Which 1911-380 for daily carry?

Discussion in 'Browning 1911 - 380 Handgun' started by KD6EVH, Dec 9, 2018.

?

Which one?

  1. Base Model

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  2. Pro Stainless Compact

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  3. Pro Compact

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  4. Medallion Pro

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  5. Speed Compact

    50.0%
  6. as always, something else?

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  1. KD6EVH

    KD6EVH Copper BB

    I am pretty close to purchasing a 1911-380. What it comes down to is, which one?

    Currently I carry a Kimber Micro 380. It replaced a Colt 380 Government Model, which I purchased new. The 3890 Government Model was the father of the current generation of micro SA 380 pistols: Colt, Kimber, Sig, & Springfield. I also went through a Glock 42 and a Walther PK380 in my search for the right pistol.

    About a year ago I looked at the 1911-380 and I was very impressed with the build quality. As it happened, I was able to compare it, side by side, with the Llama 380 and the Baby Rock. It was obvious that neither of them were even competitors. There was a significant qualitative difference.

    All that being said, I am ready to try the 1911-380 as a carry pistol. I am pretty experienced with the 1911 platform and many years ago I went through a very extensive training course with the 1911. I have never been too happy with the lack of a grip safety in the 380 Government series.

    This comes down to, which one?

    For daily carry I think I am looking at the Compact model. As always, I am open to thoughts.

    I am concerned with the inability to replace the sights. At least as far as I see, there are no aftermarket night sites available. This bumps into my first thought, which was to get the base model, the Black Label Compact, and then, if I felt a need, to later upgrade the sights and possibly have it Cerakoted. The Cerekoat would depend on if I felt a need. I do like the colour pattern of my Kimber Desert Night. Yes, I do think how a item, that is carried, looks is important A person has to feel good about their daily accessories.

    One thing you will notice is that I am not sold on accessory rails. It is entirely possible that it is because they have entered the market since I underwent a lot of training. That being said, I am concerned with the safety issues of pointing a gun at anything that is being looked at.

    I am wondering how essential night sights really are, I put a drop of Lume in my Kimber sights and I am reasonably happy. Basically, it just has to have good sights.

    So, it goes like this:
    Base model Pro: Cheap (yes, that matters) -- Con, no dot, or night sight. (as I said, I am flexible on the night sight, but I have read several people who are unhappy with the sights on the base model. . . ant thoughts?)
    Pro Stainless Compact Pro: has the night sights. -- Con, I think the finish is just plain ugly. It is also the most expensive option . . . but the ugly, this one has it, and it matters to me (And yes, I realize that ugly is very subjective. If you have one and like it, that is great; me, it would have to be refinished)
    Pro Compact Pro, it looks like it has good sights. -- Con, it is quite expensive for nothing but a sight and grip upgrade over the Base model.
    Medallion Pro Pro, I really like the look of this one, I has the improved sights -- Con: a bit expensive This one looks like it is my top choice right now.
    Speed Compact Pro, I also love the look of this one. The look is very similar to my Kimber. * edited to say, forget this one, not one has it in stock

    Summary:
    Base model, Cheap (I mean that in a good way, I expect all of them to have a similar level of overall quality)
    Medallion Pro, this is the model I actually handled. It looks great
    Speed Compact, I haven't handled it; but the pictures look great and it is a bit different from the others. *but no one has it in stock

    Any thoughts or suggestions?
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
  2. Tim Lange

    Tim Lange .22LR

    I carry the Black Label Medallion Fullsize Pro. I've had it for two years now. Got a chance to try a Kimber Micro 9, shot it as well as my Browning. So due to the size I think I would like to get a Kimber Micro 9 and carry it.
  3. KD6EVH

    KD6EVH Copper BB

    Well, I made a decision. I went with the Black Label Pro Medallion Compact. I still won't be able to pick it up for a couple of weeks as I work in a different state than my residence.

    The only remaining challenge is finding a good holster.

    [​IMG]
    image from here
  4. Good luck. I have a terrible time getting a decent two handed grip on my 'full size' 1911-22. It NEEDS fatter grip panels and I've sent emails to a few grip makers to see if I can get some. I have two SIG P238's and those grips are larger around, although shorter in height, and easier to shoot.

