.45 options for concealed carry


January 25, 2006, 10:58 AM

I am trying to choose a .45 compact for everyday carry. I have a USPf now, which I enjoy, but it is a bit too much for CCW. Reliability is the most important factor for me.

I would like to keep the price (in either new or used) < $500. Capacity is not THAT important...even so...the more the better!

The G30 is a possibility. The USPc seems more of a mid-size than a true compact. How about ParaOrd? What about the new Taurus compacts?

I guess I just need some real world experiences to help me narrow down the options.

Thanks for the help.

If you enjoyed reading about ".45 options for concealed carry" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
January 25, 2006, 11:03 AM
The G30 is a possibility.

I have one. I carry it. It's a great carry gun...maybe a little on the thick side, but I'm thin so it works.

It's small, reliable, very accurate and carries 11 .45ACP rds...what more could you want in a carry gun? The only flaw is that it's a Glock, but the longer I own it the less I see that as a flaw.

Mine rides in a CompTac C-TAC, more often than not with my shirt tucked over it.

January 25, 2006, 11:07 AM
See if you can find a Kahr P45 to check out (don't know if they're shipping yet).

I shot a pre-production copy at a dealer gun show a couple months ago. Quite the fistfull, but really a nice shooter. Good trigger, and as concealable as a .45 is going to get.

Father Knows Best
January 25, 2006, 11:10 AM
I love the CCO size 1911 for concealed carry. It's a commander size slide (4.25" barrel) on an officer size frame (6+1 or 7+1 capacity depending on your mag choice). In my experience, the commander size barrel/slide is the optimum length for shootability and velocity. Shorter barrels tend to result in reliability problems and ammo sensitivity, and give up too much velocity with the already slow-moving .45ACP slug. The 1911 is a very thin/flat design, so it rides very comfortably IWB. The slightly shorter grip frame of the CCO/officer models is lighter and more comfortable than the full size grip frame, and because it is shorter it is a little less likely to print through your clothing. If 7+1 rounds of .45ACP aren't enough for you, then spare mags are easy to carry (they are very thin compared to double stacks). I feel better armed with my 7+1 rounds of .45ACP in my CCO and 1 spare 7 round mag than I ever did with a double stack wundernine or .40, and it is far easier to carry all day long.

My current choice is the Colt Gunsite CCO. It's built on an alloy frame, so it is very light for a 1911. You're not gonna find one for $500, though. The good news is that other companies like Para Ordnance and Springfield Armory make fine compact 1911's closer to your price point. Look for a 4" or 4.25" barrel.

January 25, 2006, 11:11 AM
I carry either my Stainless Springfield Champion or Wilson CQB Compact, both are 4" guns and back them up with a Taurus PT-145 Millennium Pro.




January 25, 2006, 11:55 AM
Can I add my kudos for the Taurus PT145? I am so simply amazed at this little gun that I can't believe it sells for under $300.00. It feed everything from cast lead to 230 gr JHPs without a hiccup and is very accurate at 25 feet. Typical 7 yard groups are 2" or less. Like all short action 45s, don't limp wrist it or it won't come fully to battery.

January 25, 2006, 11:58 AM
how 'bout the para-ord warthog or nighthawg? here's the link.

January 25, 2006, 12:43 PM
Another fine concealable .45acp firearm is the Sig Sauer P245.


January 25, 2006, 12:59 PM
I to have a Glock 30. I like the feel of it better than the Glock 36. While it is a little thicker than the 36 it still carries well. I use either a C.T.A.C. or Predator IWB and it conceals well, even in the summer.

I like the thicker grip as it gives more area for the recoil to be felt over. I use either Winchester 230 gr SXT or the Taurus 185 gr HEX (non +P).


