Are Single-Stack CCW Handguns Obsolete? ~ VIDEO

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Full disclosure, while I may have learned to shoot on an old Gen 2 Glock 17, my first quality handgun was a mil-spec M1911 chambered in .45 ACP. So, don’t mistake my opinions for those of someone totally enamored with plastic fantastic tactical Tupperware. That said, the title is a valid question. Are single-stack handguns obsolete in the era of ever-shrinking compact polymer-framed handguns feeding from capacious magazines?

Simply put, no – but also yes. At least sort of.

Let me explain.

While the proliferation of super-compact handguns like the SIG P365 or the Springfield Hellcat might make single-stack compact guns seem less appealing, there are subjective, often intangible factors that influence whether or not a gun is well-suited for a particular individual.

That’s because while capacity is very important for concealed carry handguns, it’s merely an aspect of the ideal concealed carry equation that each shooter much solve themselves.

Taurus GX4 Kimber Micro 9
With nearly double the capacity of the Kimber, the GX4 is very appealing. But capacity isn’t everything. IMG Jim Grant

Old But Not Outdated

Just because a particular design is dated, or even limited in one regard doesn’t negate its efficacy in other categories. In fact, how each aspect is considered, and how much importance a shooter weights each one depends on several subjective factors.

For instance, a proficient shooter with arthritis may not consider direct blowback handguns or those with smaller controls, simply because it would pain them to operate the firearm effectively. On the other hand, a large-framed shooter who prefers baggy clothing will often opt for a full-sized handgun, because it fits their hands well, and is easier to conceal due to their stature and apparel.

Low capacity magazine vs high capacity magazine
The six-round Kimber Rapide 9 vs the 11-round Taurus GX4 magazine. IMG Jim Grant

Capacity Isn’t Everything

Along these lines, capacity isn’t paramount to most shooters. Personally, and I’m sure most professional shooters and trainers would agree with me, reliability is the single most important aspect of any design meant for serious use. Whether that’s trodding through the jungles of Vietnam, or riding along in SWAT member’s holster, or sitting inside a lint-filled pocket of a concealed carrier, is irrelevant.

Because all that matters is that a shooter has a dependable firearm they’re proficient with when they need it. Everything else is secondary.

Kimber Micro 9 Rapide
Are single-stack magazine-fed pistols like the Kimber 9 Micro outdated? Perhaps, but they absolutely aren’t obsolete. IMG Jim Grant

Are Single-Stack CCW Guns Outdated?

In the simplest terms, no. Any firearm of sufficient caliber and excellent reliability will suffice if the shooter has enough training and the proper mindset. With the latter being much more important than most give it credit for. Although not the most popular (or prestigious) training school, Front Sight Academy has it 100% correct with their old motto: “Any gun will do, if you will.”

Yes, I would personally like as much ammo in a magazine as humanly, and concealably possible. But I wouldn’t feel under-armed with a single-stack 9mm like the Kimber or my SIG 938, provided I was experienced and confident in my abilities with it.


About Jim Grant

Jim is one of the elite editors for AmmoLand.com, who in addition to his mastery of prose, can wield a camera with expert finesse. He loves anything and everything guns but holds firearms from the Cold War in a special place in his heart.

When he’s not reviewing guns or shooting for fun and competition, Jim can be found hiking and hunting with his wife Kimberly, and their dog Peanut in the South Carolina low country.

Jim Grant

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Don
Don
1 month ago

I use a G43 (6 round) and feel good with it. It replaced a S&W M642 (5 rounds) because it has a better trigger pull. The G43 doesn’t conceal as well as the 642, but it is easier to hit with. I admit, I didn’t even look at the higher capacity pistols, and now I would.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
1 month ago

Modern plastic subcompacts are to small and too light for most shooters to utilize well or efficiently.

JohnLloydScharf
JohnLloydScharf
1 month ago

Always carry speedloaders and/or extra magazines. Most jurisdictions allow you to carry more than one sidearm. Having two gives your gait more balance for concealed carry, I maintain. Most carry a sidearm on one side and the extra ammo on the other. If you have two you are less likely to have a disabling malfunction of both. I have one sidearm for each hand and extra ammo for both. Only being unarmed is obsolete. Arms are more important than a new set of car speakers or another television, but less expensive. Name your own comparison, if you do not like… Read more »

