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I’ve gone through a number of everyday carry guns in the last few years: a GLOCK 19, Kahr PM9, Smith & Wesson 642, Springfield XD-M, FNS-9 and a few other gats that lasted a couple of weeks. As an outside-the-waistband (OWB) guy, the GLOCK, Springfield and FN printed like The New York Times. I wasn’t happy with the Kahr and Smith’s capacity and caliber. Early this year, I bought a Commander-sized Wilson Combat X-Tac Compact. Just cause. I thought, no way I’m going to carry it. It’s expensive. It’s got an external safety. It’s heavy. It’s capacity limited. And questions surround 1911’s reliability, generally speaking (the $3250 Wilson hasn’t choked once). But carry it I do. Here’s why . . .

1. 1911’s are easy to conceal

Most full-sized guns are only marginally wider than a 1911. But it’s a significant difference. Take it from Mr. OWB, a gun guy who conceals his weapon under a sightly over-sized T-shirt (over an Under Armor T-shirt for snag-free unholstering). Even when I put the GLOCK, Springfield and FN in a snug-fitting K Rounds Kydex holster the guns’ outer corner pokes out, ruining the line of my T-shirt. Tellingly.

The slim-line Wilson 1911 disappears. Period. Gone, As for the gun weight issue, a sturdy gun belt – combined with an effective weight loss regimen (I’m now an OWG) – makes the ballistic boat anchor an easily supportable proposition. Seriously. It’s less of a problem than fitting all the rest of my everyday carry clobber (knives, spare mag, flashlight, iPhone, sunglasses, keys and wallet) in my pockets.

2. 1911s are deadly

At the risk of re-igniting the caliber wars, I’m much more comfortable carrying a .45 than a 9mm or snappy-ass .40 for self-defense. Most defensive gun uses are 3-3-3: three yards, three seconds, three rounds. I’d rather go into this close encounter of the lethal threat kind with 15 big-ass Golden Saber hollow-point .45s than 31 HP 9mms – given that I’m unlikely to fire that many shots, the .45 offers superior lethality and practice has made combat accuracy equal.

Yes, I’d rather have 31 .45’s. If it weren’t for concealment issues (as above), a double-stack .45 would be ideal. As for the safety, yes, well, there is that. I’ve drilled like a bastard – and continue to do so – to master the protocol. Considering the Wilson’s light-as-a-dust-mite’s-fart single-action trigger, I also checked my go-pedal discipline under stress with force-on-force training.

I feel confident that I could wield my Wilson Combat X-Tac with reasonable aplomb if and when push comes to shove. That said, a gun’s a gun and I’m no ballistic or firearm snob. Not to mention the fact that a gun isn’t the most important part of a gunfight. Still, the 1911 is far from obsolete. You may disagree, but what bad guy’s gonna argue the point at the point of a gun?

3. 1911’s are cool

This is Nick’s big deal. He reckons there’s nothing cooler than a 1911, handgun-wise. I agree. The pistol’s design is drop-dead sexy (literally). The ancient pistol — delivered unto us by John Moses Browning – has a direct and illustrious bloodline. But it’s way more than that.

Like the Smith & Wesson 4″ 686, my choice for open carry, or a well-sorted lever gun, my choice for hunting, the 1911, my choice for self-defense, isn’t a gun. The 1911 is quintessential gun. It has “the essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form.” Ranging further afield for a suitable comparison, the 1911 is like a Steinway piano, an Oreo cookie, a Patek Phillipe Calatrava or a Land Rover Range Rover. Instantly recognizable. Completely unforgettable. Amendable to only the slightest change or evolution.

One last thing: those of you who scoff at the idea of paying $3250 for a gun — any gun — I understand completely. No one needs a gun that costs that much. Guns that cost a fraction of the price can do the exact same job (and some even look as good). Think of what else you could buy for three grand in the hand! But if I gave you a Wilson, Cabot or similar 1911 to shoot and carry for a week, I bet you’d want to keep it. And if you kept it you’d want to carry it. Wouldn’t you?

221 Responses to Three Reasons I Carry A 1911

  1. 1. God’s Pistol (what else can be said)
    2. Cuz they do not make a .46ACP
    3. It knocks bad guys out of their boots.

    • I love 1911s – reliable, time tested, and they just look good. That said, I would not want to carry a $3250 Wilson 1911 as my everyday CCW. If I ever had to use it, it would probably be confiscated by the POlice. Even if returned, I doubt they will treat if with kid gloves. It will probably come back damaged. A reliable $400 gun, though not sexy, would probably be a wiser choice.

      • Look up the offerings from Armscor, the little 3.5″ Rock Island Officer size 1911 I picked up is every bit as reliable and was pretty close to that $400 price point.

        • If my life is on the line the last thing I will think about is the price of the weapon.
          Own 2 Kimber clones 1 has never failed, 1 needed work along with 2 Colt 1911’s that both had work and all by different smiths.
          When the smiths asked what I wanted them to do my response was that did not want them to go click instead of bang.
          All 4 go bang.
          With the $ I spent between the purchase price, smiths work and shipping for 2 of them I could be the owner of 1 1/2 Wilsons.
          Never go cheap on weapons, ammo, tires and brakes.

        • @DaveM: I own a S&W 1911 which works just fine out of the box, but if you shoot dirty PMC ammo through it, it tends to get snarky after about 100-150 rounds. It’ll go longer if you feed it something with cleaner burning powder. I also own the aforementioned RIA 1911 which has yet to malfunction with any factory ammunition. Is it as shiny as your fancy name brand Colt pistols? No, in fact some parts of the internals show obvious tool markings, even. But some folks just can’t afford $2,000 to drop on a pistol, and others don’t want to put that much into a gun that the po-po might find an excuse to confiscate and “inspect.”

          Furthermore, the pistol works just fine out of the box, unlike your Colt “take it to a gunsmith” model pistols. Ain’t nothing wrong with it, even when firing 180 grain conical profile PMC hollowpoints. The only thing I might change on it is to eventually drop up to a couple hundred on tritium sights and professional installation.

          I agree that you don’t scrimp and cheap out when you have to bet your life on it, but on the other side of the coin, just because you spend thousands of dollars more doesn’t necessarily mean that a less expensive pistol is inadequate to the job.

      • No need for anyone to justify their carry choice. Carry what you want to carry. The point is we have a choice to carry or not and to pick what we want should we decide to carry. Keep fighting for our civil rights!

        MURICA!

      • If you ever have to use your $400 EDC the po-po will come and take your $3250 Wilson 1911 and every other firearm in your house and lock them up for you until you’ve been cleared of all charges or acquitted of them.

        • not true, when i was framed for allegedly threatening a co worker, and charged with attempted murder, i was never arrested, never booked. i gave a statement, my kimber ultra carry went into evidence, but they never took my ccw, confiscated my other guns, and i was still able to purchase additional guns during the 15 ordeal it took to clear my name. unusual story but true.

        • Glad it worked out in the end, Larry. I should clarify my statement, though – if you use your firearm and leave an ambient temperature bad guy on the street and there is any suspicion at all that it wasn’t a clean self defense shooting, they won’t just take the gun you shot him with. Of course, if you don’t have a great deal of property to secure your bond you won’t be needing them anyway. As far as your case goes, it makes no sense to take one firearm and leave you with the rest, but that’s bureaucracy for you.

  2. No I would NOT want to carry it.

    Those reliability issues you mentioned sink a gun as a carry piece for me, given the ones I already have don’t have those issues.

    • The 1911 is not like a Glock where every one behaves like every other one and likes all ammo, you have to do a break in sometimes, you may find your gun doesn’t like this or that brand of HP. Once that is established 1911’s are dead nuts reliable. I had a S&W 1911PD that didn’t like Critical Defense ammo. The solution? Don’t use Crit Defense ammo.

      • IF you get your gun sorted out, and find something it will reliably feed, then it’s OK.

        Robert specifically mentioned this one had reliability issues, so THIS one is not OK.

        I disagree that 1911s in general are “dead nuts reliable” once you toss out one or two different kinds of ammo that don’t happen to work in that gun (an amount of fiddling around many people won’t want to deal with, but if you do, more power to you); I’ve seen plenty that were just pieces of sh!t no matter what you used. But that’s beside the point.

        I wasn’t bashing 1911s. Note that I didn’t mention “1911” either in my first two sentences here, or in my original reply. A gun–any gun–with reliability issues should not be carried if you have ANY reliable option for a carry piece. And if Robert can drop $3250 on a gun, he has those options.

        • I mean there are reliability issues surrounding 1911’s generally. My 1911 hasn’t faltered once. But if I was going to buy a gun to shoot tens of thousands of rounds through it, I’d buy a GLOCK, Springfield, FNS-9, etc. Have done.

