The Colt 1911 has been one of the most popular handgun choices in the US. However, low capacity has been the main drawback to the model, but you can overcome the deficiency with a double-stack 1911.
There are many high-capacity 1911 models out there, and this double-stack 1911 buyer’s guide will help you choose the right one.
Why Should You Go for a Double-stack 1911?
As the name of the model says, double-stack 1911s have magazines that are twice the size of traditional 1911 handguns. In particular, these pistols have upwards of 13 rounds in their magazines instead of the six to eight bullets single-stack 1911s have. This makes them useful in various situations.
Most importantly, double-stack 1911s are perfect if you’re not able to reload quickly, where the extra bullets let you fire multiple shots before having to reload. For instance, if an assailant breaks into your house, you typically won’t have enough time to find a spare magazine if you’re carrying a single-stock 1911.
On the other hand, if you’re using a double-stack model, you’ll have plenty of bullets readily available to fend off the attackers without reloading or looking for additional rounds.
How Hard Are Double-Stack 1911s to Conceal?
You might think that bulkier handguns can’t be concealed due to their size, but this isn’t the case. For example, the Remington R1 Enhanced is just 2/10 of an inch wider than the single-stock edition, meaning that you can easily conceal it. But even if you get a larger gun, all you’ll need to do is make some wardrobe adjustments to carry it concealed.
Admittedly, single-stack 1911s are generally easier to conceal due to several factors. Their design is slimmer, and there’s less ammunition, meaning that these pistols weigh less than double-stock models. All this combined makes single-stack 1911s easier to conceal, especially if you’re not wearing multiple layers of clothes.
There are several design aspects to consider when determining whether a double-stack 1911 is easy to grip or not. First, many double-stack models rely on the 1911 beavertail and external thumb safety. Consequently, a lot of people have a hard time firing a gun using just one hand.
Additionally, it can be hard to grip a double-stack 1911 firmly enough with one hand, in which case you may not apply enough pressure to fire the handgun.
However, double-stack 1911s, such as the Remington R1, aren’t the only pistols challenging to handle with one hand.
Even lighter models, such as a Glock, can be difficult to fire if you’re not using a double grip. Therefore, even if your double-stack 1911 is difficult to grip at first, it’s nothing you can’t overcome with some practice. After all, this goes for any handgun, meaning that honing your skills is paramount to get reliable results.
Another great thing about using a double-stock 1911 is less recoil. Just as it is across the handgun industry, the heavier the gun, the less recoil you can expect to see. Luckily, double-stack 1911s deliver in this regard due to their magazine size that provides you with the extra weight necessary to minimize the recoil.
However, you shouldn’t rely solely on the design of your double-stack 1911 to reduce recoil. There are several tips on how to improve your recoil management on any handgun. Like any other shooting skill, recoil management on your double-stack 1911 needs practice until your accuracy is consistent with every shot.
Who Makes the Best 1911 with a Double Stack?
There are several notable double-stack 1911 manufacturers on the market. Some of the most famous producers include the following companies:
- Rock Island Armory
- Springfield Armory
- Dan Wesson Firearms
- Sig Sauer Firearms
Coming up is a brief double-stack 1911 buyer’s guide for a pistol made by each manufacturer.
Here are the most significant pros and cons of the handgun:
- Budget-friendly – You can get this pistol for as little as $529. This makes it one of the most affordable double-stack 1911 models on the market
- Parkerized finish – This type of finish provides the gun with durability and a smooth, tough, and nonreflective surface
- Checkered polymer grips – The grips of the handgun are made of polymer, giving it additional durability
- Adequate barrel size – The pistol’s barrel is five inches long, ensuring balanced weight distribution. This assists in maintaining high accuracy and reducing recoil.
- Traditional trigger design – The gun features a 4-6lb trigger to stay true to other Rock Island 1911 models.