    Edited: I measured the grips of my P238's and of my Browning 1911-22 and the Browning grip is only about 1 1/6" smaller around. I do not understand why it is so much more difficult to get a good hold on it, but am hoping that thicker (fatter) grip panels will make a difference for me.

    "All I wanted" was something simple and neat looking but with enough texture to make it grippy. I found a couple designs on one wooden grip maker's web site and played with them in my graphics program to see how they would look in all black.....and then I got inspired and started designing really neat things. I'm still playing but I know if I get the custom work done it is going to cost double or triple what I sort of had in mind paying. Oh well.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2018
  5. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper .22LR

    Good looking pistol...congratulations. I went with the Speed Pro, aftermarket G10 grips and polished the slide. Just wish there was some support for parts in the aftermarket with respect to sights and springs. I also have a Stainless Kimber Micro Carry. The Browning fits my hand better and overall has that more familiar 1911 feel (if that is what you are used to).

    Quite a few folks have trouble with reliably depressing the grip safety on the Browning .380-1911 so just experiment with yours and see. Some 'tuning' of that feature might be needed. Also I will NOT carry a pistol that has a magazine disconnect (which the Browning does)...so that feature was disabled first thing.

    Attached Files:

  6. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper .22LR

    My Kimber Micro Carry (.380) will out-shoot my Browning by a slim margin despite the Browning having a longer barrel, longer sight radius and significantly better trigger than the Kimber. But at common self defense distances...I suppose it is a moot point.
  7. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper .22LR

    KD6EVH Wrote:

    One thing you will notice is that I am not sold on accessory rails. It is entirely possible that it is because they have entered the market since I underwent a lot of training. That being said, I am concerned with the safety issues of pointing a gun at anything that is being looked at.

    I suppose it doesn't matter since none of the Browning offerings have accessory rails, but the issue of pointing a weapon at an object to identify it (light attached) is not normally at play anyway in most circumstances. The majority of tactical lights these days through enough 'halo' that you can make out a threat without aiming directly at them. This is especially true indoors where the residual light bounces off of walls, floors and ceilings. Only when/if you felt the need to 'cover' a threat would you point the weapon directly at it. But I do understand your concern for safety.

    I am wondering how essential night sights really are, I put a drop of Lume in my Kimber sights and I am reasonably happy. Basically, it just has to have good sights.
    If you have not used Night Sights before (some are better than others) you will find that they are best utilized in very specific conditions. They can be a useful 'aid' in low-light situations but are not mean't to be used in very dark circumstances. The need to 'identify' an object/threat is always your foremost concern...I am sure you are aware.

    Where they DO offer an advantage is when the target/threat is fairly well illuminated and YOU are in the dark (or low light), not the other way around as is often thought. When you have an opportunity to look at some night sights, try the following:
    Select a target that is some reasonable distance away (another room for instance) and that has enough light on it already that you can identify it. Now...with YOU in another area that is much darker (almost completely black even) notice how well you can see the sights. Under these same conditions...you would never see black sights or even white dots.


    Next, reverse the situation. You are in a well lighted area and your target is in the dark. Sights of any type are useless. So...it is well to know just when and how night sights are a benefit and when they are not. ( just marketing hype). White dots and Fiber-Optic will be your best bet most of the time.


    So, it goes like this:
    Base model Pro: Cheap (yes, that matters) -- Con, no dot, or night sight. (as I said, I am flexible on the night sight, but I have read several people who are unhappy with the sights on the base model. . . ant thoughts?)

    My trouble with the base model is that they come with plain black sights (small ones at that) and are not Dovetailed into the slide.

    Pro Stainless Compact Pro: has the night sights. -- Con, I think the finish is just plain ugly. It is also the most expensive option . . . but the ugly, this one has it, and it matters to me (And yes, I realize that ugly is very subjective. If you have one and like it, that is great; me, it would have to be refinished)
    All of the 'Pro' models come with greatly improved sights with respect to how they are constructed and mounted (steel and dovetailed into the slide). I agree that a pistol should be 'pleasing' to it's owner as well.

