Another next gun thread - carry .45s


April 11, 2005, 11:23 PM
I've only been shooting a few months but finding it enjoyable. While not a great shot I am improving and starting to resolve what I like and don't like both mechanically and aesthetically pretty solildy.

I'd like to standardize on 9mm and .45 except for the P3AT which is a deep conceal/summer carry. I have seen enough data and reports to be convinced that both calibers are more than acceptable and I like the easy availability and relatively low price.

Currently in 9mm I have a Glock 19 - a great all rounder and excellent weapon if a bit suboptimal in specific areas; a Steyr S9 which is essentially a cousin to the abiove with a lot nicer trigger and great sights (and a heck of a buy right now - I wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone looking for a capable compact 9mm); and a Kahr PM9 for summer carry in baggier clothes.

In 45 I have only the SW1911PD - a pistol I shoot better than anything else and which I enjoy greatly but am unlikely to carry very often partly due to concern over wear on a $1000 gun and partly for size.

So I have a gap for a compact .45 carry piece. I am not Bill Gates but I'm not poverty stricken - if the right gun is spendy that's OK as long as we're not talking custom 1911 territory because then I won't want to carry that either!

Here are my options and current thoughts - I would welcome insight ande experience from those who have tried one or more. IT will do some range duty and spend some safe time, but the main intent is winter carry. Tiny size is not necessary - I live in MN and for 8 months a year a jacket is in order - but smaller than the Commander size is what I want.

1 - Kimber Ultra Carry - pluses are the 1911 format which I shoot well, size and reputation of maker. Minuses are relatively high cost, relatively low capacity and reliability concerns with a 1911 barrel that short.

2 - Glock 30 - pluses are a familiar and easy platform, robust reliability, lowish cost, high capacity. Minuses are spongy trigger, relatively large size and albeit slight, a lingering concern over KBs

3 - Para Warthog - pluses are 1911 format, small size, hi capacity, minuses are that short barreled 1911 thing again and a bit pricey compared to some others

4 - Taurus PT145. Pluses are low cost, high capacity, and decent dimensions, minuses are slightly lower end maker IMO, an unfamiliar platform I'd have to learn, and I don't know frankly whether non-1911s with <3.5" barrels have the same iffy reputation - somebody help me out there.

5 - SW CS45 - pluses are size, reliability reputation. Minuses are moderate capacity, high weight and highish cost

6 - Steyr S45. Pluses are cost, capacity, dimensions, great sights, familiar platform, great reliability. Minus is it doesn't exit. Sorry couldn't resist there :rolleyes: If Steyr is watching this thread trust me if it did exist I wouldn't be asking. Hint Hint!

I am open to other suggestions as long as we stay below preferably 6.5" x preferably 4.5" x about 1.25" and prefer below 30oz unloaded. Bonus points for 8+ capacity and a set of controls and ergos that are same or similar to something I already have.

What say ye all?

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Tom Servo
April 12, 2005, 12:24 AM
You left out the Sig P245. DA/SA, utterly reliable, incredibly accurate, very compact.

As far as the "3" barrel" problem, it's largely a myth. There MAY be a slight drop in expansion with JHPs, but if that's a concern, you can go with lighter 165-180gr rounds.

April 12, 2005, 12:52 AM
If it were me, I would elect for the Kimber Ultra Carry, but in reality I would buy the CDP Compact. 4" barrel and officer grip, best of ALL worlds.

Zak Smith
April 12, 2005, 01:03 AM
Having shot most of these, and carrying a Yost titanium Commander, I would go one of these two routes for under $1000--

A. Kimber Pro Carry / Ultra Carry based on your size preference

B. Colt Commander or Combat Commander, and have a gunsmith make whatever ergonomic and sight changes you need.

These will be much more compact than the Glock or Para. I would avoid the Taurus because of the ones I've seen self-destruct.

The SIG P220 or P245 suggestion is a good one, too.

April 12, 2005, 01:17 AM
A Colt Combat Commander , Easy to carry and conceal :)

April 12, 2005, 03:20 AM
I've got a P220 for carry, and as soon as my rig is ready I'll be carrying it.

