full size 1911 for carry


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Soundtrackzz
July 19, 2008, 04:29 PM
Hey Im considering buying a plain jane 1911 goverment and doing some gunsmithing work on it to make it a better defense gun than it already is. I just cant help but fiddle with every gun I buy. My question is would a full size government be hard to conceal for EDC. Please keep in mind im only 5'6".

Z

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Eric F
July 19, 2008, 04:34 PM
No Not at all. I work with a guy thats 140 lbs and 5'2 hides a full size 1911 very well.

Lonestar49
July 19, 2008, 04:44 PM
...

Ya might want to look into a 4" Commander size 1911 as opposed to a full size. But, if you wear lose enough cloths, same with comfy shirt, hanging out, you should have no problems with either, other than the extra length of the full size within your smaller frame/height in regards to sitting or driving..

Just don't go any smaller than a 4" Commander size and you will not have any mechanical issues IMO.


Ls

Frog48
July 19, 2008, 06:11 PM
Just don't go any smaller than a 4" Commander size and you will not have any mechanical issues IMO.

I've heard this many times. Are there specific problems with these smaller guns?

I've been thinking about getting a 3" Kimber Ultra Carry or 3" Springfield Micro, for concealed carry.

wtfd661
July 19, 2008, 06:42 PM
All I can say is I've had a Kimber Tactical Ultra II for several years now and have not had 1 issue with it, has been a great weapon for me

Mad Magyar
July 19, 2008, 07:03 PM
As much as I'd love to carry the full-size 1911 "all the time"; I just find it more conducive in the colder weather with more clothes-cover...:) It doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the .45acp power in the summer heat, just in a smaller package.:) Commander, Officer's, etc....

shotgunkevin
July 19, 2008, 07:06 PM
I've got a month old Colt New Agent, 3" barrel. I've put around 400 rounds of hardball through it with only two failures, both attributable to ammunition. Do a google search for "Colt New Agent" - I did, and only found one account of anyone having reliability issues.

aji
July 19, 2008, 07:19 PM
I have a number of carry guns which I rotate. Have 2 - 5" 1911's that are in the rotation. Have had no problems concealing.

Defensory
July 19, 2008, 08:15 PM
I haven't found 3" 1911's to be unreliable at all. No "mechanical issues" in any I've ever fired. Though there are certainly a few lemons in a mass production handgun of any size.

However, I prefer the 4" and 5", simply because they handle a little better. The longer ones typically aim a little better, have a little less felt recoil, and a little less barrel rise.

VHinch
July 19, 2008, 08:15 PM
I carry a 5" 1911 all day everyday. With the right belt and holster, it conceals just fine under just a t shirt, or more frequently an untucked polo. Personally I don't find a Commander any more concealable than a Government Model, as the grip is what prints, not the barrel. An Officers Model does reduce the grip length, but not enough for me to outweigh the advantages of a full size.

Claude Clay
July 19, 2008, 08:23 PM
a carry gun should only be 'fiddled' with by a licensed gunsmith. any non-professional mechanicals could cost you dearly in court.

olivedrab
July 19, 2008, 08:32 PM
http://www.midwayusa.com/eproductpage.exe/showproduct?saleitemid=119664

i'm 5' 6"

steelyblue
July 19, 2008, 09:10 PM
I have a Galco Concealable holster that does a good job of holding the gun close to my body and it does it comfortably. I don't carry yet, but when my license gets here(hopefully in a couple of months), I have my holsters ready. I have an IWB for my 4" an OWB for my 5" and I don't know what to do with my pf9 yet.

mljdeckard
July 20, 2008, 12:05 AM
I carry a full-size 1911 and I carry it year-round.

I have said this many times in here, I should set up a macro to paste it with a keystroke, I think a lot of the perception that a full-size auto is ever "too big" for full-size carry is perpetuated by an industry that wants to convince you you need a different gun each for carry, winter, summer, formal, informal, semi-formal, post-labor day, Hunting, range, weekend range, and actual war.

As others have alluded to, there are reasons a full-size 1911 is easier to shoot and aim. You should carry the gun you shoot and aim best. Comfort is relative. A non-gun person would swear that it's impossible to carry a Colt Detective Special or a sub-compact Glock comfortably, while if you hung a Desert Eagle under the arm of a guy who turned 21 61 days ago and got his permit in the mail yesterday, he'll swear he doesn't even feel it.

