The new special forces carry 1911 handgun from Ed Brown is one of the most reliable handguns in America

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The Government-size 1911 is a paragon of reliability, durability, efficiency and looks. What it isn’t so much is concealable. The five-inch barrel and concomitant slide is hard to wear, and many holsters poke the muzzle into your thigh or hip, leveraging the grip safety into your kidney. Meanwhile, the rear of the frame is poking at your coat, or hanging up on the cloth, draping it and “printing.”

Enter the Commander size, which solved many of those problems. By shortening the barrel (and slide) by three-quarters of an inch, the leveraging and the kidney-torture are greatly diminished. However, for some even the Commander doesn’t solve the problem of printing. Ed Brown has another solution: Cut it off. Not your jacket, the corner of the frame–as in Ed Brown’s proprietary Bobtail frame.

The conversion is simple in concept but a bit of work to actualize. In order to trim the corner enough to matter, Ed had to relocate the mainspring housing retaining pin. That meant a change in the mainspring and its internals. But with the correct tooling and some modified parts, anything is possible. The result is a much more concealable pistol.

With the Special Forces Carry, Ed and the crew have combined all the attributes needed to produce a reliable, accurate and easy to carry pistol. First of all, he made it out of stainless steel. Yes, stainless will be more visible in some instances. But it will also be more resistant to rust, a particular virtue in warmer climates than mine.

The shorter barrel makes for easier concealed carry, although some might worry about a loss of accuracy. They obviously have not been paying attention to the performance levels that Ed insists on. If a pistol is not accurate, Ed doesn’t send it out.

The Special Forces Carry features Ed’s Chainlink texturing, which is applied to the frontstrap and the mainspring housing. The pattern is a series of truncated concave ovoids machined into the surface of the steel in a repeating pattern. It’s not only cool-looking, it’s a non-abrasive surface that provides a secure grip.


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