I Carry: Springfield Armory Garrison 4.25" 1911 Pistol in 9 mm in a Wright Leather Works Holster

Teaming this up with a Buck Knives Wharncliffe Deploy pocketknife.

posted on April 26, 2024

Firearm: Springfield Armory Garrison 4.25-inch barrel blued (MSRP: $868)

Springfield Armory launched the Garrison line of 1911s in .45 ACP in 2021, and added a 9 mm variant the following year. New for 2024 is the Commander-length version of the Garrison 1911, offering a more concealed-carry friendly pistol for those who prefer the 1911 platform for their defensive handgun. It’s a little easier to conceal, whether inside- or outside-the-waistband, while still retaining the excellent 1911 characteristics that make it a joy to shoot.

The slightly shorter slide and barrel give the new Garrison an overall length of 7.9 inches, while the height remains 5.5 inches like the Government model released three years prior. Weight is reduced to 34 ounces with the removal of three-quarters of an inch from the slide and barrel, taking a quarter of a pound off the weight of the longer Government model. This still yields a handgun significantly heavier than most of its polymer-frame rivals, meaning it’s a bit more involved to carry, but easier to shoot.

Yes, in addition to a half-pound or more extra weight over a polymer-frame, striker-fired handgun, the Garrison carries less ammunition, there’s no getting around that. Standard from Springfield Armory are 9-round magazines, but flush-fit 10-round magazines are available from companies like Wilson Combat or Chip McCormick. That’s anywhere from three to seven rounds less than most double-stack handguns, which may or may not be a factor in your choice. Magazines with capacities greater than 10 can also be found, but they tend to be overly long and are better suited as backup options.

For fans of 1911-style handguns, the Garrison represents an affordable, attractive option that’s definitely not entry-level, offering a match-grade barrel, thin-line grips and low-profile combat-style sights. It’s heavy enough to absorb all the recoil of its 9 mm chambering, while still being compact enough to carry everyday with the proper gear. Fit and function are first rate, and while we haven’t had a long-term torture test, we’ve run through a handful of Garrison 1911s and found every one we tested to work fine and shoot great. That’s an attractive option indeed.

Holster: Wright Leather Works Closer IWB Holster (MSRP: $135)

Okay, so we went traditional(ish) with the holster to carry the Garrison 1911. Since this Garrison is Commander-length and intended for concealed-carry, we’ve opted for the Wright Leather Works Closer IWB holster for today’s kit, with pull-the-dot belt loops, reinforced top for easier reholstering and a sweatguard for comfort. The Closer can be adjusted for three different positions for cant, from straight-drop for appendix carry, 20-degree forward for strong-side carry and 20-degree reverse cant for cross-draw applications.

Adjustability is the party piece of the Closer IWB holster. In addition to being available for both right- and left-handed shooters, the Closer can be had for 1½ or 1¾ inch belts, with mounted electro-optic sights and even with select weaponlights attached. Three grades are available, from the Classic collection we have here today to the lined Master collection with premium leather all the way up to the Signature collection, which offers the ability to customize your holster with different color options, premium leather and handmade construction.

Accessory: Buck Knives Wharncliffe Deploy Auto Knife (MSRP: $189.99)

Rounding out today’s kit is the Buck Knives Wharncliffe Deploy automatic pocketknife. As the name implies, the 3.13-inch, 154CM steel blade has a Wharncliffe profile, and Buck even offers up to two lines of engraving on the blade for personalization at a slight upcharge. Scales are aluminum and a reversible pocket clip keeps the Deploy low in the pocket when needed. Since it’s an automatic knife, only a press of the button is needed to open – and close – the blade. There’s a sliding safety lever to ensure the blade isn’t accidentally opened in the pocket, too. If the bright orange color in our version is a little too much, the Wharncliffe Deploy is also available in a more muted blue or black finish.

Automatic knives are regulated in different manners in different locations, so make sure it is legal to own and carry one in your location—and here, that might be as specific as the city in which you live. While it’s legal to own automatic knives in the vast majority of U.S. states, certain counties or cities may have additional restrictions that it falls on the carrier to know. For those in areas with no restrictions, automatic knives are certainly the easiest and most convenient when it comes to one-handed opening.


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