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Old 06-14-2010, 00:35   #1
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Are the 3.5" and 3" 1911's better now?

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.

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Old 06-14-2010, 04:22   #2
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I don't care for them, but they are much better than in years past.
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Old 06-14-2010, 06:18   #3
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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.
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Old 06-14-2010, 07:27   #4
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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.
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:04   #5
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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.
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This one has been excellent from birth (1995) to present.
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:08   #6
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Originally Posted by Sarge45 View Post
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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.
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:02   #7
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Thanks for the replies!

I was in the 2/327, John. "No Slack"
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Old 06-14-2010, 17:22   #8
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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.
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Old 06-14-2010, 17:45   #9
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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.
"There is nothing like the hunting of man, and for those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, there is nothing else>" Ernest Hemingway.
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Old 06-14-2010, 18:13   #10
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1 Defender, 2 Officers that have worked as intended.
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Old 06-15-2010, 16:52   #11
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My Colt New Agent has been flawless - now at 500 rounds. Field striped and cleaned it twice. No detail clean yet.
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Old 06-15-2010, 17:05   #12
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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.
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Old 06-15-2010, 17:49   #13
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These are my Kimbers. 4000 rounds between them, very accurate and 100% trouble free.

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Old 06-16-2010, 00:09   #14
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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.
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Old 06-16-2010, 02:56   #15
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Are the 3.5" and 3" 1911's better now?

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.
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Old 06-16-2010, 13:00   #16
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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.
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Old 06-16-2010, 15:56   #17
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Old 06-16-2010, 17:35   #18
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My STI Escort is perfectly reliable, as was the Para Ordinance OPS I had before it. The Kimber Ultra CDP II, not so much.
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Old 06-20-2010, 20:24   #19
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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.

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Old 06-21-2010, 20:29   #20
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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.

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