The Colt 1911 series of handguns will go down as the best-selling pistol series in history. And speaking of history, the 1911 series has more than 100 years of storied history in America and abroad. Today there are more companies producing 1911 patterned pistols than any other handgun on the market. Although there are a number of different models that are associated with the 1911, most only differ in barrel length:
|5” 1911 – This is the original barrel length manufactured by Colt and remains the most popular size today. In addition to Colt, 5” models are produced by manufacturers such as Kimber, Springfield, Para-Ordnance, Rock River Arms, etc.|
|4.25” 1911 – Known as the Commander size, this version was first produced by Colt and called the Commander. Possibly the 2nd most popular 1911 variation, it’s also produced by a number of 1911 manufacturers.|
|4” 1911 – A variation on the Commander, the 4” model was introduced by 1911 makers such a Kimber and Springfield. It’s important to point out that most holster makers fit for the slightly larger Commander model so the 4” 1911 models are commonly fit into a holster built for a 4.25” model.|
|3.5” 1911 – Known as the Officers model, this version was also introduced by Colt as a slightly smaller model for Army officers to carry in lieu of the full size 5” model.|
|3” 1911 – Known as the Defender series, this model was also introduced by Colt. The smaller size of this model makes it popular for concealed carry.|
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