I used to carry a .45 caliber commander-sized Wilson Combat X-TAC (above). These days, I carry a 9mm commander-sized Wilson Combat EDC X9. Only not everyday. A lot of time I pocket carry a Ruger LCP II instead. Here’s why . . .
1. 1911’s are too heavy
When it comes to shooting, it’s good thing John Moses Browning’s .45 caliber meisterstuck weighs a proverbial ton (roughly 38.5 ounces for a full-size 1911, 36 ounces for Commander-sized 1911). The weight tames recoil. Add a slim-line design and a iceberg-crisp single-action trigger, and you’ve got an easily concealable, incredibly accurate handgun firing a big boy bullet. What’s not to love?
The weight. I’m not saying you can’t schlep JMB’s ballistic boat anchor comfortably. Buy a gun belt capable of hoisting an Airstream motorhome, cinch it tighter than a flea’s anus, stash your 1911 in a secure holster, and off you go. As I said, I’ve done it. I also dated a woman with life-sized angels’ wings tattooed on her back. Just like carrying a 1911 around, that got a bit old.
OK, maybe I did. But don’t forget that The People of the Gun tend to carry a lot of ancillary gear: knife, phone, keys, wallet, sunglasses, spare mag and flashlight. Add a full-sized 1911 to your load out and you’re looking at carrying five pounds of clobber. You’re supposed to let the bodies hit the floor, not your pants. And no matter how comfy you make your EDC 1911 et al., it isn’t going to be that comfortable.
2. 1911’s are low capacity
There’s no need for caliber wars here friends. I understand why someone would want to shoot a bad guy with the ammunition equivalent of a slow-moving telephone pole, rather a fast moving pool cue. But no matter how much “stopping power” you bring to bear on the bad guy, no one ever ended a gunfight wishing they hadn’t carried so many bullets.
Again, I get it! Remember what I said above about incredible accuracy? Shot placement!
Even so, it’s really hard to hit a moving target, especially when you’re moving (never a completely terrible idea in a gunfight). So no matter how good your 1911, no matter how great a marksman you are or how much you resemble Dirty Harry in a life-or-death confrontation, you want to maximize your odds of stopping the threat or — and this is important — threats.
It’s simple math folks. A gun loaded with eight or nine rounds gives you less of a chance of hitting your target than a gun loaded with 15 or 16. And don’t give me that “most gunfights involve three shots at three yards in three seconds.” I’m sure most cars don’t need to overtake a slow moving truck in a matter of a few seconds either, but I prefer having one that can.
3. 1911’s are dangerous!
BACK OFF! I know you’re completely safe with your 1911. You never EVER put your finger on the trigger until your sights are on target. And of course you’ve survived a defensive gun use and/or done force-on-force training with your 1911. So you KNOW your trigger finger will remain off the trigger even the highest of high stress situations.
Which is REALLY important, given that your fingers lose sensation during an adrenalin dump as the blood rushes away from your extremities. Not to mention the prospect of sympathetic squeeze (squeezing one hand automatically when you squeeze the other) or plain old sympathetic fire (shooting at something because someone else is shooting at something).
Besides, your 1911 has a frame-mounted safety! Which you will for sure switch off when your sights are on a person or persons posing an imminent, credible threat of grievous bodily harm or death. Because NOT switching off the safety could be extremely dangerous to your health. And you’re an expert! So don’t pay the slightest bit of attention to this object or, come to think of it, the previous two.
As for the rest of you, a final piece of advice: know that 1911’s are a weighty subject. Become an expert before you carry one. That is all.