In my home town, it's routinely between 100 and 110 degrees, and I still am able to carry a full-size 1911 in whatever clothes I'm wearing, whether it's a fanny-pack with shorts and a t-shirt, an IWB in jeans, or a Galco Miami Classic shoulder rig with a light-fabric button-down shirt open in front. The same configurations I use in winter. One thing I will concede, in Utah, I'm not required to keep it concealed. It's not as big of a deal if the wind opens up my shirt for a second.

mtngunr
July 20, 2008, 12:12 AM
Only fiddled with by a licensed gunsmith?.....I'm speechless on that one.

I carry a full-size 1911, and am 5'10/150lbs....but, as with any gun, you have to dress around the gun....a commitment many obviously lack, as sales of pocket pistols show.

Personally think downsized versions can be more sensitive to problems caused by limp-wristing, fouling/dirt, worn springs, etc., as the smaller guns require beefier springs to handle recoil while lacking mass of reciprocating parts.

Wildfire
July 20, 2008, 12:14 AM
Hey there;
My Kimber Ultra Carry gets pretty full sized when she goes bang.

steveracer
July 20, 2008, 12:18 AM
I guess I'm in for a world of legal trouble, then, since I fiddle with all of my carry guns. I built one of them from parts!
(Nonsense)
A full sized 1911 is an EXCELLENT choice for CCW, and a good IWB holster and belt will go a long way towards convincing any nonbeliever.
I would further argue to get a true Commander-sized gun as the one and only "compact" sized 1911. Make sure to keep the GI guide rod and barrel bushing design, as it lends itself to the highest reliability and you never need tools to take it apart. (You can detail-strip a 1911 with parts of itself)
As for "fiddling", fiddle way, the 1911 is maybe the best platform in the world for customization, even for non-licensed gunplumbers like me.

earplug
July 20, 2008, 12:29 AM
Just a comfort issue, I would opt for a alloy frame version.
I used to carry a Detonics. The weight was more a issue for me then the barrel length.
A alloy pistol the size of a commander may be ideal for anyone wanting a 1911 carry gun. The barrel helps keep the weapon in its holster. The Butt can print depending on your build and clothing.

Eric F
July 20, 2008, 06:35 AM
a carry gun should only be 'fiddled' with by a licensed gunsmith. any non-professional mechanicals could cost you dearly in court. Once again we must ask the question, Has any one ever heard of a court case where a modified gun got some one in trouble for a justified shooting? No any one ...........no didnt think so. Dont shoot unless you have to its te best policey and keeps you out of trouble even on sub 1 pound triggers.

dmazur
July 20, 2008, 12:26 PM
I've heard this many times. Are there specific problems with these smaller guns?


Problem 1: I don't have a link (sorry) to the article I read that described possible problems with the smaller frame 1911's. The author was describing slide weight issues, stiffer and shorter recoil springs, and "things moving faster than they do in a 5 in frame" as a result of this.

His suggestion was to make sure the magazines have proper springs, to avoid feed issues with the slightly faster timing.

I had some (apparently not unusual) feed problems with an Officer's Model, cured by heavy Wolff springs in McCormick magazines.

Problem 2: Not all the short 1911's used the Officer's Model recoil plug, but this design occasionally lost its "bump" due to shear failure, and that renders the gun useless. The cure is to replace it with a reverse plug, and sometimes a FLGR, depending on the design of the replacement.

I did this before it failed, so I can't report that I solved anything other than worry.

Anyway, I have read many, many reports of reliable compact 1911's since then, so it's possible that some design problems have been worked out.

357wheelgunner
July 20, 2008, 12:40 PM
The 1911 was designed to work with a 5" barrel and slide, if they don't do everything just right when shortening the barrel, it won't work. I've never fired a 3" 1911 that worked well.

Hey Im considering buying a plain jane 1911 goverment and doing some gunsmithing work on it to make it a better defense gun than it already is. I just cant help but fiddle with every gun I buy.

This is a common theme in posts just before a "Why doesn't the gun that I modified myself work?" thread. 1911s are touchy, the reason why they cost so damned much to get one that works.

I highly recommend leaving your carry piece alone. Spend lots of money to get one that works from the factory, then get a range gun to tinker with. If you mess up the range gun and it jams every once in a while, it won't be such a big deal.

kcshooter
July 20, 2008, 02:57 PM
Just don't go any smaller than a 4" Commander size and you will not have any mechanical issues IMO.Myth. While there are more considerations to parts tolerance stacking and timing, a properly built 3" gun is perfectly reliable. I have a first series Kimber Ultra Carry which has never, in over 7000rds, had a single failure with factory ammo, FMJ or JHP. Mine isn't the fluke, it's the norm.a carry gun should only be 'fiddled' with by a licensed gunsmith. any non-professional mechanicals could cost you dearly in court.As long as the modifications are reasonable and common, such as replacing the grip safety and hammer with a beavertail and bobbed set, there is nothing wrong with this. If you drop your trigger weight under 2 pounds or have issues that make your gun unsafe, you might have a legal issue over this, but most do-it-yourself mods and parts replacement require some very minor fitting. Not everyone will be able to do this well, it is very exacting and tedious work. You may make your gun unreliable or poorly fit, but I don't see any legal issues arising from this.


