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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am considering purchasing a new 9mm pistol, but I'm unsure about the slide/barrel length that I will choose. This gun would not be for CCW. I see it more for target and SHTF tactical use. I want to be able to accurately hit targets at 25+ yards, so I know that a longer sight radius will help me there. The real question that I have is whether or not a pistol with a long slide will hamper the ability to get back on target for rapid, closer [ed.] shots. In my head, I can see two possible scenarios:

1. The increased mass of the longer barrel will limit deviation from the target, making it easier to get back on that target.

2. The increased mass of the barrel and the precision of the sights will be more difficult to return to the target.

What have you guys picked up in your experience? Do long barrels influence rapid shot placement for good or ill? Or is it just a wash?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
These are the kinds of differences that I'm looking at:

Springfield XDM 3.8" vs 4.5"
Taurus 24/7 4" vs 5.2"
 

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Rapidity

I think you are leaving out the level of experience and precision of the shooter in this equation. Also, the type and effectiveness of the grip the that he or she maybe employing. Both of these factors weigh heavily on the shooters ability to get back on target and deliver additional rounds with any semblance of rapidity. Barrel length is a small part of it and will help. Secondly, I assume you are talking about shooting standard factory 9mm. rounds, not "juiced up" high performance type ammo.
 

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Rapidity

I have just reread your original thread and find a bit of a contradiction in terms there. You state that you want to shoot accurately at 25+ yards. Why..?? For the challenge..?? Shooting at these distances with speed and accurarcy are not normally considered something that one would consider as important.....unless it was for competition purposes. Just out "plinking" under these circumstances does not usually involve any time constaints.... therefore "rapidity" would become irrelevent..???
 

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Increased barrel length and mass will increase sight radius helping with accuracy while at the same time reducing felt recoil helping with target acquisition for followup shots. If you're not into CCW, IMO, this is the way to go as long as you are not going to extremes. This is one of the reasons why match shooters do not shoot short barreled guns.

While on the subject of accuracy, you do not have to have a perfect sight picture to put a shot into the bullseye at 25 yards. So long as you have perfect sight ALIGNMENT, and you are close to the bullseye when your shot goes off, your shot will go into the black. If you can do this with every shot, you will draw a crowd at the range and get compliments. Trust me.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Rangeguy - I suppose I should have clarified. The long-range shooting and rapid-fire shooting are not simultaneous. I anticipate practicing slow-fire at 25 yards and beyond, rapid-fire at 10 yards and closer. The goal is to be effective in both situations on a torso-sized target.

As for grip configuration, I have tested several of the main manufacturers' offerings, and I have found a few that fit my hand well and can get back on target rapidly for me.

The real question is one of isolation - if I have a gun and grip that work for me, does barrel length make a difference?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Marshal Kane - Good stuff. This is exactly what I was looking for. I should check out some competitive shooters' rigs. That should be a good starting point.
 

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Go with the longer barrel whenever you can. I use several 1911 pistols for 50yd. target practice, realistic training situations 5-25yds, and I perfer a 5in for CCW work, except for when it is hot during the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah; I'm seeing a lot of 4.5" - 5" barrels on competition-level 1911 variants and polymer pistols.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, 45-70. I'm really leaning toward the long barrels now.
 

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I think you are leaving out the level of experience and precision of the shooter in this equation. Also, the type and effectiveness of the grip the that he or she maybe employing...
Rangeguy has it exactly right. Most handguns shoot well, but there will be one that feels good in your hand...almost like an extension of your arm. Others may feel downright foreign to you. Pick the one that feels right, and practice with it with purpose. It will get more comfortable with each session, and you'll one day find it performing just exactly the way you expect, without evening thinking about accuracy and recovery.
 

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First of all sir, "long range" is not 25 yards with your average pistol caliber or pistol. I personally consider 75 feet is some what normal in range. My home has a hallway of 52 feet not counting adding on the 26 feet living room.

I will toss my vote for a pistol barrel in length of at least 4.5 inches but I like the 6 inch a whole lot better for general pistol shooting. Long range I use my model 29 with 8 n 3/8ths barrel from 50 yards to 150 yards.

I have no problem with my Glock model 29 - CCW pistol, shooting at 25 yards with this sub-compact verison of the 10mm. I keep them all in the 9 ring with no problem. A heavy long barrel is a plus on a target pistol!!;)
 

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I will not give you equations, just more than 30 years of carrying for defense, shooting on ranges and competition, generally. For me the 5" barrel on a standard 1911 is easier to control and more accurate over distance than my Commander sized weapons. Sub-sized or minis are downright impossible. I have carried a Commander for many, many years and now that my eyes are giving me some grief (gotta wear readers, now), I am back to carrying full size in the form of an EB Kobra.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
First of all sir, "long range" is not 25 yards with your average pistol caliber or pistol. I personally consider 75 feet is some what normal in range. My home has a hallway of 52 feet not counting adding on the 26 feet living room.
25 yards plus is what I would consider requiring a carefully aimed shot on a torso-sized target, so to me that's what I would consider "long." For me it's definitely not rapid-fire territory.

Thanks for the input on barrel length. That seems to be mostly what I'm hearing; longer barrels produce better results.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
JPaulF - Right on. Practical experience is what really counts. You can add up all the numbers on a piece of machinery and it means very little when the rubber meets the road.
 

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Go with what feels got in your hands. Sight radius does help for longer shots. Don't over look the trigger either. I used to practice shooting my issued Beretta M9 DA at 100m standing (course I was the range NCOIC and conducted 7 ranges a week for 7 months) Find what feels good, stock up on ammo and get out on the range. Dry firing helps allot when you can't. Another trick I used to do to show the important of applying the fundementals was to shoot the gun up side down, pulling the trigger with my pinky in SA mode at 25m. Not matter how you hold the gun, its still stance, grip, sight picture and breathing.

CD
 
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