        • @Robert.

          Fair enough; I misunderstood what you meant by “reliability issues.”

          I’d certainly want to put more than just a few hundred rounds of ball through a *specific* 1911 before relying on it, because of the general issues. Bare minimum, five or six boxes of the brand of HP you intend to carry. One bobble, the gun fails. After that you can trust *that* 1911 enough to carry it.

          Because that’s a pretty stringent and expensive test, I wouldn’t buy one _expecting_ to carry it. If it turns out to be carryable, bonus! Otherwise… it’s an awfully expensive way to seek out a carry piece, when you have to buy a second or third one because the others failed.

        • I’d be very surprised if his X-Tac had any reliability issues.

          With my crystal ball I foretold this Wilson 1911 event back when RF gave NL the compact Wilson as an incentive payment. Bold attempt to go mainstream, but one that was preordained to fail. Laugh.

          It was Fernando Lamas who said “Dahling, I’d rather look good than feel good!”
          I think RF simply wouldn’t feel good, if he didn’t look good.
          Wouldn’t that X-Tac go swell with a California 250GT Spyder?

        • If your Glock has a hiccup, you’re doing it wrong.

          (I will say this: cheap steel case ammo can bind up in mags if the surface of the casings is not smooth. This is an ammo problem, not a Glock problem, but Glock is as succeptable to this problem as other double-stacks.)

        • Where the hell are you guys buying your 1911s? My S&W 1911 3″ has exactly one safety and one awesome trigger. My M&P 45 has one fugly two-stage trigger that I feel I could break in a stressful situation.

          8 rounds versus 10, and the 1911 is only marginally larger than my pocket carry LC9. Yes, I can pocket carry a 1911.

          I haven’t put 500 rounds of HP ammo in yet (not of 1 lot/mfg at least), but I’m working towards it. Neither of my .45s have ever failed to go bang (but the M&P had a serious FTF/FTE problem about a week after I bought it).

      • lol my glock is rotting. it sits being ignored, Glock 19 kicks more then any of my .45acp items. Glocks Do Not feed any ammo as they claim. state police in NJ dropped the Glocks for that and manynother reliability issues. they use Sigs.

        my SW 1911 .45acp so far has had Zero issues. no feed or jammy issues with over 2000 rds so far and still not one issue. its more accurate and less recoil. why would i ever carry a glock again?

    • Here here

      I’ve had several 1911s, including a Wilson, and all of them needed some type of gunsmithing to run right. I used to compete with them but would never carry one. I recently took a class where a guy tried to run one and it was a joke. Switched to his Glock less than a 1/4 through the first day.

    • Hey Steve or Robert F could you please elaborate on the reliability issues that you all have encountered. Don’t they go away after the break in period or is it well known that 1911 are finicky? Any help would be appreciated since my primary is a 1911. Real world experience trumps manuals read any day.

      • *In General* (individual guns will differ), 1911s tend to have trouble with hollowpoints. You may have one that feeds hollowpoints reliably. I’d want to know more about your situation. Have you shot large numbers (a couple of hundred or more) of your every day carry load through your gun? Or has it just been reliable with ball ammo? (I have, by the way, seen plenty of 1911s that won’t even feed ball ammo reliably! But like I said individual guns will differ.)

        • Steve–Kimber Custom Carry 2, three hundred rounds of WinWB ball only so far, and I tried one mag of Critical duty where I found one unspent round on the range floor, so it scared me from hollow points. Probably just the extended 10 round chip mags are getting broke in as well, I hope.

        • @Jason

          Unless you *intend* to carry ball ammo then, you should not trust that gun. You’ve just said yourself you don’t trust it with hollowpoints.

        • I’m on my 5th 1911 in 6yrs! Ibtrade guns a lot!! Since 1981 I’ve had 12!! The Only one I ever had a problem with was a Springfield Champion that wouldn’t shoot its way out a wet paper bag without a bunch of my spare time polishing and smoothing!!
          I currently carry a ATI FX Titan Compact that has literally run everything from PMC ball to Winchester White Box HP and currently has its belly filled with Speer Gold Dot 230gr HP!! Cleaned it, oiled it, loaded it and 1200 RDS later has never had a failure!!
          The most reliable guns I’ve ever carried from Ft Benning Ga to West Germany to Iraq and more places!!
          I traded a new Clock Gen4 G30 .45acp for it! The Block was one of the most uncomfortable, unreliable guns I’ve ever had!!
          Point is the 1911 can be picked up and fired comfortably and reliably by most anyone on the face of this earth!!
          JMHO

      • I misspoke since I haven’t really broken in it yet so my Glock 30 with glock 21 mags is my primary EDC but the 1911 is nice and comfortable in my shoulder holster. Comfort doesn’t count if it jams and I’m dead.

        • @Steve thanks for the input. I was hoping for the Liberal answer of rainbows and unicorns stating it will be fine, as I’m not a Liberal and am grounded in reality the Glock30 it is until I put in more time with the Kimber. I do like the ball ammo though except for the over penetration part, but against a body armored thug I would prefer that over penetration to break ribs making the unfortunate task of inducing flaccid paralysis somewhat easier.

        • Well, my .40 Glock demands I hold it a certain way when firing, so it stays home. My 2 .45 Kimbers have never cared what ammo I put in them or how I held them, they go bang every time. I think my holster is too thick, though (cheap, nameless, picked up at a gun show), they do not seem to disappear as well as RF claims, though I’m still an OFWG, maybe correcting that would help.

          You guys really have 1911s which only have one safety, ie no grip safety? I dunno I’ve ever seen such a thing. Is there some reason for eliminating the grip safety?

      • They are very finicky. The only one I bought drove me nuts and then I ran across this article. Needles to say I will never buy another 1911.

        http://blogs.militarytimes.com/gearscout/2011/06/08/read-this-before-you-buy-your-first-1911/

        I carry A CZ 75 P-07 Duty 9mm now. Ive tried CC with numerous handguns and this is the one that works for me and the reliability isn’t a thought in my mind.

        That’s what’s important at the end of the day.. what works for each individual.

    • I own or have owned numerous Wilson Combat 1911’s in all sizes and barrel configurations. I have had a couple of FTF’s in many thousands of rounds shot through them. Those failures were in exceptionally dirty pistols.

      I have had a whole lot more reliability issues with a couple of Sigs and Glocks I have owned with less round through them.

      I also carry a 1911 90% of the time (WC or custom), BECAUSE of the reliability in my hands.

      And they are DAMN sexy!

      • They are sexy. I wish I could like them. People may be assuming I am a glock fanboy here; but the fact is I carry a (different) all steel gun, one that has earned my trust.

    • I have rented Glocks (and other guns) at the range that fail all the time. It’s amazing what a little cleaning and FP-10 lube accomplishes, I have handed a perfectly reliable gun to a friend and it jams because they do not hold it firm enough. I can make a clean Glock choke on bad ammo, or with poor shooting grip. Cheap poorly assembled, poorly cared for, guns are less reliable than match grade models. There is a lot more to reliability than the model. My 1911 never chokes (except when I let it).

      • That reminds me of my experience with the CZ-75 RAMI. I tried one out back in ’08 and it choked in the first mag. Waaaaaaaalll it just isn’t clean, they said. Well, I don’t know WHY the gun messed up, just THAT it messed up. I tried one in .40 much more recently; one could FEEL and sometimes even SEE the slide close long after recoil was over, and it did gag on round #37. Again, “weeeeeellll it just wasn’t lubed.” I asked if they were going to get a 9mm in any time soon, and if they did AND it worked through three boxes of ammo I’d buy it. Three days later one came in, I showed up and glory be! they had lubed the SOB and it went through three boxes with no hiccup whatsoever. Bought it. Put a hundred rounds of gold dots through it, NATO spec, etc. (much more punchy than the barely-more-than-a-squib stuff the range sells and (sensibly) requires you to use in the rentals) so it has digested three distinctly different kinds of ammo without even the slightest HINT of THINKING about malfing.

        More than I can say for my Nano. Which I still have to carry sometimes when I *need* to use a Sneaky Pete holster (not made for the Rami, nor, for that matter for a Makarov–there may be an XDS in my future). The Nano has a rep for not liking weak ammo, which I could live with (since I don’t carry weak ammo) but it stovepiped once on a gold dot.

  3. “… the .45 offers superior lethality …”

    Why does the gun community stubbornly insist on spouting BS?

    When does tolerance and “trying to get along” finally have to give way to simply calling nonsense by its real name?

