Are Single-Stack CCW Handguns Obsolete? ~ VIDEO

U.S.A. -( Full disclosure, while I may have learned to shoot on an old Gen 2 Glock 17, my first quality handgun was a mil-spec M1911 chambered in .45 ACP. So, don’t mistake my opinions for those of someone totally enamored with plastic fantastic tactical Tupperware. That said, the title is a valid question. Are single-stack handguns obsolete in the era of ever-shrinking compact polymer-framed handguns feeding from capacious magazines?

Simply put, no – but also yes. At least sort of.

Let me explain.

While the proliferation of super-compact handguns like the SIG P365 or the Springfield Hellcat might make single-stack compact guns seem less appealing, there are subjective, often intangible factors that influence whether or not a gun is well-suited for a particular individual.

That’s because while capacity is very important for concealed carry handguns, it’s merely an aspect of the ideal concealed carry equation that each shooter much solve themselves.

With nearly double the capacity of the Kimber, the GX4 is very appealing. But capacity isn’t everything. IMG Jim Grant

Old But Not Outdated

Just because a particular design is dated, or even limited in one regard doesn’t negate its efficacy in other categories. In fact, how each aspect is considered, and how much importance a shooter weights each one depends on several subjective factors.

For instance, a proficient shooter with arthritis may not consider direct blowback handguns or those with smaller controls, simply because it would pain them to operate the firearm effectively. On the other hand, a large-framed shooter who prefers baggy clothing will often opt for a full-sized handgun, because it fits their hands well, and is easier to conceal due to their stature and apparel.

Low capacity magazine vs high capacity magazine
The six-round Kimber Rapide 9 vs the 11-round Taurus GX4 magazine. IMG Jim Grant

Capacity Isn’t Everything

Along these lines, capacity isn’t paramount to most shooters. Personally, and I’m sure most professional shooters and trainers would agree with me, reliability is the single most important aspect of any design meant for serious use. Whether that’s trodding through the jungles of Vietnam, or riding along in SWAT member’s holster, or sitting inside a lint-filled pocket of a concealed carrier, is irrelevant.

Because all that matters is that a shooter has a dependable firearm they’re proficient with when they need it. Everything else is secondary.

Kimber Micro 9 Rapide
Are single-stack magazine-fed pistols like the Kimber 9 Micro outdated? Perhaps, but they absolutely aren’t obsolete. IMG Jim Grant

Are Single-Stack CCW Guns Outdated?

In the simplest terms, no. Any firearm of sufficient caliber and excellent reliability will suffice if the shooter has enough training and the proper mindset. With the latter being much more important than most give it credit for. Although not the most popular (or prestigious) training school, Front Sight Academy has it 100% correct with their old motto: “Any gun will do, if you will.”

Yes, I would personally like as much ammo in a magazine as humanly, and concealably possible. But I wouldn’t feel under-armed with a single-stack 9mm like the Kimber or my SIG 938, provided I was experienced and confident in my abilities with it.

About Jim Grant

Jim is one of the elite editors for, who in addition to his mastery of prose, can wield a camera with expert finesse. He loves anything and everything guns but holds firearms from the Cold War in a special place in his heart.

When he’s not reviewing guns or shooting for fun and competition, Jim can be found hiking and hunting with his wife Kimberly, and their dog Peanut in the South Carolina low country.

Jim Grant

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