I finally got to the range to try out some new toys, a full-size Springfield Loaded 1911 and a Sig 238 (well, OK, the Sig isn't really half a 1911). I'm very pleased with both of them. The Springer is my first 1911. Although I've been carrying Glocks for years, the 1911 is suddenly in a whole different class. It feels good in my hand, where the various Glocks I own feel functional. The trigger is a bit on the heavy side but still feels much better than a Glock trigger. After less than 50 rounds with a new gun, I was already shooting it better than my favorite Glock. Not that I'm any great pistol shot, but the 1911 was giving me one ragged hole at the same ranges that Glocks would give me a nice little group. Today was the first time I carried it, but once you find the right "spot", carrying it on a belt is surprisingly comfortable. I carried it under a T-shirt at work, and didn't have any problems with it printing. I need to do some further break-in and make sure it likes hollowpoints, but I think I just found a new carry gun. The little 238 was purchased to be an "always with me" gun. The 238 has much better sights than any snub-nosed 38 I've seen, and a better trigger (again, a little heavy for target shooting, but fine for a carry gun). Shooting it was also something of a revelation. I found it much, much easier to shoot than a snubbie. I had an Airweight Smith that went from manageable with standard 38's to downright unpleasant with 38+P's. The 238 was fun to shoot with all loads (and the 238 is an alloy frame model that's actually a tiny bit lighter than the Airweight). I tried some of the hotter Co-Bon ammo in the 380 and even that was still fun to shoot, although it had enough extra recoil to throw off the rapid fire cadence I had developed with the other 380 ammo. I had already gotten rid of the Airweight because it jumped so much in my hand that I had to stop and change my grip after every shot. The 238 didn't seem to shift in my hand at all during fast shooting. I'm already 100% more confident of hitting the target with the 238 than I have been with any snubbie that I've ever owned, and about 200% more confident of being able to put rapid follow up shots on target. Given that I don't trust either a 380 or a 38Spl to solve all problems with only one shot, the ability to make rapid follow-up shots seems worthwhile. I'm not going to get into the whole 380 vs. 38Spl debate, but I'd rather carry a 380 that I'm confident I can hit the target with. And before anyone says it, I'm not a huge fan of the 380 cartridge. There are a whole new batch of "380-sized" 9mm's coming (like the Kimber Solo), and I may upgrade to one of these after they've been out long enough to establish a record of reliability. Meanwhile, the little Sig 238 kind of hits a sweet spot: easier to carry than a J-frame, but big enough to shoot well. But the big lesson that I learned is that I spent too much time listening to "experts". I've owned two SA autos previously, and never had any problems with handling the thumb safety. But when I got into Concealed Carry, I listened to all the experts who said that SA autos could only be safely handled by ex-Special Forces, SWAT trained Ninjas, and everyone else should carry "safer" guns. I guess I'm one of the oddballs that isn't bothered at all by the sight of a cocked hammer, because I actually feel more comfortable carrying a pistol with a thumb safety than a Glock with a "Safe-Action" trigger. And after today, I feel more confident in actually using a SA auto to defend myself if, God forbid, I ever had to do so. Would I recommend a SA auto to someone who's never owned a pistol before? Probably not. But I really wish I had gotten a 1911 sooner. Wanna kill these ads? We can help!