Beobear
Beobear
1 month ago

Not obsolete at all. Very few defensive shootings go past 6 or 7 rounds fired per person. A higher capacity gun is advantageous in some cases and more ammo is always better but in most cases it will be unnecessary. Just because having a lot of ammo on tap is better doesn’t mean that less ammo on tap is bad. A 6 or 7 + 1 pistol is as deadly as one that holds 100 rounds. Just like a deer can’t tell the difference between a .270 and .300 win mag, a bad guy isn’t any less dead because you… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Beobear
American Cynic
American Cynic
1 month ago

Considering that there are still a plethora of people who enjoy using a revolver and don’t seem to find such a six-shooter to be a problem, then why should the number of rounds be a bone of contention when carrying a magazine loaded firearm? So long as you know the limitation and have prepared yourself appropriately, then bazinga! Enjoy the thinner profile. It is much easier to reload the Kimber than it would be to fumble reloading a revolver. If you insist on a single stack, train to shoot atraight, and carry extra loaded magazines.

BarryB
BarryB
1 month ago

It comes down to what you can effectively carry. My wife carrys a Glock 43, because it fits her hand comfortably, while a double stack won’t. She can contort her hand to shoot a double stack, but it is uncomfortable. So, a single stack is best… for her.

Trvldoc2
Trvldoc2
1 month ago

A 1911 in 38 Super carries 9+1 in commander or carry size. I hit center target at 3-7 yards. That is a head shot. Granted I might miss in an adrenaline situation which is why I have done competitions. Unless I get in to a large group attack, 19 rounds should be enough to carry. I alternate with my STI which carries 7+1 in 45ACP and is even more accurate.

Arny
Arny
1 month ago

Love my micro 9 but would like to see a double stack with double action in the future. And extend the grip. The extended mag does help with larger hands. I really like the laser grips, besides the auto shutoff. But it does save the battery. Would also prefer the green laser. But for the price I picked it up I can’t complain to much. It is very reliable. And comfortable to shoot.

swmft
swmft
1 month ago

just same old new vs old bs, I dont like plastic have seen a glock blow up guys hand was destroyed so use what you are good with ; I am fast and accurate with a 1911 officers that was my dads have my 45 as a backup what you carry 2 yes I worked dea in bad old days and have been in shoot outs i keep a level 4 vest handy and a jacket if things look bad i do use it , the spray and pray people usually run when you shoot back ,or pause that is… Read more »

Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
1 month ago
Reply to  swmft

Yes, I like more not less and I’m also not a fan of Chipzene with HIV in it or masks and lockdowns or even the fake news media all of which have found support in the Ammoland comment section for the last year +.

Don
Don
1 month ago
Reply to  swmft

I saw a Glock 17 fire a double charge. It stung the shooters hand, dropped the magazine and kept shooting. We only discovered a cracked frame when we were cleaning the guns at the station. I called the distributor and ordered a new frame ($75) and put the pistol back into service. I don’t know how one would blow up.

Phil in TX
Phil in TX
1 month ago

I have come to the realization that my 1911A1 is not my ideal carry pistol. Neither is my Ruger GP100. I have two single stack 9mm pistols that are my current EDC guns (only one at a time). I can carry either one plus a spare mag much easier than the 1911 or the GP100 and have as many or more rounds than the others. One thing about the 1911 is that my hands are not large enough to execute a proper grip and still be able to reach the trigger for a correct placement of the trigger finger. The… Read more »

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil in TX

On the 1911, match a flat mainspring housing with the short trigger, and you should find it just about perfect.

RoyD
RoyD
1 month ago

My every day, everywhere carry piece is a Ruger LCP. A satin chrome coated original with a stronger recoil spring. Six rounds of 95gr Ball ammo loaded at +P levels. Yes, six rounds because I don’t carry chamber loaded. And a second loaded mag in the left front pocket. In the last eight years it has been presented twice but only ever fired at the range. That’s how I roll 99.9% of the time. Your mileage may vary.

O. L. James III
O. L. James III
1 month ago

We must each decide for ourselves which risks we are willing to manage and which benefits matter most to us.

Data from John Correia (Active Self Protection) and Tom Givens (Rangemaster) indicates that we will win or lose our gun fight with the cartridges in our gun at the time the fight starts. Correia’s narrated videos often show multiple attackers.

In my family, the only carriers of single stack pistols are those whose hands are too small to property grip a double stack pistol. Works for us.

Patriot Solutions
Patriot Solutions
1 month ago

Yep, around here they are used by the elderly who have arthritis limiting their ability’s which are mostly women or the equivalent.

