At a Glance: Best Barrel Upgrades for Your 1911
- OUR TOP PICK: Ed Brown – 1911 45 Acp Suppressor Ready Threaded Barrels
- 45ACP Commander Barrel
- BEST BUDGET OPTION: 5″ Kart 1911 Auto Barrel
Comparison of The 8 Best Barrel Upgrades for Your 1911
Our Top Pick
|Ed Brown – 1911 45 Acp Suppressor Ready Threaded Barrels||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|ED Brown 45ACP Commander Barrel||View Latest Price|
Our Top Pick
|5″ Kart 1911 Auto Barrel||View Latest Price|
Our Guide To The 8 Best Barrel Upgrades for Your 1911
The 1911 handgun is one of the most popular and modified pistols ever created. Due to its popularity, the 1911 is an excellent choice for various tasks, including self-defense, plinking, and competition because of its natural accuracy, ergonomics, and crisp trigger. It has always been a very transformable pistol. One of the best 1911 upgrades you can make is with the barrel.
If you are looking for accuracy, precision, or a rifled barrel to help curve the bullet, these barrel upgrades will help you and your gun. Take a look at these products, and you’ll be able to select the best Barrel that is right for you and your1911.
Ed Brown – 1911 45 Acp Suppressor Ready Threaded Barrels
This barrel is longer in length and threaded for use with suppressors, allowing you to have accuracy and silence on your 1911. The Ed Brown barrel focused on top-notch quality, with materials made from pure stainless steel and tested to ensure quality. The steel is T-416 modified, made from the same materials as a bench rest rifle barrel.
They are rifled with a precision broach, allowing for extreme accuracy with all bullets. The gun barrel is heat-treated and frozen in sub-zero temperatures for longer barrel life. You’ll be able to fire this gun for a long time without even noticing a problem.
You will need a suppressor equipped with a Nielsen device (commonly known as a muzzle booster) to help with the gun’s weight. A good quality muzzle booster can help a short recoil gun like the 1911 maintain its balance and control the recoil.
Be aware that states have different laws regarding suppressors.
- Made of the highest quality materials, including T-416 quality stainless steel
- The gun is stress relieved and heat tested
- Aesthetically Pleasing
- Rifled by precision broach
- Good Value
- Requires a muzzle booster to work with reliability with a 1911
- Fitting Required
ED Brown 45ACP Commander Barrel
This barrel is made with bigger dimensions than your standard barrel, which allows for tighter lockup when firing. The commander barrel is heat-treated and cryo stressed to ensure that it will still fire regardless of the environment. The barrel is broach cut rifled, which allows for better accuracy.
Regardless of what caliber of bullet you fire, the rifling inside the barrel allows for pinpoint accuracy, even if you fire lead bullets. The barrel is unramped and requires your 1911 to be commander length in size, or it will not fit.
Finally, the gun may only require minor fitting. The barrel is not a drop-in barrel for certain types of 1911 guns, and the amount of fitting needed will depend on your gun size. However, the barrel does come with a kit and instructions to help fit the gun barrel. Once the gun is fitted correctly, the accuracy boost outweighs any extra work.
While the barrel might require some extra work to fit it into your gun correctly, it can be a great learning opportunity for first time 1911 gun owners.
- Made from heat and cryo tested stainless steel
- The barrel has precision rifling
- Improved accuracy with all types of bullets, including lead
- Comes with a kit to make installing easy
- Requires commander length sized guns or longer to fit the barrel
- Can require some minor fitting on certain 1911 gun types.
- May not be a drop-in barrel for certain gun types
5″ Kart 1911 Auto Barrel
This barrel is made from ordnance steel, 4150 ordinance steel, in fact, and it’s reasonably priced too. The inside of the barrel is rifled close and allows for pinpoint accuracy. You can get this gun barrel in two types: Standard and Ramped.
The Standard barrel is non ramped and has an oversized hood, along with lugs on the top and bottom for a good fit. This is your standard drop-in barrel that won’t require too much fitting.
A ramped barrel fully supports the gun’s case head and requires that the frame be machined. This will require a gunsmith to help fit the barrel.
You can do the fitting yourself, which will require combing through detailed instructions. It can be an exciting project to take on, except getting a professional’s help might be the way to go if you don’t know what you are doing.
Once you install the gun barrel correctly and start firing at the target range, you can go hundreds of rounds without seeing a drop in accuracy. You won’t find any feed problems either, as this barrel is designed to last. No matter what type of gun barrel you get, it will be durable and can stay by your side for years to come.
- Made from high-quality ordnance steel
- Close rifling for better accuracy
- Comes in both ramped and non ramped versions
- Forged to national specs
- Can require a gunsmith to perform the installation
- Not a drop-in for most guns
Government 9mm Barrel Wilson/Nowlin Ramp
This ramped barrel is made in the USA by Fusion Firearms, one of the best firearm manufacturers in the United States. The barrel is made from 416R certified rifle grade stainless steel and is precision rifled and honed by hand. The barrel also comes with fitting points on the back of the gun hood and the bottom of the gun’s feet.