And then I'm going to buy another one as my back-up. That's right, 2 count 'em 2 P220s!

I've said to myself "screw comfort, go with what you want to carry."

April 12, 2005, 08:23 AM
The 1911 style .45's make great carry guns. They are flat and easy to conceal, plenty of power, easy to find parts for customization if needed, etc. I am a little concerned with the new batch of ultra-short barrel .45's because they are a little more finiky as to reliability.

I have two that are the same size and almost identical in other ways that I carry. One is the Kimber stainless compact. The other is a Colt officers model. I have night sights, an undercut behind the trigger guard and a SLIGHT dehorn job on both. The Colt is in matt hard chrome-it's my 'baby'! Both are accurate and 100% reliable. Hard to beat IMHO.

That said, go with what you are familiar with, what you like and what you can shoot quickly and WELL.

April 12, 2005, 09:04 AM
Colt XSE Lightweight Commander. A friend has one and I've been trying to buy it from him for years. Slim, light, accurate as the 5 inch and beautiful trigger.

Doug Add
April 12, 2005, 09:35 AM
I read your parameters, but am going to suggest you consider something outside them. You say you shoot the S&W better than anything else, and that does not surprise me. From other discussions I recall that you are not a small fellow. Why not consider a less expensive government model that you wouldn't mind getting beat up a bit as a carry piece? Accuracy can only increase with a 5" barrel, and they are not difficult to conceal, particularly for your choice: winter carry under a jacket.

Today I am carrying my 5" Springfield Loaded model OWB under a suit coat. I am more accurate with this gun than any other, and is that not a prime consideration for a carry gun? I picked this one up slightly used, but in very good conditon, for less than half the price of your SW1911PD.

I know it is not what you say you seek, but I believe it ought to at least be considered.

Tom Servo
April 12, 2005, 10:09 AM
in reality I would buy the CDP Compact. 4" barrel and officer grip, best of ALL worlds.
+1. I have one and love it.

April 12, 2005, 11:09 AM
nIce thoughts and ideas. I should probably reveal I was wavering between the Kimber and the Warthog most prominently in my mind. While I don't HAVE to retain the 1911 format I like many of the things about it and use it well so the bias is that way, and I was vacillating between single and double stack.

I understand a lot of the suggestions that I retain the Commander size or even go up from there but again i would prefer to lose some of that size if I could. while I am large I am not tall and I am round and getting rounder, so a longer barrel and/or grip may find itself without a solid flat surface to rest against :eek: It's not an absolute no-no, but all else being equal I'd like to go shorter. If the 3" bbls are not favorites, would a 3.5" barrel SA Ultra Carry be another option?

I just checked out that CDP - damn that looks nice. I was ignorant of this variant before now. Yes a bit more than I'd like to spend but pretty close to ideal. Would be tempted to put a grooved rubber grip on it though which of course would annoy the purists but hey comfort and control rules.

However there are some nice buys on the standard Kimber compact or ultra on gunbroker right now. Is the CDP treatment worth the additional upcharge which can be as high as $300?

April 12, 2005, 11:46 AM
Not sure if the dimensions meet your criteria, but the HK USP compact is a really nice compact .45.

happy old sailor
April 12, 2005, 12:16 PM
i have had a box stock Colt 1911 about 50 years. i now call it "rattler", cause it does from who knows how many rounds. i was in the military and ball ammo was free and i took advantage. it will still shoot about 4-5 inches at 25 yards. over the years, i've carried it much in uncivilized areas and always when away from civilization. picking it up is like shaking hands with an old friend, comfortable and trusted. i always found the slim design easy to put somewhere on my body. i am about average size - 5'9 and 165# and it is not too much to manage. the larger group it shoots is easily minute of BG or dog. i actually feel ashamed when i tuck away my G17 or snubby .41mag, leaving my old friend home.

get what you like and fits your hand. a 3" bbl .45 acp at a hundred yards would lose some thump, but at BG range, i would not be concerned. likewise, a 1" group is far from necessary. getting it out and getting it going is.

good luck in your quest and be sure and post the rest of the story. inquiring minds want to know what you got and why you chose that one out of many suitable guns.