- Magazine scarcity – If you choose the Rock Island 1911 GI Standard, the company will ship you just one magazine with your handgun. Many people will find this disappointing since most gun manufacturers send their customers a minimum of two or three magazines
- No bushing – Another inadequacy of the model is the lack of a bushing that contains the barrel and the recoil rod. The implication of this is that you’ll need to disassemble the handgun differently than you used to, and you may need to use a safety pin or paperclip to field strip the pistol
You can purchase the Springfield 1911 TRP Operator for about $1,600, and this is what the double-stack pistol entails:
- Highly reliable – Springfield Armory invested a lot of effort in ensuring reliable firing. The gun’s slide-to-frame fitting is calibrated correctly, allowing you to fire your weapon reliably with each trigger pull
- Excellent grips – The material used for the grips is a G10 composite and has a relief cut on the gun’s left panel, facilitating your access to the pistol’s magazine release
- Pinpoint accuracy – The handgun outperforms other pistols in this price range with regard to accuracy. What’s more, the Springfield 1911 TRP Operator is touted as being accurate enough to meet the FBI’s accuracy standards for professional handgun models
- Rewarding feeling – The double-stack 1911 has a solid feel in your hands and features a smooth firing action that lets you stay on your target with your subsequent shots
- Subpar spring guide – TRP models feature a two-piece, full-length spring guide, which might put some customers off buying the gun. Luckily, you can easily replace the spring guide with a standard one if you wish to do so.
- Flimsy holster – The holster is made of injection-molded polymer, and some customers have reported that it feels flimsy.
The price of the Remington 1911 R1 Recon Commander ranges from about $670 to $1,080. Here are the characteristics you get for the price:
- Accuracy – The handgun has a tight lock-up, and its bigger sights let you aim at your target with greater precision
- A great fit – The pistol has a great feel in your hand, making you much more comfortable wielding it
- Customizability – You can change or upgrade nearly any part of the Remington Commander model
- Aesthetics – This gun isn’t the most visually striking model on the market, but it’s still extremely appealing. You should find its walnut grips and blued finish enough to seal the deal when it comes to the visual aspect, especially when you consider the relatively low price
- High build quality – Considering that this is an entry-level handgun, the build quality is terrific. The bushing-to-slide and barrel-to-bushing fitting are tight. The same goes for the slide-to-frame fit
- The rear sight – Remington used a dovetail cut for this pistol’s rear sight. This can be problematic if you want to upgrade your rear sight. Namely, the upgrade will require you to purchase XS sights. Consequently, you’ll void your warranty unless you upgrade your sight at a Remington-approved store
- Below-average factory magazines – You may not be happy with your factory magazine, forcing you to decide on an aftermarket option
Here are the most noteworthy features of the DWX Light Rail:
- Barrel system – The gun’s barrel system is simple and uses the CZ-style method that makes the take-down process much more comfortable
- Customizable sights – You can easily customize the sights on your DWX Light Rail. The rear sight also contains a serrated rear face, providing a crisp sight picture and knocking down the glare
- A natural fit – The handgun fits your hands the way it’s supposed to. Namely, the full-size DWX model has a standard CZ 75 grip made of non-slippery material that enhances your grip
- Ambidextrous safety – Both right-handed and left-handed shooters can easily access the safety mechanisms of this model
- Price – This is the most expensive entry on this list and goes for about $1,700.
The final entry costs about $1,200, and here’s what purchasing the Sig Sauer P226 legion has in store for you:
- High accuracy – This handgun is exceptionally accurate and provided the right skills; it can shoot two-inch groupings from 25 yards. The pistol has an X-ray day and night front sight, meaning that the sight is visible during daytime and nighttime. Another benefit is that you can easily distinguish between the rear notch and the front sight
- Reliability – The pistol features low-friction components that help you fire hundreds of bullets without hindrances
- Firm grip – The handgun has a contoured beavertail, which contributes to the stabilization of your gun
- Recoil management – There’s minimal recoil with this firearm due to its heavyweight and a metal rod that balances the weight equally across the gun. Accordingly, your muzzle flips less when you fire the weapon
- High bore axis – The bore axis is slightly higher than usual, which may not work for some people.
Considering all relevant performance features, the final model, the P226 Legion, takes the win in this double-stack 1911 buyer’s guide.
The pistol can be concealed, and it will provide you with an outstanding grip. Furthermore, the advanced sight technology will help you hit your targets accurately during day and night.
Although all guns on this list have excellent recoil management, the equal weight distribution on the P226 Legion gives the pistol the edge over the others.
Thus, the P226 Legion stands out from its double-stack 1911 competitors as the best pistol available.