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I am slowly coming over to the darkside and starting to realize why they are so popular and how unique they are. Now for a CCW piece, what size would you reccomend? How do I begin to narrow the field of choices?? Which size for CCW? Is is the Grip length or the Barrel Length that will be the most important factor for CCWing. Please help thanks.

3in or 4in barrels?? Can you reccomend some inexpesive carry options. The only drawback is they seem to be more expensive than most handguns.
 

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Personally, I'm a fan of the full size when it comes to the 1911. Only the custom builds and specialty pistols are actually more expensive than other well known handguns.
 

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Carrying a full size is realistic?? I was thinking the 4 in might be the best of both worlds. The 3inch models, the problem there is that there are not many carry options and what is there is expensive.

That;s why I was thinking 4 inch might be the best route.
 

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I've always carried a full size 1911, IWB with a UBG Canute. The longer barrel gives a slightly better sight radius, and a little more weight to help with faster follow up shots.

A Springfield Mil-spec or loaded would bee a good place to start (Although I still carry my SA GI model), depending on the features you want.
 

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One of the local gun shop guys was showing me a S&W 1911 and he said that the grip was more important when concealing as opposed to length and then showed me this model i think it was the Compact ES, not sure, anyway he said that the ES was made for ES becuase it had an officer grip with a commander size - something like that but the jist was the frame was full sized and the grip was reduced.

Anyone know what he was talking about?? I may have the terms reveres but I think he said officers/commander, I dunno.

I was also looking at the Milspec becuase they seem to be inexpensive. I would like to stay under $700 if possible. Any ideas???
 

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... How do I begin to narrow the field of choices?? Which size for CCW? Is is the Grip length or the Barrel Length that will be the most important factor for CCWing.
jwalker497 ... welcome to the darkside :yup:. In answer to your questions (one man's opinion only):

1. The primary criteria in selecting a new CCW gun must first and formost be aquiring a gun that is as close to 100% reliable as possible (you're betting your life on it).

2. Since 1911s range in price from $500 to $3,500 and more, I would suggest you narrow the field as follows:
* Establish a comfortable price range.
* Determine which manufacturers and which guns meet your general price range (reviewing current and completed auctions on gun broker can assist with this process).
* Research the Manufacturers (and guns of interest) on one of the 1911 forums (my preference is 1911 Forum.com). While time consuming, there is a tremendous amout of information available.
* Handle (and shoot if possible via friends or rental) as many 1911s as possible before you make your final decision.

3. While I love to shoot full size 1911s, my personal preference is a 3" barrel for CCW, (my EDC is a SS Springfield .45acp Micro-compact). I like the benefit of both a shorter barrel and the officer length grip for ease of concealment.

Hope it helps ... Good luck with your decision!
 

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Is it dark in here?

I started carrying a full size (Colt Gold Cup,) but after ten years switched to the 4 1/4" Combat Commander (my eyes weren't as good,) and after another ten years I switched to a lightweight 3" with a shorter (officer's) grip (Kimber Ultra CDP.) I really appreciate the light alloy frame, now, and the shorter grip is much easier to conceal. I can still get all my fingers on it. There is a 4" version with the light weight short grip (ie. Kimber Compact.) Take a look at Colt, Kimber, and Springfield Armory offerings, but be careful, they multiply like rabbits in your safe.
 

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I carried a Colt .45 ACP, 70 series, Satin Chrome Combat Commander for over 10 years then I switched to carrying Glocks, in 1985.

When I get the urge I will still slip a Colt XSE Lightweight commander ( 45 ACP) in a IWB holster and it conceals well.

I have alway found that the grip length has more to do with concealabilty the barrel/slide length.

FOR ME: I have tried the sub-compacts and they don't conceal well for me. Like a block of 2X4 wood stuck on the outside of my belt, VERY NOTICEABLE
 

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In the summer I usually carry a Glock 23 most of the time.....The other three seasons it's usually a full size 1911. (IWB UBG Canute) I'm not a huge fellow either...medium build, 5'7" 170lbs. No problem concealing or carrying. Good holster & belt make all the difference.
 

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Check out the Dan Wesson CBOB or whatever model they replaced it with. It has a 4.25" barrel and a "bobtail grip" which aides to its concealability. If weight is a factor, check out the Kimbers that have the alloy frames. The 1911 is an awesome handgun! The model has been around for over 100 years! That's saying something. Good luck in what ever to decide.:wave:
 

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1911 cqb

Ditto RamRod.

