Why we carry, What we carry… Infographic

We put together a little info graphic to describe some more results from the concealed carry survey.

Not being a 1911 guy, I am always shocked at the number of people who shoehorn 1911′s into categories they don’t objectively go… like reliability. (Yes, I know yours is 100% and nearly 80% of Americans believe they are above average drivers). An interesting fact is that more than two-thirds of those that cite caliber as important and carry a 45… shoot a 1911 of some kind. Hmmm…

Personally I can think of at least 3 45′s I would carry before a 1911.

What do you get from this info graphic and is there anything that surprised you?

concealed carry guns


  1. Michael Walker says

    I carry my 1911 because the trigger and other factors make it the pistol I am most accurate with. It is 100 percent, with the ammunition I’ve chosen and quality magazines. I’ll choose the extra (a lot extra) weight in order to be sure I am carrying the best choice for me. Am I a little nostalgic about the 45? Sure. I wouldn’t hesitate to carry a 9mm with quality ammunition though. That’s the plan for the beretta 92 I recently bought. Once I learn the trigger and shoot as well with that as the 1911, it will be my carry gun. Not any smaller of course

  2. Thomas TJ Gauthier says

    Thanks Ron. This is some interesting information. I’ve been following it since the survey. With the introduction of Glock’s new 380, I’d be interested to know more about peoples pocket carry. I’ve heard of people carrying a Glock 26 in the pocket, but I must be missing something, since I can’t pull off anything bigger than an LCP.

  3. Jason L says

    I have a 1911 as well, although it’s not my carry pistol…I’d say it’s 100% reliable *with certain ammo*. It’ll eat winchester and magtech all day without a hitch, but if I put wolf, remmington, or independence in it and get through a whole mag without a FTF, I count myself lucky…on the other hand, I’ve put everything I can find through my XDsub, and have never had an issue…

  4. Todd Mulholland says

    While I love 1911′s and have a decent number of them I don’t normally carry them even though several are very reliable. My reasoning is that I personally feel that there are much better options for carry living in FL I’m usually in T-shirts or polo’s and shorts or jeans and to me a 1911 just doesn’t conceal as well as a firearm designed for CC,they are large, heavy and hold a maximum of 8 rounds in this standard configuration. I can carry something as large but lighter like a full size M&P, XD or even a CZ 75 and I’ll at least double the number of rounds as a 1911 in a lighter package. With that said I normally carry smaller 9mm’s.

    Great article and interesting insight.

  5. Dominic Kirby says

    I don’t have a 1911 myself but they are nice guns. I don’t think I would carry one though, mainly due to weight and lack of capacity. Also, I don’t like so many carry conditions (condition 1,2,3,4 etc). With my Glock, all I have to do is squeeze the trigger (and take my finger away from the trigger when I don’t want to fire)… I don’t need to make sure that the safety is off, or that the hammer is back. If there’s one in the pipe, I’m ready.

  6. 2xtap says

    Graphic tells me the author is a 1911 hater. They were carried as CCW guns before Glock and CCW was cool. Some of the newer models, utilizing scandium or aluminum bring the gun weight down to a modest 26-28 oz. with mag. (4 inch variety) For those who shoot that gun well, know how that gun operates, no the limitations of their carry gun, and are not confused by the manual thumb safety, the 1911 makes a fine carry gun. Just sayin.

    • says

      Actually I like the 1911… I just can’t make them go bang because my grip is too high. I still prefer a gun with out a safety, true but I understand them, I believe the main drawbacks are weight, capacity, ammo finickiness and maintenance. Obviously I chucked it under the bus… but the data is the data.

      • says

        yes under stress you can eff up but having problems with the grip safety???? put the gun in your hand and she’s good, as far as the thumb safety….. I shoot left handed and my safety is on the left side (basically made more for right hand) but if you practice and practice it becomes natural. muscle memory takes approximately 10000 times movements to remember what to do without you having to think about it. My point is: to throw the 1911 under the bus because people don’t practice and use the wrong ammo is kind of uncool as they are a descent gun with a lot of knockdown power. you don’t need 16 rounds in the mag if 1, 2, or 3 will do the job you need em too. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT FOLKS.

