Wilson Combat XTAX 1911
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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.

Eight .45 hollow-point cartridges (courtesy thetruthaboutguns.com)

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.

WIlson Combat X-TAC (courtesy thetruthaboutguns.com)

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.

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    • Say what you wish, double stackers available in many brands as springfields and when hit with 230 grain bullets you don’t walk away.my gun of choice

      • Well actually, a pal of mine had occasion to gut shoot a bad guy with a 230 gr. .45 ACP and the guy did walk away. He walked over to the curb, sat down and waited patiently for the ambulance.

        • The important fact is that one shot to the abdomen stopped the confrontation. Regardless of the “modern ammo” arguments favoring the 9×19, the venerable .45 ACP has stopped more “bad guys” than the 9mm Parabellum (which, btw, means “for war”). And they’ve been around for about the same period of time.

        • Lol! I’ve seen it happen with .380 as well. Bad guys (even those hopped up on meth) usually change their minds when they get hit with old
          82. 207.2

          Better known as lead. However .230 grains of of Pd is like a bolt from Jehova!

      • to Alexander and GI Joe:
        So by that logic, .45 has more stopping power than a 300 win mag since the bullet weighs more and it has stopped more bad guys.

  1. You should’ve titled the article: I’ve Made A Bunch of Personal Choices About .45 Based On My Own Habits That I Assume Apply to Everyone Else

    At least two of your reasons to not carry a 1911 are objectively wrong.

    • Werd. A quality 1911 is a great CCW it points naturally and is accurate BUT in warm states where t shirts and shorts are the norm with the exception of a month or two it’s just not practical to lug around 40oz of cold steel.

    • The only potentially subjective point in the article was the last one. It is objectively true that in the world of semiauto pistols, a 1911 in .45 caliber is both heavy and low-capacity.

      What conclusions you draw from those objective truths, well, that’s a different (very subjective) story.

      Also… Drowning Pool referenced on TTAG? Sweet. Keep the metal coming, RF.

      • Drowning Pool is metal? Nah… More accurate, would be an alloy of cheese.

        Still… Saw them downrange at a USO show at Anaconda. Cheese can still rock.

      • “Most?” (Great post)
        Fargo, you are a jackass… “I’m a gun writer hack, listen to me…” Sheesh.. Yeah the 1911 sucks… Won 2 world wars, 100+ years old, still perfection. Gaston Glock (and every other firearm designer) wouldn’t be jack shit without JMB… Fargo, go put your boot on Springfield Armory for selling out… Jackass…

        • You hit the nail on the head my friend. People forgot it all started with the.45, and thanks for putting All the facts out there.

          Yes, it’s true the.45 doesn’t have as many rounds but if you can at least hit the side of a barn. You don’t need all those rounds, if you have too shoot a person more than twice with a.45, then you might as well put your gun down and start running. Think about it, I don’t cay if you have 16 rounds of 9 mm, look at the size of the round. It’s no bigger than the end of a pencil.
          You could get the same affect
          From two rounds from a.45.

          Believe me, how many times have you heard of an officer having to shot some one more then twice with a.45. I’ll leave you with this
          Folks, like the other guy said why
          Do you think the.45 has been around for over 100 years?.

          Think about it,

          Don G Dardanelli.

  2. While a 1911 in .45 ACP is not my first choice for carry when I am out-and-about, it certainly is not a bad choice.

    To each his own! Vive la différence!

  3. …which is why I went with a Glock 19 Gen 4: more chances to dispute someone trying to move me to the right on the issue of being alive or dead.
    Before the 1911 fan-twerps freak out, I’ll let it be known my EDC for many years was a Series 70 Colt Combat Commander.

    • I carry a Browning Highpower, have since 1980. Also a 5 shot air weight .38 on ankle holster since 1981. Perfectly happy and will not change.

      • Browning believed he resolved all the shortcomings of his 1911 with the design of the Hi-Power. Personally, I don’t know enough about the Hi-Power to comment. As the designer of both, he should know.

        I’ve never been a fan of the 9mm Parabellum. Maybe it’s all the combat-related movies and TV shows I watched as a kid, but I prefer the .45 ACP. I carry either an Officer’s model, Combat Commander, or government model 1911A1 daily. I also use 8 round mags, except in the Officer’s, which uses a 6 round mag for concealability. My spares are 8 rounds & I carry 2. Always. If I need more than 20 rounds of .45, I’m in more trouble than a sidearm will stop.

