Best Carry 1911? Good Manufacturers?


July 15, 2007, 09:19 AM
I am looking to pick up a Carry sized 1911 (3 to 4.5 inch). I currently own a Kimber Custom Target II and really like it, but have been reading all of the bad things about Kimber. Which one would people buy? Whose the best manufacturer?

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July 15, 2007, 09:28 AM
mt dad bought a colt defender about 10 years ago, and it's never given him a problem, ever. they're also not as (unjustifiably) expensive as kimbers, so you might want to look at one.

July 15, 2007, 09:39 AM
I love my Para-Ordnance P12 .45

July 15, 2007, 11:57 AM
Take a look at the Springfield Micro's. I think it's one of the best buys for the money.

July 15, 2007, 01:50 PM
my absolute favorite 1911 to ccw is my Kimber Compact CDP

SHort grip like the Ultra but 4" bbl makes me much more accurate than I am with the Tactical Ultra.

I have several Kimbers and I havent had a problem with any of mine. ( take that back, I think I did have some problesm with my .22lr 1911) Granted I havent bought a Kimber in about 1 1/2 - 2 years now. But if you like yours I wouldnt worry about getting another. I wouldnt think twice about buying another.

THe closes thing SA has to Kimbers Compact size is the Ultra Compact I beleive. It has the short grip with a 3.5" bbl, but its all stainless. Making it heavier than my alloy Compact.

SiG Lady
July 15, 2007, 02:12 PM
I don't know that there's anything "wrong" with Kimber as a carry gun (though there's always someone out there ready to argue the point), but I simply bought an economical Springfield GI Champion--full length grip with slightly shorter barrel than a full-size 1911--to use as a carry gun. It does have a hefty recoil spring assembly, though, so don't try to put woosy light reloads thru it... it'll stovepipe every time. But as a carry gun you'll want to use some standard factory rounds anyway.

July 15, 2007, 09:04 PM
Me, I like Colt above -- most! :cool:

M1 Shooter
July 15, 2007, 09:54 PM

July 15, 2007, 11:48 PM
I am also looking and the Para Warthog looks good but I dont know
too much about them. I was also looking at the CZ 2075 Rami, I know
it is not a 1911 but it has the look and I am a big fan of the .40 cal.:evil:
I own a Kimber Custom I and I love it but I too have been scared by
all the bad Kimber posts and not sure if I want anouther one.:(

July 16, 2007, 01:49 AM
Carry sized?

That mean I'm not allowed to carry my full-size ones any more? I don't own any short ones.

July 16, 2007, 02:05 AM
You want the best? SA S/S loaded Champ. Mine has been perfect with factory and hand loads for 1000 rounds. Triton night sites for 700.00. [ Kimber does not] IF you can find one.

July 16, 2007, 02:33 AM
From 1997 to 2002, I carried only full-sized 1911 pistols, except that at work (police patrol) I also carried a snubby revolver as a backup, plus a shotgun. Before 1997, I had carried a mix of full-sized, Commander-sized, and compact 1911 pistols off and on since 1984. I found the full-sized 1911 pistols to be realistically no more difficult to carry than the smaller ones, and reliability of the full-sized pistols to be generally very good, with the smaller ones more finicky. I had good luck with full-sized Colts, Springfield, and Les Baer. Two Kimbers became reliable after I ditched certain parts, such as magazines and slide stops. One Kimber, the Stainless Gold Match, was extremely finicky. These Kimbers were the "early" ones, BTW. I presently have mostly gotten away from 1911 pistols for serious stuff, except for the Les Baer, as the frame is sculpted in a way that makes the pistol ride lower in my skinny, bony hand, and helps ensure the grip safety is properly disengaged.

July 16, 2007, 02:41 AM
I've found the commander length guns to be a favorite. I particular the Colt XSE versions. I like the relief cut under the triggerguard for a high grip, and added a Wilson drop in grip safety to take advantage of this. I also replaced the full length guide rod and open recoil spring cap with a standard GI cap and short guide rod for ease of disassembly & personal preference. I've done a few other things, but they're purely asthetic.

Tom Fury
July 16, 2007, 06:21 AM
of some sort; best right now I think is S&W 1911sc or PD in Commander length. Carried a P-12 for a while and liked it.
Cheers, TF

July 16, 2007, 08:51 AM
I want a good carry gun. I don't really mind spending a bit more for a quality gun since I am going to be carrying it. I was looking at the SA ones and think that is where I am leaning currently. I haven't actually tried the colts, but tend to lean away from colt. I was just curious what other manufacturers were out there.

July 16, 2007, 04:31 PM
Well, I've owned four Kimbers so far (currently a customized Ultra Carry) and find myself looking at the Pro CDP.

