Concealed Carry Question


April 6, 2007, 03:24 PM
Hello Everyone,

Im looking for some advice here about a possible CC pistol.

Im considering this Para:

My question is this: What is the hardest part of a 1911-style pistol to conceal? Is it the stocks? The reason I'm asking is cause this particular pistol has a 3.5 inch barrel and is just over 7 inches long. Is that likely to cause a problem for concealment? Will it be an issue sitting or driving?

Other thoughts/info:

Im planning to carry it IWB.

Im about 510 and 155 -160 lbs.

I work out a little so there's a v-taper to my upper body and I was imagining that the pistol could conceivably sit at about 4 o'clock.

Any thoughts on concealing 1911-style pistols in general, this particular para model or on my particular situation, are all welcomed.

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April 6, 2007, 03:35 PM
I'd get a Kimber Ultra Carry II™/NIght Sights or a Custom Carry II.

Shorter in both height & length, lighter and better made. It might cost a little more but what is your safety worth?

looks like the difference in price is only $100.

Get the Kimber.

Custom Carry II
Ultra RCP II

April 6, 2007, 03:43 PM
Thanks for the response. Ive drooled over the Kimbers a time or two, but I've heard some worrying things about the reliability of the shortened .45s..

Thats what was making me look at some of the slightly larger models -- which had me worried about concealment. And then I got to handle the light double action that para makes...-- its really smooth.

No final decisions yet, though. This is all part of my research process.

April 6, 2007, 04:14 PM
What is the hardest part of a 1911-style pistol to conceal?

I like many on the board carry a 5" Government model 1911. From end of beaver-tail to end of barrel they are just at 8 1/2" The hardest part of it for me to conceal was the grip.

2 reasons for this. First off, I didn't have (at the time) a good gunbelt and a good holster. I was using everyday dress belts and a cheapo generic holster. Secondly, combined with the lack of support in belt/hoster my spare tire was pushing the gun out further.

This was about 9 months ago. Now I have no issues. I got a great belt and holster, and I've lost some of the weight I gained from a knee injury.

April 6, 2007, 05:54 PM
Thanks for the response. I got a good belt from, and I'm looking at getting a cowhide holster from High Noon, --the Closing Argument--so I think I got that covered.

No spare tire yet!! 32 inch waist at the moment.

April 6, 2007, 06:28 PM
Is their a reason you want a 1911 .45 over say, a polymer .45 which will be lighter as well as more comfortable to carry?

April 6, 2007, 06:32 PM
I just wanted to note that the .45 in particular is affected by a shorter barrel length. Something to look into. Heres a website that illustrates how greatly it can be affected check out the bottom to see how different the velocity is out of a 3 inch, 4.25 inch and 5 inch barrell.

April 6, 2007, 06:33 PM
I shoot the traditional style of 1911 better than anything else Ive shot -- sigs, glocks, berettas, walthers, XDs whatever. Something about the ergonomics of it just fits my hand. If someone made a polymer .45 that had the same proportions as a steel/aluminium .45, I'd be very interested, but I haven't seen one.

I'm definitely making a tradeoff here. 32oz is a substantial weight -- although it can be compensated for with the right belt and holster. But I just shoot the damn things better than anything else.

The only thing that comes in second is my Browning HP!

Mad Magyar
April 6, 2007, 06:44 PM
Im planning to carry it IWB.

Im about 510 and 155 -160 lbs.

Good luck. It certainly is not my favorite style for many reasons, including one of the most important: retrieval if you choose the wrong style holster...Since you appear to be in good shape, an extra size in your trousers might not be bad; but for many of us: bad idea.:rolleyes:
If you go that route, consider a Milt Sparks, "Summer Special" for IWB carry.
Welcome aboard!:)

April 6, 2007, 07:09 PM
To give answer to your question about what is the hardest part to is the grip and, in your case, the beaver tail. Although I carry a poly pistol I really like the Para LDAs. And if price was not a problem for me I'd get one in a second. BTW, I shoot a Para P16-40 in uspsa and out of 8k rounds last year not one failure of any don't let anyone tell you Para is any less reliable than any other weapon. Anyways, you'll find that beaver tail a PITA to keep from printing. You should consider the Para CCO or CCW which is made specifically for concealed carry, and happens to strangely arouse me I like those guns. I've carried full size and don't like the weight at all...or that long barrel sticking down my leg like a splint of some kind. I've carreid an M&P but the grip is hard to conceal. My main carry gun is a Taurus PT-140 Mill Pro which is just a great ccw firearm and suits me just fine. I'm considering an M&P compact because I like the gun so much. So, all of this to say: you have lots of options and will have lots of fun over the years as your realize many different guns will appeal to you at different times. Your original question is a good one and you are doing the right thing in researching and getting as much info as possible.

