I’ve carried a 4” 1911 for about the last 13 years. Very easy to conceal and about the best gun available to carry, IMO.
Check the charts I posted from Ballistics by the Inch, not much loss between and 5 and 4.25 inch barrel, about 50 fps with most, almost no loss with the 230 grain bullets.I believe we have quite a similar outlook except that I have no intention of carrying a 1911. I have used the 1911 for open carry, but for me, it is too big of a gun to carry concealed. If concealment were not an issue, I would be carrying a 4 inch .357 revolver.
My typical loads are also in the 850 FPS range for 230 Grain bullets using W231 powder.
Although one can load anything in theory, I don't want to need to load anything special or buy any special ammunition for ONE brand new gun when everything else eats the same stuff.
For now, this is a question of what I would be giving up in going down to a 4 inch barrel from 5 inch guns. Convenience in carrying the gun doesn't enter into consideration at all.
Your statement is why I started a thread a while back about preferences for Blued versus Stainless guns. I personally prefer stainless where it is available. I don't mind the look of blued and even have a couple, but it is so easy to have them show wear just by handling and dry firing.The Pro Raptor was by far my most loved Raptor. But I bough it in stainless and found that although I thought it looked cool, I’m just a blued gun guy. Sold it to a contractor that was remodeling my kitchen. I think we were both happy with the deal. The price of the kitchen remodel was high and so was my price on the Raptor. We both did okay.
I looked over the charts you posted and one interesting observation is that the velocities seem to peak at about the 4.5 inch range. Velocities seem to be lower with longer barrels which is odd.Check the charts I posted from Ballistics by the Inch, not much loss between and 5 and 4.25 inch barrel, about 50 fps with most, almost no loss with the 230 grain bullets.
I have carried a 4 inch 357 concealed, you are right, they are bulky. I carried a Commander size concealed as an executive protection specialist in cold weather, hot weather, even in a tropical climate. The flatness of the 1911 makes it much easier to conceal inside the pants or shoulder rig. I never carried an aluminum one, if I had a steel one for most training, and carried the light one only for defense I think they would be great. The Commander is nearly identical to the Glock 19, 44 million of us conceal it daily. Just joking about the numbers, but me and all the FBI guys carry them concealed.
The lower velocity in the longer barrels has to do with the short fat case and the friction of the bullet. 45 acp is loaded with a fast powder and it does what it does very quickly. The original design is a 5 inch barrel. So the plan was for it to use up its power pretty quick. Very different from bullets that are in long thin cases with large amounts or powder to burn. The same type of powder will just take longer to burn and actually dramatically increase in velocity. Take the 357 mag for example, in a 16 or 18 inch barrel it will double the velocity of what it would get in a short barrel, like the common 2.5 or 3 inch. The 45 acp is just too short to have powder left over to burn as it goes down the barrel.I looked over the charts you posted and one interesting observation is that the velocities seem to peak at about the 4.5 inch range. Velocities seem to be lower with longer barrels which is odd.
As mentioned before, the Combat Commander is intended just as a target gun for now and possibly as a home defence gun if needed. I don't want a gun that is not useful for anything but a range toy. A lot of what one might be able to carry concealed depends on physical build. I am not large or tall, so am basically limited to single stack 9 mm which is what I chose for a carry gun way back. It was sometimes swapped for a .380 auto which wasn't much smaller but was lighter. Weight seems to matter more than absolute size and the 1911 is not good in either characteristic for me. A very heavy item in a pocket or fanny pack just screams GUN! If open carry was allowed, it was usually a 1911 with GI Ball rounds because that was the only factory ammunition I was guaranteed to have.
Actually, you are not quite correct.The lower velocity in the longer barrels has to do with the short fat case and the friction of the bullet. 45 acp is loaded with a fast powder and it does what it does very quickly. The original design is a 5 inch barrel. So the plan was for it to use up its power pretty quick. Very different from bullets that are in long thin cases with large amounts or powder to burn. The same type of powder will just take longer to burn and actually dramatically increase in velocity. Take the 357 mag for example, in a 16 or 18 inch barrel it will double the velocity of what it would get in a short barrel, like the common 2.5 or 3 inch. The 45 acp is just too short to have powder left over to burn as it goes down the barrel.
I'd say that is generally true, but I've chronograpned a LOT of .45 ammo - individual barrels can vary as much as 100 fps with the same load from the same lot (on the same day which is more important than some think). I first tried the Remington +P 185 JHP from a Commander when it came out - it got 1145 fps! Later I tried it in my one of my 5" guns and it didn't do much better (maybe 1175). But that was their first lot of ammo, I bet it doesn't get anywhere near that now, if they still make it?The general claim is about 50 FPS loss for standard velocity (GI Ball) ammunition and about 100 FPS for the +P stuff.
I never shoot +P ammunition anyway, so that is not really an issue.
The particular gun that got my attention recently was a Kimber Pro Raptor II. It is a bit more aggressive in checkering than I happen to like and the barrel is only 4 inches. I do think it is pretty but that is not enough reason for me to buy a new gun. The gun I actually looked at was the full size version which seemed like a very tight and well made gun. These guns are supposed to come from their custom shop. Not sure how bad the Swartz will affect things.
.....the loss of one inch of barrel length is apparently quite a serious loss in ballistic performance in this caliber.Actually, you are not quite correct.
Consider the history of the .45 ACP GI Ball round with 230 Grain bullet as a military round.
It was shot from various guns besides the 1911. During WW2, there were quite a few SMGs such as M3 Grease Guns, Reising SMG used by the Marines, Thompsons of various flavours used by various nations all firing the military .45 230 Grain Ball round. The book specifications for velocities from these guns is quite a bit higher than for the 1911 pistols.
I happen to own a .45 ACP carbine. I first tried commercial 230 Grain Ball ammunition and it simply didn't have the power to cycle the action. I bought some GI Ball ammunition and it had no trouble cycling the carbine action. It also exceeded the velocity from a 5 inch pistol by about 70 FPS. My carbine barrel is quite a bit longer than the typical SMG barrel but didn't seem to add any significant velocity to what is typically reported for SMGs which is interesting.
P.S. Actually a short powder column isn't really a great limitation on the velocity of a round as one can see with 9 mm European or NATO ammunition. There are some 9 mm SMG rounds (Black Tip) that get some serious velocity out of that tiny little case.
Was just about to add that nugget about barrels....That said, I'm aware of barrels that are "fast" or "slow", so it's distinctly possible that you could have a Commander that provides higher velocities than a given 5" gun.
Near as I can tell, I never made any claims about new ammunition being designed for the SMGs. I just pointed out that the SMGs achieved significantly higher velocity than the 5 inch pistols if the book references are to be believed.So, I respectively disagree. I do not find any design parameters that show that the US military created any new ammo for the Thompson of the grease gun. If you have a field manual or something from the era showing different, I would sure like to see it. But there is no record of the military every producing a new and different ammo for those two platforms, they fired the same 230 grain ball ammo as the 1911. It is widely accepted that Bullseye was the powder used throughout the history of the military ball ammo.