        I believe the military idea that a sidearm is only sufficient to allow me to get to my rifle. Which I keep in the trunk of my car. Always. With a loaded mag in the mag well (chamber empty) & loaded spare mags plus extra loose ammo. I’m not paranoid. I simply believe in Murphy’s Law and being prepared for the worst. And I pray often that I never have to use ANY of my firearms against another human being.

    • Thanks is an excellent solution to problem #1.

      And problem #2 doesn’t apply to us individuals who happen to live in states like Ca. If I switch to a VunderNine I get a whopping whole two rounds of additional capacity per mag.

  4. I gotta get me a nice 1911 in 9mm with a sweet, icicle trigger.
    I wouldn’t carry it, but it would be fun to plink with.

  5. I carry a Sig Sauer 1911 RCS Sport as my EDC, both frontstrap(25lpi) and backstrap(20lpi) checkering, Houge G10 grips with ext/beveled mag well, Novak night sights, and it suits me just fine…
    1) Too heavy, not hardly,29.5oz(sans loaded magazine)…
    2) Low capacity, perhaps, but I also carry 2 xtra mags, and don’t plan on being in an extended “gunfight” total rounds carried, 22(7+1, 7, 7)…
    3) “Dangerous”, ALL guns are dangerous, and without proper training, even more so, the only “danger” my 1911 provides is to the individual wishing to do me harm…

  6. In California, you can carry a 1911 with 9 rounds, or anything else with no more than 11. There is no advantage, then, to going down to a 9 mm since the capacity is not significantly larger. Whatever the .45 loses in capacity, it makes up for in sheer intimidation. There is nothing quite like the gaping maw of a .45.

    That said, I don’t carry a 1911, although I own a 28 oz. Kimber Pro Carry. I find it much easier to conceal my (16 oz.) Kahr.

  7. Do what you want, people. This debate is as played out as Glock vs M&P(etc), 9 vs .45, AR vs AK. Everyone knows 1911’s are heavy, low capacity and such. People obviously like them for some reason, because people like Wilson sell thousands of them a year for thousands of dollars each. Something has to be said for a gun that is still being used by people to kill people for 107(ish) years.

    That said, I still rock a Glock.

  8. I get a kick out of people who tell you you need more bullets but then carry an LCP most of the time.

  9. If I Wasn’t In The Immediate Market For An AR-15, I’d Be Purchasing a Springfield Armory XD-S 9mm Bi-Tone For a Carry Firearm. I Already Own a Springfield Armory XD(M) 3.8in 9mm Bi-Tone, It Carries 19+1rds But Alas, It’s Too Wide In Thickness For My Liking To Use It As a CCP…

    • @Tim
      I have that exact weapon. Carry using a white hat holster at 5 o’clock IWB. Mine is a 9mm. Right or wrong the single stack is very comfortable and light. If I can’t get it done with 6 in the clip and 1 in the pipe, well I guess just tell my wife and kids I went down fighting.

  10. Try a 1911 .38 Super Lightweight Commander. You can carry 11 rounds of 115 Grain Gold Dots generating 514 fl. Lbs. of energy. It’s practically a .357 magnum in an automatic. I don’t feel undergunned at all.

    • Not knocking your choice, just making a couple of observations as .357 guy. I carry a 3″ GP 100 and most factory loads will get less than 500ft/lbs out of that. However the full power (not to be confused with +p) stuff will get around 600ft/lbs. Of course if you can find a way to conceal a 6″ barrel the .357 does much better yet. But if there’s one major difference between .38 super and .357 magnum it would probably be penetration. I carry Double Tap 158gr SJHPs at 1300+fps as opposed to (by my math) a 115gr at 1400+fps from your .38 super. The .357 is going to penetrate deeper, which may be a good thing or a bad thing. But that debate is probably more important than whether 9 bullets are enough (or 6 or 11) or if you need 15+.

  11. Low capacity compared to what? Has more round than your LCP.

    I think most people give in to the constant whine of ” you need a bunch of bullets” from the Glocktillians.(used to be Berettatites).

    Fear of the unkonown. Likee trying to decide how much money you need to retire. You will never have “enough”.

    If you can hit with it rapidly, i think it matters little what you carry above a 22.