April 12, 2005, 12:45 PM
My choice is the the same as Rauchman, a USP 45 compact.

April 12, 2005, 02:56 PM
I'm with Erik F and GreenFurniture.
I've carried a Kimber Custom CDP for over a year now, and love it. Got it used on Gunbroker for $675.

April 12, 2005, 03:35 PM
Pistols are sidearms to me, and I love my sidearms. I think you should carry your SW1911PD, because you have already found it to be a good pistol, and have found yourself to be increasingly proficient with it. If you want another pistol, get one similar to the SW1911PD you have now (be it another S&W, a Colt, a Springfield, a Kimber, or other 1911 style pistol), and you'll already have familiarity and some proficiency with it. Then you'll have two nice carry guns to share the honorable holster wear, and which, not inconsequentially, may also share magazines and other equipment. My primary carry is a full size 1911 (customized gun, BTW), which I wear OWB, but I also have a 4" variant for IWB carry, when weather or situation so demands. I don't have a lot of loose cash, but I don't believe in skimping on a carry gun whose role is to protect my life, or the lives of others. Same goes for your carry rig, BTW. The right holster, or the wrong one, makes all the difference in comfort, concealability, and accessibility. To me, the place of honor for a nice carry pistol is not in the safe, but on your hip, in a nice holster.

April 12, 2005, 05:35 PM
Good thoughts all and I'm continuing to retain the strongest interest in the Kimbers, where the only real disadvantage is cost which of course hits only once.

On further investigation (and I must say Kimber's website is hardly the most intuitive way to get this) I find there are several upgrades which use some custom shop components - the Tactical (a term I normally regard with some reserve due to its overuse and mall ninja connotations) the Eclipse, and the CDP.

Each has an advantage I would be interested in receiving feedback about. This again is gleaned from several websites so excuse any inaccuracies I am passing on.

All have upgraded triggers, bevel jobs, ambi safeties (as a righty is there any advantage to this anyway? Doesn't it just add width and components needlessly?), and mepro night sights.

The Tactical and only the Tactical if I am reading this right has an upgraded external extractor - a feature I like because it's on my SW, even if JMB purists do not. I also like the dull finish on these -seems less likely to be obviously marred by holster wear.

The Eclipse and only the Eclipse has a steel frame which has a more proven strength and durability than aluminum. It's also marginally cheaper than the others from listings I have seen and its dark color may help a bit for CCW

The CDP and only the CDP at least at the Ultra level adds a match grade barrel and chamber, but its finish seems the most prima donna of the three and i'm probably not a good enough shooter to leverage the difference in a match grade barrel. Also marginally more expensive than the others.

My questions: Do I have this right? Does anyone have experience with one or more of these finishes to comment on durability? Anyone want to comment on relative value in a CCW weapon for a low to moderate skill shooter of any of them?

Then the big question - I can buy a standard Ultra carry for $240 less than any of them. Kimber triggers are pretty well regarded even without the custom shop upgrade and the standard UC design is pretty rounded as is without the bevelling. Assuming I'm not missing some advantage of the ambi safety for a righty it seems like the only substantive advantage is the mepros (which i'm pretty sure I can buy for less than $240), and the custom shop trigger and, in the CDP case, barrel. Oh and a bit more bevelling. Is this right? Is it worth it?

Thanks again for all the input - really appreciate it and it's a big help to a guy who hasn't handled hundreds of different versions like a lot of you have.

Zak Smith
April 12, 2005, 08:25 PM
I'd just go with the normal UC or PC. No need to spend more money on somebody grinding away at the frame.

April 12, 2005, 10:13 PM
Another vote for the Sig 245! Almost the same footprint as the Sig 239 (almost) and a smooth-shooter. At one time I had a Para Carry CS45. I really liked it but I started to have problems with it.