April 6, 2007, 07:20 PM
Personally, I won't carry any 1911 less than Commander size anymore. I had troubles with shorter 3" barreled 1911's in the past.

Commander: 4.25" barrel.

I'm 5'11" 165, and I have successfully carried all from a 3" to a gov't 5" in the past. I like the Milt Sparks Summer Special, too, because it rides higher than some holsters which is great for the longer-barreled 1911's.

I have moved to other pistol styles, but if I were looking at a 1911 for carry I'd check out one of these:

Smith and Wesson SW1911PD. Scandium/aluminum frame, about 28oz, commander length. They're going for about $725 around here on sale.

I'd also look for a nice Colt Commander, as I have had great luck with those.

I personally am not a fan of the Kimbers, although others are so YMMV. I have no experience with Para, other than dry firing a LDA trigger awhile back (felt very nice).

I would certainly caution you to look for a lightweight commander; the steel framed guns might last longer, but for carry they're a little too heavy. The lighter the better. Then add a steel gov't model down the road once you're proficient with the carry weapon, and you want to keep some wear off of it.

FWIW, when I bought my first pistol back in 2003 I rented and borrowed a TON of different makes and models, and I shot 1911's the best, too. I have since increased my competency to where I shoot other pistols as well as, or better, than a 1911. But I know where you're coming from!

April 6, 2007, 07:26 PM
You state: Something about the ergonomics of [the 1911] just fits my hand. If someone made a polymer .45 that had the same proportions as a steel/aluminium .45, I'd be very interested, but I haven't seen one.

One of the requirements I had was similar to what I think your are saying. The 1911 is by far my favorite gun to shoot and I shoot one a lot in uspsa. However, I am not comfortable with carrying cocked and locked...NOW PLEASE, lets not hi-jack this thread with that discussion!...its a personal preference. Anyway, I wanted something that felt 1911ish and I believe that means grip angle. I found that the Springfield XD, S&W M&P, and the Taurus Mill Pro all had the same grip angle as the 1911. Each of those guns felt great to me and pointed very naturally. The trigger is where you have to spend some time and practice to get consistent groups. So, in regards to your "proportions" comment you may want to go and grap hold of a few of those guns and see what you think, you might be surprised. BTW the difference between holding an empty poly gun and one loaded up with a full mag is significant. Empty they don't feel right at all but once loaded up they balance real well and feel like a weapon should!

Ala Dan
April 6, 2007, 08:11 PM
Here is a vote for a Kimber Stainless Ultra Carry II~! ;)

Not one problem with the one I own; and I bet my life on it. :scrutiny: :D

April 7, 2007, 12:06 AM
+1 on the Kimber Ultra Carry. Flawless from day one.

April 7, 2007, 12:54 AM
I've been carrying that exact model for the last 20 months. I'm 5'8", 190lbs. I carry inside the waistband in a Crossbreed holster.

I use a belt I got a Sportsman's Warehouse, can't remember the brand but it's stocked in the firearms accessory section near the holsters. $30.00, double thickness, very robust.

As others have said, the grip is the hardest part to conceal on most any pistol. This model has an Officer's size frame, so it's about the smallest grip you're going to get on a 1911. The weight isn't a problem for me; good holster + good belt = What weight?

MikePGS mentioned the short barrel reliability issue. Personally, I haven't experienced this but your mileage may vary. The reliability issue I did encounter was with the Para magazines. Many frustrating problems, all solved by switching to Chip McCormick Shooting Stars.

I'm sure you can tell that I like mine. It's slim, fairly light, comfortable to carry and easy to shoot. Hope you enjoy yours.

Black Majik
April 7, 2007, 03:40 AM
I'm 6'1, 160 so I'm on the skinny side. Anything of size will print if I move around. Well,anything except a 1911. The great thing about the 1911 platform is that the thing is so dang thin, so the only real part to conceal would be the grip. Even then, with a holster that rides close to the body the thin grip would blend into the body really well.

Since the 1911 is a heavy all steel gun, a good quality holster AND belt is a requirement. Double thickness leather belts or Wilderness belt would do wonders on comfort.

I carry a fullsize Kimber without much problems using a Milt Sparks leathers. #1 Heritage IWB holster hung on a MS belt. The thick leather will aid in distributing the weight instead of having your body bear the burden.

Short barrel 1911s will be cake to carry. Thin, short grip and hosters galore, you'll be set. Just make sure that short 1911 runs reliably.

Good luck!

