15 Officer 1911s GBA 2015 lead
Top 15 Officer 1911s For Concealable Carry

Top 15 Officer 1911s For Concealable Carry

The officer 1911 is the smaller concealable side of the classic big-bore -- and these 15 1911s are about as good as it gets!

It is a tall order to take a gun designed over a century ago as a full-size military sidearm weighing 39 ounces and scale it down to a size barely greater than a medium-frame revolver with a 4-inch barrel and an average weight of just 25 ounces, all without giving up cartridge capacity (6+1 or 7+1) or compromising the gun’s handling characteristics. A compact .45 ACP semi-auto has to be large enough to manage recoil and maintain accuracy while compact enough to be carried concealed.

Today, there are numerous .45 ACPs that offer 7+1 capacity in a size that fits comfortably into an inside-the-waistband, belt or shoulder holster without the bulk of a traditional Government model. It began more than half a century ago with the Colt Commander (what used to pass for a compact model in the 1950s and 1960s), progressing to the old Series 70 Lightweight, Combat Commander in the 1970s and 1980s, and the Officer’s Model in the 1980s and 1990s.


Colt Defender

15 Officer 1911s GBA 2015 Colt Defender

Colt Defender

The Colt Defender is an excellent choice for .45 ACP concealed carry. This 3-inch-barreled model is equipped with Novak Low-Mount carry sights, a Colt upswept beavertail grip safety, an enhanced hammer, a lowered and flared ejection port, and a three-hole aluminum trigger. The overall length is 6.75 inches, the carry weight is 24 ounces and capacity is 7+1. Suggested retail is $995. A 9mm model is also available, offering 8+1 capacity in roughly the same dimensions. (colt.com; 800-962-2658)


Colt New Agent

15 Officer 1911s GBA 2015 Colt New Agent

Colt New Agent

The .45 ACP Colt New Agent (and the New Agent with Crimson Trace Lasergrips), weighs a modest 22.5 ounces with an overall length of 6.75 inches. It is designed for concealed carry and a snag-free draw with a rounded exterior and a single, slide-length sight channel (trench-style sight). The 3-inch, stainless steel, bushingless barrel, along with a lowered and flared ejection port, provide excellent accuracy and outstanding reliability. Features include an enhanced hammer, 1918-style safety lock, standard grip safety, three-hole aluminum trigger, lowered and flared ejection port, two finishes and optional Crimson Trace Lasergrips. This is a dedicated CQB pistol with a suggested retail of $1,078. (colt.com; 800-962-2658)


Kimber Ultra Carry II

15 Officer 1911s GBA 2015 Kimber

Kimber Ultra Carry II

Weighing in at 25 ounces with a 7+1 capacity, the Kimber Ultra Carry II has a 3-inch, match-grade barrel and fixed low-profile sights. The pistol has an overall length of 6.8 inches, height of 4.75 inches, a heavy 18-pound recoil spring, a full-length guide rod and an aluminum, match-grade trigger. Built on a lightweight, aluminum frame, the Kimber model is handcrafted for fit, finish and long-term reliability. The Ultra Carry II has a price of $919. (kimberamerica.com; 888-243-4522)


MetroArms Compact Commander

15 Officer 1911s GBA 2015 MetroArms Compact Commander

MetroArms Compact Commander

The MetroArms Compact Commander is aptly marked “American Classic,” as it bears the distinctive lines of the traditional 1911 Officer models built for decades. The second largest of the 1911s featured at 7.5 inches in overall length, the MetroArms version of this 4.25-inch-barreled model uses a 4140 hammer-forged steel slide and 4140 steel frame, increasing the carry weight to 34.56 ounces. Standard capacity is 7+1 of .45 ACP. This MetroArms 1911 features all the desirable upgrades: flared ejection port, extended slide stop and thumb safety, combat-style hammer and trigger, and Novak-style rear sight. Price is $624. (metroarms.com; 732-493-0333)

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  • Jim McKinney

    If you could only select one (1) Sig, then how could you ignore any/all of their “Carry” models with the standard included upgrades … 4.2″ barrel & rounded butt frame? … e.g. – Sig Nightmare Carry:


    AMERICAN INGENUITY MEETS EUROPEAN REFINEMENT.The legendary 1911 design has been brought into the 21st century with the refinements today’s shooters demand, The 1911 Fastback Carry Nightmare pistol from SIG SAUER®, features a stainless steel frame with rounded grip and mainspring housing. Each pistol is built using premium internal parts including a match grade barrel, hammer/sear set and trigger. The all Nitron® coated frame and slide is contrasted with natural stainless controls, barrel bushing, extractor and grips screws.

    The Nightmare is finished with a set of black G10 double diamond grips that makes this 1911 SIG SAUER looks as good as it performs. Avalible chambered in .45 ACP and .357 SIG

  • l3ullDoZeR

    How could you not include a Dan Wesson..CCO or ECO?

  • tevo

    How come the sig nightmare carry isn’t included

  • sigjac

    There are some nice, not often seen, 1911’s in this article, one of the best in some time, in my personal opinion.