Ala Dan
April 12, 2005, 10:28 PM
.45 caliber SIG P220A is MY hands down favorite

April 12, 2005, 10:35 PM
I assume when you all say "carry" weapon I assume your some sort of law enforcement, right? What if your a responsible adult and you just like the comfort of your 1911 in your armpit?

April 13, 2005, 12:46 AM
I believe we are all speaking of weapons used for concealed carry in reasonable attire, whether that be by civilians, policemen, federal agents, or supersecret ninja cultists.

April 13, 2005, 01:02 AM
1. CS45
2. H&K USP compact .45
3. Kahr arms .45 polymer frame

I realize that the CS45 is the only one I mentioned that was on your list.
But the other two are so good that I had to bring them up, at least.

pete f
April 13, 2005, 10:10 AM
As another minnesotan who is not track star skinny, I would suggest that before you start buying guns like mad, buy some good holsters and try to carry some of what you already own. You may find that the size of the gun is less important as the quality of holster improves. I carry a Commander all the time and I have no trouble hiding it with a proper holster and a simple over shirt.
But then of course, there really is nothing wrong with buying lots of guns.

April 13, 2005, 12:22 PM
I want to weigh in advocating Option 2, the Glock 30.

I've carried a G30 for several years and find it to be a great carry gun. I'm 6-1" and 215#, and find the G30 a comfortable fit with an IWB Bianchi holster. The capacity is 10 rounds, and with a double magazine holder on the weak side one can bring 30 rounds to bear on resolving the problem.

So in summary, you've got experience with the G19 so you'll not have to undergo retraining. The gun is accurate, reliable right out of the box, and is one of the more affordable solutions.

My advice is that in preparing for difficult times, keep things simple as possible. Don't get confused in shopping for what you want versus what you need. :)


April 13, 2005, 12:36 PM
Hey pete f if you want to give me some advice on suitable commander holsters for the less than svelte I am sincerely interested and appreciative. That said i agree with your last sentence too and hey if I can conceal a Commander I can surely conceal an Ultra-Carry more comfortably right?

Hey in that case I just have two 1911 carry options - hardly a bad thing ;)

April 13, 2005, 12:41 PM
Well dev despite the recent setback we still do have legal non-LEO carry in MN, just not as easily available as it was a while back, so responsible adults who want to carry are in the game so to speak.

That said if you have a way for a fat SOB like me to carry a 1911 in his armpit I'm definitely listening. To make matters worse I was a competitive powerlifter before I ran to seed so my armpits are already pretty strained outwards to hold me comfortably, let alone a 1911 too. I'm one of those "gorilla carrying two beer barrels" body types :D

April 13, 2005, 05:59 PM
Anything shorter on a 1911 than 4 inches could have reliability issues. I carried a Kimber UCII for 3 years. I had to fix it to get it running, Kimber would not/could not. I would also not get another aluminum framed gun.

I think that the 4 inch commander with a bobtail job on the grips is the best carry combination out there right now. For the money you are looking to spend, I would look at the DW PT-CBOB. Other than that, with a good holster, I see no personal difference in carrying a 5 inch gun all day compared to the 3 inch I used to carry. I have a gun finished in hard chrome, so carry wear is not an issue for me.


Zak Smith
April 13, 2005, 06:00 PM
A friend of mine shot her Ultra-Carry (c.a. 2000/2001?) in a Front Site class and I know it's been 100% reliable. Just another datapoint. My compact 1911 is a Commander, FWIW.

April 14, 2005, 08:06 AM
I carry a Kimber Ultra CDP (Series I), and it has been flawless - so my recommendation is the 3" Kimber.

April 14, 2005, 11:21 AM
When you looked at Para, did you look at all the options?
As far as I'm concerned, the Warthog is way too small; they have many other options to consider.

Do you like the slim lines of the traditional 1911? Stick with the single-stack. My hands are too big for that; I really like the feel of their high-cap frames.

Single-action or double? Para's LDA trigger is really smooth and light; I like it a lot. My only concern is that it's a longer pull, and in a tense situation I might not release the trigger enough to reset the action.