Last edited 1 month ago by Patriot Solutions
WI Patriot
WI Patriot
1 month ago

“Are Single-Stack CCW Handguns Obsolete?”
Not in any way, shape or form…

Jeremy B.
Jeremy B.
1 month ago
Reply to  WI Patriot

Yes they they are, you couldn’t POSSIBLY harm or stop a violent attacker based on the orientation of ammunition in your firearm’s cartridge storage and feeding device. So tired of seeing click bait article titles. Obviously more rounds on tap means more options for multiple attackers. But this is just an extension of the caliber debate for handguns. Mostly useless and rarely realistic or two informative. I say this as someone who carries a P365 9mm (12+1) instead of my previous S&W M&P Shield (8+1) instead of my previous Glock model 23 (13+1). Just carry SOMETHING. And if you can,… Read more »

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy B.

Yet another advocate for the “spray and pray” tactic. Let me know when you’re in town so I can be somewhere else…..

Jeremy B.
Jeremy B.
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

I was attempting sarcasm.

Not, “spray and pray”, “center mass untill the threat de-escalates”. Sometimes this happens quickly, other times it doesn’t.

If you think 5/6/7/8 rounds will always be enough for one threat then you need to do more research because your imagination is lacking.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jeremy B.
Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

I guess Jeremy’s sarcasm totally escaped you?

WI Patriot
WI Patriot
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeremy B.

You’re an idiot…

Jeremy B.
Jeremy B.
1 month ago
Reply to  WI Patriot

How eloquent. I was attempting sarcasm. Of course they are t obsolete. I still carry my LCP from time to time.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
1 month ago
Reply to  WI Patriot

Who pissed in your Wheaties this morning?

Rob
Rob
1 month ago
Reply to  WI Patriot

Agree! Try to buy one these days!

Darkman
Darkman
1 month ago

You Are Obsolete!!!
https://youtu.be/zGZqnc6_5To

Darkman
Darkman
1 month ago

Any Tool that performs it’s intended purpose cannot be considered obsolete.

Boris Badenov
Boris Badenov
1 month ago

I have a very simple way of considering a carry arm. 1. Something beats nothing 2. Size doesn’t matter 3. It needs to work flawlessly. 4. It needs to be accurate. That’s it. Nobody in their right mind want’s to be shot, when looking down a barrel they aren’t thinking caliber. IF I were to have something on my person, and that is very unlikely being behind enemy lines in Kommieforniastan, it might be a humble little Ruger SR22, doesn’t print, light weight, accurate and reliable. Just my opinion.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
1 month ago
Reply to  Boris Badenov

Like all my supermodel girlfriends tell me, size does matter.

RoyD
RoyD
1 month ago

Well, when your chosen profession causes you to be “stretched out” then it would logically follow that a “larger size” would lead to a more snug fit and therefore “size would matter.” But hey, you do you.

Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
1 month ago
Reply to  RoyD

Hey, it’s your lifestyle choice, don’t be ashamed.

RoyD
RoyD
1 month ago

It’s your girlfriends we are talking about here, or did you forget that.

abirahemmed
abirahemmed
1 month ago

Depending on how you are built, where you work, and who you associate with, a single stack can still be a little less noticeable.

Last edited 1 month ago by abirahemmed
Roland T. Gunner
Roland T. Gunner
1 month ago
Reply to  abirahemmed

8+1 in 10mm…

musicman44mag
musicman44mag
1 month ago

Favorite revolver is 357 python, favorite semi 1911. I have the python for fun, don’t have the 1911 for self defense because in my mind it is obsolete for defense against todays modern 15+ round weapons. if I were in kommiefornia, I would use the 1911 and feel confident in my 8 max round 1911 because I know all criminals care and follow all laws and the most they would have is 10 and I would bet that I am a better shot and can change out mags quicker, oops I mean clips.

Last edited 1 month ago by musicman44mag
Jwestin
Jwestin
1 month ago

I love my Walther PPS Gen1 that I’ve owned for about 10 years. I’ve owned XD-S 4″, Sig P365xl, Walther CCP, and others that have less recoil, longer barrels, and more capacity. But for whatever reason, I outshoot all of them with my PPS and have never had a malfunction. So what do I carry? My PPS. Find a carry gun you love and is reliable, go with it, don’t just get stuck on what is new, cool, or has good reviews.

Terril Hebert
1 month ago

Depending on how you are built, where you work, and who you associate with, a single stack can still be a little less noticeable.