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best "smallest" 1911 for ccw?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by 701, Oct 16, 2008.

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  1. 701

    701 Member

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    I'm sure this has been hashed out three for four thousand times in the past, but I am wondering what everyones suggestions/experiences are as to which is the best and smallest 1911 out there for CCW right now? I would prefer a .45, but am certainly not opposed to other calibers. I'm currently carrying a J-frame, generally in a pocket holster, and I've got a USP Compact .45 for CCW, which I try to carry in an IWB. The problem i face on the occasions that I do carry is that it is hot here in the south, so I am usually traveling in a T-Shirt/Polo shirt, so my IWB tends to grab the Butt of the HK every time I bend down, etc. and though it is not overly thick, I am wondering if I would be better served w/ a 1911 for the flatness factor, as to cut down on printing, and increase comfort. I like the HK for reliability, and I love the DA/SA setup as I feel a bit more comfortable than with say, a Glock, as I would be unlucky enough to find a way to trip the light trigger on it even in Kydex ( I know, but my paranoia cannot seem be helped) i would feel OK about the 1911 series, as I am familiar with them and I like the manual/grip safety setup, but do not know if there is any real world size difference between some of the compact 1911's and the USP, and am also afraid to walk away from the absolute reliability I have enjoyed with the HK. Does anyone out there have any suggestions as to which is the most reliable, accurate for self defence, slimmest smallest out there? Thanks for your time and thoughts.
     
  2. orionengnr

    orionengnr Member

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    When I carry a 45 acp, it is either a Kimber Ultra Carry or a Kahr P45. Both are small single stack, thin, light, accurate and reliable.

    I shoot the 1911 better, but the Kahr is about 6 oz lighter and (as such) somewhat easier to carry.

    That said, my goal is to carry a 1911 year round, and I am wearing the Kimber as I type this.

    Edited to add: the Kahr PM45 is interesting...smaller than the P45 by a fair bit, but the resulting marginal ability to get a three finger gip will detract from accuracy and add to felt recoil...and the P45 is semi-barky as it is.
     
  3. Rustynuts

    Rustynuts Member

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    No problem with my Kimber 3". I believe 3" is the smallest 1911 45ACP. I think SA also make a small 9mm 1911. The stock grips are a little on the thick side for me. Get some thin carry grips. Chip McCormick makes some, but I like my CZ gatorbacks thinline.

    [​IMG]

    Here's a grip comparison, Kimber on bottom - Single stack 1911 vs XD40SC double stack on top.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  4. OregonJohnny

    OregonJohnny Member

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    701, I'm in the same boat as you. I try and daily pocket-carry my S&W 642 but regretfully, it has just become too bulky and uncomfortable for my tastes. Likewise, I try to IWB-carry an XD-40sc on occasion, but have NEVER found the right combo of pants, belt, holster, cant, position on the waist, etc. to deal with it's thick and blocky shape and my thin build and fitted clothing. I own a full-size 1911 but it's simply too long for me to conceal well.

    I've considered a Ruger LCP for pocket carry but just don't want to compromise size and concealability for the .380. I'd love to get a Kimber Ultra in 9mm. I think the short barrel and slim profile matched with a potent round would be the perfect compromise for IWB carry.

    I've heard that a .45 out of a 3" barrel can fall short in terms of developing it's full potential when compared to the 9mm round. Plus, the reduced felt-recoil of 9mm vs. .45 ACP out of a small gun make me want to steer toward the smaller round.

    If anyone else can give experience on what it's like to IWB-carry a 3" 1911 vs. the common subcompact double-stacks, that would be very helpful. Rustynuts, thanks for the comparison shots, those give a pretty good idea of the difference in frame width between the two. Any more side-by-side photos, like from above?
     
  5. steelyblue

    steelyblue Member

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    Put some thin grips on and the profile will be as thin as the slide itself. Great for carry.
     
  6. rocinante

    rocinante Member

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    has to be a 1911? I am happy with my taurus millenium PT145. 9 rounds of concealable 45 aint just whistling dixie.
     
  7. 3ci

    3ci Member

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    Kimbers work well for me

    I like to carry a small 1911 often. I have a stainless Kimber ultracarry II in 45 that has been absolutely reliable in the several years I have owned it. My pride and joy, however, is a Kimber Aegis II ultracarry in 9mm. The Aegis is a really nice carry piece and has worked without question since the first shot fired through it.
     