What size frame and barrel? They have barrels from 3-5", and frames with height from full-sized (5.75") down to the Warthog, which I believe is sub-5".

Their CCW model has a reasonable 4.25" barrel length with a short frame. I personally really like the Spec Ops model, and will probably be getting one of those eventually, despite the ugly finish color.

I suggest you look at the Para catalog and see all the options they offer before you make a decision.

April 14, 2005, 01:20 PM
I'll skip the standard "whatever fits you better..." statement. Goes without saying.

But you should definitely check out the HK USP45 compact. If your hands fit it, it's a marvelous weapon. And there's quite a choice of IWB holsters now.

April 14, 2005, 01:40 PM
Have you ever considered on of the slim-line Glocks? In 45ACP or 45GAP, it might be a good fit for you. They are easier to carry than the double-stacks while only giving up a couple of rounds.

April 14, 2005, 03:34 PM
I have a Kimber Pro Carry SLE and an Ultra CDP. I have carried both IWB with a sparks VMII the Ultra wins hands down. I like the aluminum frame. It cuts down considerably on weight, and at the end of the day I sure appreciate that. My Ultra CDP is like a master card I don’t leave home without it.


April 14, 2005, 04:53 PM
I have the Taurus PT-145 and I love it, good capacity, easy to conceal (I carry it in an uncle mikes 4:00 IWB) no failures, smooth recoil, very accurate for its size, I chose this gun after looking at many carry guns, I chose it for its cost, its size and the great warranty Taurus has. Very easy to conceal, I think its smaller than you think it is... Theres someone on here that even uses theirs for pocket carry... I love this gun, Try one you wont be disappointed.

April 14, 2005, 05:20 PM
Well thanks Dark - so far that was the only option that nobody had recommended. That really helps! :rolleyes:

Kidding of course and nice to get some good feedback on a lower price option!

April 15, 2005, 12:45 AM
Yes I think folks are afraid of buying taurus due to their problems with the millenium line previously.. but if youll all take my word for it, the frames are all better now, have been since what 2003? late 2002?

I understand they just arent for some folks, which is fine, but dont let price fool you, they are made in Brazil.. they can manufacture something for a lower cost there.. that doesnt mean lower quality.. Well actually florida but I think thats just assembly.. (not sure edited to add this) I just know I like the gun, felt right in my hand.

My lady wants a PT-111 we looked at one last week and she has her heart set on it... I like the feel of it too, I think ill be picking up two of them =) gotta have a few 9mm in any collection =) and for the 250-300$ buying 2 of them doesnt hurt all that bad. And again, Taurus has that great warranty that they stand behind, even if the weapon is 100 years old and been through 20 owners, theyll repair or replace your weapon free.

April 15, 2005, 02:10 PM
I'm a big-time Sig, CZ, and 1911 fan, but for a .45 ACP carry gun, I have to agree with the folks here who mentioned the HK USP 45 compact. One of the most "shootable" compact .45s I've had the pleasure to range test.

April 25, 2005, 12:49 PM
.....None of the above (jeez that wasn't predictable was it?) :rolleyes:

Thanks to those who suggested that barrel length is secondary to grip length for concealability of a 1911. I tested this by concealing my commander and sure enough the printing was mostly of the grip.

So that meant I was more comfortable going the 1911 route as I wanted to, but allowing me to avoid the less reliable shorter barrels.

So then the choice became the relatively few 1911s with Officer's Grip and 4.25" barrels. Kimber was in the lead for a while but a few quibbles about their QC (not that any manufacturer avoids those) and a handling comparison between the Compact and the eventual winner moved me in another direction. Kimbers are nice and all that but I fell for something else...

Drum roll please

A Dan Wesson. CCO to be exact. Nice setup indeed and very well made - assuming the one I handled is representative the fit is quite spectacular. The sale to CZ also makes me a bit concerned about the future direction of DW 1911s so I took the chance to grab one of the last of the pre-takeover guns. Beveled in the right places, night sights, match grade components, etc. All I'll need is an ugly but effective Hogue rubber finger groove grip and 500 rounds or so to break it in and find its favorite SD ammo and should be a nice winter carry gun.