    • Exactly. With modern HP ammo .45ACP and 9x19mm offer similar energy levels, similar penetration, and similar wound channels. There’s more variance from load to load than there is between the two calibres themselves.

      The .45ACP is just plain inefficient. The ammunition is large and heavy. If it made up for this with superior ballistics there could be some discussion, but it doesn’t.

      http://196800revolutionsperminute.blogspot.ca/2012/11/the-myth-of-45-acp.html

      • It’s certainly correct that hollowpoint technology has advanced such to increase the wound channel of a 9mm round.

        What people seem to forget when they say that is that it has also increased the wound channel of a .45

        • You seem to be assuming that they are comparing today’s 9mm HPs to yesterday’s 45 HPs, and I don’t see any reason to believe that.

        • While both the 9mm and the 45 bullets have both advanced it seems to have benefited the 9 more so. If not then the ballistic tests and real world shootings wouldn’t have shown the 9mm closing the gap. An example, bonding tech would probably benefit a higher velocity round vs. a slower moving one. It isn’t right to assume an advancement will effect two things exactly the same.

        • A 9MM MAY expand, but a .45 is guaranteed NEVER to shrink….assuming worst-case ammo performance, you start out with an advantage with a .45 because the wound channel is simply going to be larger, regardless if it expands to not. Are you willing to bet that your 9MM will always expand? I think we all know by now, the variables are infinite to guarantee ANY ammo design will ALWAYS perform as intended….which would cause more damage, a Ferrari going 100MPH or a Tractor Trailer going 55MPH? Which is harder to stop in its tracks when presented with resistance?

      • The page you linked is well known. I’ll point out the errors in drawing from it the notion that 9mm and .45ACP are equivalent, in reverse order to the arguments on that page:

        “But the .45ACP is heavier and produces more recoil?” Ah, more recoil. Why? The .45ACP bullet carrying the same energy as 9mm at the muzzle is carrying much more momentum! So? It is that momentum which lets a .45ACP bullet with lower sectional density penetrate as well as a “similar for class” skinny 9mm load.

        The comparisons of energy in joules and penetration are quite similar. But note, though the expanded JHP’s are only (in similar bullet designs) a few mm’s different, the frontal area, and thus the permanent wound cavity are much much different in size. The holes the .45ACP makes really are 35 to 50% larger, as the frontal area varies with the square of the radius. A bigger wound cavity means a marginal hit to an artery, lung, or heart becomes a larger more effective hit.

        So with .45ACP you need to experience more recoil (and carry weight), but you produce a bigger hole of similar depth. Take your choice. And if you’re in NJ, BTW, hardball is the only choice, and the permanent would cavity is 50% larger in area. There are sound physical arguments for the .45. And if you switch in heavy hard-cast lead for field protection, the argument becomes more substantial.

        • The slightly larger expanded diameter means your accuracy can be off by, what, 2-3mm compared to a 9mm load? How is that a significant advantage? How is that significant enough to be worth giving up as much as half of your ammunition capacity?

          The terminal ballistic differences are marginal at best. Neither round produces spectacular wounding because both are subject to the inherent limitations of pistol cartridges. The differences in carry weight, capacity and recoil on the other hand have a much greater effect on suitability for defensive use.

          As for locales restricted to hard ball, both 9mm and .45ACP FMJ will overpenetrate by a fair margin, rendering them somewhat less than entirely suitable.

        • Palidin, I just pointed out that there is simply a tradeoff. Permanent wound channel size but with greater recoil and carry weight. Smaller permanent wound channels but more rounds per pound, less recoil, sharper muzzle blast. We are all free to make that choice. A .45ACP type can always carry the same number of rounds as a 9mm guy. It’s just a matter of whether he bothers, or has pockets.

          It’s like saying a Ferrari is better than a Range Rover. It just depends which attributes you value. In my life (and with only a carry pistol) I won’t be facing more than one or two aggressors. It’s just the way my world is. With a heads-up or at home? A shortage of pistol and long gun capacity just won’t be a problem.

          I think larger-capacity 9mm magazines are perfect for many people. I only have a PPQ in 9mm, but almost never carry it. I do have two versions of 10mm, which I actually like, but only for field carry.

          I much prefer the nature (velocity) of .45ACP recoil, and the more pleasant muzzle blast. I shoot .45ACP better, probably because I like the feel of it, the blast, the nature of the recoil. I think bigger holes and greater momentum are benefits. I expect never to need more than three or four rounds, and consider myself over-gunned as it is with 10+1 plus 10. Perhaps one day I’ll run out of bullets in a shootout, in which case I’ll die needlessly? Maybe making a bigger whole fast will save me? I really don’t know the answer.

        • HP is legal in NJ. has been for a long time. got HP for each caliber all bought NJ.

          CCW lol unless your a cop it is not happening, i carry outside NJ for now. we can always dream NJ will change.

          If SHTF lol does it matter?

  4. If I have to shoot a BG, I’d prefer to shoot him with a cheap, ugly gun — just to spite the b@stard. Muggers, rapists and home invaders don’t deserve to get shot with nice things.

    • And that’s why I carry a Tri-star t-100. It’s a cheap knock-off of a CZ, but it works, and it feeds Hornady Critical Duty just fine. Maybe some cheap, East European hollowpoints to go with it?

    • @ Ralph: Aside from the fact that whatever you shoot the BG with is invariably going to wind up in a government property room for some indeterminate amount of time.

      • +1. The idea of my lightweight, engraved, custom Colt 1911 ending up in a police locker gives me nightmares. That’s why God gave us generic Glocks and Kahrs and easily replaceable stock 1911’s.

        • How many gunfights does a person have to get into for this to become a realistic concern?

          If I get into a defensive gun use the last thing that would be on my mind is the status of the gun afterwards…

        • On my budget, with a $3250 gun it would just take one “gunfight” to be a concern. Or one “brandishing” arrest if a hysterical “mom” saw a print and called 911 in the right (or shall I say wrong) jurisdiction.

        • Hannibal, it doesn’t require gunfights. I, for example, had an incident at the house years ago. My house gun was my favorite 1911 (though I’m a G36, 30S carry guy). The local PD (very good bunch) kept the thing “overnight.” When I went to pick it up a few weeks later, the evidence guy was reluctant to give it back, and …made me an offer to buy it! I think he had taken the thing apart and had spotted the tight fitting of parts. In Philly, nearby, I would never have seen the little beast again.

      • Exactly! Have Ruger .38 LCR, they can hold it but do not want them to get their paws on my Ruger GP 100 SS.357 6 round Wiley Clapp edition 3″ revolver with hand crafted leather holster with a bear craw carving on it. Nope, way too pretty to part with for even a few minutes! Ugly guns/ugly holsters the way to go for self dense use!

    • The idea of a $3000+ gun languishing in a police evidence locker for a year or 10 while the Judge, Police Chief, and DA play grab butt and try to find their collective heads in each other’s a$$es just makes me cringe. I’d rather have my $450 M&P9c be in there, which I can easily replace the very next day.

      • I personally knew a judge in west Texas, very personable and fair-minded guy, that very opposite of a self-important pompous ass. He was a DA before he was a judge, and he used to keep handguns that were seized in a drawer in his desk (thinly-populated district, it didn’t happen often). When the owner wanted them back, he would say, “No–sue me if you want it.” When he was telling the story, he said he knew if they did he would lose, but no one ever did. Just sayin’…

        • So wait a minute. This guy is personable and fair minded and not a pompous ass, yet he refused to return guns even though he knew he had no legal leg to stand on?

          Methinks this judge is a total jackass.

        • You kinda missed the point I was making–the fact is, other than on that issue, the guy was a perfect gentleman. That’s a fact. I practiced in front of him for some 5 years. The point being, you never can tell which government official will turn out to be an ass about that kind of thing.

    • Remember that George Zimmerman never got his PF-9 back after the “not guilty” verdict. I’d say cheap and reliable is the way to go.

      • That’s because his Kel Tec is “evidence” in the DOJ investigation, and Eric “Dick” Holder really, really wants that gun.

        • What? There’s still some sad Mexican gangster that hasn’t gotten his Uncle Sugar heater yet?

  5. Why carry an unreliable, obsolete, overpriced design when there are simpler and more reliable platforms to launch .45acp slugs for a lot less money? Besides clickbait, I mean.

    As to the alleged “cool” factor…some people think gang tattoos are cool.

    • As far as I can determine, the reliability issues started when people moved away from the clearances that were designed into the pistol at the beginning to hand fit, super tight clearances, trying to make a target gun into a carry gun. The original 1911 and 1911A1 were much looser than most of the variants we see today, meaning they weren’t target accurate but also that they would run even after horrid abuse. When you move from 2-3 thousandths clearance (adequate for combat accuracy) to a sliding hand fit (necessary for target accuracy) the slightest bit of dirt or grit can cause a stoppage.

