View Full Version : 1911 5" vs 6"

July 31, 2012, 01:26 PM
With all being equal, how much does 1" more sight radius help with accuracy at say 50yds? Would it typically mean a 3" group instead of 4'' more or less? Debating between 5" or 6" target model. I know the 6" would be more accurate all being equal but just don't have any idea what that means in the real world.Thanks

July 31, 2012, 01:54 PM
In theory, the greater the radius, the greater the human potential for precision of alignment. I don't think however that you'll see an inch reduction in group size at 50 yds, with the addition of an inch of sight radius.

How are your eyes? Will an inch bring the sights into better focus for you? Will the inch increase the gap between blade and notch, or will that be compensated for?

(Wouldn't that be great though... with a long enough barrel, you could shoot in the zeros. ;))

An inch of barrel and slide will have an effect on muzzle flip and X time reduction in the return to target.
An increase in muzzle velocity too... but nothing earth shattering.


July 31, 2012, 04:49 PM
Barrel length has nothing to do with accuracy.

The only difference will be a velocity increase and sight radius increase.

August 1, 2012, 09:43 AM
Quote "Barrel length has nothing to do with accuracy.

The only difference will be a velocity increase and sight radius increase. "

I get that, but with a 1" increase in sight radius. What does that mean in real world accuracy at say 25 or 50 yds, with all else equal? 1/4" better group or 3/4" anyone ever really checked this?

August 1, 2012, 10:52 AM
Will an inch bring the sights into better focus for you?

If the rear sight isn't in focus, moving the front sight out an inch isn't going to help. The longer gun's increased weight might actually hinder accuracy.

August 1, 2012, 11:27 AM
With my current glasses I see the gun sights very well, although target just a tad blurry. So I'm guessing that there is little noticeable difference in the 1" at 5 to 6". I have a revolver with 2.5" and same design in 4" and shoot the 4" much better with iron sights about 2" avg better at 25yds, but with laser on 2.5" barrel I see little difference in groups. But my 4.25" 1911 vs my 5" I cant tell any real difference at 25yds, but the 4.25 is a better gun with match grade barrel so don't think its a good test. Thought maybe some one had a 5 and 6" that they see a definite difference in.

August 1, 2012, 12:04 PM
I remember the old Bo-Mar extended sights for the 1911s that guys used in wadcutter matches. It's easy to see why we called them speargun sights.

As I understand it, Bo-Mar is not currently in business. However, over the years they sold a bunch of these sights. I found this image with a little Google, on Photobucket.

Jim Watson
August 1, 2012, 01:46 PM
Many - most, even, bullseye target shooters use optical sights so the longer sight radius does not apply. And you can't shoot a longslide in Service Pistol where iron sights are required.

There is some interest in longslides in USPSA Limited where barrel length is not restricted and iron sights are required. Many of them have a lot of weight reducing cuts for cyclic rate and handling; one brand is the Fat-Free Six Inch.

August 1, 2012, 03:08 PM
When I changed from a 5" gun to a 6" gun for USPSA competition, I noticed that it was easier to shoot accurately, but the new gun also had a lot of bells and whistles that the 5" gun didn't, so it's apples and oranges. Since the scoring system rewards speed as well accuracy, I can say with certainty that I could score more points in a given amount of time with the longer barrel, but no idea how that would translate into pure accuracy at distance.

August 3, 2012, 01:26 AM
I've seen a guy shoot accurate and quick with a Kimber Ultra 3". It's whatever you body and ability prefers. I think a 6" is too heavy for quick movement and aquisition. It just depends on preference.

August 3, 2012, 01:10 PM
I shot a 3.5" gun at my last IDPA Sanctioned Match (state championship), and along with the one-round capacity deficit, it is extremely difficult to be competitive with full-sized guns. The short guns can be plenty accurate, but they are much harder to shoot.
The top level of IPSC/USPSA competitors have been on-again/off-again with the 6" guns. In the early '80s, a Hoag longslide .45 was the way to go, then nobody shot 6" guns for 20+ years, but they made a come-back for a while, about five years ago. It's a fad. :)