Thanks all to those who suggested and I did take them all into consideration, but the 1911 of some kind was a clear favorite for many reasons - comfort, familiarity, ease of concealment and maintenance/repair etc. I want to stick to the minimum number of manuals of arms and calibers too so I have with the sale of my KelTec restricted myself to either 1911 .45s or DAO 9mms for all my needs. I'll see how long I can stick to that!

Here's a couple of pics. That slide to frame fit is pretty impressive!

April 25, 2005, 01:22 PM
Well, d, good move. You know I like my full-sized Patriot a whole bunch! Enjoy!


April 25, 2005, 03:15 PM
For my money you just can't beat a Colt Commander.
Mine is a Combat Commander Blued with a Brown Grip and thumb safety.
Thin, accurate, great trigger. Plus its a beautiful gun.

April 25, 2005, 03:35 PM
Y'know I have nothing against Colts but they never seem to be the one I end up with. Looked at 'em both times I bought 1911s (realizing in this company that is not exactly exhaustive consideration but hey gimme time).

I still think in the relatively near future a Defender sized or ultra compact will be too tempting for me to ignore despite potential issues with reliability - and I'll definitely look at the O7000D (I think that's the model number - whatever the Colt Defender 3" is anyway) and compare to SA and Kimber et al. You never know it may end up winning that one.

On the other hand I don't have a "real" aka Government size 1911 yet so maybe I'll look at the Gold Cups then. At my relatively pedestrian skill level a real target 1911 may be overkill, but perhaps in a while I'll go that route as I improve. That's the good thing about 1911s after all - lots of variants to keep you needing just one more and lots of good makers to sell them to you.

April 25, 2005, 03:56 PM
Kimber Compact. I got an Aluminum Series I for $600 on GB. I absolutley love this gun and may by a couple more of this style. The shorter grip makes it worlds easier for me to carry but I have a thin body as well.

Kahr is coming out with a P45 in June or July if you like the PM9 you may consider that as well.

Doug Add
April 25, 2005, 04:51 PM
Nice choice, sweet looking gun!

All I'll need is an ugly but effective Hogue rubber finger groove grip I hope you are joking about this. It would be tragic to replace such gorgeous wood grips with black rubber. Makes me shudder just thinking of it!

April 25, 2005, 05:13 PM
Sorry Doug I know the aesthetics of rubber and hand-checkered cocobolo wood are not exactly equal but hey I like finger grooves! Trust me if I ever need to resell I'll keep the wood grips nice and safe.

In all honesty I will try it with the standard grips first but whenever I have compared rubber grooved grips to hard flat grips I have found myself preferring the former in actual use - and aesthetics are not the main thing in a carry gun that will doubtless get some holster wear.

If it helps I would buy the Pachmeyr American Legends, which are a nice combination of wood panels with finger-grooved rubber insets, if they made them for the Officer's grip, but sad to say only full size is offered.

Could be worse - I may end up putting Crimson Trace Lasergrips on this if I bond with it and think the $250 is worth it!

JMB would be spinning in his grave I know....

April 25, 2005, 06:04 PM
Nice Piece.. I personally dont really know much about the Dan Wessons.. But it sure looks nice, and ive never really heard anything bad about them... I need to get me a 1911 soon...

C. H. Luke
April 25, 2005, 07:15 PM
Had a G30 and hated it! didn't fit my large hand and long fingers and never feed HP's with any reliability.

Bought a used G36 and have been CCW'ng it ever since, great little gun!. Only other .45 carry is Wilson's KZ-45. While there's nothing like an all-steel Classic 1911 the KZ rides great in an IWB with most of the weight close to the body. {I down load the mags for carry}

Doug Add
April 25, 2005, 07:35 PM
I was only half joking with you. I like Hogue rubber grips. I have the rubber grip panels on my SIG P228, and had the wrap around finger groove grip on both my Browning Hi Power and SIG P239.

Who cares what anyone else thinks? It's your gun, right? I had people cringe when I put the finger grooves on my Hi Power, but it sure made it feel good shooting.