If you have access to a hand file, then you’ll be able to precision fit the barrel if it doesn’t drop into your gun. However, if you are inexperienced at this, seeing a professional gunsmith and having them help you can be a good idea. Once the barrel is fitted according to your type of 19911 gun, then you’ll be able to experience the benefits.
The barrel can hold one of several cartridges, such as 9mm, 38 super, 10mm, and even wild cat cartridges. No matter which one you pick, every shot will be accurate. Additionally, the barrels are available in different lengths, including .696 diameters and a .581 diameter end.
The barrel has been heat tested, vacuumed hardened, and vacuum tempered. The gun barrel is durable, light, and improves your accuracy while you shoot. The barrel can be customized to meet your ammunition and barrel length needs.
- Customizable barrel length
- Made from 416R stainless steel
- Can hold different types of cartridges
- Easy to precision fit the barrel
- Precision rifled
- Does need some fitting to make it work with certain guns
Kart Precision Barrel XACT FIT BARREL
The Kart XACT precision barrel is for more advanced gun owners only, as it does require installation by either yourself or a gunsmith. You’ll need four hand tools for this to adjust the lockup and the two pads on either side of the locking groove. Then you’ll need to cut the barrel hood to the length you want and put the brushing into the side. After that, you should have a new barrel on your gun with no trouble.
Thankfully, the instructions provided with the gun are clear. If you are experienced with handling gun barrels, then the entire process is relatively easy, provided you know the specs of your weapon. Otherwise, you’ll need to take it to a gunsmith to have the weapon looked at.
Still, the 5 inches long barrel will provide the accuracy and precision that you are looking for, improving your shooting skills. The hardest part is going to be getting the barrel on right, but once that’s done, you’ll get all the support that a good gun barrel provides.
It is made of 4150 ordinance steel, available in several lengths, and can come in both ramped and unramped varieties. The barrel is perfect for whatever type of gun you have, and once you get it fit, then you won’t ever need another barrel.
- Very customizable
- Made of 4150 Ordinance steel
- Very durable
- Quick to install if you know what you’re doing
- Requires tools to fit into certain guns (tools not included)
- Does require some tinkering
1911 Commander Drop-in Match Barrel
This drop-in barrel is CNC machined to be slightly oversized, allowing for a tighter lockup. The barrel now has a match quality drop-in fit. The barrel is made up of stainless steel, machined, and then both heat and cryo treated to make sure it is durable and accurate. It also comes in ramped and non ramped variants.
The bushing, pin, and link in this gun are preinstalled. You won’t have to fiddle with those parts and can get to installing the barrel and then having a completed gun much faster.
The broach cut rifling in the barrel allows for all types of ammunition to be fired from the gun, including lead cartridges. The Commander Drop-in Match Barrel might require some minor fitting, but you should be able to take care of it with less than an hour of work, depending on your gun type. You’ll want to make sure that the gun locks up every time you fire, in the exact same way. If the lugs and brushing aren’t very tight, then you will lose out on some accuracy.
If you aren’t comfortable enough to perform the fitting yourself, then make sure to talk to a registered gunsmith and have them complete it for you. But once the barrel is installed correctly to your gun, you can enjoy the accuracy that the weapon provides.
- Bushing, link, and pin are preinstalled
- Made of premium stainless steel
- Has broach cut rifling
- Easy to Install
- Can fire several types of ammo
- Will require some minor fitting
1911 9mm Government Fluted Barrel
This barrel is sized for any government-style 1911 handguns. Each Ed Brown Drop-in Match Fluted Barrel is cut to max tolerance dimensions, allowing you to place the barrel in your handgun slide with ease. The unramped barrel is made from T-416 Stainless steel and comes with the link, link pin, and bushing included.
The barrel is five inches, not only making the gun lighter in your hand but also making it look nice. Additionally, the gun has an all silver finish to make it look even cooler, along with the fluting. The fluting on the gun forms a decoration out of grooves, adding a bit of flair and texture to your gun barrel.
That fluting, plus the silver finish, will certainly make you feel like James Bond down at the range! You can get the barrel in .45 ACP and 9mm, and every barrel is heat-treated and frozen in below zero temperatures to make sure they are strong and durable.
Because the gun does look fancier with the silver finish, you might notice the wear and tear of repeated use on it faster than you would with a standard weapon.
The cool design, the silver polish, and the quality and accuracy of Ed Brown’s products. What’s not to love about this gun?
- Fluted Texture and Silver finish help the gun stand out
- The gun is lighter than its competitors
- Made from durable and tested stainless steel
- May require some fitting
- With the silver finish, wear and tear is noticeable
Nighthawk Custom 1911 Match Grade Threaded Barrels
This gun is unlike all the others on this list because it has a threaded barrel. A threaded barrel allows the muzzle of the gun to hold a suppressor. The suppressor can be for flash or for sound, and as the name suggests, it’s designed to suppress either the muzzle flash or the sound of the gun being fired.
This can help you conceal your position while firing and can even reduce some of the recoil when firing the gun. Unlike what you see on TV, a sound suppressor will only suppress the sound of a bullet being fired but will not eliminate it.