        • says

          Thomas… if you regularly grip the gun very high, like I do with my Glocks. You can exert pressure above the pivot point on a grip safety that prevents it from rotating down. Second there is no such thing as “muscle memory” and with $4500 dollars of practice drawing and firing one shot… maybe you don’t make a mistake when you need it. But if you practice that much you are more likely to form your own opinions and aren’t looking to “experts” to help you decide. I shoot a lot, I practice a lot and I still make mistakes. I’m not willing to bet my life that I’ll be perfect under stress.

          Now as for “knockdown power” there is a reason people say all pistols suck. If they had “knockdown power” they would knock you down when you shot them or at the very least make follow-up shots impossible and eliminate training due to pain and injury.

          The best stats I have seen say that 9mm, 40 and 45 all take 2.XX round on average per stop. Since you can’t shoot a fractional round that equals 3. Now assume you are human and will miss 30% of your shots (I made you a really good shot because of all your practice), your 9 rounds will allow you to stop 2 people ON AVERAGE. Now what if there are 3 or 4?

          Now lets assume you want to be a better shot and want to practice… 9mm is more affordable allowing for more rounds down range and more practice.

          Lastly practice doesn’t make perfect… it makes permanent. Perfect practice involves trainers, deliberate plans, access to ranges that permit movement, et cetera. Forgetting the cost for a moment all of that takes time and some people are new shooters. They will improve with time, but that why add additional steps to learn complicating the issue?

          • Myles of Miles from the Grizzly state ...but we don't actually have grizzleys says

            I agree with the statements about the 1911. “100% reliable with certain ammo” is NOT 100% reliable.

            I used to be a Sig/1911 guy, I like the Glock system, but couldn’t get past the grip. thq.k to YouTube, a dremel and a soldering Iron that issue is not gone. I am not a Glock fan-boy but that is what I carry now. I recommend to all my friends/family ANY of the 3 main polymers for carry (Glock, M&P, XD) based on their ease of use, minimal interference with external controls, and availability, and since each one can be had in my area for $500. They make an econimcal investment. they are “plug and play” and work our of the box.
            1911 and even my 1st gun a Sig226 can be reliable and good shooters ….with a lot of work and parts exchanges. but that’s not something I want in a carry gun/work gun/go to war gun.

            with modern ammo technology there is no discernable difference between 9,40&45 calibers to justify carrying less ammo for the sake of “knockdown power” that fallacy was built out of legend of the Moro Indians continuing to fight after having been shot with 38 revolvers, with with ammo less efficient than it is today and even than it was at the time of the adoption of the 1911, it was just assumed the 1911 would effect more “knockdown” not extensively tested. in addition there are annectodal stories of LEO injecting on the upwards of 10-15 rounds of .45 cal into.a criminal and that criminal (without chemical/drug enhancement) still continued to fight.

            that being said and the knowledge of 9,40&45 having no discernable difference in effect on human targets leads me to beleibe having more rounds and a more recoil-manageable caliber would be most efficient.

            that said I carry a 40cal Glock 22 or 27. mainly because I didn’t know then what I know now about calibers when I registered my carry pistols and have to wait until my renewal to swap em out.

            Don’t take my word for it, I’m just a dumb guy in the “interwebs” but Google is your ally. do some research

  7. nanoreaper says

    Not being a fan of mouse guns and micro 9mm/.40 or .40 in general i prefer a full frame pistol as my carry gun (currently a FNX-45). and at 5’8″ and 180 lbs i don’t have problem concealing it.

  8. Scottie says

    Leaving the 1911 discussion somewhat, you mentioned 3 other 45s you’d rather carry. I’d be interested to see an info graphic showing the weapons that people decide to carry when they list caliber and a top factor. Seems like that is missing from above

    • says

      I didn’t put them for 2 reasons… one the focus was on caliber to I kept it on caliber and two the group was so small there was no leader. Everything was represented by 1 or 2 guns.

