Firearm: Colt Competition 1911 9 mm (MSRP: $999)
Not everyone is a fan of polymer-frame, striker-fired pistols, and that’s totally fine. The Colt 1911 has been a go-to for home and self-defense for, well, in excess of a century at this point, and is available in calibers ranging from 22 Long Rifle to 50 GI. For those looking to strike a balance in a defensive handgun, models are plentiful in 9 mm today, and we’re looking at Colt’s Competition 1911 in that caliber for today’s kit.
Yeah, yeah, we get it. It’s heavy. Capacity isn’t as plentiful as in other options. The operating system takes a little getting used to for those who aren’t fans of the 1911 platform. There are reasons, valid and not-so-valid, for looking to other platforms for a defensive firearm. That’s the beauty of the current crop of defensive firearms, though: There are many choices out there. For those who are fans of the 1911, though, the Colt Competition 1911 in 9 mm is an excellent choice indeed.
Since it’s a Government model, it has a 5-inch barrel with an overall length of 8.3 inches and a weight of 38 ounces. These specs mean it’s both heavier and larger than a standard compact pistol like a Glock G19, yes. However, that cuts both ways. While, yes, it takes a bit more work to carry and conceal the larger 1911, it means that shooting the Colt is significantly easier. This is helped with an excellent fiber-optic front sight and Novak rear along with a Series 70 firing system giving a cleaner, lighter trigger pull.
I had a chance to train with the Colt Competition 1911 at Range Ready with Chris Cerino earlier this year, and it was an eye-opening experience. Recoil, while certainly not a major factor in a medium-size 9 mm pistol, is practically non-existent in the Colt. This makes follow-up shots much faster, combined with the accuracy for which 1911 pistols are known (especially Colt’s Competition models). Whether we were performing rapid strings of multiple shots, or transitioning between fast shots and precision work such as a failure drill, the excellent trigger and heft of the Colt 1911 made accurate shots easy. That’s a not-inconsequential factor in a situation where one might need a handgun. Does it make up for the difference in capacity from a double-stack, polymer-frame, striker-fired pistol? That’s for the individual to decide.
Holster: ANR Non-Lightbearing IWB holster (MSRP: $52.99)
Since I wanted to carry the Colt Competition 1911 in the same manner as my striker-fired carry gun, I opted for the ANR Design Non-Lightbearing IWB holster for today’s kit. It’s a traditional, single-sheet kydex design that’s simple, robust and easy to carry. I’ve included ANR Design holsters in a number of “I Carry” kits and found them all to exhibit excellent fit and function.
ANR Designs offers a number of colors and patterns for its holsters in addition to a variety of belt-attachment options. Not only does ANR offer the DCC monoblock clip shown on this particular holster, there are pull-the-dot loops, polymer clips and other attachment methods available. ANR offers this holster for a comprehensive list of pistols, in both right- and left-hand configurations.
Accessory: Buck Decatur knife (MSRP: $35.99)
The last item in today’s kit is the Buck Knives Decatur pocketknife. With an attractive wooden handle, slim profile and rapid flipper opening, it’s an eye-catching knife that functions exactly the way you expect it should. Kinda like the Colt 1911. With a 3 ½-inch, 7Cr17Mov steel drop-point blade, the Decatur weighs 3.45 ounces and is held open with a liner lock mechanism.
If you’re searching for a slightly different look, the Decatur is also available with black G10 scales. In addition to the various materials for the handle, Buck will also engrave up to two lines of text on the blade of your choosing for a nominal fee. In any case, a stainless steel pocket clip allows for tip-up carry, and the Decatur rides low in a pocket for ease of concealment.
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