But I do think those Dan Wesson checkered grips are attractive. I have seen Frandy's up close. Very nice.

April 25, 2005, 08:24 PM
I say SW1911SC, nicest 1911 I have owned in awhile and I have had quite a few. I just love the weight and feel of this pistol!

April 25, 2005, 08:40 PM
already got one boldk :-)

Ken Rainey
April 25, 2005, 08:47 PM
I would have suggested that you stay with your Glock 19 for ease of carry and reliability or used the SW1911 if you preferred that platform - as was said, what you carry the pistol in makes all the difference. The pistol looks good and I hope it runs smooth but please keep us posted as to how it works....I noticed that it has the external extractor - I'm just leary of those things on a 1911....yeah, I'm more of a "purist"

Good luck,

April 25, 2005, 09:04 PM
The Glock is a carry gun too (tho in Summer I generally prefer the Kahr I just got) but I wanted something in a 1911 as I shoot them a bit better and just for a change. The SW is an option but the grip prints a tad and besides the only complaint I have with the SW is the bluing is a tad fragile. This way I just switch off between 1911 and DAO 9mm as I feel like it.

April 25, 2005, 09:32 PM
Ken, I have a full size Patriot with that external extractor and I have no problems with feeding, firing, extracting, or ejecting. It ain't a Colt, it ain't a Kimber, it ain't a Springfield, it ain't a Smith, It ain't...

It's a Dan W! ;)

Ky Larry
April 25, 2005, 10:10 PM
dmallind, I don't understand your reluctance to carry you S&W 1911. If it fits you well and you trust it, who cares about some holster wear? If you ever have to use your weapon to defend yourself or your loved ones, a little "white metal" will be the last thing on your mind. Having a weapon that is too pretty to shoot and carry is like being married to Miss America and having seperate bed rooms. Why bother? :confused:
Just my $0.02 worth. Good luck and shoot well.

April 25, 2005, 10:39 PM
Yep it's a little foible of mine I know and not necessarily objective but I dislike marring a well designed and attractive product regardless of its intended use. Watches, pens, books even - I'm a bit of a perfectionist with my stuff (ironically I dress rather slobbishly at least by comparison). If it were the only gun I had to carry I would do so, but given the option of a more robust finish - especially with a shorter more concealable grip - I went this route.

Besides - it's an excuse to buy another 1911. how can that be a bad thing ? :-)

Ala Dan
April 26, 2005, 12:17 AM
FWIW, my long term carry .45 ACP is (and had been since 1988) a West German DA/SA SIG-SAUER P220A. Being a full sized handgun, I do
conceal it quite well; even when dressed in walking shorts and a t-shirt.
The reason I chose this weapon is because of its utter reliability, combat
accuracy, craftsmanship, and ease of operation. If I could only have one,
then brother this would be it! :) :cool: :D

Ken Rainey
April 26, 2005, 02:29 PM
dmallind: Just be very mindfull of the "muscle memory" problem with switching from a DAO to a 1911 - that thumb has to be trained to manipulate that safety or you'll be squeezing the trigger with no "boom" when you need it. Going from a 1911 to a DAO is no problem - it doesn't matter if the thumb tries to swipe the safety or not - but going the other way does require "training" or "retraining" the thumb.

Frandy: You got a full size that works well with the external extractor - that's great - btw, how many rds thru it so far? I really appreciate your input on these things.


April 26, 2005, 02:43 PM
Yep indeed Ken. I hope I never have to find out in a stress situation but in training I'm fine because I use the same grip for everything - with a "high thumb" where the safety on a 1911 would be, so no need to change the grip from one platform to the other. I ride the safety while shooting too, so as long as that muscle memory works I should be OK. If it doesn't and I fall into a completely different grip I may very well be SOL for a second or so. Hope it never comes to that of course!

As far as external extractors go I personally have no ownership (though I have used one or two) of anything else. My SW1911 has one and I like it - the only FTE I have had so far is on a rapid fire drill using cheap aluminum Blazers out of maybe 750 rounds to date. Also had a couple of wild-ish shots on that drill so probably shifting grip/limpwristing on my part rather than the extractor.