      As for price, i have no problems with my RIA Tactical which cost $515 new. My original 1911 was a Norinco, built to the same design that the originals were, never a jam, FTF, FTE with that one either.

      And obsolete how, exactly? Properly built and maintained, a 1911 will still do exactly what it was designed to do, throw large chunks of lead at reasonable velocities with minute of bad guy accuracy at any range you should consider engaging with a handgun. Is there a new standard of useful/useable that I’m not aware of.

      Do I think that everyone should carry one? Hell no, carry what suits you best. But to disparage the design because it’s over a century old is wrong. Anything that is still made after that amount of time with little to no alteration in the design indicates that it was pretty well designed in the first place.

    • An XDs 45 is more reliable, easier to conceal, has simpler operation, comparable capacity, same grip angle, weighs half as much, and still shoots “the only caliber capable of killing God” And it does it all for almost 3 THOUSAND dollars less…. That’s just one of dozens of options out there. Trying to convince other people what to carry is like selling a pair of size 32 pants over the phone, you can call folks all day and you might get 3 that wear that size.

      And that’s not even taking into account that whole mess about how modern ballistic design and testing shows no difference between any of the standard pistol calibers.

      • Haven’t shot an XDs myself but I would imagine the recoil of a .45 would be much better muted by the size/weight of the 1911 than the XDs. May be too snappy for some. You didn’t mention that.

  6. I’ve fallen back in love with the 1911 again recently. It just handles nicely. That and coming to the Sig p938 for a backup seems like a logical choice.

    So, the 938 was half of why. The other half was how much I liked how it looked and how much I love all steel firearms. Double column concealment is not hard for me so I’ll probably get a commander barrel Para in .45 if thr budget permits.

  7. And if you kept it you’d want to carry it. Wouldn’t you?

    -Nope. I’d sell it,buy a Glock 21,and spend the difference on what really makes guns deadly: a shooting class.

    • +1 to your larger point.

      I wouldn’t necessarily go with the G-21. There are a host of *reliable* and much less expensive guns out there (including the G-21), any of them will do provided they will conceal well. Find one to suit your personal situation and taste. And the difference between .45 and 9 for lethality is less significant than the difference–running the opposite way–in handle-ability for many people.

      That shooting class would have to be a hell of a good shooting class to be worth $2500, but the other thing that can (and damned well *should*) soak up money is *practice*

      Regardless what you choose to do with it you have better things to do with $2500 price differences than to use it “upgrading” to a *less* reliable firearm.

  8. If you can empty a 45 as fast as possible at 3-5 yards and maintain the same hit variance as a 9mm, good for you. I don’t have that much time to train, so I’ll stick with 9.

    • See even though I can train like crazy I will always be faster with less recoil. I might be super fast with a 45 but in the same style gun, with the same amount of training time, I can shoot quicker with a 9mm. It’s the same thing with the revolver crowd, they spend 1,000 hours getting fast with a wheel gun but fail to see how much faster they’d probably be with a semi auto had they spent that 1,000 hours on that instead.

    • I feel like the odd man out in the discussions. I actually prefer the .45ACP over 9mm and .40cal because the muzzle blast seems more pleasant. I must be sensitive. And I love 1911’s, but carry a G30S. Why? It is as light with 10 rounds in it as the Wilson X-Tac Compact is when empty. And it is nearly 1/2 inch shorter, slightly thinner, 3/10ths less in height, and at least as reliable. It’s so cheap I couldn’t care if they hold it for two years after an incident. It is beautiful as only one’s own ugly child can be, but ugly doesn’t matter because…it’s always concealed. (Aha! I suspect RF of showing dates his concealed gun….)

      People exaggerate the price of the X-Tac, though. It lists for only $2,785.

    • I was able to do that naturally with my first 1911. Can’t say that about any polymer I’ve ever shot. Not tooting my own horn just praising the platform.

  9. Love my full size 1911 for EDC just as I love my 3.75″ barreled single action revolver in .45 ACP for EDC. I’m a small guy and can easily conceal either and have but mostly carry openly. These days, the revolver wins out but if I thought there was a greater than not chance of trouble, the 1911 would be my choice.

  10. If someone gave me a $3250 gun, I would probably sell it, and use the proceeds to (a) buy a couple of $500-$600 revolvers to give to my son (and get my Makarov back) and my daughter, buy a $400-$500 surplus Tokarev and some ammo for myself, and sink the remainder into my business.

  11. Why would you carry a gun costing over 3K, when you know the fuzz is going to “confiscate” your weapon, for maybe a year or more, and you run the risk of maybe never seeing it again.

  12. I’ve carried the 1911 as well as an early Glock model 17. I’m big enough to probably carry both at the same time without printing, but I realize most folks don’t have that “advantage”. Folks shopuld carry what is comfortable and works for them, there is no “ONE” magic gun for all people in all situations.

  13. Glock 26. Because 1911s suck.

    0 emotional attachment and will get the job done.

    “But body armor, or big-ass guy, or 9mm is for pansies”

    Well. 1. I’m probably screwed anyways 2. See #1, 3. No it isn’t and stop spewing unfounded truths.

    • Plus, the G26 will take 33rd sticks and 50rd drums.

      You know, if your nonexistent Sub2000 jams hard.

      PS: firing the G26 with a drum mag is just as silly, fun, and expensive as it sounds.

    • I’ve seen several comments about carrying 45 for use against people wearing body armor. You realize a 45 penetrates armor equal to or less than a 9mm right?

      • The only two guys mentioning body armor were 9mm guys putting that notion out as what they imagine .45ACP types think. But no. .45ACP guys just think “one to the femur, one to the face, and call the street cleaners.”

        I am stunned, envious of the industry really, when I sit with my HP12C app on my iPhone and calculate how many guns and how much ammo get bought, used, then the guns practiced with traded away, while precious few people actually get shot. And I’m as guilty as anyone, admitting that the thing is fun. Not as fun as chasing twenty-six year old brunettes, but fun. But are the elaborations needed?

        So many people say, like, surprise, the guys who offer the courses: “Save your money. Buy a cheaper gun. Spend the savings on training.” Bull. How many stories do you need to read of 70 and 80-year-olds blowing away the perp with a gun they’ve barely ever shot…before you realize that a working gun, just a little practice, and a will to prevail, is generally enough? RF says 3-3-3. But even if it is 5-5-and-5, and accuracy withing 6 inches at 5 yards is all you need, I say “buy the fine gun. You can leave it to your heirs. Once you hit 80 your hands will shake, your eyes will be dimmer, your arms weaker, you won’t get to the range….but you’ll still shoot the f’g burglar, because you’re pissed as hell that they threatened your well-being and peace.” “Thanks for sharing, ropingdown.” laugh.

        • Saw one just a week or two ago, first time in his LIFE the old fart had ever fired a gun, he hit a home invader. Rule #1 for a gunfight still rules; bring a gun. All the other stuff is extra.

  14. Most defensive gun uses are 3-3-3: three yards, three seconds, three feet.

    RF, the last time you wrote “three feet” rather than “three yards.” This time you got the three yards right, but tacked on “three feet” instead of “three bullets.” Or did you mean “six feet,” as in “under”?

    But none of that matters, because you finally returned to a sensible caliber, and in a solid gun. Enjoy.

  15. You dropped how much on a carry gun and holster? Is that conspicuous consumption?

    I’m pleased with my Glock 19 and I’ll continue to carry it.

    And if I want to scale up a little, my Glock 17 works just like it.

    And if I want to scale down, my Glock 26 works just like it.

    If I feel I need a caliber that starts with a “4”, there’s always my Springfield XD45.

    Nah, for $3250 plus tax, I can have a Glock 19 to carry, another for the car as a backup, with night sights and a light trigger insert. With ammo coming down to $200/1000 rounds, that’s enough left to buy 5,000 rounds to train with and I’ve still have enough money for a two to three really good training classes to sharpen my skill sets.

    Everyone carries what they carry for their own highly personal reasons.

    John

  16. I enjoy 1911s, but I carry a Glock 30S. 11 rounds of .45 in a lightweight compact package that doesn’t recoil too bad. Getting it set up the way I wanted it cost maybe $700 bucks.

    If I have to use it and lose it for a while to an evidence room, no big deal. It won’t rust and I have a G19 I can carry.

  17. My motto for expensive cars also applies to expensive guns: if you can afford it, buy it. More to the point, you have to be satisfied with your purchase.

    I personally can’t afford one but I’ve been eyeballing a Sig P220 Carry SAS pretty hard. Now that I’ve dipped my toe in the Sig Sauer pool I realize the water is fine.

