I think I may need a single-stack

I am currently carrying a Ruger Security 9, which is a 15+1 double stack pistol with a 4" barrel. It’s a very nice gun and would hate to get rid of it, but I am having a few issues with it.

Given the size/shape/condition of my hands, I’m thinking a single stack pistol might fit me better. One of these days soon I will make a run through my LGS (Whittaker’s) to put my hands on some and see how they feel. But before I do that, could I get some advice and suggestions from this fine and knowledgeable group?

To start off, let me state some preferences. I prefer hammer fired over striker fired, I like an external safety, +/-4" barrel, and a grip long enough for a full grip. These aren’t necessarily absolute deal breakers, just preferences.

Also, I have been warned off of Remington pistols, but I’m not sure what the specific objections are. Anyone know more about them?

Thanks for anything you care to share. Thoughtful reviews, experience based suggestions, and two-bit opinions gratefully considered.


I am not sure what other conditions of your hands are but:

The Shield 380 is actually hammer fired which surprised me given that all of the other Shields are striker fired. The Performance Center version of the Shield 380 has a 3.8" barrel so close to your 4 inch want, has external safety (and the backstrap safety) and has HI-VIZ Litewave H3™ Tritium/Litepipe Sights. Just get the silver version not the gold version :wink:


Hmmm … hard defined preferences :wink:

I like the @BJP’s choice (I’m not sure what is trigger pull weight since this is double action only pistol) …
Other options? 1911 Commander / Champion will probably fit your preferences.

  • SIG 1911 CARRY

I’ve heard about this as well when I’ve been looking for my 1911 pistol.
I’ve been warned about Remington R1 Enhanced (my first choice) and told that I could find better pistols for the same price. Also their RP9 is not a great product (only my opinion).


Check out a Bond Bullpup. Very nice, accurate, long barrel for overall size of piece, very easy to carry. It has become my daily carry piece and is on me (either pocket or belt) every day. 900 rounds through it and the only issues were two failure to go into battery in the first 50 rounds ( my fault-I took out of the box and fired it. Cleaned it, oiled it and it has been perfect ( and that includes 350 rounds of my reloads-ammo definitely NOT on the “approved” list). As long as ammo has a decent crimp the Bullpup will feed it great! Highly recommend. Also easy to rack and a nice long smooth DA trigger ( think tuned S&W)


The Performance Center Shield 380 is about 4 pounds, 2 ounces for trigger pull.




If you could eliminate the hammer fired, in favor of stryker fired, you can get a Shield in a 4 inch barrel, in 9, 40, and 45. Beyond that, I’m with @Jerzy on a commander sized 1911. Or, a 4 inch revolver.


@David38 I really like Dan Wesson. I think everyone agrees it’s the best bang for the buck. The models Guardian and Valor I have personally shot and/or owned. I give them high marks.

If you do go with a 1911, please only run Wilson Combat Vickers magazines.


Thanks for all the advice so far. Lots to think about! I am willing to bend on any of my preferences, but probably not all of them at the same time.


Hi @David38
David, you mentioned you have conditions surrounding your hands which are causing you to rethink a pistol with a larger grip. While you’re looking at others, you may find a SIG P239 out there in 9mm, 357SIG, or 40S&W. Just take a look at and try holding it if you do find one. They’re only on the secondhand market now, although it’s possible to find a SIG Certified reconditioned unit out there. These are a compact weapon, you can read about it here in a wiki entry. It’s not most of your specifications, but if you find your hands like it, it could be a good fit and might be priced right. Good hunting!

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DAN WESSON - excellent choice :ok_hand:
How could I forget about this one? :roll_eyes:


I know all is about personal preferences, but I would go with full size grip for sure.
I’ve been told several times - “your pinky doesn’t do anything while shooting”… however I can see difference during stressful situations or time drills. Full grip is the key…

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I don’t know if you are looking for a compact or full size. If you want new, Sig has a few single stacks with hammers. Personally, I’ve only fired their 45 and 380, and didn’t like either (although they seemed like great guns).

If you don’t mind striker fired, the S&W M&P line is very comfortable in the hand and doesn’t feel like a blocky double stack.

Last, the Beretta Vertex and M9A3 feel much thinner in the hand than the other 92 variants. My M9 is a sweetheart to shoot at the range.

My go to is an FNX9, but it’s not for everyone.

