74
08-30-2010, 13:37
Irony, Detonics arguably knew they would have to make serious changes to the basic design from the outset with the Combat Master and that gun remains one of my favorite, small 1911's. Almost everybody else just tried to cut an inch and a half off of a Government Model and make it work with, for years, disastrous consequences.

Now with models like the Defender, EMP, Wilson Sentinel, etc we are seeing designs which recognize a lot of what Detonics already seemed to understand 20-30 years prior. Even better, most of the older models which did have more issues with reliability are relatively easily fixed in this regard.

Like bac1023 I have long been one of those who avoided the shorter 1911 pistols altogether, All of this has me on the verge of a change of heart.

myanof
08-30-2010, 13:46
I avoided them for many years and just bought a Defender, and I couldn't be happier with the reliability.

http://i839.photobucket.com/albums/zz316/myanof/DSCN0825-1.jpg

Hokie1911
08-30-2010, 14:57
http://i763.photobucket.com/albums/xx272/krunchnik/IMG_1094.jpg

http://blogs.nitobi.com/alexei/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/shipment_of_fail.jpg

wiskeyVI
08-30-2010, 15:54
I aquired a Kimber UC II a while back and have been running ammo through it on the weekends before deciding to carry it.
After switching to Wilson mags, I've put a couple hundred rounds thru it w/o misssing a beat. It's also oh-so comfortable to carry!

DreamWeaver88
08-30-2010, 17:19
I used to have a 3.5" Springfield stainless 1911. I never had any problems with it but I ended up selling it. The edges were razor sharp and the thing was a tank.

I might look into an aluminum framed 3" someday.

DW

Cerebrus
08-31-2010, 01:51
I love my Kimber UC II.. the bull barrels in it makes it an extremely accurate little pistol..

I can remember running by Rakkasan land when I was going through AASLT school.. I ended up in B/co 326th engr bn supporting 2/502..

Quack
08-31-2010, 06:10
no issues after tuning the extractor
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a317/Quackzilla/Guns/DSC_2356.jpg

no issues with this and it has an EE
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a317/Quackzilla/DSC_7429.jpg

my friend had an issue with this, but he didn't detail strip and clean it once he got it. a lot of oil is used when it makes it's boat trip over. after the detail strip, no issues and he used it in a Fighting Pistol class (~500rds in the rain)
http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a317/Quackzilla/LMI%20Fighting%20Pistol%201/DSC_2073.jpg

http://i14.photobucket.com/albums/a317/Quackzilla/LMI%20Fighting%20Pistol%201/DSC_2071.jpg

KalashniKEV
08-31-2010, 07:29
Thanks for the replies!

I was in the 2/327, John. "No Slack"

Me too!

bunk22
08-31-2010, 08:29
My Kimber Ultra Carry II has had some minor issues but it has been getting better with more rounds put through it. The overall failure rate is now at .009 or just under 1%. One thing I noticed is it loves Federal 230gr ammo as not once has it had an issue with that particular brand. It doesn't seem to like Blazer as 5 of the 6 feeder stoppages have been Blazer. The issues could be me though, limp wristing that little cannon. Regardless, I still love the weapon. It is so accurate for it's size, it makes me look good as I'm a horrible shooter. It's size is perfect for concealed carry, fits my hands just right and the looks, though subjective, is my abosolute favorite.

isis07734
08-31-2010, 10:02
nice thread.

ArmoryDoc
08-31-2010, 23:27
This is my newest 3 1/2" gun, a Colt Officers LW. It runs 100% with any ammo I feed it.

http://www.kscch.com/Colt_LW_Officers_Enhanced.jpg

Boots45acp
09-01-2010, 09:58
MY Kimber Ultra CDP Elite STS II has been flawless and super accurate from day one.
Using KimPro Tac mags.
My main CCW with Golden Saber 185 gr

Purchased it back in 2003 and have never regretted a minute of it.

http://www.fototime.com/33BEB3DDA4F1B19/standard.jpg

cole
09-01-2010, 12:56
I've read and heard anecdotal tales of 3 and 3.5" 1911s having reliability issues.

I've also heard from numerous shooters that they've had the 3" 1911's and have had no problems whatsoever. Have they improved?

What was behind the questionable reliability that I sometime hear referenced? I'd love to get one, but hesitate because of the widespread belief that these are less than reliable.

Thanks

Better? Yes. 5" reliability? No. Bottom-line is that some folks have issues, some folks don't. Regardless of debated "anecdotal" frequencies, more folks have issues compared to 5" guns. More comments: http://glocktalk.com/forums/images/misc/subscribed.gif A little frustration with my Kimber Ultra Carry II (http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1258733).

bunk22
09-01-2010, 15:53
That is my thread above and as of a few days ago, my little Kimber was getting better and better. Then two days ago, it just fell apart, multiple FTF's (12-15) in 50 rounds of ammo. Then the next 50 rounds, 0 failures. This morning, 9 feeder failures in about 24 rounds. Next 150 rounds, 0 failures. I've now put around 800-900 rounds through her. Figured out today, with the help of the range/gun smith guy, it was the Wilson magazine I recently bought. Every failure above was using teh Wilson. Everyone said buy a Wilson as they are known to make good magazines. Either the one I bought was bad or it simply didn't work with my UC II. It was the correct one for my weapon. I'm finding the key here for my UC II is good ammo and appropriate magazines as my Kimber Pro-Tac magazine are working flawlessly....knock on wood.

cole
09-01-2010, 16:32
That is my thread above and as of a few days ago, my little Kimber was getting better and better. Then two days ago, it just fell apart, multiple FTF's (12-15) in 50 rounds of ammo. Then the next 50 rounds, 0 failures. This morning, 9 feeder failures in about 24 rounds. Next 150 rounds, 0 failures. I've now put around 800-900 rounds through her. Figured out today, with the help of the range/gun smith guy, it was the Wilson magazine I recently bought. Every failure above was using teh Wilson. Everyone said buy a Wilson as they are known to make good magazines. Either the one I bought was bad or it simply didn't work with my UC II. It was the correct one for my weapon. I'm finding the key here for my UC II is good ammo and appropriate magazines as my Kimber Pro-Tac magazine are working flawlessly....knock on wood.

Hope that works out for you. Wilsons have worked for me, but Tripp makes the FAR better mag IMO. Everything seems to run smoother with Tripps. And, they make replacement kits, too. I've found Wilson springs to be on the weak side, which could/would explain your issues. I think the Kimber Tac-Pro mags are nice, too.

The bottom-line is that with the reduced timing of the 3"-3.5" guns more things effect reliable function more including ammo, shooter, maintenance, springs and mags. The way I look at it is that the window of reliable function is reduced proportinate to the slide length. It's a trade-off.