You've said that the 9mm Hi Power is your favorite "all around" automatic pistol, but that for purely defensive purposes you prefer the 1911?  That covers lots of ground.  Which brand 1911 is your choice?  Of what I own, there are four that would be chosen from: Kimber Custom Classic 5" that's been lightly modified, Norinco 1911 that's also been worked over, a customized Colt Commander, and a Springfield Lightweight 5" that I ordered with a few options from Springfield's Custom Shop.  These pistols have proven utterly reliable with my choices in defensive ammunition and group very well with the Kimber shooting the tightest groups.  All are capable of better accuracy than I am under field conditions.  Even though defensive scenarios are usually at close range, my personal defensive arms must be capable of better accuracy than I am.  Any of these are.

 

About the only time I carry the Commander in recent times is when using an IWB holster.  Otherwise, I prefer the 5" pistols for the slightly higher velocities, increased sight radius, and general "feel." My choices might not be yours. I personally do not care for 1911-based pistols smaller than the Commander with its 4 1/4" barrel.

 

Of late, the usual 1911 for carry has been the Norinco. The reason is that if the gun's used, it will be taken by law enforcement until the case is either "no-billed" by a grand jury or kept for evidence if an indictment is handed down. I prefer to have that one away from home than the others.

 

This Norinco 1911 has proven utterly reliable with full-power loads and has been lightly customized for my particular tastes. I have considerably less money in this 1911 than the others mentioned.

 

Now and then, I do carry the lightweight Springfield.  Other than the IWB carry, I find that it's no more difficult to carry than the Commander, but offers the advantages of the full size 1911. Recoil is heavier than with the all-steel pistols, but in timed shooting of multiple targets, there is no difference in times. Recoil recovery occurs while the pistol's being moved to the next target.  There is a slight decrease in the splits (time between shots) on the same target due to the recoil.  As best I recall, this is on the order or 2 or 3 hundredths of a second.  Is that enough to matter in the "real world"?  Maybe, but probably not.

 

This lightweight Springfield is set up very nearly the same as the Norinco 5" pistol I more frequently carry. It has proven both reliable and accurate.

 

Both pistols have skateboard tape on the front grip strap as well as flat, checkered mainspring housings.  They both have full-power mainsprings and clean, crisp triggers at approx. 4 1/2 to 5-lbs.  Both have Wolff conventional 18.5-lb. recoil springs. Wide grip safeties are common to both guns, with the one on the Springfield being a fitted Ed Brown. The Norinco has a "drop in" from Pachmayr. Either gun is fitted with high-visibility fixed sights zeroed for a "dead on" hold at 15 yards.

 

When carrying one of these, ammunition is usually Winchester Ranger 230-gr. standard pressure JHP's. If those are not readily at hand, I'm happy with either Remington 230-gr. Golden Sabers or Federal Classic "Hi Shok" 230-gr. JHP ammo. Each of these pistols has been tested with all three loads and has proven both reliable and plenty accurate.

 

I don't have a particular brand that I'm "loyal" to. If the pistol is made by a reputable manufacturer and proves itself capable and well made in addition to the requirements mentioned previously, I'm happy with it. The internal firing pin safety common to many 1911 pistols is a feature I do not care for so the 1911's I carry do not have them.  That said, the Series 80 system being used by Colt does seem to be working satisfactorily, but the verdict's still out on the Kimber II pistols for me personally.

 

I have carried this pistol on duty as a peace officer and some as a private citizen lawfully carrying concealed.  It's been lightly modified as well.  I usually carry the Norinco in its place these days.

 

When carrying inside the waistband, the 3/4" shorter slide and barrel do make a difference for me and this Commander gets the nod. This one's been customized and a "half-accuracy" job was done on it.  It's served well for around twenty years.

 

Thinking back over the last couple of years, the 1911 I've carried most often for "serious" purposes has been the Norinco 1911.

 

Frequently I do carry a Hi Power 9mm and feel very well armed, particularly if that's the pistol I've been shooting most often. Being able to get accurate hits counts more than caliber in my view, but if that's the same, I do believe the .45 with the right ammo has an edge, albeit a slight one.

 

Of the pistols I own, these would be my choices.  Were I buying a new 1911 for just self-protection, it would probably be a Springfield "Loaded" as they do not have the internal firing pin safety system or a clean Kimber Series I.  Either would be the full size 5" 1911.

 

Best.