    • Becky Hunt Adesso says

      I used to carry in my purse, until my instructor came up behind me one day and snatched my purse and said “So, now what are you going to do? I have you ID, phone, keys, money AND firearm!” Hmmmm, never again. Now I carry it at the ‘appendix’ area (so it’s not as obvious) and I carry my Kel Tec .380 or my S & W Bodyguard .380.

  9. Michael Burdick says

    Personally I do carry a 1911. Im 5’11 and 290lbs it conceals very easily. I Personally love the feel and even though it does weight a little I always have 3 loaded mags as well which balances everything out. Once the feed ramp is sanded and polished , the magazines are bent out a little to allow for hollow points the gun works amazing. Also since I removed the firing pin block its been 100% reliable.

  10. tomah57 says

    Biased a tad? Look if you can’t handle a gun with a safety that is fine Glock has got you covered,but don’t try to belittle those of us that can handle a gun with a safety its not our fault you can’t multi task.And for lords sake DO NOT get yourself a rifle or shotgun…they all have that safety thingy and you could never learn to use them.
    Ok end of sarcasm .
    Don’t be so retarded as to talk down a firearm with a safety ! But I understand where you are coming from as Glock told the us military they did not need a gun with a safety but Glock never told you that the us military told Glock in that case “Don’t bother to submit your gun for testing”.
    Oh and then there was the DEA Agent that shot himself in the foot with his empty and safe Glock in front of a bunch of high schoolers ( yup its still on youtube ).

    • Ed says

      Unfortunately, that Glock was not empty and safe. The DEA Agent did not visually check the chamber to insure that it was empty, so that when he pulled the trigger, the pistol fired the round that was still in the chamber.

      Some pistols will not fire when the magazine is removed, a feature called a magazine disconnect safety. This Glock did not have this type of safety. I personally do not own any pistols with this safety “feature” which many consider a defect, as I wish to be able to fire a round during a magazine change.

      Ultimately, it is the DEA Agent who was unsafe, not necessarily the pistol. One of the first rule of firearm safety that you learn is to handle all firearms as if they were loaded. Visually checking the chamber (or if in very low light, sticking your finger into the chamber) after dropping the magazine is a practice this DEA Agent needs to acquire.

        • ekrauos says

          That is if the safety was actually on! He may have flicked it off out of habit before pulling the trigger… BANG anways.

          And he clearly does not know the state of his firearm, so it may have been off anyways when he was playing with it earlier in the lecture… BANG anyways

        • Julian says

          The DEA agent’s gun discharged because he drew the weapon with his finger on the trigger. Dumb mistake. His finger should have been on the frame. AND…if he was going to present his weapon for display or teaching, it should have been emptied at his car – no ammo should have been on his person at all. Negligent weapon manipulation on his part could have had far more tragic results.

  11. James says

    I am a .45 guy. That being said, I chose my G30S for three factors. Size, caliber and capacity. You can’t go wrong with 10+1 and then the option to use the 13 round G21 magazine is nice. My wife is currently carrying a Smith & Wesson Sigma 40VE and loves it. A close friend out mine carries a Beretta PX4 storm compact in 9mm. A very nice gun, I shot it several times. I prefer not to have a manual safety, but to each his own. It doesn’t what you carry, as long AS you carry…

  12. Rob Smith says

    TO ALL: Nice to be sure… When you have THE plan, and THE gun, and THE knife, and THE knockout blow, HOPE you’ll have the presence of mind to do SOMETHING Real Fast, and Real Creative, and REAL Useful…OFF THE TOP OF YOUR HEAD … when NONE of it quite works out like thought it would. My brother in-law says I’m paranoid. I tell him I just don’t suffer from delusions of security.

    • says

      Mike Tyson famously said “Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.” Which is true! But Louis Pasteur said “Chance favors the prepared mind.” and no one has ever been in a gunfight and wished they had less bullets, or wished they had a crappier knife, or hadn’t taken a martial arts class.

      I am a huge proponent of creating mental note cards to have an initial plan and a frame of reference for how to act. But I also understand this is a hobby for many people as well. If they think about WHY they are choosing THE gun, THE knife, or THE 1st aid kit for them, then I assume they are also thinking how they are going to use it. That goes a long way to developing a plan, increasing both the chance of action AND success.

