It seems to be universally accepted that shooters do best with a pistol that fits their hands very well. The 1911 is known for its hand-fitting abilities, with or without modifications. Another quality of defensive pistols is the comfort factor, meaning whether a shooter is comfortable carrying the handgun.
For many, 1911s with their variety of barrel and grip lengths (and, to a degree, chamberings) are the handgun they are most comfortable with and confident carrying. If the time comes and the handgun carrier is looking for something else on their belt, the outcome may not be optimal.
The last time I attended a large SWAT event, entire teams were wearing a handgun design created over 100 years ago. I think this type of endorsement from these guys and spec ops folks speaks volumes. For me, when it comes to everyday carry, the 1911 is deserving of its esteemed company.
I recently was given an opportunity to review a Taylor’s & Co. Compact Carry 1911. As the name indicates, the purpose of the Compact Carry is to be carried, most likely concealed. Taylor’s started with one of its full-sized 1911s, chopping a bit off from here and there to shrink the pistol. As a result, the barrel length dropped from 5 inches to 3.6 inches and the weight from 39.5 to 38.8 ounces. Despite this, the standard magazines still hold seven rounds of .45 ACP ammunition—plenty for everyday carry. The Compact Carry also lost the more common spur hammer and took on a Commander-style hammer, just as four other Taylor’s models do. The slide receives an appropriate bobbing, too, and has cocking serrations on the rear. Bead blasting is also applied to the slide top. A GI 1911 (instead of the 1911A1 style) checkered slide stop lever is used on the frame of the pistol.
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GI-style sights were left behind, replaced by a dovetailed front sight with a green fiber optic and a sturdy looking, Novak-style, adjustable rear sight with two white dots. Also left behind were the GI trigger, arched mainspring housing, traditional grip safety and serrated slide stop lever; these were replaced by a skeletonized steel trigger bow, a flat mainspring housing (shortened) and an upswept beavertail grip safety with memory bump.
The barrel’s coned muzzle is fitted directly to the slide, riding over a reverse plug and a full-length guide rod. Adding a bit more recoil-resistant friction, vertical grooves are cut into a vertical flat on the frontstrap. The mainspring housing also sports vertical grooves. While the triggerguards are not undercut, the magazine well is beveled and the ejection port is lowered. A standard thumb safety and magazine release finish out the package.
Taylor’s Compact Carry has a Parkerized finish and walnut grips with pressed-in checkering. The pistol is packaged in a lockable, black polymer carrying case with two appropriately sized Armscor magazines made by ACT-MAG with view ports, a removable polymer basepad and a non-traditional follower.
Holsters for 1911s run the gamut of prices, quality and design/functionality. For the best concealment, carriers would be well served to use an IWB or tuckable holster, but many will choose those that ride outside the pants for comfort. A few of the many good holster makers out there include DeSantis, Galco and Bianchi, all with nice selections to carry a 1911-style pistol every day.
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No, I did not just slip the Compact Carry in my holster and go forth to do my daily business or to the range. Regardless of the type of firearm or maker, such confidence requires a firearm I have tested and trust. I spent a while running test rounds through the gun to see how it performed accuracy-wise and whether it performed reliably.
I’ve never found 1911s to be too ammunition sensitive accuracy-wise. Of course, I am not trying to put five of those fat bullets into a single hole at 50 yards. Functionality is a different creature. Fifteen-yard accuracy ran from 2 inches to about 3.3 inches with a variety of bullet weights and loads intended for use in short barrels.
The pistol functioned flawlessly except for the third round fired, a double feed with one of the Armscor magazines. Repeated use of that magazine, as well as several other makes of shorty magazines, did not reproduce the same failure or any other.
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Round after round fired while standing, moving or from behind a barricade proved the Taylor’s pistol could shoot. All draws from concealment were smooth. The trigger, offering a relatively crisp, 4.6-pound pull, was certainly good enough for defensive use. I pushed the distance to 25 yards and discovered the pistol outshone my eyes—and still not a bobble! Now the Taylor’s Tactical 1911 Compact was ready to ride in my holster.
Someone noted that with an MSRP of just $585, users could replace many things on the pistol to their preferences and still be in it for a lot less than the base cost of other companies’ guns. That is true, but other than the thumb safety (which I found to be a tad small), I can’t imagine what parts that would have to be. The Taylor’s & Co. Compact Carry will do to ride the river with—or just to a mini mart.
For more information, call 540-722-2017 or visit http://www.taylorsfirearms.com.