    If you are that worried you wont sweep the safety off, you probably cant be trusted with complicated machinery.(cars, phones, etc).

    Carry what you want. Just don’t try to rationalize it with “undisputable truths” that are mostly lame.

    I guess it does get folks to click though.

    • I agree with most of your comment. However, the .22lr is a HIGHLY UNDERRATED cartridge for self-defense. Given that the 36, 38 or 40 grain bullet will be travelling anywhere between 1000 and 1400 fps and the caliber has a nasty history of fragmenting explosively when striking bone (it’s a trauma surgeon’s worst nightmare), it can certainly do the job. The issue is shot placement. When SHTF, putting lead where it’s needed becomes problematic, especially if the target is shooting back. That makes bigger, heavier bullets more desirable, by most peoples’ estimation, mine included. That’s why I carry a 1911A1 in .45. But I certainly respect the little .22lr, as well.

  12. But for number 3, you replaced a .45 1911 with… A 9mm 1911. It is at least equally dangerous. Maybe more with the lack of a grip safety. Unless number 3 is the justification for the LCP? But then the LCP is low capacity, violating number 2. And low powered, compared to 9 or 45.

    I think you can proudly carry all of the three guns in various situations, and even make the case for others.

  13. I can maybe agree with 1 of 3 condition and then question the rest.
    Im one of those who wears a real gun belt and carries my 1911 IWB 20 hours a day 7 days a week. For over 30 years.-
    Yes there are lighter guns. But if weight isn’t an issue there goes that argument.
    I agree somewhat about capacity. To a degree.
    Im also old school and feel that if I cant get it done with 8 or 9 rounds. Im in a world of hurt way beyond any control.
    As for finger on the trigger under stress. Id have to cross that bridge if it were to happen to me at that time.
    I do own a few high cap 9mm. Just don’t care for them as an EDC.

  14. Prolly makes way more sense to just carry pepper spray. Lot less dangerous than a loaded gun, right? Or, just stay out of bad neighborhoods.

    Seriously? Mr. Farago and I are just gonna have to agree to disagree on this one. But- he did get me to click on this story, read it, AND comment on it. Hrmph.

  15. I always read these articles as someone’s opinion. And sometimes I learn something, or read something to think about. Heavy? Yes. I carry a Sig P220 Stainless Elite when I walk my dog in the mornings (Coyote protection). It is heavy and I would not want to carry it, or a 1911 all the time. I can’t get my mind around point 3. How is a pistol with two safeties (grip and frame mounted) unsafe compared to other common carry pistols? A Glock just has that trigger safety. If you want to talk about sympathetic trigger pulls, there is NOTHING stopping you from firing a Glock. At least the 1911 has the frame safety.

  16. do you want a light weight gun? how about a gun chambered for .45 auto? and with the highest capacity magazine for a .45 auto? then the FNX is for you! (this ad is not paid nor sponsored by the greatest gun manufacturer in the world, Fabrique Nationale)

    • I tote my FNX 45 on occasion and a Sig 1911 in either .45 ACP or 10 mm. I also like the lil Springer with the 13 rd mag and 3″ bbl. All good bangers

  17. If a 1911 is too heavy for you to carry, all you have to do is go home and ask your mommy if you can wear your big girl panties. Problem solved!

  18. If you can’t keep your finger off a 1911’s trigger, you can’t keep it off a Glock’s trigger. If you can’t switch off a 1911’s thumb safety, you can’t switch off any other gun’s thumb safety. I agree a steel 1911 is heavy. So is any other full size or compact steel handgun. There is a reason S&W sells so many Shields.

    • I have a 9mm shield and carry it. But when I go out and just play, I can’t hit crap!!! Now I’m looking for a 1911 (Just because my dad had one when I was a kid 40+ yrs ago) Haven’t been able to find one i want. I also carry a M&P Pro 40, I love that One! It’s heavy with dbl stack but I can hit what I aim at. I think if your worried about a safety issue maybe you should carry a BB gun. Once you make the choice of carrying a firearm you need to know what your responsibility and capabilities.

  19. Your headline says you are offering three reasons to not carry a .45 1911. The first two can be at least partially mitigated by carrying a 9MM 1911. The last is a reason that some would not carry any 1911. I disagree.

  20. I don’t see how anyone can feel safe cc-ing anything less than a weapon with a belt fed magazine and hundreds of rounds of ammunition. But if the bad guys bring helicopters or jet fighters, you are so screwed, so you really need a portable AA battery… but if they have a tank….

