1911 - Dress Boots vs Work Boots - a CHL story

Discussion in 'General 1911 talk' started by RatBikeRod, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. RatBikeRod

    RatBikeRod You Don’t Know Me!

    Nov 22, 2017
    My CHL renewal letter came recently in the mail. So this weekend I went online and filled out the requisite online forms. It will be resubmitted and hopefully I will have my renewal completed well before my renewal date arrives.

    This gave me pause to ponder the very long road that I have been on since I took my CHL class many years ago and subsequently filed for my carry license. At that time I was carrying primarily Berettas and since then I have had a plethora of carry weapons.

    Through them all my 1911’s have been a staple that I have come back to time and time again. I still feel like a commander sized 1911 with either a bobtail or round butt is one of the best carry guns on the market. There is just so much going for this vulnerable old design that has really never been surpassed.

    You can argue the weight savings of polymer, but LW 1911 models come near the same weight savings.

    You can argue double stack but 2011’s solve that problem as well.

    You can argue simplicity, but to be honest, 1911’s are really a very simple design and one that really anyone can learn to work on.

    The 1911 is quite simply the do everything well handgun.

    That said, my CHL renewal had me thinking about truly what I have with me most. Now, I have to take into account that I cannot keep my gun on me in my work space. So the best I can do is keep it in my truck while I am at work. And if I am honest I do not like one of my beloved 1911’s sitting in my truck console all day for many reasons. So one of my Sig P320’s tends to take care of that daily business.

    WHen I am riding my motorcycle I typically prefer to wear a Kydex holster with very strong positive retention. The bike will jostle my gun (and my spare tire) around quite a bit so again, I tend to take the P320 because if it were to jostle loose I would not be nearly as upset with it slamming to the ground.

    I tend to keep my 1911’s pretty pristine, so if the weather is bad I again tend to carry the P320 due to its stainless slide and polymer frame. If it gets drenched I really have no concerns over any possible pitting.

    So when I take these things into consideration, what is my typical go to CHL gun....well, if I am honest it is the P320. Not because I think it is a better gun than my 1911. Nor do I trust it any more. I do shoot both them and my 1911’s easily as well. No, it’s because while I feel like the 1911 is an old friend on my hip, the P320 is more of a work horse.

    I realized, being from Texas, the 1911 represents a nice pair of boots I own. They are comfortable, look great with everything I wear but I hate to scuff them up; it is my dress boot.

    The P320 is my daily pair of 511 tactical boots that are comfortable, I can splash through water and mud ( they are Gortex), I can ride my bike and not worry about the shifter scuffing the leather; it is my work boot.

    I feel a little embarrassed about this because, to be honest, I really do not fret over my 1911 finish. I like a worn holster finish on a 1911. I think it really add’s character to the gun. No it is not about the dress boot finish. It’s about the fact that a nice pair of dress boots, scuffed or not, cost a lot more than a pair of 511 tactical work boots. I will refinish the soles of a hand crafted dress boot, but throw away and rebuy work boots. No, its about dispinsability. I imagine it is akin to how an officer feels about a service Glock. If it gets broken in some way he knows he can go get another Glock and it will be just that. Another Glock that will most likely shoot just like the one that got damaged.

    I have gone through a lot of 1911’s over the years. Each one shot a little differently for me. Ultimately I realized that I shot Dan Wesson’s better than most. But even in the DW line I shot some better than others. So I swapped out until I found a few I really shot super well.

    My P320’s I can pick any of them up and shoot them pretty much as well as the any of the other P320’s I pick up. Which is to say quite well. Too, with almost no effort I can go from 9mm, to Sig 357, to 40 to 45 with just a barrel or slide change (well except the 45).

    Will I ever not have a 1911 to throw on my hip along with sliding on my dress boots?


    But there is something to be said about work boots too....

    Your thoughts?
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
    Chief1297, IANative, LPRoad and 8 others like this.
  2. GIJoke

    GIJoke A meat popsicle I am

    Aug 28, 2018
    I’d say carry what you feel most comfortable with, and if the 1911 is better in your hands...it may be better to carry...they do make more DWs - and get yourself a console safe for your truck!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  3. cgff

    cgff Well-Known Member

    Aug 24, 2015
    RatBikeRod-well put!

    Lately my work boots have been a G36 the stepchild of the G line but it carries so well for me.
    It’s Been an off and on again companion for quite some time like those well worn comfortable work boots.
    Life’s consequences had forced me to put the 1911 CCW on hold, tomorrow we have a family get together and my Prime will be along for the ride. When on 2 wheels either my G43 or 36
    Is with me. Otherwise it’s a 1911, or was up until a few months ago (health issues) but within in a few weeks a 1911 will be sharing the majority of the duty with my G36. When I know it will be a long day on concrete the g36 goes all other days a 1911.
    I do have to say my G36 with a new TT snap on slide holster has really become a goto staple but,
    A super snazzy compact 1911 may be a future addition with a snap on slide holster just because.
    Maybe a SS compact 1911 with some sweet holly, ivory,or stag grips might be my go to dress boots.
    WhoIsJohnGalt? likes this.
  4. texasnurse

    texasnurse Well-Known Member

    Aug 6, 2016
    My work boots are my Walter ppqm2 or my XDS

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. WC145

    WC145 Every day is Saturday and every night's a party!

