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Thread: 1911 For Carry?

  1. #1
    LeCarre Guest

    1911 For Carry?

    I'm thinking about buying a 1911 (Kimber or Wilson) and was wondering how practical it would be to carry. I've carried mine around my property, at ranges, schools, etc., but I haven't had to get in and out of a vehicle all day either.

    I haven't taken a job yet, but a few are pending. Neither are all that much larger than my P226 in .40, nor are their capacities much different. Having competed in some shoot-offs, with steel targets particularly, I'm really impressed with the stopping power.

    Yes, I know that all research points toward bullet placement rather than sheer force, that all bullets do what they're supposed to do, etc., but at the end of the day, I'm a proponent of the "big hole=big hurt" school.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Take a look at some of the past posts on SA carry and you'll find alot of discussion on pros and cons. There are not many PDs that allow 1911 carry and it's all SA liability issues (perceived or not).

    I know Albuquerque PD was one that allowed it, but I can't speak for current quals.

    Great firearm and lots of practice required if you'd carry cocked and locked. Need that muscle memory practice on acquire target, remove safety and shoot. Plus before holstering, render safe and reholster.

    I'm a big .45 fan and just ordered a Kimber Tactical II. But I wouldn't carry it on duty. For me, there's just too much to deal with tactically to deal with the SA features, plus too many great .45's to worry about the SA safety features. DM
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!
    Hunter S. Thompson

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    I have to agree with DM Clark. I carried one for 5 years in my old department. Muscle memory is a must. Not many departments allow it not just for the liability issues (real or not) but for the all encompassing "political correctness." Some departments would hate to have their people carry their cocked-and-locked 1911 and be singled out by the citizenry they are serving as menaces and unsafe.

    If your future has a blue uniform for you, consider the .45s out there that are traditional double actions or safe-action.

    ed

  4. #4
    Erik Guest
    The venerable 1911 carries better than many pistols due to its relative width; it is narrower through the frame and slide than many over-engineered modern pistols. That translates into less bulk on your side... The fact that they can be had in just about what ever barrel length you prefer may or may not come into play, depending on your carry preference.

    Single stack magazines are thinner than their double stack bretheren, translating to less bulk on your support side, under your arm, in your pocket, etc.

    Frames are available in steel, aluminum, or polymer. what's your preference? There is a 1911 out their for you.

    They are ideal carry pistols, all things compared, imo.

  5. #5
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    Erik: Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the 1911. However, your argument on the ideal "carry pistol" cites size/bulk in making it "ideal". That's only a small part of the carry equation.

    I was speaking in a tactical sense on the advisability of operational issues in carrying the 1911 on duty, either on a uniform belt or concealed. In my opinion, the required training is significant and not worth the operational liabilities in a tactical situation when you have DA capabilities in many other pistols.

    Many LE organizations have had difficulties even with DA pistols when the PD required officers to carry them in "safe" mode. Take the old S&W Model 39 (one of the first autos carried after the revolver) and put the safety on. When drawn during a confrontation, many officers pulled the trigger with no results, because they forgot to take the safety off! The same holds true with a 1911 carried cocked and locked or worse, with a round in the chamber and hammer down. Both modes require alot of training and again in my opinion, it's not worth it.

    Move to a double columed Sig 220 or Glock 21 or if you can, a Para-Ord 7.45, which has everything a 1911 does, but also has a sweet DA trigger.

    All have the great .45 round with no operational issues. DM
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!
    Hunter S. Thompson

  6. #6
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  7. #7
    Erik Guest
    Well...

    The poster asked about how practical it is to carry 1911s. The objective answer in my opinion is very, based on the criteria I listed. it boils down to size efficiency, something seemingly lacking from most makes and models available lately.

    The subjective answer remains the same imo; safely carrying any firearm requires the strict adherence to the 4 rules. That's it.

    The fact that many LEOs aren't taught what they are, or worse, are taught to violate them, does not make single action pistols inherently unsafe, it makes those LEOs unsafe.

    The safety on a 1911 is not a complicated device. Correctly manipulating it takes seconds to discern, and while it certainly may take some "extra time" to develop familiarity with it, that extra time is not particularly appreciable. (If an officer isn't committed to the amount of training it takes to get the safety flick thing down, please don't let him near me with any gun.)

    There have been documented instances where the lives of LEOs have been saved following successful gun grabs due to the presence of external safeties that the bad guys where unfamiliar with. Those officers are here today because of pesky safeties.

    By the way, any statistical proof that the relatively few LEOs carrying 1911s subject their peers and the general public to greater incidents of negligent discharges than the legions of their counterparts carrying, oh say, Glocks?

    Anyway...

    1911s conceal readily, are certainly among the most "shootable" pistols ever devised due in no small part to ergonomics and trigger design, and will continue to remain held in high regard by legions of shooters who rely on them from everything from winning accuracy contests to defending their lives.

    I advise trolling some of the large firearms websites for more info.

    I've got to run... You may have heard of the cult-like 1911 following out there. It is time to pray; several times a day facing the north east. Splash some Hoppe's in a bowl, sprinkle in some gun powder... The mantra? "JMBJMBJMB..."
    Last edited by Erik; 09-28-2003 at 20:26.

  8. #8
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    Erik: Again, you're preaching to the choir. However, I ask you to look at the use of the 1911 in LE organizations today. It is a minor sidearm. Not because of it's rich history or potential, but due to the liability issues with the SA 1911 carried by the MAJORITY of the department.

    I don't know if you're currently in LE or not, but I can attest to the fact that we still have officers and agents who are carrying green ammo in dirty handguns. Many PDs have little budget for training or tactical range time. So, they seek the lowest common denominator which will serve all. It took some departments YEARS to move out of the .38 158 grain roundnose bullet fired from a revolver. It wasn't that many years ago and officers still were killed awaiting that change.