January 25, 2006, 01:51 PM
I agree with those that have said go with a 4-41/4" barreled 1911--to me nothing carries as comfortably as the nice flat/thin 1911 design. Try one and see for yourself. I have a springfield xd9 subcompact that is just as small and light, but is still less comfortable because its so much thicker. Maybe its just me, but the thicker guns always end up feeling like they're sort of poking into your hip or something. The 1911's just nestle up nicely like your own true love spooning :D

I have a springfield lightweight compact (discontinued a couple years ago but there are used ones around sometimes) and a S&W 1911sc. As mentioned, the officers sized grip can be less likely to print/a little easier to conceal, but neither's a huge problem.

I do like the xd, btw, but I don't think an sc model is available yet in the new 45 version--give it a couple months though ;)

January 25, 2006, 02:10 PM
I was having issues concealing my Ruger P95, so I just bought a Taurus Millenium pro t145..i really like it, go check one out..

January 25, 2006, 03:43 PM
Thanks to all who have responded.

I did check out a Taurus compact .45 yesterday. I believe they come in da/sa and/or single/double stack (or some other combination). I kind of backed off a bit as I had a Taurus revolver several years back and all sorts of problems with it. Has their QC improved? How long have their autos been around?

Dave R
January 25, 2006, 04:18 PM
Has their QC improved? I believe so. There was a well-documented problem with the earliest Millenium autos, but I have heard nothing but praise from owners of the Millenium PRO (the Pro model has the fixes.) I use a PT-145 as my .45acp carry gun, and I agree with timn. Mine has not malf'd in over 500 rounds (3 brands of commercial ammo and 3 handload recipes.) Feels great in my hand, and puts the bullets right where I want them.

January 25, 2006, 05:53 PM
Taurus PT-145 Millennium Pro

January 25, 2006, 06:08 PM
You'd be surprised at how big a pistol you can comfortably carry concealed. I carried a 1911 Commander and Government models daily for about 30 years, and just a little while back, switched over to a SIG P220 and on occasion, a P245. I've never had any troubles hiding any of them, even on the hottest summer day.

I'm going to suggest that instead of downsizing to a smaller gun, which are often harder to shoot well, carry a smaller payload, and can be finicky, that you consider giving a full sized gun a good try. If you carry IWB, full or compact, what sticks out above the top of your pants isnt all that different in size, and barrel length is pretty much meaningless. With the right holster, dress, and attitude, you can carry pretty much anything comfortably.

Ala Dan
January 26, 2006, 12:27 AM
After many year's of using a West German SIG-SAUER .45 caliber P220A
as a daily carry piece, I recently switched to a Kimber 1911 Stainless
Ultra Carry in .45 ACP. 100% reliable with all types of ammo, and it
rides very comfortable in its new Compact Undercover Rig from the
good folks at Kirkpatrick Leather of Laredo, Texas~!:cool: :D

January 26, 2006, 12:36 AM
I really like my Taurus Mil Pro.


Sir Aardvark
January 26, 2006, 12:43 AM
I also carry a G-30.

It is small and carries 10 rounds of .45ACP - pretty much just what you are asking for.

Joe D
January 26, 2006, 08:30 AM
Back before I discovered Glock I carried a 70 Series Colt LWT Commander. A carry gun needs to be light and reliable. The Colt worked great. I guess I came to the realization that a .40 S&W is just as effective as a .45. The gun I have carried for the last 5 years is a Glock 23. 14 rds of 180 gr. Ranger Talon is all anyone really needs. I don't want any safeties I have to fumble with in a tense moment.

January 26, 2006, 10:27 AM
It sounds as if the Taurus has built up quite a following here on the board. I did find a Glock 30 and 36 used at a shop outside of town. I have fairly large hands and the 30 certainly does have the 'holding a 2x4' feeling to its grip. The 36 is much more comfortable...albeit at the expense of carrying capacity. The store owner said the 13 rnd G21 mags will fit the G30...so that is definitely a nice option.

The sig 245 sounds like a decent option too. I have not been able to find one in my area to try out, though....

