Bull vs bushed barrel

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by NGIB, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    This applies mainly to non-government size 1911s. Some manufacturers go with a bull barrel and a few stay with a traditional bushing setup. In 4 inch (or 4.25) guns, Kimber, Springer, and Rock Island use bull barrels while Colt, Sig, and Para uses a bushed design. My biggest dislike of a bull barrel setup is a "gadget" is usually necessary to capture the recoil spring for takedown. Heck, even my Springer Longslide uses a bull barrel - which was odd to me.

    Besides not requiring a "tool" for takedown, my opinion is that it's probably easier to tune a bushed gun for better accuracy. Also, as the mechanical components wear - a bushing can be replaced while a bull barrel setup would need complex machine work to accomplish the same task.

    Anyway, thought this would make a good discussion so what are y'all's opinions on the issue?
     
  2. danf_fl

    danf_fl Retired Supporter

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    Every one of my 1911a1's has a bushing.
    I am not fond of the bull barrel concept.
     

  3. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I really can't see any reason that a bull barrel would not work as well as a bushing except for the things NGIB has already mentioned. I don't have a problem with the bull barrel set up at all but I can see it's downsides.

    In order to tune the barrel and slide you'll need to machine one and I'm betting it's the barrel. Open the slide up too much and you've got a paper weight unless you want to machine an insert which would require press fitting and once inserted be remachined for fit, function and accuracy.

    You can only take so much off the barrel because it really needs to be of uniform thickness the whole way around so that it doesn't distort as it heats and cools.

    Both become a wear surface so eventually and I stress EVENTUALLY......one, the other or both are going to wear out. With a bushing you can tune the bushing to fit the warn barrel and keep on truckin but not so with a bull barrel.

    Now that I've bashed the bull barrel design.....I highly doubt the average shooter will wear out a bull barrel gun in a lifetime. I got a new one not long ago so I'll start a round count and let you know.
     
  4. Olympus

    Olympus New Member

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    I don't know. There's probably a pretty good reason why most of the Bullseye shooters I see shooting 1911s with bushings as opposed to bull barrels. If we're talking better accuracy, I might give the nod to the bushing.
     
  5. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    I have had one with the bull barrel and I agree with NGIB. I did not personally care for it, or the tool to take it down with, but it shot very well and ran like a champ.

    Having said that, it was the first 1911 I sold off when the opportunity to upgrade presented itself. :)

    JD
     
  6. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

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    I don't see the big deal. If you have a paper clip, you always have the "tool."
     
  7. Dillinger

    Dillinger New Member

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    True. But without the bull barrel, as long as I have my thumbs, I always have 'the tool'. :p
     
  8. spittinfire

    spittinfire New Member Supporter

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    I agree with this. I'm pretty sure if in a pinch I could get it apart without the "tool" .
     
  9. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

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    Or you could buy a Colt with the bull barrel that DOES NOT require a "tool" for takedown!
     
  10. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Actually, the paperclip isn't bad. The crazy plastic half cylinder used by Springer is abysmal. Yes, they will come apart and go together without the "thingys" - just not as easy.

    Cane is correct that my Colt Officers has a bull barrel (and a bushing also) and does not need "stuff"...
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  11. IGETEVEN

    IGETEVEN New Member

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    Don't got no 1911's that require a take down tool. Most all the pistols I got are Government, bushing type, and I got nothing against a bull barrel, but I just rather use my hands and thumbs than a tool, when you need to do an ASAP, on the go field strip/repair.

    But, that's just me, a direct result, no doubt from that damn past "Army training." :)
     
  12. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    My Kimber has the bull barrel and quite frankly, I would have preferred a traditional barrel & bushing. But, it offered a lot of goodies for the price, so I went for it.

    I don't care for the idea of having to use a tool to disassemble it. However, I've had it apart twice and other than being different to disassemble, it's not a big deal.
     
  13. JonM

    JonM Moderator

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    my colt new agant has a bull barrel and the bushing is still there its just got the spring capture part with the barrel part removed. needs no take down tools works just fine. colt went away from bushings on the short 3 inch barrels due to reliability issues with bushings on barrels that short.

    shoots just fine and super reliable.
     
  14. oldcoptn46

    oldcoptn46 Member Supporter

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    I have one of each, Sig with the bushing and Kimber Ultra Carry bull barrel. I don't really care for the take down tool but it's not too bad. You can take the Kimber down and re-assemble without using the tool but it aint easy, did it once and that was enough.
     
  15. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger New Member

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    Maybe that's why people look at me and say, "He's such a tool" when I'm at the range......?
     
  16. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

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    Yes Lon, that's it exactly! :D