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1911 carry just isn’t something we see here on a regular basis (and that’s too bad). A well-made 1911 is reliable, accurate, and comfortable in the hand. And if you’re concerned with capacity there are always double-stacks available.

So why not carry a quality 1911? Let’s hear it.

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  1. Carried a light weight Commander in 45 for years. Now carry an XDs, same caliber. I have become “spoiled” by the “draw & shoot” guns. No safety, no change in trigger pull. Just draw, aim & shoot. Still love my 1911. Mag capacity was never an issue with 2 extras. Still is not an issue. 20 rounds of 45ACP can remove one’s cheeks from most cracks.

  2. I generally dont carry my 1911 when I am trying to deep conceal. Nor would I carry any full size handgun for that matter.

    For CCW, micro sub compacts tend to work best.

  3. Carried a 1911 professionally for 20+ years. On and off duty. Still the best combat pistol ever designed. Just because it’s newer doesn’t make it better. Still do. In .45 ACP.

    • Most concealed carriers aren’t looking to engage in combat. They want something discreet that will get them out of trouble. Despite how many of them dress during competitions at the range, most are not actually Mall Ninjas.

      • A defensive incident if any sort is combat. It may not be “battlefield” combat, but it is a fight. The sort of thinking in the post results in people attending their state mandated box checking course and nothing more because they are complacent and “do need anything more”.

  4. To me the issue has always been one revolving around what one might call costs.

    Yes, a quality 1911 is a decently expensive item but that’s not what bothers me. What bothers me is that for the carrying cost the 1911 punches below it’s weight class in terms of capacity.

    If one thought they’d be walking a great distance over five days and could carry all they would need for, say 75lbs in a 60L pack, why would one choose to carry that 75lbs when they could carry the same capability for 50lbs in a 40L pack?

    Other than the occasional person who wants the extra exercise there are very few who would actively choose the same capabilities for the extra weight and volume.

    For the same weight and less volume there are better choices than the 1911 IMHO. They offer the same or better ammo capacity and do so in the same caliber depending on how you want to load them out. Or you can drop down a caliber and get considerably more ammo capacity and do so for the same or less weight and volume.

    The 1911 is cool and historic but I wouldn’t choose it as a carry gun any more than I would choose to carry a Luger.

    • Well now… if you did carry Luger and were jumped by Antifa, the amount of butthurt they’d feel might just send them all into cardiac arrest and avoid you having to shoot.

    • Both 1911 and a Luger are cool and historic and from about the same time in history. They were both state of the art. Only one is still a superior fighting pistol today. Strych9 makes an articulate, if complicated, argument concerning weight and the capacity of a pack. I don’t carry my defensive pistol in a pack. (I get the point he makes.) My primary concern is the speed with which my weapon can be brought into action. My ability to shoot it well. Effective caliber. 1911 .45 ACP.

    • “For the same weight and less volume there are better choices than the 1911 IMHO. They offer the same or better ammo capacity and do so in the same caliber depending on how you want to load them out. Or you can drop down a caliber and get considerably more ammo capacity and do so for the same or less weight and volume.”


      This is what overthinking leads to. I see this all the time with gun instructors. There will always be a capacity argument because it is fundamentally an emotional plea. Confidence is essential in a fight and more ammunition is comforting. But, it doesn’t matter as much in a civilian context. I know we are all tending toward fighting off terror groups in the mall, but such things are very rare and not relevant to any discussion regarding the carry of a concealed handgun. If we’re talking PDW’s, then maybe it becomes more relevant.

      Even Active Self Protection videos we see fewer than ten rounds fired. There are a few videos that bump up against the line. Capacity is comforting, but not essential in this context.

      I actually prefer to argue for capacity in terms of comfort and reliability. Carrying 16 in the gun and a spare 15-19 round magazine is convenient. Carrying two or three spare single stack mags, or worse, three speed loaders, is annoying and much harder to conceal. Comfort definitely drops. Obviously, we should always have at least one spare in case of malfunction, extended attack or simply administrative reloading after an attack.

      Carry a gun. Have at least one reload. Fight using good tactics per ASP videos. You are likely to win but it is never gauranteed.

  5. I’ve tried to like the 1911 over the years. It just never felt right in my hand. The grip angle was off. I just couldn’t get comfortable shooting one. I don’t question that it’s a quality firearm. It just never worked for me.

