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. At least for me.
I wasn’t happy with the Kahr’s and the Smith’s capacity and caliber. Early this year, I bought a Commander-sized 1911. It’s got an external safety. It’s heavy. Its capacity is (relatively) limited. But the longer I’ve owned it, the more I’ve carried it. Here’s why . . .
1) 1911s 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 guy who conceals his weapon under a sightly over-sized T-shirt.
Even when I put the GLOCK, Springfield and FN in a good, snug-fitting holster the guns’ outer corners poke out, ruining the line of my T-shirt.
The slim line of a 1911 just seems to disappear. Period. Gone.
As for the gun’s weight issue, a sturdy gun belt 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 gear (knives, spare mag, flashlight, iPhone, sunglasses, keys and wallet) in my pockets.
2) 1911s are effective
At the risk of re-igniting the caliber wars, I’m much more comfortable carrying a .45 than a 9mm or a snappy .40 S&W for self-defense. The old saying says most defensive gun uses are 3-3-3: three yards, three seconds, three rounds. I’m not sure if that’s true, but I’d rather go into a self-defense situation with 15 Golden Saber hollow-point .45s than 31 JHP 9mm rounds. 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, a double-stack .45 would be ideal. As for the gun’s safety, I’ve trained and practiced enough – and continue to do so – to make that second nature. Considering the 1911’s oh-so-light single-action trigger, I’ve also checked my trigger discipline under stress with force-on-force training.
I feel confident that I could wield my 1911 carry gun with reasonable aplomb if and when push comes to shove. That said, a gun’s a gun and I’m not a 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) 1911s are cool
Maybe this means nothing to you, but there are plenty for whom it does. John Moses Browning’s timeless design is drop-dead gorgeous. But it’s way more than that.
This isn’t just a gun. The 1911 is quintessential gun. It has “the essence of a thing in its purest and most concentrated form.” By comparison, the 1911 is like a Steinway piano, an Oreo cookie, a Rolex Submariner or a Shelby Cobra. It’s instantly recognizable and completely unforgettable. Even basic models give you a pride of ownership few other handguns do.