    • That item’s been catching my eye, too. I don’t need it. I probably won’t carry it. But still. It’s making me doubt my practicality. But still.

  18. $3250…wow. If you can afford it, then more power to you (literally, in some cases).

    If I had that much to spend on a firearm right now, I’d be dealing in cheaper plurals. A decent entry-level AR-15, a Mossberg 590 Flex, a pair of Springfield XD 9mm pistols, and maybe also an XD-S (or S&W Shield) for deeper concealment. Added to the current stash, that would give everyone in my household a pistol and their choice of rifle, with the shotgun and backup pistol thrown in for extra measure.

    If I did have that particular pistol, I probably would want to carry it, but I surely wouldn’t do so; I wouldn’t want it getting banged up in some evidence locker or maybe never returned if (God forbid) I ever had to use it to save my life.

    • $3250.00 is not a lot to spend on a wilson. The one i want to get is close to 6K . I own a couple wilson AR’s they are great . You get what you pay for . Some people will never see the Value of Wilson Combat Yet there is a 2 year wait I had to wait 14 months for my AR’s . Anyone one who can afford a Wilson can defiantly afford a lower price Firearm yet they chose the Wilson Combat . I would have not issue trusting My Life to Anything Wilson Combat Makes. Once you holds the Wilson 1911 everything else is just not good enough. The LGS i get my stuff from told me the Wilson 1911 never sit more than 3 days so they must be doing something right just my 2 cents

      • The biggest LGS here has something like eight cases of 1911s, everything from “generic” Kimbers to $6000 guns. During the post-Sandy-Hook panic, those cases were the only ones not cleaned out. It maybe dropped to six cases.

        People here aren’t loving 1911s I guess.

        • That kind of panic buying is gonna depend on the consensus on what will be banned. First to go, sensibly, would be anything with a capacity more than 10 rounds, next any black rifle, and so forth. I have yet to see a serious attempt to outlaw a 1911, other than the “any semi” crowd, probably not a player. Most likely, IOW, the 1911s continued to sell at the normal pace, and I’d guess they are pretty popular normally, or your lgs would not keep 8 cases around.

        • Yes but that would fail to explain why the revolvers DID disappear, then. I walked into that store thinking maybe I’ll dip my toe into the wheelgun world and buy a .357. No such luck.

          I have no idea why they have so many cases of them. In my observation, watching what people buy, glocks fly out the door but the 1911s stick around forever. Maybe the owner just likes ’em.

      • It’s all relative, I guess. $3k may not be much for a Wilson, but on my budget that’s big bucks. My whole collection of 6 guns didn’t cost that much, and there are some gaping holes in the lineup where some “everybody should own one” weapons need to go.

        I’d love to own a super-nice Wilson Combat piece, but if I only had that much to spend once, I don’t think that’s what I’d spend it on. After I got the ordinary but serviceable necessities, then sure. Upgrade till you can’t upgrade no more.

  19. good for you.
    pretty glitzy.
    serious badass shite.
    amt hardballer loaded with flying ashtrays ain’t got nothin’ on you.

  20. Roberts right. Quality does have a different feel. Doing 100mph in a Camero feels different than doing a 100mph in a Jeep Wrangler. Still going 100mph tho.

    Talking about double stack .45s….this is where a Browning Hi-Power in .45ACP would shine.

      • Hehehe now it would be too easy to start a Chevy vs Jeep vs Ford vs BMW debate to go alongside the 1911 vs glock and 9 vs 40 vs 45 vs 38 debate.

        • BMW every time. Especially now, when I just got a Motor Trend revealing an M3 in “Austin Yellow Metallic” paint. I may have to trade! And just ask yourself “what would Chuck Norris carry?”, and you’ll have your answer about guns.

  21. Where do I sign up for this?

    ” But if I gave you a Wilson, Cabot or similar 1911 to shoot and carry for a week…”

  22. Point 1 is false unless you have a 1911 shaped hole in your body. Look at the guns he compares it to. Does it conceal more easily than the Khar? I bet not.

    Point 2 is opinion and (with modern ammo) also demonstrably false. MOST defensive uses are 3-3-3. If that’s all you want to be prepared for then that’s cool I guess Superman.

    Point 3 isn’t worth dying over when, not if, it malfunctions.

    What this article is really saying is that “I spent so much money on this gun I feel like I have to make it more important to me.” and “I paid so much for this that I want to show it off, to make you all jealous, so I came up with three BS reasons why I carry it.”

    • Not true. Well the bit about rationalizing my carry choice because of the money I paid and ego issues. I said it in the article: I’m no gun snob. Never have been. Never will be.

        • It is so unreliable that literally millions of doughboys, GIs and grunts who used it in much more demanding environments than we will ever see would still bet their life on a 1911 in a crunch. As said below the reliability argument is a canard used primarily by Glocksters.

        • Based on my own personal experience with many different 1911s. I am not a Glock fanboy and the reliability issues are real. The people that say my 1911 never fails has never run them through a class. I own and have owned several high end 1911s including Wilsons and Baers. I wanted so badly to be able to use them for protection. If not for concealed, maybe home defense. I’ve sunk thousands into trying to make them reliable. Now they’re safe queens. I doubt Robert is going to run this through a class and get it dirty to find its true reliability.

          As far as the GIs using them. My grandpa carried one as an MP in WWII and will attest to it’s reliability, but it’s utter uselessness to hit shit. All about tolerances. Modern 1911s are some of the most accurate, but suffer in reliability.

        • @tdiinva

          It’s sort of apples and oranges. Issued 1911s shooting ball ammo versus VERY tightly speced guns shooting hollowpoints. Those doughboys (et. al.) were shooting the former; the gun as designed shooting what it was designed to shoot. The modern almost-race-gun fancy 1911s like Robert’s are going to be much less tolerant of basically anything and for EDC you are talking about a shape of bullet it wasn’t designed for to boot.

          The reliability argument IS valid, in this context, because this is neither the gun nor the ammo nor the situation the doughboy was in.

        • Do you plan on shooting 500 rounds in a DGU? Didn’t think so. Any EDC piece should be kept clean no matter how many rounds you can put through it before it gets fouled. Modern Polymers may not jam from fouling but they do from limp wristing. I see it all the time at the range.

        • No I don’t plan on shooting 500 rounds in a DGU, but I should be able to. I never said anything about a polymer gun and as I have stated before I’m not a Glock fanboy. Yes EDC guns should always be kept clean. No argument there. I’ve seen clean 1911s fail. A lot. Being clean has nothing to do with it. If I couldn’t put 500 (or even 1,000 for that matter) rounds through my gun without a hick up then I would never consider it reliable enough for carry. That goes with any gun that I carry. I had a Kahr P45 that wouldn’t feed any type of hollow point ammo. Gone. Won’t carry it. If I take my 1911s to the range and can’t get through a couple mags without it failing then it has inherent reliability issues. If you’re cool with trusting your life to an unreliable weapon then that’s cool. I wouldn’t.

          All guns typically fail if you limp wrist. Not a polymer gun issue. A 1991 is just so damn heavy that people tend to have a death grip on it and limp wristing isn’t as big an issue.

          The biggest issue in this argument is the compromise that 1911 carry geeks rationalize in order to be able to carry your boat anchors. 3-3-3 rule. Won’t need to shoot 500 rounds in a DGU. Yeah, but if I use Wilson mags it runs ok. Gotta use the Ti whatever… Wouldn’t you want it to be able to handle more situations? Wouldn’t you want it to be able to shoot 500 rounds without failure? Wouldn’t you want it to work right out of the box? Don’t you want to use any type of hollowpoint? It’s crazy to me that seemingly intelligent people are willing to compromise (and yes that Wilson is a compromise) on their safety in order to justify an carrying an antiquated, low capacity, unreliable, and heavy weapon. Because you know, it’s a .45 after all…

        • @tdiinva,

          No I don’t plan to shoot five hundred rounds in one gun fight, but it does get rather dusty here on windy days. Furthermore, I’ve seen 1911s jam (failure to feed, round stuck on the feedramp) in the first or second mag after a cleaning. As I’ve said before the individual gun will make the difference. ANY gun/ammo combo that acts like this (1911, glock, whatever) shouldn’t be carried, so if your gun chokes that quickly, don’t fricking carry it, at least not until you try different ammo in it. Personally I’d want to see a gun fire 500 times with no bobbles with range practice ammo (though 100 carry hollowpoints would be preferable, just hard to afford) before I’d trust it to put five rounds of defensive ammo downrange under less controlled conditions, but YMMV. I use gold dots, which can be had fairly cheaply (buy the fifty round boxes) so I can push 100 rounds through a new gun to see if it works, on top of a couple hundred ball ammo. So much as one bobble, then me no carry.