I'll buy one as soon as the money is in my checking account.

I've had great luck with all of mine (all alloy framed, all 4" or less).

I know some people carry full-size all steel 1911s, but for me, there's just something about a 24 oz 45 acp :)

July 16, 2007, 07:38 PM
If the ability to tolerate indignity is important to you, an STI and a Les Baer Stinger acquited themselves well in a recent "dunk it in the bog" thread.

No malfunctions from either.

'Course I suspect a number of pistols would have done as well, it's just that only two posters were loon enough to actually do it. Chia pet recoil spring, indeed.

July 16, 2007, 11:15 PM
FWIW, I own a Colt LW Commander, and three Full size 1911's. I carry a alloy P12.

July 17, 2007, 12:20 AM
If you can afford the work, buy a Colt XSE LW Commander and have a bobtail mod done to it... carry 1911's don't get any better than that because you have removed the point of the butt that prints, still have full capacity government sized magazines, a long enough barrel to be able to rely on standard defense ammunition, and stone reliability. Easy to conceal, light weight to pack, slim as can be, accurate, reliable, potent... involves the bare minimum of compromise! If you really want to sweeten it, have EGW install a steel feed ramp in the aluminum frame and Novak night sights... I just had all that and a bit more done to my LW Commander and it's super nice! All done it wasn't exactly a bargain, but it really is awesome! A gun I'll never want to give up.

July 17, 2007, 12:27 AM

Colt Defender, has been very very good to me..


July 17, 2007, 12:38 AM

July 17, 2007, 02:01 AM
has good sights, a good trigger, and is reliable - you won't know that one til you shoot it - there isn't much reason to worry about who makes it. Despite what you may hear there isn't much garbage - 1911 style - floating around.

That being said, the quality of fit and finish varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and sometimes from pistol to pistol from the same manufacturer. Don't be surprised if the services of a good gunsmith are required, and that brings up a whole 'nother question.

July 17, 2007, 03:22 AM
I've found the 1911 9mm Colt (Luger) to be very reliable, but would also recommend the Walther PP (1940's officer pistol) .380: The 1911 9mm I've used in matches and found it to be easier to hit the target at greater ranges, than the .380 Walther, however.

July 17, 2007, 08:12 PM
I have experienced poor reliability with the 3" and 3.5" compact 1911s, from Para, Springfield and Kimber. Maybe just bad luck, but if I were going to carry a 1911, it would not be one of the compacts.

July 17, 2007, 08:21 PM
The 3"ers and 3.5" ers typically involve a heck of a lot of compromise just to have a slightly shorter barrel... not worth it in the least to me, when the 4"ers and 4.25"ers are solid performers which don't compromise reliability, spring life, or velocity (reduced terminal ballistics).

July 18, 2007, 09:05 AM
My two favorite carry 1911s are the Kimber Pro Carry SS and the Ultra Carry SS. Both have been 100% reliable and outperform some of the full size 1911s I own. I frequently shoot IDPA with one or the other of these pistols. They do quite well against the full size pistols. Both carry well!

Chuck R.
July 18, 2007, 11:03 AM
If the ability to tolerate indignity is important to you, an STI and a Les Baer Stinger acquited themselves well in a recent "dunk it in the bog" thread.

No malfunctions from either.

'Course I suspect a number of pistols would have done as well, it's just that only two posters were loon enough to actually do it. Chia pet recoil spring, indeed.
But after spending an hour detail stripping and cleaning my Stinger, there’s no way in hell I’m doing that again……....on purpose!

I like the Stinger because of the CCO concept, commander length slide and officer’s grip. The longer barrel in a IWB holster is a non-issue, it conceals well and being all stainless it shoots well. I can run the same COF with it and my 5” Baer and the results will be similar. I cannot do that with a lightweight 3-3.5” 1911, I've tried. So I deal with some extra weight, spend some money on a good holster and belt and a heavier gun is still comfortable. How’s that saying go, “a gun is supposed to be comforting, not necessarily comfortable”?

So far my Stinger has been utterly reliable for over 5K now, and even functioned after going for a swim. So I trust it.


Ala Dan
July 18, 2007, 11:19 AM
My 1911 carry piece is a 3" KIMBER Stainless Ultra Carry II; that has been
totally 100% reliable~! ;):D

July 18, 2007, 01:55 PM
My absolute favorite carry 1911's are bobtailed Commanders. I highly recommend them. I have three "bobs" (Colt Commander, Colt LW Commander, Ed Brown Class A Commander). They carry magnificently, still have good velocity (terminal ballistics are good with conventional 230 gr. JHP ammo), are reliable, accurate, and hold full size mags too.

July 18, 2007, 01:59 PM
Boy oh boy - fabulous, DHart (we need a drool icon on THR)

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