  8. IMTHDUKE

    IMTHDUKE Member

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    I carry this one.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. KenW.

    KenW. Member

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    I carried a Colt Defender with lasergrips until I got a XD45 Compact.
     
  10. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Member

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    Here's my Kimber. Carried at present in a Don Hume JIT slide. Love it.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. nra-life-member

    nra-life-member Member

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    Nice Grips! Where did you get them?
     
  12. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    Colt defender
     
  13. glockman19

    glockman19 Member

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    I'll carry a Kimber Ultra Raptor II when not pocketing a j-frame or Glock 26
     
  14. smartshooter.45

    smartshooter.45 Member

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    My carry .45

    I dont carry a 3" but i do carry a 4" and love it. being 1 inch shorter would be nice for carry but i went with 4" to give a lil better accuracy and a slightly longer grip. its a pro carry 2. it has been accurate and reliable.

    [​IMG]

    my roommate carrys an ultra carry 2 24/7 and loves it. infact shooting his is what inspired me to buy my own kimber.
     
  15. benderx4

    benderx4 Member

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    [​IMG]Any thoughts on a SA EMP? I don't own one, haven't shot one, but fondled one at a gun show and think it's pretty nice.

    Any owners out there want to share their experiences with this tough to find weapon? The image this picture is super-imposed against is the outline of a typical 3" 1911 in .45acp.
     
  16. Claude Clay

    Claude Clay Member

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    emp weighs 23 ounces. defender 23 1/2. emp is a sized to a 9mm. thus the weight is the same but if size in your hand or carry style is critical the emp may be the gun for you. 9 of 9 or 8 of 45--your call. the 9 recoil is tame compared to the defender. practice with the defender and it is a wonderful package . the emp will be faster to learn though.
     
  17. wtfd661

    wtfd661 Member

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    Off duty carry for me is either a Kimber Tactical Ultra II in a Comp-Tac minatour IWB holster, it is a 3" barrel with a 5" grip (the extra 1/4" grip length comes from the magwell, which I really like, greatly increases ease of reloading) that I wear in the 3 oclock position and I find rarely prints. For quick trips I carry a G26 in a pocket holster (but you really have to find pockets that can fit it). Good luck with your search.
     
  18. Optoman

    Optoman Member

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    I recently picked up a STI escort 3" in 9mm. Haven't chosen a holster as of yet, but it will be my main carry gun.

    Virtually no kick in 9mm -- making it extremely manageable. When deciding, I held in my hand a Kimber Ultra CDP II and the SA EMP, which were the other two 9mm, 3", 1911 design. All three guns were within 100$ of each other... The Kimber and SA had night sights, and the SA came with extra mags and a loader. The STI has standard white dot sights (adjustable).

    For me the STI felt better in my hand -- your mileage may vary though. Definitely recommend holding each of them -- they all felt a little different.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Tom Fury

    Tom Fury Member

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    Well, there's always...

    Colt New Agent
    Detonics Combat Master
    New Detonics Combat Master
    Cylinder and Slide Adventurer
    Terry Tussey custom
    Cheers, TF
     
  20. ChCx2744

    ChCx2744 Member

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    Kimbers and Colt were always what my colleagues and range personell recommend for any 1911.
     
  21. eng23ine

    eng23ine Member

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    Don't know if its the "best" or not, but I'm pretty fond of my Springfield micro compact
     
  22. Stevie-Ray

    Stevie-Ray Member

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    From a gun show. Guy that has a bunch of grips in compartmentalized flat table boxes. Couldn't really tell you the brand, but they make up for the lack of an arched mainspring housing with their girth. Handles beautifully now!
     
  23. J Lambs

    J Lambs Member

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    The EMP now comes in .40 and is stock with slim grips. I have the 9mm and it is my favorite carry. I also have the Kimber UC II in 9mm, but the grips just make the EMP feel better.
     
  24. stolivar

    stolivar Member

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    I love my RIA compact $424 out the door

    [​IMG]


    steve
     
  25. TIMC

    TIMC Member

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    I carry a Para C-645 3" .45 with the LDA trigger. I love this little gun, nice shooter easy to handle and easy to conceal.
    [​IMG]
     
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