I have the M&P 380 EZ and its very nice to shoot. low capacity, sure, but if your choice of down-sizing has to do with hand strength or recoil management, I’d put it on the table. It’s also not a “tiny” gun, so if you’re not wanting to go TOO small in the grip, it might work for you. Also comes with or without an external safety, and with a grip safety, so if those are factors that may help you decide.

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I actually like a larger gun. I’m a fairly big guy so I don’t need something real small in order to conceal it. Right now I’m carrying the Security 9 Iwb with no issues.

My hand issues aren’t to do with strength, rather with flexibility. When it comes to getting a secure grip, the more I can close my fist the stronger the grip. That’s why I’m thinking a single stack may work better for me than my current double stack.

Also, when I take a firm grip and get my finger into proper position on the trigger, my thumb doesn’t wrap around far enough. Another way a single stack may help.

Thanks for all the info.

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Also be aware, that if its thin enough to move your thumb forward, it will also likely move your trigger finger. Best to go to a local store and check that it fits your ideas.

My most carried pistol is the Kahr CW45, as the 40 and 9 didn’t feel large enough in hand or for my preferred trigger finger placement, and the double stacks (like my FNX9) were just a hair too wide/long for what I wanted when carrying IWB and sitting. Kahr’s, however, are not preferred by most people.

One other option… you could try revolvers. Additionally, the more popular revolvers have many aftermarket grip options, and you can even purchase a wood grip and do a little sanding to fit your needs without worrying about damaging the firearm.

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As far as Remington 1911’s. I bought one, it went back to Big Green. They sent me a new one. It had issues, sent it back, they ‘fixed’ it, I did not shoot it, sold it. I don’t recall the exact problem. Honestly, a used Remington rifle or shotgun I would consider, not new stuff.

Now the fun stuff! If you want a 1911, sounds like you want a Commander slide with full size frame. Awesome gun, lots of choices. What is your budget? Springfield Range Officer is a pretty good choice, not a fan of the MIM parts, and some don’t come with front strap checkering, which is a deal breaker for me.

Best 1911 for the $ to me is Dan Wesson. If you have the coin, Wilson Combat, Nighthawk Custom, and Guncrafter Industries will make you giggle… Or get a good base gun, shoot it for a while and send it to a 'Smith to make it your custom gun.

If you are on more of a budget, or just want to get one to see if you like the 1911 platform, Rock Island Armory has a solid following. I owned one, it functioned and shot very well. Just was not as, well, refined as other guns, but I think they are doing better these days, but a great gun for the $.

I have been eyeing the Taurus in the latest issue of the USSCA magazine, it is Commander slide, full size grip, in .45ACP, has front strap checkering, and is around $600… Tempting, as I want another .45 for range use.

Ed Brown and Les Baer are great guns too, right now is an awesome time to shop for used 1911’s, I have seen some super deals on other gun forums.

I do tend to favor my 1911’s… :grin:

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Have a fondle on the M&P 2.0 line. They have exchangeable palm swells allowing you to go from small, medium, medium large or large. I have big hands and the large palm swell works perfectly for me. A smaller one may just suit your grip needs and allow you to not have to give up capacity. My carry piece is a M&P 2.0 Compact in 9mm with a 4" barrel no safety at all (there is an option for one) and it also is available with a 3.5" barrel.

Overall I’m really happy with it. My only gripe is the lack of “toys”. By that I mean I want an RMR but I don’t want my carry gun out of comission while the slide gets milled.

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As far as trigger finger placement, if you install a flat trigger on a 1911, much more consistent shooting without as much worry on trigger finger placement.

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There is nothing wrong with a full size 1911 and for the $$$ I like the Rock Island products as the original tooling was war time production (WWII) Colt machines and the upgraded machines are to Colt standards or better. Not a fan of Taurus as they are a low budget copycat of Colt and Smith & Wesson. Also not a fan of Kimber for pistols due to experience with them in the early 90’s. For top shelf stuff Wilson and Les Baer would be my go to.

That said if you are looking for a full size grip filling hammer pistol do some looking around the CZ-75 and clones market. I have a mid 90’s EAA Witness, all steel, with a Hard Chrome finish that is a dream to shoot, SA/DA in 45 ACP. Springfield Armory modeled their race guns for Rob Letham and others on that platform. Similar grip style to a Beretta 92FS but with the safety on the frame where it belongs.

My other go to that is stryker fired is the first generation XD. Hard to find now ( I am looking for a 1st Gen 4" Service pistol in DA/SA with manual safety in .45 ACP as we speak, preferably in Duo Tone… HINT to any one that has one!!! )



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