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I'm tossing around finding a thin, single stack 9mm for concealed carry. While I'm familiar with trigger safety pistols (Glock), I'd like to stick with an external safety. I do like the 1911 platform a lot. While recognizing there are inherent trade offs and the design was built for a full size pistol, what has been the forum's experience with smaller or micro iterations?

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I carried a P238 for several years, fit the bill for the circumstances. Now I carry a 365X with holosun reflex sight, because that model has a milled slide and easy sight install. It is by far the best platform I’ve ever shot as my primary weapon or EDC - from the standpoint of effectiveness and capacity.

Both eyes open, 12 rounds of 9mm - 24/25 with a second mag - light and conceals well, and shocked me at how well I can shoot it. I still carry the 238 with gym shorts etc but the 365 has been a significant upgrade. I was thinking to replace the 238 altogether, but I’m finding it hard to part with, and I also think it would be a good option for my wife.

I love shooting the 1911 platform, but the 365 is a big improvement for me in terms of comfortable everyday firepower. I do not own any other striker fired pistols, but I also replaced my 1911 in .45 with an HK P30L in 9mm. Same reason, practical, 15 rounds and easy light mount.

Would like to buy another 1911 at some point but can’t justify it now.
 

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+1 for the Kimber Micro 9. It’s about half the weight as the CCO sized Springfield Range Officer Compact that was my primary for several years, with out loosing capacity or too much accuracy.

I understand some folks have had issues with theirs. Thankfully, mine (and I understand many other folks’ too) has run well the past year I’ve had it and with fairly regular shooting (I enjoy country living!).
Just purchased one…hoping to get to the range soon…and hoping no issues crop up…
 

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Been here many times...

My sig p938 is small, harder to shoot but light and easily concealed. Has about 5000 rounds through the pipe without 1 malfunction. Granted i use the flush 6 rd mags only. I can do jumping jacks with this small thing on my waist. I dont even know its there..

My dan wesson ECO in 45 was the most malfunctioning pistol i have ever owned but after 2 trips back, i can carry it without worry. Last 3k rounds have been great.

A little bigger, my STI staccato C, single stack 9mm has been a great pistol with great accuracy and easy to carry.

My recent purchase, which is a double stack, the wilson edc sfx 9 is amazing, and small. Kind of chunky in the grip, but still small and light enough to carry. Flawless in operation from day one.

I don't have any range or bedside guns anymore, only carry pistols. I am not evening mentioning the dozens i have sold. These are my keepers. Good luck on your quest.
 

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One size does not fit all when it comes to CC. I carried several types of 1911's for years, IWB while doing field work as a geologist. Last one was a Rock Island compact .45. Also tried a Glock as it shoots well for me, but too blocky, thick and uncomfortable for everyday carry. Decided to try a Sig P-365 with 12-round magazine and never looked back. This thing points and shoots like a dream and in a Kydex IWB holster, you forget it is there. I am comfortable without a manual safety on this gun. There are lots of other choices to consider, but the P-365 is a good one, if it fits you. I have friends who will not use them because they have large hands and the P-365 grip is too small for them. Bottom line, each individual has differences that may make one gun better for him than a different gun that works well for other people. Try to get a chance to shoot them, if possible, before buying it. The P-365 happens to work for me and now that I wear suspenders without a belt, it does not try to stretch my suspenders like the weight of the 1911s did. By-the-way, I still have my 1911s and just got a new one in 10mm Auto. I will not be trying to carry that concealed.
 

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I'm tossing around finding a thin, single stack 9mm for concealed carry. While I'm familiar with trigger safety pistols (Glock), I'd like to stick with an external safety. I do like the 1911 platform a lot. While recognizing there are inherent trade offs and the design was built for a full size pistol, what has been the forum's experience with smaller or micro iterations?

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I like the Sig P938. Heavy enough to mitigate felt recoil, ambidextrous safety, and a relatively small package making it easy to conceal. And its a Sig! But truth be known…I usually carry a Beretta Tomcat 3032. Nice DA/SA Mine wears real ivory grips installed by Sig at no cost to me except for the ivory grips.
Unkei
Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Metal
Air gun Trigger Revolver Wood Gun barrel
Air gun Trigger Revolver Wood Gun barrel
 
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It is all about setup and equipment. I carry my full size 1911 using a G-code holster, appendix iwb. It is tuckable as well due to the retention clip design. With a proper belt I have no issues. It isn't like carrying my xds9 obviously, but with proper "aiming" down my groin line, it is comfortable and even when driving not a problem. I wore this to a funeral yesterday and had it on for 8+ hours. Also I am 6'3" and 240lbs.

