1911 As a First Carry Gun

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Eschaton, Mar 31, 2009.

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  1. Eschaton

    Eschaton Member

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    I'm really torn on what to buy for my first carry gun.

    I've been splitting my brain between S&W M&P's, Sig P226's, FNH-FNP's, etc...

    However, something just amazing keeps drawing my back to a 1911. The design, appearance, etc... keep making me change my mind.

    So, I have decided to ask the knowledgeable fellas here.

    Is a 1911 a good first carry gun? I don't have to worry about CCW for another 2 and a half years, so that's not an issue.

    I don't even know what I am trying ask, haha. Probably just reassurance that 1911's are good guns I suppose.

    Thanks.
     
  2. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    The 1911 is a big gun for cc. It's heavy too. I would probably opt for a j frame airweight. Most folks have little trouble carrying them. I always found the 1911 govt. model too darn heavy.
     
  3. jon8777

    jon8777 Member

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    Cant go wrong with a 1911. If you going to carry go with a compact model. 4-6" rigs are a bit hard to hide w/o wearing heavier winter clothing.

    I am 6-4 250#... so just about any gun hides on me.
     
  4. kirklandkie

    kirklandkie Member

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    i know two guys who both carry 1911's concealed, one has a full size other has a slightly smaller one. neither of the two guys have ever complained about the size or weight of their carry weapons
    hope that helps

    -kirk
     
  5. cerberus65

    cerberus65 Member

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    I carry a 1911 in the colder months when I have a jacket or coat on. The ultrathin grips I put on mine make it thinner and thus very easy to conceal.

    Phoenix doesn't have much cold, though, as I recall. If I was there I'd be doing a lot of pocket carry (NAA Guardian .380 or Ruger LCP).

    Really, it depends on your build and how you dress. Folks who carry a 1911 all year long will no doubt be along shortly. :)

    Either way, 1911s are great guns. I just wish I had more money to spend on more of them.
     
  6. j1979

    j1979 Member

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    With a good holster and belt a 5" 1911 conceals quite well, and comfortably. I suggest a Milt Sparks VMII for a holster(IWB), MS for the belt and everything else leather as well. They have a 6 month wait time though. MY Valor is my first carry gun.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2009
  7. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    1911s can carry well. I would nver get a 3" 1911 but I would highly recommend a Commander length one. They balance the best for me.
     
  8. Dan Crocker

    Dan Crocker Member

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    + 1 on the commander length
     
  9. smartshooter.45

    smartshooter.45 Member

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    I carried a 4" Kimber 1911 for a while with a galco inside the waistband holster and it worked great. like others have said, the commander length 1911 is a great all around size. the 4" slide is long enough to give you a nice sight picture but being an inch shorter then a full size, it conceals well.

    I now carry a full sized RIA Tactical 1911 with a galco "summer comfort" inside the waistband holster and it works great. im 6' 0" and 165lbs, about average build and my wonderful all steel 1911 on my hip is plenty comfortable.

    good luck in your search
     
  10. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    I think they're great carry guns with a litanny of caveats. A few of my thoughts:

    If you're going to carry a gun, carry a gun all the time (so long as you're within the law). A full-sized, all-steel 1911 isn't hard to conceal (for me), but they're heavy. Have something smaller and easier to carry on stand-by to tote when you don't feel like strapping on the 1911. Leaving it at home or in the car because you're "just running a quick errand" is NOT something I recommend. A jerk named Murphy WILL come along and rob the gas station while you "run in real to quick to get" something.

    As a generalization, 1911s are finnicky. Period. If I could only have one gun to carry, it'd be something ugly, cheap, and known for being monotonously reliable.

    When you first begin carrying, you might be semi-nervous about carrying a deadly weapon, and that's probably normal. Most people go through many guns and holsters before finding what they're comfortable with. Carrying something which is BIG right off the bat might increase you nervousness.

    That being said, I'm a proponent of carrying the most gun you can. I'd recommend starting big and getting smaller as you experiment with different guns and holsters. Carrying a 1911 might seem like a breeze if you start off carrying an N-Frame Smith & Wesson. The other side of that coin is that carrying a sub-compact 9mm might seem impossible if you start off with a Kel-Tec P3AT.

    Considering that you have 2.5 years to decide, I'd say go ahead and buy one. Even if you never carry it, everybody should have one at some point in their life. There's nothing wrong with relegating it to a mere "occasional range gun"; they're just fun to shoot, and pretty easy to shoot accurately for most people.

    As far as carry goes, once you get the gun, research holsters, buy one, and just carry it concealed around your house. You'll figure out 90% of the problems you have carrying the gun concealed, and you'll probably be less nervous once you DO get to carry it in public.

    If it's unlikely that you'll be able to afford another handgun or two to try out before you get your carry permit, I wouldn't suggest a 1911, but that's just my opinion. They have a considerable number of disagreable attributes, whereas some other options are relative "no-brainers" to me.
     
  11. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    It is neither big nor heavy to someone who has never carried before. It's all relative to what you're used to.

    I have carried many full-size autos, and I think I'm done looking with a full-size 1911.

    Some would say, a 1911 isn't a beginner's gun, that the manual safety is too....complicated. I SAY, learn it right the first time, and there's no reason to reinvent the wheel.

    You may decide later that you want to carry something else instead of or in addition to a 1911, which is perfectly fine. USE WHAT YOU SHOOT BEST, make your wardrobe and habits fit around it, don't compromise to something else you don't shoot as well.
     
  12. Eschaton

    Eschaton Member

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    Just to clarify, concealed carry isn't happening until 21. I can open carry in Arizona at 18 with no problem.

