I first carried a Colt 1911 Gold Cup NM .45 ACP, later went to a Colt Lightweight Commander XSE .45 ACP, next to a Kimber 1911 Super Match II .45 ACP and finally bit the bullet and purchased a Les Baer 1911 Thunder Ranch .45 ACP. After purchasing and shooting the Les Baer 1911 Thunder Ranch I wish I had just started with a Les Baer to begin with, what a great shooting handgun!
When I started in 1974, I was carrying a 73 vintage 70 series Colt Combat Commander 45 acp. It was carried both on and off duty. When I retired in 1994, it had been my duty/off duty/faithful companion for 20 years. I still have it and take it to the range on a regular basis.
While in the Air Force(65-85) issue was S&W M15 Combat Masterpiece w/ crappie ball ammo(saw a guy shot in the arm with it get the bullet pulled out of the wound by paramedics-it didn't even penetrate the shirt!!!.I carried 125gr Sierra JHCs over SR 4756 after that. Had a cool Commander who felt-if you are afraid of the answer-don't ask the question-my Investigations Unit all carried concealed weapons with state permits. Mine was a nickel Colt 1911 Series 70 w/ MMC adjustable sights. Overseas in Thailand-M36 Smith .38/M1911A1, saved my ass in an armed robbery(Thai Cops kicked the pairs ass and jailed them for 15 yrs. My State LEO career started with a M66 Smith 2.5" 357 and 12 bullets, all full of under car seat dust(WTF Over?) I bought a Taurus 9mm PT92AF(Beretta P92 copy in Satin finish) and promptly pissed off the Firearms Staff who trashed the weapon as cheap until I qualed 4 times in a row with 100 scores and no one else came close, even with Beretta 92s, one of which malfunctioned and went full-auto in N. Al! Next chance I got, we switched to Glock 17s, had several Accidental Shootings and a bad shootout where a bad guy took 17 9mm hits from 147 JHPs(some idiot supply officers "best buy" and was finally stopped by a Glock 21 45 with 1 shot. Next week we got Sig P220 45s (some Agt w/ kiss ass juice liked Sigs-same reason we got Sig P230 European style .380s as UC guns! Terrible decision-several lawsuits. While the P220 was a +, I favored the 1911 platform and got it approved. Agts had to qualify 10% higher with personal weapons, scores and interest in personal and backup gun soared. I retired in 5/08 carrying a SA Loaded 1911A1 in a Blackhawk Serpa holster with 4 Chip McCormick8 rd mags + 1 in the gun, shooting 100s in quals with all gun I carried at times on different assignments-BHP 9MM,Detonics MkVI SS 45, ParaOrd WartHog 45,Sig P220,SA 1911A1,G21,G22,S&W 642/M36 3".Range days were long and expensive. Can't do that today. won't talk about long guns we qualed with-NSA snoopers!
When I was a Police Officer in 1979 the department only authorized S&W .357 revolvers
but they had no restrictions on backup pieces. I kept a 5" Colt and the times I needed to
"pull a rod" I went for the Colt.