What size 1911 preferred for EDC?

Discussion in '1911 Forum' started by CHLChris, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. Government 5"

  2. Commander 4.25"

  3. Officer's 3.5"

  4. Defender 3"

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

    I recently bought a Springfield Armory Loaded Government-size 1911. I've definitely drunk the Kool-Aid on 1911's and the .45acp round and I'd love to get a smaller 1911 to carry.

    There is no BEST size to carry. Since most 1911 have roughly the same grip shape (though the smaller ones have a shorter grip length), I would think the only main differences would be how one feels about a long barrel.

    What are your thoughts about the best size for you? What do you carry now?
  2. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

    FWIW, I can't carry here in the formerly Golden State, so I don't have any practical experience carrying a 1911.

    I've owned four full size and one Commander length 1911. That inch in barrel length doesn't seem like much of a difference to me, but I would opt for the Commander length.

    When I worked at the gun shop, I carried an SP101 in a Bianchi slide holster. I also carried a Colt Pocketlite in the back pocket of my jeans without a holster or a CZ82 also in the back pocket of my jeans. I didn't care for the Bianchi, so I carried the Ruger in my back pocket as well.

    I'm not very tall, so a high rise concealment holster puts the butt of a handgun uncomfortably high for me.

    Your body shape and height are also factors to be considered in where and how you carry as well as what you carry.

    I dunno if this helps, but it's what I've got.

  3. lonyaeger

    lonyaeger Active Member

    My carry 1911 is based on an Officer's frame with a Commander-length slide and that works out perfectly for me and my average height and build.
  4. JonM

    JonM Lifetime Supporting Member Lifetime Supporter

    i had to vote for defender and full size. winter time here allows easy full size carry summer demands small pattern 1911. with the change in governors here in wi we will have legal ccw soon. my daily carry will be colt series 70 and colt new agent. back in texas my carry pieces were sig p220 and para-ordanace p10. back when tejas got ccw i was one of the first folks through the then new ccw courses there werent many if any handguns designed arround ccw.

    one of the things to wrry about in ccw is parts sticking on clothing. the main problem of ccw are the sights most ccw guns use low profile novak sights or in the case of the new agent a trench sight.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010
  5. mesinge2

    mesinge2 New Member

    I agree with lonyaeger , I believe the best model is the DW CCO or the SIG version of it. It has the abbreviated Officer's frame and a Commander's 4.25" Slide. I feel it is the best combination of shootability, reliability, and concealment.

    That's said I most often carry my Colt Defender followed closely by my Colt Combat Elite:

    View attachment 21198
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2011
  6. dunerunner

    dunerunner New Member

    Voted for the Government because that is what I am familiar with and carry. In winter it is in my shoulder rig, in summer IWB.

    IGETEVEN New Member

    Full Gov carry, either concealed, OWB, drop holster or backpack.
  8. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

    I personally don't see much difference carrying a full size or Commander length 1911. I use them both many times in the same rigs. if the 3" is your cup of tea then by all means get one. I thought about getting one of the Para Companions a while back. Still might at some point but I can stick with what I have and feel just fine.
  9. NGIB

    NGIB New Member

    I do carry a 1911 some in the cold weather months and my preference is an alloy frame 4 inch model. It's a tad lighter but still has the 1911 feel. I shy away from the micro-barrel guns myself. I bought this Springer Loaded just for the winter carry option...

  10. kenhesr

    kenhesr New Member

    I gotta go with the Govt. It rides in my leather briefcase most of the time so size is not a problem and I always carry my briefcase!

    I have been known to carry my Berreta Minx in an ankle holster on very rare occasions, but thats off topic.


    My old Springer has a ton of miles on it, starting to look a little rough, but then again so am I. Wouldn't trade her for anything!
  11. spittinfire

    spittinfire Active Member Supporter

    4" Kimber, everyday no matter what the weather. Never had a problem making it disappear and like NGIB, it still feels and points well where some of the short barrel models don't point as well for me.
  12. DinkyDauDon

    DinkyDauDon New Member

    Depends on my mood. Either a 3" Kimber Ultra CDP II or a 5" Kimber Super Carry Custom. Each has it's own Brommeland MaxCon V IWB.


  13. Quentin

    Quentin New Member

    That's some durn good kool-aid yer drinkin' Chris, I like it too!

    I've carried a full size Colt Series '70 off and on for 35 years. Most of that time it wasn't concealed but times have changed and I do find it a little long for CCW. It's still a dependable friend but I have to vote for an Officer's model these days. Shedding 1.5" from the slide really is an improvement for CCW.
  14. kyleytxrialover

    kyleytxrialover New Member

    i carry both a ria 5in a ria 4in and a coltmkiv80 fs the only difference is the weight i have gotten to the point that i dont even feel them anymore
  15. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

    To me (remember, no experience carrying a 1911 yet), it seems to me that the length of barrel/slide wouldn't be nearly as big a issue as the grip length.

    Do people who carry an Officer's or Defender find the shorter grip something you can notice.

    Question #2: Do most holsters (or even all) that are made for 1911 fit all sizes? I'm asking this of fitted holsters with an open bottom like the Crossbreed SuperTuck (Kydex). Do those of you who carry 2 different 1911's based on mood or weather, use the same rig(s) for both?
  16. spittinfire

    spittinfire Active Member Supporter

    Chris, for me one of the biggest battles was thickness. I'm 6'1 180 so having something that is thick on my hip shows quickly. A 1911 is thin and with a holster is not much more then an inch which I can hide easily. Second to that was grip length which with the right holster isn't hard to overcome(I use a crossbreed).

    Open holsters should fit any size 1911. I'm not aware of any instance where it won't.
  17. canebrake

    canebrake New Member

    Words of wisdom;

    "Don't expect a 3" mouse 1911 to shoot anything like a Government model!" cane

    A Defender sized 1911 is not a gun for someone new to shooting or even 1911s just as a Corvette is not a car for a new driver.

    Can they operate them? Sure, but just think about how many high school kids died in their new Corvette. I'm just sayin'.

    Then again, nobody writes a song about a Volvo!
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  18. freefall

    freefall New Member

    I like my Kimber Compact; Officers frame size, Commander barrel length. Seems like the ideal compromise.
  19. pagj17

    pagj17 Active Member

    My "everyday carry" is Unloaded open carry, not concealed, but I still voted haha. 4.25 incher:)
  20. CHLChris

    CHLChris New Member

    I loved my Kahr PM9 for everyday carry. But I am really stuck on the .45acp! A few months ago when I bought my Springer 5" 1911, I loaded my first magazine with .45's and my eyes about bugged out. 9mm rounds look almost like .22's in comparison.

    Well, I just traded my Kahr PM9 for a Colt New Agent .45. It is basically a Defender, but has no traditional sights (it has a trench "sight"), the slide is blued instead of S.S., and the grip safety is a little different.

    I haven't fired it yet, but it feels GREAT in my hand.