  21. Sooo…I used to carry a full size .45 1911 AIWB most every day. Now I don’t. Now I carry an FNS-9. Despite the weight, the 1911 was more comfortable to carry for the most part. Except for long car rides. Other than that I prefer to carry it over the FNS, and it’s also easier to conceal due to the slimness. I shoot it a decent bit better than I do the FNS. So why don’t I carry it anymore? Capacity. To equal the FNS with two spare mags I’d have to have to have 9 rounds in the gun and FIVE, yes five, spare magazines…and I would still be a couple rounds short. Take my opinion for what it’s worth…$0

  22. Use to carry a Stainless Commander size all steel .45 when I was young, strong, and skinny. Sold that and later bought an aluminum frame Kimber .45, but at 32 ounces it was still too heavy, down to a 24 ounce Glock 19, then a slightly lighter S&W Shield. Notice the trend?

  23. Robert, I’ve carried both a 1911 and a Sig P220 as my go to work pistol and off duty roscoe for many years now. I’ve pretty much have given up on a small off duty guns years ago. Maybe you should invest in good leather and some exercise?

  24. You are so full of shit…

    1.a. Your easily twice my size and I’ve been carrying a 1911 everyday for just about 5 years. We will come back to this.

    2. More ammo… 15 rounds… really? Oh that’s right, your comparing a single stack .45 to a double stack 9mm. Compare it to a single stack 9mm, like you should have, and guess what you will find? That’s right, a 7 round magazine. Who would have thought.

    1.b. Again… Since were on the topic of your flawed logic. My double stack 9mm (FNX-9) weighs 1lb 15oz, and my single stack 1911 weighs 2lb 8oz, both fully loaded. OMG! That’s a whole back breaking 9oz of extra weight! I know you can’t compare a double and a single. But that is what YOU are comparing to make your weight argument.

    3. Putting your finger on a 1911 trigger is no more “dangerous” than any other handgun, or firearm for that matter. Couldn’t even try on this one could you.

    Here is a little list about 1911s:
    Con: no drop safety (see you could have tried)
    Con: heavy for a single stack pistol
    Pro: weight provides an inertia buffer to combat recoil
    Pro/Opinion: It is exceptionally comfortable
    Neutral: ammo capacity is low, but so is single stack 9mm pistols. Form factor differs for a reason. You can’t just straight up compare all pistols. Usage conditions are often the deciding factor, regardless of raw shortcomings/advantages.

    Why is this important? Because you publish a “news” website titled “The Truth About Guns” but can’t even pen an objective, well thought out piece about about a specific model. Why should anyone believe a single thing you say if this is the quality of work your going to put in?

  25. AH,

    I agree with you. The 9mm is a double tap round. The 45 only needs to hit a tango and lots of damage done.

    Perhaps the original author is related to the late General Westmoreland. He believed in volume of fire.

    The best thing about the 45 is you grease the tango and the good guys next to him live another day.

    SFC Nevinger
    US Army Retired

  26. My EDC is an M&P Shield in .45, with the extended 7+1 magazine.
    Much lighter than my 1911 Officer’s model with similar magazine capacity.
    I mostly carry it IWB Tucked in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 at the 4pm position.
    Minimal printing, light enough to be carried all day, but still a .45.

  27. Many a gunfight over the past one hundred and six years, has ended with someone on the wrong end of a 1911 barrel. Magazine capacity was not an issue. They are proven. They are not for someone who is not willing to put the time, and effort to master the safe use of the 1911. The weight issue is not a problem, either, with a sturdy gun belt and quality holster. The alloy framed 1911s are ten ounces lighter, even better. The people who put down the 1911, are the polymer framed generation, that grew up with Glock, and the clone type variations. These are great guns too, however, it is time to stop putting down the 1911. It is still in great use, especially on SWAT teams, and special forces. You think THESE people think there the three reasons not to Carry a 1911 are valid? Pardon me, but I will take the experienced professionals, that carry and trust the 1911 everyday, over the obviously misinformation put in this article.

  28. I carry a Springfield Xd-45 tactical. I have it chambered in (Rowland 460). Can hold 17+1 of some very powerful rounds. Full size heavy ass gun. Punks get to running before I even draw my weapon.

