Colt Defender: Having owned several Colt Defender pistols over the years, I can say that they have all been reliable, accurate and comfortable to carry. Adding a 9mm version to the lineup only makes it better. Soft-shooting, accurate and easy to shoot, the 9mm Defender is ready to go to work right out of the box. Rubber grips lock this compact pistol in place, allowing for smooth operation and little recoil. An upswept grip safety, enhanced hammer and aluminum trigger provide for a solid grip. Lowering and flaring the ejection port facilitates better reliability. For those looking to get a 3-inch-barreled 1911 with proven reliability, the Defender chambered in 9mm is a solid choice. MSRP: $1,200 (colt.com; 800-962-2658)
Dan Wesson Guardian: Dan Wesson’s Guardian is one of the most popular Commander-sized 1911 pistols available. Since its introduction, it has only gained in popularity, and chambering it in 9mm has certainly added to its appeal. Using an alloy frame, it remains lightweight. The bobbed grip frame prevents “printing” under clothing. Its stippled, carry-style grip panels and low-mount sights are perfect for concealed carry. With nine-round magazines, it provides solid capacity in a slim, single-stack design. If you are looking for a Commander-sized 1911 for concealed carry, the Dan Wesson Guardian should be at the top of your list. MSRP: $1,558 (cz-usa.com; 800-955-4486)
Kimber Aegis II: Kimber is a leader in the 1911 market with a plethora of choices. Kimber 1911 pistols are carried by professionals and enthusiasts alike, and its Aegis line is one of the most popular 9mm 1911 pistols out there. Available in full-sized, Pro and Ultra sizes, it provides the perfect 1911 pistol for any use. Aluminum frames keep things light, and complete “melting” makes it comfortable to carry. Low recoil allows for solid accuracy and custom touches like front strap checking and tritium night sights make it well suited to self-defense use. No matter the size, the Aegis line is a solid choice in a 9mm 1911 pistol. MSRP: $1,331 (kimberamerica.com; 888-243-4522)
Remington R1 Enhanced: The Remington R1, introduced in 2010, is a relative newcomer to the 1911 market. But Big Green’s contribution to the field is an eminently solid one, with precision-machined parts produced to ultra-tight tolerances for stellar accuracy and smoother shooting. Remington makes several versions of the R1, and the only one chambered, so far, in 9mm is the Enhanced model. Featuring a 5-inch, match-grade barrel, a skeletonized match trigger, a widened thumb safety, custom grips and a fiber-optic front sight, the R1 Enhanced is certainly feature-packed, especially for a well-made 1911 priced under $1,000. MSRP: $940 (remington.com; 877-801-1911)
Springfield Armory Range Officer: Springfield Armory’s latest 1911 offering in 9mm is the Range Officer. Designed to be ready for competition out of the box, the Range Officer is incredibly popular with first-time 1911 buyers. The pistol has the same quality forged frame and slide used on the Springfield Trophy Match and TRP models, and it comes with adjustable sights. Precision fitting provides for excellent accuracy. The high-swept grip safety, flat mainspring housing and long trigger make for solid accuracy. With its soft-shooting characteristics, it is perfect for those spending extended time on the range. (springfield-armory.com; 800-680-6686)
STI Tactical DS Lite TR: STI’s 2011 design is one of the most reliable 9mm platforms today. No full-capacity 1911 design has been tested more or faired as well. Full-sized versions dominate the competitive world. Tapping into this reliability, the Tactical DS Lite TR offers a compact, lightweight, 1911-style pistol carrying 15+1 rounds of 9mm. The ability to accept full-sized magazines provides as many as 27 rounds of 9mm in a proven platform that is comfortable to carry, easy to shoot and incredibly accurate. Frames are available in aluminum, and the polymer grip is only marginally larger than a single-stack 1911 pistol. When it comes to full-capacity 1911 designs, the STI Tactical DS Lite is one the best choices for a compact pistol. MSRP: $2,299 (stiguns.com; 512-819-0656)