That being said I am waiting for my Springfield CCC 1911 (9mm) to arrive. That should split the difference between my other two carry guns, and being a true 1911 design, it feels wonderful in my hand.
 

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...waiting for a H&K 1911 (yeah, right...)
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My Sig P938 Legion is basically a small sized 1911 (SAO) and handles like a champ, with or without a suppressor. Had the similar Kimber Micro 9 Rapide Blk Ice for a minute, but the P938 (actually) shot and carried better.
Air gun Trigger Line Gun barrel Gun accessory


I have yet to try a 1911 with a 3" barrel for CC...
 
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I'm tossing around finding a thin, single stack 9mm for concealed carry. While I'm familiar with trigger safety pistols (Glock), I'd like to stick with an external safety. I do like the 1911 platform a lot. While recognizing there are inherent trade offs and the design was built for a full size pistol, what has been the forum's experience with smaller or micro iterations?

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If you’re looking for real conceal ability, I would suggest a Sig P938 in 9mm. I carry mine in my front pocket inside a Galco pocket holster and I absolutely love it. It is a miniaturized 1911 with VZ Grips that stick to your hand like sandpaper, but without cutting into your skin, lol.
 
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Clint Smith, a firearms instructor at Thunder Ranch, once discussed the size of a pistol for self defense. He did not support the very light micro type handguns and commented, "...carrying a handgun should be "comforting" and not necessarily "comfortable."

I agree with his philosophy.....I want a carry gun that is larger and a 1911 Commander size is about the smallest size I will carry concealed. IMHO, there are several reasons why "bigger is better" if a person is unlucky enough to be caught in a self defense situation.

1) A small pistol may be good for pocket carry, but not good when trying to get the gun out of the pocket as fast as possible when needed.

2) For many "light weight" sub compact pistols, the sights are poor, and the grip is too short....a short grip does not allow the best grip to help mitigate recoil, and the lighter the gun, the more felt recoil and muzzle lift.....which does not help when fast follow up shots are needed.

3) A shorter barrel loses more muzzle velocity than a longer barrel. Generally speaking, for every inch loss of the barrel length, there is an average velocity loss of 50 fps.

4) A short barrel means a shorter sight radius, which does not allow optimal accuracy for longer shots if needed.

5) Most sub compact 9mm guns have less ammo capacity, usually 7 rounds or less in the mag.

My most often worn concealed carry gun is an STI 2011 Commander .38 super. The polymer grip reduces the over-all weight with a 17 round mag when compared to an all steel gun. My .38 super JHP handloads leave the 4.25" barrel at an average of 1,275 fps, and recoil is very manageable and the accuracy is excellent. I use a Kydex holster in the appendix position, and my draw is fast out of the holster. I do not feel under-gunned. I carry cocked and locked with 17+1 rounds in a 126mm flush fit mag, and one spare mag. A person needs to find the best size and weight pistol for their needs, and remember "size matters" in a self defense confrontation. I certainly don't recommend a micro sub compact 9mm handgun for self defense, since IMHO, there are better options.
 

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Clint Smith, a firearms instructor at Thunder Ranch, once discussed the size of a pistol for self defense. He did not support the very light micro type handguns and commented, "...carrying a handgun should be "comforting" and not necessarily "comfortable."

I agree with his philosophy.....I want a carry gun that is larger and a 1911 Commander size is about the smallest size I will carry concealed. IMHO, there are several reasons why "bigger is better" if a person is unlucky enough to be caught in a self defense situation.

1) A small pistol may be good for pocket carry, but not good when trying to get the gun out of the pocket as fast as possible when needed.

2) For many "light weight" sub compact pistols, the sights are poor, and the grip is too short....a short grip does not allow the best grip to help mitigate recoil, and the lighter the gun, the more felt recoil and muzzle lift.....which does not help when fast follow up shots are needed.