    I've carried before and it's a little different but not that big of a deal for me.
     
  13. Eschaton

    Eschaton Member

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    Just to clarify, concealed carry isn't happening until 21. I can open carry in Arizona at 18 with no problem.

    I've carried before and it's a little different but not that big of a deal for me.
     
  14. jahwarrior

    jahwarrior Member

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    i carry a full size 1911 with no problems. the trick is getting the right holster for it. right now, i use a Desantis MiniSlide for concealment. i'm getting Blackhawk SERPA to use for open carry for the warm weather.
     
  15. Eschaton

    Eschaton Member

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    So, as a follow up question, any suggestions for a first 1911? Probably between $500 and $700 dollars.

    I'd also like something that has a .22 conversion barrel I can put in for cheaper fun shooting.
     
  16. sohcgt2

    sohcgt2 Member

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    Shop around and get a full size, there are lots to choose from in your price range. .22 lr conversion kits are available for full size 1911s I know, I'm unsure if they are available for short slide or long slide models.
     
  17. mattk

    mattk Member

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    I carry a 4inch Kimber before that a 5 inch Springfield. Great guns for CCW. Just remember, no matter what brand or type of gun you choose, you must practice.
     
  18. CWL

    CWL Member

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    This is why over one million American soldiers (at least) has gone off to war with one strapped to their side? The 1911A1 has outlived 3 generations of battle rifles without any real changes needed, that should tell you fact v. hearsay.

    As for Commander-sized pistols, the shorter barrel-length will not contribute anything towards easier concealability, it will only help to make it lighter for daily carry. It is the length of the grip that cases typical 'printing' issues.
     
  19. EHL

    EHL Member

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    I wouldn't want something I'm depending my life on to be "cheap". Seems like it would be counterintuitive to depend on something made by the lowest bidder.

    Not me, my go to "handgun" would be any of my 1911's. Battle proven and trusty enough to strap her on many GI's charged with winning WWII. What other handgun has such a proven track record?(operative word being "handgun", since I'd go for a rifle first)
     
  20. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    There are so many different 1911s being made in so many different ways, there is always going to be a wide range of reliability, quality and accuracy. But the truth is, ALL GUNS WILL EVENTUALLY BREAK, regardless of manufacturer or design. Getting a 1911 reliable enough for carry is no different than any other gun. With ANY gun you are going to trust your life to, you should fire 200 rounds of the ammo you are going to carry WITHOUT FAILURE, whether it's a Glock, a 1911, or any other "dead reliable" pistol.

    A reliable pistol doesn't NEED to be the most expensive option, but at the same time, it is disingenuous to say your life is important enough to carry a gun to protect it, but not important enough to compromise what you shoot best over a couple of hundred dollars' worth of price difference. I have carried a full-size Kimber Custom II for several years now. I paid $620 for it, NIB. I carry it in all seasons, with all clothing. I don't dare say it has NEVER had a jam of any kind, but it has been so long I can't remember it. I would carry it to war tomorrow if I were allowed to.
     
  21. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Member

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    Suggestions:
    Rock Island (three models: "Tactical" @ $400; GI @ $350; compact @ $400. See Gunbroker.com and Bellshire Guns for good samples and good prices)
    Springfield GI - Very in-line with classic WWII design
    Springfield Mil-Spec - GI that has slightly better sights, lowered ejection port
    Used Colt

    All can be found under the seven bill mark, going down in price from Colt to Rock Island.

    As former owner of both Rock Island Tactical and Springfield GI, and current Springfield Loaded owner, and - hopefully, a future Rock Compact owner - I'll tell you that for an entry-level gun, there is NOTHING wrong with the Rocks or the GI.

    Q
     
  22. KE4NYV

    KE4NYV Member

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    I only have a full size 1911 and it's just too big for me to conceal. I would imagine somthing like a Kimber Ultra Carry II would be a good choice if you are set on a 1911 style gun for CCW.
     
  23. Zerodefect

    Zerodefect Member

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    A 5" 1911 in a good IWB holster will bulge just a hair at the end of the barrel. If anyone noticed it as you were reaching for something they wouldn't know what it is anyway. 1911's are really thin if you put Alumagrip slim grips on. (The Olive gray ones are nice.)

    I carry a 1911 in a MS VM2 or a MTEC holster. I carry on colder days with a jacket or on nights out. Too big for office carry or anywhere that I'm at the mercy of my enviroment. But when I'm on my own time and only going where I want to, its a good CCW.

    The rest of the time its a Compact Glock and/or Keltec p32 for me.

    As far as 1911's I can't get any reliability out of smaller than 5" models....thats just me so far. I'll give 'em another chance as soon as I personally witness someone elses small 1911 actually working.

    I like the Kimber Custom II and the TLE, and Springfields Loaded and GI.
     
  24. Eschaton

    Eschaton Member

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    Sorry for so many questions, I just want to do a lot of research before I decided to buy what I want.

    Are there an tips/beginners guides for a 1911 or is just another go to the range and learn it sort of deal?
     
  25. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    Well, they didn't have a choice, so that's a moot point. I was mainly talking about the ability to reliably feed hollowpoint ammunition, although there are plenty of other things that can, and do go wrong. The technology is too advantageous to overlook, and if a gun won't feed modern ammunition, I'll always suggest using something else for defensive purposes.

    If you've been into guns for any considerable length of time, you should know that "cheap" does not invariably mean "unreliable", "ineffective", or anything of that sort. I consider Remington 870s, Glocks, most S&W revolvers, and AKs to be "cheap". I also consider them to be four of the most reliable, effective, choice self-defense arms ever made. If they charged you more money for the same thing would you feel better about trusting your life to it?
     
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