        • I keep hearing about all these failures that I never see. If the 1911 was that unreliable than the military would have discarded it after WWI. The gun has worked fine in the desert, in the snow, in mud, and soaking wet. It works with ball and despite what people say it works with a wide variety of JHP. It is a very reliable pistol. Again, there is no other military sidearm that has been as well tested in the harshest combat environments known to man and it works.

        • I forgot to add that the 3-3-3 data comes from LEO data. LEOs have a more offensive posture than private citizens. They need to approach the suspect to make an arrest. Sometimes something goes wrong and they have to shoot. We don’t do that. If we see a potential threat we move away. If the we don’t see until he is within 10′ we are probably going come out on the short end.

        • Never seen these failures?

          You must not ever watch other people at the range. That’s where I see them.

          I learned from their mistakes and refuse to buy a 1911.

        • Agree with tdiinva on the reliability as not really an issue, and of 500 round training days as indicative of basically nothing…but dirtying guns. I don’t like hammer guns for concealed carry, and find I need lightness. But in an open carry world (or a more rural concealed carry world) I’d carry my favorite 1911 again.

          I shoot no gun as well with my ‘weak’ hand as a 5″ steel 1911. I also don’t believe in overworking any defensive gun, and have always bought two of what I carry, to spread the wear-and-tear. (Another reason for me not to carry Wilson….)

        • @Steve
          I have never seen a Wilson Combat at the range other than in the show case. Most of the 1911s I see people use are RIAs and Springfields with a few Colts mixed in. Perhaps that is why I don’t see failures.

        • “All guns typically fail if you limp wrist. Not a polymer gun issue. A 1991 is just so damn heavy that people tend to have a death grip on it and limp wristing isn’t as big an issue.”

          Hm. Hadn’t thought of that, could be why I have no problems with my Kimbers, I’ll give you the possibility, at least once you alter your statement from “all guns” to “all pistols”, since revolvers certainly do not punish you for how you hold it, even upside down and using your pinky on the trigger.

  23. That Wilson Combat is hotter than an Israeli Supermodel (come on, you know you wanted to say it).

    I wouldn’t feel one bit compromised carrying it. It’s really all about what you prefer (and in this case, what you can afford). I’m a Glock 19 IWB guy myself (either appendix or 4:00 position) – but to each his own.

  24. Points #1 and #3 are valid. Point #2 is just plain nonsense. You’d have been better off making the argument that you’re much more accurate with a 1911.

  25. I’ve got a custom 1911 Commander very similar to the very over priced Wilson you wrote about. I’ve shot it for years and carried it for a while. I’m a big guy and size and weight of a carry piece is not an issue but I still dont carry it for 3 reasons: 1) its still big and heavy 2) its still a 1911 with inherent reliability and capacity issues 3) it has too many levers and switches to make it go bang if carried cocked and locked and you need to make it go bang in a hurry. 1911’s are cool. Thats why I have 3 I reckon but I still prefer a subcompact wunder nine with 10rnds of +P and only 1 switch/lever to throw to make it go bang when I need to in a hurry.

  26. If I could find a IWB holster for my CZ97B I reckon I would carry it. I wonder if an SP-01 holster would work? If it did, I’d seriously consider selling my pympdaddy Glock 19 for another CZ..

  27. I have a 1911, but I have never carried it because I could not find a way to conceal it without printing or opening a hole in my ribcage. My Kahr disappears and weighs almost nothing to boot. (app. 17 oz loaded)

  28. My only comment is: why compromise. Get a 1911 in 10mm. Just as easy to conceal, and mine never chokes. If I only get three shots, I’d rather blast them with a 10mm hunting load any day.

    Sig is coming out with a model in 10mm next year. I may just have to have it. All I need is money a credible excuse to sell the wife.

      • Kimber (cue the griping, yes I could have had 2 Glocks). I actually did not start out looking for a 1911. Now that I have it, I have become a gun (and craft beer) snob. My friends love to shoot it and some shoot it better than I do on sheer instinct. It shoots effing awesome. I bought Wilson Combat mags for it too.

        I don’t understand people who say 1911s are hard to shoot. I can’t shoot any Glock I have tried. Some of my friends shoot my 1911 very well, not having shot a 1911 before. Frankly I don’t think it has anything to do with “1911s” or “Glocks” I think its a weight, grip size, vs hand size issue. For me, I love 1911s and they love me back. Find the biggest caliber gun you shoot well and stick with it.

        • My theory is the rounded top. Your eye looks right down the barrel to the target. That and the excellent combat trigger. Almost bought the Kimber but the RIA VZ was $300 less.

  29. I have been preaching this since I discovered TTAG and is good to see Robert come around.

    Somethings to remember. The original 1911 design only had a grip safety. The cavalry added the thumb safety because they might have to deal with a horse. The only time you need to engage the thumb safety is when the handle the pistol. A 1911 sitting in your holster is an inert object with a minimum of one safety engaged.

    The 1911 teaches trigger discipline. You don’t “register” your finger on the trigger ever. When someone says that the 1911 is hard not shoot you can bet that they are revolver or Glock guys who never learned trigger proper trigger discipline. If you started on a 1911 or Hi Power you know to keep your finger of the trigger until you are going to pull it.

    The reliability issue is canard. You probably can’t put as many rounds through a 1911 without cleaning it as you can a modern pistol but we are not talking about 100 rounds. It’s more like 500+ rounds. I don’t know about other people but I clean my carry guns at about 250 rounds just because. If as a private citizen you have to put so rounds down range where jamming becomes an issue you have some how wandered in ISIS territory.

    The 1911 is the most combat proven design in the history of sidearms. There is a reason that it is still around. It is reliable and it is effective in any caliber although you should be using 45 ACP just that is what it is designed fo. I do have an RIA combat commander in 10mm but that is for the woods. You don’t need a $3500 Wilson Combat. A $750 Springfield is just as effective.

    • For many reasons, actually (some of which I touched on, other reasons others have touched on) the $750 Springfield is probably a *superior* (not just equal) choice for carry to the other gun. I believe it is less likely to be finicky, for starters. And (as others have noted) less at risk if the gun is confiscated.

      I got into a physically intense match not too long ago, and I saw a number of Glocks choke on the dust. I don’t recall one way or the other about the ONE competitor using a 1911ish gun. (To the credit of the competitors, they cleared those jams FAST.) Maybe I was just lucky, but my CZ-75 didn’t.

      • To me it’s ludicrous that anyone would even buy a 1911 if they wanted to shoot HP. It’s just plain the wrong tool for the job.

      • Doesn’t almost every semi-auto have some rounds (bullet weight and design) that it just doesn’t like? But Wilson isn’t going to let a 1911 out the door that chokes on anything normal. I think SWC hard-cast lead, 255 grains (Double Tap), and 165 grain JHP lead-core (Corbon) present a good test of the range a 1911 can handle.

      • Yeah, some precision competition models but not a standard GI model. I have shot every common JHP round out my Springfield and it has never choked.

    • Yup, I sold my Glock 10mms b/c they didn’t fit my hand and got the Springfield Range Officer Compact. Currently swapping out the long trigger for a short one. Even there, I was miffed that I couldn’t just spend $500 or $600 and get an alloy compact ATI. Didn’t see the need for a beavertail, extended manual safety and all the other nonsense.

      Went to my first IDPA match and the other guys with $4000 race guns were mad at me b/c I was point-shooting one handed and still getting good hits.

      I’m around 200 rounds and not one bobble.

  30. I think its funny how everyone is so worried about their carry guns being confiscated…After reading the comments I have decided to stop carrying my regular carry piece and carry an old Jennings .22 instead. that way If it ever gets confiscated they will be doing me a favor by taking it off my hands for me. Besides why would I want to carry a gun that I actually like to practice with?
    I’m not trying to offend anyone but I think confiscation after a DGU should be the last thing on your mind when selecting a CCW. Its like deciding not to buy a nice car because someone might crash into you and total it.

    • If you are worried about your carry gun being confiscated, you are doing it all wrong. How much is your life worth? What is worse, having your $1500 gun confiscated, or getting killed because you decided to carry a puny .22 revolver and got killed. Besides, you can buy insurance that will cover it. If you get your gun confiscated permanently, you can get insurance money to get a new gun. If you get killed, your wife gets the insurance money and a new husband. But fat lot of good that does you.

    • “I’m not trying to offend anyone but I think confiscation after a DGU should be the last thing on your mind when selecting a CCW.”

      It is a consideration if you choose to carry a family heirloom.

