Best 1911 Pistol Options For Concealed Carry (2021)

Best 1911 Pistol Options For Concealed Carry (2021)

The 1911 pistol is now more than ever designed for concealed carry. Find the best models to keep your six safe.

What Are The Top Concealed Carry 1911 Options:

Springfield Armory Ronin Operator
Colt Lightweight Commander
Fusion Firearms Riptide-C

Dan Wesson Vigil CCO
Colt Wiley Clapp Lightweight Commander
Sig Fastback Nightmare Carry


Wilson Combat CQB Compact
Guncrafter Industries No Name CCO
Nighthawk Custom Talon II

More than a century old and still going strong. This is a claim made by only a few firearms. The 1911 pistol, on the other hand, is a rare firearm. Best 1911 Pistol Options For Concealed Carry (2021)

The handgun, invented by John M. Browning, is one of the most iconic weapons of all time. Honorable service in two world wars, numerous other conflicts, and in the hands of law enforcement and armed citizens alike tends to raise one’s stock. So, even with the flood of polymer pistols on the market today, the venerable pistol remains a giant among guns. Best 1911 Pistol Options For Concealed Carry (2021)

In fact, aside from plastic striker-fired pistols, it’s a safe bet that there are more 1911 models than any other handgun. In other words, navigating the market is difficult, especially for first-time gun or ammunition buyers.

Thumbnail History Of The Icon

Although it is not a requirement for purchasing a modern 1911, it is worthwhile to take the time to learn about the gun’s history. (However, if you want to skip ahead to the buyer’s guide, you’re welcome.) We won’t go into the intricacies of its development here; instead, we’ll point you to some experts on the 1911 who have written in-depth histories of the gun. Robert Campbell’s The Birth of the 1911 Pistol and Patrick Sweeney’s 1911: Before the Great War are two of the recommended books. You won’t find a more comprehensive history of the gun’s development anywhere else.

For our purposes, we will concentrate on two aspects critical to the topic at hand—the modern 1911 pistol. To begin with, extensive testing revealed that John M. Browning’s design was eminently dependable—almost as steadfast as the march of time. One famous example of the pistol’s dependability was its ability to withstand 6,000 rounds of testing in its 1907 field trials. To say the least, it was a strong showing.

Another factor to consider is that the pistol was designed to be a man-stopper. The 1911 has certainly outgrown this pigeon hole, as it is now widely used in competitive shooting. However, its reputation as one of the deadliest handguns ever developed has been proven time and again in some of history’s bloodiest conflicts around the world. Today, given the 1911’s potential as a lifesaving option for the armed citizen, this is especially important. Of course, the pistol can only take partial credit at this point.

45 ACP

Ammunition also plays a role in the 1911’s potency, and the.45 ACP provides plenty of it. The cartridge, which was also developed by Browning in collaboration with U.S. Army Colonel John T. Thompson (of Thompson submachine gun fame), defined non-magnum power for the majority of the twentieth century. In reality, the low-pressure cartridge is relatively easy to shoot and is far from a speed demon out of the muzzle.

The diameter of the.45 ACP, on the other hand, is where it makes hay. A threat is effectively neutralized by massive neural or cardiovascular damage or pain. Bullet breath, particularly with non-expanding military full-metal jacket bullets, increases the likelihood of inflicting one of the three. Depending on who you ask, this is now regarded as a negligible advantage in modern defensive handguns. Some argue that the 9mm is just as good as the.45 ACP due to advancements in ammunition, particularly more consistent bullet expansion.

This has some validity. The 9mm is unquestionably a viable self-defense option, and ammunition advancements have only increased its effectiveness. Even with advances in terminal ballistics, not every bullet expands, and the.45 ACP benefits from better bullets as well. A.45 bullet, no matter what, will almost always cut a larger wound channel than any other mainstream self-defense option on the market.

Buyer’s Guide Stipulations

A word about the buyer’s guide. There are a plethora of 1911 chamberings, as well as sizes and styles. We’d be here all day with a phonebook-length post attempting to list every worthy 1911 that came our way. As a result, there are some restrictions on the selections. Three, to be exact.

As the title suggests, we’ll be looking at models that are best suited for concealed carry. As a result, large Government-sized models and those outfitted for competition are missing.

In terms of chamberings, we’re sticking with.45 ACP models. Yes, this excludes many fine firearms, but we’re suckers for tradition. And it doesn’t get much more classic than a.45 1911.

The pistols, the final component, are currently in production. Again, there are some excellent classics available, some at reasonable prices, but availability is an issue. While browsing is enjoyable, we are not attempting to lead you on a wild goose chase. Furthermore, these are semi-custom and production guns. You don’t need a buyer’s guide if you’re buying a top-to-bottom custom gun.

Best 1911 Pistols $500-$1000

Springfield Ronin Operator

Springfield Range Officer is your best bet for an all-around gun at this price point. It’s the Ronin Operator for a fighting 1911, especially the Commander-sized 4.25-inch barreled model. The aluminum-alloy frame is where Springfield excelled, reducing the pistol to a near-featherweight (for a 1911) 29.5 ounces unloaded. The lack of heft makes it easier to carry on a daily basis.