Somewhat embarrassingly this was on my carry permit test - I was hitting everything into the white COM area using the standard blue lifesized targets until we got into the final test which was five shots, drop mag, reload, five more as fast as possible at 7 yrds. I hit one shot from each mag right where the BGs right clavicle and anterior deltoid overlap. A painful and no doubt debilitating hit with a .45 maybe, but not exactly where I was trying to put them. Still - good enough to pass the test and work in real life so no worries - besides I would imagine the four in each mag that did hit COM would have stopped the bugger most likely!

April 26, 2005, 03:46 PM
Frandy: You got a full size that works well with the external extractor - that's great - btw, how many rds thru it so far? I really appreciate your input on these things.

Ken, I bought my Patriot used and the original owner claimed he put 500-600 through it. I've got another 500 through it. So, this baby doesn't have a lot through it, but so far so good. If the extractor fails, so be getzz another.


Ken Rainey
April 26, 2005, 04:57 PM
Frandy, About a 1,000 rds without a bobble is pretty good, I've not heard a lot of good things about them but it seems to be the way they're going on a lot of makes of 1911 pistols....I've just gotten use to the "old" ones and tend to prefer their user friendly simplicity. Does the external extractor look to be user replaceable?


Zak Smith
April 26, 2005, 05:02 PM
Like I've posted in other threads, I've had a Dan Wesson Patriot for about 2 years. It had some teething issues at first, but settled into an ultra reliable work-horse. I've got over 10,000 through it.

The external extractor is user replacable. ([ link to LARGER image ] (

Ken Rainey
April 26, 2005, 05:07 PM
Not meaning to hijack the thread here.....

Zak, what were your teething issues? 10,000 rds is a good testimony to your pistol and it's parts (are they all original?).


Zak Smith
April 26, 2005, 05:28 PM
1. The main pin in the D.W. Bomar ripoff broke 3 or 4 times, even when replaced with a hardened steel drill bit. I finally took an oversized titanium drill bit, turned it down until it just barely would fit, and smashed it in there with a punch. I attribute this problem partially to the high front sight height, which required the rear to be adjusted high, which I believe put more flex on that pin every time the slide cycled. Ultimately, DW sent me a lower replacement front sight for free, and I had a local gunsmith machine it down to remove the recessed white "dot", and I replaced the rear DW Bomar ripoff with a real Bomar. Absolutely no problems with the sights since then.

2. The pistol developed some FTE problems and ultimately I chipped the extractor claw extracting stuck cases. This was traced to gunk in the extractor channel after approx 3000 rounds. I got a free replacement extractor and spring from DW. While installing it, I made sure to stone the top and bottom surfaces to ensure no burrs and more clearance. I've run that extractor for the last over 7000 rounds without cleaning the channel and no problems.

The parts are all original except for the sights and trigger bow/shoe, which I replaced because I prefer a short trigger. The same guy replace the trigger, recut the sear angles for the trigger job, and removed some sharp edges on the frame where the beavertail mates.

This was my primary IPSC & 3Gun pistol for about 18 months, and runs real good.

Ken Rainey
April 26, 2005, 05:37 PM
Thanks for the info.....seems that regularly cleaning the extractor assembly would be the thing to do - is that easily done? Sounds like the sights gave you the biggest problem.....except for the sights, it sounds like your pistol was well made.


Zak Smith
April 26, 2005, 05:43 PM
For preventative maintenance, I would suggest cleaning the channel every 2000-2500 rounds based on the number of rounds to my original failure. With the stoned & polished replacement extractor, I haven't had to clean it since putting it in.

To remove the extractor, you need a padded vice for the slide, the correct size punch, and a small mallet. It's self explanatory and easy.

April 26, 2005, 05:56 PM
Thanks for the info too Zak - I'll be sure to keep an eye on that extractor myself and glad to know your other main problem was with the sights, since mine is coming in with different ones - this model being intended for CCW it comes with Trijicons standard.

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