What I’m Carrying Now: A Dan Wesson Guardian Loaded With Hydra Shoks

Dan Wesson Guardian 1911

Courtesy Old Sarge 11B

Old Sarge 11B writes . . .

This is my everyday Texas carry, virus or not.

Dan Wesson Guardian commander .45 with 9 rounds on board and 8 more in spare magazine.

It’s carried in Bianchi OWB holster.  The magazine is carried in a Galco single mag pouch and I carry with Federal Hydra-Shok 230 gr. ammunition.


[This post is part of our series, What I’m Carrying Now. If you’d like to submit a photo and description of the gun, holster and gear you’re carrying in the new world in which we live, send it to us at [email protected] with WICN in the subject field.]


  1. avatar Rad Man says:

    I concur!

  2. avatar Specialist38 says:

    Pretty neat and tidy.

    Of course, you could a 22, 32, or 380.

    You know – because all calibers are equal. (See previous article).

    Carry on.

    1. avatar CentralVirginian says:

      In that case, I’ll take one in .9mm

      1. avatar Rad Man says:

        .9mm is going for like $.86 per round, if you can even find it!

    2. avatar Ron says:

      Yep. I actually carry a BB gun because physics doesn’t matter.

  3. avatar I Haz A Question says:

    I always enjoy looking at a photo of a 1911 with clean lines and colors that complement (frame + grips).

  4. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Infantry Sarge, good carry! Just a suggestion, add a light and a knife. Otherwise, outstanding!

  5. avatar ExSoldier63 says:

    As an OLD former 11B myself who served when the 1911 was the standard sidearm for our Military, there’s nothing bad to say about your EDC. Great firearm, well carried and a great load used. Spare magazine checks all the needed boxes. Carry on! What was your rank, if I may ask?

    1. United States Army Infantry 1982-1994. The 1911A1 was and is a great gat. I have 2 and (when I’m feeling spry!) still pack one.

      “Anyone, anywhere, anytime.” Hoowah!

  6. avatar Frank Groth says:

    If your gun runs Federal HST you’ll find it a much better performer than Hydra-Shok. I very much like your carry gun… good, clean, simple functional set up. I’d also recommend adding a small can of quality pepper spray (POM, First Defense, Sabre Red) to your everyday kit. Having options is always a good thing.

    1. avatar Kendahl says:

      I had the same thought about HST. Unless you are very good hand to hand and big enough to make it work, pepper spray is well worth carrying. Attacks that justify defense but not with deadly force are far more common. You need something to fill the gap between nothing at all and deadly force.

    2. avatar Hannibal says:

      I generally don’t carry a less-lethal weapon when going about my personal life (although I would choose a taser due to its range if I were going to). Here’s the thing- if someone is fighting me, it’s a gunfight. There is a gun in the fight, even if only the one on me. So if someone is assaulting me and I feel unable to deal with them without a weapon, there’s only one weapon I’m using (this might be different for people not comfortable with using their hands and legs). Because I don’t have the time or equipment (utility belt, lvl 3 retention holster, radio, etc) to play around when it takes very little time to execute a gun grab. It’s also why it’s very important to not get into stupid situations when carrying.

      My personal experiences with pepper spray do not lead me to have confidence in it as an effective (and immediate) weapon. It tends to make someone rethink their life choices after it goes to work. But that’s a long 10-20 seconds. Good for getting a suspect to surrender when they’re rolling around on the ground trying not to be handcuffed- bad for someone who is motivated to actually beat your head in. Plus, never ONCE have I been in a struggle where pepper spray was deployed without me getting some of it.

      But definitely better than ‘conceal carrying’ a baton!

      1. avatar Frank Groth says:

        The first rule of chem agents I was taught more than 40 years ago was if you have to deploy it, you’re pretty certain you are going to get some of it. This is why we periodically trained, at the places I worked, to make sure we knew we could fight our way through it and put the bad guy into custody.

        In my experience with it once the person is sprayed it does take a moment to have effect, but the fact of getting their face and eyes wet down nearly always makes them stop what they are doing, even for just a few seconds, so their brain can evaluate “WTF just happened?”. Those few seconds give me the time, as a private person, to start moving and opening the distance or, as a peace officer, to close and get hands on while the suspect’s brain is processing.

        My rationale is that private persons are infinitely more likely to become involved in a physical confrontation, even if they are careful, aware and practicing proper MUC skills than they are to wind up in a lethal force confrontation. The problem with not having any options between hands / voice and firearm were amply illustrated in the case of the concealed carrier in Florida who played handicapped parking spot enforcer, got shoved to the ground and pulled out his gun and drilled the guy who pushed him when there was zero apparent legal justification to do so. He was charged and convicted of manslaughter and, to me, proves the old adage that when all you have is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.

  7. avatar Manse Jolly says:

    One of the nicer looking pistols I’ve seen on here.

  8. avatar Darkman says:

    Never begrudge a man who carries an “Old Friend” for an EDC.

  9. avatar jwm says:

    .45 will do the job. Where’s your knife?

    1. avatar Ferg in Tahoe says:

      Yep. Whats your sharpie thing?

      1. avatar jwm says:

        Normally its an assisted opening Kershaw.

        But I suspect that I’m like most gun guys. I have a drawer full of sharp things to pick from for any given situation.