The pistol features a traditional barrel bushing system, a foraged steel slide, plenty of checkering on the mainspring housing, and a nice set of laminate wood grips with Springfield’s dual cannon logo. Combat sights—fiber optic front—are low enough to ensure a clean draw and build a sight picture quickly. A “Mama Bear” thumb safety (left-side only) is large enough to engage and disengage intuitively without creating a dig point in your side when holstering. The Ronin Operator is a great concealed carry 1911 for the money.

Colt Lightweight Commander

Classics are difficult to outperform. The Combat Commander, a personal defense staple since 1950, certainly qualifies. The 1911 qualifies as a concealed carry piece, weighing in at 27 ounces unloaded and adhering to the original aluminum-frame design. Lightweight does cost a little more money in the hand, but it makes it easier to carry on a daily basis.

In 2016 and 2017, Colt improved the standard features of several of its pistols, including the Lightweight Commander. The manufacturer’s dual recoil spring system, an upswept beavertail, an undercut trigger guard, G10 “Black Cherry” grips, and genuine Novak sights were among the enhancements. They’re good fighting sights, and they’re close to the slide, but the familiar three dots catch the eye. Unfortunately, Colt still manufactures the Commander with a series 80 fire control—a drop-safety system that results in a trigger that isn’t nearly as snappy as the original series 70. This isn’t a deal breaker because it’s comparable to what you’ll find on nearly any striker-fired.

Fusion Firearms Riptide-C

Yes, it exceeds the price limit for this tier, but the Riptide-C is one of the best values on the list. The company was founded by the former president of Dan Wesson and is best known for custom 1911s and parts. They jumped into the production pistol game a few years ago with very impressive results.

It’s difficult to go wrong with any of the Freedom Series pistols, but the Riptide-C stands out as a hidden carry 1911 gem. The small details, such as mainspring and frontstrap checkering, fastback grip cut, lowered and relieved ejection port, and front cocking serrations, make it a self-defense winner. And the 4.25-inch barreled pistol is made entirely of steel. It’s a little hefty, but it’s appreciated when you pick up the gun’s pace. Make no mistake, the Riptide-C is fast. It has a traditional Series 70 firing system and provides a very predictable and light break—around 4 pounds. As a side note, the price listed here should be regarded as a starting point. Spend a little more.

Best 1911 Pistols $1000-$2000

Dan Wesson Vigil CCO

Fit tight as a drum and finished to turn heads, one wonders how Dan Wesson can sell the Vigil CCO for such a low price. It’s entry-level by the company’s standards, but it’s head and shoulders above nearly everything in its price tier and below. Every part of the gun, including the lightweight aluminum frame, is forged or tooled. In short, the Vigil CCO is a high-quality firearm.

It can also be carried. For those who are unfamiliar with the CCO 1911 configuration, it is simply a Commander-length slide mounted on an Officer-sized frame. A CCO maintains a longer sight radius and more weight up front while drastically reducing the pistol’s height, which is the primary cause of printing. It’s a good middle ground.,keeping it low-key but extremely shootable You give up a round and the grips are shortened, but Dan Wesson doesn’t abandon you (maybe your pinky).

Ample checkering on the frontstrap and mainspring housing, as well as hardwood grips, provide exceptional control. It’s also worth noting that the pistol comes with a tritium front sight and a tactical rear sight, making it suitable for use in low-light conditions.

Colt Wiley Clapp Lightweight Commander

The Wiley Clapp Lightweight Commander may be the ergonomic masterpiece of this buyer’s guide, as comfortable as well-worn shooting gloves. Oval grips fill the hand comfortably and, when combined with 25 LPI fore and aft checking, create a positive surface from which to control the gun.

While lightweight, the gun weighs 30 ounces, which puts it in the middle of the pack for aluminum-framed irons. Far from prohibitive for everyday carry, and a benefit when fully utilizing the gun’s series 70 trigger. The Clapp LW Commander, like most Colts coming out of Connecticut, has high-quality accoutrements, including genuine Novak sights and dual recoil springs.

The rear sight on Clapp models has an extra-wide rear notch for faster target acquisition and a low-profile thumb safety (pro or con depending on who you are). The Clapp Commander was designed to be a fighting pistol, and that is exactly what shooters get.

Nighthawk Custom Talon II

You will receive uncompromised execution regardless of the Nighthawk. The pistols, like nearly every other example in this tier of 1911, are built to excruciating tolerances by masters of the craft, with top-grade materials, and customizable in any way you can think of. Even if you stuck with the Talon II’s base model, you wouldn’t be compromising in any way.

The commander-sized pistol has a number of features that make it an excellent option for concealed carry. The most notable of these is a forged aluminum frame, which reduces the weight of the pistol to just under 35 ounces. Nighthawk adds upgraded controls, such as a bilateral safety with matching paddles on both sides of the gun, and a beavertail grip.

The trigger is made of aluminum and has an adjustable overtravel stop. Its guard has a high cut where it meets the frontstrap. All of this results in extremely intuitive manipulation and shooting.

The Talon II has Heinie Slant Pro Straight Eight Tritium night sights for low-light use, as well as a match-grade barrel to hit what you aim at. Fore and aft checkering abounds, and Cocobolo grips give the pistol a classic appearance. In a nutshell, it’s the whole shebang.

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