  29. Your article makes no sense, you won’t carry a 1911 anymore bit you’ll fiddle around in your pocket for smaller gin with the same amount of rounds but weaker cartridge, sounds like you traded off carrying a weapon for convenience by the time that lcp is out of your pocket a practiced person would have the 1911 out safety off and firing. Like I said makes no sense maybe it’s time to stop carrying and let the police save you

  30. Everything Robert says is true. In fact everything that is said about why a modern polymer frame, striker fired pistol is better than a 1911 or its first cousin the BHP, is true. However, this is why a Johm Moses Browning pistol is better. They point right on target. In the kind of DGU that an armed citizen is going to have first shot on target wins. You have a higher first shot hit probability because it naturally points. You have a higher second shot hit probability because the recoil characteristics allow you to get back on target faster and because it naturally points. We all know that when the SHTF your fine motor skills take a hit so having a pistol that naturally goes on target is one less thing you have to worry about.

    Now as far as weight goes heavy compared to what? A 1911 is 12 oz heavier the G-19. If that 12 Oz is too heavy then you have some serious health issues. I doubt most of us are carrying 40lbs + around with us all day so no pistol is too heavy. In order to make a real difference you are going to give up capacity and accuracy. Get a goid holster like a De Santis paddle holster and you won’t feel the weight.

    Is capacity really that vital in a situition where first round in target wins? If that bothers you carry a BHP. 13 rounds is going to cover your 6 sigma case.

    The safety is a training issue that can be easily fized. The reason why the 1911 and BHP safeties are large that it allows you to easily ride the safery off when you draw. That was how the Army trained. If you draw properly the safety will be off before you clear the holster. And if you see Bad Mike Brown coming your way there is no reason why you can’t flick the safety off just in case.

    The final knock on the 1911 is reliability. That is a red herring. I don’t know about you but I service my carry guns on a regular basis. You aren’t going to get into a 500 round gun fight where the Glock, M&P or Springfield will exhibit better reliability. If you finish a second magazine you are in real trouble anyway.

    In the end carry the gun that you shoot best if that is a 1911 then carry a 1911.

  31. Must be missing something. My Colt Combat Commander and my and my Kimber Ultra Carry II hit center mass on the targets each and every time I point and pull. Even rapid fire. 8 rounds center mass of 230 grain Hydrashock should stop the threat. Easy carry with a shoulder set up.

  32. Would Love To Own a Kimber Ultra Carry II Someday, Right Now My Springfield Armory XD(M) 3.8in Will Have To Suffice…

  33. I have an ATI commander, in .45 and have never had a problem with about 400. rounds. This is the most accurate handgun I have ever owned. The sights are small, but usuable even to my old eyes. I am just now switching to the 1911 asy everyday carry piece. It will take a few days or weeks to get comfortable with the new gun, but I am ready and excited for the nicer shooting gun. I currently have a Taurus Millennium 111 gen 2. It is a fine gun, but I just shoot the 1911 better and I have a strange bond with the gun. It is just what I always saw when I was a kid and thought of as a pistol. It just seems to be welded my soul, if you can understand that.

  34. Mind your own choice.. fucking .45cal 1911 haters… i dont care what you say bad about 45acp 1911… people in this world had a good choice.

  35. My Comp-Tac gun belt could hold up a house, me thinks this author needs better swag.

    If you are still having problems keeping you pants up try Hickman belt suspenders too.

  36. For me, a 1911 is a truck gun–to big to conceal on my person. I always opt for the safer, higher capacity, and more accurate CZ 97B even if it does make my glove box sag a little bit.

  37. I carry a Wilson Combat CQB Elite .45 for one reason: accuracy. I can put rounds on target faster and more accurately with the 1911 than with any other handgun I’ve ever fired, and I also own a Sig P226 Legion 9mm SAO and a Walther PPQ 9mm. One reason is the great trigger.

    The 1911 also is thinner than the double stack 9mm, so it prints less (I’m a big guy). Sure, I always carry extra mags and have had to practice reloading more, but to me, the accuracy alone is worth it.

