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I am leaning toward the Tisas or Ruger. I have several, love my Officer's Model had it since 1985 , about number 40 of the new production when introduced, they made 999 called a commemorative intro guns in 1984, then, mine is 40 of the normal production guns. It has a 3.5 inch barrel. Never had any problem whatsoever, I shoot Plus P, flying ashtray hollow points, etc. I also like FMJ in it, I have used Shok Buffs in it all that time as well. I shoot them in several revolvers as well.

Ballistics by the Inch is close to my results by the inch is close to my results. Here is their chart:
BBTI - Ballistics by the Inch :: .45 Auto Results
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BOTTOM LINE:

Some of the ammo has a loss of49 fps, like that 165 grain Corbon above, between and 3.6 and 5 inch barrel, not much. The 185 grain is about 84 fps from the 5 inch to the 3.6 inch. If you look at the 230 grain, like the two loads or the very right, Federal ammo, they are only about ---8 in one and 62 in the other. Your Commander will be a 4.25 inch probably, so the loss is less.

The Ed Brown 4.25 inch in the first chart showed much less loss, in fact the Hornady loads showed almost no loss.
So, my opinion is not to worry. I carried ball for a long time because I was afraid the HP ammo would not expand, that happens with full size guns too, to today I have standard pressure Gold Dot in it, I also have Plus P Gold Dots and I use Hydroshocks in it also, mine shoots everything so I do not worry much. I had Colt Commander and it was much easier to carry than the full size, the Officer Model is even better.

I am leaning toward Tisas or Ruger, but I have no experience with either, the last decade or two, I put mine together from a pile of parts.

Good luck and give us a range report.
 

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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.
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.
 

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I second the Dan Wesson Specialist Commander with 4 1/4" barrel. It feels better in my hand and is just as accurate as my 5" NHC 1911. Because it is handier with it's shorter barrel length, it's my regular EDC pistol.

Mine
Air gun Trigger Line Gun barrel Gun accessory


My daughter loves the 9mm version that I bought her.
Blue Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Material property
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
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.
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
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.
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.
 

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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.
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.
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 · (Edited)
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.
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.

- Ivan.

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.
 

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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.
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?

Still and all, I don't obsess about velocity (any more - at one time I did ;) ) a 230 at 700 still beats a .357 at 1400 if the bullet doesn't expand and they have the same shape factor ( they seem to be about equal if the smaller bullet does expand)...but then placement is the key - a .22 to the eye beats a .454 Casul to the lung.

Riposte
 

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I have a Colt Commander LW (45) and a Kimber Pro Carry ll (9MM). I love them both, especially for carry guns. They have a great balance and feel like the natural extension of the hand. I don't worry too much about ballistics. I've always thought that a defensive situation would usually be relatively close work.
 

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The first 1911 I ever bought (not shot) was a commander length Springfield Armory Champion. Since then I have had several others and even one in 9mm. I have really enjoyed carrying and shooting them all. The only one I currently have is my EDC which is a Wilson Combat Professional. I have had it for over 2 decades and it is by far my favorite. I also own several 5" 1911s that I love to shoot, but as far as a carry weapon, in my humble opinion the 4" is perfect.
 

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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.

- Ivan.

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.
.....the loss of one inch of barrel length is apparently quite a serious loss in ballistic performance in this caliber.

I thought your worry was about the loss of velocity when you lost that 1 inch or 3/4 inch of barrel length ? Anyway, that is why I posted the Ballistics by the inch tests showing very little loss. At my house we have a lot of experience with the 9mm carbines gong back decades. The first was the Camp carbines in 9mm and in 45 acp, long before the new Ruger carbine, all the AR carbines, and the folding little Keltec Carbine. What we found is the 45 acp does not gain much velocity if any with the longer barrel. See the ballistics by the inch chart attached. If you look at the standard pressure 230 grain ammo there is less than 100 fps gain from a 5 inch barrel to an 18 inch one. The high pressure lightweight bullets do have gain, just not the standard ball ammo the gun was designed around.