    "Practical" is a real open ended question. I like the .45 1911, but as a Supervisor/Administrator, I wouldn't authorize it for my personnel. To my understand, the only federal agency that authorizes 1911 carry is the FBI and that's ONLY for HRT personnel. (Springfield TRP Pro)

    Enjoy the 1911!
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!
    Hunter S. Thompson

  9. #9
    Erik Guest
    Yes, I'm a LEO. A fed. I'm issued an HK. I carry a 1911 on my own weapons permit off duty a fair amount of the time.

    There are so many different federal agencies with almost as many firearms policies thatit would be nigh on impossible to analyze the ins-and-outs of why a given agency allows what to be carried and by whom.

    Too true about the green ammo and dirty guns... A shame.

    Boo hiss on you for not allowing 1911 carry.

    Yes, I understand why.

    Oh well, apparently they are making a comeback somewhat as officers realize how shootable they are and demand to be allowed to carry them absent stats proving why they shouldn't. Stats which likely do not exist. (Officer safety arguments go far in law enforcement, after all.)

    Anyway, choir preaching mode off.

  10. #10
    LeCarre Guest
    Great points all. Having just returned from Gunsite where the 1911 is king, it was hard for me to imagine why anyone would shy away from carrying one. All instructors were either former Feds or Muni's and all carried 1911's on duty. At the ranch, they were locked and cocked and I can only assume they carried same.

    Man, how nice to visit a state where anyone can carry!

    "Sir, I'd like to withdraw $500 from my checking account."

    "Yes, sir, simply fill out a withdrawal slip. Say, that's a nice Kimber you have there on your belt!"

    Adding credence to the saying that "an armed society is a polite society".

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Before AZ had a more enlightened carry policy, they STILL had the "carry in open sight" law. It sure was disconcerting to see a biker on his hog with a .45 in a belt scabbard. All legal.

    Hey LeCarre, how was Gunsite? I've been thinking there or Thunder Ranch. I like Thunder for the shooting houses. DM
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!
    Hunter S. Thompson

  12. #12
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    I carried a 1911 (Gov't, Commander, and Officers ACP variants) and a Browning Hi-Power for several years as an uniformed officer, usually in a Safariland SSIII holster. I have carried them also over the past ten years as a plain clothes investigator. They are all steel guns so they can get a little heavier than say a Glock after 8-10 hours duty.

    Like any weapon, one needs to be versed in its operation and operating it needs to become second nature. You will find that dropping the safety on a 1911 or BHP becomes a simple thumb motion downward that you will do after releasing the thumbbreak of your holster and drawing your weapon. The S&W safety seems not to be a natural movement for me as it requires a upward motion versus downward.

    I agree with DMCLARK...I love the 1911 and am very comfortable with carrying it cocked and locked. I instinctively drop the safety when drawing and keep the finger off the trigger until ready to fire. As a firearms instructor, I am a little leary about giving new shooters a 1911, as they may not have developed their skills so that certain things are automatically done.

    I would look at a stock Colt 1991 Government model for a good carry gun. The trigger is nice, but not too light, and is about right for duty work. Just remember to practice a lot so that certain actions become instinctive. I watch lots of our shooters and see them struggling with what does what on their guns.

    Also, I will go out on a limb, but I feel that a cocked and locked Colt is just as safe if not safer than a Glock. Remember that the Glocks looks are deceiving. What you don't see is the striker that is preloaded (cocked if you will). People get scared of the Colt because they see the hammer cocked back...too bad they don't know what is going on in the inside of a Glock. Also, the Colt has a grip safety and a manual thumb safety. The Glock a safety lever on the trigger. The trigger pull is a little bit stiffer and longer on a Glock but not by much.

    With all that said, a 1911 is good for duty as long as the person knows what they are doing with the weapon.

  13. #13
    LeCarre Guest
    DM, the experience at Gunsite was easily one of the top 10 funnest things I've done as an adult. So nice to get professional instruction at a fantastic facility. You start with Defensive Pistol 250. Before anyone out there thinks, "I'm more high-speed than the typical beginner," we had two USBP, two Air Force PJ's, three Texas Rangers, an Arizona Ranger, and a US "contractor" living in Bogota in my class. The two best shots were a 22 year-old college student and an overweight lawyer.

    I asked the staff about some of the other schools as a lot of the staff are "hired guns" and have taught elsewhere. There seems to be a fair amount of respect for Thunder Ranch, many of them saying that it was comparable. Not many good things to say about the school that's owned (?) by the chiropractic Dr. outside of Vegas.

  14. #14
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    I was to the Doc's school (Frontsight) when it was outside of Bakesfield in 98. Alot of former Gunsite instructors and Chuck Taylor was a guest instructor at that time. I heard all left over the Doc's ego and finances. Thanks for the news on Gunsite. DM
    Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!
    Hunter S. Thompson

  15. #15
    LeCarre Guest
    That's right. I seem to recall "talking" with you about Frontsight before. I don't mean to rip on it, but I have incredible disdain for egotistsical wanna-be's who try to fabricate their own little worlds, ala Dr. Evil. Again, his instructors are the real deal, but in my half-baked opinion, the "Dr." is a quack.

    I decided on Gunsite through a friend of mine who was the founder of IPSC, Ken Hackathorn. Apparenly, when Col. Cooper started Gunsite, it was the first of its' kind, so I thought it would be nice to start at Mecca and look East from there. I'll warn you, it's rather pricey, and if you're flying, staying locally, and renting a car, it gets up there in price.


 

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