  38. I have read all the above comments
    The real factor is the weight and size of your e d c gun
    The caliber wars are over
    Any of the modern hollow point rounds is effective in stopping a threat
    A lighter and smaller gun is more likely to be carried even for short trips
    That is why Shields and Lcp’s are flying off the shelves, regardless of trigger pull weights and magazine capacities
    I like a 1911 but they are too big to put in a pocket to take out the trash
    I carry a Sig 938 which is a 1911 style gun without the grip safety
    8 rounds of 9 mm with an ambi safety and a fabulous trigger
    With a crimson trace laser on it I can make hits while running away from a threat
    I don’t have any plastic striker fired guns, I have to look at the Shield in .45 with a safety

  39. Like many others here, I am forced to question to question the author’s logic or lack thereof. The choice of a carry gun, like any other decision, is one ofpros and cons:

    1. Weight/Size: 1911s are slimmer than most double stacks which is a big consideration when carrying IWB. Weight has the advantage of taming felt recoil for follow-up shots. I’m a lot quicker on the second shot with my 1911 than I am my Kahr P40. The con being you’ll need to stop buying your belts at Walmart to carry the 1911.

    2. Capacity. I wouldn’t feel under gunned with a 1911, a J/K/L frame revolver, a 6-15 shot polymer 9/.40, or a .380. I’m going to the store for a gallon of milk, not trying to fight my way out of a Zombie horde. Situational awareness will count for just as much if not more than my carry gun. Pros for the 1911 are I shoot it more accurately which hopefully means putting rounds where they need to hit. Cons are you shoot it empty quicker, but then again if there are more than 2-3 assailants, I’m trying to shoot my way clear, not trying to incapacitate and end the threats.

    3. Trigger and thumb safety. SA triggers are a lot lighter/smoother than DA triggers/striker triggers. That’s a pro and a con; however, I can’t see condemning the 1911 trigger when there are so many posts mocking the NYPD ” New York trigger”. Thumb safety issues. Maybe you should train more or write a post mocking retention holsters.

    Bottom line here is that there’s no perfect carry gun. You’re going to make compromises based on what you have, shoot well and how you’ll be dressed. If you’re wearing a slim cut suit, shorts/t-shirt, you’re going to compromise shootability, power, and capacity for a more conceable gun. If You’re wearing dress pants with a “stretchy waistband” and a sport coat, you’ve got more options.

  40. The “let the bodies hit the floor” line was remarkably counterproductive and immature. Stupid comments like that provide propaganda snippets for the left and anti-gun single-issue-activists. You may think it was cool to inject a song you find entertaining, but you’ve done a great disservice to defensive carry with your sophomoric banter. Fix it.

  41. Why doesn’t everyone carry whatever you want to and go forth and be happy. That way everyone is happy and you can end all of the bullshit.

  42. You’re pathetic if you’re complaining that a 1911 is to heavy. Like you really must be a weak ass bitch if it’s “to heavy.” Pathetic ass bitches

  43. I have an original, not a Colt, but rather a Remington Rand which is original to the WW2 Era when everybody and their mama were making them, and when asked, “why do you carry that cannon on your hip?”, my answer is always, “because it is just silly to have to shoot someone twice!”.

  44. I carried an XD compact .45 for many years. Then I learned I needed to be able to shoot with one hand, either side. I could not control the .45 very well with just one hand… so I bought an XD compact 9mm… and now I can shoot as well with either hand alone as I can with both hands at the same time. I carry the 9mm because I can control it much better, no other reason.

    You do practice shooting your EDC with just one hand, don’t you?

  45. I have three carry .45s

    Range Officer Compact – 4″ bull barrel, 6 rounds, 28 ounces
    Sig Sauer RCS – 4.25″ barrel, 7 rounds, 29.5 ounces
    Glock 30 – 3.77″ barrel, 10 rounds (9 with flush mag), 26.3 ounces

    The Glock is smaller, has more capacity, shoots softer, and carries more ammunition. But I still love my 1911s.

  46. Every time I read an article like this my first thoughts are, ‘and these people think they are experts?’

    There is only ONE thing that matters about the firearm you carry. ARE YOU COMFORTABLE with it. PERIOD.

    This idea that one cal is better than another, one size fits all, this feature over that is all BULL****.

    The right weapon for you, is the one YOU are comfortable with, have learned and trained with to use properly and that ‘feels’ right when you are using it. While larger calibers can do more damage and I do recommend at least a 9mm for personal defense, if you are comfortable with your firearm and it feels right to you, do not let someone else tell you any different.

