A more reliable 3 inch 1911? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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glock39
11-29-2010, 20:42
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?

JNKIRK1974
11-29-2010, 20:45
First off, I am not a gunsmith, nor do I play one on TV.

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.........

Quack
11-29-2010, 20:49
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.

Quack
11-29-2010, 20:50
just found the link i was looking for
http://www.shootingtimes.com/handgun_reviews/springfield_defender_030306/

if you really wanted one, i'm sure that a smith could build you one.

glock39
11-29-2010, 21:49
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.

Quack
11-29-2010, 21:52
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.

rsxr22
11-29-2010, 21:56
Dont tell Glock that!

glock39
11-29-2010, 22:47
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.

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.

Quack
11-29-2010, 23:09
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.

mrsurfboard
11-29-2010, 23:48
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.

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

Glock27NY
11-30-2010, 06:10
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...

matt c
11-30-2010, 06:20
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.

Quack
11-30-2010, 06:23
There is/was the XD-45 GAP, not sure if it's still made though.It also doesn't help that Glock is the only gun manufacture that chambers for it.

glock39
11-30-2010, 06:28
It also doesn't help that Glock is the only gun manufacture that chambers for it.

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?

Quack
11-30-2010, 06:45
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?

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.

Quack
11-30-2010, 06:56
Para-Ordinance had produced two different mini-1911's chambered for the 45GAP.

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

nolt
11-30-2010, 06:58
if you really want one, Fusion would probably build one for you.

you could invent your own round and fusion would probably build you one

HAIL CAESAR
11-30-2010, 07:56
you could invent your own round and fusion would probably build you one

:rofl::rofl:

glock39
11-30-2010, 08:48
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.

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?".

Hokie1911
11-30-2010, 08:55
you could invent your own round and fusion would probably build you one

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

toaddad
11-30-2010, 09:29
Consider ther Kimber Ultra CDP II. Mine is light, powerful and accurate and carries IWB like a dream. It is also a beautiful handgun with match-grade components. Just a top of the line choice for EDC and can hold 7+1 rounds of .45 ACP with an officer modle size grip.

nolt
11-30-2010, 09:33
im going to order an 'Uncle Juicy's 10x35 gargleblaster' longslide and see how long into the process it takes them to ask me for information about the round.

Boxerglocker
11-30-2010, 22:49
I say forget about it and get an EMP :whistling:

Cobra64
11-30-2010, 23:39
I say forget about it and get an EMP :whistling:

:agree:

There is a great post here (http://sigforum.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/430601935/m/7760040722?r=5150011722#5150011722).

There is some discussion on 3" 1911s referencing a well known 1911 pistolsmith.

21Brutus
12-01-2010, 05:46
Cobra,

Great link, thanks....considering a RIA compact just to "play with" in the short barrel myself, and want to see if I can put all of those "don't shoot .45acp in a small 1911 package" stories to rest.

Hokie1911
12-01-2010, 07:27
I LOVE the Harrison EMP, but can't imagine buying one for $1k, then spending another $1k+ on it. :faint:

ShakyDave
12-13-2010, 10:59
I have a Kimber Ultra and a Colt New Agent and I've never had a problem with either of them. I think the reliability complaints about the 3" barrels are overblown. I know John M. (blessings and peace be upon him) considered 5" the perfect length, and didn't design a 3" platform, but neither did he design the Commander-sized platform, which has been around forever without any barbs chucked at it. I expect that with the passage of time the 3's will attain the same acceptance level.

polizei1
12-13-2010, 11:18
I LOVE the Harrison EMP, but can't imagine buying one for $1k, then spending another $1k+ on it. :faint:

Ha, that's where I'm at right now...I don't even have the money right now, but that's getting into Brown and Wilson territory, so I'd REALLY have to like the EMP. :tongueout:

I can't see me doing much to it honestly...maybe a single-sided safety and 10-8 rear, and possibly a short trigger. Other than that, the list I made up for Harrison to do would be pushing ~$1k.

Quack
12-13-2010, 11:22
Ha, that's where I'm at right now...I don't even have the money right now, but that's getting into Brown and Wilson territory, so I'd REALLY have to like the EMP. :tongueout:

I can't see me doing much to it honestly...maybe a single-sided safety and 10-8 rear, and possibly a short trigger. Other than that, the list I made up for Harrison to do would be pushing ~$1k.

i have a 10-8 rear sight that is just waiting for you, and it's already filed down ready to go ;)

polizei1
12-13-2010, 11:24
Good, send it my way. :rofl:

I still haven't had the chance to shoot it again to see if the extractor is tuned correctly. :( But I'm sending 2 mags to Log Man today. :whistling:

Hokie1911
12-13-2010, 11:24
Ha, that's where I'm at right now...I don't even have the money right now, but that's getting into Brown and Wilson territory, so I'd REALLY have to like the EMP. :tongueout:

I can't see me doing much to it honestly...maybe a single-sided safety and 10-8 rear, and possibly a short trigger. Other than that, the list I made up for Harrison to do would be pushing ~$1k.

I did the same thing. Priced out an EMP build on his site and it hit $900+. For the $2k+, I'd be hard pressed to not spend a little more on a 9mm Wilson CQB Compact.

Quack
12-13-2010, 11:29
Good, send it my way. :rofl:

I still haven't had the chance to shoot it again to see if the extractor is tuned correctly. :( But I'm sending 2 mags to Log Man today. :whistling:

paypal me and i'll send it down.

Quack
12-13-2010, 11:30
I did the same thing. Priced out an EMP build on his site and it hit $900+. For the $2k+, I'd be hard pressed to not spend a little more on a 9mm Wilson CQB Compact.

but it's still not as small as the EMP

Hokie1911
12-13-2010, 11:31
but it's still not as small as the EMP

Close enough that I'd rather have a Wilson for similar money. Just my 2. YMMV.