      And I know folks that do. I don’t.

    • When you buy a gun for SD use, I expect you buy it as if you intend to use it, and face all the consequences of that use. I don’t expect to worry about gun confiscation during a gunfight, that’s what the time spent on due consideration of all the options _before_ you buy your carry gun is for. So when considering a handgun for SD, I would NOT consider a $3200 gun when a $320 gun (that’s about what my Mak cost me) will do me just as well. And at SD ranges, I would stack that Mak against any Kimber or Wilson or Les Baer for accuracy and reliability. But, if you prefer, not a $3200 Wilson when a $700 Springfield will do as well.

      • I never expect to be in a gunfight, therefore I don’t even consider the possibility that investigating officers, if any, will be thieves. Carry what will save your life, unless going to a BBQ, then take your BBQ gun for showing off.

  31. Remember to stay on top of replacing the firing pin spring as it starts to wear out, as there’s no block and I don’t believe Wilson uses Ti firing pins.

    • Interesting point. My absolute favorite 1911 has no FP block, but does have a Ti firing pin. I thought I might experience light primer strikes because it failed my favorite “slide a pencil into the barrel, pull the trigger, see if it pops the pencil clear.” It didn’t. But, no, never a misfire. Surprises me. The frame is an external-extractor S&W, melonited stainless slide and frame, black nitride-type finish. The S/F fit was very tight from the start. I had Briley fit a match barrel and bushing. I think the thing cost 720 + 500, ca. 1,220 total.

    • What I see is a somewhat tricked-out somewhat diminished size 1911. The kind that costs $3k+ . Truthfully, when I think 1911 I have the original version in mind, not the ones with the oversized beavertail and skeletonized trigger and plastic-floorplated magazines and ultra-ergonomic grips. (Yes, you guessed it, I’m a reverse gun snob I’m afraid. I realize it is a character flaw, but I can’t shake it).
      I also think I see an Israeli supermodel screen saver, but I could be wrong.

  32. In 20 years of carrying different handguns CC my Wilson Combat BWC is my most current and one of my top favs for EDC

  33. I also have several 1911’s great guns no question, however I just purchased a SARB9 ( a cz75 clone with polymer frame) 28 oz, 16 rounds of 9mm. and $269.00 brand new. I have fired ball and several styles, manufacturer of ammo. All good. My point is …….16 rounds of ammo beats 3 reloads anyday.
    Good Luck.

  34. Most Tupperware shooters secretly resent the 1911 guys because the other half won’t LET them spend $800-1,500 for a good 1911. My Kimber from the Custom Shop has eaten 1,500 rounds of any ammo you can name. Except for some really weird things with the cruddy TULA ammo not ONE hickup.

    Ray from Bloombergia

  35. “Early this year, I bought a Commander-sized Wilson Combat X-Tac Compact. Just cause.”

    Alright I’ve seen enough. My envy prevents me from reading further, haha. :p

  36. Some of us carry because we have good reason to fear that we will be attacked and some of us carry because we like guns and well, you never know… If you own and operate one of America’s most popular gun blogs and live in a safe neighborhood you are probably of the latter. If I were one of the former I’d buy a Glock because I really wouldn’t care how ugly it was, I’d just want a gun that worked. But as one of the latter, I think it’s best to carry something you just plain like. You’re not going to forget your prized 1911 on the toilet paper dispenser in a public restroom. If you’re carrying a knock around gun you’ll find excuses to leave it in the car.

    While a hot loading in .45 is hotter than a hot load in 9mm, there are a lot of very light .45 loads out there. There is no advantage to .45acp over 9mm unless you’re running some of the hottest ammo available. Hitting someone with 450lbs/ft of 9mm is better than hitting someone with 350lbs/ft of .45. That said, 8 rounds of .45 should be plenty in 99.99% of self defense shootings that actually require shots fired. Of course, 6 rounds of .357 would be even better, IMHO.

  37. I get a kick out of the “1911s are unreliable” and “too many safeties” whining. In the original Army competition they fired the prototype 1911 for 6000 rounds before they stopped. Not because it malfunctioned, but because it ran flawlessly for 6000 rounds. They only stopped to dunk it in water because it got too hot to hold. I have two 1911s, both are dead reliable, took one through a Gunsite class where we shot a case of ammo over 5 days. The only terminal failure in that class was a Glock.

    Too many safeties? If you grab the gun like you are going to shoot it, the grip safety is off. The thumb safety is right there as your thumb comes around the gun. How hard is that? Do you have problems driving as well?

    I have a theory about how it is easier to limp wrist a polymer gun than an old school steel gun. It’s called physics. The steel frame has more mass, so it doesn’t move as easy. The polymer, not so much. So you have to hold it firmer.

    And if I had the kind of scratch that let me afford a $3000+ gun as a carry piece, I’d carry one too.

    • Manipulating safeties under stress is a non issue with training. But it doesn’t change the fact that safeties on a defensive handgun can present problems. Unless you are a criminal of SOF, your handgun use is going to be defensive. Having a gun that dictactes how it has to be held and fired in a emergency isn’t a good thing. There is a reason you would see CAG taping down their grip safeties on their 1911s in Iraq before they finally switched over to glocks.

      • I guess I missed all those movies where John Wayne or Clint Eastwood were killed because they fumbled trying to cock their Colt SAAs. I don’t see how safeties are any different. Either way it takes two actions to fire the weapon. A little practice goes a long way. Although, the problem with 1911’s safety is that if you don’t hold your thumb above the safety it can accidentally become engaged under recoil.

        • I guess you missed the point I was trying to make. Manipulating your weapon under stress is a non issue with proper training. And plenty of people do it successfully without training. But the big take away from the large amount of CQB in Iraq was that it was probably a emergency if you went to to pistol. And there are plenty of AARs from the guys who were rocking 1911s who were unable to manipulate the weapon after being injured due to the safeties, that would not have been issues with other pistols. Being able to manipulate the 1911 while wounded is probably the 1911’s biggest weakness which is something that is rarely discussed when people talk about using the 1911 defensively.

        • Well I was just making the point that ‘training’ is probably too strong of a word for what it takes to successfully disengage a safety under stress. Any modicum of familiarity with the weapon should suffice. I would have to concede though, that operating a thumb operated safety with your thumb shot off would be exceedingly difficult, stressed or not.

    • The original design only had a grip safety. Unless you are holding your horse you don’t need to engage the thumb safety unless you are handling the gun in a non shooting situation.

      • The grip safety is the worst part. That’s why CAG would tape theirs down. Using your body to swipe the safety isn’t hard. Having a situation where you can’t properly engage the grip safety isn’t hard to imagine. And again has presented itself multiple times with the guys who we’re using it the most.

      • My personal 1911 is a Kimber Grand Raptor II from the custom house. I got it used via Gun Broker from Chicago (?!!) to NYC (?!!) with about 900 rounds on it already so it was nicely broken in. I then ran 1,400 more. I shot EVERY thing you can think of in terms of hollow point defense ammo. I even shot those weird Cor- Bon loads with the plastic ball to enable better feeding. Only ONE gave the Kimber a hiccup and that was the freaking TULA drek. Besides being dirtier than a Kardashian sister on the web, the steel cases gave the Kimber indigestion. I could load and fire all day with 7 in the 8 round mags but if I loaded the full 8 it would not strip off the top round. Add the DAZZLING flash and heavy soot and I got accused of shooting black powder indoors.

        Ray From Bloombergia
        NRA Life

  38. I too find a full size 1911 more concealable than a glock 23 on my 150 lb 5’7″ frame. But a kahr even more so!

    -D

    • Glocks are very fat and the slide is all corners, whereas the 1911 has enough rounding that perhaps (say) the front end of the slide won’t poke out as much. I personally tend to favor firearms with skinny slides (similar to Browning Hi Power) for concealment, and glocks ain’t them. On the G-20 and G-21 I sometimes think you could get some yellow-orange paint and lane the top of that slide for traffic.

      • I have thought, more than once, that I should put runway lights on my G20’s slide, sequential blinking LED’s. “Your eye is automatically drawn to the front sight!”

        The G36/G30S has a melted/beveled muzzle end of the slide. The G30S strikes me as a very good compromise for IWB carry. It’s smaller in every dimension that an X-Tac, about 30 ounces fully loaded, and accurate. I find the grip better than the G36 that I still sometimes pocket carry. If I pop the G30 slide back on the G30SF lower, I can insert the threaded barrel. I think I’m fairly stuck on the G30S with the little pile of legacy parts.

  39. So you can spend $3K on a “reliable” 1911 that you still need to put 100s of rounds opf expensive .45 through to “break in.” Just to make sure the $3 hand fitted gun runs right? Yeah, I will stick to my $400-$500 9mm plastic fantastics….