    For me, depending on what I am wearing, I carry a Beretta PX-4 Storm 9mm, Ruger SR-9c 9mm or FN 5.7mm

    • Personally, I think a self-defense firearm should be the largest caliber one can shoot accurately and comfortably with both hands, strong hand and, especially, the weak hand. Period. Adjustments can be made to accommodate for ammunition quantity, etc.

  47. This is not The Truth About Guns. This is The Opinion About Guns.

    Point – When every bullet has a lawyer attached to it, it would seem shot placement is extremely important. Having 20 rounds to spray is not necessarily the answer to every problem, especially in an urban environment.

    I wonder if Mr. Farago has ever heard of aluminum or scandium framed 1911s.

    I also wonder if Mr. Farago is aware that .45 ACP ammo comes loaded with lighter (than 230 gr), hollow point bullets.

    I wonder if Mr. Farago is aware that the average citizen who carries daily has access to more training than most police officers receive.

    I wonder if Mr. Farago is aware that many of the alternatives to the 1911, such as Glocks and S&W M&Ps, have no safety at all, which may be why officers sometimes shoot themselves in the leg when drawing.

    I wonder if I can shut up now.

  48. If I’m carrying a suppressed handgun I want a .45, its already subsonic anyway so I lose nothing in terms of penetration or expansion. But for EDC I’ve gone from a 5″ Colt to a 9mm CZ 75 SP01 for the capacity and quicker follow up shots… yes, a heavier gun. I don’t think the weight or printing issue is a big deal, I carry in a home made supertuck style holster I made myself on a crossbreed belt. Yes it’s uncomfortable, but it’s not 60lb pack, 20lbs of armor, 10lb rifle, and 7 loaded magazines uncomfortable so it’s not a big deal to me. YMMV.

  49. Dear Mr Author,
    You really don’t have a clue about handguns and the shooting arts do you?

  50. Opinions are said to be like a—-les, everyone has one. I have had them all, shot them all, carried them all and at the end of the day, the 1911 is heads above. Only 7 or 8 plus one in the tube a problem,,,, no you and your shot placement is a problem, need to reload more often,,, ten practice practice practice. Weight can be your friend if used to your advantage in shooting. Carried in military, carried in law enforcement, in competition, and the 1911 design reigns, whether 45, 40, 9 mm or 38 super. Yes even in 380. All I can say is if ya can’t handle it, possibly it is you, not the gun..

  51. I have a colt trooper 357 very good and accurate. But I am looking for a 22 mag automatic. Less weight and should be more rounds. After all gun control is hitting what you shoot at. Does anyone know where one can be found?

  52. The only .22 magnum automatic loading pistol I know of is the Keltec. Haven’t heard of anyone else making one. I haven’t shot one, so can’t give any information on it.

  53. Glock 19 = 21 ounces empty
    ATI FXH hybrid fullsize .45 1911 = 27.5 ounces empty
    Kimber Ultra Carry .45 = 25 ounces empty
    I’m a big boy, 4-6 OZ isn’t a dealbreaker for me.

    the other arguments:
    sympathetic squeeze?
    so sympathetically pulling a 1911 trigger is magically worse than anything else?

    Low capacity? YOU START OUT BY SAYING YOU CARRY A RUGER LCP2! Thats 6 rounds!
    Now I’m no fancy mathologist, but last I checked 8 is more than 6, so is 7. So single stack .45 still carries more bangs than your LCP.

    This argument is invalid.
    Please quit making clickbait that I obviously fell for.

  54. So, I carry .45 1911 as my backup and a Glock 10mm (15 round capacity) as my primary. With a belt holster with the 10 and shoulder for the .45, I don’t seem to have many issues. I realize not everyone is 6’6″ and concealed carry would be an issue for smaller framed individuals. I can find no reason not to carry my 1911as stated by the author of this article for myself. Find a weapon that fits you, that you’re accurate with and that fills your job requirement.

  55. I want the time I lost reading this BS back. Who do I talk to? “The Truth About Guns”…

    Camel snot.

  56. This tired debate is SO over.
    1911 is the most un-reliable popular defensive carry pistol, and has been for over 40 years.
    It should begin, and end, with that.
    The facts about safety in real world (not hypothetical laboratory) human situations, weight, and length, are just frosting on the un-reliability cake.
    Yes, I carried 1911s professionally. Love SHOOTING them. But not staking my life on them.

  57. The really legitimate gripes are size and weight.

    I am built small, so it would be very difficult for me to conceal a 1911 under summerweight clothing, which is year-round wear down south. If I were a large man this would not be a problem.

