SMITH & WESSON SW1911

The concealed carry handgun market has its share of tiny…

The concealed carry handgun market has its share of tiny guns in small calibers and reduced capacities. These guns can fit in your pocket, in an ankle holster or in other creative hideouts on or about your person. Sometimes, however, you long for a concealable handgun that actually fills your hand and carries several rounds of a very powerful caliber. Deep down inside, you might even want that handgun to be a 1911.

While some 1911 aficionados claim to be able to easily conceal full-sized, 5-inch-barreled Government models, concealment only gets easier as the physical mass of a weapon decreases. So a Commander-sized 1911—with the shorter 4.25-inch barrel—is concealed more easily than the larger Government model. Likewise, 3-inch-barreled 1911s should be even easier to hide. While 3-inch barreled 1911s are a significant departure from the original design and are considered heretical to 1911 purists, with three helpful accessories, they offer some key advantages that enhance their ability as deep-cover concealment weapons.

The Gun
Several manufacturers offer 3-inch-barreled 1911s. For this article, I acquired a Smith & Wesson SW1911 Pro Series. At $1,159, it is a better-than-stock-but-not-quite-custom 1911 that weighs only 26.5 ounces and comes with some very nice features. For example, the manual safety is one-sided which saves some space and helps prevent the accidental disengagement that might result in a deep-cover carry situation.

The gun’s synthetic grips are excellent, offering a rubber-like, textured surface that looks tactical and durable. Somewhat unfriendly to deep-cover concealment, however, are the S&W Pro Series seven-round magazines, both of which come with baseplates that extend about an eighth of an inch beyond the bottom of the stocks. Other than that, the Pro Series is thin (under 0.88 inches wide) but robust. It feels good in hand, draws well, and points instinctively—just like a 1911 should.

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