  6. I purchased a Star PD back in the 80’s and fell in love with it. I have read that it’s not well thought of but it has never failed me and has saved my life twice.

    • I still have my Star Firestar I bought in the early 90’s. One of my first handguns and the only one I am really good about cleaning.


    I personally LOVE the 1911 platform. There’s just something about them that feels perfect in the hand…..just perfection. LOVE THEM.

    However, I am FAR more comfortable with a smaller, lighter gun to carry concealed. If I open carried there’s no doubt in my mind there would be a 1911 on my hip, but since I don’t, there’s a Shield tucked IWB.

    That being said, a 1911 is next on the handgun purchase list.

  8. I’ve gone to a P938 for daily carry, so I guess I kind of carry a 1911? The full-size ones would be OWB only if that wasn’t verboten here, so they stay in the range bag or on the nightstand. Great pistols, but way too big and heavy to lug around IWB all day.

    • It’s a baby 1911, sort of, not really. Looks like one. Doesn’t really operate like one.

      Great pistol, I’m a big fan. I have a P238. Freaky accurate for such a tiny little thing.

  9. I routinely carry 2 Commander sized 1911’s:
    A Turnbull in .45 – customized by Wilson Combat and a Wilson Combat “Compact Carry” in 9mm.

    I routinely carry them OWB in Lo Profile II holster from Wilson Combat. I have an awesome leather belt and the size and weight is just not noticeable. I also use a shoulder holster under my jacket fairly often for both of these guns too. Not an issue at all.

    If I have to change up due to weather, or activities, I’ll swap the 1911s our for a Sig 938.

    • I need to be more specific- despite the name being “Compact Carry” it’ built on Wilson’s Professional frame, so it’s their equivalent to a Commander size. And it is pure joy to shoot.

  10. I swap between my Kimber Custom Shop CDPII and my Springfield XDm. Both in tooled leather holsters OWB. Never had an issue.

  11. My 1911 .45ACP Govt model is a fine gun and I enjoy shooting it. But when I carry a full size pistol it’s got 18 rounds in a Ruger SR9 plus two spare 17 round mags on the belt.

    If I had hands big enough for it I’d consider a double stack 1911 in .45ACP. Best of both worlds that way. But, not being built to those bear paw dimensions, I manage just fine with what I got.

  12. If I could carry in my country I would carry a 1911 because they are a good handgun designed well for combat and suit my hands well. I also do not like the feel of the lighter “plastic fantastics” and I am not as accurate with them. double stack in at minimum 9mm but would prefer a heavier round that placed properly would stop the attacker(s) effectively. In this aspect a coonan would fit the bill quite well though only a single stack

  13. I like the pocket watch(pocket dump) complete with straps for attaching to your wrist… Pocket dump, uhh some lint, forty five cents worth of change, 45 cents worth of change, and a sheet metal screw. ” Why the sheet metal screw?” It’s like the four hundred and ninety seven and a half feet of rope , I just carry it.

  14. Wait! It is the weight that hurts. Small is good if you can shoot straight, other wise big is good at 25 but not at 68.

  15. I’d carried an ACP for years, then tried several of the “modern-era” guns. But the manual of arms and fit-and-feel of the 1911 are in my DNA (since I was 6 or so- 60 years on now). It’s a great fit (my first EDC criterion), sufficient caliber, and I am proficient in it’s use. I have ‘modernized by having a 9mm RIA for dress-code days and nights, and the Sig Scorpion in Commander-length for days when I wander afar.

    I acknowledge that carrying this beast is an exercise in judicious concealment and packing iron vice plastic. But I’m look at it and think “hello, Old Friend.”

    • Sometimes on a good day, I can look at the target, turn my head, and hit the ten ring. @15 ft…When I’ve become so familiar with a side arm, I don’t have to aim it to hit my target, Im not changing. I may be able to do this with a Glock, but glocks weren’t around , 357 was the dog, any semi auto below .45 was stop gap.

  16. I do carry an Officer sized 1911 in 45acp. Occasionally in 9mm. My Commander sized 10mm is a little to big to conceal the grip a bit. As I carry IWB only. Cant use a belt holster with a t-shirt and jeans.
    When I don’t want to carry a gun. I carry my 1911ish Sig P938.
    So I guess you can say Im a 1911 fan.

