1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Another next gun thread - carry .45s

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by dmallind, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. dmallind

    dmallind Well-Known Member

    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?
  2. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Well-Known Member

    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.
  3. GreenFurniture

    GreenFurniture Well-Known Member

    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.
  4. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    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.

    MICHAEL T Well-Known Member

    A Colt Combat Commander , Easy to carry and conceal :)
  6. Warren

    Warren Well-Known Member

    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."
  7. critter

    critter Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. Pilot

    Pilot Well-Known Member

    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.
  9. Doug Add

    Doug Add Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. Tom Servo

    Tom Servo Well-Known Member

    +1. I have one and love it.
  11. dmallind

    dmallind Well-Known Member

    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?
  12. rauchman

    rauchman Well-Known Member

    Not sure if the dimensions meet your criteria, but the HK USP compact is a really nice compact .45.
  13. happy old sailor

    happy old sailor Well-Known Member

    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.
  14. Frandy

    Frandy Well-Known Member

    My choice is the the same as Rauchman, a USP 45 compact.
  15. jojosdad

    jojosdad Well-Known Member

    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.
  16. Seraph

    Seraph Well-Known Member

    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.
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2005
  17. dmallind

    dmallind Well-Known Member

    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.
  18. Zak Smith

    Zak Smith Moderator Staff Member

    I'd just go with the normal UC or PC. No need to spend more money on somebody grinding away at the frame.
  19. FunYet

    FunYet Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

    .45 caliber SIG P220A is MY hands down favorite

Share This Page