    Weight is a consideration. I carried a .45 on a web belt while on guard duty. After 4 hours it feels like the ship’s anchor.

    The so-called safety problems indicate poor training.

    The reliability complaints are bogus.

    That is all.

  58. So a while back J. Law wrote about completely tricking out his GLOCK41 and then POCKET HOLSTERING that long slide pistol in a Safariland police duty 636x HUGE holster, and on top of that he had added an AIMPOINT Micro T-1 red dot sight on top of that 1911-sized pistol… and he called it his “PERFECT CARRY GUN” totally concealed in his POCKET.

    For Christ Sake. That was just retarded.

    Now you come along and claim this shit as your gospel and you advise us to adopt to your thinking.

    How old are you people at TTAG? Fourteen?

    If a police officer can tote a 1911 just fine along with this other body-worn gear on a 12-hour shift, then please don’t bore me with stories about how heavy your 1911 is. Maybe you should tone up, or man up.

    Or be Clint Smith and carry TWO 1911s.

    Or anything other than what you write for the unassuming masses.

    You people are just ridiculous.

  59. Don’t make the same mistake I did, buy a damn revolver that takes too long to reload. Practically anything with a magazine is better than a cylinder during a confrontation. Think about it.

  60. I wish people would quit writing these articles and shut up. Let people carry what they will carry. If a .45 makes you happy, carry a .45, if a .380 makes you happy, and you’ll carry it, carry one. If you you want to whine about it being heavy, don’t carry it, if you think that .380 is wimpy and you need something else to earn your Rambo card, carry something huge, but for goodness sake, shut up telling everybody else what they should carry.

  61. Lets face facts. Some men have small girlie hands and simply cannot handle a .45. The problem is not the gun it is low “T”

  62. Texas Ranger Charlie Miller was minding his own business when a concerned citizen came up to him, noted the hammer cocked back on the big 1911 dangling from the Ranger’s belt, and asked, “Isn’t that dangerous?” Charlie replied, “I wouldn’t carry the son-of-a-bitch if it wasn’t dangerous.”

  63. Three shots, three yards, three seconds was popularized here (in my case). Adrenaline dump is real, of course, but the effects are mitigated by fairly minor training. On has to learn how one responds to adrenaline and then accordingly.

  64. I love the 1911 because I love America. I love the history of platform, I am proud of my fellow American John Moses Browning. I like the 45ACP cartridge it is a big slow-moving fat guy that hits hard. However, all those things I said have nothing to do with practicality of self-defense. I do not own one now I have owned several in the past. And have managed to sell them all and two of them were sold at a profit. I am sure to be getting another one in the future. Albeit the pistol will not be an everyday carry sidearm. Do I think it is a viable weapon for self-defense? Of course, I do. But just like what the author of this article wrote “no one ever ended a gunfight wishing they hadn’t carried so many bullets.” I do like the idea of having a 1911 chambered in 460 Rowland as a bear gun in the forest. I like revolvers and 1911 for four legged predators and I like polymer semi-automatic hammer or striker fired pistols with 10+ capacity for two legged predators.

  65. I have used many different pistols over years. I am a MT gunsmith and carry a custom by me SA 1911 C1 (cocked and locked) in a Dale Fricke AMBI holster 24/7. The reason is because I know it will work because I rebuilt it. It is tuned for Buffalo Bore 230 grn JHP +P ammunition. I carry ten round Wilson combat mags and carry four spares for a total of 51 rounds loaded.

    My daily practice is to take a box and draw an eye on it. I place it on a post 6 feet high. Then i walk ten yards away, turn draw and rapid fire 11 rounds through the pupil of the eye on the box. I do this one handed from the AMBI draw cycle.

    I have been in extreme close quarters combat, so that is what I mentally and physically train for. The 1911 surpasses all other pistols for ECQC.

  66. In the article he makes a statement about forgetting to switch off the safety. Like this snafu would only happen with the 1911. Then he drones on about capacity. Yes more is better, but let’s not forget that some conceal carry pistols have only 7 or 8 rounds. Then he cries about weight. So hit the gym. I have no issue with the weight of my 1911. Of course when I was in Iraq I carried an M203, and I have also carried an M249, and an M240B. The point is, carry something because even a 22lr is better than a fist. But why disparage people from using a proven platform?


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