This gun barrel is a fully lit and match-grade barrel made from 416 stainless steel. The steel is heat and cold tested to make sure the barrel is durable, and this gun barrel will last you many years to come.
The barrel is also slightly oversized, meaning that you’ll need to either fit it yourself or have a trained gunsmith do it.
The barrel can fit both 9mm and .45ACP rounds and can come in ramped and unramped versions. So it’s very customizable and will improve the accuracy of any gun you put it on. Additionally, it comes with the bushing, link, and pin all pre installed.
- Can fit both 9mm and .45ACP rounds
- Comes with a threaded barrel
- Easy to drop-in
- Can require some tinkering
- Due to the threaded barrel, it can have a higher price range
How To Choose The Best 1911 Barrel
With all these modifications to choose from, how are you supposed to pick the best barrel? With the 1911’s popularity as a pistol, there are a lot of barrels out there. The barrel that you need depends on how much accuracy you want to give your firearm, and you should look for some of these things:
- What kind of shooter are you?
- What kind of distance do you need for your gun?
- How often will you fire it?
Make no mistake: The use of your gun will determine everything else. If you use your 1911 for self-defense, you will want a shorter one that can be concealed easier. A longer barrel will give you more accuracy and balance, which is excellent for competitive shooting.
If you are firing your gun every week as a competitive shooter, you’ll need a high-end barrel capable of taking that kind of strain. But if this gun is for your protection, then you won’t fire it nearly as often.
Advantages of 1911 barrels
A good 1911 barrel upgrade focuses on improving accuracy above all else. That’s what barrels are made for. If your barrel isn’t improving the accuracy of your weapon, then it’s not one that you need to have. Thankfully most 1911 barrels have several advantages over their competition:
- Most of them are drop-in, with minimal fitting required
- All are made with either 416-Stainless steel, or 4150 ordinance steel
- They come in various types for all sorts of ammunition
Things to Look for in a 1911 Barrel
Before you go buying a 1911 barrel, you’ll need to take a look at these things
- The ammo the barrel is made for
- Whether it is ramped or unramped
- The Rifling of the barrel
All of these things are important whenever you are looking at the type of barrel you want to get. Most 1911 barrels will either take .45 ACP ammo, which was the first cartridge the gun was designed for. However, some others can take 9mm or .38 super cartridges, among others.
Whether the barrel is ramped or unramped will affect how you fire. The feed ramp is what ‘feeds’ another cartridge into the firing chamber after the one inside has already been fired. It doesn’t make much of a difference, but if you are using certain types of high-pressure ammo, then a ramped gun is supported. While an unramped gun only uses .45ACP ammunition.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure the barrel is grooved correctly, as a correct groove will allow the bullet to travel farther much faster.
Controversy over 1911 barrels
There is some debate about what a ‘true’ 1911 is. Since the gun is so customizable, you can do just about anything to it. The barrel, 1911 trigger, type of ammo it fires, and other aspects of the gun can be changed without too much trouble. Most people upgrade their barrels for greater accuracy, and the most significant debate comes with the term ‘drop-in.’
A ‘drop-in’ barrel is a barrel that slides into a new gun easily and doesn’t require any outside fitting to change the gun’s size or shape. However, almost no gun barrel is a real ‘drop-in’ barrel for these reasons
- Some trimming is always going to be required when replacing parts
- Gunmakers can’t make drop-in barrels for guns that have already been customized
- Drop-in barrels are not as accurate as fitted barrels
Due to this, drop-in barrels are somewhat misleading with their names. No matter how good a barrel gets, it just won’t be able to slide into place without taking the owner’s comfort level and needs into account. However, drop-in barrels are relatively easy to install, with the proper directions.
Prerequisites Upgrading Your 1911 Barrel
Before replacing or upgrading the barrel, you should know how to take your gun apart safely and put it back together. Always double check your gun is not loaded.Tools Needed for Barrel Replacement
- 1911 Barrel Alignment Block – Used to help position the barrel in the slide while fitting the hood. It ensures the barrel is always in the same relative position each time the fit of the hood is checked during the fitting process
- 1911 Barrel Fitting Jig – securely holds any 1911 pistol barrel in the correct position for filing both length and width of the hood.
- 1911 Barrel Link – Long and short barrel links kits available
- 1911 Barrel Link Pin
If you don’t have that knowledge, then a gunsmith should be the one changing out the barrel of your weapon. They’ll safely change the barrel and make sure that it is placed back in working order. Hiring a professional might take some more time and work but will prevent you from spending more money on getting your gun repaired!
Check out our review on the best 1911 magazines for your money here!
The Best 1911 Barrel
If you want the best barrel for your 1911 the Ed Brown – 1911 45 ACP suppressor-ready threaded barrel is a great upgrade! The barrel can support suppressors, supports 45 ACP cartridges, and gives you superior accuracy. Along with all the durability that the Ed Brown line of products is known for.
It’s an excellent barrel that is easy to install and will give your gun the accuracy it needs while also being durable enough to support all those firings. Plus, the barrel is easy to install with minimal fitting required. It’s the perfect gun barrel for both beginners and advanced, and make sure to grab yours today.
Check out other reviews of the Best Upgrades for your 1911