DoubleStar PhD 1911 Pistol : A Degree in Handgun Refinement

By Graham Baates
YouTube personality, Graham Baates, gives us a video review of the DoubleStar PhD 1911 Pistol.

G B Guns
G B Guns

USA – -(  The DoubleStar PhD (Personal Home Defense) is an American-made all-steel 1911. Although it features a match-grade barrel and several other custom-like features it is intended as a fighting gun.

One could argue that with the plethora of home defense firearms available, and considering most people shopping in the PhD’s price range of $1,364 MSRP likely own more than one firearm the PhD is a lifestyle choice and the quality and features compliment that.

For a closer look see the tabletop video review above.

DoubleStar PhD 1911 Pistol

DoubleStar PhD 1911 Pistol
DoubleStar PhD 1911 Pistol

3.5-4.5lbs of pressure on the adjustable, crisp single-action trigger is appropriate for someone who knows their way around a gun. Making those shots quicker are Express sights from XS. These sights took some getting used to, but the wide V shape keeps your field of view open for follow-up shots or transitioning to the next target. Other features that subtly make the PhD a smart choice include deep rear slide serrations, a flattened and serrated slide top to reduce glare, and a clever way of providing a front serration without marring up the beautiful lines of John Browning’s design.

DoubleStar PhD 1911 Pistol Front Barrel Swell
DoubleStar PhD 1911 Pistol Front Barrel Swell
DoubleStar PhD 1911 Pistol XS Express Sights
DoubleStar PhD 1911 Pistol XS Express Sights
DoubleStar PhD 1911 Pistol Relief Cut Under the Trigger Guard
DoubleStar PhD 1911 Pistol Relief Cut Under the Trigger Guard
DoubleStar PhD 1911 Pistol Backstrap
DoubleStar PhD 1911 Pistol Backstrap

Considerations for comfort were made as the “Doctor” would expect. The heel has been rounded and bobbed, and a subtle relief cut under the trigger guard. This relief is almost difficult to see with the naked eye, but can certainly be felt as it lets your firing hand grip up higher more comfortably and take full advantage of the Wilson Combat high-ride beavertail grip safety. Combined it makes for a 1911 that doesn’t quite feel like a 1911 in the hand. Edges are smoother and the mate more natural.

In a market awash with inexpensive imports, it is nearly refreshing to be reminded of American craftsmanship and the feel of an all-steel gun. Though a 1911 may not be your first choice for home defense, the PhD is hard to put down. Addictive shooting characteristics combined with good looks and American pride might just make this the home defense weapon of choice simply because you kept it near you at all times. See product specifications below as well as a shooting impressions video. For more information visit the DoubleStar website.

DoubleStar PhD 1911 Pistol Specs:

  • Caliber : .45ACP
  • Overall Length : 7.375”
  • Barrel Length : 5”
  • Barrel Type : Stainless Steel Match
  • Frame : Cast Steel
  • Sights : XS Express, Tritium Front
  • Grips : MagPul MOE
  • Finish : Manganese Phosphate/Parkerized
  • Butt : Bobtail
  • Magazine Capacity : 8 Rounds
  • Country of Manufacture : United States
  • Warranty : Limited Lifetime

Shooting Impressions video:

About Graham Baates

“Graham Baates” is a pen name used by a 15-year active Army veteran who spent most of his time in the tactical side of the Intelligence community including tours in Afghanistan and Iraq. Post-Army Graham spent some time in the 3-Gun circuit before becoming a full-time NRA Certified defensive handgun instructor and now works as an industry writer while curating a YouTube channel and blog on the side. Visit Graham on Youtube .