Smith & Wesson 1911 Pro Series: One of the first major manufacturers to offer a full-sized 9mm 1911, the S&W Pro Series remains a favorite for many. Pro Series pistols are in between the standard and Performance Center models with a number of enhanced features. Adjustable sights make it well suited to competitors and target shooters. Nicely contoured controls and Pro Series features make it suitable for professional use or personal defense. Given its time in the marketplace, it is one of the most proven full-sized 1911 pistols, making it an excellent first choice in a 9mm 1911 pistol. MSRP: $1,609 (smith-wesson.com; 800-331-0852)
Taurus 1911: Taurus is well known for its revolvers, but it makes fine 1911s, too. Its 9mm Government Model-sized pistol can be had in either stainless steel or with a blued finish. Feature-packed but affordably priced under $900, the Taurus 1911 comes equipped with genuine ramped Novak sights, an ambidextrous thumb safety and a lightened, skeletonized trigger for a crisp pulls. The Taurus 1911 9mm accommodates a nine-round magazine for a total capacity of 9+1. MSRP: $719 – $826 (taurususa.com; 800-327-3776)
Wilson Combat CQB Elite: Wilson Combat builds some of the finest 1911 pistols you can buy. The company’s proven track record, attention to detail and dedication to the 1911 platform makes it a top choice for many. The CQB and CQB Elite are solid combat pistols built with self-defense, duty or hard use in mind. Built one at a time, by hand, these pistols offer custom design, proven parts and Wilson’s 100-percent satisfaction guarantee. Having used one extensively, it has proven to be the most reliable 9mm 1911 pistols I’ve tested to date, exhibiting stunning accuracy and reliability. Also from Wilson Combat and available in 9mm is the new Hackathorn Special. MSRP: $3,425 (wilsoncombat.com; 800-955-4856)
Demand for the venerable 1911 pistol remains steady after all these years, and is even increasing in some cases.
Numerous new designs in the handgun market have done little to slow the popularity of the 1911 pistol. It remains one of the most concealable, accurate and easy-to-shoot pistols on the market today.
- RELATED STORY: 10 Covert 1911s For Ultimate Concealed Carry
Choices abound with numerous compact and even subcompact models available.
Top competitors, tactical operators and enthusiasts alike continue to use full-sized 1911 pistols in various calibers and designs to great effect. Any talk of its demise, or even decrease in its popularity, is just that—talk—because the 1911 pistol is selling in record numbers with no indication that will change any time soon.
One of the most popular moves among manufacturers in the last couple years has been to the more-affordable-to-shoot 9mm cartridge, and the 1911 is no exception. Increasingly efficient for self-defense, the 9mm is subsequently becoming the caliber of choice for many.
Advances in machining, construction and demand have provided several solid 1911 pistols in this caliber. Easy concealment, soft recoil and incredible accuracy make the 1911 platform an excellent choice for this caliber.
Take a look at the gallery above for some top choices for 9mm 1911 pistols for self-defense and concealed carry.
- RELATED STORY: Elite Accuracy: Top 4 New 1911 Handguns For 2015
For more information on the 1911s mentioned in the gallery above, please visit the following websites:
- Colt Defender: (colt.com; 800-962-2658)
- Dan Wesson Guardian: (cz-usa.com; 800-955-4486)
- Kimber Aegis II: (kimberamerica.com; 888-243-4522)
- Remington R1 Enhanced: (remington.com; 877-801-1911)
- Springfield Armory Range Officer: (springfield-armory.com; 800-680-6686)
- STI Tactical DS Lite TR: (stiguns.com; 512-819-0656)
- Smith & Wesson 1911 Pro Series: (smith-wesson.com; 800-331-0852)
- Taurus 1911: (taurususa.com; 800-327-3776)
- Wilson Combat CQB Elite: (wilsoncombat.com; 800-955-4856)
The all new Automatic Retention Carry Holsters from Hogue will be available in right and...
by Tactical-Life / May 28, 2015