  13. Ardent says

    I must be one of those rare people who bought a quality .45 that isn’t all tuned up for bulls eye competition. For 17 years I’ve owned and often carried the same Colt 1991-A1 pistol. I’ve shot it in competitions and for training and recreation many thousands of times with every conceivable sort of ammunition from high end HP to the dirtiest and lousiest ball available. If my 1911 stops feeding it’s either ridiculously dirty or else the magazine is faulty/damaged.

    I’ve seen 1911′s that wouldn’t feed reliably. Invariably they are either constructed with tolerances so tight that they are bulls eye pistol wannabes and unsuitable for defensive use or cheaply constructed and a poor choice for defensive use or they are badly designed, such as a Colt light weight I checked out at my LGS recently that inexplicably had no feed ramp what so ever!

    There is absolutely nothing inherently unreliable about the 1911 pistol. That almost bears repeating since unreliability has become a meme with the weapon. If 200 different manufacturers produced GLOCKs in every conceivable configuration and at price points from $200 through $17,000 dollars (I’m not making it up, check out Cabot guns if you don’t believe me) GLOCKs would be well known for lack of reliability too. You just can’t compare a target pistol with a defensive one for reliability and you can’t compare a bottom shelf cheapy to a quality pistol that way either.

    With all my love for the 1911, I’ll admit that there are perhaps more consistently reliable designs: GLOCKs and the HK USP series come to mind here as being monotonously reliable and I’ve owned both. However that doesn’t make the 1911 inherently unreliable, it just means that over the last 100 years some improvements have been made. I personally shoot a 1911 better and more instinctively than any other design, likely because of my long experience with them. I’m willing to accept a failure in 5000 rounds for the increase in accuracy that I have with a 1911 over a GLOCK that might go 20,000 rounds without a failure. Properly maintained a quality 1911 will carry you through any violent encounter whatsoever without a hitch, unless you’re planning to fight all of WWIII with it, without cleaning it.

    The reliability argument has become much like the caliber wars: pedantic and stupid. Yes a .45ACP is a marginally better fight stopper and yes a GLOCK is more reliable than a 1911. Either is more than adequately powerful and reliable to serve just fine as a defensive pistol. If 1911′s sucked a thousandth as much as some people claim they would have been out of production shortly after the introduction of the Hi-Power. Whatever happened to reasonableness I’ll never know, but it’s missing from much of the internet.

  14. jay says

    Just got into guns recently,(about 3 years now) I swear I have looked up a lot of reviews on what my first hand gun might be, actually my first firearm was actually a colt ar 15. My brother had a glock 17 gen 3 and cousin had a glock 17 gen 4 as their first firearm which I shot as my first time shooting a pistol. Did not really care for them at the time, i thought they were ugly with a horrible trigger . So my after all the research and thinking that glock was like a Honda, everybody has one ( compared because I’m in the automotive industry) I was not gonna buy a glock. So I chose the fnx9,i 3 months later I decided to get a .40 for my 2nd pistol. Before I decided. I have shot a cz sp01 in .40 and glock 35.i I chose the glock because it felt better to me when I shot it. So I got the glock 35. After Excessive shooting side by side with the glock 35 and fnx9, the fnx9 had more muzzle flip than the glock 35. Was never a believer in glocks, but I just purchased a glock 19 and 17 and probably trade the fnx for a glock 41 so I don’t have to get a 1911 to shoot 45 .Note, glock had no issues with any brand of .40 yet.Fnx 9 had couple issues when i first got it.anyway shoot all guns before you buy, shoot atleast 200-300 rounds on each gun before you buy, you probably end up with the glock.

  15. nksmfamjp says

    A 1911, made by people trying to make best quality 1911′s is reliable. A 1911 being made as a cheap gun to get some 1911 market share is a hit or miss proposition.

    If/when there are 10 manufactures trying to make the Glock design at price points from $50 – $8000, you will see the same thing. Actually, when people buy working Glocks and gizmo them up, they fail.


Speak Your Mind