I have carried a 1911A1 for the majority of 22 years as a cop, both on duty and off. I have carried and owned everything from the Philippine brands (RIA and High Standard) to Springfield Armory and Kimber rail models. I have to tell you . . . if you are involved in a shooting, whether you hit the threat or not, you will lose that pistol. You may get it back but it may take years before that happens. A Glock is about as inexpensive as you can buy in a "Most Reliable" defensive pistol but . . . if you insist on a 1911 pistol, you will do very well to look at the new Para-Ordnance GI Expert or one of the Rock Island Armory and/or a High Standard, maybe a Kahr Arms (AKA: Auto Ordnance). These can be had for somewhere between $400.00 to $500.00 new. Cheaper if they're used. For CQB/self defense one of these will serve every bit as well as the other brands selling for $750.00 to $3,000.00. Try 'em, you'll like 'em. On the GI style hammer, just have the gun shop armorer bob the hammer a bit to alleviate the notorious "hammer bite".

Con1
 

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One of the local gun shop guys was showing me a S&W 1911 and he said that the grip was more important when concealing as opposed to length and then showed me this model i think it was the Compact ES, not sure, anyway he said that the ES was made for ES becuase it had an officer grip with a commander size - something like that but the jist was the frame was full sized and the grip was reduced.

Anyone know what he was talking about?? I may have the terms reveres but I think he said officers/commander, I dunno.

I was also looking at the Milspec becuase they seem to be inexpensive. I would like to stay under $700 if possible. Any ideas???
The gun store guy is right. The grip tends to be the most difficult part to conceal. I use thin grip bushings and grips to minimize this issue as well. Basically, the Compact ES has a commander length barrel with an officers frame. It should be noted that full sized magazines can be overinserted into a compact frame, sometimes breaking the ejector. Compact magazines with a max capacity of seven are used.

1911 sizes:

Govt = full size frame and 5" bbl
Comander = 4.25" barrel with full frame (came out in 1952)
Officers = 3 5/8 barrel with compact frame
defender = 3" barrel with compact frame
 

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My opinion, for what it is worth, is that full sized 1911's are to big for CCW; some people say they can do it but it really takes some wardrobe effort and a very good holster and belt to make it work. The sub-compact 1911's I have fired, never owned one, are like any other sub-compact I have fired; to small to control and fire accurately--if I need a sub-compact sized pistol I generally go with a snubbie; which is most of the time. That leaves the commander, my preference, it is a perfect compromise size and with an alloy frame can be very comfortable.

Having said that, my full sized is my dresser and OWB gun and my commander is IWB and fanny pack. If I really need to conceal a gun I normally go with my Kahr K9 IWB or a snubbie in a coat or cargo pocket.

There are 10,000 people out there that will tell you I am full of it and carrying a full sized 1911 all day is perfect, that is fine with me; I am just saying what works for me.
 

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I really like the CCO concept (officers frame with a commander slide/barrel) it seems to me to be the best of both worlds. As some of the others said, the barrel/slide length isn't really the issue, it's the grip that's hard to conceal. Pictured is my Baer Stinger compared to my Concept V:



About the only thing I'd do differently is get an alloy frame to shave some weight.

Chuck
 

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Comander = 4.25" barrel with full frame (came out in 1952)
Colt introduced the Commander to the commercial market in 1949, the Combat Commander intro'd 1970.

This is the 48th Commander made in 1949.



Colt was working on a "Commander" type pistol as early as 1929.



Officers = 3 5/8 barrel with compact frame
The Colt Officers ACP has/had a 3.5" barrel.
 

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I am slowly coming over to the darkside and starting to realize what they are so popular and how unique they are. Now for a CCW piece, what size would you reccomend? How do I begin to narrow the field of choices?? Which size for CCW? Is is the Grip length or the Barrel Length that will be the most important factor for CCWing. Please help thanks.

3in or 4in barrels?? Can you reccomend some inexpesive carry options. The only drawback is they seem to be more expensive than most handguns.
I love 1911's but not for CCW. The true beauty is in a full size.
 

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I have a Colt Defender and really like it. As others mentioned the Shorter barrel, grip and alloy frame make it much easier and more confortable for concealed carry.
 
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