3) A shorter barrel loses more muzzle velocity than a longer barrel. Generally speaking, for every inch loss of the barrel length, there is an average velocity loss of 50 fps.

4) A short barrel means a shorter sight radius, which does not allow optimal accuracy for longer shots if needed.

5) Most sub compact 9mm guns have less ammo capacity, usually 7 rounds or less in the mag.

My most often worn concealed carry gun is an STI 2011 Commander .38 super. The polymer grip reduces the over-all weight with a 17 round mag when compared to an all steel gun. My .38 super JHP handloads leave the 4.25" barrel at an average of 1,275 fps, and recoil is very manageable and the accuracy is excellent. I use a Kydex holster in the appendix position, and my draw is fast out of the holster. I do not feel under-gunned. I carry cocked and locked with 17+1 rounds in a 126mm flush fit mag, and one spare mag. A person needs to find the best size and weight pistol for their needs, and remember "size matters" in a self defense confrontation. I certainly don't recommend a micro sub compact 9mm handgun for self defense, since IMHO, there are better options.
All valid points. That’s why as shooters, rifles are better. I am not a small person but I have trouble concealing anything larger than a micro. Even my SigP238 makes for a bigger bulge than I care to show. In summer it gets really difficult to conceal anything on the body and I’ve modified my clothing to “loose” shirts to avoid telltale bulges. I carried a 1911 in the Corps as Infantry for many years, it was and has always been my favorite. But in civilian life, for me, smaller 9s or .380s have been comforting when venturing to areas where life is a bit rougher. So, I agree with you, but the reality of having to conceal a weapon on my body has forced me to a small 9…even on occasion a .22.
 

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First of all, I carry a concealed handgun for self defense. If the outline of the concealed gun "prints," I don't care too much, since I have a concealed weapon permit and follow the laws of my state. Many people never notice if a gun prints! However, when in public, I normally use a one size larger short sleeved "golf type" shirt or a loose fitting V-neck shirt, so it does not print as easily. I carry a medium sized handgun, with a 4.25" barrel, which still allows enough sight radius to make accurate shots at longer distances. I built my self defense gun, and developed accurate handloads that will allow me to make longer shots if ever needed..... My choice of caliber is the .38 super, and my hot self defense loads will shoot on average 1.5" five shot groups from a rest at 25 yard using a center hold on a target. I also know this load in my Commander gun will drop about 7" at 100 yards from a rested position......so I know how to sight for longer distances if required......I estimate my gun will shoot roughly a 6" group at 100 yards.......enough to make a hit on a stationary target, or close enough to make the bad guy know he had better keep his head down......and perhaps look for a defenseless person to deal with.....
 

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Clint Smith, a firearms instructor at Thunder Ranch, once discussed the size of a pistol for self defense. He did not support the very light micro type handguns and commented, "...carrying a handgun should be "comforting" and not necessarily "comfortable."

I agree with his philosophy.....I want a carry gun that is larger and a 1911 Commander size is about the smallest size I will carry concealed. IMHO, there are several reasons why "bigger is better" if a person is unlucky enough to be caught in a self defense situation.

1) A small pistol may be good for pocket carry, but not good when trying to get the gun out of the pocket as fast as possible when needed.

2) For many "light weight" sub compact pistols, the sights are poor, and the grip is too short....a short grip does not allow the best grip to help mitigate recoil, and the lighter the gun, the more felt recoil and muzzle lift.....which does not help when fast follow up shots are needed.

3) A shorter barrel loses more muzzle velocity than a longer barrel. Generally speaking, for every inch loss of the barrel length, there is an average velocity loss of 50 fps.

4) A short barrel means a shorter sight radius, which does not allow optimal accuracy for longer shots if needed.

5) Most sub compact 9mm guns have less ammo capacity, usually 7 rounds or less in the mag.