Guess it comes down to carrying capacity...which relates to how 'thick' (i.e. comfortable) it will be while carrying. Since I have never carried before, and what I familiar with is the USPf, this makes for a tough decision.


January 26, 2006, 10:34 AM
I really like that G36 single stack gun. I don't like "safe action", but I could work with it with a NY trigger option. I think if I were a 1911 guy, that scandium Smith might get my attention, under 30 ounces in a full size 1911. The 1911s are slim and hide well even under a T shirt in good leather, just that a steel one is 40 ounces, OUCH! A full size hideable gun is appealing. Full sized guns are easier to shoot well than compacts.

I have absolutely no experience with the Taurus. It sounds appealing. But, I quite like 9mm +P for carry. Good power and the guns are even smaller and lighter and easier to carry.

January 26, 2006, 10:36 AM
Take a look at the colt 1991A1 compact. It is officer's size and should not be too hard to find, but then everyone I know that has one, is hanging on to it. These were less than $500.00 NIB so finding one used should fall in your pricing restraints. Mine handles great and is very accurate. Some report trouble feeding HP's into theirs, but mine eats hydrashoks and even some WCs that a friend gave me. I will admit to some FTFs with the WCs but I don't know of any auto that eats up WC target loads.:)

January 26, 2006, 10:59 AM
I personally felt the PT145 was too bulky,FOR ME,I got the PT745,which is the single stack version.I prefer it over most all my others.My second favorite,although a lot heavier,is my Para Ordnance Para Carry C6.45.But I am sort of anal about my carry guns being thin...:D

If you do get a Taurus,be absolutely sure to get the "Pro" model,the earlier models had issues...

January 26, 2006, 11:56 AM
I'll second Father Knows Best suggestion. I carry a series I Kimber compact pretty often and it is very easy to conceal. I bought mine used for $520.

The commander sized 1911s are nice too, and a they are more common than the CCO sized guns, so you can probably find something a little cheaper. I do find that the slightly larger grip is harder to keep from printing, but this strongly depends on your body type and the clothes you wear.

I've also got a USPc .45, and in my opinion you are correct, it is more of a mid size gun than compact. Some people carry them every day though, and if you can manage that then it is a great gun. I got this one used for under $500, but that was a pretty good deal so I don't know how easily you'll be able to find one in your price range.

Make sure whatever you pick fits YOUR hand, and that you remember to budget some funds for a decent holster.

January 26, 2006, 12:07 PM
I have a G21, G30, Mil Pro PT145, and a Mil PT145 (non-Pro). I have had no issues with any of them. I have carried all of them at various times, and sometimes carry one as primary and another as BUG. I carry pretty much during all waking hours and have one at hand while sleeping. Although I have a number of other guns, these are the ones that are with me most often with the possible exception of my Taurus 605 snub with CT lasergrips as BUG.

I like the 45ACP and I am grateful that I own several good handguns for arming self, wifey (she has a permit), and son with similiar handguns that all use the same ammo. YMMV.

If you can, shoot the finalists on your list. If you cannot shoot all, shoot what you can. If that is not possible, handle/holster as many as possible. Specs on the page are helpful, but picking a handgun/holster combination is a very personal thing. What works for one of us may not work at all for you. It is a wonderful thing to have so many good options available.

Whatever decision you make,

Good shootin'....

January 26, 2006, 11:02 PM
A Kahr P45 is is a little more than you were wanting to spend, but you will not find a lighter or smaller reliable .45 ACP. I just picked one up on Tuesday and put 200 rounds through it that night at the indoor range. I am 5' 6" and 140 lbs, and it is difficult to for me to conceal a larger caliber weapon in summer clothes. Check one out at a local dealer, you won't be disappointed.

January 26, 2006, 11:10 PM
+1 for the PT-745. It conceals a little easier for me. Although the PT-145 is also a winner in my book...

Now if SA follows up on their new XD45ACP with a subcompact version, might have to try that one too:D

If you enjoyed reading about ".45 options for concealed carry" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!