Font Material property Pattern Rectangle Parallel


The Thompsons submachine gun by the way was not even produced until 1921 and was reported as having a velocity
800-900 fps, the same as we see in the charts. Thompson submachine gun - Wikipedia

We spend a lot of time with the 9mm carbines. What we found was about 200 fps more velocity in an 18 inch barrel. Since the Ruger carbine and the AT carbines became popular there has been a lot of testing done. The general rule is the 9mm gets about a 22% increase in the carbine. However, some of the import submachine gun ammo is in the Plus P Plus range and velocities can be pretty high. One of the reasons Marlin dropped production of the Camp Carbine was because that ammo was beating the guns to pieces. By design that were blowback and had a shock bugger that had to be replaced periodically, when the shock buff shattered and not replaced it ruined the frames, they said it was the high use of the import 9mm submachine gun ammo.

The Grease gun you mentioned was not designed for some different ammo specs. It was rated at 900 fps, barely more than the 830 fps of the 1911. M3 submachine gun - Wikipedia

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.
 

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Why give up whatever velocity loss there is, for only a small decrease in size?
As Col. Cooper observed, "If I have full weight, I want full length, too."
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.
 
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You aren't giving up anything carrying a commander- if you carry the gun well and shoot it well, you will do as well with it. Maybe better since some won't carry a full size... and you might not see a difference. See below:

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.
Was just about to add that nugget about barrels....
 

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I'm also a big fan of 4-4/12" barreled pistols. If you get one that's tightly put together, I think it will be just as accurate as a full-sized 5" pistol. I have a DW ECO in 9mm, which has a 3.5" barrel which was fitted to perfection. That is my most accurate pistol. Go figure.
 

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As I age I find I have to work harder to lift the muzzle to clear the top of the holster with some of the holsters I used to like. For years carried a 5" Govt. Model in a Milt Sparks Road Runner - I find I can no longer comfortably clear the front (even though it is cut a bit lower than other holster, it still rides high, with the trigger guard completely above the belt). On a good day, I can do it but it is just a bit too high.

OTOH the Sparks 1AT which I first used works fine, as do my SD Myers "Threepersons" for my N-frames, even my 5" N-frame (but normally I'm wearing that cross draw anyway).

So, I have found a use for a Commander and the loss of a few FPS does not bother me, though I still like 5" 1911s and even 6" 1911s too, I just have to wear them a little lower on the belt for strong side....getting old ain't for sissies!
 

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Discussion Starter · #38 ·
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.
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.
This is also quite consistent with my chronograph testing at 7 feet instrumental. About 850 FPS or slightly over with a 5 inch pistol and a bit over 920 FPS with a 16 inch carbine. The chances are that my defence ammunition in this caliber would be simple GI Ball which isn't listed in your tables.

By the way, since we are quoting from Wikipedia (!), the article on the .45 ACP lists the velocity as 830 FPS from a M1911A1 and 950 FPS from a M1A1 Thompson SMG under the Performance section.

As for the suggestions that a Commander makes a convenient carry gun, I have no intention of purchasing an aluminum frame version nor do I intend to use it as a carry gun. To me, the 1911 is just a bit too big unless it is for open carry which I have done in the past. Some people can conceal a gun the size of a 1911. I do not believe that I can without looking like I am carrying.
 

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I probably should've clarified in my original post, my thoughts had little to do with velocity and more to do with sight radius. The difference in velocity between 4", 4.25", and a full size 5" barrel is likely not going to be much. 100 FPS tops, and at the ranges I shoot that's not enough difference to make a difference.

Where I do see some difference is with sight radius. The sight radius on the full size gun results in marginally better groups out to 25 yards. For practical defense shooting it's still not enough difference to make a difference though. And that gap could probably be closed with a little practice. I don't think it insurmountable.
 

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While I have owned more Government length 1911’s I am very fond of Commander length frames.
Dan Wesson
Colt
Springfield

All good solid choices and you have choices to not break the bank…. Unless of course you want too.
 
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