My most often worn concealed carry gun is an STI 2011 Commander .38 super. The polymer grip reduces the over-all weight with a 17 round mag when compared to an all steel gun. My .38 super JHP handloads leave the 4.25" barrel at an average of 1,275 fps, and recoil is very manageable and the accuracy is excellent. I use a Kydex holster in the appendix position, and my draw is fast out of the holster. I do not feel under-gunned. I carry cocked and locked with 17+1 rounds in a 126mm flush fit mag, and one spare mag. A person needs to find the best size and weight pistol for their needs, and remember "size matters" in a self defense confrontation. I certainly don't recommend a micro sub compact 9mm handgun for self defense, since IMHO, there are better options.
All valid points, but for someone who wants or needs something small. Or someone who choses not to tote a big, heavy, gun will sometimes go without it. A small inaccurate, harder to shoot, lighter, shorter pistol is better than no pistol at all if and when you need it in a life or death scenario. Most self defense situations happen within closer proximity. If you need to let off a 20 yard head shot, its probably not self defense.

I agree that you should carry the best weapon you can shoot with, but not all people can or will pack a 4.25- 5" all steel gun. On hot days when im in khaki shorts and a wife beater shirt, these micros come in handy. And I feel confident I can place a shot within 7 yards to center mass with a little 3" barrel and only two fingers on the grip. I pray I am right and also that I never have to find out.
 

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All valid points, but for someone who wants or needs something small. Or someone who choses not to tote a big, heavy, gun will sometimes go without it. A small inaccurate, harder to shoot, lighter, shorter pistol is better than no pistol at all if and when you need it in a life or death scenario. Most self defense situations happen within closer proximity. If you need to let off a 20 yard head shot, its probably not self defense.

I agree that you should carry the best weapon you can shoot with, but not all people can or will pack a 4.25- 5" all steel gun. On hot days when im in khaki shorts and a wife beater shirt, these micros come in handy. And I feel confident I can place a shot within 7 yards to center mass with a little 3" barrel and only two fingers on the grip. I pray I am right and also that I never have to find out.
I agree, temps around my place get above 100° regularly…lugging a heavy weapon is just not feasible…I usually conceal a 911, p238, or LCPII…heck, I’ve even carried a beretta minx when clothing is minimal..LOL!!! Something is always better than nothing..
 

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Radom P-64 in 9x18 Makarov, makes an excellent carry piece, IMO.
Pros: Small, light, reliable, accurate, and stout enough to be effective at close range.
Cons: 6+1 capacity, mag release in the magwell, very heavy double action pull. Lack of spare parts(why I have more than one).
Seven accurate shots should be more than adequate for self defense. Only 1 less than a 1911.
 

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Unfortunately, no one can predict when they may need to defend themselves, or the distance required to make a defensive shot. If a person thinks a 43oz handgun is too heavy to carry....I would suggest working out and exercising. We are talking about a life and death scenario, and a small 3" barrel handgun does not allow the best option for survival.....yes, it is better than nothing, but why not carry something that offers good muzzle velocity and energy, and is a relatively light gun with good ammo capacity? My favorite carry gun is an STI 2011 Commander .38 super with hot +P+ handloads. I carry the gun cocked and locked with 17+1 rounds. The STI 2011 has a steel frame but a polymer grip, so the weight is still roughly 43oz when loaded.

I know some people will carry a small and compact .380 for their self defense choice......it may be better than nothing, but why take a chance with your life or the lives of your loved ones.....? My experience as a Deputy Sherriff has taught me that if you are ever caught in a gunfight, bring enough gun with plenty of ammo. I carry a high capacity gun because I don't want to have to conduct a speed reload in a gunfight. However, if I am able to get behind good cover, I always carry one extra mag that holds 20 rounds.....
 

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Props to you, Sir.

What you consider prepared is what I would consider over prepared. To each their own.

I am always prepared to defend myself, but not necessarily a drawn out gunfight or shoot out. Or have to consider dozens of rounds or terminal velocity when in public.

Even a 9mm subsonic with HST in the pipe, in my opinion, is enough to hurt someone with a well placed shot, or a couple follow-ups. Usually people fear for their lives when hit unless the person is on a lot of drugs.

If i was in law enforcement, i would be doing the same as you. Being an average citizen who doesn't get in many self defense situations, I am confident in my weapon, reaction time, and shot placement with under 10 rounds on me.
 

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Clint Smith, a firearms instructor at Thunder Ranch, once discussed the size of a pistol for self defense. He did not support the very light micro type handguns and commented, "...carrying a handgun should be "comforting" and not necessarily "comfortable."
At the end of the day, carrying a pistol is a personal choice. If Clint wants to pack around a 40+ ounce all-steel pistol, then more power to him. I never will. There's absolutely no need to. There are way too many alloy or polymer framed pistols on the market that pack way more rounds than a .45 1911 and are so much lighter and more compact with just as good of accuracy.