    • John,

      MY very reliable (see prior reply) Kimber ran me $800 used the the 1at owner paid about $1,200 so the $3k mark is a joke. A Sprinfield Range Officer will shoot all damned day for $780 average retail. The key is GOOD magazines. Use an el cheapo knockoff mag from a gun show and even a competition Glock will sell you out. 1911s are meant to be shot a bit “wet” where the Glocks were designed for very minimal lubing. A polished feed ramp and flared/lowered ejection port make a huge difference. So does feeding it premium fodder not drek out of a sardine can.

      Ray From Bloombergia
      NRA Life

  40. If it cost $3000 plus, I one dead redneck. People, paying less for an effective firearm is not a social stigma. Would I like to have a .45? You bet. A .357/.38 plus P? Uh huh. A 9 MM? yep. What I got is a .380 7 round semi. My other side arm is a pump 12 gauge. Both did not cost $3000 plus. As others have already said. Buying any firearm does not make you safe. Your knowledge, training, expertise, makes you safe. But, not bullet proof.

  41. I bet that a lot of the readers here who state that they don’t trust the 1911 have grandfathers who carried a 1911 into war with them.

    • Irrelevant, because said grandfathers (in my case, father) were using ball ammo and a loosely-speced gun, whilst today’s 1911s are being asked to handle hollowpoints and are tightly machined. In other words, these aren’t your grandfather’s 1911s nor your grandfather’s ammo.

    • So I should be carrying a M1 Garand when I am in the Stan then? And the difference between 1911 built in my grandfather’s era vs on today are not small. And they fired exclusively FMJ. And the guys who were members of CAG, which probably have the most institutional knowledge of running 1911s recently, are some of the most outspoken critics of the 1911 for the average user.

      • A suppressed G30 with an IR laser sight on the rail still weighs less than an unsuppressed 1911. Nothing to complain about in that.

        You should have to carry an M1, though, and preferably be on horseback and with the Hindu Kush in the background, just long enough to shoot a digitally-produced faux Daguerreotype for your den wall. It will entertain your grandchildren.

        From another point of view peacetime allows for some aesthetic pleasures even in occasional dangerous circumstances. I, for example, often wear Russell Moccasin tracker boots when I hunt with my (enforced but sufficient) bolt-action rifle. If I didn’t have a comfortable place to sleep every night, and swap boots, I wouldn’t. I put high-end 1911’s in the same category, aesthetically pleasing and adequate for defense, but not maximally suitable for a working soldier. Fine.

        If it amuses you I can report that the directer of facilities/security for Kennedy Space Center in the ’80’s and 90’s carried a 1911. He was retired SS, and was comfortable with his choice. The arguments on all sides are often half-balogna, and the inner truth is “I trust this thing.” That really is a big point, not small, as MARSOC should prove to you. I can remember CCN guys carrying some pretty silly weapon variants onto our chopper just because the thing gave them confidence. I would point to altered M60’s. suppressed PP/K’s, and “special” knives in that regard.

    • My father did and the only firearm he ever bought for me was my first 1911. When I currently carry an auto, it’s a field grade Springfield and my mags are loaded with FMJ standard loads. My middle daughter owns my first 1911 and it’s her favorite all around handgun. It’s her EDC. My family has no doubt about the 1911 and .45 ACP for everyday personal defense.

      • From a reliability standpoint you’ve picked the least problematic configuration. I’d expect few if any jams, etc.

        The question that leaps to my mind is do you really want to carry FMJ? If you otherwise wouldn’t want to carry FMJ but are deciding to do so, in order to carry a 1911, then you’ve obviously decided the specific model of gun is more important than the ammo. (If on the other hand, you actually prefer ball over hollowpoints all else the same, then you made no tradeoff.)

        • I like the platform and the round. Granted, cost of ammunition sometimes helps keep me using FMJ standard rounds. However, I do like the round and also carry it in my normal EDC, a Ruger New Vaquero.

  42. I have a 1943 Remington Rand 1911 that came home from the Pacific with one of my grandfathers. It has a High Standard barrel in it and no telling who else made the rest of the parts. It run perfectly. It has never needed a tune up. It has never needed to go to a gunsmith for any work. I would put it up against ANY 1911 on the market today. Loser buys the scotch.

  43. “One last thing: those of you who scoff at the idea of paying $3250 for a gun — any gun — I understand completely. No one needs a gun that costs that much. Guns that cost a fraction of the price can do the exact same job (and some even look as good).”

    Take a close look at the Ruger SR1911 .45 – in full size and commander size. $700, highly reliable, most of the important additions (larger ejection port, beveled mag well, beavertail grip safety), and extremely accurate for that price. My first 25 shots out of the box with Winchester White Box 230gr, from 7 yards offhand (no rest), were in a group about 3″ x 4″. And that’s with poor eyesight needing trifocals.

  44. I personally prefer my HK P30 in 40 cal SW as my EDC. Before you start throwing stones at me for speaking such blasphemy against the holy hand of god the 1911. I own one too (A 1911)! Which I carried for many years as a concealed carry both in a full size and a officers model (full-size sucks to carry at the 5 o’clock position in IWB btw). The officers model was easier to conceal than the full size (duh) especially in iwb holster. What made me switch was the ability to carry more than just 8 rounds plus an extra mag or two. With my P30 I can carry 13 rounds plus what ever extra full magazines I want to retain on my body. That’s 60% more rounds I can carry in my P30 weapon than with my standard 1911. Also the 40 SW has in opinion more punch than a 9mm and is still faster than a standard 230 grn RN. Finally it all comes down to weight too. The 1911 I carried weighs 38 oz unloaded vs the Hk p30 weighing in at 26.8 oz unloaded. So the weight is significantly less meaning its easier to carry daily. Coupled with an awesome holster (Stealthgearusa onyx) it performs flawlessly. Finally the caliber seems to be a happy medium in between the 9mm and 45 ACP I have been told by many LEO’s and shooting professionals that the 40 cal is a good choice for a EDC.

    I am in no way shape or form bashing on the 1911 I still carry one when I am on the range or as a backup to my P30. They are a legendary firearm that resonates respect in anyone who has ever handled one or owns one which will no doubt follow it till the end of time. They are also like hondas and glocks, meaning you can find parts and accessories for them everywhere.

  45. I carry an XDs 45. Now it’s not a 1911, no hammer, but at 3.3 inch barrel is easy to hide. It has a grip safety and a trigger safety like a Glock. The pistol is only 1 inch wide…..down side is one in the pipe and 5 in the mag. So I just carry and extra mag….they have a 7 rd mag but I had misfires when using it. It turned out that the grip spacer was a C hair to long and pulled the mag down and I got stove pipes….I shaved the spacer but I never carry it……it has fired without problem since ….but I carry an extra 5 rd mag…..I shoot the 7 rd mag at the range. I also have a Sig P 210 9mm…so I know about perfection……I use fmj 230 gn in my 45 because they never fail and never failed in my 45 in Nam….that round nose just doesn’t hang up…..carry what you believe will work everytime.

  46. My experience with 1911’s started when I joined a Calvary Troop at the age of 17. We had hundreds of government issue 1911’s that functioned flawlessly. We shot the hell out of them and treated them like crap all the time and I never saw one that didn’t go bang. The 1911 was the least finicky weapon out of the dozen of so different weapons we had. Which leads me to believe that the original design used as intended is good enough for troops in the most hostile environments and situations with their lives on the line. I always took great pride in carrying my 1911 in the Army. 40 years later I keep a 1911 within arms reach. Yes, I had to smith my 1911 only because I wanted it to shoot Gold Dots. Otherwise it would have been fine. Shoot what gives you confidence. Mindset is the biggest part of winning the battle and winning is all that matters.

  47. Whether they use the investigation as a pretense to totally disarm you depends on your zip code. In FREE America you have little to fear but in NYC, Boston, Philly, Chicago or Jersey they LIVE to seize guns, mar them beyond any value and bankrupt you if you try to file for damages.

    Ray from Bloombergia

  48. The .45 ACP is NOT deadlier than the 9mm; in fact ballistics and FBI research actually proves the OPPO SITE of that. In all practicality though, no conventional defense/duty caliber is “more deadly” than the other. There is no “magic caliber”. Carry what you are comfortable and competent with.

    • As Tom Gresham likes to point out a handgun is a horrible defensive weapon but as it’s all we can normally CARRY that’s what we have to work with. I WISH we could get the panty-wetting hoplophobes to shut up about open carry of a SBR or Mossberg Cruiser but that’s at least 7-10 years off.

      Ray

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