A full-sized 1911 can be carried every day by most anyone. There may be considerations such as dressing around your gun, you will require a good belt and holster, and dealing with a gun that is rather heavy.

A commander can lighten the load, but the concealment of a commander is the same as a full-sized. The only difference is 3/4" off the barrel, and the concealment is usually from the grip, not the slide.

So your options to get less of an obvious grip print, you can shorten the grip as in the officers and defenders variations, with 3.5" and 3" barrels, which are viable and reliable as an option, or you can bobtail your full-sized or commander grip, taking off the most obvious part of the grip, the back corner. It rounds it out and makes an unbelievable difference is the concealability. It is a mod that you can have a smith do to an existing gun you own, or you can by a Brown or Wesson already bobtailed. Or, if you are more mechanically inclined, you can buy a jig and do it yourself. I do my own and get great results. With some time and patience, it's much easier than it looks.

Geno
July 20, 2008, 03:12 PM
I'm only 5'9", 170 and have no problem concealing a full-sized 1911 and 6 spare magazines. The Commander size is no easier to conceal because the grip is the same length (height). Now, if you want the easiest to conceal in 1911s, it is the 3" Colt, New Agent. What a gem to conceal, and it is fully-reliable. However, your question is about full-sized 1911s. I'll close my post by saying that there is no pistol that gives me greater confidence than carrying my stainless steel, Colt Series 70 reissue! It is pretty easy to conceal with a good quality leather holster.

MrAnteater
July 20, 2008, 03:26 PM
I get so tired of fairy tales on these gun boards about "modified" guns for SD and the "legal problems" with doing so.

If it's a legal firearm (i.e. not a full auto), legally purchased, and legally used in a SD shooting it DOESN'T MATTER what has been done to the internals of the firearm.

Modifications should be kept to a minimum on SD guns for reliability sake, not because it's illegal or will cause "legal problems" to do so. So ripping the guts out of your SD Glock and replacing them will all the titanium goodies off a race gun isn't the best idea.

As for 1911's and concealed carry, it's all a matter of using the right holster and wearing the right clothing. If you want to lug around a full size 5" 1911 more power to you. I personally don't CCW any full frame pistol because lighter is better when carrying 12-14 hours a day.

Wildfire
July 21, 2008, 10:00 AM
Hey there:
While I agree that some of the shorty's from the past had some function issues, with their slides. And I won't mention names here , that would just start another war.
I will say that I would much rather carry my 5" colt. It is the gun I have used in IPSC shooting for years and if ever needed I would trust it more then any other gun on this planet. But , That is not always the most practicle way to carry.
It is bigger and heavier. If you carry a lot , you will soon find out what I mean. That full sized gun will wear on you .

My Kimber is just 25oz. empty. 3" barrel. And while I do not have the range of my 5" I also know what I am carrying it for. Not some long range shoot out.

The Kimber has been tested to 20,000 rounds for wear and they found none.

I have not found any slide issues with mine. Recoil is very do-able.
And I must say more so then the small revolvers. The really kick.
I am not against a wheel gun at all. What ever you shoot best is the best gun you could carry. Regardless of all the options you have been given.

But, be sure of one thing. There is nothing wrong with useing a short barreled, short slide, 1911 styled gun. As long as you can shoot it well. Some can some can not.
As far as the new Kimbers being less reliable ???? The only thing thye did was add a loaded chamber indicator that I know of. The rest of the gun is the same.
I have carried mine for most 10 years now and have never had a failure yet.

Just beware of some of the stuff you hear on the web here.

Vern Humphrey
July 21, 2008, 10:10 AM
I carry a full-size M1911 (a Kimber Classic MKI) and before that carried other full-size M1911s.

The M1911 carries well because it's flat. It's thinner than my Colt Detective Special. Pulled into the body with a good holster, it's one of the most concealable of guns.

I designed and made my own holster, with high leather backing that keeps the gun from touching the body -- even when you wear it next to the skin, under a T-shirt. I sweat-proofed the leather and added a "button" or leather cam to engage the safety lock lever and keep the safety positively engaged while in the holster.

Mad Magyar
July 21, 2008, 10:28 AM
whether it's a fanny-pack with shorts and a t-shirt,
Nothing personal, but I just "spilled my coffee"....:D
No one is saying "you can't carry a full-size" all the time; but there are some practicalities involved....:)

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