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Nice pistol! Handcrafted, American made, forged internals, I’ll take two! I’m glad so many of you experts are here to bash something you obviously have no idea about. You can keep your $400 1911s in the safe where they sit quietly not bothering anyone or sending rounds downrange while you drink your Bubba cola. Those of us who know the difference will by firearms like this and support American companies. Enjoy your foreign, cast and MIM POS’s! #merica

James Bailey

Let me get this straight, 1400 bucks for a gun that: Has no tritium night sights. Has no ambidextrous controls. Has no mention of being de-burred, polished, and tuned. Has no custom finger contoured gripping, allowing for a consistent grip of the buttstock. Basically, this is a $600 1911 the both the author of the article and the company making the product believe you should pay twice as much for, plus a little extra only downside to add insult to injury. There’s so many Superior 1911’s out there compared to this overpriced and overrated product, including some with mini pick… Read more »

Wild Bill

@JB, with all due respect medical schools do not confer Doctor of Philosophy.

James Bailey

Wild Bill, Yeah I know, but somehow I couldn’t think of a school of philosophy down in Jamaica that would be 3rd or 4th rate! I used to own a 14/45, and wished I had never gotten rid of it. It is the ultimate 1911 with all the power anyone could want! Sadly, the company that owns Remington bought it out and now you can no longer get high cap 45’s from them. When Remington officially bought Para-Ordnance, they promised that they would have the high cap 45 s adopted into the Remington 1911 line, including the Warthog series. However,… Read more »

Wild Bill

@JB, I an not a Remmy fan either, with one exception. Anyway, Big Green is doesn’t want those terrific Para Ord. designs competing with their crappy designs. If the Harvard MBA business execs at Big Green had half of a brain among them they would shelve the Remmy designs and make Para Ordinance designs.


First there are tritium night sights on this 1911. If you would’ve read the article you would see the front sight is tritium. Also not sure what you mean by finger contured grips but if you mean grips with finger groves in them they are crappy not nice! And this pistol is put together by hand so it’s polished, deburred, and properly tuned. It also uses a national match bushing and barrel. This is an excellent 1911 that is well worth the money that you pay for it. I am guessing you don’t know much about quality 1911’s due to… Read more »


I’ve shot the National Matches at Camp Perry for umpteen years and went Distinguished in 2003. This is no match gun and it most definitely does not have “National Match” barrel or bushing.

Jim Poteet

Agree with all of the above comments on high price, especially the one about big money folks keep paying it they will keep taking it. Foolish people. Many reliable 1911s out there for half the money and just as reliable and accurate. Ha, ha on foolishness.

Wild Bill

Poteet, I am currently having a love affair with the Para Ordinance 14/45, and that is even less $$.

Danny Shaffer

For that price who in their right mind would purchase that over a Kimber!??


Exactly. Kimber for that kind of money. Besides, the take down is a convoluted designed. Why?

Tom R

I see these one thousand dollar and up 1911’s at the range on a regular basis. They all tout the fit and finish and their tight tolerances and the ting they all have in common is, I see them failing in the reliability department constantly. I own 2 1911’s and both cost me less than $550 brand new. The Commander model I keep strict track of how many rounds have been through it because it’s my daily carry. It has as of yesterday 4700 rounds through it without any malfunctions with ANY brand or bullet configuration from day one! My… Read more »

Lewis Saintsing

This gun sales for $1,400??? You’re crazy!

Steven French

It’s nice, but expensive for what it is. That takes nothing away from it’s features & capabilities. I also have a R1 Stainless that shoots far more accurate than I’m capable of. Isn’t it funny, the 1911 is supposedly an antiquated design, but the market is flooded & new offerings show up every day!


Get real! Far to expensive for something that cost $150 to make!


That price could fetch two guns of similar quality. Some of these manufacturers are sure greedy. I own a RI 1911 with which I have scored many range victories. Paid $400. Never a problem in function. Many an opponent has expressed their dismay at having spent north of a grand only to find the gun no better than one at half the cost.


Good analysis CB56. Proof positive that the man/woman behind the pistol, shotgun and rifle is the weapon and the firearm is simply a tool used to achieve the result. A firearm can never be substituted for proper training and practice.


Too expensive for just an all around 1911. I will have to agree with ChuckBone.