Bob-Tail 1911s: Passing Fad or Functional Innovation

Bob-Tail 1911s: Passing Fad or Functional Innovation

Ed Brown Kobra Carry bob-tail 1911.A few years ago, Ed Brown introduced an eye-catching Commander-size 1911 called the Kobra Carry. The most distinctive feature was a bob-tail grip frame designed to reduce printing when worn under clothing. The idea seems to be catching on but the jury is still out as to whether it will be a widely popular modification to John Browning's design or simply a passing fad.

Manufacturers of 1911 handguns are always on the lookout for new modifications to the classic design to catch the customers' attention. It is most often the smaller custom builders and independent pistolsmiths who lead the way in regards to innovation while the larger manufacturers pick and choose which custom features they believe would appeal to consumers.

Dan Wesson was quick to copy the bob-tail 1911 design and Kimber has some bob-tailed beauties in its lineup, but the idea is not yet widespread among major manufacturers. I suspect it soon will be, but I have been wrong before. If you follow the discussions on the various Internet gun forums there does seem to be growing interest.

Gunsmiths across the country have seen a surge in customers requesting the bob-tail treatment for existing 1911s. Ed Brown offers the bob-tail mainspring housing as an aftermarket part in both blued and stainless finish and with a choice of smooth, checkered or snakeskin treatment--another Ed Brown innovation that is being copied by other manufacturers. Brownells sells a jig for easy and precise installation of the bob-tail housing and it is a fairly easy installation for a competent gunsmith.


Back when Ed Brown first introduced the Kobra Carry I received one on loan for evaluation. My first reaction was it looked cool and certainly set the gun apart from other models, but I was concerned it would be detrimental to the handling characteristics of the 1911. My concerns were quickly dismissed with a trip to the range. Even with my large hands the grip was comfortable and I felt in complete control of the firearm. Some people with smallish hands report the grip is actually improved with the bob-tail treatment.


As always, I seek your council. Please use the comment section below to share your opinions on bob-tail 1911s. Is it a passing fad or a functional innovation that is here to stay?

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Hornady 6MM Creedmoor

Tom Beckstrand and Neal Emery of Hornady highlight the 6MM Creedmoor ammo.

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Century Arms Introduces a Heavy-Duty AK Rifle

Chambered in 7.62x39mm with components machined from extremely durable S7 tool steel, a chrome-moly 4150 barrel and a carburized 4140 steel bolt.

All About .300 Blackout

All About .300 Blackout

The .300 Blackout is here to stay, and we take some time to look at new technology surrounding this cartridge. Next, we pit subsonic rivals against each other before stretching the legs of this CQB round out to 600 yards from a short 9-inch barrel.

Feeding Your Firearms with Aguila Ammunition

Feeding Your Firearms with Aguila Ammunition

A group of competitive shooters talk about new products from Aguila , the Aguila Cup, and everyone's favorite new guns launched at the 2019 SHOT show.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Springfield Armory's SAINT Edge Pistol may be the best AR pistol on the market. Handguns

Springfield Armory SAINT Edge Pistol Review

James Tarr - April 17, 2019

Springfield Armory's SAINT Edge Pistol may be the best AR pistol on the market.

A guide on how to pair .223 and 5.56 NATO rifle barrel twist rates with bullet weights. Conventional wisdom says slower twist rates wouldn't properly-stabilize a heavy bullet. On the other hand, faster rates could over-stabilize lighter bullets. This is correct in theory, however, modern ballisticians have all but debunked the over-stabilization theory. All things being equal, it is better to have too much twist than not enough. How-To

Pairing Barrel Twist Rates with Bullets for .223 and 5.56 NATO

Keith Wood - November 17, 2018

A guide on how to pair .223 and 5.56 NATO rifle barrel twist rates with bullet weights....

Don't underestimate the fun factor. Shotguns

Review: Remington V3 TAC-13

Brad Fitzpatrick - March 08, 2019

Don't underestimate the fun factor.

Here's the latest competitive intel on what are the top ARs in 3-Gun today and why. Rifles

Top ARs in 3-Gun Shooting Today

James Tarr - May 14, 2019

Here's the latest competitive intel on what are the top ARs in 3-Gun today and why.

See More Trending Articles

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get Digital Access.

All Guns and Ammo subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now