Welcome to another episode of "I Carry,"Shooting Illustrated's weekly video series covering the guns and gear needed to put together a potential everyday-carry kit. Today, we have a Springfield Armory RO Elite Compact 1911 in a Wright Leather Works Paddle holster. We also have a Wright Leather Works Clip-on magazine carrier and belt, a LEDLenser flashlight and a Buck folding knife.
Springfield Armory Range Officer Elite Compact (MSRP: $1,044)
With a host of upgrades designed for concealed carry, the Springfield Armory Range Officer Elite Compact is a solid choice for 1911 fans. Available in both .45 ACP and 9 mm, the RO Elite Compact offers upgraded features like a fiber-optic front sight and a “Tactical Rack” rear sight, slimline G10 grips and a match-grade barrel. Couple this with a lightweight alloy frame and steel slide, and the Range Officer Elite Compact both carries and shoots quite well.
Shootability is one reason to opt for a single-stack 1911-style pistol over a lighter, polymer variant. Fans of the design point to the 1911’s inherent tendency to sit well in the hand and point precisely where needed, thanks to the engineering genius of John Browning. Holding up after more than a century of use, the 1911’s basic architecture remains the same, and a robust aftermarket exists for those that can’t resist making a good thing even better.
Springfield Armory’s efforts here, though, require little improvement. Sights are robust and intuitive, the size and heft are quite manageable and extras like checkering on the mainspring housing and thin G10 grips keep it firmly anchored in the hand. Upgrades and options designed to make the Range Officer Elite Compact well-suited both in the holster and on the range have been added at a quite-reasonable price.
Wright Leather Works Outsider Paddle Holster (MSRP: $108)
If you’re looking for a classic-style leather holster that’s easy to put on and take off, Wright Leather Works’ Outsider Paddle is an option to explore. Constructed of full-grain steerhide and vegetable-tanned to a unique finish, the Outsider Paddle contains a G-Code “Large Paddle” attachment that allows rapid attachment and removal if needed. Cant is adjustable between a straight drop, a 20-degree forward cant and cross draw.
Wright Leather Works Mag Clip Holster (MSRP: $54)
Constructed of the same steerhide as the belt, Wright Leather Works’ Mag Clip holster allows the same easy-on/easy-off attachment system for a spare magazine. The Mag Clip offers a full body shield for comfort, allowing a layer of leather between your spare mag and your clothing and an internal magnet for magazine retention. Both single- and double-stack versions are available, and a snap-closure retention model is another option.
Wright Leather Works Bull Hide Gun Belt (MSRP: $58)
Rounding out this trio of Wright Leather Works products is the Bull Hide Gun Belt, an inch-and-a-half wide, quarter-inch thick pants-retention device. The buckle is available as one of two designs, and is easily removable should you desire to use your own belt buckle. The Bull Hide belt is available in light or dark brown and black.
Led Lenser MT10 Rechargeable Flashlight (MSRP: $80)
With 1,000 lumens on the high setting, you’d think the Led Lenser MT10 would rip through batteries—and you’d be mistaken. That’s because this five and a half ounce light is rechargeable using a standard USB charger. The high setting, 1000 lumens, has a respectable six hour run time, while the low setting, 10 lumens, can run for 144 hours – six days. A medium setting, 200 lumens, has a 15 hour run time. The MT10 comes with a lanyard and a belt sheath, too.
Buck Knives Rival III Knife (MSRP: $37)
When you hear Buck Knife, you probably think of the standard, three-blade Buck carried by outdoor enthusiasts for decades. Buck has kept up with the times, though, and offers numerous knives with tactical and general-purpose designs. The Rival 3 offers a three and five eights inch, 420HC stainless steel drop-point blade with a tumbled finish, with injection-molded nylon scales. An ambidextrous thumb stud allows the Rival 3 to be opened easily with either hand, while a standard lockback lever is depressed to close the knife. Here’s a neat bonus: For a whopping seven bucks, you can order the Rival 3 with two lines of engraving.