For me, my concealed carry weapon has always been the best compromise of overall size, weight, capacity and accuracy. And what's acceptable to me is probably not the same for everyone else. So everyone, based on their size, dress style, work environment, etc. will have to determine what works best for THEM. What others think...unimportant.
 

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If Clint wants to pack around a 40+ ounce all-steel pistol, then more power to him. I never will.
I don't carry an all steel handgun either.....as I stated in my post, I usually carry my STI 2011 Commander .38super. The STI 2011 guns have a polymer grip rather than steel, which reduces the weight, and the shorter Commander slide and the shorter barrel also reduces the weight. Rather than have all of this excess steel weight, I load my double stack mags with more ammo. I have tested this gun at 50, 75, and 100 yards from a sandbag rest, to see how it shoots at longer distances. I always use a center hold on a target. My .38super handloads would shoot roughly a 3" five shot group at 50 yards. It would hold roughly a 7" 5-shot group at 100 yards, and shot about 7-8 inches low on a USPSA Target when aiming for COM. Do I think I will ever need to shoot my self defense gun at long distances? Sorry, I just can't predict that scenario, but if it ever happens, I know how to hit the target, if I can do my job....so I am prepared. I know my .38 super +P+ rounds with 125 gr. Gold Dot bullets will get the job done if ever needed in a gunfight. No one can predict if they well ever need a gun for self protection, and thus far, even working in Orlando, FL, as a Deputy Sheriff, I was never in a gunfight. Even so, I saw enough crimes to know it can happen to anyone, and sadly, even innocent bystanders can be accidentally shot and killed.....

I have practiced shooting handguns for well over 40 years, in all different types of handgun disciplines. I worked hard in practice sessions to shoot WHO (weak hand only) and am very proficient with one hand shooting with either hand. I normally use the two hand, two thumbs forward, modern grip, and have spent a great deal of time (and still do) the Mozambique Drill which is drawing from the holster, then shooting two shots to the body and one to the head.

When I trained become a Law Enforcement officer, due to all my years of practice with handguns. I was the top pistol shooter in my LE classes, and when hired by the Orange County Sheriff's office, I was the top pistol shooter with the all the newly hired Deputies, which was roughly 30 new cadets. I know how to hit where I aim, with either hand, at combat distances. I have no issues with stress when presenting a handgun and firing.....I never get rattled, but get intensely focused, which helps me to shoot fast and accurately. It is only after an intensely stressful situation is over, that I "feel exhausted." IMHO, the mild stress of shooting fast and accurately in Action Pistol shooting events like USPSA, IDPA, and even Steel Challenge are good training for gun handling, and reaching optimal speed and accuracy with a handgun.
 

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I have no issues with stress when presenting a handgun and firing.....I never get rattled, but get intensely focused, which helps me to shoot fast and accurately. It is only after an intensely stressful situation is over, that I "feel exhausted." IMHO, the mild stress of shooting fast and accurately in Action Pistol shooting events like USPSA, IDPA, and even Steel Challenge are good training for gun handling, and reaching optimal speed and accuracy with a handgun.
I started shooting in a monthly defensive pistol match about 4 years ago. It became apparent at the first match that I was better at shooting fast than I was slow. After that, I started working on improving my equipment, forearm and grip strength, draw speed, etc. I think in my second year, I won my first match. Since then, I've won another five or so.

I do agree with you. Shooting pistol matches is great at improving shooting skills. Since it is time based, it certainly teaches you to shoot as soon as the sights are on target. Plus, I've learned to shoot moving, kneeling, prone, from behind cover, one handed (both strong and weak hands), do mag changes, etc. In regards to concealed carry, I think it's the best thing I've ever done. I always encourage others to try shooting matches. Even if you're not there to challenge for the win, you'll still learn valuable skills.
 

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Finally got my new Kimber Micro 9 ESV to the range. No glitches…no FTF…no FTE…however I do need to practice more with it, had trouble keeping them in the black at 10yards…I am impressed that it was very reliable. Ran only reloads through it and not a glitch…more practice and I may have found a good CC piece..
 
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