This is truly an example of a fine-tuned classic. Introduced in 2007 as the Enhanced Micro Pistol (EMP), the pistol’s action is 0.125 inches shorter than Springfield’s full-sized 1911. This allows for a shorter grip radius and provides excellent control. The overall dimensions are some of the smallest out there, and it’s loaded with features and an impressive magazine capacity. (<a target=blank href=http://www.springfield-armory.com/products/1911-emp-9-mm>http://www.springfield-armory.com</a>; 800-680-6866)
Available through Legacy Sports, the Citadel M-1911 is comes in full size or compact sizes with wood or Hogue synthetic grips. Compacts are available in .45 ACP or 9mm. These M-1911 semi-autos pack a lot of extra features without the extra price. The new Cerakote models (shown) provide an attractive finish, but more importantly, the most durable protection against corrosion, impact and scratches. Compacts comes with two 7-round mags. (<a target=blank href=http://www.legacysports.com/m-1911>http://www.legacysports.com</a>; 800-553-4229)
From the original manufacturer of the 1911 comes the Colt Defender series. With a wonderfully contoured, full-sized grip, it’s easy to handle yet compact and solid as a hammer. It’s a reliable workhorse, available in either .45 ACP or 9mm, that can handle lots of range practice and many hours in the holster. (<a target=blank href=http://www.colt.com/Catalog/Pistols/Defender™Series.aspx>http://www.colt.com</a>; 800-962-2658)
From a company synonymous with precision 1911s comes the Kimber Micro Carry. It’s as compact as can be and somewhat uniquely chambered in .380 ACP, a popular self-defense round offering excellent recoil recovery for follow-up target acquisition. Simple, clean and functional with nothing unnecessary on board, this is a great option as a backup pistol or as a CCW firearm for shooters with smaller hands. (<a target=blank href=http://www.kimberamerica.com/micro/micro-carry>http://www.kimberamerica.com</a>; 888-243-4522)
Here’s what Kimber’s concept of CCW looks like with the bells and whistles blaring. Featuring reduced dimensions and a light weight, plus power and magazine capacity along with Crimson Trace Lasergrips, the TLE II is truly a complete carry package with a refined edge. Rounded and blended edges and a beveled magazine well ensure a clean draw every time. (<a target=blank href=http://www.kimberamerica.com/1911/ultra-carry-ii/ultra-tle-ii-lg>http://www.kimberamerica.com</a>; 888-243-4522)
Clean and classic with all the necessary features and nothing extraneous, Ed Brown’s Executive Carry sports the classic Ed Brown Bobtail housing, which reduces the projecting butt of the mainspring housing without sacrificing the full grip size or magazine capacity. The slide has been reduced to just 4.25 inches, providing minimal printing, a lighter weight in an all-steel gun and a design that pushes the limits of John Browning’s original design. (<a target=blank href=http://www.edbrown.com/executivecarry.htm>http://www.edbrown.com</a>; 573-565-3261)
The Desert Eagle 1911U was showcased recently in the pages of CH. Author Mike Detty summed it up best: “The DE1911U possesses one of the best triggers of any 1911 I’ve tested. It breaks right at 3.5 pounds with very little creep and no overtravel. The trigger itself tracks straight back and forth without any binding or play. It has a very positive reset, and that made rapid shooting very easy. Firing controlled pairs at steel targets set up at 15 yards, I managed splits, or time between shots, of 28 hundredths of a second—nearly as fast as I can do with a steel-framed, full-size gun!” (<a target=blank href=https://www.magnumresearch.com/Firearms/Magnum-Research-Desert-Eagle-1911-U-Model.asp>http://www.magnumresearch.com</a>; 508-635-4273)
For those who simply cannot abide a short-grip pistol, the Executive Carry strikes a unique balance between size and concealability. It has a full-sized grip under a very short barrel (3 inches) and slide (5.125 inches). It also features an Ed Brown Bobtail frame for optimal concealment, minimal printing and maximum grip, making it perfect for everyday carry, especially in a shoulder rig. And because of its shape, it will fit in most full-size 1911 holsters. (<a target=blank href=http://para-usa.com/2013/firearms/executive/executive.php>http://www.para-usa.com</a>; 888-999-9386)
Para is famous for its high-capacity, wide-frame 1911s, breaking from the traditional single-stack magazine. The Warthog is much the same design, only with a 3-inch barrel and a shortened grip, reducing the capacity from 14 to 10 rounds. A bumper on the magazine allows the shooter to get all three fingers on the butt for better control. The Warthog is tiny, extremely concealable, has all-steel construction and a nice weight, and allows for great control with such a small gun. (para-usa.com; 888-999-9386)
It might be called “Nightmare,” but it’s a dream to shoot, and to look at! For those who prefer a heavier, more full-sized pistol with a thin profile, the shortened Carry version of Sig’s 1911 design abides with a rounded butt and Hogue grips, making for a clean draw and a secure grip in any situation. Available in .45 ACP and .357 SIG, it rides best in a crossdraw or open-loop belt holster. (<a target=blank href=http://www.sigsauer.com/CatalogProductDetails/1911carry-nightmare.aspx>http://www.sigsauer.com</a>; 866-345-6744)
Built on an aluminum Officer’s Model frame, the lightweight Shadow will be easy for any 1911 shooter to handle right out of the box. Low-profile tritium sights provide easy target acquisition and help prevent snags on the draw. With a flared ejection port and bull barrel, the Shadow is a fine example of a high-quality CCW 1911 from a respected manufacturer. (<a target=blank href=http://www.stiguns.com/the-sti-shadow/>http://www.stiguns.com</a>; 512-819-0656)
The Compact Carry pistol provides comfort and versatility for a shooter because of its components and size. The semi-auto Compact Carry model is chambered in .45 ACP and holds seven rounds. Its snag-free sights include a Novak-style rear and a dovetail-mounted front. Featuring a high-sweep beavertail grip safety and a GI thumb safety, this 1911 pistol is designed for carrying, comfort and ease of use.(<a target=blank href=http://www.taylorsfirearms.com/taylor-s-tactical-1/taylor-s-tactical-1911-models/taylor-s-tactical-1911-compact-carry-45-acp-3-5-8.html>http://www.taylorsfirearms.com</a>; 540-722-2017)
This is the smallest, lightest pistol made by the always-reliable Wilson Combat. Made with top-tier components and optimized for high-performance 9mm loads, the Ultralight Sentinel is designed for concealment with a rounded butt frame that’s 0.5 inches shorter than a standard compact, with the pistol’s grip guiding the hand immediately into the shooting position. It’s one of the best Wilson Combat has to offer, and it’s just plain tough looking.(<a target=blank href=http://wilsoncombat.com/new/handgun-ultralight-carry-sentinel.asp#.VKsO3N7Q6TA>http://www.wilsoncombat.com</a>; 800-955-4856)
The very name of the 1911 pistol is a testament to the design’s longevity, reliability and versatility. These qualities have caused the pistol’s popularity to not only remain constant since its advent, but to spike sharply in recent years. It is the pinnacle of what a semi-auto pistol strives to be and rides in many concealed carry holsters.
With so many small companies offering custom and small-run 1911s, along with many of the major handgun manufacturers bringing their own versions to market, there are a lot of guns for the shooter to choose from.
As classic .45s, higher-capacity 9mm’s and match-grade target pistols, the 1911 has a potential home with every shooter. Its thin profile has always made it a popular and comfortable CCW gun. But the classic has corners and controls that can snag too easily, and print through clothing. These pistols, however, are 1911s modified for CCW without sacrificing features or reliability for compactness.
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by Personal Defense World / Jan 13, 2015