    Pro Compact Pro, it looks like it has good sights. -- Con, it is quite expensive for nothing but a sight and grip upgrade over the Base model.
    The sights are a significant upgrade. The grips (if you like them) would cost you $30.00-$50.00 to change out from an aftermarket source....so maybe OK, maybe not.

    Medallion Pro Pro, I really like the look of this one, I has the improved sights -- Con: a bit expensive This one looks like it is my top choice right now.
    Yeah, they pretty much hit the nail on the head with this one.

    Speed Compact Pro, I also love the look of this one. The look is very similar to my Kimber. * edited to say, forget this one, not one has it in stock
    The Speed Compact was a Limited Edition model...so finding one can be difficult. I know of a gun-shop near me that still has one (or did a few weeks ago).
  8. KD6EVH

    KD6EVH Copper BB

    Well, I went and picked it up today. As you can see, I wasn't sure if I wanted the compact or the full size. So, I hedged my bets by getting the compact and an extra barrel and slide assembly. My intent for the extra slide is to mill it for a red dot of some sort.

    I haven't gotten around to shooting yet. It will be a few days until I have time.
    [​IMG]
  9. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper .22LR

    Compact is definitely the way to go if you intend to carry it. A 'Red Dot' sight (most) might overwhelm the smaller slide, but who knows...you might find something that works. It would be a pioneering move on your part for sure.
  10. KD6EVH

    KD6EVH Copper BB

    No, if I go red dot (which is very likely) it will be on the long slide.

    I did get out to shoot this weekend. Out of the box I has a few failures of the slide to return all of the way forward (yes, I always try "out of the box" unless it will obviously be dangerous). Once I cleaned and lubed it I had no troubles for slightly over a hundred rounds.

    I only had "fun" targets available. I haven't tried it on paper yet; so I really can not comment on accuracy. I also only shot the compact slide, I haven't tried the full length slide yet.

    As far as holsters, I found that Outlaw Holsters makes an OWB in Kydex that fits. I am going to take some time to get used to a holster without active retention.

    I am still wearing my Kimber for a defensive pistol, I need to get a couple hundred more rounds through the Browning before I am going to trust it enough to carry. That has nothing to do with the Browning, it is just me and any pistol.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2018
  11. Flintknapper

    Flintknapper .22LR

    KD6EVH Wrote:


    No, if I go red dot (which is very likely) it will be on the long slide.

    Probably a good idea. I'm guessing that most Red Dots don't weigh much and would not significantly add to the weight of the slide? I wish the aftermarket (Wolff) was offering replacement springs for these pistols. I would very much like to have a slightly stronger recoil spring and hammer spring.


    I did get out to shoot this weekend. Out of the box I has a few failures of the slide to return all of the way forward (yes, I always try "out of the box" unless it will obviously be dangerous). Once I cleaned and lubed it I had no troubles for slightly over a hundred rounds.

    Interesting to see what kind of results you get straight out of the box, but in fairness every firearm should be thoroughly cleaned and lubricated before any evaluations are made, (which you have done).

    I only had "fun" targets available. I haven't tried it on paper yet; so I really can not comment on accuracy. I also only shot the compact slide, I haven't tried the full length slide yet.

    I have no qualms with the accuracy of my pistol, it groups well enough...but I wish there was a taller front sight available since mine prints a full 3" above point of aim.

    As far as holsters, I found that Outlaw Holsters makes an OWB in Kydex that fits. I am going to take some time to get used to a holster without active retention.

    Yes, whatever 'Muscle Memory' you have developed might have to be 'lost' and new take its place. In some cases it might not matter.

    I am still wearing my Kimber for a defensive pistol, I need to get a couple hundred more rounds through the Browning before I am going to trust it enough to carry. That has nothing to do with the Browning, it is just me and any pistol.

    Very smart of you. I would not even consider carrying a weapon (for defense) that did not reliably fire at least 250 trouble free rounds from different angles (straight up, canted left and right 90 degrees). Also fired with a one hand grip (as opposed to two hands) and with the weak hand .
    If your weapon/ammo combination will not do this...then don't risk your life with it. Sounds like you are already of that mind set. Also, it is well for folks to know (and practice) the various techniques necessary to 'clear' a weapon and get it back running IF a stoppage or malfunction should occur.


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