April 7, 2007, 08:16 AM
I have found that the point of the grip is the hardest to conceal, for that reason I have become an avid Bobtail fan. No point on the grip and it actually conceals IWB better than my Ultra Carry II with the short grip. The UCII I use for pocket carry.

April 7, 2007, 08:34 AM
I actually carried a similar Paraordnance pistol a couple of years back. It was the C6.45 LDA. At the time I felt it was a great pistol. Powerful, concealable, and well designed. I learned that it was not very durable. I wrote a review here (

Paraordnance recommended that the recoil assembly, the entire recoil assembly is a unit, be replaced every 1500 rounds. Then I read of slide cracks. There is a photo on the link I gave. At that point, I retired my Paraordnance.

If the slide had been forged and the recoil assembly sufficient, it may have been a good idea. I do not know if the CX745S has the same recoil assembly, but I suspect the slide is manufactured similarly. For that reason, I would pass.

I carry a Government 1911 at 4:00 either IWB or OWB, depending on the weather and cover garment. No problems with concealment. A Commander size carries well too. To me, the 1911 has a heavy grip and can tend to splay outward if you do not have strong leather. The shorter the barrel/slide, the more leverage the grip has to protrude.

wiskey lima 2
April 7, 2007, 11:23 AM
I carry a Colt Defender now. I am backing out of it and switching to a Glock 27 for several reasons, one of which was the beavertail and the point end of the stock would print. I use either a Milt Sparks or Galco IWB. The two advantages I'm going to sacrafice going from the 1911 to the Glock is the width and shootability. The 1911 is nice and lean and I can lay much better groups with it to.

Something about that grip in the way it fits in your hand and crisp single action pull is the reason I still maintain a commander 1911 for my home gun.

April 8, 2007, 03:22 PM
I have the stainless version of it, carries eaisly. Currently use a Galco belt holster, waiting on IWB (should be here soon I hope).

It's accurate, recoil is very manageable (for me) and I have no worries about the slide cracking (if it does, para will replace it).
Let's face it, there isn't one model gun, from ANY manufacturer that hasn't had something go wrong with it at some point and in the case of Para, it wasn't/isn't a wide spread problem.

Also we need to remember that any mechanical device can fail at any time which is a good reason to have a back-up/back-up plan ;)

April 8, 2007, 03:55 PM
Well I had bad luck with Para. So I say buy different. Now I have carried Commanders for years Grip is hardness part to hide. I have a Colt Officer on my hip now and disappears. I have been shooting it and found relieable(yes I know of bushing breaking) Look to a Springfield , Colt Defender , Kimber Not much difference in price and I am sure you will like much better.

April 8, 2007, 04:10 PM
Have a semi custom SA 5" 1911. I'm a whopping 165 lbs at 5'7"'s. Try a HBE Leatherworks COM III IWB. Conceals so well that a 3 LEO's that I know could not spot it underneath Harley Davidson size L t shirts. Just wore the rig for a total of 1700 miles on 2 seperate days driving with very little discomfort at all. Just go up 1 pant size and wear a sturdy belt. Seen 1 Kimber shorty and a SA Micro malfuntion horribly and is enough to convince me to stay with the longer barrel and higher velocities that come from it.

April 8, 2007, 04:26 PM
5'5", 135lbs here - I carry a full size 1911 OWB (I know you mentioned IWB). I could not do IWB.
The biggest potential for printing on me is the grip length. Barrel length, unless taken to the extreme, should be little or no problem.
I currently use a Hume 721OT with an umpire belt but am awaiting a Tucker HF1 and bullhide belt.
Total mass (weight) is something that I notice somewhat but not as much as I expected. It is actually somewhat pleasant to carry and I expect it to be even more so with the Tucker.
Squatting, sitting, in and out of cars is no problem for me except I usually do a brief shirt check to be sure my untucked shirt has not risen too high. Being a lefty I believe helps in the car as my seatbelt buckle is on the weak side, away from the gun when driving.
Good luck in your pursuit.

April 8, 2007, 10:29 PM
In my experience the grip is whats hardest to conceal but it the slide width and contour that makes the most difference in comfort. The 1911 style pistols have a narrow slide that is contoured to be very confortable on the hip. There is such a wide variety of holsters readily available it is easy to find one that will work for you. The biggest problem I forsee for the pistol you have chose is that it is very heavy for its length. A full size or commander length will actually carry and balance better on your hip and it has the same length grip. Para make a LTC model that would be awesome as a carry gun. Don't let single action scare you away. The manual safety and grip safety make the 1911s very safe to carry that way.

April 9, 2007, 12:43 PM
Thanks for all the replies!!

You guys are the best. I really appreciate all the advice.

You've given me a lot to think about.

I'll post again with more questions or to let you know what I decide to do.



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