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          risk of repeating if it’s speed safe they will send you free replacement springs not if but when.
          come out with a beefier educated paper clip than the stock one and you’d be buying islands.

    2. avatar BusyBeef says:

      Gun beats knife.

      What’s next – gonna ask him where his flashlight is, so he, as a private citizen, can be prepared for all of the home breaching and room clearing he’s going to do on his way to the grocery store?

      1. avatar jwm says:

        I use my knives on a regular basis. The last time I shot at a man has been decades.

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          i shoot. i cut. i flash.

      2. avatar CentralVirginian says:

        Flashlights have more use than room clearing, you need to see what you’re shooting and your sights, night sights are helpful too. If you live in a rural area with no street lighting a flashlight is required carry equipment, at least at night.

      3. avatar Greta van sustren says:

        Uh….I use a flashlight everyday…. in dimly lit basements…. and what if you end up in a large building during a power outage?… You don’t EDC something because you think you’ll need it everyday, you EDC things IN CASE you need them….. moron…

        1. avatar BusyBeef says:

          My phone has a flashlight.

  10. avatar Nelson R says:

    The 80’s are calling and they want their Hydrashoks back

    1. avatar ExSoldier63 says:

      If it ain’t broke, don’t “fix it!”

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      I’ve looked at a lot of gel testing data, and most improvements over the Hydra-shok bullet are incremental.

      In other words, if you’re carrying Hydra-shoks, you’ve got the vast majority of performance you’re going to get from a JHP round. Paying more beyond Hydra-shoks is just gilding the lily, so to speak. If you want to do that, hey, go for it.

      Here’s some gel test of the old Hydra-Shok:


      There’s nothing wrong with that result.

      1. avatar Matt in SC says:

        Springfield Milspec 1911 I got 4 or 5 years ago and a case of Federal 230 grain HS for about .40 a round . Good stuff.

    3. avatar Klaus Von Schmitto says:

      I heard the 70’s calling and wanting their Super Vels back.

      They’re not getting them.

  11. avatar enuf says:

    Excellent choices, nothing there to fuss about at all.

  12. avatar SuspiciousFisherman says:

    and the winner of the most boring EDC posts goes to: TTAG

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      I’m sorry, we’ll have to add some “Field Notes” and three krambit knives to the next one

      1. avatar Don Nelson says:

        …and lip balm.

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          udder balm.

        2. avatar Vic Nighthorse says:

          Not just lip balm, Dude Stick. It sounds so GQ when you say ‘hold on while I put some Dude Stick on my lips”.

        3. avatar Rad Man says:

          “Dude Stick” (writing that one down so’s I don’t forget.)

    2. avatar Geoff "I'm getting too old for this shit" PR says:

      “and the winner of the most boring EDC posts goes to: TTAG”

      Were I you, I’d demand a refund for what you paid to read TTAG… 😉

  13. avatar possum says:

    If I’m going to get shooted . I’d like to be shooted with a high dollar Gunm,. It’d be pretty lame to die from a three eighty HiPoiny. I got shooted 4 times hah hah , once from a flintlock bp. It gave me a hair cut. Once In the ankle , I tried to walk but couldn’t, Doc report to cops was small caliber. Once in the thigh( dug that out with a razor blade whiskey and cocaine) looked like a twenty two, and once with a shotgunm that hit me in the chest and knocked me down, that hurt the worst, like getting hit with a big leather belt , oww fire. Had about a hundred little lead pellets stuck in me, fck that sucked, my wife dug them out with whiskey , cocaine and tweezers, I had more whiskey. What do I carry and depend on, like who cares, a 1911 .45acp. ,,,oh and I had a friend who shooted a guy in Kansas City just to see what it would do. He traded me a pair of really nice jumper cables for a single barreled 12 gauge then winds up throwing it in the Missouri River. That pissed me off. Hey Gadsden Flag we’ve all got war stories. .

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      now thinking of possum ankles.

      1. avatar jwm says:

        You’ve got to be very good to hit a possum in the ankles.

        1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

          it is regrettable. as if i had wanted him to leave the shed more slowly.

    2. avatar RidgeRunner says:

      Now THIS sounds like the real Possum.

  14. avatar gqcpdlz says:

    Retiree shocked his family with paycheck he received from online work he did in his free time…Check for details….. https://bit.ly/3aOBHxr

  15. avatar Minuteman says:

    Wonder how many people have had Hydra-Shoks fail ? Never a dull moment here.

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      You know what they say… your 9mm may fail to expand to .45 but a .45 never shrinks down to 9mm…

      1. avatar Rad Man says:

        When technology fails, the .45 makes a bigger hole.

  16. avatar 2AMexcan says:

    Hydra Shok was the standard duty round for my Sig P220 for 20 years as Police Officer.

  17. avatar Chris Mallory says:

    The DW Guardian is a great pistol. I carry one, except mine is in 38 Super. Walls Big Smith overalls and a Sticky Holster in the front pocket.

  18. avatar RidgeRunner says:

    Very nice.

  19. avatar Billy Bob says:

    Very nice looking pistol. Dont they have a bigger one for you to carry around all day as you make your tactical Wallmart and 7 11 missions?

    1. avatar Paid WalMart Shill says:

      You spent WalMart wrong. You are herby banished to K Mart.

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