  17. I get side tracked messing with the comments,,,”Why don’t you carry a quality 1911?”.. Model Of The 1911A1 Norinco made in China ,,,, let’s go shooting

    • In truth. I shitcanned all my “name” brand 1911s for 4 different RIA 1911s over the past 5 years.
      They may not be as pretty but they are of good quality.
      As for Norinco. Im sorry I didn’t buy any when they were available. They too in turn make nice parts guns for 1911 projects.

  18. I guess people here don’t ever consider lumbar problems down the road. I bet anyone who carries a heavy blaster on their dominant side for a few years will develop some issues? Anyone want to chime in on that?

  19. Capacity and weight. I have 33 rounds with my Glock 19, with 2 extra magazines for my 1911 it still isn’t even close. One body camera video of a police officer responding with a 1911 was enough for me, the gun locked back after 2 seconds of shooting and he was caught in the open fumbling a reload while his partner was still being fired at.

    It was a great pistol guys, still is for competing with the trigger, it has been surpassed by more modern designs in terms of capacity and reliability in its design.

  20. I EDC two Kimber Pro-Carry II’s daily, one in a Crossbreed IWB on the right hip, one on a CB IWB on the left hip. Both are 4.25″, and I wear jeans with the 4-way flex. I carried the smaller 3″ 1911 for years. I tried the 4″ for a week and it was just as comfortable. About two years ago I started carrying two 1911’s. My logic was what if someone incapacitated my right arm? I would still have another go-to option. So with 8 rounds in both guns, two extra mags in the pocket, that’s a total of thirty .45 caliber rounds on my person. In winter I get even crazier, by having a pocket-carry 938 backup with 2 extra mags. that’s 22 more rounds.
    I own a repair shop for European cars, and I still work in the garage with my guys daily. I can comfortably work on cars with two commander-sized 1911’s all day(my shop is extremely pro-gun, all my employees are allowed to CCW on duty) I give credit to the Crossbreed line of holsters, I have several for my various guns and they are just fantastic. I don’t know how to post pics here, took some of my EDC setup.. Now in summer if I want to OC, I have some government-sized 1911’s including Colt, Para, and Sig. However my new favorites are the twin Rock Island double-stack units, 14+1 capacity for each, on each hip, with two extra mags(total 58 rounds on person). I also have a shoulder rig for these two. I wouldn’t call them as comfy as the IWB setups, they are a little on the heavy side.

  21. Why not? 1911s are big, heavy, low capacity, rub my top thumb knuckle raw and don’t like hollowpoints sometimes. Double stacks are too wide in grip. Much better choices among more modern designs for me.

  22. Double stacks are no wider in the grip area than a Block (Glock)., I have measured mine up against my buddy’s 19, 21 and 23. And if you have not reliability tested your 1911, or any gun for that matter, with your carry ammo, then you should not be carrying it. Many will testify that yes, a newer 1911 with low-round count can be finicky about ammo type and should not be relied on for your protection. Once you have determined that it will fire every time, then I see no reason why it cannot be used for EDC. I don’t know of a single pistol type that can say with absolution “This gun will NEVER suffer a failure to fire, feed or eject”. It is a man-made object and there are way too many variables with ammunition and operator error to ever say that. The key is to make sure you put 500-1k rounds through yours, whatever type it is, without failure. before deciding to bank your life on it. Even that would never guarantee 100% that NOTHING would ever go wrong. This is why most CCW classes teach their students how to clear a gun if it faults. Also, the overwhelming majority of self-defense cases involve less than 5 rounds being fired. I carry extra magazines for the small probability that you will need more than that. I keep an AR pistol in the trunk as well, for the zombie attacks LOL.. Gun opinions are just like discussions on motor oil type and spark plugs. The debates will spark up a wide variety of opinion, educated guess and experience. Just run what you are most comfortable with, and make sure it is as reliable as you can make it. Nothing else matters, just make sure that you don’t leave your house without being armed!

  23. Double stack fatties help you appreciate the slim lines of a 1911. The short barreled xdm hanging off my hip was imminently more noticable that the slimmer 5in 1911 i carry regularly.


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