    Jan 1, 2013
    I don't own dress boots. I've got rubber boots for working around the farm because anything else would get trashed in short order tromping around in the dirt, mud, and manure. I don't carry really nice guns when working outside simply because I don't see any point in subjecting them to unnecessary abuse and I've got enough guns that I don't have to, so it's a beater 1911 if I have one around, or a revolver like my GP100 or .45ACP Vaquero, something I don't have a ton of money in and is easily replaced. When I'm working at my regular job the venue, clothing, and concealment requirements limit my choices so it's normally hi top Converse and a snubby in an ankle holster. The rest of the time it's hi tops or Bates/5.11 style boots and a quality 1911, most often the Wiley Clapp 'Roadster' Commander because that's what I had it built for. I don't worry over holster/carry/shooting wear on my guns, but I'm not looking to eat on something nice. I use my Jeep Wrangler in the winter and for hunting and fishing excursions, not my old Tbird or my wife's Audi, I'm the same way with my pistols, I use the right gun for the situation. That said, all I carry are revolvers or 1911s so whatever I'm doing, it'll be one or the other.
    DMiller, william adams and Kip like this.
  6. Spokes

    Spokes Supporting Addict Supporting Addict

    Sep 18, 2011
    Well written RatBikeRod..
    cgff likes this.
  7. Ingramite

    Ingramite On The Lost Highway

    Sep 16, 2018
    Growing up here in Texas gave me some very practical guidance on manly footwear and hats from my daddy.

    I've done my best to pass his words to my three sons. Funny thing is that the advice is as valuable today as when my granddad passed it to my daddy, probably in the years of the great depression .

    "Never spend more than a day's wages on your hat and never more than a week's wages on your boots."

    Whew, I can still remember the dust up me and The First Lady had over the first pair of Red Wings that came through the front door. How could I buy something like that with babies to feed and bills to pay?

    The memories I so vividly recall of my first big promotion were I came in from the field to an "inside job". This came with a pair of Lucchese elephant skin boots and a 20x Stetson Open Road hat....both of which I still wear some 40 years later. Both were within the guidance of daddy.

    Imagine my pride when my sons show up here wearing very "expensive" hats and boots. They have learned pride in a fruits of their labor. The dignity of a hard day's work. I'll never apologize for this.

    BTW.....I had to learn myself that stainless steel makes for the best carry pistols.
    nod, zChambers, joerockhead and 5 others like this.
  8. Kip

    Kip Sir Kip Esquire

    Apr 12, 2016
    Normally I'd say you boys are frettin' over shoes a bit too much for me to be comfortable.... ;)
    I'll echo WC,carry what works best for me at the time.
    Mostly,the ECO. Small,hides well,shoots well.
    Finish WAS nice,work takes it's toll on things...
    By the way,I'd take your wife's Audi hunting. Nothing says success like a buck tied to a fender,or on a ski rack!!! :D
    Ingramite and limbkiller like this.
  9. samuse

    samuse Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2013
    Your kids are likely going to fight over everything and sell all those 1911s for a little of nothing.

    You might as well carry what you want while you're still kickin'.

    Me? I carry a Wilson and my work boots are Red Wing Heritage or Anderson Beans.
    Ingramite likes this.
  10. switchback

    switchback Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2014
    Some interesting thoughts posted here. And I thought we were just a bunch of addicts. I wear dan posts for dress and grizzles or whites for work. I too am careful with my 1911s as they represent a fair investment for me, most of you would chuckle if you knew the dollar amount of my most expensive .hint more than my Colts way less than kimbers gold combat. On the motorcycle I, like rod, tend to index pack a plastic fantastic 9mm. Working around outside its a revolver,casual days a 1911 and going to church HP.
  11. El Perdido

    El Perdido Fictional Western Sage

    Oct 3, 2011
    My 1911's go with my Class A's, my Class B's and my out of uniform attire...

    No concern whatsoever with cost, scuffs, dirt, mud, wet, dry, ans so on and so forth...
    Kip likes this.
  12. B81

    B81 Well-Known Member

    Aug 12, 2018
    All of my 1911's (and other firearms) are "work boots." I'm not a collector. I don't buy guns just to fondle and show off to my buddies. That said, I also don't purposely beat up or neglect my guns either.

    An all steel 1911 can always be refinished. Small parts can be replaced. Nowadays, we have Melonite and similar finishes that are tough as nails, and can even tolerate sea water.

    The only thing I worry about is theft. And that's more likely to happen when the gun isn't with me.
    Kip, Fred_G and Jim PHL like this.
  13. Lou1

    Lou1 Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Sep 1, 2018
    Most of my 1911’s are bbq guns but I always have at least one edc workhorse. Up until recently I too carried a plastic (Glock 30s) gun on work days and a 1911 on leisure days. I finally decided that I only wanted to carry one platform seven days a week and the 1911 easily won that decision.
    samuse, Kip and WC145 like this.
  14. IANative

    IANative Well-Known Member

    Feb 10, 2013
    RBR, my Glocks equate to your P320s... for most everything from sneakers to my Merrells and even most of my Ariats. But when the ostrich or caiman boots come out, so does a Les Baer.

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